Hmmm…What’s in the fridge?

This one’s for the fellas, although I must admit, anyone could make this at home. On my drive home from work I pondered what I would make for dinner, knowing that I would be eating alone. “We don’t have anything!” chimed the voice in my head. So on a whim I threw this together.

You really don’t need to have a plan, mine just sort of evolved as I started rummaging through the fridge finding things that looked tasty. Here’s what I found.

Ingredients: Tomato, cheddar cheese, salami, basil, egg, frozen corn, frozen butternut squash and 2 frozen bread rolls.

Step 1: Defrost bread rolls in toaster oven

Step 2: Boil water for poached eggs (we received 2 poach pods from our registry from Crate & Barrel –I highly recommend these!)

Step 3: Place frozen corn and squash in a bowl and mix in some paprika. Place in microwave for 3 minutes, stirring half way.

Step 4: Check on bread. Bread should be crusty but not frozen. Cut in half and add a thinly cut slice of cheese to each half.

Step 5: Slice tomato; cut salami and basil into pieces.

Step 6: Assemble. Once the poached eggs are ready (after water boils, eggs are placed in pods for 4 mins). A) Scoop corn and squash mix onto plate; B) Place halved rolls with cheese on or next to corn and squash mix; C) Add tomato to top of melted cheese; D) Add basil and salami; C) Add poached eggs.

End result should look something like this. Upon tasting the creation I would have to say that the tomato, basil, salami, cheese, corn and squash mix is an explosive mix of deliciousness combining flavors that are sweet, salty, smoky and earthy. I would even go so far to say that the egg was just gratuitous and excessive, but alas, it was indulgent, and I suppose that was the point, considering it was a mad dash into the fridge for whatever may lie inside.

I hope your next creation is as creative and tasty…remember, you don’t need to have a plan as long as it tastes good.

Enjoy!!

– Jesse

Fiddling and Fiddleheads

Ok, I’m going to just say it…the title of this post is misleading. Jesse is a fiddler–as in he plays the violin, sometimes in a bluegrass-esque manner. This post isn’t about violin playing, but it is about ukulele playing, and fiddlehead ferns!

Jesse’s new band, “A Few Good Ukes,” played a show this weekend at Nashoba Valley Winery about 45 minutes west of Boston (who knew that there were vineyards in MA).  I went, because I’m a good groupie, and hey, what’s not to love about sitting in the sun, drinking home-grown cider and listening to great music. I may have taken about 500 photos, the farm was so picturesque with apple trees blossoming, the sun shining bright and kids everywhere! I’ll spare you all but a few of them below.

“A Few Good Ukes” singing on the left, and then all of the kids at the winery (because I guess kids like wineries too) joining in for You Are My Sunshine.  At one point each band member had a kid on their lap helping them play the uke! It was the cutest!

The apple orchard in bloom.

A silly series of J&J photos.

And ferns–I just can’t resist…they’re my favorite plant.  I think it’s the symmetry, the color, the simplicity. They’re just so photogenic, don’t you think?

Have you ever eaten fiddleheads? Oddly I haven’t. But it’s the season here in New England and I want to saute them up with butter and garlic! Here are some recipes from Saveur.

And here’s what Maine Cooperative Extension has to say about the edible fiddlehead:

Fiddleheads, an early spring delicacy throughout their range, are the young coiled fronds of the ostrich fern (Matteuccia struthiopteris). Nearly all ferns have fiddleheads, but those of the ostrich fern are unlike any other. Ostrich fern fiddleheads, which are about an inch in diameter, can be identified by the brown papery scale-like covering on the uncoiled fern, as well as the smooth fern stem, and the deep ”U”-shaped groove on the inside of the fern stem. Look for ostrich ferns emerging in clusters of about three to twelve fiddleheads each on the banks of rivers, streams, and brooks in late April, May, and early June. Make sure that you have landowner permission before harvesting fiddleheads.

I like that last sentence–no fiddlehead stealing! Promise?

xoxo,

Jess

The Sound of: A Windy Ship

I’m a lucky gal. I married into a family with cousins who are year-round residents of Martha’s Vineyard. We went last weekend to visit for Passover.

It’s always spectacular to be on the island in April–the towns are pretty much deserted, trees budding, the salty air is extra crisp.

My sound of the week was taken on the ferry ride over to the island. It was a beautiful, bright day, albeit chilly and windy. Specifically, this sound is of chairs rattling on the boat’s deck. Every time I hear this sound I think of two things: chattering teeth, and the famous Marilyn Monroe-skirt-blowing-up image. I’m going to go with that second inspiration and throw together an outfit perfect for a warm wind (I think that I have the spring itch for new clothes).

(One–just messy enough for the big gust of wind; two–I bet this skirt could get a little lift in the wind, but not too much…; three–this dress calls perhaps for a brown shoe, but I like how the shoes will subtly pick up the black diamonds in the earrings; four; five; six–I can’t get enough of my pastel nails. And this polish is free of ethyl acetate, butyl acetate, nitrocellulose, acetone, and heavy metals!; seven)

I wasn’t wearing any of these things…I was unglamorously hunkered inside, wrapped in my bulky, sleeping-bag-like coat…the wind wasn’t warm like in my more stylish day-dream!

What does this sound make you think of? Please tell me below!

xox,

Jess

PS: Check out this amazing weather site! Creative people!

A loss of life but not forgotten…

This week was hard for both of us in that we lost a dear friend: he was a father and adventure enthusiast. Our friend was 67 years young and so full of life and energy. His energy and accomplishments have been such an inspiration for us and we hope we can live our lives like he had lived his.

In remembering our friend, we both recounted several stories that made us smile and bring pause to our daily routine. In telling these stories about his life we realized that this was our way of mourning his loss and bringing closure to his life.

Stories have such a powerful notion for us as they help to provide sustenance when it is needed most. They provide meaningful moments of clarity, laughter, self-discovery and so much more.

Before I was married, I joined a dating website so that I could experience chance encounters at love and when they didn’t pan out, I had a really good story to tell. That may sound shallow, but I found my wife on one of these sites and boy, do I have a good story (perhaps for another time though).

I love how stories are opportunities for bonding with others and sharing common experiences.  This is how I met Norman, through sharing our love for windsurfing, hiking, skiing, biking, you name it. And from our common likes, I have wonderful stories of us windsurfing on the Charles, skiing at Loon and losing our ski passes, and biking the wrong way down one-way streets. All of these experiences memorialize him, and they are stories that I now will share with others.

Rest in peace Norman. You will always be remembered.

– Jesse

The Sound of…the CIA

Now, if you know me, you know that I know my way around a kitchen–or so I thought! Recently I had an experience that made me question this knowledge. I was visiting the CIA–that’s the Culinary Institute of America, not the Central Intelligence agency (though a visit to their kitchen would’ve been equally as interesting). In this sound clip I ask a student chef what he’s making…he casually says, “a mirepoix.” “What’s that?” I ask? Then, he kindly explains, but what you can’t hear in the audio clip: he does a double eye roll before that explanation. A sting to the heart–I’ve lost all my foodie cred!

In case I wasn’t the last to know…a mirepoix is basically a mix of carrots, celery and onions–it’s a base for all things stock to casseroles. And this base is different all around the world. Oh Wikipedia, always there when you find yourself stupefied, which happens a lot more than I’d like to admit…

 Similar combinations, both in and out of the French culinary repertoire, may include leeks, parsnips, garlic, tomatoes, shallots, mushrooms, bell peppers, chilies, and ginger, according to the requirements of the regional cuisine or the instructions of the particular chef or recipe. The analogous soffritto (frequently containing parsley) is the basis for many traditional dishes in classic Italian cuisine, and the sofrito serves a similar purpose in Spanish cuisines. In Cajun cuisine, a mirepoix or (jocularly so-called) “holy trinity” is a combination of onions, celery and bell peppers.

Another thought inspired by the sound of chopping (by the way, can you hear in the sound that he’s chopping celery? Take another listen if not, I bet you’ll recognize it now.)…Are there cuter chef outfits out there? Well I investigated, and yes indeed there is some fun culinary fashion!

Though in my kitchen I prefer this route…

(one, two, three)

Did you know about mirepoix?

xox, Jess

PS: I was at the CIA to record this piece.

ReUse: The Coffee Bag

So I know most of you are always curious about how not to waste things or how to find another use for them rather than shoving them into the recycling or garbage bin. Such items may consist of: beer cans, grocery bags, bag ties (including the metal twist or the plastic bag tie thingy), those thin green velcro vegetable ties, etc. This week, I’m focusing on one use for one item: The Coffee Bag.

I imagine that most of you keep your coffee bags lying around, collecting dust, hoping for that perfect something to put inside so you can use it again. Now you can. The brown paper coffee bag is perfect for sending gifts in…small gifts. I recently sent some baked goods (Lemon Coconut Cranberry Cake with Lemon Curd on the Bottom–See recipe below) and I was in a tight spot. I couldn’t find a brown bag to cover the box I had, then it appeared, like an aura in the sky –the lonely brown coffee bag. It was a match made in mail heaven.

   

Lemon Coconut Cranberry Cake with Lemon Curd on the Bottom — I tweaked the recipe to include the juices from two lemons, three tablespoons of coconut, and added a handful of cranberries.  I also added the zest from one lemon. I omitted the glaze.

BTW: The coffee bags are free at the grocery store should you also be in a tight spot.

Happy Shipping!

-Jesse

A Few Of My Favorite Things…Beer

This is officially my first post. What you should know about me: I’m into everything. I like cooking, baking, brewing beer, crafting, using my hands, playing music, romancing, dancing, writing songs, horticulture, mountain biking, skiing, etc…What can I say, I’m a curious human being.

At this time though, I’m sharing with you Jess and my most recent home-brew – Pliny The Elder Imperial IPA Clone by Russian River Brewing Company, California. We brewed it on Sunday and will bottle it in a few weeks.

In the meantime let me tell you about this special brew. We first learned about Pliny from our California friends, who after a recent visit, brought back an entire case of the good stuff. Pliny can only be found out west (as far as my sources tell me). Let me tell you. This stuff is delicious–crisp, clean, fruity, amazing. Beer Advocate gives it a score of 100 and is 8% ABV. Check out Beer Advocate for a full write up on Pliny.

This was an epic brew, with over 7 hop additions. The aromas in our house are still fresh like freshly cut grapefruits.

Step one: Brew

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Step two: Add Hops

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Step Three: Cool Down

Step Four: Pour into fermenting bucket, add water, yeast, and place in a dark place for 7-10 days.

For those of you interested in making this tasty beer, see below.

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Check back in a couple weeks for an update on Pliny.

-Jesse

Talking about the weather

“Everyone is always complaining about the weather, but no one ever does anything about it.” Mark Twain

Mark Twain got it right with this one. When the clouds roll in, and the skies start to turn dark, my mood mimics the gloominess. I’m a lover of the sun, what can I say. But reading this quote reminds me that I can be “sunny” regardless of the weather. It’s sometimes a struggle to remember this on the darkest days of a Boston winter…but that’s why I did a little experiment this winter (extremely mild winter I have to admit). I tried wearing bright lipstick to see if it would bring a little sunshine to my day. And it worked!

I know that bright colors and lipstick are all the rage these days…but for me it was more about lifting the winter mood than keeping up with the Jonses.

Here’s my bright lipstick of choice. I love this brand: the fact that it’s natural, cruelty free, and an awesome color to boot. This photo doesn’t do the bright pop of color justice…it’s called Ripe Cherry, and it b-o-l-d.

At first I felt self-conscious…walking into my extremely casual office (this is radio folks, the public hears, not sees us) with such a bold color on my lips. It not only made me happy, but also meant that in a very small, personal way, I was doing something other than complaining about the weather. Maybe Mark Twain would agree.

~Jess

Jess AND Jesse

Well, here is an exciting update to The Sound of Raspberries! I’m going to be a co-contributor to this blog (I’m Jessica’s husband Jesse). My posts will generally be focused on DIY’s, music and cooking. 

Check back soon…

Jesse