Susan’s Baked Beans

October 30, 2011 § 2 Comments

E: This post goes out to my cousin Susan (who just recently had a baby, congratulations again Susan!) because it was from her that I got this recipe. She served this at her wedding this summer (a really lovely backyard affair that a bunch of us got to help cook and decorate for) and I insisted that I had to have the recipe. It is totally vegetarian by the way, which is part of what struck me about it.

really good vegetarian baked beans

It has been quite a few months but we have finally made and posted this wonderful dish. It’s really easy to do if you plan ahead (dried beans take a while to soak and cook) but if you want to make things a bit more interesting you can take it that extra step. One of the recipe’s main ingredients is ketchup, so we figured we would make our own—especially because Joanna does not like bottled ketchup. What we thought would be just a hint of cinnamon came out a bit strong, but the truth of the matter is that it was a good first try. It’ll take some time to get the spicing of it right for me, because it definitely needed more kick. But the nice thing is you can just add more powdered onion and garlic at the time of service if need-be. « Read the rest of this entry »

Hawaiian Veggie Burgers

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 easy and really tasty

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 »


October 22, 2011 § 1 Comment

J: I have to admit that when I saw this post over on Smitten Kitchen, my primary reaction was a combination of wanting it and fearing it.  It looked delicious — but it had some steps that seemed scary to me, like cracking eggs into a stewy-tomato-saucy-thing.  Something that, a year or so ago, might totally have put me off making a dish.  But now, feeling the echoes of that fear that I used to have about far more dishes and strategies, I just got more determined, pushed the fear aside, and said to Erik, “we’re making this.”  And so we did.

finished shakshuka: can you see the eggs hiding down there?

(recipe, once again, from the wonderful Smitten Kitchen) « Read the rest of this entry »

Kitchen Gear: The Knife Post

October 20, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: This may be the first of several of these posts about kitchen gear. However, I don’t really have a clear idea of what other posts may follow in the series. This post is happening, regardless, for a few simple reasons: knives are a critical part of any kitchen, so many people’s knives are inadequate or uncared for, and I have recently begun to discover the great world of knives and I am—always a tech junkie—completely addicted.

But I don’t expect everyone else to have the same passion for this as I have acquired, so I’m going to try to make this post useful for everyone. For those of you who are also into knives (if there are any of you reading this), there are some more detailed pictures (choil shots and spine shots) at the end of the post. For those of you who just want some basic reviews, and perhaps some advice as to what knives to get or how to take care of them, that will come first. If you really want to know more about knives, I suggest searching around on some hugely helpful internet forums like There’s an “In The Kitchen” section that should be a required resource for anyone serious about acquiring great knives for their kitchen. « Read the rest of this entry »

Corn & Sausage Risotto with Peach Salsa

October 17, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: And so to start off our next 100 posts, what could be more fitting than another risotto (we’ve got 4 already, but really, who’s counting)? Therefore, I present it to you, dear readers, a risotto that is distinctly not vegetarian: a southwest-style corn and sausage risotto with a peach salsa.

not bad, not bad

This was the product of one of those times, you know, the there’s-no-kind-of-food-in-the-house-at-all kind of times; the I’ve-got-no-idea-what-to-make kind of times; the all-I-found-in-the-freezer-was-this-chicken-sausage kind of times. Those times.

That sausage just had to get used for something, so I popped out to the store to buy some stuff that could go with it, and decided to make a risotto. Macheesmo had just made a peach salsa to go with some fish, so I shamelessly used the idea as a cold topping to go with the warm risotto. « Read the rest of this entry »

Coffee-Nut Chicken

October 14, 2011 § 2 Comments

J: Happy sort-of birthday to us!  This is Nombudsman’s 100th post, and while we’ve been around for a little over a year already, we thought that #100 was a bigger milestone to celebrate.  I’m so excited that we’ve been around for this long, and I know that we’ve gotten a lot better at food photography, food writing, and of course food-making since we started — but we still have a long way to go, so thank you for reading this far, and I hope you’ll stay with us for the ride through the next 100 posts.

tastes better than it looks, we swear

To celebrate post #100, we decided on this recipe, which I found over on Omnomicon before Nombudsman was even created.  It has such a long list of ingredients that I was a little intimidated by it at first, and so kept putting it off in favor of other less-scary meals.  But it continued to look so delicious to me that when Erik and I started trying to coordinate a dinner party, I already knew that this was what I wanted to make.  And so finally, make it we did!  Because it was for a dinner party, we had guests (yay friends!), so we were a little slipshod on pictures, but I think we did all right for ourselves. « Read the rest of this entry »

Coffee Pecan Brownies

October 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

J:  I have a confession to make.  Our usual dessert here in the Nombudsman household is cookie dough — we have a standard recipe (from the Joy of Cooking, of course) memorized and we have each made it so many times that we can probably throw it together in 5 minutes, tops, at this point.  More often than not, we don’t have the patience to bake anything and we just end up nibbling on the dough.  But, the other night, we were feeling a little bored with our standard, so we tried to think of something else we could make.  Something not too complicated but delicious and, of course, chocolatey.

just the ticket

Brownies seemed an obvious choice, particularly because neither of us had made them in ages.  We’d recently made an entrée that involved toasted pecans (don’t worry, it’ll be up soon), and I was still remembering the mouthwatering smell those nuts gave off while they were toasting, so another obvious option presented itself in the form of toasting more pecans and adding them.  And, for the final touch, we threw in some instant coffee, because come on, chocolate, nuts, and coffee?  Match made in heaven. « Read the rest of this entry »

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