Kiva loans

I have microlent to:

Niètaga (le Succès) Group

Niètaga (le Succès) Group
Location:Mali, Koutiala

Hem Sovann

Hem Sovann
Location:Cambodia, Batambong

Oyunchimeg Norpil

Oyunchimeg Norpil
Location:Mongolia, Arhangai
Activity:Internet Cafe

Is It Good? : Greensbury Market

I swear, I no sooner sent the words I think I have just about beaten this whole February business out into the world and within 18 hours, I was completed blindsided a cold coupled with a downright tubercular cough. So, while I am lying on the couch, watching my sixth straight hour of Olympic cross-country skiing and eating yet another bowl of spicy chicken soup, I am clearing out some of my backlog of drafts for posts. First up: Greensbury Market.

Greensbury Market

The people at Greensbury Market sent along samples of their organic beef and chicken a couple of months ago, but my reluctance to write about them should not reflect badly on them at all.

Instead, I knew as soon as I wrote about organic meat, there would be someone, somewhere, who would have to be a biodegradable douchebag about it and comment something to the effect of ugh, eating meat? why don’t you just drive an SUV? or well, I only buy local homeschooled meat that I butcher myself, naturally and the idea of dealing with that just made me want to punch things.

So, let’s get this out of the way: I ain’t having it, eco-jerkwads. Okay? Good, now let’s move on.

Greensbury Market sent two strip steaks and four boneless, skinless chicken breasts (as well as some much-needed stock photos to use—seriously, if you have tips on making meat photogenic, please send them to me).

First, the steaks. I didn’t marinate them, didn’t really fuss with them at all, but just cooked them to a medium-rare in a grill pan with a little salt and pepper. I honestly cannot remember the last time I have eaten a better steak. I will be the first to admit that years of vegetarian cooking have left me a little gun-shy as far cooking meat, but I don’t think I could have screwed these up even if I tried. They were fantastic: tender, juicy, and above all, incredibly flavorful, like steak squared… so, steak2.

I was less dazzled by the boneless, skinless chicken breasts, though. I poached two whole breasts in a Filipino-style adobo and cooked other two in pieces, in a buffalo wing sort of sauce. Now, I never buy boneless or skinless chicken, so this may have been largely due to inexperience and/or inherent dislike on my part (or maybe after the amazing steaks, nothing else could hold a candle to that), so while these were much, much moister and tastier than the chicken breasts I remember my dad cooking (sorry, Dad!), they were still… lacking something for me. But, even with that in mind, the chicken breasts were still impressive enough that I would consider buying a whole chicken or chicken wings from Greensbury Market.

So… is it good? Definitely. If organically-farmed meat is important to you, I don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

In which I have hopefully triumphed over February.

lemon-garlic lamb with yogurt sauce

I don’t want to jinx anything, as there are still 10 days left (including today), but I think I have just about beaten this whole February business. And I know this because I made lemon-garlic lamb chops with yogurt sauce last night.

Dinners this month have been okay, if a bit perfunctory (with the notable exception of these tacos which have recently made their way into my regular rotation). But these lamb chops… not only did I want to make them, I got it together to actually make them, which surprised even me.

It also added to my sense of triumph that this recipe was not only easy (marinate + cook = done) and cheap (shoulder blade chop are pretty economical to begin with and they were on sale last week) but also oh-my-frigging-god good. I honestly had my doubts about lemony red meat paired with tangy yogurt, but wow, it all really works together. The creaminess of the yogurt blunts the citrus of the meat so it’s not overpowering, plus the garlicky note… it’s brilliant.

So… yeah. I’m not quite willing to shout “I’m back, baby!” just yet, but I am thinking it. Quietly. So the February won’t hear it.

Photo Friday: what she does not know is she will soon face an Intervention

My name is Kristen: k-r-i-s-t-e-n…



…and I’m addicted to buying crappy mass-market paperback cookbooks from the 1970s.

February! [shakes a fist]

junk drawer

By god, do I hate February.

February is the absolutely nadir of the year for me, thanks to the most ridiculously acronymed disorder ever, Seasonal Affective Disorder. Or, yes, SAD. Cripes.

January is usually tolerable—maybe I’m a little more tired and crabby than usual—and March is the light-at-the-end-of-tunnel, finish-line-is-within-sight month, but February? February is the month where my brain feels like that photo: full of junk I don’t really need but can’t get rid of and I can never find anything I actually need when I need it.

So, this year, I’m going to be supremely lazy and ask you to come up with some ideas for me. What’s something you’ve thought about making/buying/eating but wanted to see someone else do it first? What sort of posts do wish I’d write more of? Step up, speak up, get your ideas in the comments or post over on the Facebook page. I’ll try to take on as many as I can, but keep in mind, it is still February. That fucker.

Pepsi Throwback: Is It Good?

pepsi & mountain dew throwback

If you’ve been reading this blog a while, you might already know my obsession with sugar-sweetened sodas (like Ting). So, last summer, when I heard Pepsi was coming out with a sugar-sweetened version called Pepsi Throwback, I looked for it everywhere. I didn’t find anywhere in NYC, so when we drove to Massachusetts for a wedding, I looked in every gas station mini-mart from New Jersey to the Mass Pike. Once it became fall, I stopped looking and eventually gave up.

Then, last week, a friend posted a photo of a case of Pepsi Throwback she had just bought. According to Pepsi’s site, “[d]ue to all the Throwback tweets, Facebook fan pages, videos, blog posts, pics & pleas, Pepsi Throwback is back” — at least until February 28th.

So… is it good? The Pepsi, definitely. The formula appears to be the same as a HFCS Pepsi (e.g. pretty sweet), so if you’re fond of that, you’ll love this. I sometimes wished I was drinking Coke Throwback instead, but it’s still very good. The Mountain Dew… a bit less great. It’s either sweeter than a regular HFCS Mountain Dew, or it’s less citrus, or both. Still, the sugar really makes all the difference in the world. There’s no filmy mouth feel, no glorky (yes, I say it’s a word) feel in your throat afterward. I’m already looking around my apartment to figure out where I can stash multiple cases of this stuff for the summer.