Thursday, August 18, 2011

also delicious

Improvised peach pie/cobbler

graham crackers
"accidentally" too much butter and brown sugar


especially if that is how you get yourself to eat brussels the aroma of baked peaches wafts through the air...

by the way... I shake my brussels sprouts in a gallon zip lock with olive oil and salt and pepper (today I microwaved them a bit first so they'd cook through faster)
then i put them in the broiler for about 5 minutes (these were massive so i chopped them up a bit)

they are actually pretty good this way!

small contentment

small contentment is...cute new bowls (from TJ Maxx) and a well-organized cupboard

Wednesday luck!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

beach with family


dangerous natural beauty

if you look around at nature, you'll see all sorts of beauty...

Quiche is pretty

And delicious

Not super quick (about an hour of cooking at 350ish degrees)

Not crazy healthy (pie crust, 4-6 eggs, I used about 3/4 cup- 1c of half and 1/4-1/2c of 2% milk, but a little bit of health inside- broccoli.  I also added ham slices and a GOOD pound of grated cheese...some mozzarella and some fancy gruyere cheese).  I used a deep pie crust and started with this basic recipe but ended up needing to add 2 more eggs and more milk/half and half because I had, (a)- a lot of fillings with my ham/cheese/broccoli and (b)- enough space due to my deep dish crust.

I also added fresh herbs from my urban garden and salt and pepper.

For my lunch, I also packed some greens and watermelon (the round, dark watermelons are the MOST delicious)!

Just in case you need to know...

In case you're ever in Burundi, and you need to say "to put the skin of a dead calf before a cow so she will give milk" there is one verb for it in Kirundi.  That verb is kworokera. 

Also, to remove a foreign body from milk: gutosora.
To finish milking a cow: guhaza
To have dirt in milk: gutobeka

Language really paints a picture of daily life, doesn't it?  Verbs evolve to fit the need of daily life, I guess.

Also, there is one word for "fear to harm another because you love him".  Impuhwe.

These verbs are amazing.

To overcome an enchantment: kurogora
To be overcome by something difficult: kunanirwa
To grit one's teeth to avoid showing pain: gushinyanga or gushinyiriza

I think you  know a lot about Burundi now.
Maybe as much as if I told you all about it in my own words.


Coffee coffee coffee

coffee with milk
kahawa na maziwa
cafe con leche
sütlü kahve
kaawa owa mata
cafe com liete
ikawa irimwo amata

Coffee with milk, in all the languages of the countries I have been to or lived in

I'd really like to add cafe au lait to that mix!

Coffee with milk
makes my world go round

we have a tumultuous relationship
i try to quit
i try to stay away
i take green tea as my second lover
and swear i'm over coffee

this time for real
i feel so much better
i'm not going back

and then my dark lover beckons... and i run into its arms
kahawa na maziwa
cafe con leche

i have missed you, like these exotic places

Monday, August 8, 2011

When I can't fully pack a lunch...

Some days there is just nothing you can do-- you can't pack a lunch.  You may have components that are easy to grab on your rush to the door (bus tracker is a blessing and a curse--when I know a bus is coming, I can make a dash for it...if I didn't know, I'd take it easier perhaps.  Maybe its just a wash.)  But, I digress.

If you can grab a bag of greens or a piece of fruit or a can of soup or etc, I have a trick that can complete a healthy lunch without the $5+ price tag of a lot of lunches even at a "cheap" sandwich place these days.

There is a lunch place...its name sort of sounds like cozy.  I like to go and get a piece of bread (they have big pieces of flatbread) and a side of hummus or peanut butter (personally, I prefer hummus) and it is usually around just $2!  (The PB is always $1.90) but sometimes they charge the hummus as cream cheese (they don't have a hummus button, so it is either charged as PB or cream cheese)... anyway, I went recently and they filled a huge side container full of hummus.  Usually it is a smaller one (which is still plenty for me).  But its great!  A healthy lunch I can look forward to for just $2?  Yum!
I had brought along a bag of spinach and some tomatoes-- MUCH cheaper than the $8 salads that you can buy at this place!

Oh dear...

I have to clean again.  I came home from work and laid on my couch for almost 2 hours, catching up on Drop Dead Diva.  What a show.  I ate too many spoonfuls of Nutella (not everything I do or eat is pretty, I'm afraid to break it to you.  Sometimes it is leftover thai noodles, watermelon slices, nutella by the tablespoon, oh and then a handful of super-fiber crackers, for good measure.  you know, buffer all the aforementioned carbs with fiber.  hush, i know fiber is a carb.  but i think you subtract it.  i never did weight watchers.)
this could be depressing except I LOVE THESE NIGHTS.  i get to do this about once a month at most and sometimes you just need to watch 2 hours of lifetime and eat nutella!  when it is completely voluntary it is the best.  when it is by default or because you have nothing better to do, you should come read my blog or write me an email instead.
anyway... now i need to go do some picking up and putting away. 

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Family tree

This was a quote on the wall at the Museum of Science and Industry.  I went there with my family last week.  Oh, family.  With my immediate family all around, I can see how I resemble in feature and personality, the family that I know.  And I can pick out some traits that are more distinctly mine.  Or perhaps just skipped my parents and bro and sis.  So, where did those come from?  Are they just mine?  Did they come from family I don't know?  

I am fascinated by this at the moment.  Fascinated by any old family stories that are still known.  I could listen to everything my parents know of their ancestors and it wouldn't be enough.  My uncle sent me a family tree.  So at least now I know names on my dad's side.  I can't wait to get some info from my mom's side.

Who are these people that I don't know, who may have been a LOT like me, BEFORE me?  They probably worked less cushy jobs than I do.  They probably wore more clothes and didn't have an iPhone.  But, what else??  I am so curious!  Did they believe the same things?  Were they kind or mean?  What were their politics?  Were the women intelligent?  Did they yearn for things to be different?  What did they talk about?  Did they marry for love?  Agh!  The few details I have only tempt me to wonder more.
My great grandmother (Annette, aka Nettie) was a vaudeville performer...she rode along in a sidecar next to my great grandfather, who was a theater projection manager here, among other things.  He was the son of a barkeeper in Brooklyn.

Can you imagine?  I am loving imagining some stories about these folks.  I would love to try to write some stories about them. 


Oh people... I am fair skinned.  (I have my family tree-- I cannot wait to tell you about my ancestors! but for now, I'll just say MOSTLY WELSH).  I have known this my whole life.  I am an ardent supporter of SUNSCREEN.  Early and often.  But, I did not heed my own advice today.  We laid out at Lake Michigan from 3pm-5pm and low and behold, my tenderest skin--upper thighs, lower back, upper arms--are a nice bright stoplight red.  Serves me right, and yet ow.  I already took a green tea and epsom salt bath.  (I steeped 4 green tea bags in a bit of water and threw it into the bath-- green bath!!)  And I mix a bit of these incredibly decadent salts (I buy them at Whole Foods as a "local buy") in with regular $2.99 epsom salts.  Then I slathered on cortisone cream (mixed with a little fancy CoQ10 facial night cream--I want my skin to heal!) and some lavender oil spray.  Only my lower back is feeling really tender.  Oh and I'm feeling stupid... a sunburn.  So silly.


Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Anytime meal!

I had some more wilting greens that I wanted to use before I began eating out a bunch with my family.  It was Saturday morning before I met up with them, so I further wilted the greens in a frying pan next to some over medium eggs (put the eggs in first because it takes them longer--use a very low heat at first, for about 2 or 3 minutes, then crank it up to medium).  I sprinkled salt, pepper, and sharp white cheddar cheese (I LOVE Trader Joe's Wisconsin Extra Sharp White Cheddar) over my eggs and then put both eggs/cheese and wilted greens on a piece of toast!  LOVELY breakfast!  (It would have been lovelier had one of the yolks not broken and gotten cooked in the pan, but I'm not so fussy... just like pretty things taste better, sometimes the deliciousness of things makes them prettier!)

Boat tour!

When you come visit this gorgeous Midwestern city, the skyline DEMANDS that you take an architectural boat tour (unless of course Lake Mich is frozen solid, so that rules out December-April).  Well, it is summer and my parents came to visit!

I also think my friends are always surprised to see how lovely my city is (THAT's the midwest?  THATs the Great Lakes?  So much blue!  So much green space!)  Yes!  (Come visit!)