We are usually addicted to bison burgers on a Friday night—they’re just so good we can’t seem to deviate. Until that Friday when there was no bison to be had at the Whole Foods. PANIC! I called The Husband to see if he wanted a turkey burger, which he initially poo-pooed until he realized he had no choice.
Then I spotted the ground pork—hey, I could mix the ground turkey with the pork to give it more flavor! No, said The Husband. I want an all-pork burger. And so he shall, I decided, but of course I need to make it spicy like my bison burgers. So off to the chili section for some serranos, and the store actually managed to have some jalapeño-cheddar burger buns. Result! Grab some arugula and we’re good to go. Continue reading
I can’t believe it’s been a year already since The Husband’s needling me about starting my own blog finally sunk in, and Tiny Kitchen Stories was born. And thanks to all of you who have nicknamed it “TKS” and read, like and comment often. It is truly, deeply appreciated.
So instead of a round-up of the year, I thought I’d round up my little jaunt up to Santa Barbara and Los Angeles for my birthday, which was full of fun, lots of eating and friends old and new. I was eating for gold that week, as I knew when I returned I was going to do a seven-day raw food cleanse and then change my diet. Right now I’m off gluten, corn, grains, potatoes, eggs, soy, dairy….yes, some of you may ask—What the hell is left? What will happen to TKS? Continue reading
The finished product. Mmmm….pork.
It’s no secret: The Husband is a huge fan of pork. He seriously can’t get enough, and will eat it any chance he gets.
We used to drive three cities away to San Clemente to get carnitas at La Siesta. Their carnitas are seriously good, and the restaurant itself is quite cool. No outside seating, but inside it’s like a Baja beach shack with margaritas. We fell a little out of love with it when Carmen, our favorite waitress—seriously, she was the best waitress in the world—was fired because the other girls were jealous that every customer wanted to sit in her section if she was working. Continue reading
The crumpet pan is perfect for cooking these taquito-type snacks, but a frying pan will work just as well.
Every once in a while, we get down to La Siesta in San Clemente, where they have the best carnitas we’ve found in Orange County. There might be better somewhere in Santa Ana, but the drive there is not so scenic, so we rarely go. We used to love their huevos rancheros, but it seems to have gone downhill—it seemed to do so right after our favorite waitress, Carmen, left the restaurant.
We miss Carmen. She was the best waitress ever! Remembered your name, made you feel welcome, would ask questions about your life. A light went out of the restaurant after Carmen left. I hope she’s happy and making some other restaurant very special somewhere!
La Siesta also has this amazing red salsa. It’s not a pico de gallo, but a real salsa, with some smoky chili in there that’s not a chipotle. We ALWAYS get some of this to go. It’s just too good on Continue reading
We’re going down to The Husband’s family’s house in San Diego this year, as I mentioned. Since we don’t cook for the big day (besides the pie, and The Husband has requested one for himself, so we’re fine for apple-pie leftovers), we won’t have a lot of turkey that will last for days. I’m writing this to post post-Thanksgiving so there’s an anti-turkey recipe out there for people to use, if they feel so inclined.
We used to have turkey for days after T-Day when I was a kid, and we’d have turkey sandwiches for the whole next week, creamed turkey on toast, and some weird thing my Mom called “turkey tetrazini”. I think. I just remember something strange with spaghetti and a cream sauce. Wasn’t one of Mom’s more gourmet moments. I miss The Twilight Zone marathons that they used to play on Thanksgiving, but I don’t miss that dish. Or—sorry Mom, the candied yams.
Again, I digress. This is also a pasta dish, but it’s nothing like what I described above. It was a nice combination of some fridge standards that we always try to keep in the door, capers and kalamata olives, and some fresh items, like Swiss chard. I can’t help myself when I get to the pasta area in Whole Foods—that quinoa linguine is just so tasty. I keep buying it because I still can’t believe it’s gluten free.
And to all my vegans and vegetarians out there—this one’s for you. Play around with the recipe; it’s pretty easy to change up and still be delicious. We served with homemade garlic bread and a little salad, But, come to think of it, you could probably throw some shredded turkey into this and it would work very well. It probably wouldn’t even taste like Thanksgiving leftovers. And that’s something to be thankful for.
Oh, and sorry for the lack of photos! I’ll add some later.
This is NOT my photo. This is by Heidi Swanson, who also created the recipe.
I cannot take any credit for this recipe at all—it’s all down to one of my absolute favorite recipe sources, 101cookbooks.com. Basically, I want Heidi Swanson’s life. She lives in San Francisco, has had two wildly successful cookbooks, travels all over the world, is a rock-star food photographer. NO, I’m not jealous. NOT ONE LITTLE BIT. Continue reading
These mini food processors are perfect for pesto making.
I like pesto, but sometimes it can be a bit, well…bland. Especially when you get it in a jar, and you realize you need to use almost the whole thing to get any flavor. It’s so easy to make at home, especially when The Husband buys a big box of basil at Trader Joe’s, which completely forces my hand.
I don’t like using just basil, though. Luckily The Husband had also picked up some arugula, which is a perfect green to mix with basil for a pesto with a little kick.
Also, since we are going through a recession, sometimes it’s hard not to get some sticker shock when you look at a bag of pine nuts. Continue reading
This dish goes nicely with a glass of red wine, natch!
After we’d been grilling all summer, and even had a tank in backup, we ran out of propane for the grill. I was in a panic—what the heck was I going to cook for dinner?? For crying out loud, I’d even been putting pizza on the grill!
I finally pulled myself together. I mean, it’s like I’d never used the oven or stovetop before. Geez. The Husband can’t eat fish at the moment (not allowed by the acupuncturist for some reason) and we’d had chicken the night before, so I decided on some pappardelle that I knew we had in the cupboard. I wandered around the Gelson’s produce department, thinking about what would go with the Italian sausage or prosciutto that we had in the fridge. I settled on some beautiful, organic Swiss chard and a lovely red jalapeño, plus some nice pecorino Romano cheese from the deli. Continue reading
Now that's what I call a pizza, not those things that come in a box!
That’s right, you read it correctly. We got sick and tired of crappy pizza in our neighborhood (thanks, Gina’s, for changing your menu for the worse), and kept seeing some great grilled pizzas in my food magazines. I figured we’d give it a go—what could go wrong?
Exactly, said The Husband, and refused to try it when friends were over and wanted to do a test run. No problem! Strangely enough, the perfect opportunity came on a Saturday when we thought we had nothing in the fridge to rustle up. The Husband lamented that we had just been near Trader Joe’s and could have picked up some pre-made dough, but I scoffed. I’ve got yeast and flour and I’ll make fresh dough myself, no problems. Even though I always freak out that my dough won’t rise and everything will be ruined, it rarely happens. Continue reading
This is a special occasion for me, as it turns out that the cow and I don’t get along. I haven’t been able to eat beef since I moved back from London. Dairy either. And now I think I know what’s at the root of the problem: the beef in this country is fed some weird hormones that really twist my stomach into knots.
Now that's what I call a proper burger.
Not that I need to eat beef often, for sure, but cheese? Are you kidding me? That’s just cruel. I love cheese, and sorry–none of the vegan stuff comes close. Except the stuff with casein in it, which is a) technically not vegan and b) milk protein, so it still does my stomach in.
But I made a discovery, finally. Cheese made with goat or sheep’s milk does not hurt my stomach! And neither does bison! Oh, happy days! Here’s the super delicious burger I made to test this theory out, and I’m happy to report that it was not just tasty, it was also painless.
There’s quite a bit going on in this recipe, and we used the same fries as before. This time I finally shallow-fried them in a little coconut and grapeseed oil mix, because last time I had to actually stick them under the broiler to get them to brown, and even after that, they still weren’t very crispy. And we’re still loving those Japanese yams for fries. Continue reading