Friday, July 24, 2009

Golden Beets: farmer's market treasure

The lady I'm staying with stopped at the Fairfax, VA farmer's market Wednesday and picked up these delicious golden beets.

Okay, so this isn't a picture of the exact beets I had... we devoured them before the thought of taking a picture entered my mind. What can I say, I think with my stomach sometimes. But these look just like 'em.

Anyhoo, I wanna state for the record that I just recently developed the taste for beets.
Okay, maybe I've had the taste for them, but I just recently allowed myself to actually ADMIT that I like beets. (I had to have at least ONE vegetable I didn't like!)
I used many of the usual reasons for not liking them; they taste like dirt, they stain, they're boring, blah, blah, blah.
But, last semester while creating a self portrait of myself made entirely of food, (will post that later) I bought a can of beets to use in the masterpiece- thinking that I should use things I wouldn't mind throwing away afterward. While working on the artwork, I just happened to try a nibble. Much to my surprise, I actually had another. And maybe a couple more... After all these years of hating beets, had I really just enjoyed them? And out of a can at that?

So my initial thought when Davi brought home the fresh beets was, "oh... beets... eh, I think I'll pass."
Then I remembered! Hey! I like beets now!
We were on a time crunch that night, so just sliced one up raw and threw it in our dinner salad. It was earthy, slightly sweet and had a nice crisp crunch to it. Best of all, it didn't stain my hands like red beets do!!

The next night, also using them raw, I made a beet salad w/ heirloom tomatoes and mozzarella (was going to use feta, but we were out). Here is an approximation of what I did:

3 small golden beets, thinly sliced
1 med. heirloom tomato (one I used was a Cherokee purple)
1/2 c. cubed mozzarella
1/3 c. thinly sliced purple onion
1 Tbsp. fresh parsley, chopped
1 tsp fresh lemon thyme, chopped
1 Tbsp lemon juice
3 Tbsp white wine vinegar
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp ground mustard seed
salt & fresh ground pepper

Toss all ingredients except mozzarella together and let meld for a while, then add mozzarella right before serving. (If you put it in too early, the vinegars and acids will start to break it down making it all gooey.)

Don't know if anyone is growing these back in Texas, but I will definitely be keeping an eye out for them at my local farmer's market!

Monday, July 20, 2009

coinciding ads=annoying song in my head

A Manwich commercial with it's catchy island-like jingle....
A Facebook ad for Adam Sandler's new movie, Funny People.....
Me seeing these ads within a few seconds of each other.
What does this all mean?
It means I, my friend, am stuck with "Lunch Lady Land" in my head all morning.
"Schloppy joe, schlop, schloppy joeeee..."
It's worse than the dreaded morning oldy. (I started the day with "I think I Love You" after seeing David Cassidy on Good Morning America.)
The oldy didn't make me hungry.

"Navy beans, navy beans, navy beans...."

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer grubbin'

I'd originally intended on this blog to be more recipe/cooking focused, but considering my circumstances this summer, I've broadened the subject to food in general. (I've only been home for about two weeks this summer, so I haven't been doing much cooking.)

In late May/early June I travelled with my art class from SFA in Nacogdoches, TX to Baltimore, MD, Washington, DC and Alexandria, VA. During this trip I had some pretty good grub. Although it has been a little while since the trip, I'm thought I'd sum it up here with some of the culinary adventures.
Baltimore, MD:
Day one is a sad one to report. Because I was with a group, I had little say in where we ate. On the way to the airport we stopped in at the dreaded McDonald's for some breakfast. Later, after arriving in Baltimore and getting settled in our hotel, the only place within walking distance (walking in the rain distance) was, yep you guessed it, McDonald's. Devastated, repulsed and reluctant, I forced down a McPoo burger and McLimp fries. Later, as I reflected on my day of having had McDonald's food twice in one day, I cried myself to sleep.
On a lighter note, the next day held promise. We were going to the Lexington Market Square.

Here I had plenty of yummy options, with no McDonald's in sight.

After walking through the place numerous times, I finally decided to get something true to Baltimore.
Not just crab, but crab cakes and Maryland crab chowder.

Being the poor college student that I am, I opted for the regular crab cake and a bowl of soup instead of the award-winning lump crab cake, as tempting as it was, I needed more substance for my buck.
Luckily, a classmate didn't finish her lump crab cake so I helped her out. My regular crab cake tasted like a fish stick in comparison to the moist, tender, lumpy ball of goodness she had. I don't know how it stayed together in the fryer, it was so moist. The large lumps of meat easily detached themselves from the mold with the slightest prick of the fork. I could taste that there was mayonnaise and mustard in the mix, creating a smooth, creamy texture contrasting immensely with my dry, bready regular crab cake .
The chowder left much to be desired. It tasted like they just tossed flaked crab meat into some canned vegetable soup- and not even good canned vegetable soup. Needless to say, I was a little disappointed with my order.
Should have had the $13 crab cake.
>Little did I know that Faidley's Seafood is known only for their lump crab cakes.
Here are some of the other vendors located in Lexington Market:

The only other culinary excitement in Baltimore was when we found the Charm City Cakes building where the Food Network show "Ace of Cakes" is filmed. One of the girls loves the show and just couldn't go home without a souvenir.