Archive for the nice things Category

Then

Posted in farm, food, nice things, seasonal with tags , , , , , on October 22, 2012 by bosquechica

After a particularly unpleasant week, the weekend brought me rest and work and numerous small satisfactions. The summer clothes are put away, the winter clothes brought out. The pellet stove is operational, the bosque is bright with fall. I spent both Saturday and Sunday in full-on cooking meditation.

Like meditation, cooking requires a focus on the present: 1/4 tsp this, 1/2 cup that, oven preheated to 350, cut, stir, blend. When the mind wanders, bring it gently back to the task at hand, to the present moment. Here are some of the things I made:

Blueberry-apple pies
Cauliflower mushroom soup
Butternut squash soup
Cauliflower planks, oven roasted with panko-parmesan crust
Tatsoi, simply sauteed with garlic

Unlike sitting meditation, cooking meditation is a dynamic form of the art. With the body continuously engaged, the mind can stay in the moment, can set aside discontent and desires equally. When the chatter starts, bring the mind, the breath and the body back to the spatula, back to the onion. Focus on the smooth texture and the warm orange color of the of the soup as you stir. By the time dinner is served, I am happily mindless (or is it mindful?) and completely present. And with meals-ready-to-eat for the entire week to come. What a deal!

I find that I often need to remind myself to be grateful for weekends (thank you, unions!), for my beautiful home, for the bosque as it changes and the cranes as they circle overhead. I am grateful also for my own common sense and for stopping my whirling stressy thoughts for awhile. Stand, breathe, cook. Not a bad mantra, really.

Colcannon

Posted in farm, food, home, how to, nice things, recipe with tags , , , , on December 30, 2009 by bosquechica

Ni geal an gaire ach san ait a mbionn anbiadh

(Laughter is gayest where the food is best)

 

Ingredients

Potatoes, 1 lb.
Kale, 1 lb.
Olive oil, eyeball it
Salt and pepper, to taste
Chives or green onions, fresh
1/2 cup butter
1 cup milk

Directions:

Boil the potatoes whole, peels on (I like Yukon Gold for mashed potatoes, but this is a matter of taste). Mash and mix with milk and butter to a pleasing consistency.

Chop the kale fine, the chives as well.  Sautee together until they are well cooked.

Serve the mashed potatoes in a round scoop. Make a hole in the middle and pour in a bit of melted butter. Top with the kale. Salt and pepper to taste. This is a simple recipe, but delicious and sustaining. For all that.

Variations:
Beer gravy: here’s a vegetarian version – make a standard roux, add miso and a stout beer. This is a strong gravy, not to everyone’s taste, but complements the kale nicely.
Bacon or pancetta – well cooked, sprinkled on top.
Green cabbage instead of kale.

Do enjoy.

 

This is what you do

Posted in food, how to, nice things, recipe, this-n-that with tags , , , , , , , , on August 1, 2009 by bosquechica

flying fish
Great weekends involve a little nice food, some rest, some play, a few lightweight retail adventures, time with the garden and the pets, and happy weather. So far this weekend I’ve: gone on a bike ride, made a pineapple smoothie, bought curtain hardware at Lowe’s and fancy smoothie straws at Party City. Then we had a tower of tuna millefuille on top of a bed of spinach for lunch, with fresh made carrot-apple-lemon-ginger juice on ice in tall glasses (with fancy straws), watched a little movie in the heat of the day and took a quick nap. Now we are going to pick up the porch swing and hang the curtains.

Tuna Millefeuille

Sashimi grade tuna
Mozzarella
Basil
Olive oil
Lemon
Olives
Roasted red bell peppers
Flying fish roe
Crispy pecan crackers, optional

Chop the olives and mix with basil, olive oil and lemon. Slice the roasted red bells and toss in with the olive mixture. Salt and pepper lightly.

Slice the tuna and the mozzarella both in 1/2 to 1 inch slices. Stack the tuna, the olive/basil mixture, and the mozzarella in alternating levels, until it is 3 or 4 inches high.

Pretty it up by topping with basil leaves, ribboned carrots and roe. Drizzle with olive oil and serve stacked high.

This is an approximation of a dish at Noda’s Japanese Restaurant in Rio Rancho (891-4378), which has both the best and the most original Japanese food in New Mexico, in my opinion (which is fairly well informed, I will say without undue modesty). The crackers at Noda’s are homemade, crispy and dense, with pecans, seeds and something else… they would be tough to replicate, I think.

Mmm. Now you may happily continue your weekend.

Bosquechica spring migration

Posted in nice things, seasonal, this-n-that, writing with tags , , , , on March 24, 2009 by bosquechica

Went away for awhile. Facebook. I admit it: I was unfaithful.

Facebook makes a continuous humming sound, like bees in their hives in high summer. Fascinating. Comments are short, relevance is questionable, connectivity is enticing but not necessarily functional.

I’ve located some long losts. That is fun. Had time to think about the function of this blog. No conclusions as of yet.

My writing group is up and running splendidly. We are weekly now, every Monday from 7-9 p.m. Good writing, energy is on the rise. My hands still go numb if I type very much. This is cramping my style, but is gradually easing up.

I love that this is spring. I love that I am on vacation this week. I love that I’m back involved in the dance and theater community at long last.

I’ll be back again when the study is more picked up.

River bird hovers over changing season

Posted in home, life, nice things, this-n-that, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on November 16, 2008 by bosquechica
Sandhill Cranes (via www.desertusa.com)

Sandhill Cranes (via http://www.desertusa.com)

We’ve been watching the cranes, the turning of the year, the golding and dropping of leaves. Last night, the biggest harvest moon I’ve ever seen. Tomorrow, hang out the winter sheets to air, put away the light summer linens.Tonight, fresh roasted tomato soup with olive bread.

Caprese salad with goat cheese

Posted in food, garden, how to, nice things, recipe, seasonal, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on September 20, 2008 by bosquechica

Ingredients:

Fresh tomatoes
Fresh Basil
Olive Oil
Salt
Pepper
Fresh Goat Cheese

Preparation:

Wash and dry basil. Pluck into small leaves. Slice tomatoes, lay flat on a platter. Place basil leaves neatly and prettily on each tomato slice. top with a small bit of fresh goat cheese (feta, mozarella or chevre all work well). Drizzle with olive oil. Add salt and fresh ground pepper. Serve as an appetizer.

This recipe is a variation on the traditional caprese, which uses cow’s milk mozzarella. If you are a fan of goat cheese, you will find this variation absolutely delightful.

(Pictured is a mozzarella caprese from Wikipedia.)

Eggplant. I love it.

Posted in family, farm, food, garden, how to, life, nice things, recipe, seasonal with tags , , , on August 22, 2008 by bosquechica

Oven-fried eggplant. Quick, easy, tasty.

Ingredients:

1 Eggplant
1/2 C Grated Parmesan
2 T Mayonnaise
Salt

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 425F.
Slice eggplant in thin circles (one-half to one inch)
Salt the slices and place them in a colander on their sides.
Let sit for 30 minutes. (The point of salting is to drain away the bitter liquids you sometimes get in eggplant. I’m not sure it’s really necessary if fresh-off-the-vine.) Rinse the salt off and pat dry.

Put the eggplant in a large bowl and add 2 T mayonnaise. Mix to lightly coat each slice. Add the parmesan and toss to distribute.

Lay the eggplant slices on a lightly greased cookie sheet. Place in oven on highest rack. Flip after 10 minutes and cook for 10 minutes more.

These come out light and crispy, and have been known to convert even the most fearful of eggplant-o-phobes.

We’ll have these for dinner this evening with rice and lamp chops.

Bonus round:
The French word for eggplant is aubergine. In Spanish it is berenjena.

Question:
I believe we have a regional variation on the Spanish word, but I cannot remember what it is. Anyone?

Nutritional Information:
Eggplant is one of those wildly healthy foods. Read all about it right here.