Beet & goat cheese roulade filled with greens and pinenuts

Beet roulade

I’m feeling a little dull and blue today, for no reason whatsoever! It’s a funny thing about feeling blue, because it’s not really a bad feeling, as I use the term. It’s a contemplative, slightly melancholy feeling. But there are so many shades and moods of blue, and I love them all. Tintin blue is one of my absolute favorite colors – bight and clear. Bill Traylor’s high singing blue is exhilarating. Midnight blue is deep and mysterious. Indigo is dark and rich. Sky blue is light and floating. Flame blue is like a flickering soul or spirit. Vein blue is alive and poignant. Musically, the blues put you in a mood, but it’s not a depressed mood. A little sad, maybe, but joyful, too, just because they exist. To shake the dullness, I thought I’d post a few dancey scenes. Dancing always livens the party! There are so many good ones, and here are few of my favorites.

There are so many! I could go on and on and never stop! What are some of your favorite dance clips?

You know what else will cheer you up? A bright pink and green pinwheel! This roulade was very fun and easy to make, and tasted delicious! The roulade itself was like a big fat pancake (it’s actually closer to a flatter soufflé!). It was sweetish, because of the beetish, and a little tangy with goat cheese, and lovely and summery with thyme. The filling used the greens from the beets, in combination with some chard (you could use any green you like!) and was a nice savory contrast to the roulade. Pine nuts add a bit of smoky crunch. The nice thing about the roulade is that it’s very good at room temperature, so if you don’t want to heat your kitchen up before you eat (on a 100 degree day, say) – make this earlier in the day and set it aside till you’re ready! We had it with a no-cook sauce of tomatoes and avocados, chopped chunky-style, and tossed with olive oil, basil, and balsamic. Add a salad of crisp arugula and crunchy hazelnuts, lightly dressed with olive oil, sherry vinegar and some crumbled goat cheese, and you have a perfect summer meal!!

Here’s Jackie Mittoo and the Soul Vendors with Love is Blue.

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Baked asparagus custard with arugula and tarragon

baked asparagus custard

Yesterday morning I was feeling a little tired and discouraged. I decided to tag along with David on a bike ride up the towpath that runs between the river and the canal. I pedaled along, looking at the pebbly path, because going over the big ruts makes my back hurt. Which makes me feel old. Then I looked up. The late morning light glowed in the early spring leaves so beautifully it almost hurt. Against the dark tangle of branches, the small leaves hummed with a bright hopeful light. A light that’s only there this time of year, and doesn’t last very long. Well!

I think asparagus is a little like that. It’s so vivid and slender and pretty. It tastes like early spring. You wouldn’t want to eat it all summer, but you do want to eat it now. I like it best lightly steamed with butter and lemon, but you can’t eat it that way every time! So I try different things. I’m not sure what made me think of this, and I’m not sure what it should be called. It’s not a custard, exactly. It reminds me of Stouffer’s Spinach soufflé. When I was a child, that was the special thing to have with our steak. It’s not a soufflé, because there’s no bechamel, and the eggwhites aren’t whipped. But it does feel special. It’s quite light, but substantial enough to serve in slices. It would be nice with a light tomato sauce or red pepper coulis, but it’s flavorful enough to serve as it is. And it’s quick to make!

In Blackalicious’ Green Light – Now Begin, they say,

No more of that sittin’ in a slump and uh
No more of that coulda-woulda-shoulda junk
No more of that waiting for the inspiration, innovation

Or a green light–now begin

That’s right!!
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Roasted butternut pudding soufflé

Butternut squash soufflé

Not a pudding, not yet a soufflé, but tasty nonetheless! I saw a recipe in a very very old cookbook for squash pudding. It sounded good, but a little stodgy. So I thought I’d lighten it up a bit with some sneaky soufflé-making techniques. And I added some goat cheese and tarragon, because I think they taste wonderful with butternut squash. The result was something between a pudding and a souffle. I baked it in a large flat bowl, so that it would have a good crispy-outside to soft-inside ratio. It never got as impressively lofty as a normal soufflé, but it was quite delicious. It had a pleasing, comforting texture, perfect for a day of freezing rain, and the flavor was subtle and complex in a way that made you want to keep eating more and more. Serve it with something green and crunchy and flavorful, like an arugula salad.

Here’s New York Herald Tribune, by Martial Solal from A bout de souffle. I know, I know, but it’s a killer track!!
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