Chanterelles, and Marjoram Pesto Pasta

19 11 2009

So, maybe I can focus. Sometimes. On some things. Like food, for instance. Yep, shocker, I really like making stuff to eat and then eating it. I did that for about five hours yesterday. I didn’t eat all of what I made, though. Thankfully, on that front, I have help.

Yesterday was a good example of making the best of a terrible lapse in time management skills. I worked on computer things all day (interspersed with some knitting) and then had decided to go to yoga, which was at four. Now, consider that I’m still looking for a job. And consider that the only thing I had actually scheduled myself to do yesterday was yoga. I got all ready for yoga, and then for some reason (which I may never divine) I decided to kill a few minutes messing with this new mascara I bought. Right before yoga.

Please explain my brain to me.

I mean, the mascara is great. I like it a lot. But I don’t need to put it on for yoga, for pete’s sake. Anyway, I went to close my computer and hop on my bike to find that I had wasted some ungodly amount of time on this mascara and now was never, ever going to make it to yoga in time. Good job, Kirsten. When you miss your daily exercise, there’s only one thing to do: go to the grocery store and then cook up a storm. Yep, if you can’t work it off, put some extra in, that’s what I say.

Okay, in all seriousness, I needed to get some staples and the ingredients for a cobbler and some jalapeno cornbread for our impending craft night (hooray). I really sort of enjoy the experience of wandering around a grocery store by myself; I feel more able to browse and come up with recipes as I walk around. I like going with company, too, but going alone is a different experience altogether. I went to a grocery to which I’d not been, and enjoyed it pretty thoroughly. There were a lot of local options, far more than anywhere else I’ve been thus far, and I was able to secure what seem to be local, humane, vegetarian, hormone- and antibiotic-free eggs, milk, and butter. This is great for me, as previously I’ve felt a bit lost at supermarkets around here.

I found these:

Chanterelles! I’ve never had the chance to cook them before. So I made chanterelle mushrooms and brussels sprouts sauteed in champagne vinegar and butter, threw in some field roast apple-sage vegetarian “sausage” (seriously the best stuff out there, and not nearly as processed as you think it is), and served it over a bed of marjoram pesto star-pasta (like chicken and stars, because I’m seven and I like the shape) with a side of roasted turnips. And then a friend came and had dinner with me! And another stopped by on the way home. I think one of the best parts of cooking is the communality of sharing a meal, and I’m lucky to have people to share with.

So, how bout a recipe? Today I’m going to share a recipe for marjoram pesto. It’s easy, and it will blow your mind. Marjoram is one of my very favorite flavors.

  • 1 bunch marjoram, about a handful, leaves removed from stems
  • 1/4c pine nuts
  • 1/2c grated parmesan cheese
  • olive oil, roughly 4 tbsp, but use your judgment
  • 1/2 tsp salt or more to taste
  • juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 5-6 leaves basil

Put everything in a food processor and blend it till it’s smooth. Put it on your pasta. Thank me later. Yeah, that was difficult, right? Okay, okay, one quick thing: if you think it needs more olive oil, do it! Also, to actually make the pasta, I drained the stars, put them back in the pot, added about 1 tbsp of butter, stirred that in with another 1/4c or so of grated parmesan, and then added the pesto.

I’ll post a baking-themed entry later about all my cranberry escapades yesterday evening! I baked 2 different tasty cranberry desserts and I can’t wait to tell you about them. Teaser:

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Relocated!

9 11 2009

I have just completed the switch from living in Austin, Texas for my entire life to relocating to Portland, Oregon, and I am just thrilled! This explains my recent absence from blogging. I haven’t so much had time for blogging, but I’m back now, and I’ll share a few relevant photos for good measure.

 

First off, the drive from Austin to Portland was incredible. One of my best friends, Nic, accompanied me (because she is awesome) and we chose to take the Pacific Coast Highway (CA-1) rather than the faster interstate, and man. I am not at all sorry. A few illustrative photos of the splendor of that drive:

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Gorgeous. Totally gorgeous. And now I’m in Portland and it’s been great so far! I have great roommates, I’m looking for a job, I’m making friends and spending time with old friends I’ve never had a chance to see this much of, and generally I’m happy. I’m about to get back on the makin-stuff wagon, though I’ve been doing a lot of cooking (and neglecting to photograph it). Last night, my friend Andrew and I made a delicious rosemary pasta dish with sauteed oyster mushrooms and kale, roasted delicata squash, and toasted pine nuts. It was great! I also tried this American Parmesan called Grana, I think, that’s from Wisconsin, and I have to say it was pretty tasty, especially for the price reduction. Very sharp and fruity.

Anyhow, we did visit VooDoo Donut while Nic was here, so you can look at some pictures of food other people made:

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1. Berry donut!

2. Mango Tango: mango filled with Tang on top. It rules.

 

AND, we carved pumpkins the day after Halloween, because we are fashionably late? Or something.

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For some reason that photo looks ridiculously blurry, but you get the idea. I hope you’ve enjoyed this incredibly disjointed blog post, and I’ll get back to recipes and crafting and actual topics soon!