Thought that I would post a pic of the garden. things are going really well. I just picked another giant head of broccoli and am starting to get peas of both varieties (snow and sugar snap). It should only be a matter of time before we are in full swing here and able to rely mostly on garden goods. How is everyone else's garden doing? I'm curious...very curious...
Saturday night we made some kebabs on the webster. I don't know if I've ever told the story about my beloved weber charcoal grill. anyway, it was given to me by a friend that found it next to somebody's garbage, ready to be taken away. He also told me that if you ever want a charcoal grill, to just drive around, apparently, people throw them away all the time. I didn't believe him, but sure enough, I still see them today. I guess a lot of people are converting to gas grills; I guess a lot of people are crazy.
anyway, back to the babs, I used a north african spice paste on these. For the meat, I used lamb and beef, and accompanied them with some pineapple, onion, orange bell pepper, and cherry tomatoes. A while back, I had read an article in Cook's Illustrated about butterflying the kebab meat before you put it on so that more flavor would get in there. but after doing it both ways, I'm calling shenanigans on them. Their way tends to make the meat tough and it's not worth the extra effort. We also had some corn that we soaked in water and then roasted directly on the coals, turning once. Not quite in season yet, but the good stuff is coming...
I had some leftover sausages in the fridge that I had grilled (but not eaten, wait...that was obvious, huh...) and wanted to use them up, and simultaneously, get the most out of them. I ended up putting them into a risotto with some roasted tomatoes and kale, and it really added a lot to the dish (oh yeah, I almost forgot, I made a huge batch of chicken stock yesterday, perfect for risotto making!). the smokiness of the sausages cut through the creaminess of the rice and really made for a pleasant bite when you had a forkful of the rice, kale, and tomatoes. So, yeah, if you have some leftover grilled meats (i.e. sausages, chicken, pork, steaks, lamb, shrimp, you get the idea, just no hamburgers!) camping out in your icebox, throw them into a risotto, the smoky flavor really shines through, and it's always nice to give your leftovers a face-lift.
other newsbits: I rarely talk about non-food stuff on here, but most of you know that i like to geek-out on fitness, and most of you also know my love for product recommendation. so, with that said, for those of you who also work out and take a protein supplement, I highly recommend that you pick yourself up some "Muscle Milk." I was spending about twice as much when I was getting my stuff at aikin's and wasn't really happy with the results (not to mention the taste), so on a whim, i switched to this stuff and I really like it. It also comes in already mixed form (for the times that you cannot find a blender), which is decent and super convenient. I 've noticed some progression in lean muscle since I've started this, which is a big plus, since I felt stagnant when I was using the other. I picked mine up at target for under 15 clams, there's probably a website out there that has it cheaper. here is what I do for a post-workout shake:
1 cup skim milk
1 scoop muscle milk powder
handful of berries ( I usually use frozen strawbs, unless I have fresh on hand)
1 scoop psyllium husk powder (for fiber, it offsets the boost in protein you are taking), optional
On lifting days, I also add 1 scoop creatine powder, but not on yoga or tai chi days.
blend it all up and chug it down, as soon as you can after your workout.
Oster Beehive classic blender: This blender is great! pretty much pulverizes anything you put in it, so mind your digits! I use mine at least 5 times a week.
North African Spice Paste (or wet rub, if you like:):
(you will need a grinder of some sort, I use an old coffee grinder, like this one: click me!)
(I said grinder! don't try this in a blender, or a food processor, however you can use a seasoned molcajete, or morter and pestel)
2 tsps chili flakes
2 tbs coriander seed
1 tbs cumin seed
1 tbs caraway seed
1 tbs black peppercorns
2 tsps kosher salt
2 cloves minced garlic
5 tbs olive oil
Place the chili flakes, coriander seed, cumin seed, caraway, and peppercorns into the grinder and blend into a med-fine powder. empty into a small bowl with the salt and garlic. add the olive oil and stir to combine. Goes great on chicken, lamb, beef, pork, and even veggies to be roasted. you can adjust the chili flakes to your liking, this is probably a milder version (wifeshow's german and russian for pete's sake!) so feel free to experiment. later.
ps. no comments about my shabby lawn, either! haters...