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Is It a Day for Soup, or What?

20 Nov

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

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A Nice Twist on Pesto

9 Nov

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

The Grill’s Out of Gas, So It’s Pasta Night

18 Sep

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

Barbecue as Pizza Oven

17 Sep

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

Burger Queen

3 Sep

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

The Dogs of Dinner

21 Aug

Every once in a while, and probably too often, The Husband and I will have what we call “dogs” for dinner.

Told you it wouldn't be long til we had Dogs again...!

This basically is a glorified hot dog, dressed up with a nice sausage, some grilled onions, soft buns and tasty mustard. Oh, and some homemade sweet potato fries on the side.

These are not "buns of steel". And nor are mine.

These dogs are great with any kind of sausage, although I cannot bring myself to eat a regular “hot dog”. Give me a tofu dog any day before a ballpark frank. Ew. That said, we usually use the Trader Joe’s Andouille sausages (luckily it has no relation to the true Cajun andouille sausage, except for the fact that it’s a little spicy), sometimes their fresh spicy Italian pork sausages that take a little more care to grill since they’re not pre-cooked, and I’ve even used the vegan Field Roast Grain sausages to great results.

I will also apologize for eating dinner before taking a photo! I’ll add one next time we have them, which won’t be too long. That’s probably why I can’t seem to lose those few pounds I keep whining about. Really, it’s pretty simple if I think about it…but they’re so danged delicious!

So, here’s your recipes. They serve two, as usual. Continue reading