Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cooking for yourself, part 2



Feeling cheated by the arrival of "spring"? Um hum, I hear you. 

There are a fair amount of mopers around these parts as well. Why? Ah, you see the puppers were in a tizzy because leur maître, Remi, was out of town for a few days and so they were stuck with...sigh...the girl...me. No big romps in the country. Oh, the utter sadness of sofa surfing and resting weary heads on velvet pillows...


I also felt a touch out of sorts but not exactly for the same reasons. You see, when you spend as much time together as Remi and I do, when one of us suddenly goes missing it is as if an arm had been misplaced. I spend an inordinate amount of time looking for it too. However, one way in which I let my "freedom" sing is in the kitchen

Now I love to cook, don't get me wrong, even in the truly closet-like "turn around and there you are" space in our current apartment. It is the "what" that tires me. As I often cook for both lunch and dinner, that is a whole lot of menus to scramble. So when Remi is gone, I don't think, I copy. Things like the really perfectly balanced goat cheese, radish and arugula "tartine" (I used Wasa crackers instead for the crunch factor) drizzled with fruity olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt from La Tartine Gourmande (minus the endamame--again, Trader Joe's how I long for thee!). Or my version of Ella Coquine's "Italian Girl Stir Fry" aka "Pasta sans Pasta".


It goes a little something like this: chop broccoli into florets, slice up red papers, prepare cooked chick peas. Sauté all of the above with a sliced onion and several cloves of garlic plus more spices than you can shake a stick at (chipolte, cayenne and ancho pepper? Uh, yup), add in enough coulis de tomates to coat, top with a blanket of melted emmenthal and then plop down in front of the most unapologetically girly American movie, because you can.


It was so good that I did exactly that two nights in a row.

And if that doesn't warm you up (and it will)...?


Find a buddy to cuddle up to and hold on. No matter what might be happening outside of your window right now, the real deal is right around the corner.


PS:

Speaking of Ella, she recently wrote about tracing the path of her jazz vocalist Grandmother, Stella Levitt, who was an established artist in Paris for several decades. Frankly, this story is too fascinating not to pass on, so here is the link. The same can be said for the incredibly unique voice attached to it, so take a listen and see if that doesn't make your heart take flight. It did mine.

47 comments:

teamgloria said...

delicious!

and we have to say how gloriously poetic it is to be able to lean in and see a little of your kitchen.......

which movie did you choose?

and did the pups watch too?

tg xxx

Lost in Provence said...

*too embarrassed to admit as to what movie, no the puppers would have none of it*

And as for my kitchen, that is pretty much it! ;) Just the oven/stovetop/dishwasher (yes all in one) to the right and the sink behind. Do you remember those "bachelor kitchens" that were in closets? It is pretty much like that.

Enjoy your morning in Palm Springs!

robin said...

Movie! Movie! Movie! (Inquiring minds need to know the name of the movie you watched!!!). As for the rest, "aw!" And "YUM!!" : )

Jackie Smith said...

Yummie! I've been bored with cooking lately but I plan to imitate your spicey concoction and put a bit of life to tonight's leftovers! (Love those fur-babies of yours!)

Splenderosa said...

Just watched Zero Dark Thirty last night, really intense. Really excellent. Now, about food, look up what Dylan Ratigan is doing, and find his recipe for his morning juice/veggie drink which I just saw on TV. His project is amazing and this drink sounds like heaven in a glass. The dogs look really happy, just chilling, you know....

Loree said...

I sure wouldn't mind having a cuddle with those two lovely dogs. I have become a very bad cook these days - i only make what's quick.

Ann Mah said...

YUM! It's all I can do not to lick my computer screen. When my husband goes away, I subsist on toast. (The shame.) Seriously impressed with your meals for one!

Glamour Drops said...

Oh Heather I have to tell you - I cooked atlantic salmon with dukkha last night, served with a combo of sauté zucchini, aubergine, fresh tomato, red capsicum, garlic, paprika and spanish onion. It was delicious, but. The "but" was Andy saying "this is good, but when are you going to make Heather's recipe with the maple syrup again? That was sensational."

So you see your cooking skills have traversed the globe! This meal sounds delicious. Anything with chickpeas and I'm in. And I spy the jar of herb salt in your collection here which is the same as the one you recommended to Henrietta! It is quite sensational, and is going in lots of my cooking at the moment.

Know what you mean about the "what's for dinner" thing. Love cooking for dinner parties, but the everyday gets hard to think of something inspiring sometimes. xx

joan mckniff said...

Inspired by your photo, I'm changing my supper plans. I had never thought of using sliced radish that way. Using what I have at home, my bread will be whole wheat toast with cheese added to toast hot out of the toaster! At 66 degrees and windy, i.e., chilly in this place full of floor to ceiling sliding glass doors, will have a cup of hot tomato soup. The cheese will be Ombra, from Catalonia only found on line here, not during my 5 years each in Spain and France. If you come across it and/or Nevat, also from Catalonia, I recommend both....but they might well be old hat to you. Thanks for your inspiration.

D. A. Wolf said...

When may I stop over ... at dinnertime? (*sourire*)

These images make me want to dive right in... and then snuggle up with both Ben and Kipling.

(There is nothing quite like certain foods to satisfy and comfort and also be good for us. You've put me in a something-like-ratatouille mood, and I have none of the ingredients chez moi!)

1904 said...

Looks so delicious!

Suze said...

Wowza. Can I come over?

Jeanne @ Collage of Life said...

I am ready to fly right over Heather...great company, delicious food, wonderful music...and a girly American movie...I am there!
Fabulous! xx

Jeanne @ Collage of Life said...

me. too Heather...movie! movie! movie! You tell us yours, we will tell you ours... there is always one we can't let go of.. :)

loisreynoldsmead said...

Sounds wonderful, but in your recipe did you mean several heads of garlic or several cloves? I want to eat this, but I am worried...

Farmlife Citylife said...

Sounds like the meal I have when I am on my own. Bliss!

mademoisella coquine. said...

Thank you so much Heather for the double mention!! I big steaming hot plate of spinach sounds good right now.

Hahaha I definitely feel cheated by the arrival of spring! What is this weather? I defiantly went to the store today without a coat because darn it, it's spring! This dish looks amazing and bursting with flavor. I've been adding mint to a lot of dishes for that insta-dash o' spring.

I hope you have a lovely weekend and thank you so much for including my grandmother in your post. :*)

La Contessa said...

Sounds divine!Sounds like you are a gourmet in LA CUCINA!

teamgloria said...

*giggling*

if it is a movie you're shy about admitting - we're pretty sure we have the DVD chez teamgloria ;-)

tg xxx

teamgloria said...

dearest D & Heather - can't help hoping that one day we'll all be in the same (french? italian?) farmhouse kitchen and laughing and eating and talking and smiling :-)

Lost in Provence said...

My goodness, now wouldn't THAT be something? Somehow I can just picture it so easily too...I am cooking! You both are discussing some artist that I have never heard of but I don't care. And yes, good music in the background...

Lost in Provence said...

Whew. *wiping hand dramatically across forehead*

Lost in Provence said...

Nope, nope and nope. And not even with my favorite women asking! But as for favorite all time movies...ah, that I have no trouble..."A Room with a View"..."Roman Holiday"..."To Catch a Thief"...nothing surprising in the least!

Although I have been finishing watching Mira Nair's version of "Vanity Fair" which seemed pretty close to the book (so I don't feel ashamed at all to mention it) until the utter mystery of a Bollywood dance number plopped down to replace what is normally a set of charades. I am at a loss!

Lost in Provence said...

I think we all get that way Jackie! For me, when in doubt, through garlic and red sauce at it. You would think I lived in Italy and not France!!!

Lost in Provence said...

Ooh, I will! Thank you dear Marsha. My friend Julia in Berlin has been raving about different juices...I think the extra vitamins are key right now to get us through the end of winter blahs...

Glad the puppers look happy to you too! Little by little...
Gros Bisous!

Lost in Provence said...

I hear you Loree but both of these things are super quick, dirt cheap and delish!

Lost in Provence said...

You know Ann, I was a single girl for soooo long in NYC that I always cooked for myself. And I would fall over if I just ate toast! :)

Lost in Provence said...

You are far, far too kind my dear Virginia!!! I know very well what a fine, fine cook you are--the real deal, just like Remi. The rest of us just blunder along and sometimes get lucky. :) Is it autumn there yet? Oooh, I so wish I could come for a visit! Give Hen my Best, wonderful one that she is...that you both are!!!
xoxoxox

Lost in Provence said...

Oooh, I don't know either of those cheeses! I will definitely keep a look out for folks can keep their desserts, all I care about is cheeeeese. :) My goodness, I would weigh quite a bit less if it weren't for cheese, I must say! And I meant to write that the tartine would be perfect along with a soup. I hope that you enjoyed it!

Lost in Provence said...

Thanks so much G, it is nothing special, just comforting. For those of us that are NOT in California, that is definitely what is on the menu at this time of year. ;) Although...the sun just came out...hooray!

Lost in Provence said...

You know my door is always open to you...I would be thrilled!

Lost in Provence said...

I am waiting, Jeanne...Jeanne? (heeheehee) And oh my, the movie would have to wait--we have far too much to talk about!!!

Lost in Provence said...

Heehee...OOPS! Changed that to cloves! Go forth and eat without fear...thank you Lois... :)

Lost in Provence said...

We have to take care of ourselves too... =)

Lost in Provence said...

Did I tell you that when I made your "real" spinach version I plopped a fried egg on it? It was AMAZING. Thank you! And crazy girl, you are going to catch your death without a coat. Don't make me trot out..."en Avril..." because it isn't even April yet!!

And your Grandmother's talent is so lasting...more please!

Lost in Provence said...

Psssh. Not like you and Giampi! No way!

Laoch of Chicago said...

Your repast looks remarkably healthy. I envy your ease with eating items that are good for you.

Judith A. Ross said...

Heather, that first photo says spring like nothing else! I wish I liked radishes more. They are so pretty and crunchy, and are among the first vegetables to show up at our local organic farm each spring. They have a little too much bite for me, but I'm going to work on developing my taste for them.

I take my hat off to you for all the menu planning. If I were in charge of dinner most nights (and lunch too?!) we'd starve to death. But there will be much cooking in Morocco (my son says having someone to cook with is one of the things he is most looking forward to) and perhaps that will inspire me.

Maywyn said...

I'm still getting to seeing Kipling's face. Feels weird in a way, like who's that.

loisreynoldsmead said...

Thank you! I will make this soon...it will be delish!

Sara Louise said...

I love Ella's Italian Girl stir-fry! I've made it a couple of times too. And how freaking cool is her jazzy grandma??!! I can't get over the cool factor on that one.

Lost in Provence said...

Only when balanced out with a glass or three of red wine, Monsieur Laoch...

Lost in Provence said...

Judith!! The cooking in Morocco was some of THE finest I have had anywhere. Truly. Unbelievable. Oh, I am so jealous!!! Make sure you bring back a ton of spices...throw them on anything and poof! You have something special. :)
xo!

Lost in Provence said...

I feel the same way some mornings Maywyn! But then his tail is wagging so hard it goes all the way around in a circle and I know exactly who is in front of me...

Lost in Provence said...

Not to mention the jazz guitarist uncle and the flamenco dancers!!!

Think I might be making the original spinach version today for lunch... :)

helen tilston said...

Hello Heather

You manage very nicely when Remi is away. Love your menu choices. Thanks for introducing me to Stella Levitt. I love it.
Wishing you a week of joy
Helen xx

Lost in Provence said...

Helen! I am so glad you stopped by because I actually had thought of you...I knew you would appreciate her voice...isn't that funny what we know of our blog friends without really knowing?

Thank you for the wonderful wish. I extend to you the same!
xoxo,
h