Raining Coffee

April 27, 2010

Well, I don’t have to buy coffee this month. I’ve a friend in Oregon that has a son exactly a year younger than Boogie. We figured upon a trade. I send her a box of toddler boy clothing and she sends me Stumptown Coffee! I WIN!

So far, she’s sent me the House Decaf, which is gorgeous, and an interesting and also, lovely roast, Rwanda Muyongwe. The latter smells like heaven. Medium roast with a citrusy, light finish and it smells a little like chocolate but that doesn’t really come through in the taste…it is just rich without being dark. I have to say after tasting and smelling these coffees, my love of the sale coffee of the week at Porto Rico is on hold. I’m tempted by the prospect of more. And more!

However, I may have found another source, as well. My husband works for a non-profit but is also getting his masters nights. He came home yesterday with coffee he’d won by flexing his very strong brain. A man from Crop to Cup came to speak to the class and brought some coffee. He held an impromptu coffee trivia contest and my yummy hubbie, who wakes up preferring grape juice (yes, Welch’s) or Coca Cola to coffee, won a bag for me. Out of love. He said so.

Bugisu Washed Arabica, grown in the Bugiso Region of Uganda. I’m looking forward to trying this soon as apparently this group started because of NGO work and then a desire to help small coffee farmers in Uganda distribute the product and improve the product while improving the farmers’ own product knowledge and helping the farmers get a better price for the product. The company is supporting small sustainable farms and coffee snobs’ needs. Love.

Apparently, there is a source of the roasted product in Park Slope. Here is the website to read more:

http://www.croptocup.com

My sweetie took our son out for a day in the city: Central Park play and picnic, riding various trains, Jefferson Market library and garden visit and much walking though out the big streets and BIG TALL buildings.

I? Got the day off and went Kalustyian’s and the Greenmarket. I had not been to the former in a long while and changes have been made. They have expanded a bit and it looks refreshed…cleaner, more spacious and maybe more products? I wanted to go crazy in there, really, and had picked out a great deal more to buy, among other things, good quality marmalade, orgaet (sp?), couscous, chick-pea flour…it was getting out of hand but I realized I really can get ALL of those things in Astoria and for cheaper, mostly. Decided to stick with the basic needs and, most importantly, things I can’t readily find in Astoria: – grains of paradise, herb de provence and madras curry powder (house). I probably bought a year’s supply of each and spent a little less than $12.

Then I took a nice stroll to Gramercy park, walked around and over to Union Square and made my way through the Friday stands. I bought:

– an apple cider doughnut and bag of ginger snaps
– a lemon square
– ramps
– swiss chard

Total: $12.25. Yes, a wee pricey but all looked nice and so far everything tastes AMAZING. I had procured a smoked trout the past Wednesday and we split that and had sauteed swiss chard and buttered rosemary bread for dinner tonight.

Then off to Whole Foods to fill in a few gaps. $25 for the following:

– 365 Cereal bars
– 365 tomato paste tube
– 365 quart plastic bags
– green olives stuffed with almonds (major splurge but I’d been craving them and they WERE on sale. A dollar off…)
– rosemary bread (we are addicted to this)
– blue corn chips
– high end Portuguese sardines
– 4 pds.of yellow potatoes
– a quart of half and half

The bread and the olives made up half the bill.

I’ve been cooking a lot of ramps for the last few weeks as they are in season and for such a short time. Just sauteed is still my favorite but a ramp risotto and ramp pesto have both been successful. Here is the ramp pesto recipe I came up with inspired by a few I found online:

Ramp Pesto

– 1/2 bunch ramps (clean and separate bulb roots from leaves)
– 1 tsp. of lemon zest
– 1 tbsp. of lemon juice
– 1/4 cup of almonds or walnuts
– 2 tbsp. of olive oil
Blanch the leaves and roots. Immediately drain and add cold water so leaves do not overcook. Moving quickly, add leaves, roots, lemon zest, lemon juice, nuts and 1 tbsp. of olive oil into a mini-prep, blender or food processor. Blend together into a paste adding more olive oil achieving desired thickness. Toss with any type of pasta or put over chicken or fish to roast. Would be especially good in with ricotta in stuffed shells, tossed with sweet potato gnocchi, tossed with linguine and served with rainbow trout or salmon or tossed with boiled new potatoes and butter.

This week in deals…

April 24, 2010

More Costco. This time, the find was beer. Smuttynose variety packs of 12 but TWO of them for $27.99. An unheard of bargain in NYC. Ok, maybe there are better but for this quality beer in this amount I was pretty psyched. Good quality beer for a least a month (or two depending on how many or few people we have over).

Fennel Test

April 22, 2010

This is a test. This is only a test. Were this a real Fennel Emergency, there would be instructions on how to survive with no fennel. Good day, I said Good day, sir!

Nice Try

April 16, 2010

I tried making these:

http://smittenkitchen.com/2010/03/baked-kale-chips/

Fantastic idea and very tasty but Boogie wasn’t having ANY! He did enjoy helping making them. I let him use his hands to dig in and distribute the oil and salt all over the pieces of kale, thinking this was a fun way to get him interested in the end product. Didn’t work this time…

Exquisite Ramps

April 15, 2010

Could not resist the call. Boogie and I decided yesterday morning to give the Union Square market another try on a weekday to see if a calmer crowd could make the difference. It was great! No anxiousness with the little one in a big crowd. Very happy experience. We found one of my favorite booths on a Wednesday, this guy that has fresh trout, smoked whole trout and any wild thing in season he found that week. A few weeks ago it was Jerusalem artichokes. This week, RAMPS. I bought two bunches and a whole smoked trout from him. The latter is addictive.

Then Boogie picked out two apples and we found some hydroponic basil for pesto. We then made our way to TJs for use of the changing table in the bathroom there and I picked up a bottle of $3 Chuck, the South Australian chardonnay that seems like a good cheapo to have on hand. Then we headed back to the playground for a half-hour of sand and rides on the little “saucer merry go round thingy do”. Good times.

I like Chicken

April 14, 2010

We picked up our CSA order today:

– 2 small chickens (3 to 4 pds. each)
– 1 flank steak
– 1 dozen large eggs
– 1/2 pd. of Tomme (like) cheese

A lot of repeats but these are all amazing items. I’m exited about the flank steak. Plan a rub and grill and then topping it with a cilantro lime sauce. Sometime.