Tuesday, August 02, 2005

Netflix Favorites Where I Grew Up

I thought this was kind of funny. Here is the top 10 Netflix local favorites for my hometown of Ewing, NJ (a suburb of Trenton).

10. I Can Do Bad All By Myself
9. Garfield: The Movie
8. A Cinderella Story
7. Shrek (Full-screen)
6. Hair Show
5. Spaceballs
4. The Goonies
3. Confessions of a Dangerous Mind
2. The Garbage Pail Kids Movie
1. Godsend

I've got to wonder about Spaceballs and The Goonies. These were in the theater when I was a kid. It's amazing that they are popular enough now to be in the top 10 in my hometown. I wonder if these compare to Old Yeller and Rin Tin Tin, which were movies my dad loved as a kid and made my brother and me watch when we got our first push-button VCR back in the early '80s. I wonder if kids in Ewing today are actually into these movies or if their parents are subjecting them to their childhood favorites.

Just to compare top 10 lists, here is the top 10 from Cambridge, MA, where I work. They don't have a listing for my town of Acton.

10. The West Wing: Season 3 (7-Disc Series)
9. Fever Pitch
8. The L Word: Season 1 (5-Disc Series)
7. Lolita
6. Touchez Pas au Grisbi
5. sex, lies, and videotape
4. Vanilla Sky
3. Felicity: Season 2 (6-Disc Series)
2. Possession
1. Smiley's People (3-Disc Series)

Bean is now a Sweet Potato (a boy sweet potato)

I'm a sweet potato now!

I passed the half-way mark in my pregnancy. I had my second ultrasound a couple of weeks ago and found out that we are having a boy. He is about the size of a sweet potato now -- 9-10 inches long (head to toe) and weighs about 10-11 oz. I'm going around with a ruler, measuring things that are 10 inches long and looking at weights on products to compare. I can't believe there is a 10 inch long creature in my belly. And, my can of compressed air that I use to periodically clean the crumbs out of my keyboard weighs 10 oz.

Just this past week I started feeling baby movements. I wasn't sure at first if that was what I was feeling because I usually feel them after I eat. I thought it may have been digestion I was feeling. After a week of this, I can say that I'm pretty sure it's the baby. It feels just like what I've read - a fluttering or like having a goldfish swim in your belly. The movements are not quite strong enough for Matt to feel yet, but it shouldn't be long now...

Monday, August 01, 2005

(Not) Baked Rice with Roasted Corn from Eating Well

I have this great co-worker, Cable Guy John, who gives me a copy of Eating Well magazine every couple of months. John's household has a duplicate subscription, so he passes the spare copy to me. Thanks John!

The magazine is full of healthy, interesting, and usually easy recipes. Yesterday, I tried one of the more labor intensive recipes - Baked Rice with Roasted Corn. Here is a modified version of the recipe:

  • 2 red bell peppers

  • 3 cups of fresh corn kernels (cut from real ears of locally grown corn!)

  • 1 large red onion, diced

  • 1.5 cups of short grain brown rice, uncooked

  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced

  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1 tsp dried thyme

  • bay leaf

  • 2 whole cloves

  • pinch of saffron (my mom gave me saffron from her trip to Spain last year)

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1 Tbsp tomato paste

  • 3.5 cups vegetable broth

  • salt and pepper

  • 2 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley

  • roasted garlic mayo (see below)

  • am I forgetting anything????

Here is why this is labor intensive:

Roast whole red peppers under broiler for about 25 minutes, turning peppers every 5 minutes or so. When all sides are charred, place in bowl and cover for 10 minutes. When cool to the touch, peel skins and chop, discarding seeds and ribs.

Cut kernels off of 5 ears of fresh corn (watch out they get EVERYWHERE). Place corn in a large skillet with no oil, on high heat, and brown for a few minutes. This didn't quite work for me. I don't know if the recipe was written wrong and there should have been some oil in the pan, but the corn did not brown and I got corn goo stuck to the bottom of my pan. Anyway, once corn is brown or you get fed up, place corn in a bowl and set aside.

Meanwhile, heat vegetable broth to a simmer. Then, saute onion, previously browned corn, roasted and chopped pepper, thyme, bay leaf, and cloves in the olive oil for a few minutes. Then, add paprika, garlic, and tomato paste and cook a little more. Then, add rice, salt and pepper and cook a little longer. Then, add simmering broth and bring to a boil.

Once it reaches a boil, you are supposed to cover and place in the oven. I don't have an oven proof skillet or Dutch oven so I just kept it on the stove top and treated it like regular rice. I covered the pot and reduced the heat to low and let it cook for about an hour. Serve with roasted garlic may and parsley.

Now, for the Roasted Garlic Mayo.

  • 1 whole head of garlic

  • 5.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 cup silken tofu

  • 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice

  • 1 tsp paprika

  • 1/4 tsp salt

  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Drizzle 1/2 tsp olive oil over garlic head, then wrap in foil and roast in oven for 40 minutes at 350 degrees. Once garlic is finished and cool enough to handle, squeeze out cloves and remaining ingredients into a food processor and puree until smooth.

While the dish took over 2 hours to make from start to finish, and produced LOTS of dishes for Matt to wash, it was really really good. Especially the roasted garlic mayo! This dish is guest-worthy, if you don't mind spending so much time ahead in the kitchen. It would also be good with shrimp or diced chicken or chorizo sausage (or all three!) added, as it has a similar taste to paella. I wonder if it would have made much difference if it were baked like the recipe indicated...