Archive for the ‘Link’ Category

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Cannot Get Enough of Either.

May 13, 2010

The Big Picture is for my eyes what This American Life is for my ears.

My mom will be visiting for the next several days, so I probably won’t be updating till after she heads back home. There should be enough in the two archives above to keep you busy while I’m gone.

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The last train out of London is a slow one.

April 2, 2010

From October 2008 to December 2009, I lived about a half hour outside of London. That is, it took 30 minutes on a fast train to get from my town to Paddington station. Or the reverse.

The last fast train was around midnight though. After midnight, there were only local trains. So if you were lucky enough to catch the very last train for the night, then you were unlucky enough to have to stop at

every

single

small

town

between the lights of London and the ultimate walk home through the city centre of my town, a university town.

Imagine the drunkenness I witnessed. During both legs of my journey.

I watched people pass out and miss their stops. I watched people pass out and drool. I listened as competing factions of football fans attempted to out sing each other with their teams’ cheers.

Young males posturing, college girls flirting, it was all so predictable every time.

And I’m not quite sure what made me start thinking about those late night journeys again, but yesterday, I decided to make a mix, inspired by the hour-long train ride that felt four times as long. Then I decided to share that mix:

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Click the picture to download.

We have the initial whoosh of excitement as you realize you’ve made it just in time to catch the train. Immediately leading to the gritty determination needed to last the full hour with this crowd of late-night revelers. The slow, slightly dragging middle ground, when you hear the conductor announce Slough and you realize you still have half the trip left.

And finally, the excitement that starts to build as you realize you’re almost there, and you reflect on the fact that the night was a good one, the air outside is crisp, and the walk home is exactly what you need to shake off the griminess of the last train out of London.

I hope you enjoy it.

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Bookmarking Frenzy.

March 31, 2010

One of the reasons I’ve started my Filemaker Pro recipe database is because my browser bookmarks are out.of.control.

I spend an absurd amount of my time on the web looking for new dishes to make, and I bookmark them left and right, and sometimes I go back to them and sometimes I don’t, but almost never do I actually clean out that folder.

So I’m trying to methodically go through my bookmarks and make some of the recipes, then if they’re worth saving, into my database they go, and if they aren’t, well…at least I tried.

Here’s a sampling of the recipes I’ve recently bookmarked but have yet to try. (Alas, I have no oven, so some of these won’t be tried for a while to come.)

Breakfast

Avocado Berry Smoothie

Soups
Puree of Chickpea Soup (via Kate!)

Sides
Cheezy Polenta with Sundried Tomatoes
Cumin Herb Rice Pilaf

Beans/Lentils
Spicy Teriyaki Chickpeas
Snobby Joes

Casseroles/Mixed Dishes
Italian Rice and Beans
I Am DIY Rice Bowl
Spiced Potatoes with Lentils and Barley

Pasta
Penne Pasta with Butternut Squash and Walnuts
Happy Bowl

Raw Entrees
Garden Burger
Mushroom Meatloaf

Desserts
Jasmine Rice Pudding
Chocolate and Peanut Butter Rice Krispie Bars

And one last dessert that will need a bit of work to make vegan, but I have confidence that it can be done! These were sent to me by the one person I know who likes food more than I do (I’m looking at you, Katherine), but they just look so good that even if I end up with a disaster on my hands due to my iffy substitution abilities (there are amazing vegan bakers out there, BELIEVE ME, I am just not one of them), I’m still pretty confident that these will be worth my time:
Choco-nana Muffins with PB Filling and PB Crumble
Don’t they just look so tasty.

As for the two new recipes I tried Monday and Tuesday (the Pasta Della California and Spicy Sweet and Sour Tofu), I’m having trouble deciding exactly what to do with them. I think I’m just going to wave good-bye to both of them. Sure, they were both edible, way above edible even, especially the spicy sweet and sour tofu from last night. But were they good enough for me to put the time and effort into making them again? Probably not, not when there are dozens of recipes that I’ve made in the past that I know I really love, as well as millions of other brand-spanking-new recipes out there for me to try.

I will say, however, that both the lemon asparagus and garlic bok choy sides were superb. Neither night made for a very pretty dinner, but Monday night’s pasta was just barely presentable enough to share, I suppose.

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As for tonight, the black beans are soaking. This week has gone from California-inspired pasta to Chinese tofu and veggies to Cuban black beans and rice. Then tomorrow’s International Quinoa Salad will just bring the whole world together in his hands into one bowl.

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Blindsided.

March 30, 2010

I dare you to listen to Parent Trap, a podcast over at This American Life, and not feel something.

And if you don’t, then why don’t you head over to the Radiolab website to check out the picture mentioned in the podcast.

Follow those links in the order I gave them to you. The picture means that more after hearing the story behind it.

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Dirty. Cajun. Vegan.

March 28, 2010

It is rare that you read anything positive about Louisiana. Unless it’s about pure gluttony. We’re known for Mardi Gras. Alcohol. Good (i.e. fattening) food.

So it was with a bit of pride that I read this profile of a rice farmer turned organic rice farmer in the New York Times. Someone in Louisiana thinking about health? His phone number at the bottom even has my hometown’s 337 area code! He’s a man ahead of his time. Okay, on time with most of the world, but ahead of his local standard time:

“I started this because I could not see the future in conventional farming,” Kurt told me when I visited him last month. Back then, he and his brother were farming 2,000 acres. But “it got to where you could plow 100 acres and you wouldn’t find one earthworm.” As he spoke, he turned over the soil in his experimental vegetable garden, sending earthworms squirming back toward the ground. “And as I learned about the nutrition, there just wasn’t no stopping. You’re dealing with life!”

And how his business has grown:

A decade ago, he was selling 200 pounds of brown rice a month at the Red Stick farmers’ market in Baton Rouge. Now Unkel takes 1,000 pounds of jasmine rice from the grain bin near his house every week and mills it himself using a compact Japanese machine.

From 200 pounds a month to 1000 pounds a week? That’s awesome.

He includes a recipe in the article, but it is decidedly unvegan, so I thought I’d share something that Susan from FatFree Vegan Kitchen came up with instead.

May I present to you: Not-So-Dirty Rice!

So good. And authentic! I’m pretty sure Susan is originally from Louisiana, so she knew the taste she was after, and she did a great job of hitting it. In fact, she hits it so well that when I serve it, I don’t call it Not-So-Dirty Rice. I simply call it Dirty Rice. And in my household, it’s a given that it’ll be vegan as well.

Now I’ve tried it both on its own as a side and as a stuffing for baked acorn squash (which made a perfect autumn meal, and I recognize it’s March now, but hey, maybe someone in the Southern Hemisphere can make use of the idea now, and anyone else can simply bookmark the idea for a few months!).

But it would be the perfect recipe to try with some of Mr. Unkel’s Louisiana farmed, organic Cajun Grain rice. 🙂

As it happens, btw, I have had massive success with every recipe I’ve tried from FatFree Vegan Kitchen (wait, typing that out made me remember that I did muck up a bean burger from that site once, but considering I have yet to make a successful bean burger with any of the >5 recipes I’ve tried, I’m not really sure I can blame her for my failure), so I do recommend that you guys follow the link and poke around till you find more that you like.

Speaking of, I was just looking around for proof that Susan grew up in Louisiana, and I landed on THIS: Chickpea Gumbo!

That is so on my must-try list now. I love it because almost every vegan gumbo recipe out there relies heavily on fake sausage and the like, and I’m not really interested in items like that. And Susan mentions it as an optional item, but the recipe can stand alone without it.

If only I could find okra at my local g-store. Albert Heijn needs to seriously get with it.

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Elvis Perkins in Dearland on NPR’s World Cafe.

April 17, 2009

Just a taste of what my mom and I were able to hear live two weeks ago, when we saw Elvis and co. at ICA. They played four songs on yesterday’s program, including my current favorite, “Shampoo.”

And for your viewing pleasure, a (cell phone) pic from the show on the 6th. This was during “Doomsday,” with which they closed the show.

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If I had been thinking clearly, I would have adjusted the shot slightly so as to include the fan in front of me (but a little to the right) who was wearing a lemon-yellow faux angora sweater. That fashion decision needed to live forever in infamy.

IN OTHER NEWS, I ran 12.5 miles yesterday! I may be able to run that half-marathon next month after all. I experimented with eating mid-run for the first time ever, and it was a success. Dried banana chips FTW. I felt like I was flying once the sugar kicked in. Flyyyyyying.

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Lily Allen on Morning Becomes Eclectic.

February 19, 2009

Another lovely performance. Occurred yesterday over at kcrw to promote her new album, It’s Not Me, It’s You.

Listen here.