By myself. Getting a couple of doughnuts for lunch.
Oh, the shame.
And the gentleman who bagged my doughnuts for me and took my money said, "How was school?"
To which I replied, intelligently, "Huh?"
He then explained that he knew the local college started back to school that day and so he thought I was a student.
To which I said, "Marry me."
Ok, I didn't say that. But I thought it, as I also counted the years I've been out of school. Sigh.
And if schools in session that means summer is over folks. Which is fine by me. I'll say good bye to sweating so much I drive around in car with my arms flapped open like a chicken, hopping to NOT get sweaty pits before I even make it to work.
So this salad is my good bye to summer (since citrus is oh-so-summer time to me).
Ingredients: 1 grapefruit, 2 different kinds of oranges (one of each), a few mint leaves, 1 tablespoon of chopped red onion, juice of half a lemon, 1/8 cup feta cheese, a dash of olive oil, and a pinch or two of salt and pepper.
It's all very technical, as you can see.
Chop up the onion and place it in the bottom of a bowl. Over this bowl place a strainer. Cut off the outside peels of your fruit. Then cut them into slices, removing the middle stem thing and any seeds as you go. Place the slices in the strainer, letting the juices fall onto the onions. Now arrange the citrus slices artfully on a plate (I like to think mine look artful anyway). Scoop out the onion and sprinkle it over the citrus. To the remaining juices in the bowl add the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper and pour over the salad. Now slice up 4-5 mint leaves and sprinkle over, then sprinkle some feta cheese over the salad.
As you know, Red Velvet is opening a new store October 29th. At the same time I am opening a catering business called Red Velvet Cupcakes that will cater to the new store most days of the week with cupcakes and bubble tea. I will also be available to cater to weddings and special events.
It's all very exciting. Right?
Yes, but opening a business also means filling out lots of forms for your business license and tax filing forms. It also means scheduling a health inspector to come and watch you bake (awkward) so you can get your food service permit. It also means spending what feels like loads of money on baking supplies, cupcake tier displays, equipment, pest control fees, cash bond fees for your sales tax number and a cotton candy machine.
It also means recipe testing.
Lots of recipe testing.
I have now eaten cupcakes and/or bubble tea every day this week.
It's sort of awesome, sort of crazy if you think about it.
I made falafel for my family Sunday night. Here are some...um...alternative names they came up with:
-various misprouncements of falafel
-da da (ok, this one Penelope said. and it's the only thing she says yet. so maybe it shouldn't count)
But hey, what's in name? A falafel ball by any other name would still taste just as good.
Eat your heart out Shakespeare.
And I FINALLY got to break in my new-to-me dutch oven. I was in heaven. So here's the skinny on these matzo balls:
Falafel Wraps with Cucumber-Yogurt Dressing adapted from Epicurious.
For the falafel: 2 cans chick peas, 1 large red onion, 4 tablespoons chopped parsley, 4 tablespoons chopped cilantro, 2 teaspoons salt, 4 cloves garlic, 2 teaspoons baking powder, 1/3 cup flour and oil for cooking.
In a food processor combine drained chick peas, chopped onion, parsley, cilantro and garlic. Once it's roughly blended remove to a large bowl and add in baking powder and flour. Combine well and a soft ball should form (if not add more flour). Refrigerate for 2 hours (or overnight). Then heat 2-3 inches of oil over high heat and drop falafel batter in to cook. I made mine into small balls (2 inches in diameter or so) and cooked them on each side for about 2 minutes. Allow to cool over paper towels before serving.
For the dressing I combined 2 cups plain Greek yogurt with 1 large chopped cucumber and 3 generous tablespoons of chopped fresh dill.
Serve with lettuce and tortillas and you've got yourself some wraps folks! I don't remember how many falafel balls this made but all together this served 7 people. I have a big family now. And it makes me real happy.
Have you seen Annie's Eats yet? I just die for her blog. Her photos are so clean, simple and classic they really make a girls mouth water.
And then the drool gets on my laptop and I have to take it to the Apple store and blame the drool on my dog.
I have made a number of her drool inspiring recipes before too-and they lady can cook as well as she photographs. Plus she seems to post nearly every day of the week (mon-fri). How does she find the time to be so domestic and so blog-posting busy?
I have a little online food blogger crush on Annie, can you tell? You should too.
I think breakfast cereal is as American as apple pie. It's a standard.
Sometimes you just want something consistent. A no frills, makes you full, gotta leave the house in ten minutes breakfast.
I like to mix my cereals. I have rule though, if you mix you have to mix like minded cereals. No fruity pebbles mixed with all bran or something weird like that. I say, it's all sugary fun or it's all brown and healthy.
If, after grating the ginger in this recipe, I had wrapped a surprise present from someone and hidden it in the house I could have been found out so so easily.
Just follow the ginger smell.
But the good news is ginger smells divine-so it's ok to "stink" up your kitchen with it. In fact, I highly recommend making this beverage not only because it taste good but because the process is a more effective air freshener than Glades will every be. (No offense to the the good folks at Glades.)
*My mom and I both agreed that this could be a little sweeter, so I would recommend adding more sugar. Maybe try 1/2 cup instead of the 1/3 cup I used. See how that goes.
In a small saucepan combine water, sugar and ginger (peeled and grated). Bring to a low boil and then turn down the heat and allow to simmer for 8-10 minutes. Strain ginger syrup (getting all those little ginger pieces out) into a clean glass jar and allow to cool (or refrigerate over night). Mix together 2 parts club soda (or other carbonated water) to 1 part ginger syrup, add a squirt of lemon juice and enjoy!
I love love coffee. But my first goal is to get in the habit of drinking some water before my first cup of coffee everyday. It doesn't have to be alot of water, just some before coffee. We'll see how that goes.
You thought I was going to cut back on the coffee didn't you? Get real.
I have a number of friends who live far away. So my second goal is to set aside time every week to write emails or call friends who are far away. Not all of them every week, but at least someone. That's doable.
Isn't this the creepiest photo ever? Oh my gosh it's scary!
Anyway, goal number three is to get a professional massage. I've never had one before and I have always really wanted one. I guess it's sort of indulgent, but I think after all our hard work at the new store I really do deserve to get one later this year (probably in late October or sometime after we open).
I'm doing it.
My fourth and final goal is to work out for at least 20 minutes, three times a week. It can be jogging, walking, jumping rope, whatever really. It just has to be intentional. It can't be like, oh I painted a cabinet today so that counts as my workout. Elsie and I have been talking about joining the good ol' YMCA but I don't really think I have much time to go there this month or next month, but hopefully we will soon.
I didn't have a random picture for this last one, I'm sorry. You try googling "jogging" and see if you find any pretty pictures. It's a weird one.
One of the counters in my parents' kitchen is overflowing with tomatoes right now. It's an epidemic.
Has anyone every seen those Attack of the Killer Tomatoes movies? I saw the one George Clooney was in, I think it's the second one. Tomatoes don't really look all that scary. But I thought, just in case they all realized that they had the numbers to start a decent uprising, I better make sure they knew who's the boss.
It's me. I'm the boss. Take that tomatoes.
Score: Emma 1, Vegetables 0. (ps. If you have to brag about winning a fight with vegetables, you may be a dork)
I love love Caprese salad. The first time I ate it I fainted on the spot.
That's not true, but doesn't it sound nice. Actually it sounds sort of tramatic...ok, forget the fainting.
I thought, wouldn't it be nice to have a portable style Caprese salad. For picnics, or to contribute to a pot luck or to pack up and take to work for lunch. This is what I came up with.
Ingredients: lots of tomatoes (any variety, but I like smaller sweeter ones), fresh mozzarella cheese, bread crumbs, olive oil and fresh basil.
Notice I didn't give you any measurements. It's because I'm mean. No, actually it's because it all depends how big you want to make this salad.
The night before, roughly chop half the basil you will use (I used a generous 1/3 cup here). Place this in a clean jar with a generous amount of olive oil (I used 3/4 cup here). I liked letting this seep together over night so the flavors could infuse a little, it's very much like a rustic pesto sauce.
The next day chop up your tomatoes, mozzarella and bread crumbs (for this I just toasted some whole wheat bread). Roughly chop up the other half of your fresh basil. Combine these in a bowl or a large platter and drizzle with the rustic pesto. If you are taking this on a picnic or other excursion, pour the pesto on right before you serve the salad.