What food do you take travelling? Airport and roadside offerings are universally dire, as far as I can tell, so we usually try to think ahead and pack food to sustain our family on travel days.
Today was a travel day. We’ve been in California, visiting my family (including my 98-year-old grandfather), soaking up sunshine. We headed home tonight on a late flight with three sleepy children, a suitcase full of new crop walnuts, and this salad.Continue reading →
I meant to eat chocolate cake for dinner tonight. It was just one of those days. J kindly intervened and made me this instead. It was so good. Salty, creamy, hearty–and it even used up some of our CSA peppers. That man knows what I like. It was perfect for a chocolate-cake-for-dinner kind of night. Continue reading →
A new dish has come into my life recently. I mean, it’s an old dish, maybe very old, and maybe you’ve been eating it for breakfast or dinner all your life, but I’ve only gotten to know it in recent years. And I’m a little obsessed. It’s called shakshuka.
It’s a Tunisian dish, or an Israeli or a Libyan dish, depending on who you ask. All I know is that I’ve been loving a version from my local bagel shop (which also inspired that caramelized onion hummus recipe). Shakshuka is a mildly spicy stew of tomatoes and peppers, adorned with a poached egg. In this recipe, adapted from Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty, the eggs are poached right in the tomatoes and peppers, making for a one-pot meal of the most delicious sort.Continue reading →
Someone taught my baby to say “stop it.” Life with a seventeen-month-old is undignified enough, I feel, without irate admonitions issuing from the tiny person over every little thing. Like when I try to change her diaper (“Stop it!”). Like when I take a ballpoint pen away (“Stop it!). Like when I insist that her carseat straps be buckled for travel (“No no no no STOP IT!”).
Imagine how she feels, though. She’s the baby in a family of five. We tell her to stop every time she innocently tries to tear a page from a book, or color on the table, or suck on the bottom of a delectable shoe. We may both be saying the same words, but there are days when we’re not exactly speaking the same language. Luckily, I can’t ever get down about it, because at the first sign of sadness this same baby rushes across the room, arms outstretched, yelling “Hug! Hug!” Hopefully she learned that from us, too.
At times like these, comfort food is occasionally in order for the whole family. And is there any comfort food that compares to baked pasta? I guess roasted vegetables, maybe, so I’ve combined the two here to hedge my bets. The children can pick out the cheesy pasta parts and I can console myself with all the eggplant that’s left in pan.Continue reading →
While we’re enjoying September’s fine harvest of assorted spicy peppers, why not preserve a few to enjoy when the season is over?
Honestly, my standard method for preserving peppers (of any kind) is to slice or chop them, pile them into a freezer bag, and put them in the freezer. But you don’t need a recipe for that, do you?
You don’t need much of a recipe for this, either, but I always like to pickle a jar or two of mildly spicy peppers to enjoy in the fall. This a a quick refrigerator pickle, which takes little time beyond slicing the peppers and simmering a simple brine for five minutes. The investment will pay off many times over, since it only takes a few of these pickled pepper rings to spice up any meal.Continue reading →
Does this ever happen to you? One minute I was innocently stopping by the store to pick up a piece of fish, and the next minute I was staggering to my car carrying a small child and a melon that weighed more than her. Truth be told, I hadn’t even thought of buying a watermelon today. The only reason I bought it was that it was sitting beside a much smaller but more expensive “petite” watermelon, making this organic behemoth an irresistible deal at $8.50. Those marketing geniuses at my co-op know me so well.
And now I have thirty pounds of watermelon to dispatch. Ideas?
Of course I started off by stuffing everyone with sweet slices and encouraging the children to organize a backyard seed-spitting contest. And then I made a double batch of that outstanding Chilled Watermelon Soup with Thai Flavors–have you tried it yet? And that, of course, meant Thai flavors for the fish I’d gone to the co-op to get in the first place. (You thought I’d forgotten the point of this post, didn’t you?) Every time I make this, J says it’s his favorite dish. (I think he says that about other things too, though–isn’t that sweet?) My favorite dish would probably be something involving chocolate, or maybe these baked eggs, but I agree that this dish is quite good. And if fish isn’t your thing, you could certainly toss the pepper mixture with cubes of fried tofu and serve it over rice instead. Continue reading →
The lazy cook in me was intrigued by the baked pasta recipe that appeared on Smitten Kitchen today. Because the pasta it used was orzo and (why did I never think of this before?) the orzo can be baked without pre-boiling, thereby saving you six minutes and the washing of an extra pot. You’re welcome.Deb’s recipe, adapted from our favorite Yotam Ottolenghi, is for a cheesy (just-cheesy-enough, she says) bake with the usual Ottolenghian flourishes of lemon zest and oregano. And it sounds lovely. But once I started browning perfect summer vegetables–eggplant, zucchini, peppers, falling-apart fragrant tomatoes–I couldn’t bear to adulterate them much. (If your tomatoes are less than perfect, by all means try out the original recipe’s suggestion to jazz them up with a few tablespoons of chopped oregano and the zest of a lemon; you could even add that chopped mozzarella.) For me, whole wheat orzo, salt, and the heat of the oven were enough to make the pan of vegetables a hearty late-summer meal. I crumbled feta on top at the end and browned it under the broiler, but it’s perfectly delicious without the cheese. A tomato salad on the side provided a sweet little bite of acid to compliment the richness of the cooked vegetables. (The Indigo Rose tomatoes were almost too pretty to eat. Almost.)Continue reading →