Saturday, March 17, 2012

Saturday Spending

Alright, I finished everything of importance on my shopping list. Woo hoo! Of course, I've started a new list (mostly containing lots of benadryl, since if I don't get the allergies under control soon it'll be steroid shot in the arm time, and that's just not fun for anybody), but now I feel like there's food in the house.

You probably would've thought that I'd post more given this whole last week was spring break, but this is where we were all wrong. I thought I'd post more too. But then my white board got in the way. I've finished every piece of reading for two of my classes, plus gotten ahead in the homework for them both. I'm marginally (and by marginally, I mean one day) ahead in one of my other classes, and I'm exactly even in French, which is where I actually want to be in there. I'm still trying to get all my reading done for the class I'm marginally ahead in, but I just don't see myself getting through Purgatorio, Paradiso, Under the Volcano, The Floating Opera and Origin of the Stories by Monday. That's a pipe dream that will never be fulfilled. But that's okay. Other than a dissertation (this thing is brilliant and fascinating, but is taking me a long time to read because I really do feel the writing has both depth and beauty that demands you read and consider each word carefully) I've been reading for a few months that I really need to finish and return to the professor who loaned it to me (and has demonstrated abundant kindness and patience by not sending me a mean email telling me to give it back already), that's all the reading I have left for the semester. All. Like that's nothing, or something. :) That doesn't seem like much, written out this way. It looks like a lot more on my whiteboard, all though those entries on the whiteboard are now surrounded by beautiful, beautiful nothingness. Whiteness. No other work. Amazing.

Anyway, off of the school stuff and onto the grocery shopping. I got a bunch more stuff this week, as you'll see. But now I have food and am no longer concerned about the pathetic state of my pantry. How was y'all's shopping this week?

Whole Foods:

$1.32 - dried mango (unsweetened in little sheets)
$2.13 - poppy seeds
$3.16 - sesame seeds
$2.70 - goat cheddar (I highly recommend this)

subtotal: $9.31
total: $9.31

Kroger:

$2.72 - 5 pounds potatoes
$1.82 - all purpose flour
$1.05 - ramen (I had a craving)
$1.66 - dozen large eggs
$4.00 - 1 pound shredded cheddar
$2.00 - stewed tomatoes, 3 cans
$4.00 - crushed tomatoes, 6 cans
$2.00 - canned corn, 3 cans
$1.78 - cream of celery (I know; I should just make the soup for tuna casserole, but I am lazy)
$2.34 - bratwurst
$2.29 - other kind of sausage that I don't remember and don't feel like looking in the freezer to see
$1.00 - chicken broth (I was out of homemade and canned, strangely)
$3.19 - bread flour
$1.59 - tabasco
$1.99 - fresh tomatoes
$2.44 - field greens
$1.97 - strawberries
$0.79 - bananas
$1.36 - celery
$1.50 - blackberries
$1.00 - garlic
$0.71 - cucumber
$1.19 - something I can't identify on the receipt
-$3.00 - coupon for fresh produce

subtotal: $40.39
total: $49.70

Friday, March 16, 2012

Food Waste Friday

This week, we didn't waste anything. YAY!!!! How'd y'all do?

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Saturday Spending

Yep, this week was a big one. I didn't actually have time to get all the shopping done needed. There are just piles and piles of homework. There is no possible way for me to actually finish everything on my reading list for Spring Break, but that's okay. I'll just get as much done as I can, and that'll be the end of it. I only plan on leaving my house twice during spring break, so that'll help. If one of those times involves groceries, I think I can finish restocking the pantry. If not, such is life.

Anyway, here's everything I bought. There is an abnormal amount of juice this week, because we had someone over for dinner who only drinks juice. And then we drank the rest, of course. There's also a lot in the way of dried fruits (including tomatoes) since I like to take those to school with nuts. How'd y'all do this week?

Fiesta:

$1.29 - fresh spinach
$0.99 - two cans corn
$1.00 - 1 pound frozen corn

total:  $3.28
subtotal: $3.28

Phoenicia:

$1.79 - litre mango juice
$1.79 - litre sour cherry juice
$2.19 - litre apricot juice
$2.19 - litre black currant juice
$1.79 - litre lemon juice (not lemonade)
$3.99 - sesame oil
$4.39 - lime juice (also not limeade)
$7.95 - 5 cans anchovies
$1.79 - 1 can silver skin anchovies
$2.49 - tomato paste (tube)
$5.69 - 1 pound bulgarian feta (this one was not as good as the one we normally get)
$4.89 - 24 ounce jar makdous (I'll get the huge one next time)
$3.97 - 2/3 lb dried sour angelino plums
$1.89 - 6 ounces dried apples
$2.69 - 1/2 pound dried tomatoes
$2.49 - 2 pounds fava beans
$6.59 - 1 pound walnut halves
$1.41 - half pound shallots
$5.49 - 800 grams Saudi dates (I really have come to prefer the Algerian and Tunisian dates, but these are pretty good too, and they have a tiny, tiny seed that I like to look at)

total: $65.49
subtotal: $68.77

HEB:

$3.00 - 6 cans petite diced tomatoes
$1.18 - 2 cans whole tomatoes
$1.09 - 1 giant can diced tomatoes
$1.18 - 2 pounds linguini
$2.50 - garlic sausage
$2.18 - 1 pound butter
$3.24 - sleepy time extra tisane
$2.58 - 4 pounds spaghetti
$2.39 - all-purpose (unbleached) flour
$3.59 - bread flour
$0.99 - lemon pepper

total: $23.92
subtotal: $92.69
grand total: $92.69

I can't remember exactly what is left on the list. More corn, I'm sure. Probably some canned soups for my lazy-and-sick days (the allergens are starting to really mess with me, though it's rained for days so hopefully that'll help). Crushed tomatoes, for sure. Maybe some more stewed tomatoes. Anchovies? I might have enough, but we'll see. Sardines? I've used all those up. A bit more pasta, too. Strangely, we're only not about to run out because of those pounds I bought this week. Fruit, veggies, definitely. I think we only have, in terms of fresh produce, onions, carrots, a few citrus and shallots left. Maybe also some more frozen veggies such as spinach. I'm on the fence about which fruits to buy though, since I'm about to harvest many loquats. Anyway, we'll see what happens next week!

Friday, March 09, 2012

Food Waste Friday

A perfect week, despite the fact that we have some food again! How'd y'all do this time?

Thursday, March 08, 2012

Bergamot Jutlanders

This comes from page 121 of Martha Stewart's Cookie Book, where the recipe is titled Lime Meltaways. When I first made these, I rolled the dough up and the first roll was dipped into sugar, like the recipe states. But then I was eating them and I saw a Dane who's in one of my classes, and I was reminded that if the extra sugar is taken away, they're very similar to Denmark's Jutlander cookies that are eaten over Christmas. So the next roll did not get the extra sugar. I liked them both ways. Y'all will have to decide for yourselves if you like them better with more sugar or less. But here's the recipe, regardless. Hope you enjoy!

"3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, room temperature
1 cup confectioners' sugar
finely grated zest of 2 limes (1 bergamot for me)
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice (bergamot)
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract (I left this out entirely and replaced it with an extra tablespoon bergamot juice)
1 3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon coarse salt (I doubled this)

"1. Put butter and 1/3 cup confectioners' sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, and mix on medium speed until pale and fluffy. Add the lime zest and juice and the vanilla, and mix until fluffy.
"2. Whisk together flour, corn starch, and salt in a bowl. Add to butter mixture, and mix on low speed until just combined.
"3. Divide dough in half. Place each log on an 8 by 12-inch sheet of parchment (wax paper for me). Roll in parchment to form a log 1 1/4 inches in diameter, pressing a ruler along edge of parchment at each turn to narrow log. Refrigerate logs until cold and firm, at least 1 hour.
"4. Preheat oven to 350F. Remove parchment from logs; cut into 1/4-inch-thick rounds. Space rounds 1 inch apart on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Bake cookies until barely golden, about 13 minutes, rotating sheets halfway through. Transfer cookies to wire racks to cool slightly, 8 to 10 minutes. While still warm, toss cookies with remaining 2/3 cup sugar in a resealable plastic bag. Cookies can be stored in airtight containers at room temperature up to 2 weeks.
"Makes about 5 dozen."

I forgot to take a picture of this, so I encourage you all to take pictures of yours and share them with me at your earliest convenience. :)

Wednesday, March 07, 2012

Rice Noodle Lo Mein

I still have a fair amount of the rice vermicelli in the house, that mostly I've always used when I want to make spring rolls. But I've been trying to use them in a less work-intensive way, eliminating the need for rolling things. Because right now, I have no time for time consuming foods. Not until after spring break, anyway, when I should be far enough ahead that I have time to sit, to think, and even to sleep sometimes. It'll be exciting. Anyway, this is a pretty easy recipe. I actually cooked the noodles before I went to school, then did the rest when I came home and that's a perfectly fine way to do it although it's not particularly necessary. Hope you enjoy!

1 package rice noodles
2 tablespoons sesame oil
1 tablespoon vinegar (I used osmanthus, you could use whatever you want but rice vinegar is probably the best in terms of flavour profile)

1/2 large red onion, or one regular sized red onion, sliced into half moons
1 carrot, sliced
1 celery stalk, sliced
3 tablespooons sesame oil
1 tablespoon each: sriracha (or other hot sauce), tomato paste
salt and pepper to taste

1 can white beans (or 1 1/2 - 2 cups cooked)
salt

1 tablespoon fish sauce
1/4 cup rice wine

Boil a lot of salted water, then add noodles. Cook 3-8 minutes, or until done (each type has a different cooking time, so follow the package directions if you're not used to the ones you have). Drain and rinse with cold water, then return to pot and toss with oil and vinegar. Set aside.

Heat a large frying pan and add the sesame oil, sriracha and tomato paste. When hot, add the onion, carrot, celery and salt and pepper to taste. Cook until the veggies are well softened, then add the beans and a bit more salt. Fry these up for a few minutes, then add the noodles, fish sauce and rice wine and cook until it's done to your liking. Serve with soy sauce, fish sauce, sriracha, or whatever other sauces you like here. Serves 4.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

Saturday Spending

And look at this - I actually know what day it is! Saturday, the day of shopping reports. Not much was bought this time either. See, what happened is that I decided I needed to buy a new gun, mainly as a treat because this semester is about to be the death of me, and since Ross can't get time off work for our planned spring break (boo!), and so I took the monies I'd saved for vacation and put them toward a gun. I like to go to the range when I can, and although the semester has kept me too busy to do so lately, I'd like to get back out there again soon. So instead of setting aside some monies to restock the pantry, I paid for my gun, and thusly groceries will have to wait until I get paid next week. I told Ross today that we have no food in the house and he looked at me like I'm a crazy person (which I think at this point I may actually be. But in seriousness I'm out of anchovies and those are my stress food so there really isn't food in my mind) and so I believe that although to me there is no food in the house because there is not an extreme excess of food, to a normal person there is still an abundance (another friend mentioned this to me on Thursday as well so I think I must just have a skewed perspective here).

Anyway, this grocery trip was just for produce essentials. Next week, if I manage to set aside time for proper grocery shopping (I need to visit two separate stores, so...), the bill will be massive. Massive, I tell you. Because I'm not going to be happy until everything is restocked. Anyway, here's the list. How'd y'all do this week?

Fiesta:

$3.48 - 6 pounds onions (you'll like that, j!)
$1.99 - 3 pounds carrots
$0.99 - celery

total: $6.46

Friday, March 02, 2012

Bergamot Semolina Cake

Well, this is interesting. Today is Friday. I thought yesterday was Friday. So you got Food Waste Friday yesterday, and today you get the recipe I wanted to post on Thursday. I'm not entirely sure why I thought yesterday was Friday, given that I fully knew I had a class to go to (and I did go). I guess I've been confused a lot lately.

What I'm not confused about, however, is this cake. It's really amazing. I think it's the best cake I've ever made. When I first started out, I thought I was going to make a Williamsburg Orange Cake we used to make a lot when I was a kid. Except, y'know, with bergamot. But then I was, once again, laying in bed and I thought about how I'd like semolina in there, and olive oil. So I started thinking about the recipe and changing it all around. I suppose it vaguely resembles the old one, in that it's a citrus cake, but that's where the similarities end. I will probably make this next time with lemon, since I'm nearly out of the bergamots (I know... it's sad. I almost didn't think it'd happen, but it's happening). Hope you enjoy!

Cake:

1 stick (1/2 cup) butter
1/4 cup good quality olive oil
3 eggs
1 1/4 cup sugar (you can drop this down to 1 cup if you prefer)
grated zest of one bergamot orange*

2 cups cake flour
1/2 cup semolina
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt

3/4 cup bergamot juice
1 cup milk

Heat oven to 350F. Cream together first group of ingredients. Whisk in orange juice. Add in semolina, baking powder and salt, whisking that in. Add in milk, then once it's fully incorporated, add in the cake flour. Put in a greased 13x9" pan and bake 35 minutes. While it's cooling, make syrup. Pour the syrup on while it's still hot, and let finish cooling before cutting. Serves many.

Syrup:

juice of 1 bergamot orange
1 cup powdered sugar

Whisk together.

Thursday, March 01, 2012

Food Waste Friday

Another week of minimal waste, but not no waste. This week it was a pancake. I guess I stuck the leftover pancake in the fridge, topped with the pumpkin stuff, and then I forgot about it. :(