Cheers to Change!

Standard

MixologyYes, I realize we’ve had a brief interlude, but I’ve been a bit tied up working on this.  You’ll also notice that in addition to launching the new biz, the blog was also rebranded to have a similar look and feel. Please don’t be alarmed by that – the content here will still reflect my own personal musings. I’ve additionally been pulling artwork and creating some items for an upcoming Etsy shop, so stay tuned because it will eventually be linked under “Retail Therapy.” As far as food and drink interests go, I’ve once again signed up for my Good Food Collective summer share which will start in June. I’m sure my bags o’ farm market goodness will contain some obscure vegetables for further kitchen experimentation.  I’ve also submitted a few of my vegan recipes for a local event called Veg Out taking place at the end of May. Amidst all things “cray,” I’ve conjured up some new soups, cookies, and cocktails. I figure I’ll start with the booze since we should probably toast to new endeavors and I’ve declared it officially gin season. So if you’re thirsty for a new tipple, give these a whirl since they’ve certainly had a few quality control runs.

Let’s start with a drink based on Hendrick’s Gin with a few interesting additives.  I came up with this one a couple of months ago after a liqueur called Parfait d’ Amour piqued my interest.  Parfait d’Amour is a deep violet color and typically has a flavor profile of orange, vanilla, and floral notes. There are other brands available but I picked the Marie Brizard (link above) brand because it also boasts notes of orange blossom, almond, and rose (I’m also detecting a hint of violet) which I thought would complement the Hendrick’s well. It’s fun going to the liquor store and asking for it. No one knows what the hell it is, so you can certainly amuse yourself with expressions of general confusion from the staff. I decided to name this beauty after a classic perfume from the house of Guerlain due to the similar citrus, vanilla, and powdery floral notes and of course, its distinctive color.

Lady Sensory’s L’Heure Bleue Cocktail L'Heure Bleue

1.5 oz Hendrick’s gin

.5 oz of each:  Blue Curaçao (I use this, procured on my trip to Curaçao),

Parfait d’Amour, and freshly squeezed lemon juice

Dry Champagne (or any dry white sparkling wine)

Sparkling water, seltzer, or club soda

Lemon twist (garnish)

Chill a tall flute or large wine glass. In a cocktail shaker, combine ice, Hendrick’s, Blue Curaçao, Parfait d’Amour, and lemon juice. Shake and strain into chilled glass. Top with equal parts dry Champagne and sparkling water and garnish with a twist. This is simple, pretty, and very refreshing.

The next beverage evolved after researching several different gins I had yet to try. I decided to pick up some Plymouth Gin this past week, which is dry, aromatic, and very well-rounded. It makes for an excellent gin and tonic. In fact, I’m drinking one as I type this, and I’ll be experimenting with a Plymouth martini once I pick up some dry vermouth. Much like Champagne, Plymouth is both a style of gin and protected geographical location for gins produced in Plymouth, England. The only distillery producing it is Black Friars (owned by Pernod Ricard) and there is an image of a small friar on the back of the bottle. I really like this gin and find it to be very versatile. I whipped this one up with some ingredients I had handy and it’s both simple and amazing. This recipe will make two cocktails in rocks glasses.

Lady Sensory’s Oran Juice Jones Cocktail Oran Juice Jones

1.5 oz Plymouth Gin

.5 oz Grand Marnier

Juice of one lemon

1 tsp honey

2 slices and juice from one medium orange (I used a Valencia orange)

Sparkling water, seltzer or club soda

Angostura bitters

Fill two rocks glasses with ice, cut an orange in half and cut two wheels. Over a cocktail shaker, juice the remaining orange, the lemon, and mix in 1 tsp of honey. Add ice to the shaker, the Plymouth Gin and Grand Marnier. Shake and strain into the rocks glasses. Top with bitters and sparkling water. Garnish with an orange wheel.

Yep. I totally named it after this guy. What can I say? We’ve had a lot of rain lately and this tasted just like orange juice. This makes for an excellent brunch or day drink. Cheers to change and happy sipping!

 

A Different Kind of Sixty Minutes

Standard
Hoda and Kathie Lee screen shot from www.huffingtonpost.com

Hoda and Kathie Lee screen shot from http://www.huffingtonpost.com

The Blog Every Day in November (#BEDN) topic of the day is “Newsflash.” Basically we’re supposed to talk about something happening in the news. I already covered the dramatic #roofbreakup yesterday and the upcoming local Breakfast with Krampus event was covered last week. I don’t feel like writing about the Affordable Care Act or local shootings and robberies because those stories are kind of depressing. Today, I decided to do something I’d never done before. After catching Kelly Ripa sipping on Sauvignon Blanc while making her Brussels sprouts this AM, I determined I would watch that Hoda Kotb and Kathie Lee Gifford hour of the Today Show in its entirety because I would like my news provided to me in the most inebriated manner possible. And yes, I realize the show, 60 Minutes, is on CBS, not NBC. Just bear with me as I power through this hour.

The show started out with a little chat about Kmart commercials with each hostess having a giant glass of red wine at her fingertips. We covered: Ship My Pants, Big Gas Savings, and the latest one inciting controversy, Show Your Joe, (referencing the Joe Boxer underwear line). Honestly, these ads were the best part of the show. Well played, Kmart!

They then moved on to laughing about Toronto mayor, Rob Ford, and discussed how people probably can relate to his “authenticity.”  In referencing his recent media interviews Hoda commented, “I don’t think he realizes he’s funny.” Have you seen this guy in action? Total loose cannon. I’d hate to be his publicist. Watch this. And this. Yep, I could use a little of Hoda and Kathie Lee’s wine after viewing those hot media messes.

After a couple more guests whose names I can’t recall, Bethenny Frankel was on deck.  Hoda and Kathie Lee kicked the wine and moved on to one of Bethenny’s Skinny Girl cocktails. They started talking about that Omarosa character from The Apprentice and some spat that went down on Bethenny’s talk show. Seriously, I can’t believe that Omarosa broad is still around and that people are wasting air time talking about her.

Admittedly, I tuned out for the rest of the show. I have to say I was little disappointed in Hoda and Kathie Lee’s lack of alcohol consumption. I know I could have plowed through at least 3 glasses of wine covering these wacky stories and frankly, I was hoping for more of a Rob Ford level of disruption, like possibly pummeling a guest. At the very least, a hysterical fit of giggles was in order. Additionally, they get paid to do this job. How does one get in on that arrangement?

Lady Sensory is signing off now. “And that’s the way it is….”

Pigs in Space

Standard

I’m supposed to show you my workspace for today’s Blog Everyday in November (#BEDN) post.  Since I have no office right now and my apartment looks like the Trash Heap on Fraggle Rock, I thought I’d amuse you with what I envision as my ideal office space. And yes, that post title also bears reference to The Muppet Show as well as my stellar housekeeping. So what do you think about this as a potential workspace?

Bermuda

Perhaps this?

Paris

Maybe this?

Nevis Sunset

Oh yeah, Condé Nast, you can give me a jingle any time you like.

This is probably the most accurate workspace depiction:

Kitchen

And this probably bears the most resemblance to previous workspaces:

Monkey Nevis

Kidding.

Not really.

Okay enough about that. Here’s something even funnier. Last Friday I got a box from the old establishment – that “place that must not be named.” It contained the following items: a nail file, a perfume satchel, 12 old cough drops, an empty Archipelago reed diffuser, one Crabtree & Evelyn hand lotion sample, and one Band-Aid. All were lovingly packaged in bubble wrap like they were some kind of “Precious” from Lord of the Rings.

I found a great place for these glorious treasures from the ghost of workspace past:

Garbage

Please bear in mind this is no reflection on the kind soul who probably packaged and sent these items to me. I’m certain he had the best intentions.

But, what, what in the?!?!?!?!

Samwell

This is all I have to say about this matter.

A Day in the Life of the Unenjoyed

Standard
Exactly. What what?

Exactly. What what?

No that’s not a typo. ‘Unenjoyment’ is a word my friend and I coined several years ago. Today those who Blog Every Day in November (#BEDN) will be capturing moments in their everyday lives. Boy, you people are totally in for a treat*.

7:21 AM – Look at all the notifications on your phone. Note than none are from potential employers and take stock in how crazy people can be this early in the morning. Now shut that phone off and go back to sleep. This is not the kind of ‘vibrate’ your body needs right now.

8:17 AM – Get up. Make some coffee. Contemplate making breakfast but don’t eat just yet. You can’t afford a monthly gym membership and you’ll be hungrier in a few hours. Take a shower to get your mind off food. Wash and blow out your hair. Peruse your grey strands and acknowledge the fact that you really need to dye your roots. Decide to wait another week. No one’s looking at you anyway and you have cute winter hats.

10:03 AM – Drive here for a Brazilian bikini wax. Don’t be a terrible mother. Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean your vagina has to suffer.

Mark & M.E.: Rochester's best - she's fast and she's thorough.

Mark & M.E.: Rochester’s best – she’s fast and she’s thorough.

11:05 AM – Look at the job sites. Marvel at the fact that searching the words ‘marketing director’ and ‘director of public relations’ results in occupations such as ‘receptionist’ and ‘apprentice’ at the Chipotle Mexican Grill.  Think about how you gave up time with your dying mother to pursue your master’s degree. Get good and discouraged.

11:38 AM – Go on social media and stalk people. Marvel at the fact that two ugly people made such a cute baby and that two pretty people made such an ugly baby. Feel better about yourself and count your genetic blessings.

11:59 AM – Go back on the job sites and find that one random job that mildly piques your interest and apply for it while that fleeting moment of feeling better about yourself lasts.

1:09 PM – Congrats! You can eat now. Recall that time when one of your gay male friends told you that you look like Mary Louise Parker. Imagine this is what you look like this while you bake in your kitchen. Every. Damn. Time.

Mary Louise Parker making a pie.  www.popsugar.com & originally in Esquire August 2009

Mary Louise Parker making a pie. http://www.popsugar.com & originally in Esquire August 2009

2:12 PM – Check your phone. Remind yourself you’re not talking to certain people right now because they suck. Now put your phone down. Now pick it back up again and relegate yourself into Facebook purgatory. Look at the event invites with silent contempt that people just don’t understand that you can’t afford to go out several nights a week right now. Hit ‘decline.’

Notifications

2:38 PM – Begin to touch your face and feel for zits or stray hairs, but try to avoid your tweezers. Your thinning eyebrows are a direct correlation to your present mental state and you do not need to go on Latisse. Girl, that shit is expensive!

2:47 PM – Take a look at your checkbook and credit card receipts. Now quick – look away before you cry! It’s a frickin’ disaster and crying makes you look like a bubble-eye goldfish.

Girrrrrl, don't you cry! Bubble-eye goldfish image from Wikipedia Commons.

Girrrrrl, don’t you cry!
Bubble-eye goldfish image from Wikipedia Commons.

3:10 PM – Contemplate opening a bottle of wine and then just do it. Who cares, right? You were ready, willing, and able to work today and ain’t nobody callin’. Make a mental note of any cheap wines you enjoy. The fact that you aren’t working means your liver should compensate by working much harder. Recall you have plans with a friend. Stop drinking wine.

3:36 PM – Your also ‘unenjoyed’ neighbors are now getting loud next door. Start a music medley with Jane Says by Jane’s Addiction. Oh yeah, they think they’re getting alternative but throw them off and move into Queen Latifah mode. Maybe insert Beyonce’s Single Ladies and dance around. This is the most movement you’ll be getting all day. Then pick a current annoying pop tune of your choice. Play it really loud. I recommend that new and awful Timber song by Pitbull and Ke$ha, if you can tolerate it. That’s what earplugs are for. Now end this compilation with It’s Not Unusual by Tom Jones and then go quiet. You know, keep those bitches next door on their toes!

4:01 PM – Put on makeup. Notice your eyelids look more like crepe paper than those of a bubble-eye goldfish. Resolve to apply even more eye cream and drink more water. Pour another glass of wine instead. Eat something else. It will only save you money later on your outing. Observe the sheer volume of kale in your refrigerator and then choose cheese.

5:28 PM – Glance around. Take stock in the state of the pigsty better known as your apartment. Come to the conclusion that like your hair, no one else is looking at it.  Turn off the light and go out for the evening. Today was rough, you totally deserve it, and tomorrow is another day.

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O'Hara Image: www.fansshare.com

Vivien Leigh as Scarlett O’Hara
Image: http://www.fansshare.com

*Please note: This post is both derisive and satirical in nature.

Bad Jingles and Parsnips

Standard
It's parsnip time!

It’s parsnip time!

Look at these chubby little guys. It’s getting colder and that means it’s getting close to parsnip season! I love parsnips. Not only do they provide a lovely flavor nuance in soups and stews but they are delightful roasted on their own, which is basically what we are going to wind up doing.

Today’s Blog Everyday in November (#BEDN) topic is: Food, Glorious Food.  This post is a no-brainer since I write about what I’m up to in the kitchen quite often.  However I must disclose that I can’t hear this tune from the musical, Oliver, without thinking about one of my ‘previous lives’ and a program we used to promote called, “Dining for Wellness.”

Once upon a time, I worked for a senior housing company headquartered in Chicago, Illinois.  They managed communities across the country, including two in upstate New York.  During my tenure they implemented the national dining program which was supposed to encourage a fine dining experience that was both delicious and healthy.  The program came complete with marketing materials that talked about the ingredients in each dish as well as nutritional information.  We were supposed to provide both the residents and referral sources with this information as a selling point.

The problem was, we were dealing with older people – older people who had worked their whole lives, and many were in their 80s and 90s. You know what they wanted to eat? Hamburgers. Grilled cheese. Bacon. Basically whatever the eff they wanted from their usual menu, and said menu wasn’t offered on Dining for Wellness evenings.  To promote Dining for Wellness, the national sales team decided to come up with a jingle to the tune of Food Glorious Food.  We were then instructed to go out in the community and sing to the hospital and rehabilitation unit social workers. I can’t sing. Really. I’m awful. Did they really think I was going to use my lack of talent in this area in an attempt to close a sale? I only wish I could remember the entire jingle because it was comedy gold, but I’m pretty sure I repressed that memory the second I read the lyrics. However I do remember one line ending in the word, “Snacky.” Yes indeed.

The residents’ dispositions on Dining for Wellness night finally changed when the former executive director and I decided to implement wine pairings with the meal. Don’t judge. Wine has antioxidants. Yes, In true Lady Sensory form, the moral of the story is: you can’t sing to people and expect them to eat healthy. No. But you can get them drunk and they’ll pretty much eat anything you put in front of them. Heck, they might even sing to you in return.

Lady Sensory’s Healthy Parsnip Snacky Fries

This is a modified rendition of a recipe I found on epicurious, based on what I had in-house and personal preference. The result was delicious, but you can use whatever recipe, seasoning, or technique works for you.

3-4 parsnips, peeled and cut into sticks (about 1/4 -1/2 inch thick and 2 1/2- 3 1/2 inches long, like French fries)

2 -3 tbsp garlic & herb infused oil (I use the Wegmans basting oil and believe that has garlic, basil and parsley in it).

1 tbsp dried rosemary

1/4 tsp ground cumin (more or less depending on your taste)

Salt and cracked black pepper, to taste (I recommend being liberal with this – the salt really enhances the sweetness of the parsnips)

Place two racks in the center of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Line two baking sheets with foil. Grease the foil with a little olive oil to help reduce sticking. Place the parsnips in a large bowl.  With a mortar and pestle, mix the dried rosemary, cumin, salt and pepper. Sprinkle over the parsnip slices. Drizzle the slices with the flavored olive oil. Toss and rub the parsnips to distribute the oil and seasonings well.  Position on cookie sheets in one layer so the parsnips aren’t touching.  Bake for about 15 minutes, turn the parsnip slices and rotate the trays and bake for another 15-20 minutes. You want the parsnips to be tender with crisp brown edges, but not burned. Toss into a bowl lined with paper towel (helps absorb the oil) and season with more salt and pepper, if needed.

Kick back and enjoy this healthy fall “snacky!” You might even trick someone into liking them better than real French fries!

Parsnip fries

Parsnip fries

Whatever Happened to Gimpy?

Standard
Gimpy and Blanche - an appropriate scene from one of my all time favorite movies, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

Gimpy and Blanche – an appropriate scene from one of my all time favorite movies, Whatever Happened to Baby Jane?

So, I committed to do this thing for the month of November since I have a little bit of free time, but it’s a good sort of thing and I think it will a be fun opportunity to connect with other bloggers.  It’s simply called, “Blog Every Day in November” or #BEDN on Twitter and it’s being organized by this lovely lady over here at Rosalilium.  Basically, there is a topic du jour and each writer involved puts their own personal spin on it. Today’s topic is: “Introductions.”

Hi there. I’m Lady Sensory and my real name is Stacey Rowe. I’m more comfortable sharing that now because I’m free.  Free from being the marketing and public relations persona at a local non-profit; and free to write about whatever the hell I want, and pepper it with some profanity if I so desire. It’s quite liberating and it’s also a little scary. What if you decide you don’t like me anymore?

For the most part, I’ve written about cooking, food, and travel, with a scattering of art and local lifestyle bits along the way. If you haven’t visited before, feel free to hang out and hit the ‘About’ section or peruse previous posts if you’d like.  For this post, I thought I’d tell you an anecdote which will likely confirm that I’m the most accident-prone person you’ll ever encounter. Seriously. I can sit in a chair at a garage party and a shovel will fall on my head. That’s a true story – it happened two weeks ago!  I will now recount the tale of how I broke my foot this past summer while attempting to make greens and beans.

Gimpin' aint easy - getting scoot-tastic at the local Wegmans and rocking some fierce ortho footwear!

Gimpin’ aint easy – getting scoot-tastic at the local Wegmans and rocking some fierce ortho footwear!

It’s no secret that I enjoy a good cocktail or three and I particularly enjoy a good afternoon cocktail with friends who have a shared interest in the fine art of daydrinking.  The very last week of June was a whirlwind of work, work, work, and getting all the things ready for a huge press conference announcing the new name of my former organization.  I worked a 60 hour week. I left on Friday with a headache and a strong desire to not think about the place that shall not be named for the entire weekend in an effort to come in relaxed and calm for the event on Monday.  I visited the Titus Tavern, a local establishment we’ve affectionately dubbed the TitTav, for their Sunday afternoon Bloody Mary bar.  ‘Twas a glorious afternoon spent indulging in snack-filled Bloodies and wine, taking over the jukebox with some Daft Punk, Robin Thicke, and a bit of Mark Morrison’s “Return of the Mack” for a good dose of old-school flair. I even got a mild sunburn. Glorious day, I say.

About 3 hours later, I decided I needed to eat something before going to bed. I was feeling fine. I had escarole in the fridge. I had chicken stock. I had beans. I got up on my bar stool at home (naughty – don’t do it, kids!) and proceeded to pull down my 4.5 qt. fancy pot, set it on the stove and well, unlike Kerri Strug, I didn’t stick my olympic dismount.

Gimpy's Beans & Greens

Gimpy’s Beans & Greens

Yes, I got that “Boom-Boom-Pow” in the form of a broken fifth metatarsal (the bone that connects to your pinky-toe).  I texted several friends and one came to my rescue.  After a couple of hours at urgent care and a visit to the orthopedic office it was confirmed: I would be “Gimpy”  for the summer: non-weight bearing for at least one month and the bone would take approximately 3 months total to heal completely.

Despite my general clumsiness, I’d never broken anything in my life.  I spent all of July on crutches and in a wheelchair at work because it was easier to get around.  The crutches were pinching the nerves in my underarms. I tried to insert “Gimpy” humor wherever I could but truthfully, I was in horrible pain and exhausted. I’m not by any means suggesting a broken foot is as traumatic or serious as other health conditions, but for me it was a personal worst. Thankfully, I had friends and family in town who were able to help with laundry and picking up groceries. You don’t appreciate those stupid little things until you can’t do them for yourself anymore.  The funny thing is, between my mother’s illness and working with senior citizens for 9 years in my ‘previous lives,’ I’d always felt like I understood the whole loss of independence thing… until it happened to me.  Then I finally got it.  Admittedly, I’m stubbornly independent and hate having to ask anyone for help, particularly for very basic things. Being able to shave my legs or taking out the trash were personal triumphs! So yeah, it sucked, but it also gave me perspective and an appreciation for the people and things that actually matter.  I’m also more aware of people around me and for every stranger who was too oblivious to hold a door open, there were others that were over-the-top helpful.

Aside from all of that and with November upon us, did I learn any lessons from a summer of being Gimpy and the fall aftermath? Sure. Here are a few takeaways:

1) Don’t get up on a tall stool to grab a 10 lb pot after 8:30 at night. Better yet, don’t attempt to cook anything after daydrinking, no matter how many hours have passed. Be more like your friends: grab a garbage plate and pass out.

2) Try not to get burned out because that’s when accidents happen. Perhaps more importantly, if a CEO (or anyone in senior management, for that matter) screams, swears, or throws something at you, or causes you to question your own intelligence, strengths, talents, and abilities – your inherent sparkle – please get the f*ck out. Please. Run, don’t walk, to the nearest exit. Darling, you are not working for leaders, you are indeed working for douchebags and douchebags don’t change.

3) Carry on. Hold your head high, but not so high that you get distracted and wind up dropping the lid of your fancy-ass Le Creuset pot on the toe of your previously injured foot, you idiot.

Lady Sensory Gets Knocked Down But She Gets Up Again Gimpy Beans & Greens

1 bunch (approximately 2-3 cups, chopped) of dark leafy greens  (I’ve used escarole, chard, or spinach)

2  15 oz. cans of cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1 medium onion, finely diced

6 cloves of garlic, minced or pressed

1.5 tbsp olive oil

1 tsp of crushed red pepper (more or less, depending on how spicy you like your greens)

1/2 cup Freshly grated parmesan cheese (and if you have the cheese rind to throw in the soup – that’s even better!)

4 cups of chicken stock  (or vegetable stock for the vegetarians)

Salt and cracked black pepper to taste

This one’s super easy for the non-clumsy. Warm a 4.5 qt fancy pot up on the stove (any large soup pot will do) and finely dice the onion. Add the oil to the pot and allow it to heat up. Place the onion in and cook until very golden brown (caramelized). This will take about 15-20 minutes on medium heat.  Add the garlic and cook for a few minutes longer, then stir in the beans, red pepper and salt and black pepper. Cook for about three minutes and add the chopped greens, allowing to wilt slightly.  Add the stock (and the cheese rind if you have it handy) and simmer until hot and greens are tender.  Garnish with grated parmesan cheese and serve with a nice crusty roll or bread.  Serves 2-3 and is tasty the next day.

As a fair warning: you might not want to transport this spicy, garlicky soup in your vehicle.  On that note, I’m really digging my new rubber VW mats.  Oops.

Gimpy's crutches overlooking scenic High Falls from the Genesee Brewhouse

Gimpy’s crutches overlooking scenic High Falls from the Genesee Brewhouse

Romanesco Holiday

Standard
This looks rather dangerous. I won't be doing this anytime soon! Source: Wikipedia Commons/ Roman Holiday trailer

This looks rather dangerous. I won’t be doing this anytime soon! Source: Wikipedia Commons/ Roman Holiday trailer

So my life isn’t exactly like Princess Ann’s in Roman Holiday at the present moment but I’m coping in style.  Let’s just say it’s very nice not having such a highly scheduled life and I can breathe easier knowing I won’t have 17 consecutive email demands prior to 9:00 AM. Oh yes, I started calculating the crazy.  Thankfully, I have not needed any sort of sedative that would cause me to fall asleep on a bench.  However, should that necessity arise, I have an ample supply of wine, gin, and St. Germain at my disposal.

Enough of that noise.  I’m hungry.  Can we talk about another “surprise vegetable,” Romanesco?  I’d noticed it before in the Wegmans produce section, adjacent to the broccoli and cauliflower, resembling some kind of sci-fi fan’s delight.  I never bothered with it since I enjoy both cauliflower and broccoli and from what I recall, it was generally more expensive than the other two.

While picking up my share last week, there sat Mr. Romanesco, wedged between the broccoli and Swiss chard.  I heard a woman asking loudly, “What is this? It looks like some kind of alien thing! What do you do with it?”  I stifled my laugh and resisted the urge to mention Eric Cartman’s anal probe from South Park.  The folks at Good Food Collective love to talk about what you can do with your vegetables. All you have to do is admit your ignorance and in the course of schlepping through the assembly line of produce bins, you’ll probably walk away with 3-5 new recipe ideas.  Since I was already familiar with Romanesco and its relation to cauliflower, I knew what I was going to do with it.  I was concerned about my ingredient stockpile since I forgot to stop at my beloved local Williams-Sonoma on Sunday.  This was probably for the best, considering the current state of the union.

Meet Romanesco, your new 'out of this world' vegetable!

Meet Romanesco, your new ‘out of this world’ vegetable!

This morning I awoke to a glorious email informing me I had free shipping on all Williams-Sonoma orders, with no minimum purchase. That’s right! Free shipping code is FREESHIP and you can order whatever you want and enter the code upon checkout until 11:59 PM Pacific Time, all from the comfort of your home while sitting on your ass perusing employment opportunities.  I was running low on their Madras Curry and Garam Masala.  I’m 99% certain my Indian friends are swearing at their screen and muttering about to going to the Indian market as they are reading this, but we all know I’m a bit particular in the kitchen. I should also note that I don’t work for Williams-Sonoma or receive any kind of kickback. I just really like their stuff and use these particular spice blends frequently so I like to spread the word.

Now let’s make this happen, people: delicious roasted curried Romanesco and as a side bonus, we’ll smell up the hallway for the neighbors.  One of mine has a toddler who shrieks like a psych ward patient on the regular, so this recipe is totally a win-win!

Lady Sensory’s “Karma’s a Bitch” Curried Romanesco

Serves 2-3 people as a side dish or one hungry person on an unplanned “staycation.”

3-4 cups Romanesco, (approximately 1 head, chopped into florets)

1 small onion, quartered and separated into pieces

1 tsp Madras Curry (WS)

1 tsp Hungarian paprika

1/4 tsp Garam Masala (WS)

1/4 tsp coriander

1/4 tsp cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste, but I recommend being generous

1/3 cup apple cider vinegar or balsamic (I use a mix of both depending on what I have available)

1/3 cup olive oil

The color of the spices are close to brown. Look for those yummy dark brown roasted bits to make sure it's done!

The color of the spices are close to brown. Look for those yummy dark brown roasted bits to make sure it’s done!

Prepare a baking dish or small roasting pan (9″ x 13″ is perfect) by lining with foil. Place rack in the center of the oven, and preheat to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a large bowl, combine the dried ingredients, then whisk together with the vinegar and slowly drizzle in the olive oil (like a vinaigrette). Place the Romanesco florets in the pan and distribute the onion pieces evenly among the florets. Pour the vinaigrette over the vegetables, stir to distribute, and spread into one layer in the pan and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, turning once halfway through.  Bake until golden and tender and serve. You can refrigerate any leftovers – this one is still good the next day!

Now kick back with your curried bites of deliciousness and some classic movies. Have the good sense to know that although you’re not currently cruising around Rome on a Vespa or meandering through the spice market in Delhi, rest assured, you’ll eventually get there.