September 3, 2012 § Leave a Comment
J: So, we have been terribly negligent all summer. You’d think that summer would be a good time for regular posting — but we’ve moved, done some much-needed traveling/”vacationing” (but not really), and otherwise been pretty occupied with grad school and work, so unfortunately the blog has kind of fallen by the wayside. While we struggle to get a real post up (our next country will be up soon!), this post is just some shameless laziness on our part to remind everyone, including ourselves, that we still exist. Take one of our favorite things (pizza), add another one of our favorite things (pasta), and voila, you have a post with two images. Need some more instruction on how to make pizza (because no, you are not getting off the hook with storebought dough)? Try one of our other pizza posts (here, here, here!).
February 1, 2012 § Leave a Comment
E: I am a big fan of beans and Southwestern flavors. As a sometimes-vegetarian (and generally trying and succeeding to eat less meat than I used to, with a few minor setbacks like bacon here and there) I’ve been thoroughly wooed by the heartiness of beans and vegetables. This recipe owes a lot to Susan’s baked beans, with which it shares many of its ingredients. However this is something you can successfully make with any kind of beans in about 20 to 30 minutes, in basically any quantity you want.
We make this or some variant quite often for lunches as well as dinners. I imagine it is a great way to use up any extra vegetables you have in the fridge. We always seem to have extra carrots, so that’s usually what we make this with. I’ll give you the basic amounts of things and you should play around with it to suit your liking. « Read the rest of this entry »
October 25, 2011 § Leave a Comment
E: This is a “burger” in that it is a bunch of food stacked on bread. It is not a burger in the traditional sense of ground materials formed into a patty. I guess this should more properly be called a Hawaiian veggie stack, but I’ve called these burgers for a long time and so it will remain.
I got this recipe from my mother, who acquired it during a trip to Hawaii (specifically, it’s from a restaurant in Lahaina, Maui) many years ago. It has been a family favorite since then. I’ve changed the recipe a little due to my tastes, but I include as optional some of the original ingredients that I usually omit.
These burgers are really quick to make. Ours took some time because we made more of the brioche buns ourselves. But if you have buns already, or wish to use bread or English muffins (as the original recipe specifies) you can probably whip these together in 30 minutes or less. « Read the rest of this entry »
September 2, 2011 § 1 Comment
E: The summer has pretty much rolled to a close here, though I can assure you it is still warm enough to impersonate July. But September has reached us with alarming alacrity. Joanna is back to school. My birthday is here. And I think it is about time for another tasty recipe. But first, a little reflection is in order.
We are getting close to a busy time of year for annual events. Both our birthdays, and the first year anniversary of the start of this blog, land in the next couple of months, and that’s along with Thanksgiving and the start of the winter holidays. It is weird to think of where I was a year ago, especially as it concerns this blog. Blogging is a good way to remind yourself of past successes and failures, but it is also a good way to learn stuff. With a couple disasters and a couple new techniques under my belt, I am definitely better than I was a year ago. I have learned something. But it isn’t a miraculous elixir, and I’m still frustrated that I’m not better than I am. I’ve decided on a new strategy of reading through things like the Joy of Cooking page by page to try to gain some more kitchen know-how. We’ll see how long I can keep that up. That said, I’ve found the experience so far rather therapeutic, even though it can be frustrating at times. So bear with us as our cooking adventures continue.
August 6, 2011 § Leave a Comment
J: One night recently, as we so often do, Erik and I were trying to figure out what we were going to make for dinner that week. Ideas were hard to come by, so we turned to a resource we knew would probably yield a couple ideas: the Food Network website. We ended up settling on a recipe by Aarti Sequeira, of “Aarti Party” fame, for Lebanese “meat-stuffed pitas,” or arayes. We made a few minor changes and additions, but mostly this was quite a tasty (and really quite easy) recipe.
One of the bigger changes we made was substituting ground turkey for the ground beef as the meat, since we don’t eat a whole lot of red meat. This was perfectly tasty, but we lost a bit of the hearty earthiness that the ground beef would have imparted. Fortunately a few add-ins compensated for that: if you go the ground turkey route as well, try adding some barbecue sauce and/or some grated cheese (go with something fairly strong and earthy; we used a combination of cheddar and asiago). Heck, even if you do go with ground beef, you can try adding those things as well! And let us know how it turns out for you.
July 17, 2011 § Leave a Comment
J: So today’s recipe is a really simple one, but still well worth making. It’s got a lot of fresh, bright flavors, and it’s super easy but also elegant enough that if you wanted you could throw it together for a dinner party or something. Erik and I made it once before, a few months ago, some day that we were struggling for dinner ideas and decided to just make a quick pasta. We had all the ingredients already so it was only a matter of cooking up the pasta and throwing everything together.
This also uses one of my favorite food combinations: lemon and capers. The acidity of the lemon sets off the saltiness of the capers just perfectly, and the tuna comes in to play very nicely with all the other ingredients as well. Give it a try!
June 8, 2011 § Leave a Comment
J: Okay, guys, we owe you all an apology for being on hiatus for so long without any warning. Truth be told, the last couple of weeks have been difficult in terms of cooking; I’ve been traveling a lot and going out to eat a fair bit since my parents were in town last weekend, so I’ve been eating pretty simply when I do get a chance to eat at home. And Erik has been busy with the end of the school year, graduating from college (!) and moving all his stuff back from his dorm room, and getting ready to move down South with me (!!!). But things are calm for the next week or so, for me at least, so we do have a couple things lined up for you, and hopefully once he’s settled in here we’ll be able to return to our regular schedule of posting once every three days.
Those of you who’ve been reading for a little while might remember this post, in which I referenced some “drop-dead-delicious” pecan bread that I made with the leftover streusel I had sitting around once the muffins were done. I didn’t photograph that because I had no idea how it would turn out, but as it happens, it was kind of amazing! So now I’ve recreated it, with a few changes and additions, and it was, if possible, even tastier this time around. Also, it is an absurdly easy recipe. Give it a shot!
April 16, 2011 § Leave a Comment
J: So, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to eat this week, and remembered that I had most of a box of couscous in my pantry left over from making these mac ‘n’ cheese burgers. I decided that, yes, couscous has an extraordinary shelf life, but it was about time that I used up the rest of that box. So, what to do? I settled on a riff on a salad that I used to make all the time in college: it used spinach as the base, and had feta, dried cranberries, avocado, and almonds, and a little bit of light balsamic dressing. I decided to throw in the same mix-ins, but leave out the spinach and add one or two other ingredients I thought might go with couscous. For instance, I knew I wanted a spice, and Erik suggested turmeric, so I threw in some of that and it worked really nicely.
This salad turned out just the way I wanted it. It’s so delicious and so, so easy, and it’s even pretty healthy for you! You can have it as a main course or as a side, and while I prefer it to be just a bit warm, you could serve it cold as well. It’s got nice fresh flavors, and it would be great to take on a picnic or some other outing to enjoy the lovely spring weather!
One last note: I made this with 3/4 box of couscous, so I’ve scaled up the recipe to be for a full box. Most of the amounts for the mix-ins can be adjusted to your own taste, so feel free to play around with them to get proportions that you like.