SouFAIL: Part 1

My love and meh of souffles has risen and fallen great heights since the first, air-whipped, magical moment I first tasted one. Like many splendid wonders of that age (Las Vegas! dry ice! pop rocks!) the magic is never quite the same with time. Especially with fickle, labor-intensive, time-sensitive baked dishes that aren’t just delivered to you in perfect timing at a fabulous restaurant (without having to be ordered at the beginning of your meal).  I still  remember  my mother’s lemon souffle from my childhood with intense clarity. She would let me help make them- and this entailed pedaling the … 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

      Hey Maru! I Picked Up Dinner!

      Nine years ago my husband (then boyfriend) and I moved to Denver from San Francisco to help look after my dad who had been on a roller coaster of crazy medical predicaments for quite a while. My two sisters had been sharing duties of balancing doctor appointments, hospital runs, conflicting medical advice, piles of pills, some odd roommates he’d acquired, his dog and dental disasters among other things. I had been taking a trip about every month to visit him during the summer of ’02 when he’d been in and out of the hospital, a nursing home, and bouncing back … Continue reading

        Short Rib Tacos

        A lot of meals we eat end up happening just because we had the ingredients while some are crazy inspirations that strike me that I simply must fulfill. I’ll attribute this, like many of my food traits, to my dad. He would sit in his office or at his seat at the kitchen, most likely in his boxer shorts (sun or snow) and swallow books whole. For hours on end, night after night, he’d sit on some of the most uncomfortable seats we had which was odd for an old man with a bony butt. But he’d sit and read … Continue reading

          A Week of Soup, Day 2

          All day long I considered the cantaloupe. It was going to be the star player in a soup that night and never having made cantaloupe soup before I was weighing my options. Prosciutto or pancetta seemed like natural pairings in some sort of crispy state, though I didn’t have any so I’d have to buy it if I went that direction. I thought about smoked paprika, shrimp, maybe even a cotija sprinkle. On the way home I stopped to get some pancetta and decided I’d grill some giant shrimp and have them lounging on the edge of the soup bowl. … Continue reading

            Scallops!

            So while I am still trying and mostly succeeding at ‘eating down’ both freezer(s) and pantry, this is still called ‘do what I want’ and so when something calls strongly enough, I might just give in. And so it was with the single word status on a friend’s  facebook page. I’m not even sure if she succumbed to a sudden urge, had them arrive at her door, or ate them out at a restaurant. But her enthusiasm was infectious and when I found myself holding a cauliflower the size of my head, the ‘do what I want’ voice screamed Scallops! … Continue reading

              One Inspiration, Two Very Separate Meals

              I am feeling somewhat apologetic about tonight’s dinner’s inspiration and, apparently, so was Bon Appetit. See, I was biding my time in a waiting room, flipping through the latest issue which happens to feature Gwyneth Paltrow on the cover. There’s been plenty of buzz about her new cookbook and she’s definitely been making the circuit. But featuring a pretty actress on the cover of a prominent food magazine did seem odd and the editor devoted his entire piece to justifying that decision.  From what he said and from the recipes I read, it seems the book is pretty good. And … Continue reading

                The First Real Summer Dinner

                For the first time in a long time, we planned to eat some beef that wasn’t a rib eye or short ribs. I thought of summer salads, crusty bread and thin slices of grilled meat. Although it’s just beginning, summer is finally here enough that the windows and back door are open more often than not during the day, bare feet abound and my new, giant, floppy hat makes a regular appearance. This made me think of cherry tomatoes (even though ours are just starting to make flowers) and corn (just barely starting to see it in the stores) and … Continue reading

                  Thanks, H Mart

                  We took a trip to H Mart yesterday, a large and impressive Korean grocery store in Aurora. The entrance is flanked by all manner of specialized electronic gizmos from humidifiers shaped like frogs, to $400 rice cookers to a whole row of kimchi refrigerators. I am always tempted by such machines, but force myself to keep walking toward the homemade tofu stand, the heart-stopping, loud and dangerous-looking machine which periodically explodes out rice cracker things and endless rows of produce. I had no real agenda, so I just pushed the shopping cart (the best kid car cart there is, where … Continue reading