Friday, October 28, 2011

I am the God of Granola!

That's right. You heard me. I am
This is also a shout out to the God of Cake- Check it out here

I've been in a big make my own everything kick. I like controlling/being able to pronounce what goes into my food.

Enjoy this tried and tested Granola Recipe. Then bow down to it's master.

3 c oats
1 c chopped nuts- I used almonds and cashews
1 c pumpkin seeds
1 c shredded coconut
2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp salt
1/2 c honey (or Agave syrup)
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
2 c dried fruit- I used raisins, craisins and crystallized ginger.

Cover sheet with foil/parchment paper
Mix the oats, nuts, seeds, coconut and spices in a large bowl.
Heat the honey and oil over the stove until smooth, pour over the oats, toss to coat and spread out over the pan.
Bake at 350 for 40 mins, stirring every 10 mins. Let cool

Ginger gives this a really good kick.
Stirring it is very important, or else it'll burn. And then you'll feel my wrath.

Bjork's new album, Biophilla- It began as a collection of songs written about themes of nature,  science and our relationships to them. But of course, Bjork is a go big or go home type of gal, so she also explored how people explore and collaborate with the music. She designed an Ipad app where users could manipulate and remix her songs. It's not really an album, it's a "digital environment." Having researched it after listening, I think it's an album more about the statement that it's making than the music. But that being said, the album still stands on it's own. It doesn't deserve the multi-tasking, distracted listen I gave it. So I'm going to go turn off all the lights, flip on the lava lamp and give it another, full attention listen. I'll keep you posted.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Best Chickpea Salad EVER

It's been said many times before, but I just moved and am in the slow process of stocking a kitchen.

On this particular night, I got home late and needed to make a lunch to last the next couple of days.
In this situation, my go to is chick pea salad, it's good, it's easy, it turns into an "everything but the kitchen sink" salad very easily. Basically chick pea salad cures all that ails you.

So I start raiding the fridge, I chop veges, I find some craisens, this is going to be best chickpea salad ever. Everything goes into the bowl and I find some farmers market kale I need to use. Yes! I'm in a good place.
I pull out the cans of chickpeas and start to look for my can opener.
And then I realize that I never bought a can opener....

No problem, I was a girl scout, I can figure this out and nothing, I repeat,  NOTHING is going to stand in the way of "The best chickpea salad ever."
So I dig, I'm looking for a pocket knife, anything that will help me free these tiny beans from their tin cage.
And the only implement I can track down is a cheap wine bottle opener.
In my chickpea crazed haze, I figure, this has a sharp end, easy-peasy.

Not so much.

It took 30 minutes to open one can.
I had blisters on my soft middle-class hands for days.
And I ruined the corkscrew.
I'm this serious about chickpeas. 

It's worth noting- there is a 24 hour CVS within 2 blocks of my apartment.
Chickpea crazy thought that this way would be faster.
Never again.

Basic Chickpea Salad's (tried and true by me)
1 can chickpeas- drained (best bets are Progresso, Bush and Goya)
2 Tbsp fresh basil- chopped
2 Tbsp fresh parsley- chopped
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
4 tsp olive oil
1/3 c Parmesan Cheese- grated
salt to taste

This is a really good "everything but the kitchen sink" salad. Throw it all in, it'll be fine.
Seriously- kale, green onions, mushrooms, black beans, frozen veges, dried fruit, cheese, green onions, feta, olives, artichoke get the picture.
Curried chickpea salad- omit the cheese, add in shredded carrots, craisens and curry powder.

One more reason why you should make this right now:
Chickpeas are very very tasty vessels for Siracha.

Music to accompany your chickpea/destroying cans/corkscrews experience:
I've listened to Chad VanGaalen newest, Diaper Island (NSFW), a couple of times now and I really can't make up my mind. It's not pretty, it's gritty and honest, which I appreciate, but I have to be in a very specific mood to be able to sit down and listen, i.e. breaking a corkscrew to open a dumb can kind of mood.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

KDP's New York Office!

Setting up a new kitchen is fun, expensive and really hard (if you rely on public transportation and have to schlep everything EVERYWHERE (I'll post my rant about the New York schlep later)).

Welcome to KDP's New York Office! Although there is something missing....

Proficient at Photoshop is listed as one of my special skills. 
That's more like it. 

Tofu, Quinoa and Vegetable Pilaf

Tofu marinade
Soy Sauce
Ginger- grated
Garlic- grated
Chili Garlic Sauce
Firm Tofu

-Press the tofu (Lay the tofu on paper towels, put towels over the block, put a weighted object on the tofu and let sit for 15 mins. Gets some of the water out so it'll take in more of the marinade).
- Cut the tofu into blocks
- Put all ingredients in a bag/container, add in the tofu. The longer you let it sit, the better.
- When ready, saute the tofu over medium high heat until brown-ish.

Quinoa and Vegetable Pilaf
1 1/2 c quinoa
1 c vegetable broth
2 c frozen peas, thawed
5 Tbsp fresh mint, chopped
1 garlic clove
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large leek, thinly sliced
3/4 c chopped shallots
8 oz fresh shittake mushrooms, thickly sliced
14 oz asparagus, cut into 1 in pieces.

-Boil 2 1/2 c water. Add quinoa and 1 tsp salt. Return to boil, then turn to low heat, cover and let simmer for 15 mins.
- Puree the broth, 1 c peas, garlic and 4 Tbsp mint in a blender to make a paste (if you don't have a blender, do as I do and just mash with a spoon until you get bored and call it good).
One thing I need to schlep: a blender

- Put olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add leak and shallots. Saute until soft and light brown.
- Add mushrooms and asparagus, saute until mushrooms are tender and asparagus is crisp-tender.
- Mix in puree, tofu and 1c peas. Stir until heated through.
- Add quinoa. Stir to coat.


Wilco has a new album: I haven't listened yet.
Clap Your Hands has a new album: I haven't listened.
Bjork has a new album: I haven't listened.
I'm rocking out to this: