There’s no Food in the House! Clean-Out-the-Fridge Meals

Easy Spring Meal

"There's no food in the house!" Is a common refrain in my house. Brett will look over at me, eyebrow arched in doubt. "I don't believe you," he'll say, reassuring me of his supreme confidence in my ability to make something, anything for dinner based on what we actually do have. And I will. In part out of laziness to go to the store, and in part out of being unable to back down from a challenge. It's like the daily Iron Chef battle in my own kitchen: make dinner using only the ingredients already in the house, and get it done before we're both so hungry we've eaten a meals worth of … [Read more...]

A Salad for Salad Haters: Radicchio with Anchovy Dressing

Treviso Salad

Thanksgiving's over and holiday parties are getting started. With all that heavy food (not to mention the cocktails), even those who are not the biggest salad fans need to try to sneak in a vegetable or two. Not saying I hate salad personally, just that I'd rather eat stuffing than salad. I might rather eat stuffing than about anything, though. For those who share my preferences, this is the go-to salad. Strong flavors from the anchovy, the garlic, and the bitter radicchio punch you in the palate like a prizefighter. The wallop makes up for the fact that you're eating rabbit food. The … [Read more...]

Halloween Food: Piggy Coffins!

Coffin Empanadas

I'm a little competitive. Or, you know, a lot. Like to the point that when I meet another competitive person, I sometimes get really defensive that I'm the more competitive person. And that's probably happened more times than I'd like to count. So where am I going with this? Our office Halloween party is also a potluck with awards for best tasting and most creative food. Clearly, I need to win. Preferably both categories with a single dish. So I came up with what I'm calling Piggy Coffins. What they actually are is my Holy Shit Pork Cheeks, wrapped in puff pastry with some strategic … [Read more...]

Simple Summer Suppers: Broccoli and Bagna Cauda

Bagna Cauda With Dippers

Nobody ever believes me when I tell them the rain doesn't start until my birthday (October 7th). Summer ends at Labor Day, they insist. Nope, it's not true. As the center of the universe--or, my universe, anyway--summer doesn't end until I turn another year older. So until that happens, I will continue to make the kind of simple summer suppers that are easily eaten outdoors, even if it's getting dark at before dinner time. I'll let the green in my vegetables, the yellow in my egg yolks, the bright flavors in my olive oil, light up the night. One of the cardinal rules of a summer … [Read more...]

10 Tricks to Make the Lazy Cook’s Food Taste Better

Red Peppers

I never clean up as I go. Rumor has it, that's what the cool kids do. That's what the organized, methodical, by the book cooks do. The people who clean as they go probably also set up their mise en place and follow recipes too. All things which I'd love to be the type of person who does. But I'm not. I'm me. Being me means that I'm a bit of a hurricane, whooshing into the kitchen, chopping, stirring, mixing, cooking, racing against the imaginary clock of getting one thing done before the heat on the stove demands the next step. I took a knife skills class once and I learned a lot. I've … [Read more...]

Xinjiang-Style Lamb Skewers

Lamb Skewers Cooked Xinjiang Style

This post is for a contest being put on by the folks at the American Lamb Board. The prize is cool (cooking with a chef at an event) and I'd like to win, so please vote for me! Also, that means the lamb used here was given to me by the lamb folks. Thanks, lamb folks! Xinjiang lamb skewers are the best bar snack you've never had. Unless you've been to Beijing, in which case, they might just be the best bar snack you have had. It's been almost three years since I came back from Beijing, but the many tasty skewers I had have stuck with me. It was high time to recreate them at … [Read more...]

Mac and Miso: Inspiration and Failure

MacMiso1WM

I broke my blog. I wasn't paying attention, and I hit update on something, and it overrode changes I'd made that do minor things. Things I'm sure other people don't even pay attention to, like whether the ads fit in their boxes or not. Whether there is a 'next post' button at the bottom of the page. My blog is broken, and while I designed it my self, I'll be honest, it was a while ago and I can't for the life of me remember how I made it work before. This was supposed to be a post about inspiration. Specifically about the chef and photographer who inspired the dish above and the photo I … [Read more...]

How to Make Noodles in a Meat Grinder

NoodlesComingOut

 Chinese noodles with perfect bite, chew, texture, with half the work? Sign me up. After creating the hand-cut noodle recipe, I realized that: wait, I'm way too lazy to use the peeler to make the noodles for more than just Brett and I. But until recently, I didn't know what to do about it, so when I made dan dan noodles for a group, they had to be satisfied with my favorite store noodles. It isn't right. No, my friends deserve the bounce of a fabulous fresh noodle. Fast forward to last week, as I flipped around the internets, that wild world of wacky ideas, eventually landing on a Mario … [Read more...]

Pambazo Lessons from an Abuela

Pambazo and Grandma

Among the oddities of my childhood were an avocado green washer and dryer in the kitchen of our house, a mild prodigy brother, and a constant parade of exchange students from as far away as New Caledonia. 25 years later and I still have no idea where New Caledonia is. I do know where San Juan del Rio, Mexico is. It's a small town two hours north of Mexico City, from where hailed many of our exchange students. One of them has become a life long family friend, and on our recent trip to Mexico, his mother taught us how to make a Mexican sandwich called a Pambazo. This is the third time … [Read more...]

Little Nibbles: Chicken and Waffles, Squash Snacks and Me!

ChaffleSide

A quick round up of all things delicious, in my kitchen, in my city and around the world… The Chaffle Remember when I told you all about Chicken and Waffles in Seattle? Well, a restaurateur responded to my challenge. Blue Moon Burgers invited me in to try their 'Chaffle,' a chicken and waffle sandwiched. And I'll be damned if it wasn't pretty darn good. Act quickly though--it's only their burger of the month, so you only have until the end of November (that's next week, for those of you in December denial) to give it a taste test. Squash on Tortillas In my own kitchen, I've been brewing … [Read more...]