Shrubs Workshop

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Shrub and Kombucha Workshop

I attended a shrubs and kombucha workshop held by my department the other weekend. I'll talk about the kombucha at a later time, but today it's all about the shrubs! Shrubs are basically a fruity-vinegar-y drink syrup (heavy emphasis on vinegar). Mixed with some sparkling water, you basically make your own fruity sodas without a soda-making-machines. The organizer of the workshop prefers non-cooked shrub methods for a more vivid flavor, which means you basically just macerate fresh fruits with some sugar, strain the seeds/skins out, then add the vinegar. It comes out pretty tasty, if you like the taste of apple cider vinegar.

The recipes we used came from Cocktail 101: How to Make Shrub Syrups (Serious Eats) Blueberry Ginger Shrub from FoodInJars...although I also added a split vanilla bean to one of my jars of raspberry shrub. We'll see how that turns out.

There's all kinds of hippie benefits to drinking apple cider vinegar, so maybe it's worth occasionally getting over any oppositions to the taste.

Shrub and Kombucha Workshop
Shrub and Kombucha Workshop
Shrub and Kombucha Workshop
Shrub and Kombucha Workshop

Success: Tea Roasted Tofu with Tahini-Miso Dressing

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Tea-Roasted Tofu with Miso-Tahini Dressing

Gourmantine's Tea-Roasted Tofu with TheKitchn's Tahini-Miso Dressing (and roasted brussels sprouts). The tea of choice from the recipe was a Pu-erh, but I used some almond-black tea I had on hand and it came out well (although, you could probably skip the tea altogether and it'd still come out nicely). If I had my lapsang souchong at home, that probably would've been a better, smokier alternative. But, nonetheless it's a nice, new way to prepare tofu.

While in this tofu mindset, I stumbled upon a recipe for homemade chickpea tofu from MyNewRoots. Interesting!

Tea-Roasted Tofu with Miso-Tahini Dressing

High Tea in Pittsburgh

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

High Tea at the Inn on Negley

A friend treated me to a delicious afternoon high tea from the Inn on Negley. She was able to find this Pittsburgh tearoom through and I'm quite thankful she did! It was a lovely couple hours with finger sandwiches, scones, a collection of cookies, and a decently extensive tea menu. There was no one else in the tea room, so we were able to sit in our comfy chairs observing the rain, taking obnoxious cell phone photos of the tea service without offending anyone!

I swear those chocolate-dipped chocolate madeleines were made in heaven.
I highly recommend a visit to TeaMap to find your nearest snooty tearoom ;)

Success: Brown Rice Bowl with Chard and Romesco Sauce

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Brown Rice Bowl with Chard and Romesco Sauce

Awhile back, I saw this PhD Comic basically commenting on how babies, the elderly, and grad students eat food out of a bowl and I found it ignorant. While I understand the point, that grad students eat a lot of cheap/instant ramen, it sort of completely negates the approach to cuisine belonging to large portions of the world. That is, when in Japan, one eats from a lot of bowls. This brown rice bowl with chard and romesco sauce from TheKitchn is not necessarily of Japanese descent (romesco sauce is generally known to be Spanish), and yet it too can be eaten from a bowl. Although, I am a graduate student so perhaps you should not trust my fondness for food from bowls?

The chard+romesco is tasty, but the recipe produces a lot of romesco sauce. Plan on using it on your roasted veggies throughout the week!

Brown Rice Bowl with Chard and Romesco Sauce

Success: Miso Coconut Chicken

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Miso Coconut Chicken Thighs

It may not look like much (so many shades of beige!), but this Miso Coconut Chicken from I Am A Food Blog is really lovely. However, I can't appear to eat meat more than two days in a row, so I'm not sure when I'll be making this again!

Once you buy a tub 'o miso, you've got a decent chunk of time to use it before it expires, but I figured I'd give myself a head start. I've also made the same author's Miso Butter with Asparagus and have used the leftover butter on pan-fried tofu and roasted brussels sprouts as well and it's fantastic. Next up? Probably miso soup or miso-glazed eggplant.

Miso Coconut Chicken Thighs

Un-motivational Music

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Rainbow in Scotland

Six reasons why you should not have Radiohead's "In Rainbows" playing on continuous repeat in your car during the same period of time in which you're writing your dissertation proposal (aside from the well-known fact that Radiohead is not known for being motivational):

1. Faust ARP
"We thought you had it in you
But no, no, no"

2. Bodysnatchers
"I have no idea what I am talking about"
"I have no idea what you are talking about"

3. 15step
"How come I end up where I started?
How come I end up where I went wrong?"
(The whole song, really)

4. Nude
"Don't get any big ideas
they're not gonna happen"
(taken completely out of context)

5. Four Minute Warning
"I don't wanna hear it
I don't wanna know
I just wanna run and hide
This is just a nightmare"

6. Up on the Ladder
"Give me an answer
Give me a line
I've been climbing up this ladder
I've been wasting my time"

It's not all completely hopeless. Go Slowly claims "But now I can see/That there's a way out/That there's a way out/That there's a way out". At least I've finally found the other side, no thanks to Thom Yorke and company.

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