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In these lazy days of summer vacation, the girls think every day is Saturday. And Saturday often means pancakes. Or waffles. Or sometimes both; when the pancake and waffle factions are divided, it’s easy enough to placate everyone by making one batch of pancake batter and baking a few scoops of it in the waffle iron. (Shh, don’t tell.) Today, for example, was a both day. We arrived home from a berry-picking excursion yesterday with a heaping flat of blueberries in our hands and a near-equivalent quantity in our bellies. So today, again, we had a lot of blueberries we needed to eat. For me, a day of excessive blueberry consumption naturally starts with blueberry pancakes. Not so, apparently, for my big girls (make that “big” girls; the oldest is 5), who both stared at me, clearly baffled, and patiently explained the error of my ways. Continue reading →
I don’t make my own salsa that often. It’s a fiddly job, with lots of chopping involved, and although a homemade salsa is a fine, fine thing, I often settle for the store-bought stuff. I’d rather focus my attention on making guacamole.
But one of the things I love about cooking with a crowd is that it frees you up. Tonight making salsa was my only job. My mom made rice and salad and heated tortillas; my brother made a tasty pot of black beans and the guacamole, and I chopped nectarines.
My mom brought a brimming box of nectarines and apricots home from the farmers market this morning (you can just do that in June when you don’t live in Seattle, apparently). They were on the small side, which my kids always love–they fit perfectly into my middle daughter’s three-year-old hand and she munched through a couple right away. My one-year-old tried to emulate her older sister and did manage to eat quite a bit of one, while also managing to smear nectarine everywhere. My five-year-old has a very (very!) loose front tooth and needs her fruit cut into slices. There’s a story in there about the passage of time told in nectarine-management. I like being on vacation with nothing to do but observe and enjoy these things.
You want sweet but firm nectarines for this salsa, in my opinion. (I sometimes think a crisp peach is as good as a meltingly juicy one, though. You might disagree.) Like most recipes, this one is all about tasting and balancing the flavors as you go until the salsa is perfect for the occasion. We ate ours on black bean tacos, but it could equally well stand as a savory little salad on its own in any summer meal.Continue reading Easy Nectarine Salsa (click for recipe)
I was trying to decide whether to make you black sticky rice pudding with coconut milk or chocolate cookies tonight. But J, scrolling back through my recent posts, said that I haven’t been feeding you enough protein. (That’s a dad talking, there. Fair enough, though, since yesterday’s “recipe” was for ice cubes.)
Thank J, then, for this heartier fare. We’ve been making this dish for more than a decade and it is always satisfying. It’s a quick dinner and our regular answer to the question “how am I going to cook down of some of these greens to make more room in the fridge?”
The core ingredients are, as you may have cleverly deduced, beans (white ones) and greens. The spare supporting cast includes a small onion, garlic, chile flakes, white wine and rosemary. These bit players can be swapped or omitted depending on availability. I most recently made this dish with lacinato kale, but any kind of hearty green will work. I have been known to combine kale, chard, beet greens and radish tops when the fridge is full to bursting.