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Pressure-Cooker Black Bean Soup with Cumin-Lime Greek Yogurt

Pressure-Cooker Black Bean Soup with Cumin-Lime Greek Yogurt

During my first job out of college this time of year would always be a busy one because this is, after all, the height of soup season. I had to drive to the client site twice a week, and while the commute was a rough one (I’d leave at 6:00 in order to get there by 8:15 in order to get a spot in the good parking lot), there were a few perks, from being able to get everything from discounted cookies and crackers to the “seconds” of a certain brand of chocolate truffles by the 2.5 lb bag in the company store or the tomato soup bar in the subsidized cafeteria. While I would otherwise bring the rest of my lunch, I’d beebop over to the cafeteria every day, regardless of the weather, and treat myself to some tomato soup topped with salsa (they owned a brand of that too, of course) and cheddar cheese.

It was probably for the best that I had all of that sodium at a relatively young age when I could handle that, rather than now. Read More

Wild mushrooms with egg yolk.

Wild mushrooms with egg yolk.

[Editor’s note: to echo a phrase from very sage person Caitlin at Fit & Feminist, it’s very weird blogging about food right now, but self-care is important in order to not lose one’s mind. If you’re as horrified by the actions taken by the current administration this past weekend as I am, please consider donating to the ACLU or the International Refugee Assistance Project if you can to help those who are affected.]

Deconstructed dishes are not the kinds of recipes you expect to find in a cookbook focused on country cooking until you consider that deconstructions almost work best in the country, given that you’re able to find fresh produce and the like.

The idea of deconstruction as a technique both intrigues and infuriates me; on one hand, it’s fun to play with the idea of, say, deconstructing a cheesecake and then bringing it all back together in a different way which I did a couple of years ago…and then there’s things like Ina Garten’s deconstructed lobster roll from one of her traveling shows in which she presents her husband a cooked whole lobster, some rolls, and some dip on a platter and invites him to “dig in!” Read More

Casarecce with Pancetta, Chiles, and Ricotta

Casarecce with Pancetta, Chile, and Ricotta

Man, does it feel like this January has been trying, even if the Baltimore area is on-track to have the least-snowiest winter on record and we had one day that was skirting close to 70 degrees. Most of this malaise is due to the enormity of what’s going on in our country and around the world, but a small amount of this malaise is also due to the news that dropped on the 13th that American Apparel was sold and will be closing up its retail operation in the next 100-ish days. There’s a store down the street from where we live, so I have been making a few visits to do what Michael calls a “final buy” of the running shorts that have been my preferred pajama bottoms for the last ten (?) years along with ordering a few pairs of yoga pants. As he likes to joke, I’ll probably be wearing these damn things for decades to come. (Hey, that’s one reason why I lift!) Read More

Not pictured: the birthday cake crumb and the empanada meat mixture chilling out in the fridge.

I was all ready to wax philosophical on you all on how I like to plan for parties…but I’m in the midst of party planning and can’t do that just yet. Above is a glimpse of what I’ve been up to in our kitchen, and I can’t wait to share the details with you in the new year because that’s probably when I’ll finally have a chance to sit down and write in earnest. Read More

Lemon Confit from The Craft of Cooking

Lemon Confit from The Craft of Cooking

We’re not even at the major December holidays yet, and already I’m pretty exhausted. I blame this on the fact that we’ve been busy either going to hang out with friends or visiting family, and while it’s been fun…the introvert in me is definitely yearning for a battery recharge. Thankfully I’ve managed to get most of my holiday shopping done, with a few more gifts necessary to make it fully complete, but we have a lot of planning yet to do for our New Year’s Eve party (menu to finalize, shopping lists written, and cleaning to do!) and as a result I haven’t been this thankful to have multiple days off at the end of the year in ages. We’re scheduled to entertain my siblings-in-law this weekend, but I’m not sure if the weather will make us postpone those plans to another date or not yet. I hope they can come, but I also understand i they don’t want to deal with driving in crappy conditions to get here. Read More

Casarecce with bell pepper sauce

Casarecce with bell pepper sauce

One thing I’ve been dying to do once the tomatoes started coming in and really taste good was to walk over to the big Baltimore Farmer’s Market on a Sunday morning and get some heirlooms or other interesting-looking ones to take home. Unfortunately, either to us traveling or Michael going to the gym late, that didn’t happen until one of the last Sundays when tomatoes would be good, and even then we were walking in there at 11:57 when the market technically ended at noon. Thankfully I was still able to get some tomatoes along with some Kirby cucumbers and four fantastic orange peppers before all of the vendors were gone, and I was able to get a good deal on the peppers to boot: 2 for a buck. Read More

 

French Marble Two-Tier Server from C&B

French Marble Two-Tier Server from C&B

The notion of writing a gift guide this year feels kind of, well, superfluous given that everything that’s happened, but at the same time, I fully endorse finding items that give you and your loved ones joy, and I think that we need to arm ourselves with equipment that will help us cook great food in the next four years, and in my humble opinion, it totally calls for fabulous serveware too.

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm

ThermoWorks ChefAlarm: Honestly, I can’t believe I haven’t sung the praises of this device sooner. I bought one of these a few years ago for Michael for Valentine’s Day, and it’s been worth its weight in gold and then some ever since. This is the same company that makes the ThermaPen–a product avid watchers of Good Eats would recognize easily–and Alton Brown likes to tweet about how great this thermometer is as well. (Full disclosure: he is NOT endorsed by them and therefore isn’t paid to sing ThermoWorks’ praises. He simply believes in their products that much.) This is the thermometer you can insert into a piece of meat, set the desired temperature accordingly, and then set an alarm for when it gets to that precise cooking time, thus saving you a metric ton of worry on whether something is cooked to the proper temperature, and it also comes with a timer because I find you can never have enough of those in a kitchen. Read More

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