A Shiksa on a Mission

Balaboosta (n.)(bah-lah-b00-sta) A Yiddish term meaning the perfect housewife
I'm a shiksa on a mission...
It may not be perfection but it's the journey that counts

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Pancho and Lefty

The Super Bowl 2013 was, once again, a food-tastic celebration. Friends hosted a food competition and I was lucky enough to walk away with the prize (tickets to the Timbers, no less!).

Our challenge was to make a slider and pair it with a tasty beverage. Mine was the Pancho (sandwich) that obviously pairs with the Lefty (drink). I didn't get a picture of the sandwich but it was a potato roll, cilantro pesto coleslaw and the meatballs with their chili/garlic sauce. And here's what I did.
The Pancho:
Meatballs
1/2 grated onion
1.5 lbs. lean ground beef
.5 (or so) lbs. ground pork
1 tsp. Dijon mustard
1 tsp. or so of dried oregano
1 tsp. crushed oregano
1/2 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. coriander seeds, crushed
1/2 to 3/4 cup of panko breadcrumbs
2 eggs
Grated sharp cheddar cheese (amount depends on you)

 Preheat the oven to 450. Saute the grated onion in some olive oil. Put all of the meatball ingredients together and mix with your hands until it is incorporated. Add onions after they cool. Shape into meatballs. I tried to keep mine to a slider size. Pinch the cheddar cheese into little balls and poke them into the center of the meatballs. Seal it back up into a ball. Put them on a roasting pan or casserole dish. Drizzle with olive oil and bake for about 20-30 minutes.

Sauce
1 grated onion
3-5 red, yellow and orange mini bell peppers (or 1-2 of the regular sized ones)
10-12 cloves of garlic, chopped
2 red or green chiles (I used serranos), finely chopped
1 tsp. smoked paprika
6 Tbs. each Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste, cider vinegar, brown sugar (adjust to taste)
3 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 cup coffee
3 ripe tomatoes
3 Tbs. Bourbon
**I chopped the chiles, garlic and tomatoes up in the food processor

Olive oil in a pan and medium heat. Saute the onions, peppers, garlic, chiles and paprika. Once it smells good (10 minutes or so), add the rest except the bourbon. Simmer. Just before adding the meatballs, drizzle the bourbon into the sauce and stir. Add the meatballs. Simmer again.

Coleslaw
Pesto
1 bunch cilantro (pull the leaves off the stem)
1/4-1/2 cup walnuts
Grape Seed Oil
2 cloves of garlic
Pinch or two of ground cumin
Fresh squeeze lime juice
**you can add jalapenos too

Pulverize the walnuts and garlic in a food processor. Add the leaves and some oil. Turn it on again. Keep adding oil a little at a time (or through the chute if you have it) until you get the consistency similar to mayonnaise. Squeeze in lime juice and mix.

Add the pesto a spoonful at a time to shredded cabbage and carrots. Mix.

Slider
Open a potato roll. Put one meatball on it and spoon some sauce over it. Add a spoonful of coleslaw. There's your Pancho.

The Lefty:
Tequila blanca
Lemon simple syrup
Soda Water
Slice of jalapeno (puts a little hair on your chest)
Ice

Mix. Drink. 

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

My Milkshake Is Better Than Yours

 ...and it's for breakfast.
Here is what fuels me most mornings around here.







Coconut Milk
Oatmeal 
Peanut Butter or Almond Butter
Banana
Cocoa Powder
Vanilla
Ice Cubes
Variations: Sometimes I add Greek Yogurt or I'll put in honey if I only have half a banana.And I used milk when I run out of coconut milk.

I soak the oats in the milk to soften them while I take the dog for a walk or make lunches for the kids. I add a spoonful of cocoa powder, about a tsp of vanilla, one whole banana and a few spoonfuls of nut butter. A few ice cubes and I let the blender rip until it's all good.

It reminds me of a better version of the Carnation Instant Breakfast (you're gonna love it in an instant!) I used to have when I was a kid.

Keeps me full until lunch and it's a great treat after my early AM workouts.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

What's Happening Now

Here are some of the things that are taking up space in my brain lately.

Watching:
We watched a documentary on Origami the other night. The whole family crowded on one couch, staring at the television while people folded paper and talked about folding paper and folded more paper and even made paper. It was truly quite riveting. I did not know that I needed to see an Origami documentary but I'm so glad I did. The French artist who makes Origami people statues was my favorite. My favorite paper folder. Yours?

Between the Folds



Reading:
I recently started reading The Emperor of All Maladies which is basically the Pulitzer prize winning biography of cancer. Yes. Cancer the disease. And it's fascinating to say the least. But it's also dense, at times technical and almost always overwhelmingly depressing. When I read books like this one, I tend to take little brain breaks and read something that would be considered lighter compared to cancer. So I read Mindy Kaling's book, Is Everyone Hanging Out Without Me and Other Concerns. And I really loved it. I have recently decided that I definitely like her. It took me a bit. I wasn't quite sure. But I read this book and now I'm hooked. Doesn't hurt that she's a huge geek. I like that. The other book that is helping me get through the cancer book is The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell. Here's another woman I have not quite been a huge fan of but I've always admired. I finally decided that what my brain break needed was some Puritan history. And who better to get it from than the queen of hipster nerds herself?

Making Me Laugh:
Here's what Reggie assures me is the most accurate representation of our mini animal kingdom home. I think maybe he has a point.


Friday, January 4, 2013

Hamm and Buble

Something to smile about in the new year. And a little inkling to my emerging respect for Michael Buble


Thursday, November 15, 2012

Poetry of Debt

Felt the need to share this book.

I read the Financial Lives of Poets by Jess Walter because it was just sitting there, staring at me. I had forgotten that Reg read it and said I would like it. Now I kick myself because I could have already been through it and several of his other books which is exactly what I want to do now that I'm done with this one. I love the feeling of finishing a book and wanting nothing more than to inhale everything else that person has ever read. I felt like that after reading Atonement by Ian McEwan. I felt like that after reading White Teeth by Zadie Smith. I felt like that after reading The World According to Garp by John Irving. And so many more. I don't always love everything else but I do like the feeling of propulsion towards more literature. It's like a high and I need another fix.

This story is about a man who is lost in a world of bad career choices, financial debt and the sinking feeling of absolute failure on its way. And it's really engaging and surprisingly sweet even though it's pretty dark. I wanted to read it every spare moment I could find. Shorter days in the Pacific Northwest means I could realistically hit the hay earlier and earlier just to wrap up in the warm quilts and this clever story.

And now I'm onto another one.


Nerd Implosion

I'm spending countless hours (actually I could probably count them but it feels infinite right now) walking my puppy for training. Some walks are short lesson walks and some are long please wear out soon walks. On the longer walks, I usually listen to some music or a podcast. Yesterday I listened to The Nerdist (one of my favorite podcasts) and the guest was Neil deGrasse Tyson (the coolest astrophysicist ever). The convergence of two of my nerd loves was so overpowering that I had to share. I just love NdGT for his love of knowledge and science but most importantly his love of the journey.

If you are like me and need something to keep you walking in the cold (or not so cold) November air or you are inside and warm but also a big geek, then listen to this podcast (but feel free to skip the ghost story in the last 20 minutes--it was just an added little thing for Halloween).

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

A Future with Figs

Figs + Bourbon = Delicious Autumn cocktails.....eventually.
 
I'm excited that my tree is still producing figs. I'm thinking I may have enough to make another small batch of fig jam but I am also wondering if I should do something else that I haven't even discovered yet. I need to do some fig investigation. In the meantime, I'll look forward to this infused bourbon. Maybe I'll even add a vanilla bean.