It’s been cold and damp outside for a long time now.
Our backyard is in a perpetual state of wetness. The earth is cold and crumbly. The rain stopped a while back, but the mud just hasn’t recovered.
I’m painfully aware of the state of my backyard because I have a puppy and a white carpet.
Perhaps it was after this morning’s shenanigans where my muddy dog came tearing past me into the house, running laps and dodging my attempted side tackles, leaving a trail of her dirty feet like a horrifying dance-step diagram, that I really started longing for warmer and drier days. She is currently on time out. She seems pleased with herself as usual.
It was at 8:30 this morning, on my hands and knees, cleaning up a trail of muddy paw prints, I started fantasizing about luxuriating out in the sunshine and sipping on mojitos and piña coladas. Continue reading →
As long as I can remember I have been a fan of lentil soup.
When I was younger I would heat up a can of Progresso, cook pasta shells in it, and then proceed to dump at least a quarter-bottle of grated Parmesan into the mix. This is not an exaggeration. You know how the bottle has two settings? One of them is the sensible trio of holes that will simply dust your food with a socially acceptable amount of cheese, the other is one gaping hole that is intended for quick and sudden evacuation for large amounts of cheese. I used the gaping hole side. This dish is what my Italian father dubbed “Pasta Fazool.” It was simple and tasty and I am sure that our Great Italian Grandmother is rolling over in her grave somewhere at the thought of us using canned soup and buckets of pre-grated Parm.
For a long time this satisfied me. Opening up cans, dumping the contents, saturating the finished product with buckets of gritty cheese. This got me through most of college… along with a suspicious amount of turkey sandwiches and vodka. Then, one year I got bit by the soup bug. I am sure this was during the first year that I started teaching. I was constantly sick. I started making soup from scratch and it was a revelation. I experimented with everything from chicken noodle, beef stew, chicken and rice, spicy sausage soup with spinach and of course lentil. Continue reading →
Roasting and stirring and chopping and sifting and simmering maybe even some light blending.
I like these types of recipes as they provide a bit of a challenge. Sometimes you need a project. The day I made you this Shepherd’s Pie, I needed a project. It was serious. Chopping therapy was a welcome activity.
Sometimes recipes can be so simple they’re mildly embarrassing.
You throw a couple things together in a mason jar and the ingredients do the work for you.
Let me start off this post by openly acknowledging I’m a hot mess.
My desk is usually a sea of papers. Most of these papers are recipes either printed out or crudely scrawled with a sharpie onto the backs of envelopes or pieces of junk mail (you never know when inspiration will strike, right?). There are composition books filled with ideas and more than likely at least four drawings of polar bears in pant suits. I am constantly cleaning up the mess and thinning down the horde, but it always seems to come right on back. I will call this my process. It’s a messy process, but it gets you Cheesy Cauliflower Bakes and Peppermint Patty Brownies. I vow to myself at least once a week to get it together and type my recipes directly into a very organized folder on my desktop. This doesn’t happen. It’s not as much fun. It’s so much harder to doodle cupcakes and pandas in the margins of the page of a Word document. It’s all part of my flow.
This morning, I woke up hell-bent on sharing this cookie recipe with you. I’ve been sitting on it for a few weeks and I figured it was just time. Fridays are the time to start dreaming about chewy-gooey cookies. It’s a fact. Continue reading →
If you had told me last year that I would be juicing pretty much anything and everything, I would have told you to back off and stop making weird predictions. Also, out of all the things you could predict with your psychic gift, you should give me something juicier than becoming a juicer. Maybe tell me that I am coming into a fortune, or that I will have really great hair for all of 2013. Tell me that my dog will be perfectly trained and stop trying to gorge herself on the cat-box Tell me that Pajama Jeans are now finally in fashion for reals and I should really just woman-up and buy them. I would welcome any of these predictions. Continue reading →