June 30, 2010

Local Huh?

What is this?

This wet, clear, watery stuff on the ground?

HOLY! I think it rained! Why, yes, yes it did!

Yay for 89 instead of 99 the rest of the week!

June 29, 2010

Gar-licking Good!

I acquired some garlic scapes recently and, it's been a while since Oikos got any YJDKIYlovin so I thought I'd combine the two into a healthy mashed potato recipe!

Garlic scapes (from a CSA!) sliced up (kind of like asparagus, stop at the tough bottom part) and sauted in EVOO.

Boiled red potatoes (from a local produce stand!)

Mixed up and mashed with about 2T of plain Stonyfield greek yogurt (I also added a tiny bit of soy milk and an itty pinch of kosher salt). No butter, no mayo, plus extra protein, v&m and probiotics!

YUM...vegetable plate (man I miss kale!). Fresh beets with balsamic and rosemary, BEPs with onion, taters, and stuffed zuchs that accidently ended up tasting like crab cakes (I think it was the breadcrumbs!).

June 28, 2010

Just Like Pixar!

And not just like Julia Child. I cheated and used the Good Housekeeping version.*


After, plus water, oregano, garlic powder and fresh dried basil:

*Ack! I totally forgot about this post! At least I am consistent. Although that used pasta and chicken, to be fair. :P



YJDKIY usually takes pictures over when they're bad...but I can't recreate this one of course!

It was 6 am and the grass was wet. Sorry!

Still needs a little ripening, but we shall see!

June 26, 2010

July & Julia?

 Julia Child's Kitchen at the Smithsonian. Ahhh.....I adore everything about this kitchen

SUNDAY: Julia Child's Ratatouille, bread

MONDAY: Barley Risotto with Lima Beans, Asparagus & Spinach

TUESDAY: Grilled Tuna, mashed potatoes, broccoli and WIPEOUT!

WEDNESDAY: Tofu, Tomato, Basil Quiche

THURSDAY: Pesto Pizza

FRIDAY: Vacation day!!!

SATURDAY: Stuffed Zucchini, panko chicken

June 25, 2010


YJDKIY did something I haven't done in at least a year, possibly TWO yesterday. I ate half (yes, really, half) a (local!) Krispy Kreme Cruller.

It was gross...sticky sweet and fatty and holed up in my tummy for the rest of the day. ICK! But for about one second of the first bite, it was delish! It was a stressy early morning meeting, they were there. I caved, but I did feel good about the half part! Luckily, that cured my donut craving for another year.

In the remaining 4 bites, I consumed 110 *empty* calories, 7 g of fat, 7.5 mg of cholesterol, 120 mg sodium, 13 carbs, 1 g protein. Oy! Good thing I had salad for dinner!

The Canine Component

It just so happens that Take Your Dog to Work Day fell on a Friday this year. Which means, since YJDKIY works from my satellite office on Fridays, I could! I did! This is what she had to say about it:

Me too little doggy, me too....

Hydrate Naturally

It seems like lately, everywhere YJDKIY turns, someone is talking (or, blogging, mainly) about coconut water as a post-exercise refresher. I only recently located some on sale, 2/$5 at (local!) Fresh Market, so I thought I'd give it a try.

VitaCoco claims to be a better than water, better than sports drinks way to replenish and refresh after a workout. At first taste, its a little odd, but it totally grew on me. I'm a big water fan and am rarely in a situation where I feel the need to drink something else. And I absolutely hate sports drinks, in fact, I think the only time I've consumed one in the last 3 years was here. This is definitely a great alternative to both, and I like that it only has one ingredient, but it's a little inconvenient that it has to be frigerated after opening and suggested before drinking and that there are two servings in a single package, but you're supposed to drink it all immediately. But, let's check out the rest of the packaging claims (from their website) and nutrition

  • Helps keep the body cool and at the proper temperature. (we all know YJDKIY could benefit from that!)
  •  Helps carry nutrients and oxygen to cells and boosts poor circulation
  • Regulates the function of the intestine, helping promote smoother skin
  • Helps replenish your body's fluids after exercising.
  • Helps detoxify your body and boost your immune system.
  • Helps ease stomach pains
  • 3.4 fl oz contains 20 calories, 0 fat/cholesterol, 12 sodium, 206 potassium (go go less bananas!), 4 carbs, 0 protein, 70% vit C
So, I'm a little leary of "miracle products" and I wish it was organic/fair trade, but I think it's a decent option after water if you can get used to the taste (maybe the flavored are easier, but then...extra ingredients!!).

June 24, 2010


YJDKIY finally got some pinenuts....for $29.99/lb!

Picked a whole spinner full basils

Used my Cuisinart chopper to mush up some EVOO, nuts and 2 large cloves of garlic

Then added the basil, plus some grated parm

And spooned into ice cube trays to freeze for future reference!

June 23, 2010

Dinner & Dessert

2008 Snap Dragon Chard
Standard EVOO-Garlic-Balsamic Farmer's Market Greenbeans
Tilapia with Panko & FishMagic
Summer Squash Gratin (sliced yellow squash, shredded zuch, a little Silk/parm/jack mix, vidalia onions, garlic powder, pepper and topped with bread crumbs, baked at 375 for 40-55 mins)

Mo's Bacon Bar Chocolate for dessert. How could I not try this? The canine component was extremely disheartened to learn she couldn't partake of this particular bacon sniff!! It was ok...kind of a smoked aftertaste, but way too salty.

No Efron Waaaaay

YJDKIY planned a special summer supper in honor of the first full day of summer, as well as the FIRST EPISODE OF THE SEASON of WIPEOUT!! This was the quick cook kind of supper:

One can Bush's Vegetarian Baked Beans (drained, withe ketchup, maple syrup, cider vinegar and agave added back) plus four Lightlife Smart Dogs sliced, baked at 400 for about 30 minutes

Steamed kale (uuuuugh, I have to go back to grocery store bought now! boo!) with rice vinegar

And the yummiest corn I've had in ages, China Grove Silver King, grown no more than 10 miles from The Ave! It was perfectly sweet without being too much and too chalky. Yum! Plus the most awesomest corn holders evah!!

I made it to the TV with 2 minutes to spare, just in time for the opening sequence!

Big Red Balls!!!

June 22, 2010

Anytime Anywhere

You're going to get a treat in this post...lots of YJDKIY graphic specials. :) Lately, jumping out of bed (despite the lightness!) at 5:30 am to head to the gym has not been on my 'yay' list. But I go, knowing I'll feel guilty and icky at the end of the day if I skip out.

In an effort to shake things up, and with vacations just around the corner, I took to the whiteboard to plan an at home, at the beach, at a rest stop, in the airport, wherever workout that both gets my heart rate up, builds some muscle tone and doesn't require one single thing (ok, it does require a chair and a wall, but you can modify the heck out of anything around you to make these work!).

Look for a great set of dumbbell and common equipment exercises coming soon!

Only in the Home of "The Intimidator"

Zucchini 500 returns to NCRC 
Tuesday, June 22, 2010
By Emily Ford

KANNAPOLIS — Vegetable racing returns to the N.C. Research Campus this week during the second annual Zucchini 500.

Zucchini on wheels will race down a Pinewood Derby-style track starting at 5 p.m. Thursday at the Research Campus Farmers Market.

Children and adults can bring their entry from home or make one Thursday afternoon with materials provided at the market, which opens at 4 p.m.

Scientists at the Research Campus study health and nutrition. The Zucchini 500 aims to get more children involved in agriculture and educate them about the importance of farming to North Carolina and to people's health.

Volunteers will provide booths and activities.

Racing goes on from 5 to 7 p.m. at the farmers market in downtown Kannapolis.

Kids can put the produce to the metal by racing their cars down the track, or they can vie for prizes based on craftsmanship. Participants will be divided into three age groups: under-9, 9-12 and 13 and older.


- Fastest — First to the bottom wins

- Overall creativity — The zucchini car that stands out in a crowd.

- Most nutritious — The car with the most fresh produce parts.

- School spirit

Read the rest of the article 

(PS: For those of you who don't frequent Kannapolis, The Intimidator is  NASCAR's Dale Earnhardt)

June 21, 2010

Twenty Questions

  1. What kitchen utensil/gadget can you not live without?
    Super sharp knives/cutting board/collander
  2. What are the ideal toppings for pizza?
    Fresh basil, green peppers, pepperoni, fresh mozza, spinach or broccoli
  3. What is comfort food to you?
    Mac and cheese (aka snackncheese/mac and trees)
  4. What do you consider the 5 most essential ingredients you keep in your kitchen?
    EVOO, garlic, cinnamon, vinegar, cheese, um...vegetables? can that count as one? no? then agave?

  5. What was your biggest cooking disaster?Seriously, just one? There are three that stand out. The key lime pie I put in the freezer for a quick chill/set that spilled into the icemaker. The broccoli soup that exploded out of the blender when I forgot you can't put a lid on hot soup. The new recipe birthday dinner that I forgot to thaw the pastry, broke the sink sprayer AND the fridge grate, burned the pot and served 1.5 hours late.
  6. What is your favorite dish to cook…your signature dish?
    I have no idea...ask the diners? I do like to make the potato-kale enchiladas a lot.
  7. What do you hate cooking? Any kind of meat, I never know when its done and am paranoid and end up overcooking. Plus I have to clorox down everything after.
  8. What was your first cookbook?
    Good Housekeeping Illustrated Cookbook
  9. What is something in your fridge/freezer/pantry that would surprise people?
  10. What recipe websites do you frequent? 101 cookbooks, The Food Channel, Food Network, Epicurious, Foodbuzz, theppk.com, goodbite.com, Cooking Light, Whole Foods, google!
  11. What foods do you just not like? Mushrooms (but I just decided I like shiitake), super spicy anything, okra, ham, swiss cheese
  12. Should food bloggers be allowed to take photos in restaurants?Meh, they should be allowed to, but should also have manners enough to not disrupt the meal for others (or their own dining experience).
  13. What are you favorite local items for each season?Spring-asparagus, Summer-zucchini, Fall-butternut, (late)Winter-kale
  14. What was your most memorable restaurant meal?Yikes, I have to say I've never eaten anywhere that really blew me a away. It's all about the right place at the right time! I do love Zada Janes, Laughing Seed, I had really good, slow-cooked dinners twice at Moonshine, now closed, and two good dinners at the Prickly Pear.
  15. Best food book you've read?"Animal, Vegetable, Miracle" by Barbara Kingsolver (but really that was an audio book)
  16. How long do you spend cooking dinner each night?Depends, usually start cooking around 6 and eat by 7-7:30. Thankfully I don't have to clean up most night! :)
  17. Guilty pleasure food?Cheetos, bacon/egg/cheese biscuits, waffles
  18. What did you have for breakfast today?Scrambled egg with red onion and bell pepper, last half of the local everything bagel with light cream cheese, farmer's market cantaloupe and cheap, tasty blueberries. I love breakfast. I could eat it for every meal.
  19. What's the biggest issue with food right now?Sodium, hand's down. Restaurants, packaged food, meats...it's in everything in excess.
  20. If you were a food, what would you be?Avocado...
YOUR TURN! Answer a few questions in the comment section!

June 20, 2010

sour, bitter, sweet, salty and umami

Did you know those are the five flavor points? (YJDKIY found that wiki article a really interesting read, btw.)

Moving on, appearing recently on the dinner menu was a veggie salad and black bean cakes, which featured all of those tastetaculars. I sorta kinda followed the intended recipe as much little as I ever do, and pretty much made up the BBCs on the fly.

Chopped zucchini and red pepper. Blanched for about 3 minutes (I just couldn't do raw zuchs!).

Cooled in an ice bath to stop cooking, and combined with a can of EarthFare organic chick peas.

Mixed some EVOO with lemon juice (a REALLY nice alternative to my normal vinegar useage), cracked pepper, a tiny bit of garlic salt. And tons and tons of chopped fresh basil. Finished with about 2T of grated parm. Stir and chill.

Meanwhile, I mashed two cans of organic black beans, 1/3 of a red onion finely chopped, 3 garlic cloves, some cumin, fresh ground pepper, and about 2T egg beaters. Someone didn't drain her beans very well though, so I added some breadcrumbs to thicken it up. Next, mixed in about 1/2 c cooked quinoa. After all this is stirred together, smashed and cooled, I grated about 1/3 c sharp cheddar cheese into the mix. They were still pretty runny so I added more breadcrumbs before making into thin patties. YJDKIY needs to perfect the patty making shape and cooking technique. I didn't want to stand over a hot stove and pan fry each of these, so I cookie-sheeted them and baked at 400 for about 45 minutes until I was so starving they had to be ready or not (I TOLD you they were runny!).

Plated with a condiment topping of ketchup/agave/(local!)Texas Pete/garlic salt/cracked pepper...these are the ***icons*** of summer for dinner, don't you think?

What's For Dinner?

SUNDAY: Balsamic-Rosemary roasted sweet potatoes, broccoli salad (never made this), BEPs

MONDAY: TJ's chicken meatballs & spaghetti, side salad

Beanie (tofu) Weenies, corn on the cob, greens 

WEDNESDAY: Summer squash gratin, green beans, fish

THURSDAY: Salad with Gardein crispy tenders

(can you tell I'm in summer mode?)


June 19, 2010

Nacho Lucy

Much like Pasta-Batman, I think Nacho-Lucy would make a fantastic dog name. If you haven't heard that edition of This American Life, skip to Episode 8 at about the 22 minute mark.

Essalmost a Bagel

Farmer's Market Loot
NC Sweet Potatoes = $2
Correll Farms green pepper, yellow squash, tomatoes = $4.15
Eagle Farms green beans, Georgia cantaloupe = $5.30
SC Peaches, China Grove Silver King corn = $2
Splurge of the week: Salisbury made Everything Bagels = $5

This is the only place YJDKIY has found to get bagels in this town! Bakettes, is a family owned & fully-inspected home-based bakery right here. I love that they are local and I could even taste the lack of extra sugar/corn syrup that is in store bagels immediately. Topped with a little schmear of light cream cheese...

And, for those of you who don't get my title, these reminded me of the most yummiest bagel I've ever had: Ess-a-bagel in Manhattan!

June 18, 2010

June 17, 2010

Our State

I think this magazine might have been published specifically for YJDKIY. If you haven't checked out the July issue of Our State, I highly recommend doing so before any summer NC travels. From the opening humor article about "Early Culinary Adventures" to the ads for NC food, wine and restaurants, to the county-by-county account of things to try, it truly is a foodie issue.

On my list from this issue
Cabarrus, Concord: Cabarrus Creamery
Carteret, Beaufort: Beaufort Grocery Co.
Caswell, Pelham: SleepyGoat Farm
Columbus, Whiteville: Columbus County Community Farmers Market
Dare, Nags Head: Sam & Omie's Restaurant
Davie, Mocksville: Ketchie Creek Bakery & Cafe
Durham, Durham: Magnolia Grill
Guilford, Greensboro: Jerusalem Market
Halifax, Enfield: A&B Milling Company
Lincoln, Laurel Hill: Webb's Orchard
Mecklenberg, Charlotte: Cocina Latina
Moore, Southern Pines: Sweet Basil
Warren, Ridgeway: Ridgeway Cantaloupe (these really are the best cantaloops EVER)
Watauga, Boone: Coyote Kitchen (I'll give it a second try because of this!)

3 outa 4 aint bad

There were four main ingredients in this dinner: tofu, kale, onion, yellow squash (excluding spices!). All but the tofu came from the farmer's market! Said tofu, a product of my TJ's run a few weeks ago was actually way more firm than Nasoya and is still organic.


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