What a chilly, rainy start to 2015 in New York. Yesterday found me stomping through the city in a sleeping bag-esque coat that collected flurries, hail, and splatters of freezing rain like moths around a bright red flame. Alright, I guess the precipitation hit everyone else on the streets, too. But my fate seemed sealed toward making tomato soup when I got home–perhaps with toast, or grilled cheese.
I love the idea of stuffed mushrooms: savory, bite-sized morsels that you can serve at a party. Love the fact that they spare no parts of mushrooms, since the stems are chopped and sautéed to stuff inside the bowl-shaped undersides. But I rarely love the outcome: bland-tasting, greyish-colored, and lacking in texture.
Aren’t the holidays grand? You get to see your co-workers get drunk on the company tab, eat gingerbread to soak up eggnog, and see strangers dressed as Santa Claus on the subway if you’re in the city like me. Maybe that last part wasn’t a huge bonus of the season. But the point is, you get to party more. Throw off your shoes and–even if you’re not wearing elf socks–enjoy a little whimsy and respite from the weekly dredge more … Read More
I’m thankful for leftovers this week. A big day of eating has come and gone, and as usual, the fridge seems to be more full than depleted afterward. The prized item in this cache of Thanksgiving leftovers? The roasted turkey carcass. With it, the opportunities are endless. You can make a soup, or just stock to use for things like making risotto or braising vegetables. But along with that carcass—and with most leftover Thanksgiving meal caches—is plenty of leftover turkey … Read More
Years ago, none of my friends would have pegged me to make green bean casserole for a potluck. I didn’t really know much about casseroles growing up, didn’t see them except for lasagna. But now, three years in a row, I’ve been bringing my own iterations of green bean casserole to my friend’s annual pre-Thanksgiving party. It began when my editor at the environmental site Grist asked me to remake a few Thanksgiving recipes traditionally thrown together from canned food … Read More
What do you do with one whole week’s CSA share for a single meal? My friend Wen-Jay, who runs Local Roots CSA, decided to put me to this challenge to help kick off the winter CSA season. I was up for the challenge, but had another to contend with: what do you do with a big batch of food when you live alone and have no other mouths to feed? I eventually determined it would be a soup, and salad—preferably … Read More
For me, fall is the right time for entertaining. I spent a languid weekend preparing for two back-to-back dinner parties, post-Halloween hullaballoo (I was Kate Middleton for that, did you think you saw her walking down the street in Brooklyn?). It was the perfect antidote to a processed candy-strewn holiday, and one of the dishes I served for my friends was this vegetarian option, which I’ve been eating for lunches since. Like most long-simmered stews and soups, it just gets … Read More
I frequently tell people that I don’t like baking. It’s not that I blurt it out, randomly, but when people learn that I like to cook they often casually ask about baking recipes, or what I like to bake. This is what I like to bake, when it has to be: savory stuff. Buttery baked goods that are bursting with unique flavors, not just sweet. From goat cheese oatmeal cookies to bacon chocolate cupcakes, I think a good baked good … Read More
Oh, happy fall. Like with many folks I’ve spoken to here and there in the past couple weeks–friends and strangers at the post office alike–fall is a favorite time of year. It ushers in cooler nights and breezes, colorful leaves on the trees, and that unmistakeable smell… of fall. I liken this to the scent of apple cider. It’s somewhat earthy but sweet. Of course, fall is when we see the annual harvest of apples, and cider is somewhere not … Read More
It’s easy to eat a lot of Mexican food in the late summer and early fall. You’ve got ripe tomatoes, corn, tomatillos, and chili peppers of all kinds. But it’s also easy to turn that idea into something really greasy, cheesy, and heavy; something more or less like nachos supreme (which we all know isn’t really Mexican but rather Tex-Mex as interpreted by fast-food and/or Midwesterners–taco dip, anyone?). So let’s take it back to a fresh, clean point of view.