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Red bowl full of winter comfort

Winter and soup go together like cold feet and comfy, goose down slippers. Once the weather turns cooler, I begin my seasonal longing for soup's warmth and comfort. And when I find enough time to make a huge pot of soup for sharing with friends and family -- with enough left over for another meal -- I...

The season is always greener

I know we're lucky to get a variety of greens in the winter here in Northern California, unlike our Canadian readers who are driving to Vermont for kale, or eyeing the limp imports warily. But I am sick of kale, chard, spinach, bok choy, even lettuce. I want tomatoes, dammit! I held some bright red,...

Winter zing: Gingery mashed sweet potatoes or butternut squash

I don't know about you guys, but I'm ready for spring. We may be spoiled here in the Bay Area, with lettuce year round, but it's not like we have tomatoes and cucumbers and all the rest of salad stuff. I've been trying pretty hard to eat seasonally, but boy am I tired of cabbage and kale and root...

Sprouting a new appreciation

A big shout-out to all you passionate Brussel-sprout lovers — Stonefruit in particular — as I have finally had a pleasant experience with the cabbagey kids! I waited until the weather turned frosty, as what's bad for citrus is good for sweetening Brassica oleracea, you all said, to buy some loose, tightly...

Eat like a winter locavore, the Food & Wine way

Food and Wine Magazine has an article in the February 2007 issue about eating like a locavore, featuring several locavorean recipes. It's great to see a mainstream food magazine like this one highlighting something like eating locally, which takes into account more than just how an ingredient tastes. The...

It’s time to get pickled!

Maybe it's my German roots, but I have always loved pickled foods: dill pickles, pickled beets, olives, sauerkraut, and, especially, pickled herring. One of the things that the celebration of Christmas and New Year's Eve brings to mind for me is pickled herring. Herring was always one of the special treats...

White bean experiments

The discovery that my grandparents raised beans as a cash crop gave me new interest in the "magical fruit," and I was pleased to discover someone selling great white northern beans at our local farmers' market. I bought a small amount - probably a cup in measurement - and that sat on our counter for a few...

New Year’s Empanadas

Man of La Muncha and I were both on vacation for the week between Christmas and New Year's, which opened up many possibilities for cooking and eating some of the bounty from our Crown S Ranch meat CSA, using recipes that aren't really possible during a work week, and not something we tend to want to try on...

Risotto a go-go

About four years ago, I was laid off from my job during the Great Economic Downturn of 2002.  After the requisite month of blind panic, I settled into what I think of now as an unemployed lifestyle; that is to say, I exercised more, read a tremendous number of books, and made sure that when Man of La Muncha...

Broth for dummies

You know what I love about being sick? Nothing! The particularly irritating thing about my current cold is that I can't taste anything. However, I did make some chicken broth. Actually, I've been making chicken broth for a long time, I just didn't realize it. I learned from Chickenman that the best way to...

Cream of mushroom soup

When you read that title, did you think of a cylindrical, gelatinous mass, perhaps quivering atop some tuna fresh out of the can, frozen corn kernels and peas, maybe some shredded cheddar? Campbell's cream of mushroom soup is the base that launched a thousand casseroles. But guess what's in it? Most likely,...

Accidental white wine sauce

About two weeks ago, I used some Cooper Mountain Pinot Gris for a leek recipe, with the plan that the Butter Bitch would use the rest to make risotto the following night. Our plans went awry, and by the time we returned to the wine, it had gone vinegary and was not fit to drink or use in risotto. We could...

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