oct 12 - oct 17 lots of eating out
Tuesday, October 18, 2005, 11:04 PM - high falutin'The inlaws were in town last week, so there was lots of eating out. I don't find I enjoy updating the blog when there's eating out, so I haven't. I'll do my best to remember what was eaten, though, just for the record. I won't bother with recipes---the dinners will all be high falutin'. You'll have to excuse me if I spell everything wrong here.
Wednesday, Oct 12
breakfast: no idea
lunch: still no idea --- this might have been the day I was really sick and slept really late and didn't think it was worth doing more than snack before dinner.
I don't remember the restaurant's name, but I know how to get there. It's called Nicole's or Nicky's or some woman's name starting with N's. It's on the east end of downtown albany & is in the oldest existing building in the area. Hopefully that's enough for me to figure out where to take the inlaws next time they're in town. Should you end up at a restaurant with the above description, don't trust the waiters about serving sizes. They'll tell you they are much smaller than they really are. If you order as much as they tell you to, you're in for a doggy bag.
bread & olive oil
split a pate appetizer
french onion soup
some variety of meat in some variety of sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and carrots with maybe some other vegetable
Thursday, Oct 13
breakfast: reheated some variety of meat in some variety of sauce, garlic mashed potatoes, and carrots with maybe some other vegetable
lunch: we sort of skipped lunch due to a long roadtrip up north to look at fall colors. I am sure I got enough calories from cough drops during the drive to have that count as some sort of a meal.
dinner was at the Friend's Lake Inn, about an hour and a half north of albany.
bread with garlic and tapenade
espresso encrusted ostrich carpachio appetizer
venison with rice and some variety of vegetable
cheese plate with vermont cheedar, piave, and triple cream with crackers, rasberries, and granny smith apple
Friday, Oct 14
lunch: prosciutto sandwich from the deli by the laundromat
dinner was at Provence, which is in stuyvesant plaza, right near our apartment
trout with rice and asparagus
fudge cake with caramel ice cream
Saturday, Oct 15
I was sicker than usual; I slept until 4pm and skipped breakfast and lunch and just barely managed to get myself together for dinner. Dinner was at Ginger Man, which is in downtown Albany. I had french onion soup and duck with rice and mixed julienned vegetables. I didn't eat much.
Sunday, Oct 16
We did brunch at Peaches Cafe, which is also in stuyvesant plaza. I had a blueberry waffle and an egg over medium. It said in the menu that it was maine wild blueberries, but I think they lied and served the boring commercial variety of blueberries. It was still good. Dinner was half of the remaining duck with rice and mixed julienned vegetables.
Monday, Oct 17
Eating seemed like a bad idea; I snacked on goldfish crackers a bit throughout the morning. Dinner was leftover beans and rice.
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Tuesday, October 11, 2005, 05:37 PM - comfort food, breakfastmenu
For breakfast we had frozen berries with grapenuts, lunch was more cold pizza; and dinner was ochazuke.
frozen berries with grapenuts
Put frozen mixed berries in a bowl. Top with a roughly equal amount of grapenuts. Pour coffee over the top... this sounds like it might be a little weird but trust me; I'm a recent convert myself. Don't drench it in coffee, just put enough coffee on that the grapenuts soak up coffee. There shouldn't be any actual liquid in the bowl. Microwave it a bit so the berries thaw, but this is inessential. Maybe throw on some chocolate chips for good measure.
We are still both under the weather so we thought ochazuke was in order. We also had a bunch of fresh broccolli that we wanted to use up, so this was slightly experimental. We have this pot that is a decent sized pot, and then there are steamer attachments that can fit onto the top without decreasing the capacity of the bottom. We cooked 1 1/2 cups of brown rice with 3 cups of water in the bottom section. To do this, put the stuff in the pot, heat it to boiling, put the lid on, then turn down to simmer. Brown rice (at least this brown rice) takes about 40 minutes to cook. I don't know why; white rice takes 20 minutes. While the rice was cooking, we prepared the broccolli and sliced a bunch of ginger into one of the steamer attachments. We didn't think the broccolli would take 40 minutes, so we waited until the rice had gone 20 minutes then put the steamer attachment on the pot and let it go 20 more minutes.
Then we put rice in a bowl, put broccolli on top, and added a couple of sour plums, furikake, and green tea. It worked out well, but the broccolli was still quite cruncy---we might try starting the broccolli at the same time as the rice if we do it again. The ginger ended up flavoring the rice because the steam hit it and dribbled back down into the rice pan, which was a nice touch. It was yummy, though. It made me feel less sick.
October 10 -- beans and rice
Tuesday, October 11, 2005, 05:14 PM - comfort foodmenu
I had cold pizza for breakfast and I sort of forgot about lunch because I'm still feeling sick and napped all day. Dinner was plantains, beans, and rice.
Plantains, beans, and rice (you're on your own for cold pizza)
Dice plantains and cook them up with garlic in a pot. Add a can of beans. And add some rice... you're on your own for quantity; we eyeballed it. Fill the pot up with water so it covers the stuff in the pan by a couple of centimeters. Add seasoning... I think we started with cumin and paprika and decided to add a cajun seasoning blend to avoid thinking any further. Heat to boiling, put on a lid, and turn to low. Come back in 20 minutes and eat.
October 9 -- Pizza
Tuesday, October 11, 2005, 05:09 PM - soups, breakfastI've been irresponsible the last couple of days... I didn't forget to eat, but I forgot to update the blog. Here's what I've recovered.
breakfast: fake sausage wrapped in pancakes
pancakes with fake sausage
We used up the last of the leftover pancakes. We wrapped fake sausage in them. It was the kind of fake sausage that comes in a tube and you have to brown it in a frying pan. It's good stuff.
1. Put some water in a pot.
2. add a bunch of onion, carrots, and cellery.
3. if you don't want it to ook forever, you can throw in bullion if you want it to taste like broth sooner.
4. add some spices. We used salt, pepper, oregano, and basil.
5. Cook it until it boils, then turn it down to low and put a lid on and ignore it for half an hour or so.
6. Add frozen fake meatballs and noodles and let cook for about 8 minutes. These were pretty thick noodles; if I were using a thin noodle I might let the meatballs go for a while then add the noodles later.
We both felt sick and didn't want to cook so we ordered tomato broccolli pizza. I've had bad experiences with broccolli on pizza, but this time it worked out well.
Saturday, October 8, 2005, 08:34 PM - breakfastMenu
Today isn't very exciting, foodwise. We had oatmeal for breakfast. Breakfast was at noon, so we skipped lunch and went to a "Japanese" restaurant with some friends for dinner.
Recipes (and other commentary)
I used rolled oats. Steel-cut oats are vastly superior, but I haven't figured out how to get steel-cut oats in Albany. In San Diego you can just go buy the bob's red mill Scottish oats or the McSomethingorother's Irish oats. In Brunswick we could also get some variety of Irish oats that were steel-cut. In Albany you can get oatmeal with all sorts of different labels on the container, but I haven't figured out that there is any difference but the label. No matter what variety of oat it claims to be (even when a brand has 3 different varieties next to each other on the shelf), it's always just plain rolled oats.
But whatever I end up with, I just follow the directions on the package. That's not true; I usually forget to follow the directions, and it's not rocket science so it doesn't matter. Today, by some miracle, I do things in the order specified on the package. It doesn't matter as long as you use more or less the proportions they tell you. Then add cranberries. You have to buy a bunch of cranberries when they sell them around Thanksgiving and Christmas and freeze them so you have a stash to draw from during the rest of the year. Cook the oatmeal and cranberries until the cranberries start to pop and juicy cranberry goodness ooooks out into the oatmeal. Then serve.
I like to put a dusting of brown sugar over the top. It melts from the combination of heat and residual liquid into a crusty sugary coating. It's like a poor man's creme brule, only with oatmeal instead of creme. For some reason this makes me happy. I just like the texture. Don't bother with brown sugar if you're just going to mix it in and not have the nifty texture.
I made the mistake of ordering soba. It was a big disappointment. We went to this restaurant once before, about a year ago, and it was really amazingly yummy. They seem to have modified their menu. I think it might have been Americanized to cater to people who don't really like Japanese food. It used to automatically taste yummy; now they serve bland stuff with a bottle of seasoning on the side just in case you are the sort of person who likes food that tastes like something. Prepackaged stuff on the side is never as good as food that's just made good in the first place. Why, oh why did they change? And they don't have zaru soba anymore. I think it's a bit of a stretch to say they have soba at all. It was mostly flour... the noodles were white with flecks of what might have been buckwheat... they didn't taste like soba, they tasted like flour. So sad...
I'm going to have to learn to make soba. Only I really don't have an appropriate kitchen for it here. Maybe I'll give it a shot sometime, though. Then again, I am visiting San Diego at the end of October and can hitch a ride to chopstiX. Somehow eating bad soba made me very homesick for the real thing. I've always wondered how people could stand living places without 24 hour burrito joints within a reasonable drive from their house. Now I must also wonder how people live without a good noodle house.
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