Sunday, December 23, 2012


Happy Holiday's KDP fans (Mom, did I send you a card?)
I'm having a war on Christmas this year.
I'm working a lot and taking latkes (and drinking driedel) to an Orphan Christmas Party and avoiding all work parties like the plague. I believe that this is an acceptable response to not going home or being with family this year.
I'll see a movie (let's be honest, I'm seeing Les Miz ("The Mopes" in English), eat some Chinese food and sleep until January 2nd.

Only someone who either loved or eternally hated Christmas could do what Sufjan Steven's has done with his SECOND epic 5 volume Christmas box set.

And it is a fine line between love and hate. A very very fine line.

My latest cooking devotion has been to this book, An Everlasting Meal by Tamar Adler, who believes that the ends of meals inspire and feed the next one and that we don't make mistakes in the kitchen, we create an experiment. The book is about cooking with grace, trust and economically. Below are some of the pictures I've taken while following this principal.

The basic premise is that you should be using everything when cooking- the ends of bread, the rinds of cheese, the stems of kale and in a mixture of life advice and recipes, Tamar Adler seeks a world where people pay attention to what they eat, why they are eating and how their food is prepared.

I did this for like a week.

It was a good week though, a very full fridge week. 

The idea is that you buy all of your greens and fruit at the farmers market and cook it the day of, so that you have things to play with throughout the week that are already prepared. You spend a few hours slaving over a hot stove and in return, can take beet sandwiches to work! It's a fantastic idea and I wish I had more time to do this.

I came away from that week with stem/core pesto, roasted beets, the best omelet I've ever made, bean soup stock, roasted pine nuts, an appreciation for red wine vinegar and more awareness around how to love and care for the food we use to fuel ourselves. 

Plus, An Everlasting Meal has entire chapters devoted to how to treat your eggs (the ones from chickens), how to boil water, how to set a table, ideas for sauces, vinegars and the trust that you'll be okay, no matter what you do. 

Also, I made Hot Sauce!

Take 1 lb of stemmed fresh chilies and 2 Tbsp kosher salt. 
Mix in a food processor until it's a puree. 
Put in a glass jar and let ferment for about 12 hours at room temp. Make sure that the top of the jar isn't tightly screwed on. 

Add in 1 1/2 c distilled white vinegar, loosely screw on the top. 
Let sit for at least 1 day and at most 2 weeks. Try it along the way to see if it's to your liking. 
Put the mixture in the food processor and blend until smooth. 
Strain it through a sieve and store in the fridge for up to 4 months. 

Well Spotify, you've done it again. You know more about the music that I'll like than I do. I'm continually in debt to your musical algorithm that introduces me to artists like Justin Townes Earle

The son of Steve Earle, he's embraced the soul in bluegrass and putting blues back in country music. Wrapped up in the sound are heartfelt and wrenching stories. I crave to hear him live,at a dive bar, preferably with a dance partner.
Only goal for the new year is to do just that.

Maybe the holidays away from Juneau makes me just a tad homesick (if you couldn't tell...), but I've been devouring bluegrass/Americana/blues music like it's my job. There are no problems with this, it's perfect Sunday listening.

Plus he kind of sounds like Elvis (if he "kicked a gospel choir in the butt" in this one and that makes me all a-twitter.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Hannah and Tally TravelPHOTO Blog

Tally and I went on a trip.
We've been friends since 6th grade, but the only time we traveled together was for swim meets, 7th grade swim camp and 8th grade horse camp, so it was time to test our adult friendship.

Lessons learned:
Boston is super cold.
Don't take the Megabus during rush hour on a three day weekend Friday.
Just don't take the Megabus.
The "T" is super confusing.
When flying with Tally, get to the airport at least 3 hours before boarding, or she will freak out.
The second half of the Freedom Trail? Not really worth it.
Tally is a sport when I drag her to experimental theatre pieces that are naked.

Things we did:
Tally's first gay club

The outside at least.

Hungover trips to the science museum.

Lots of brewery tours.

Did you know that beer is super cheap in MA? 

Being super historical.

Tall people are not made for Mega Buses. 
Things we ate:

Free Cheese!

Super fancy cocktails

Tally's first pizza in the subway

Tally's reaction when I tried to teach her the art of folding pizza. 

Tally and Carly made cupcakes!

I made a mess.

Add caption

Eating a Boston Cream doughnut in Boston at the start of the Freedom Trail. It doesn't get more American than that. 

Isn't that @awpz from twitter? 

Pho + Sriracha = true love

Last night on the East Coast Indian food. 
And then I went to Juneau and Tally went to the Bahamas.
There will be a semi-Juneau post soon.

New on the DSSJ front:
Mayer Hawthrone's "retro soul".
Yes please. 

Monday, October 29, 2012

Polenta at the end of the world

Apparently I'm seeing into the end of the world and it's name is Hurricane Sandy.
Who knows if I'll actually make it to the real event, the wind from the 7th floor is very dramatic and the cabin fever is starting to get to me. I've watched all the Netflix, all the Hulu and done all of the cooking and cleaning that I can stand.

Some people buy canned soup in preparation.
And some people make:
Brussel Sprouts,
fried rice,
banana bread,
and beets

If the world does in fact end tonight. I'm going out in culinary style.

Cheesy Polenta
8 c water
2 c polenta
salt and pepper to taste
4 oz cheddar cheese- grated
1/2 stick butter

-bring the water and salt to a boil.
-Pour in the polenta, stir with a wooden spoon until thick and gloppy (about 5 minutes).

-Remove from heat, stir in the cheese, pepper and butter.
-eat hot, then chill in the fridge and cut into rounds when cold.

Currently rocking out to (until the internet fails):
Andy Scott's "Luxury Problems" on NPR First Listen
This is a pretty ominous with this storm raging outside. I live on the top floor of a 7 story building, so things sound awful out there. This album could the be the soundtrack to a dystopian movie... and I'm not entirely convinced that this hurricane isn't either the start of the end of the world, or we're going to be thrown in 2084 or something.
Onto the music. For electronic, it's pretty low key, pretty laid back. The album feels deliberate, very complex and well thought out. This is described as "ocean floor dub" (rather than dub to dance to) and that fits it perfectly. The high voice wraps around the bass like a glove. It's pretty spectacular, but if you are expecting a more main stream sounded dub-step or electronica, this album isn't the way to go. It's a new take on the genre.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Panzella and an apology

Dear KDP fans (Mom),
How has it been so long? Where did this year go?
Seriously, many apologies.
I think I blinked for too long in May and it turned into October.
Lots of work has been happening, meaning not much cooking or sleeping or laundry. It's been awesome, but in the month of October, the only meals I've made are: oatmeal, hummus sandwiches, rice, omelette's and polenta.
This is going to change soon. I'm taking 2 weeks off in November for a Northeast roadtrip and spending a week in Alaska. Expect meals from the road (Tally's also very good at oatmeal) and Juneau cooking (MOOSE!)
In the mean time, here is something that kind of looks like cat vomit. But it tastes good, I promise.


Panzella (or Tomato and Bread salad- from Bon Appetit)

2 lbs tomatoes
1/2 c olive oil
3 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 garlic cloves- minced
salt and pepper
1 loaf stale bread- cut into 1" slices
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
2 jalapenos
1/2 c black olives
1 large bunch of basil- leaves trimmed

-Peel the tomatoes- bring a pot of water to boil, use a pairing knife to cut X's in the bottom of the tomatoes. Put the tomatoes in the water and cook until the skin peels back, about 30 seconds. Pull them out, put them in a bowl of ice water. Peel, core and crush in a bowl.

-Put the olive oil, vinegar, garlic and salt and pepper in with the tomatoes. Mix.
-Add the bread and let it get all mushy and soak up the liquid. Let sit for 30 minutes.
- char the peppers and jalapenos- put under the broiler until black. Transfer to a ziplock bag and let sit for 15 mins. Peel, core and mince (don't touch your eyes).
-Add the peppers to the bread mix, massage with your hands until everything is incorporated and you are thoroughly grossed out (bread should be broken down). Add in the basil. Let sit at room temp for an hour and drizzle with olive oil before serving.

I've been really rocking out to Kings Of Convenience. 
But by rocking out, I mean swaying back and forth slowly.
They're from Norway and their listening palette is: delicate, subtle, sorrowful and calming (I've been spending too much time around beer).

Low key, nice rainy day Saturday music. Another solid Spotify find (I promised Spotify my first born for good music, and for more songs available off-line).

But once again, I look up their music videos and am derailed by this gem:
Guess who has two thumbs and some sweet new dance moves. 

Thursday, September 27, 2012

TravelBLOG: Mags & Val go to Musicfest NW

Hey, KDP-ers! Long time no updates. Sorry, but it’s been an eventful summer up here in the Last Frontier. We’ve been super busy conquering mountains, catching giant fish, picking massive amounts of berries, and generally complaining about the weather.
Dorks on a mountain.
Internet, meet Tina the halibut. She was delicious.
My view for 90% of this summer.
Around the beginning of July, Val and I decided we were going to need a respite from the Southeast Alaska rain and get at least a few days of real summer. Fueled by the shitty-weather-sads and, as usual, some generously portioned whiskey cocktails, we purchased our tickets to Portland in September for four nights of live music and, fingers-crossed, sun.
(This is going to be a massive post. Sorry, scrollers.)


We arrived in PDX on Thursday afternoon, and set off on the Max to find Val’s cousin’s apartment. Surprisingly enough, these two country mice made it with pretty much no incident and were able to sit down in front of the air conditioner for a few minutes before setting out on our first night of Musicfest NW. (80°+ is really damn hot when you’ve spent the entire summer in 60° rain.) After delicious tacos and margaritas at the appropriately named ¿Por Qué No? Taqueria, we headed to the Crystal Ballroom for Passion Pit.

And then we drank too many whiskeys and I elbowed a drunk chick in the head.


The next day, we woke up late and headed downtown for the ubiquitous out-of-town shopping day.  We headed over to Mother’s for lunch as the temperature outside slowly crept towards 90°. We ate salads, each with their own respective fresh Oregon fruit, and drank nearly a gallon of water before heading back out into our tiny slice of 2013 summer. This also marks the day that we tried chocolate macadamia nut frozen yogurt and will be remembered forever.

For dinner we shared some appetizers at Paragon, one of which was pretty much just a plate of heirloom tomatoes (heaven).
The other plates were pulled pork sliders and some awesome calamari.

Full and happy, we set off to see Beirut.
People who don't like crappy concert picture may want to skip this whole post.

They were wonderful. (Disclaimer: the author of this post may have been so starved for live music that every show was the best show ever.) The main concerts were held in Pioneer Square and being outside in the nice weather in the middle of downtown Portland was amazing. We stood in the pit for Beirut, since we got there a little late, but it turned out for the best because we had a great view of Zach Condon’s dreamy hair.

After that concert, we headed back over to the Crystal Ballroom to see Helio Sequence. My head cold was starting to kick my ass, so we got some cocktails and scouted out a seat in the balcony. The band playing when we first got there was Portland-based Unknown Mortal Orchestra and were a pleasant surprise.  Helio Sequence was still definitely the main attraction. Their live music comes across much differently than their produced stuff (more fun?) and the drummer, Benjamin Weikel, is a kick-in-the-pants to watch play.


On Saturday, we went to brunch at Meriwether’s and enjoyed some pretty fabulous mimosas (Irish coffee for Val) and phenomenal farm-fresh veggies.
One half of the unfairly good-looking couple that hosted us.

After a bit of time for digestion, we met up with an old friend at a Rogue Taproom where we sat in the sun and drank too many Hazelnut Brown ales (beer flight for Val).

After that it was time to get ready for the next big show: GirlTalk!
In this picture, you can just barely make out all the half-naked ladies.

Which of course provided the best part of the evening:

Bota bota bota box! Like they knew we were coming!

Opening band Starfucker was awesome. GirlTalk definitely puts on a show, but before too long I was jonesing for something a little more rock and roll. So, we packed up and headed over to Ted’s Berbati to catch a band I had been listening to recently, Brooklyn-based DIIV. (It’s pronounced “dive”, by the way. Guess how long it took us to figure that out.) The smaller venue and awesome performance made for one of the best shows we saw the whole trip.

After that, we booked it up to the Roseland Theatre to catch the last bit of Sebadoh’s set and wait patiently for Dinosaur Jr.!
I want to be this cool when I grow up.

The energy of that show! We almost got bowled over by a mosh pit consisting mostly of 30+ year olds. Unfortunately, my head cold started to take its toll and we checked out a little early to catch the bus home.


It’s good we headed home when we did, because we were texted a wake-up call early-ish the next morning that we were late to meet more of Val’s family for breakfast. In a record 20 minutes, we were on the road to the Tin Shed. After grapefruit mimosas and delicious breakfast (I had a scramble with chicken apple sausage and brie, yum!) we headed out on our next adventure: wine tasting.
The view from the White Rose tasting room.

Neither Val nor I had ever been wine tasting before. (I guess that’s what happens when your favorite wine comes from a box.) Drinking 12+ different wines in the course of an afternoon, plus eating our weight in cheese? New favorite vacation activity.
Best cheese ever invented?

When I got home, my dad asked me if we figured out how to taste wine without getting shit-faced. He should really know better.

In this picture, we see drunk Mags trying to remember which vineyard she's currently visiting.

After a refreshing nap in the car, we made our way back downtown for the (arguably) main attraction.
Val: "Bass player's got a bad case of the babies." (Twins! Girlfriend had to play her axe all the way to one side.)

We somehow managed to keep our pants on through an entire Silversun Pickups show.  It was a little touch and go for me when they started playing “Catch and Release”, but I am a lady and kept it together.

After the show, we headed over to Nostrana for a farewell dinner with Val’s incredible, accommodating cousins. (Seriously, Aaron & Stephanie, if you ever read this, you guys are amazing.) We split some pizza, drank some more wine (gin for me!) and told embarrassing stories until it was time to head home to pack and get ready for our morning flight.


After a mix-up at the airport (a story I will only tell you if you buy me a drink), our 8:30 a.m. flight ended up being a 6:00 p.m. flight. Val and I suddenly had time for more shopping and at least one more meal in Portland!

At Aaron’s recommendation, we found ourselves in the garden of Veritable Quandary, sipping cocktails and pretending to be important amongst the besuited professionals around us. We also had some of the best pasta salad I’ve ever had, which we will hopefully be recreating here soon.

Properly boozed and broke, we got on the plane to return home, already plotting our next adventure.

Dudes, one of us is GETTING MARRIED. (I'll give you a hint: it's not me, or Val, or Hannah.)