De Ma Cuisine

Wednesday

21

September 2016

0

COMMENTS

Oberg and the Search for Obergness – Part 1

Written by , Posted in Thoughts, Travel

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We packed the dog, some food, and a few other essentials into the car and headed out. Tim and I have never done a trip like this together. Our longest trip was three weeks in Paris. Now we’re two weeks and five days into an eight week trip.

It was not quite the departure I’d hoped for. We left later in the day than we’d planned. I forgot to look at our little house one last time as we were driving away. I was too busy Instagramming the departure instead. Dumb. We spent an hour and a half trying to get out of LA. The dog couldn’t get comfortable and sat awkwardly for the first two hours. At that point, about three hours in, I wondered if the trip was a really bad idea. But then the dog finally laid down, we got out of LA, and I was able to relax a bit. Tim reminded me that he’s thankful that our car is in pretty good shape, that we and the dog are healthy-ish, and that we have this time, he, dog, and I together.

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We traveled to the Grand Canyon first. I’d never been. It’s one of the few things in life that is said to not disappoint. Truth. It’s pretty amazing. And was a good reminder to me that it’s not just about the destination, but the journey we take to get there. I’ve always been a “let’s just get there” person. Not the best attitude to have. There’s a lot to see along the way. We’re gonna try to be more intentional about enjoying it.

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Youguys, we’re really learning a lot on this trip. As we travel through and spend time with people we’re figuring out or just remembering some of the things we want to make priorities. Our core values. What’s important in a living situation. We’re remembering to laugh a little more. To be ok when lunch is eaten in the car because we have a twelve and a half hour drive ahead of us, and it’s torn chunks of sourdough bread with sweaty cheese and warm carrots. We’re appreciating the space we’re finding ourselves in. There’s so much vast, empty space in the US and Canada. After six years in LA it’s refreshing. Part of the purpose of this journey is to do a bit of soul-searching. We want to be intentional about where we live and what we do. If that’s LA, fine. But we want to decide to be there. With all that has changed for us over the past two years, we thought it would be a good idea to take a step back while we make some decisions. They may take us elsewhere. They may lead us back to where we started. We don’t know yet.

We’re taking submissions, petitions, and bribes for where we should live and why. So far our trip has included a stay in Dewey and a stop at the Grand Canyon in Arizona (YOUGUYS they have no rails – I was nervous the entire time!). We drove through New Mexico and stayed for night in Ruidoso. We spent a few days in Texas in Lubbock, Comfort, and Bulverde. Friends in Abbeville, LA hosted us for the night, and we drove through New Orleans on our way to Georgia. We stopped in Atlanta, GA for not even 12 hours, but left feeling refreshed none-the-less. We drove straight from Atlanta to West Philadelphia (and I had the song from Fresh Prince in my head for two full days). That was our longest driving day to date. Then we made it to Massachusetts where we stopped for a few days and spent time in Cambridge, Boston (Red Sox!!), and Middleton. Now we’ve crossed the border and are in Ontario (Canada) for a bit.

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We’ve stayed with the kindest, most generous people. We have been gone for nineteen days and have yet to camp or stay in a hotel. We have hardly had to dig into the food that we brought (with the exception of the eight bags of potato chips that I bought while starving at the grocery store prior to the trip). We’ve usually snacked in the car for lunch and dinner after having been fed delicious breakfasts before we take off in the morning. We’ve been pretty spoiled. And it’s not just the food. The company has been tremendous. We’ve reconnected with family and friends that we see much too infrequently. Every place we stop is so much more difficult to leave than I would have anticipated. If we’d just had these two and a half weeks, the trip would have been more than adequate. It would have been amazing.

It feels so very natural to be doing this. Before we left it seemed like an impossible idea. We had to find someone willing to sublet our house. Not an easy task. One that almost kept the trip a dream. We’ve been wanting to go to Fenway Park to see the Red Sox play for nine years. That finally became a reality. As we walked around the corner from the “T” and saw Fenway for the first time I had the same feeling of awe and excitement that I did when we were in Paris and I saw the Eiffel Tower. We’re a baseball loving family, so this was the perfect place to begin to celebrate our tenth wedding anniversary.

This trip is so many things to us. Celebration of ten years, quest for direction, and enjoying time together. And it’s been lovely. Just lovely.

fenwaysunsetI’ll be back again with more stories from our eight week adventure.

Wednesday

7

September 2016

6

COMMENTS

Times Change

Written by , Posted in Thoughts

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It has been a year of changes. I’m not ready to say that they’ve all been for the better. Not yet. But, I have hope that they will someday represent a time of growth and even encouragement.

Change can be confusing. I’ve felt lost through a lot of it. I’d thought one thing for so long, only to discover that it’s not a possibility anymore. Maybe it never was. Maybe it is, but looks different than I thought it would. It changes a person. It’s changed me… Is changing me.

Food, something that I’ve loved for so long, became more of a necessity than a joy for a while. It was thrown together instead of lovingly created. I get why people eat boxed meals and fast food. I was tired at the end of the day. I wanted to eat and relax a bit before going to sleep so I could do it all over again. It brought me a greater understanding of regular folks. It was a luxury, the way I got to cook before. I had a good thing going. I won’t pretend to understand why it ended. I still harbor a bit of frustration and bitterness about that. But there have been lessons learned and maybe someday the bitter will become sweet.

That was one thing that changed.

The rest, either I don’t need to go into detail about, or I’m not ready to. At least not on here. Since it’s been like six months since I last posted, I’m confident there are two people still reading. You’re probably friends of mine and know what’s going on anyways. If you’re still here, thanks for reading. I have hopes and plans for this little corner of the interweb. It might look a little bit different than it used to. But, it will still just be tales from the life of Rachel O.

Tuesday

1

March 2016

2

COMMENTS

Spicy Cabbage and Cauliflower

Written by , Posted in Breakfast, Brunch, Dairy-Free, Dinner, Eggs, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Lunch, Main Dishes, One Dish Dinners, Quick and Easy, Sides, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

SpicyCabbageCauliflower-1You ever have a day (or a week) where you just need to eat your feelings? One day, about two weeks ago, I had ice cream three times. It was a rough day. But, the ice cream helped. So did the wine that I drank after the ice cream. And the popcorn that I had for lunch. Sometimes I need to allow myself to not think. To just eat because I want to. It’s not usually like that. Meals are planned in advance, food is purchased, time is carved out to cook.

On those days when I’d rather reach for the ice cream, or potato chips, or just run to In-n-Out, there are meals like this one.

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It’s a synch to prepare and it was so good that I almost licked the plate.

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I sautéed some quarter inch thick slices of cauliflower in olive oil. It was generously seasoned with salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika. Partway through I added some cabbage. Well seasoned, just like the cauliflower. I love a fried egg on almost anything, so I scooched the veggies over and cooked one once the veggies were done. I moved the whole skillet over on the burner so the egg would be over the flame. But, keeping the veggies in there allowed them to stay nice and hot while the egg cooked.

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The veggies were topped with a squeeze of lemon, some garlic chives, and finally the fried egg. The veggies were really the star, so if you want to make this a vegan dish, you won’t be missing out. I made it a second time the other day when I had lunch with my friend Billye, who is a vegan, and served it with some crispy chick peas. Crispy sweet potatoes would also be great. Whatever you serve it with, a slice of toasted sourdough slathered with salted butter or olive oil and coarse sea salt is the perfect accompaniment.

Happy Eating!

Spicy Cabbage and Cauliflower

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 25 minutes

Yield: 2

Spicy Cabbage and Cauliflower

Ingredients

  • 2-3 T olive oil
  • 2-3 C cauliflower, sliced about 1/4" thick
  • 2 C napa cabbage (or any other type of cabbage), sliced 1/4" thick
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • to taste cayenne
  • to taste paprika
  • 1 egg/serving (optional)
  • 1 T garlic chives (or regular chives, spring onions, green onions, green garlic), chopped
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium. Add oil. When oil is hot add cauliflower in a single layer (if possible). Season with salt through paprika and cook for 3-5 minutes. Flip and cook for about 3-5 minutes more (or until browned and crispy). Push to one side and add cabbage. Season it with salt through paprika and cook, stirring often, for 3-5 minutes (turning the cauliflower from time to time so it doesn't burn).
  2. If serving with eggs: Push the veggies to one side and move the skillet over so the veggies are off the flame. Add a bit more oil, and cook eggs as desired. Season with salt.
  3. Serve veggies topped with egg (optional), chives, and a squeeze of lemon, alongside a piece of toast with salted butter or olive oil and coarse sea salt.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/spicy-cabbage-and-cauliflower/

Friday

26

February 2016

0

COMMENTS

Baked Onion Rings with Herb Dip

Written by , Posted in Baking, Beans, Condiments, Dairy-Free, Eggs, Fruit, Gluten Free, Herbs, Legumes, Quick and Easy, Roasting, Sides, Snacks, Vegan, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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I’m not a sweets person. I don’t often crave chocolate, I can go without candy, and if given the option, I’d take potato chips over a donut. I do really love ice cream, but I think that’s because Tim is so good at making it. But, even then, I might take onion rings over ice cream. Because I really really love crunchy deep fried foods. French fries, tempura, onion rings… They’re so tasty.

We don’t need to talk about the dangers of fried foods. I’m well aware. You’re well aware. We’ve got that covered. It’s a treat, not an everyday thing.

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When it comes to guilty pleasures, these onion rings seem like they’d fit in. But, they’re actually pretty innocent. They’re dipped in eggs (you could use coconut or almond milk if you want to keep them vegan), then coated in flour. I double dipped some (you know, egg, flour, egg, flour). I’m not sure which turned out better. They all tasted great.

All.

I ate them all.

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The first secret to this delicious treat is baking them at a high temperature for a short amount of time. We’re talking 425F for 18-20 minutes total. The second secret is the dip. It’s made up of things like yogurt or silken tofu or mayo or avocado (or ALL!) blended up with some blanched greens, herbs, garlic, and olive oil. I fully submerged each onion ring in the dip before devouring.

If you wanted to make a huge platter and call this dinner, you might also do some green beans, par-cooked potatoes or root veggies (and in a few months summer squash), and add the beans to the dip. Serve it with a big salad and some other fun finger foods (like nachos with refried bean dip) and you’ve got a winner. In fact you’ll most likely find us eating this for dinner sometime this weekend.

Happy Eating!

 

Baked Onion Rings with Herb Dip

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 2-4

Baked Onion Rings with Herb Dip

Ingredients

  • 2 C greens (any: kale, chard, arugula, mizuna, spinach, etc...) (or, use leftover sautéed greens)
  • 1 C yogurt/silken tofu/crème fraîche
  • 1/2 C mayo/yogurt/silken tofu/avocado
  • 1 T dijon
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 t lemon zest, chopped
  • 1 t lemon juice
  • to taste salt
  • to taste pepper
  • 1-2 cloves garlic, minced
  • pinch cayenne (optional) (for extra spicy: 1/2 hot pepper, ribs and seeds removed, diced)
  • herb options: sorrel+basil+thyme, savory+basil+rosemary+sage+thyme, parsley+basil+thyme+rosemary+oregano, marjoram+basil+thyme+rosemary, mint+dill+basil, dill+parsley+basil; chopped
  • (optional) 1/2 to 1 C beans (garbanzo beans or white beans)/lentils, cooked
  • 1-2 onions/1 lb. green beans/par-cooked root veggies (steam them, any: beet, carrot, radish, sweet potato/1 lg summer squash, sliced if warranted
  • 2 (or more) eggs, whisked (or coconut, almond, or cow's milk)
  • 2 C flour (AP or GF)
  • to taste salt*
  • to taste pepper
  • *may add extra seasonings (like chili powder) if desired, use seasonings that will compliment the veggies and herbs you've chosen

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425F.
  2. Blanch greens in boiling water for 1 minute. Transfer to an ice bath to cool. (Or, use leftover sautéed greens.)
  3. Whisk yogurt through cayenne. Add herbs and blanched or leftover greens. Blend. Taste for seasoning. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  4. Mix flour with salt and pepper. Taste (for real). Separate onion into rings. Dip veggies in egg/milk then flour. Repeat if desired. Tap off excess flour. Place on a parchment or Silpat lined baking sheet. Do not let the veggies touch. Bake for about 10 minutes, flip, bake about 8-10 minutes more (or until crispy and browned).
  5. Serve with dip.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/baked-onion-rings-with-herb-dip/

Friday

19

February 2016

0

COMMENTS

Savory Crêpes

Written by , Posted in Beans, Breakfast, Brunch, Cheese, Dinner, Eggs, Fruit, Herbs, Leftovers, Legumes, Lunch, Main Dishes, Meat, Nuts, Poultry, Quick and Easy, Vegetables, Vegetarian

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Right now my thoughts are flipping between crêpes and the onion rings I ate right before I made the crêpes. Of both, I couldn’t wait to eat more. But, let’s talk about the crêpes today (those onion rings can wait until next week). When I was a kid, mom made crêpes every once in a while. If she made them for supper, we usually had to eat a savory crêpe or two before we were allowed to eat one covered with maple syrup, powdered sugar, or honey. I may have turned my nose up at it then, but now I see the merit in the savory crêpe.

Crêpes are what I’d imagine would result if a tortilla and a pancake had a baby. A delicious baby… This is getting weird… They’re light, soft, and a bit crispy around the edges. They’re great with butter and maple syrup, of course, but also the perfect vessel for some savory goodies.

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I like the idea of a multifaceted filling. It starts with a purée. I had some pumpkin in the freezer that I reheated and seasoned with salt and cayenne. Simple. You could also try cauliflower, sweet potato, or beets.

I topped the purée with some sautéed broccoli rabe, peas, and radishes. You might substitute with roasted or raw garlic, broccoli, any greens that you have on hand, apples, cabbage, summer or winter squash, carrots, or even white beans. If you have some fresh herbs on hand, things like basil, thyme, rosemary, or mint would be great. Just use whatever herbs would go well with the veggies that you’re using.

If you wanted to add a little more protein, throw in some leftover shredded chicken or chopped up crispy tofu.

And then, to top it all, I like a spoonful of plain or Greek yogurt, some walnuts, parmesan, and a squeeze of lemon. You might substitute with silken tofu or coconut milk, browned butter or cream, ricotta or cream cheese.

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If you’ve got any left, they will make the perfect dessert (Nutella crêpes anyone?!), or can be reheated the next day for a quick and easy breakfast. You could do simple, just maple syrup, or maybe top them with some ricotta, cottage cheese, or silken tofu, and some chopped apples sprinkled with cinnamon and a squeeze of lemon. Two meals, one dish.

Happy Eating!

Savory Crêpes

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 20 minutes

Total Time: 35 minutes

Yield: 4

Serving Size: 2 crêpes

Savory Crêpes

Ingredients

  • 1 C purée (any: winter squash, cauliflower, sweet potato, beet)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 C any mix ins: broccoli rabe, peas, roasted or raw garlic, kale, radishes, apples, cabbage, white beans, summer squash, carrots; chopped if warranted
  • 1 C any proteins (optional): cooked chicken, crispy tofu
  • 1 t to 1 T any: thyme, rosemary, basil, mint; chopped
  • to taste salt
  • 8 crêpes
  • 1 C any toppings: ricotta, cream cheese, yogurt, silken tofu, parmesan cheese, browned butter, cream, coconut milk, walnuts, almonds, lemon zest; chopped if warranted
  • lemon wedges, for serving

Instructions

  1. (Prepare crêpe batter if it needs to sit for an hour in the fridge.)
  2. Make your purée (roast or steam veggies, blend, season with salt and, if desired, cayenne).
  3. Heat skillet, add olive oil. Sauté mix ins until tender (about 10 minutes, depending on the veggies) over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. Add things like greens and garlic near the end. Re-heat protein, if using. Add to mix ins. Add herbs. Taste for seasoning.
  4. While mix ins are cooking, prepare your crêpes (keep them warm in a 200F oven on a baking sheet).
  5. To assemble, spoon some purée down the center of the crêpes. Top with mix ins. Roll up (the easiest way to do this is to hook a fork inside the edge of the crêpe and roll it in on itself). Serve with a squeeze of lemon.
http://www.de-ma-cuisine.com/savory-crepes/