March 26, 2012
I love quiche. I adore it.
What else (besides perhaps mac & cheese) is as simultaneously sophisticated and homey as quiche? What else is as equally well-suited for entertaining as it is for leftover lunches and tired weeknight dinners, and as un-fussy as to be equally tasty eaten room-temperature as it is warm?
What’s not to love?
Quiche is quaint; irresistible (just look at its fat wedge shape!); customizable (leaving you freedom to play with whatever combination of vegetables, herbs and cheese sounds good to you — or whatever you have in the fridge); hearty (and still easily vegetarian, if you want it to be); and finally, er… elaborate. And excessively rich.
Hmm. There’s something not to love.
read more »
June 25, 2011
Soul-searching is a funny thing. It is simultaneously thrilling and terrifying, exhausting and exhilarating: somehow managing to feel like flying and free-falling at the same time. It’s hard work. And yet, for as much energy as it must require to fuel a process with such fascinatingly contradictory results, I’ve not found that it builds up much of an appetite — at least not for food, anyway. An appetite for change; for knowledge; for new places, blue skies and greener pastures; yes. An appetite for lunch — not so much.
Lucky for you, I stopped soul-searching just long enough to come to a very important realization: something was missing in my life. Something very important, and (fittingly) green. Something I suspect you too may be missing, going about your life day in and day out without ever noticing its absence.
I mean vegetables, of course. But not just any old vegetables. I am talking about vegetables FOR BREAKFAST.
(I hope none of you is wondering right now whether vegetable cream-cheese counts.)
read more »
June 15, 2011
You know what’s pretty great? This pasta.
It’s nutritious, delicious, and mostly meat-free. And it’s got zucchini (!), which is always a fun word to say. Perhaps most importantly, it is excellent for aiding in the recovery of sleepless whirlwind weekends and providing the necessary sustenance to enable one to gracefully roll with the punches…. Both of which I have had some firsthand experience with in the last few days.
First, something pretty great happened this weekend. And then yesterday something not-so-great happened. I am still reeling from both, feeling alternately aflutter and adrift.
Ever the optimist, I am hopeful that these not-so-great things will turn out to be great things in disguise; doors closed that lead to doors opened and all that. But sometimes, despite all your positive thinking, you can’t help wondering: How do I decide what the best course of action is? What if I’m wrong? What do I do if this ends up being a big mistake? And why does it seem like there are far more ways to screw something up than there are to get it right?
Yesterday, grappling with these questions was turning out to be a losing battle. I was starting to feel overwhelmed, and so out of sorts that my faith in myself was shaken. When that happens, I find the best thing to do is immerse yourself in something familiar and comfortable: Get your hands busy doing something you know how to do; something that will make you feel capable and grounded and help you get your Little Engine That Could-feeling back.
Also, it is worth mentioning that dealing with life-changes on an empty stomach is rarely a good idea.
read more »
August 23, 2010
Remember that kale from earlier this week? Well, I’ve still got about six large leaves of it left.
I told you it was a big bunch — huge, even. Supersaurus huge. (And no, this time I actually did not make that up. Google it.)
Okay okay, I’ll stop. Sheesh.
So it’s been a busy — and rainy — weekend, which means I sadly haven’t had much time to cook. As summer is winding down, I’m guessing you, too, are out there trying to take full advantage of what little of it is left, and probably don’t have lots of time to cook either… so I figured I’d share with you one of my super-fast, super-easy weekday dinners — one which is not at all original, unique, or particularly special: sauteed garlicky greens (in this case, my lingering, seemingly ineradicable bunch of Tuscan kale) with — wait for it — a fried egg on top.
…. Because, yes, probably half of my weekday dinners are [fill in the blank] topped with a fried egg. I’m sure you didn’t see that one coming.
read more »
June 24, 2010
You know how sometimes you start getting hungry for dinner half an hour, maybe an hour before it’s actually time to eat? Or just when you’re getting ready to leave work?
Well yesterday, the hunger started in earlier than usual — about three hours earlier, around 3 pm. Despite repeated attempts at diverting it with first one glass of water, then two, then a cup of coffee, and finally a homemade lemon bar that one of my lovely coworkers happened to have baked the night before, it continued to intensify until reaching a nearly unbearable pitch around 6 pm, just as I was stumbling into my apartment. Ravenous, I threw open my refrigerator door and grabbed the first thing my hands fell on: a big bunch of mustard greens.
Temporarily stumped, as I’ve only ever cooked mustard greens twice in my life, I summoned my courage and willed my creative juices to start flowing. Okay Self, I thought: time to turn this into dinner, pronto. You can do it!
After a quick internal pow-wow, I came up with what I thought was a good idea for Indian curried mustard greens with spring onions. I’d use half for that, and save the other half for a slightly safer backup plan for mustard greens in oyster sauce, in case the first idea didn’t work out so well. I had never made either, but had seen a handful of recipes similar to both, and figured I could pull it off. Spurred on by my hunger, I set to work.
Half an hour and a flurry of activity later, I had in front of me two differently seasoned, equally inedible bowls of mustard greens.
And I do mean inedible.
read more »
June 13, 2010
Living alone in a studio apartment is great, in lots of ways. I don’t need to worry about anyone finishing the last of my milk, I can rock out to Lady Gaga when I roll out of bed at 7am if I feel like it, the only dirty dishes in the sink are my own and nothing is ever further than six steps away.
But one thing that living alone in a tiny apartment is not conducive to is cooking for others… and cooking for others happens to be one of my very favorite things to do. So whenever the opportunity to do so arises, I take advantage of it… and if the space between opportunities becomes too long for my liking, I bide my time until I can’t take it anymore and end up awkwardly blurting out an invitation to cook for whichever hapless victim lucky friend happens to be closest by.
a lone quinoa burger
This is exactly what happened this past Saturday night. I was on the phone with a friend making plans, talking about some party or other, and before I knew what was happening the words “Why don’t you come over and I’ll cook for you?” were out of my mouth. After a slight pause in which we both registered a touch of surprise (hers at the non-sequitor, mine from some distant corner of my brain that was dimly beginning to realize it was most definitely not in the driver’s seat), she accepted.
It wasn’t until after I hung up the phone that I remembered this friend is a carnivore: a big meat-lover.
I mean that literally. This girl has gushed about a good piece of meat with such passion that it practically made me blush… on more than one occasion.
Now, I don’t call myself a vegetarian — I definitely enjoy meat, fish and seafood on occasion — but I very rarely buy and cook it. In fact, I would venture to say that roughly 85% of what I make for myself on a regular basis (and therefore know how to cook) ends up being vegetarian.
And I definitely don’t have meat just sitting around my refrigerator, lying in wait for an impromptu dinner invitation for its chance to shine at the center of the plate.
read more »
June 9, 2010
I just spent four dollars and twenty five cents. On a tomato.
A fragrant, deep red, admittedly adorable farmer’s-market fresh tomato with an endearing little split in the skin that tomatoes often get when they are literally bursting with perfect ripe deliciousness… but still just. a. tomato.
I almost had a panic attack when this little dude went on the scale and I heard the words “That’ll be four dollars and twenty five cents, please” leave the farmer’s mouth. Four dollars and twenty five cents! For one tomato! Chaos, imagines of my balance spreadsheet spiraling wildly out of control, were whirling through my head and my brain was shouting PUT IT BACK as my mouth said “Do you have change for a ten?”
read more »