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Showing posts from January 5, 2014

Things That Can be Carried on a Bike (#560)

Three books, a camera bag, a canvas bag, and two large empanadas.

Urban Simplicity.

Kim-Chi (again)

Okay. So this is one of those recipes that I've either posted multiple times or offered different variations of it. It's just so delicious and so good for you and so easy to make that I feel I have to post it again. All you have to do is mix the ingredients together and wait (seriously, that's it). The images are the recipe that I made today...now I wait (luckily I still have some from a previous batch to carry me until this one is ready). Anyhow, the basic recipe is below but if you want additional recipes or to read background material on fermented foods please read this article I wrote some time ago.

Kim Chi (Korean-Style Sauerkraut) 
1 head Napa cabbage, cut into two-inch pieces 1 small daikon, grated 2 tablespoons kosher salt 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 small piece ginger, minced 1 small onion, minced 2 tablespoons chili paste 1 tablespoon sugar
Mix all of the ingredients together in a large bowl. Transfer to a container that is wide enough to fit a few small plates inside it…

Just another link...

As if you didn't already have enough links to click on or sites asking you to follow, I offer another. I've been a member of Flickr since 2011but have never really used it, until now that is. I've begun organizing some of my photos and will continue to post. At this site you can see them in full color and high resolution. So if you are interested in seeing more of my photos, or are excruciatingly bored, feel free to visit.

Urban Simplicity.

Whole Grain Sesame Crackers...

These are really simple to make...5 minutes to mix the dough and 15 minutes to bake them. And they are a really tasty and healthy treat with a long shelf life (but they'll disappear pretty quickly). Anyhow, if you are in the mood for something a little different to make but still easy at the same time, this may be it. Use them to scoop up hummus or other delectable, or eat them on their own, they're worth the effort.


Whole Grain Sesame Crackers Makes about 3 dozen crackers
1 cup whole wheat flour ¼ cup all-purpose flour ½ teaspoon kosher salt 5 tablespoons olive oil ½ cup toasted sesame seeds 5 tablespoons water
Preheat an oven to 350F. Combine the whole wheat flour, all-purpose flour, salt, and oil in the bowl of a food processor and process for a few seconds, until it resembles coarse meal. Add the sesame seeds and water and process for about 30 seconds, or until the dough forms a ball. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured surface and roll out very thin. Cut the crackers into what…

Plus d'oiseaux...

This is really a continuation of a previous post where I described riding past a tree and some bushes loaded with these little birds.  Well I was riding past this same location today and heard them chirping away again. And this time I had a better camera with me so I thought I'd take a few more shots. Click any for a slightly larger view.





Urban Simplicity.

Things That can be Carried on a Bike (#559)

Just a few groceries on a really bitterly cold and snowy day.


Urban Simplicity.

Things on a bike in a gallery...

File this under shameless self promotion (it has taken me years--decades even--to get better at this). Anyhow, this is one of my photos that will be featured in a series of Things that can be Carried on a Bike at Queen City Gallery through the month of January in the Historic Market Arcade Building, 617 Main Street, Buffalo. The opening is this Friday, 1.10.14

Urban Simplicity.

Salute the General (or at least his chicken)

I've posted this recipe prior but not in some time....General Tso's Chicken. Yup, that sweet and spicy deep fried chicken that is popular in so many American Chinese takeout restaurants. It's easy to make at home for a fraction of the cost at a restaurant, and when you make it yourself you can control the sodium/sugar/grease levels. If you are interested in the story behind this dish see this article I wrote for Artvoice some years ago.


General Tso’s Chicken Yield: 3-4 servings For the chicken: 1 pound boneless chicken thighs, cut into pieces 2 tablespoons soy sauce 1 egg 2 tablespoons cornstarch 1 tablespoon flour
For the sauce: 1/4 cup soy sauce 1/4 cup sherry 1/2 cup chicken broth 2 tablespoons white wine vinegar 2 tablespoons sugar 1-2 tablespoons cornstarch
Additional Ingredients 6 small dried red chilies 1 tablespoon minced ginger 2 teaspoons minced garlic 3 green onions, sliced peanut oil for deep frying
Combine all of the chicken ingredients together in a bowl, mix to evenly coat, and s…

Yup...it is cold and snowy (and a few things I saw on my walk)

The above temperature is what we woke up to here in WNY. I know it is not nearly as cold as the Mid-West, but geeze 'o man it is cold. I went out in it only briefly today (to split some logs for the wood-burning stove and then to the store fore a bottle of wine...necessities on both accounts), and no I did not ride a bike; I walked. It's not that there is that much snow--we've had far more than this--but it's the wind, the incredible wind, that makes it difficult when it is so cold. But at the same time it can be so very beautiful. Anyhow, on my short walk to the store I took a few photos and thought I'd share. And yes, as is usual custom in Buffalo, the bars stayed open and were quite full of revelers. So I stopped in for one on my way home.






Urban Simplicity.

Fish Balls!

Ok. So I can hear you snickering. And also wondering...why fish? Well the simple answer is that I don't eat a great deal of meat--almost never at home--and I really like fish. Anyhow, these are really delicious. I've posted other variations of these here (the tuna and chickpea meatballs are one of my favorites). Anyhow, I hope you try these. You'll be glad you did...


Fish Meatballs with Sun-Dried Tomatoes
Makes about 2 dozen small meatballs
1 pound fish, diced ½ cup diced sun dried tomatoes 2 large eggs 2 slices whole wheat bread, crusts removed and diced 1/2 small onion, minced 2 cloves garlic, minced ½ teaspoon kosher salt ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper
Combine all of the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and grind to a coarse paste. Transfer to a clean bowl and allow to rest for 5 minutes. Shape into meatballs (if it feels to wet or loose add more bread or a few tablespoons of whole wheat flour, then allow it to rest for five minutes again). Cook the meatballs …

Drive thru services, not for cars only...

Something I saw while riding my bike today...

So I was on my way home today when I stopped at a traffic light and was waiting. It was a really nice day out (unlike what is heading our way). Anyhow, as I was waiting I was sort of zoned out when in the back of my head I noticed all these chirping sounds. I looked to my right and there was a bush covered with sparrows a mere 10 feet from me. Beautiful, I thought. It also reminded me of the Bible passage, Matthew 6:25. Anyhow, I snapped a few photos and thought I'd share. Click any for a slightly larger view.



Urban Simplicity.

Mixed Vegetables with Twice-Cooked Garlic, Hot Peppers, and Lemon

So as usual this is really easy to make and bursting with flavor. This is really just another variation of an aglio e olio recipe, but in this case the aglio is cooked twice. By slowly cooking the garlic and peppers first--and then straining them out--the oil becomes infused with flavor, which is then compounded when the flavorings are added back into the dish. Anyhow, you can really use what ever vegetable you have on hand; this is just a guide. This makes a great side dish or you can also (like I did tonight--top a pasta dish with it. If you want to turn this into a carnivore's meal add chicken or shrimp.

Mixed Vegetables with Twice-Cooked Garlic, Hot Peppers, and Lemon
Serves two


¼ cup olive oil
3 or 4 cloves garlic, sliced thin
¼ teaspoon crushed hot pepper
2 or 3 florets cauliflower, sliced
2 or 3 florets broccoli, sliced
1 small carrot, sliced
a handful of green beans, cut in half
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Combine the olive oil, sliced garlic, and crushed pepper i…