Thursday, February 25, 2010

Meeting the PSU cheerleaders

The Portland State Cheerleaders generously invited me into one of their practices last night to discuss Dial-a-Cheer, the PomPom People, their notions of the role of the Cheerleader, stereotypes in the media, positivity, cynicism and art.

One thing that has really changed since my stint as a cheerleader is that they are ATHLETES. or as they put it "Halfletes" - all the athleticism, half the respect. They are gymnasts, dancers and weightlifters. They urge the crowd on. They get frustrated by overwhelming cynicism too. They know stereotypes are just that. They recognize their choreographer as an artist.

Tomorrow I have a rendezvous to begin our collaboration- it may be one day or many, but I am excited to start to break down the barrier between Cheerleading and Art, and see what can happen with the new visual and emotional impact of many (kick ass) PomPom peeps in contrast to my lone voice.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Recipes for February 22

Lentil Soup with Preserved Lemons
Sautee finely chopped onions, garlic, ginger, carrots, celery and S & P on low til onions are tender
Add rinsed lentils- they will expand a lot so keep that in mind when measuring
Add plenty of water or stock, a can of tomato paste, a few bay leaves and some soy sauce
Simmer, covered, for about an hour
Add finely chopped preserved lemons and some red chili flakes, adjust S & P
Simmer a little longer til flavors meld
*You can add the heel of your favorite cheese during the cooking process for an earthy addition

Preserved Lemons
Don't start this project without having some canning jars- clean them with boiling water- they won't break, but if you are scared, pour the water over a big steel spoon
Bring a salt bath to a boil- 3 Tbsp of salt for every lemon, a cup+ of water for every two lemons
Blanch whole, scored lemons (slice into skin lengthwise every inch or so
While cooking, add cinnamon stick, cloves, peppercorns, star anise and bay leaves to the cleaned jars
Take lemons out of the liquid with tongs and place in jars
Pour cooking liquid over top until completely covered
Close jars and either sterilize like a good person should or be lazy like me and seal & pop in the fridge when cool enough to touch
Make sure to turn the jar upside down for a while every day - the lemons will be ready to eat in a week
Use the chopped skins for a burst of flavor and texture or squeeze the center pulp for salad dressings

Bulgar Salad with apples, feta and mint
Cook bulgar wheat like you would rice- bring to a boil with a 1-1 ration of water or stock, then simmer, covered on low
Meanwhile, chop the flavors: plenty of mint, parsley, roasted peppers if you have them, apples, a clove of garlic (not too much) and lemon zest
When bulgar is done and cooled, add the flavors, S & P, olive oil and lemon juice
Add chopped feta at the end and toss with dressing

Monday, February 22, 2010

New York New York

In New York, they're scared of the snow
In New York an unconnecting flow
Gospel singers on the subway
Kindness is the professional way
But it's ok to look up at the sky
Sparrows and red tail hawks will fly
It's a city with vigor and heart!

That's the jingle written with the New York Jingle Orchestra:
Antony Hudek, Pauline Hudek, Laurence Kopelovich, Matt Bua, Barbara Steveni, Pam Kray, Julian Gilbert-Davis and me, on Wednesday, February 17th at apexart.

We also wrote a quieter number celebrating the Artist Placement Group.

Next day, I hosted a Cheer-a-Thon, where we continued the work of the PomPom People, performing cheers for Dial-A-Cheer project. Cheerleaders included Stacey Rubin, Michelle Swinehart, Katy Asher, Julia Knight, Antony Hudek, Pauline Hudek, and me.


Monday, February 15, 2010

Recipes for February 15

White Bean & Rosemary Soup with Roasted Pepper Puree
Soak beans overnight in plenty of water & drain
Wrap a few heads of garlic with the tops chopped off in foil & toss in the oven for 45 minutes
Cook beans in a decent amount of water or stock (somewhere between just covered and plenty) with bay leaves, rosemary and a few whole garlic cloves
When beans are soft, add a few chopped roasted, seeded peppers (I used jarred ones since it is winter, squeezed roasted garlic, S & P, and a dash of red chilies
Puree, or not, as you like, and simmer a little longer til the flavors meld
Take care of bay leaves if you do puree, and garlic cloves if you don't

Roasted Pepper Puree
Puree some roasted peppers, lemon juice, garlic, basil, S & P in your food processor, which you should have gotten by now

Serve soup with a generous dollop of delicious smokey roasted pepper goodness and some chopped parsley

Chard & Onion Tarts
Caramelize thinly sliced red onions on low heat with olive oil or butter til soft
Drizzle some molasses and S & P
Add a chiffonade of chard (thinly sliced ribbons)
Toss and cook gently til tender
Drain mixture (the liquid could be added to the soup!)
Lay out some prefab or homemade pastry dough on a baking sheet & top with the cooled chard mixture
Break off some small pieces of Syrian cheese or feta or goat or..
Wrap edges of pastry sheets around the mixture to hold it in so it looks pie-like
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes and watch it pouffe up
If you can, brush a little olive oil on the edges as it cooks
Sprinkle with Zatar & Sumac, if you have some
Eat preferably while warm

Recipes for February 8

Pumpkin Black Bean Stew
Soak beans overnight in plenty of water
Toss a pumpkin in the oven at 350 for about 45 minutes or until soft-ish
Drain and rinse beans, and put in a large pot with just enough fresh water to cover, with a couple of bay leaves
Bring to a boil and simmer, adding water if necessary
Soak a variety of chilis in boiling water, covered, for 10 minutes
Puree softened chilis, stems removed, with garlic, cumin, oregano, smoked spanish paprika, S & P and a little soaking liquid- voila- chili paste!
Pull the pumpkin out of the oven and peel and seed when cool enough to touch
Chop into cubes, an add to beans, with a large can of tomatoes (or fresh in summer)
Add cumin, oregano, chili paste, S & P, and simmer til flavors are united
Serve with a dollop of cilantro cream

Cilantro cream
Whip a cup of heavy cream until stiff
Add cilantro pesto & fold gently into cream

Cilantro pesto
Puree a bunch of cilantro leaves (washed and patted dry), ginger, thai chili paste, garlic, S & P, lemon juice, and olive oil until smooth-ish

Sauteed Kale
oh you know the ropes- carmelized onions, garlic, S & P, molassas & wine

Wealth Underground Farms donated the pumpkins and kale
Thank you!

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Recipes from Feb 1st

Butternut Squash & Carrot Soup with Coconut Milk
Cut open a large butternut squash or three & scoop out seeds
Place face down on baking sheet with a little olive oil and unpeeled garlic cloves tucked in the "bowls", plus some S & P
Peel carrots and place bake tossed in a bit of olive oil, S & P
Bake at 400 for 45 min or so
Meanwhile, keep your seeds and trimmings, and sautee lightly with chopped onions (w/skins), garlic & celery til soft and releasing juices. Add water, S & P, bay leaf, and simmer while vegetables are baking. This is going to be your stock. Make it taste how you want.. You can also use pre-fab stock or boullion paste sans msg
Sautee newly chopped onions(no skins this time), celery til tender. Add chopped, peeled squash and chopped carrots, as well as squeezed roasted garlic
Add well-drained stock and one or two cans of coconut milk, depending on how you sweet you like it
Add a cinnamon stick, cumin, coriander, tumeric, grated ginger or just some simple curry powder. We're trying to reach a savory-sweet balance here so go easy baby
Simmer til all is tender, then blend with a blending wand or pass through a food mill, careful to remove the bay leaves first

Couscous with Preserved Lemons, Apricots and Almonds
Chop preserved lemons or lemon zest, parsley, a little garlic, shallots, green onions
and add to olive oil and lemon juice. Add S & P
Prep couscous by measuring it, then tossing (with fingers) in a bowl with some olive oil, S & P, chopped dried apricots and almonds
Add 1-1 ration of boiling water, cover immediately, and let stand for 5 minutes
Remove cover and immediately toss and separate grains with fingers. No clumps please
Dress while still warm, again tossing with fingers to allow maximum coverage and absorption

Green Salad with Tahini Lemon Dressing
See last week for dressing recipe

Thanks to Lori G for co-conspiring