Satisfying Summer Soup

I had a ripe plantain. I had black beans. It seemed obvious to pair them in fried and soupy matrimony. But then I browsed the garden and came in with a zucchini and arm load of kale. Once the notion of soup fluttered through my brain, there was no more brainstorming. I envisioned caldo de bolas, a complex, brothy soup with plantain dumplings stuffed with richly seasoned beef. But it is too summery for something that brown and beefy so I decided to lighten it up with chicken and lime and green vegetables. And this is my not-very-good photo of … Continue reading

    A Tease in the Weather Prompts Mole

    I brought home a pile of chicken leg/thigh situations as I am wont to do and these suckers said MOLE! I think I heard them only because after days of heat (both at home and on a journey through Arizona and Utah) we had Noah-escent rains and, dare I say, almost chilly breeze. The idea of running the stove and oven for a good couple hours was not so off-putting…especially with a rich, chili-chocolatey pile of love at the end of my day. And so I rummaged through the pantry and verified that the ingredients could make the rough equivalent … Continue reading

      An Ode to the Mighty Chicken Cone

      For years I had been under the impression that one did not cook avocados. Rumor had it they would turn bitter and thus I had never tried “avocado fries” and avoided putting avocado directly on any hot food. We did once covet a deep fried eel and avocado roll at a wonderful subterranean sushi bar in San Francisco. But only the outside was crispy and hot while the rice was warm and the inside stayed a prefect room temperature. And then I read a recipe in Food & Wine for a Hot-and-Crunchy Chicken Cone from the Mighty Cone food truck … Continue reading

        My Grilled Chicken Standby

        Years ago my sister’s neighbor introduced me to Yoshida chicken. This was when I first became aware of Costco and the marvels that hid within. And this marvel was a giant tub of sticky sweet soy sauce that you boiled some chicken in, then threw on the grill. Unlike lots of other grilled chicken I had had that barely had time to marinate or were just dried out breasts, this had flavor throughout and the leftovers were wonderful. Throughout the years I purchased many giant tubs of yoshida to simmer chicken, mix into mayo for a dip or sandwich spread, … Continue reading

          Variation on a Theme: Spring

          Long live the pantry and freezer. Without them in their typical decent-to-fabulously-stocked state this busy family would be eating take out many nights a week. But armed with a variety of quick cooking grains and legumes, proteins in the form of nuts (or eggs which don’t qualify but are a busy mom’s best tool) and frozen meats and vegetables you can turn otherwise slim fridge pickins into some really great meals. And now that the herb garden is in full, luscious swing, creating simple but deeply flavorful meals is quick and easy. So that is exactly what I did for … Continue reading

            The Countdown to Meatless March 2012 or How I Can Happily Eat Both Seeds AND Livers Cooked in Duck Fat on the Same Day

            Earlier this week, it occurred to me that March was almost upon us. And with this thought I had a brief moment of fear as I wondered if I’d give up meat again for the month. It might be that the moment was fast approaching or that life is too busy to not be able to just throw a rib eye on the grill, wash some lettuce and call it dinner. But I was feeling mildly alarmed by this private pondering of abstinence. So what did I do? I announced on Facebook that I would be participating once again in … Continue reading

              Crèpes: Just Another Vehicle for Clearing out the Fridge

              I’ve been steadily working on slimming down the pantry and freezer and as part of that took an inventory of all the tiny, leaking, and often unmarked baggies of flours, grains, seeds and legumes. When I saw the buckwheat flour I knew I would be making crepes so I put it aside and went to investigate the fridge and freezer. Another thing I am working on as I eat down pantry and freezer is to try to only add better, new versions of these staples. So last week when I was making this organic wild rice blend, I made triple … Continue reading

                The Beet Grows Fonder

                Last weekend we were thrilled to be able to carve out a couple days to go to Paonia for their Harvest Festival. Not only is it a magical little town tucked in the banana belt with a thriving ‘cultcha,’ but the drive is beautiful. And this time of year, with the leaves turning yellows and oranges, that alone can recharge your batteries. Even with a whiny toddler in the backseat. We stayed at a farmhouse b&b called Fresh and Wyld about a mile outside town that boasted a large garden, chickens, a friendly german shepherd type dog named Pablo, walking … Continue reading


                  I should write down my dinner cravings right when I am having them so I can remember exactly what my motivation was and thus the waterfall method of dinner planning that follows. Because by now I no longer remember why I started stumbling over a word in my head trying to get it right. Spotchclock? Claplotch. Spaltloch? Slopcatch? Until suddenly I raised my fist in the air and announced SPATCHCOCK! to nobody in particular. And so it was. We’d be dining on a flattened, roasted crispy chicken. And typically when I think of roasted chicken I think of the Zuni … Continue reading

                    Back on the Meat….Chicken Meat

                    Despite the challenges I was feeling during some of the meatless month, I found that I was really enjoying cataloging my meals – not only because I could look things up, but because surprisingly, a lot of people seemed to be enjoying it too. And by a lot I probably mean like 10, but that is a lot more than I ever pictured each night when I posted my meals. So, while I gear up for my next great plan, I figured I would just continue documenting what’s for dinner. During Meatless March I still read my various cooking magazines, … Continue reading