Posted in Food & Drink

Once again, Trader Joe’s is your friend

With apologies to those of you who don’t have the access you’d like to have to a Joe’s. You know how you go to Trader Joe’s and they have the food demonstration thingy and most of the time it isn’t that great?  Oh, it’s not exactly terrible, but it isn’t very often that I get inspired to go home and make the same thing.  In fact, when I tasted this pasta salad in the store, I was underwhelmed.  But I decided to give it a go, because who doesn’t need more arugula in their life?  Or rocket, as our friends in the UK like to call it. Continue reading “Once again, Trader Joe’s is your friend”

Posted in Food & Drink

Chicken Thighs

I’ve got a big work week this week, dear Reader, but my thoughts this morning turn to you. In these tough times, even the simplest meal presents itself as a sumptuous feast. The Scout and I previously feasted on lamb and steak from Costco; we now turn our anxious eyes to chicken thighs.

I am pleased to bring you a WCGB first—a recipe. Adapted from Joy of Cooking, I present:

Chicken Thighs with Onions, Garlic & Tarragon

Joy of Cooking says, “This simple but delicious dish is Greek in inspiration, so you might serve it in the Greek style with oven-roasted potatoes cooked with olive oil, garlic and herbs.” (NB: I did. Put the potatoes in 10-15 minutes before the chicken. I like Nigella’s recipe, though it is not particularly Greek.)

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

Rinse and pat dry 3 pounds of chicken thighs (bone-in or boneless—your choice). Season with salt and pepper.

Toss together the following:

3 medium onions cut into rings

6-12 cloves garlic, thinly sliced (you can also use Trader Joe’s crushed garlic in the little jar, or a combo of both)

2 tablespoons olive oil

2-3 tablespoons fresh tarragon (I cut it up with scissors)

1-2 teaspoons ground fennel seed

Juice of 1 small lemon (I used a Meyer lemon from Susan’s tree)

Spread half of the onion mixture in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the chicken in a single layer. Put the chicken on top of the onions, then put the rest of the onions on top of the chicken. Drizzle a little olive oil on top of everything, then put it in the oven for 45-55 minutes. The chicken is done when the juice from the chicken runs clear (not pink).

I made this last night but I didn’t take a picture. Sorry. The Scout recommends the 2006 La Crema Chardonnay to go with it (not the 2007—and if you find the 2006 somewhere, let me know). Notice how the expensive meat gets axed before the expensive wine around here.

Let me know if you make this, or if you have another chicken thigh recipe. I’m on a chicken thigh high.

Posted in Food & Drink

Tamale Connection

Going to be in the Pasadena, CA area this Memorial Day weekend? Planning to barbecue one day, but not sure about what to eat the other two days?

My friend Adela is selling tamales on Saturday and Sunday. Her mom makes ’em from scratch, and Adela delivers them to your door. Call her at 626-243-6760.

Posted in Around Town, Food & Drink, Let's Get Visual

Bev 5: Man on the Moon Girl

That’s Kim Perez (on the left). She was born on the same day that Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin walked on the moon. Happy Birthday, Kim! Lilli (on the right) and I raised a happy glass to Kim this past Wednesday at McCormick and Schmick’s, which has the best happy hour in Pasadena. Lots of great food options for cheap.

Kim & Lilli at McCormick & Schmick’s

Both Kim and Lilli are inveterate travelers; you can read about Lilli’s travels here. Kim doesn’t blog yet, but here’s a jump to her Continue reading “Bev 5: Man on the Moon Girl”

Posted in Food & Drink, Uncategorized

How to Cook Turkey

We all want the perfect Norman Rockwell turkey.

Well, if you want a pretty picture, cook your turkey whole. But if you want properly cooked white meat, instead of the typical dry white breast that even gravy can’t save, then cut your turkey into pieces before cooking it. Turkey breast should be cooked to an internal temperature of 165 degrees, and the dark meat needs to be cooked to 175-180 degrees.

I also recommend brining your turkey (unless it is a self-basting or kosher turkey).

“Freedom from Want” is the title of that Norman Rockwell picture. Can you imagine what the world would be like if Americans had true freedom from want? If we could live with what we need instead of craving what we want…I guess the old saying is

Live simply so others may simply live.

Posted in Current Events, Food & Drink, Uncategorized

Justice at Smithfield

Workers’ rights. Health care. Safety in the workplace. No, I’m not talking about China, I’m talking about the good ole US of A.

I offer you, dear reader, just one link today. Smithfield Foods in the world’s largest pork processor and hog producer, with revenues of over $11 billion in fiscal year 2006. Don’t gag, some of us dig on swine from time to time. And for those of us who do, wouldn’t you like assurance that the place is clean and that the workers are treated well?

Someone’s living high on the hog, but it ain’t the workers. Seems the folks who run the Smithfield can’t tell the difference between the hogs and the people…both are expendable in the name of profit. Here’s the link to the main page for Justice at Smithfield. Check it out. Have a look around. Sign-up for their e-mails.

Yes, I know you already get too many e-mail newsletters…so do I. But these folks need to feel the love of their Internet supporters, and signing up let’s them know you care. The Internet is one of the best tools for the 5,500 Smithfield workers to let the rest of us know what’s going on. I participated in the 29 September ‘virtual protest’ that went along with the real live people-on-the-street protest in New York City. There were over 6,000 of us virtual protestors…how cool is that? Yes, you too can be an activist while sitting on your butt in front of your computer.

Okay–one more link: The United Food and Commercial Workers. 1.3 million workers in a variety of professions (and sponsor of Justice at Smithfield).

And another: Change to Win.  They really sound like threatening revolutionaries, don’t they?  (Oh dear, does sarcasm work in a blog?)

Our mission is to unite the 50 million workers in Change to Win affiliate industries whose jobs cannot be outsourced and who are vital to the global economy.  We seek to secure the American Dream for them, and for all working people, including:

  • A paycheck that supports a family
  • Universal health care
  • A secure retirement
  • The freedom to form a union to give workers a voice on the job