We are far away from the hurricane that’s raging tonight, but our thoughts have been on the storm all day. Our East Coast family and friends are drenched but well, and the storm gave us the gift of my sister- and brother-in-law stranded with us for an extra day after their flight home was cancelled. I hope that you and yours have fared as well. (I’ve been seeing the photos of flooding and fires and hospital evacuations, though, so on top of just hoping that everyone is well I also made a donation to the American Red Cross.)
I’m thankful to be warm and dry tonight, and to have my big family gathered around the table for dinner. It’s getting to be the season for cozy holiday meals, and, as always, I aim to equip you with a bountiful table of vegetarian and vegan options.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 →
I want you to know something. Just now, at 11 pm, I got up off the couch, poured leftover soup into a bowl, and garnished it with parsley to take the photo below. Because the photo I had planned to use was admittedly drab, and because I want you to want to make this soup. I’ve never done that before; I usually just snap a photo as I go. Is that too ridiculous? Is it better or worse if I tell you?
But here’s the thing: I want to you to put this recipe in your mental recipe file. It’s an easy fix when dinner needs to be on the table in 15 minutes, and it’s a bowlful of soup when you need it most. (I, for one, always need soup most when I’m in such a rush that I only have 15 minutes to make dinner.)
This is peasant food, which means it’s all the best things: thrifty, filling, comforting. The name translates to “Pasta and Beans,” and those are the only essential ingredients. I never like to pass up the chance to add vegetables to things, though, so I included my beet greens and a couple of tomatoes. You can certainly select your own vegetables, or skip them all together. If you’ve already got cooked chickpeas or white beans handy, you’ll be glad; otherwise just open a can and you’re ready to go.
We’ve had backyard chickens in Seattle for more than a decade now. I kind of like to think that we had city chickens before having city chickens was a thing. (Now everyone has chickens here; you have to get backyard goats to have any urban farming cred. J says we’re not getting goats.) I’m sure Seattle has a home and garden tour somewhere, but I’m also sure that it’s nowhere near as popular as the city’s annual Chicken Coop Tour.
At the moment we have just three hens: Ducky, Feather, and Feather. Lately one of the Feathers has been acting upon a likely-well-intentioned but completely misguided plan to hatch a nestfull of eggs, except that we kept taking her eggs away and, ahem, with no rooster in flock the eggs had exactly zero chance of hatching anyway.
Feather was petulant about the situation and hunkered down in one of the nesting boxes for weeks. She would not be stirred, unless I would let her into the garden to eat my tomatoes, in which case she happily abandoned her maternal duties and left the nest for hours at a time. Luckily Feather has abandoned her dreams of motherhood and we are getting a few eggs again (broody hens don’t lay).
Let us celebrate with a frittata.
You made a big batch of caramelized onions and froze some, right? If not, just throw a few thinly-sliced onions in your pan over high heat and cook them until they have softened and sweetened and proceed from there. I also like this recipe with a few leeks in place of the onions.Continue reading →
Here’s my high-tech approach to tracking the many recipes I find online that I’d like to try: I open a new tab in my browser with the recipe I want to remember and leave it there until my computer slows to a crawl because I haven’t rebooted in days. Then I shut my computer down and start all over again. Efficient, right? (I do technically have a Pinterest account, but I guess I’m a slow adopter.) (There’s also this list.)
Luckily, this chilled broccoli soup recipe from Sassy Radish appeared at just the right moment in my life, and I was able to press it into action right away. Nash’s graced us with both broccoli and green garlic in our CSA box this week, Seattle provided us with soup weather today, and the rest, as they say, is history.
We ate the soup warm the first time, as eating a cold broccoli soup would have required either advance planning or patience, neither of which I could muster today. But now that it has thoroughly chilled in the fridge, I can confirm that it also makes an excellent chilled soup as intended. Either way, a crusty chunk of bread and a soft cheese alongside will make this a a nice summer meal.Continue reading Broccoli and Green Garlic Soup (click for recipe)