instant gramming

June 23, 2010

Meatballs & Kale

This is a recipe that became a favorite of mine after the first bite the first time we had made it. It's adapted from a recipe called "Mini Meatballs with Kale and Orecchiette" from Frances Largeman-Roth's Feed the Belly: The Pregnant Mom's Healthy Eating Guide. Recently we had plenty of kale to harvest but just a fraction of the amount of parsley needed. I'll post the original recipe and include notes about what we do differently...

1 c. finely chopped red onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 c. panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons plain, low-fat Greek-style yogurt [omitted for convenience]
1 pound ground bison or lamb [substitute ground turkey]
1 egg, beaten
1/4 c. chopped flat-leaf parsley
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground allspice [omitted since we don't have it]
3/4 tsp Worchesershire sauce [I'm sure we put in more than this]
1-1/2 tbsp olive oil
10 oz package of dried orecchiette [substitute whole grain pasta, like rigatoni]
1-1/4 c. chicken broth
1 bunch kale (5 cups), chopped
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper
2 tbsp grated Parmesan, for serving
1. Combine the first 11 ingredients in a large bowl; stir with spatula [or clean hands] until well combined
2. Place large pot of water on stove to boil; preheat oven to 350-degrees-Eff
3. Place a sheet of parchment paper on a baking sheet. Spoon out meat mixture and shape into meatballs by rolling mixture between your hands. Set meatballs on the lined baking sheet
4. Heat olive oil in a large skillet over med-high heat. Working in batches, add meatballs in an even layer, and cook on each side for 5 minutes, or until evenly browned. Transfer cooked meatballs to baking dish and place in preheated over for 10 minutes to finish cooking
5. Cook the orecchiette [or pasta]; drain
6. Using the same skillet (don't clean it!), add 1/4 c chicken broth and use a spatula to scrape up the browned bits from the pan. Add the chopped kale, cover, and heat over med-high for about 8 minutes or until wilted. Sprinkle the kale with pepper flakes, 1/4 tsp of remaining salt, and add remaining cup of chicken broth. Bring to simmer for 5 minutes
6. Combine the meatballs, kale, and any remaining liquid in a large bowl with the orecchiette [or pasta]. Sprinkle with Parmesan and serve hot.
Note: we usually only prepare half this recipe when cooking for only the two of us. Kale is crazy good for you and this recipe will make your mind explode because it is so perfect. Please try it once. It's such an easy recipe and will change your life, I'm sure of it.

Updates: June edition

So this blaugh has really taken a turn for the worse as I've all but abandoned posting of photos and wisdom and unsolicited (and unwanted) opinions. Well I'm breaking my own accidental silence with this post; a hodgepodge of updates and thoughts, which might be followed up later with a couple photos of a particular cute baby. I can't promise that this is a complete revitalization of ADITGL, but maybe a reminder that I'm still alive and all has been well, but busy at home and work!

First off, the garden is doing well. We've been eating lettuce, sugar snap peas, a couple cherry-roma tomatoes, some basil, some spinach, and plenty of kale! Strawberries came heavy this year and I gave up on harvesting them by the end of May. There is more lavender and oregano than I know what to do with and German Chamomile has turned into a weed that is taking over all the bare soil it can find.  I've also been tending to our flower gardens. I recently added a hydrangea (C's favorite flower), a blazing star, a peony, dame's rocket, and some creeping phlox. I've also been transplanting some goodies like purple coneflower, creeping thyme, bugleweed, and lamb's-ear to places that need some more color. I've tried to add mulch to make bare soil look like something other than bare soil and zucchini is about to explode. Days have been very very hot and precipitation has been little and far between lately, making gardening a challenge.

Ellie has been wonderful. She is growing so fast and learning new things I can't even catch you up. Namely she's holding her head up like a champ and loves staring at trees. The biggest bit of news is that C starts back to work next week and we're both pretty nervous about the huge change.

I was able to celebrate my first father's day this past weekend and it was a great one. I got a great card declaring that I am the world's best dad--which I wasn't even expecting in my rookie year as a father. It was a very humbling honor. I also got a sweet monogrammed wallet from my infant daughter--funny because it's huge, but awesome because it's really nice and will always be my first father's day gift. Thanks Ellie! (Thanks C)

That's all for now. Be on the lookout for some photos coming soon...

Good Life Go!

June 15, 2010

Good folk: Meeting Aunt Allison

While in Cincy for my sister's baby shower (our first big family trip!) we were able to meet up with our dear friend Allison who was in town, coincidentally, for her brother's graduation. The visit was short, but we crammed in a lot of catching up plus a gourmet lunch prepared by Allison's awesome mom.

Here is an excited "Aunt Allison" showing her infant wranglin' skills which will surely come into use during future Doula endeavors.

June 14, 2010

Quote: Bike

A great quote from today's post on BSNYC:
"I may be naive, but I continue to believe that one day humanity will reach a point at which we will no longer need to feel special while we do something normal. Putting on pants will cease to be the subject of a feature article. The notion of a "bike culture" will dissolve like body paint in the rain. Riding a bicycle in street clothes will no longer be "cycle chic." Best of all, we will no longer need to be cultural aspirants or fashion models to ride to the store, and the simple act of buying something at that store will not need to be a statement about "sustainability." Instead, we will be regular schlubs doing regular crap, and we will be confident enough to do so without naming it and without baring our inner thigh sideburns in the process." - BikeSnob NYC (6/14/10)

June 10, 2010

A Break from the Positive: Dumbass of the Week Edition

Found this article by D. Dowd Muska called "Four Wheels Good, Two Wheels Bad." The name itself, in its suspiciously explicit literalness, should imply satire. He starts by saying this: There is something profoundly wrong with a nation where more adults ride bicycles than children. Then he writes: Two odious ideologies fuel the popularity of bicycling: anti-obesity extremism and eco-lunacy.

This no-name blogger realized his opportunity for quick fame: denouncing cyclists. There are few other groups that are quick to spread such an article like wildfire. Re-posting and re-posting. The new shock-journalist need only stereotype cyclists as smug, de-legitimize bikes as toys rather than true vehicles, and trivialize this right by over-generalizing the fact that some cyclists violate road laws (while ignoring the numbers of automobile drivers that do the same).

Who knows why Muska is mad at cyclists? Is it because, as he points out, some funding for bike projects is coming from the federal gas tax? He whines, [S]tate and local pols... gleefully commit drivers’ forced contributions to dubious bike schemes... “Bicycle planning” is providing lucrative jobs for bureaucrats eager to wield the coercive power of government to change commuting habits. He has even attempted to coin the term "Big Bicycle." Wow. I bet it hurts to stretch that much. He mentions that 4 out of every 10 dollars of that tax goes to non-highway expenses, but fails to describe where those 4 dollars are spent. Probably not all on cyclists and pedestrians. I'm splitting hairs here. This tirade has no point. It's just mud slinging to gain popularity by riling the poles of a political spectrum over a subject that really has no political affiliation. Like many of his other posts (esp. the one I just read about climate change), he drops what he probably believes are devastating bombs--these little factoids--but leaves them more or less unsubstantiated, leaving me irritated only long enough to write a cathartic blog post to cleanse my palette and forget about it.
Funny aside: In his "bio" he claims he enjoys searching the woods of Connecticut for the mountain lions wildlife bureaucrats say aren’t there. Yea, fuck Big Wildlife. Paranoia is a beeotch.

June 9, 2010

Start a Riot

Found this quote which was recently posted up by a good friend, B-Lee:

There’s a whole girl culture that exists when you’re little. There girls have their own scene. And it always gets totally fucked up when girls start dating boys. Like two of them like the same guy. Or they just start dating guys and that becomes their life. Then they get married and that’s traditionally how women get into these situations where they are totally separated from each other in these domestic spheres. What we want to say is, "No, that’s not happening to us. This is girl culture and these are our rituals."
– Tobi Vail, of Bikini Kill

This was extracted from an article on Riot Grrrls. The article (which is essentially about fashion) is irrelevant here. It did re-ignite this thought that keeps occurring to me which is how can I connect with my daughter as she grows up, and help her foster a sense of confidence, self-esteem, self-empowerment, and expose her to punk thought and ethics, and maybe even Riot Grrrl philosophy? As a man, it's a paradox. I feel like I should work on writing a book about feminism for fathers, mostly just to get myself to learn about it. Anyway, this is where I hope I might be able to lean on the women (womyn?) I grew up with to help impart these alternative philosophies to Ellise (A!!ison? B-Lee? etc, etc.). This is unfamiliar territory, on which I tread with much trepidation. Is it possible to overcome the inherent conflict and help "guide" my daughter on a path of feminism?

Looking for a lot of advice here...

June 3, 2010

pizza bike

i'm getting better at stacking pizza boxes on my bike. it's nice to make time to run errands this way...