A Great Spring Platform

This meatless month has been a real roller coaster of easy inspiration and complete idea ruts. Last year I began the month by poring through a stack of cookbooks making physical and mental notes of all sorts of ideas to get us through. Occasionally I had a slump, but by then the weekly vegetable box arrived with a challenging vegetable which I used to search my sources. This is how I discovered new favorites like a molassesy turnip radish dish. This time around I just wasn’t as into it from the very beginning and while having a  pre-dreading chat with … Continue reading

    An Unexpected Maple Syrup Duo

    Yesterday I had made an apple tarte tatin in Dutch cheese crust to do away with the pile of apples collecting on our counter. I rarely make desserts like this and when I do I usually eat one piece and give the rest away. And so it was that I delivered a slab of tarte tatin to our friend (and mama of my daughter’s best friend) Andra Zeppelin, author of French Press Memos. While we were visiting she asked what I had planned for my daughter’s dinner to which I replied with a numb kind of stare. Because in my … Continue reading

      Smoky Cheese Addiction : Part 2

      Often when my husband and I sit down to eat a home-cooked meal, one of us—usually the head (or sole) chef of the night—will ask, casually, what would you do (quietly implying “if anything”) next time? We are good at giving honest and productive advice and I like to think we also take the criticism well. Alternately, growing up, my dad would often fish only for compliments in what became known as “how’s the soup?” If enough proper praise was not doled out the first time, you could be sure he’d ask again, maybe in a different way. I have … Continue reading

        Smoky Cheese Addiction : Part 1

        While I certainly love to splurge on cheese at the local Truffle cheese shop, I often make due with the increasingly interesting offerings at Safeway and the forever weird King Soopers. A few days ago I picked up some smoked blue cheese that looked interesting. I usually steer clear of too much stinky, funky cheese since Ryan is not a fan. But my dad taught me early on that sometimes it is ok to buy a tub of caviar for the whole family and a tub of caviar just for yourself so occasionally I support just my stinky cheese habit. … Continue reading

          Fresh Pasta is Fun for All

          I’ve been trying to work in ways to get my three year old more interested in eating. I know this is a common battle and that, according to much reading, might last a good while. So my latest plan is to continue to expose her to cooking and a variety of good eats and see what happens. And as her Romanian daycare provider once pointed out, “she is not starving.” Fresh pasta is probably one of the most fun things to make as it most closely resembles playdough. I added to the hype in true cheerleader fashion with oohs and … Continue reading

            SouFAIL: Part 2 – Redemption

            I am not a professional chef. In fact, other than catering parties when one of us is crazy enough to accept such a job, neither my husband nor myself make any sort of income related to food. But I enjoy cooking a great deal. Other than the occasional stress that rises from a shocking explosion of dishes paired with a grumpy toddler, full time job and growing business, cooking is usually a form of relaxation for me. A meal I can meditate on and plan all day and then prepare and enjoy with someone who cares as much as I … Continue reading

              Celery is Everywhere and I’m Hiding in Fear

              Celery has nothing to be proud of. It’s mostly flavorless and it’s only real redeeming quality—the crunch—is often ruined by the fibrous strings that come loose sticking in between your teeth and dangling from your lower lip like curled party ribbons. How festive. Don’t agree with me? Try googling “Ode to Celery” or “Celery How I Love Thee” and you will find the following: Celery is a vile, inedible weed. Celery is a method for getting peanut butter into my mouth without having to dip my finger into the jar. i’d rather eat a diaper I can’t believe I finally … Continue reading

                A Sweet Heat Challenge Tackled

                A short while back my husband gave me a pack of dried chili mango challenging me to turn it into some culinary concoction. I had considered a glaze, a dip or marinade until I found myself with a bag of dried chickpeas and decided to use them in a tagine of sorts. Feeling rather proud of my recent success in pressure cooking, I decided to cook the whole vat of chickpeas and freeze some for quick access later in the week. While the chickpeas were percolating away I sauteed some onions and carrots, added some garlic, cumin, cinnamon, smoked paprika … Continue reading

                  Twice Baked Sweet Potato

                  Ever-helpful, my mom just gave me a pile of veggie-centric recipes torn out of various magazines to help in my quest. One of them showed a gorgeous twice baked sweet potato piped in perfect florets. I decided we’d have some version of that, minus the fancy piping because I ended up throwing away the last of our pastry bags recently. Having used them for a good many years, their time was up. Plus I had frozen a big wad of cream cheese frosting in one and I was not up for the cleaning challenge. I stabbed and microwaved two sweet … Continue reading

                    A Slow Start to This March

                    I have to admit I have not really been very prepared to tackle this meatless month. I had no real ideas, inspirations, much time or motivation. But lucky for us, we did have a variety of vegetables to choose from, so I got the party started and Ryan finished it. These collaborations are often the best if you are able to kill your initial visions because you set the stage for the meal and then it just arrives in front of you complete. I had prepped some broccoli, roasted some tiny shiitakes (soy, sesame oil, mirin, garlic), cut and seeded … Continue reading