Archive for January, 2012

Recent obsessions

1. Clothes and jewelry in emerald green

2. Words with Friends (find me)

3. Maple and rosemary roasted sweet potato fries. I don’t eat them so much as inhale them.

So far as I know, I made them up. So humor me if that’s not true ๐Ÿ™‚

Sweet potatoes + olive oil + maple syrup + salt + dried rosemary (ma sends it from her garden in CA)

Make. Eat. Enjoy. You can thank me later.

On the Radio

Knitting night + state of the union on the radio = lots of chatting and not a lot of listening.

In other news, I heart instagram.


Makeover Alert: Cookbook Corner

My recipe binders got a makeover recently, and I finished the final details today. No longer do I have to sort through piles of papers clipped from magazines or printed from blogs!

I’m posting this via phone from my cozy spot on the couch, and I don’t know how to caption photos… But it was a pretty straightforward transformation. Pretty, matching fabric binders from Office Max. Special section dividers that have pockets for the smaller recipes. Removable/movable section tabs in case I reorganize the sections down the road when I fill up the existing binders. Number stickers for the spines so that I can quickly identify them on the shelf (numbers are key — this way, I can add more binders easily, and not be tied to categories labeled on the binder. Right now, #1 is breakfast and appetizers, #2 is soups, salads and side dishes, #3 is main courses, #4 is desserts and #5 is drinks and misc. If I need to add a binder and spread out the sections into 1-6, it’s all the more simple to do so. At least, here’s to hoping…)

How do you organize loose-leaf recipes? Any tips to share?

Bloggers & Beer

I’m writing this post from (gasp!) a bar. Instead of dealing with a sink of dirty dishes and a pile of tax forms I’m hanging out with some fellow bloggers and digital folk, celebrating the return of Bell’s Hop Slam ๐Ÿ™‚

Also of note: I finally got a real smartphone (not a dumb smartphone, aka the blackberry I was hauling around forever). Which means I can instagram and write posts on my phone and all sorts of fun things that are conducive to more blogging than I’ve been inclined to do lately. Hurrah.

And this is how I’m going to beat away the winter blues.


two recipes you need to try this week!

I am head over heels for both of these dishes. Bonus: they’re both gluten-free, made with everyday pantry stapes, and can be made without dairy (just leave out the cheese in the egg dish — the soup is already dairy-free).

Poached Eggs in Tomato Sauce with Chickpeasย 
Adapted from Bon Appetit

1/4 c. olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 jalapenos, seeded, finely chopped
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained
2 tsp. paprika
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 28-oz. can whole peeled tomatoes, crushed by hand, juices reserved
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 cup coarsely crumbled feta (optional)
fresh cilantro
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, garlic and jalapenos; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft, about 8 minutes. Add chickpeas, paprika, and cumin and cook for 2 minutes longer.
2. Add crushed tomatoes and then their juices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, stirring occasionally, until sauce thickens slightly, about 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
3. If eating immediately: poach 1-2 eggs per person (90-120 seconds in boiling water). Serve with chickpeas and tomato mixture, plus feta and chopped cilantro if desired. (Or, for a large group, follow the original instructions for poaching the entire dish in the oven.)
4. Tomatoes and chickpeas can be refrigerated or frozen in individual servings, then easily warmed and served with freshly poached eggs.
It’s hearty without being heavy … perfect for breakfast or a quick dinner after work (all you need to do is boil water, poach some eggs and warm up the tomatoes and chickpeas).ย 
Split Pea Soup with Curried Brown Butter
Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

5 tbsp. butter (divided)
1 large yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
5 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups green split peas or green lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 tbsp. curry powder
1/2 cup coconut milk
sea salt
cauliflower (optional)
1. Combine 2 tablespoons butter, plus the onion, garlic and red pepper flakes, in a large soup pot over medium heat, stirring regularly, until the onions soften (a couple minutes).ย 
2. Add the chicken or vegetable broth and peas or lentils and simmer, covered, until tender. (Anywhere from 20-50 minutes).
3. In the meantime, warm the 3 tablespoons of butter in a small saucepan over medium heat and let it brown. When it starts to smell nutty and fragrant, stir in the curry powder and saute until the spices are fragrant, less than a minute.
4. When the lentils/peas are finished cooking, remove from the heat and stir in the coconut milk.
5. Puree in batches in a blender, then stir in the spiced butter and salt to taste.
6. If you like cauliflower, add a half-cup of roasted cauliflower to each bowl.ย 
It’s a little bit spicy and oh-so delicious. I added the cauliflower on a whim after eating it plain a few times, and it might be good with other vegetables as well (Heidi of 101 Cookbooks recommends small cubes of pan-fried paneer, too).

the winter of no snow

Weirdest winter weather ever. Which was sort of true last year, too… except instead of too much snow, this year we have none at all. I’m not really complaining about the mid-40s and 50s January days, but somewhere between three feet of snow and none at all might be nice one of these days.

December 2010:


I swim in it as a sea

“And there’s a hand, my trusty friend
And give us hand of thine
And we’ll take a right good-will draught
for auld lang syne.”

That’s one of the verses of Auld Lang Syne you never seem to hear on New Year’s Eve. Beautiful, isn’t it? My friends Kelin and Mike got married on Friday, and we spent the last three days of 2011 celebrating (and singing allย the verses of Auld Lang Syne with full brass and bridal chorus … so fun.) So much celebrating that I stayed in my pj’s on the couch all day today, drinking tea from the adorable cups my brother got me for Christmas, which was a delightful way to start the new year ๐Ÿ™‚
Last night, a friend of Kelin and Mike’s read this from Walt Whitman’s “I Sing the Body Electric”:

I have perceiv’d that to be with those I like is enough,
To stop in company with the rest at evening is enough,
To be surrounded by beautiful, curious, breathing, laughing flesh is enough,
To pass among them or touch any one, or rest my arm ever so lightly round his or her neck for a moment, what is this then?
I do not ask any more delight, I swim in it as in a sea.

That is my wish for you in 2012. Swim in the delight of friends as in a sea. And to the friends reading this, let that be our 2012 and beyond. Love you all. Come over for dinner soon ๐Ÿ˜‰