Roasted Corn and Tomato Soup

November 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

E: I’m going to (try to) make this post short and sweet. We are just back from spending the Thanksgiving holidays at my parents’ place (with a brief sojourn to see my aunt, uncle, and some of my cousins). We had some wonderful times and ate some wonderful food. But it also means we haven’t posted in a while. I apologize if this post is more slipshod than usual, but I feel like we’ve got to put something up regardless of how unqualified to write my present state of exhaustion makes me.

a really tasty soup with hearty smokyness

A few weeks ago, we wanted to make another tomato-y soup, and it was my idea to add some roasted corn. Joanna finished it off by suggesting we blend in some ricotta and serve it with some grated, smoked Gouda. This is a really great combination, with the smokiness of the cheese playing off some of the char from the tomatoes, pepper, and corn. « Read the rest of this entry »

Bite-Size Apple Pies

November 20, 2011 § 5 Comments

J: So, I had this idea back in September about making apple pie cookies.  I am in love with apple butter, and we had just found some organic apple butter in our local Whole Foods, so I was trying to think of delicious baking endeavors that I could use it for.  As fall was just around the corner, the flavors of apple pie came to mind immediately, and then I had an extra burst of inspiration and decided that what we really needed was apple pie in the form of cookies.

This idea was finally put into action at dinner party #2, in October, when we made thumbprint-esque apple pie cookies by taking pie dough, pressing an indentation into it, and adding some slices of apple along with our magical apple butter concoction.  These were so tasty that among 5 of us, we devoured the entire batch.  Oops?

miniature pies: delicious and adorable

Since they all disappeared within half an hour of being baked, Erik and I decided that, um, we wanted more of them, and we wanted more very quickly.  So we made another batch the next day, and decided that this time we would amp them up a little and make legit mini-apple pies, since the “cookies” were pretty close to mini-pies already. « Read the rest of this entry »

Please don’t be afraid of your kitchen

November 15, 2011 § 5 Comments

E: My best friend from college and I have been doing some research around nutrition, and what has contributed to the growing eat-out and take-out trend in American society. We’re thinking of building a web/mobile phone app to really help people make healthy eating choices. But both of us cook, and trying to figure out where to start attacking the problem of kitchen-averse Americans requires a certain amount of getting inside those people’s heads.

I’ve been surfing the web, reading surveys and opinion pieces (from the likes of Mark Bittman and Michael Ruhlman) and readers’ comments thereof. And something struck me about the way Nombudsman has been approaching cooking and recipe, and how unconsciously we’ve written without considering our audience. Now this site has never been about a social purpose–it’s just about our adventures with food, and if they encourage you to try something new in the kitchen, that’s just a bonus from our point of view. But I decided I had to take the time to share some of my thoughts about food, nutrition, and cooking, and to develop a logical consideration of these issues that made me thoughtlessly passionate on first reading about them. « Read the rest of this entry »

Pumpkin Muffins

November 10, 2011 § 1 Comment

J: So, here I am again after a long hiatus.  The last couple of weeks have been insane for me in terms of grad school eating my life (proof: I was at school yesterday from approximately 9:30am to approximately 11:30pm. It was not happy.), but I have finished my last major thing for a few weeks so I’m free to post!  And fittingly, I’m coming back with pumpkins.  Pumpkin muffins are easily my favorite kind of muffin, almost certainly due to memories of cool, crisp New England mornings, hot coffee, and a pumpkin muffin keeping me awake in early classes in college.  Those pumpkin muffins were not the greatest ever, but they were in fact the beginning of my love for (read: obsession with) all things pumpkin-flavored, so I certainly have them to thank for that.

i missed them as soon as they were gone

Naturally, then, we had to make pumpkin muffins this fall — as soon as one could reasonably claim it was fall, of course.  We merged two recipes that we found from two equally amazing food bloggers, The Pioneer Woman (for the spicing) and Smitten Kitchen (for everything else).  These were absolutely delicious for breakfast or dessert — or lunch… or dinner… or midnight snacks… just make them, is what I’m trying to say.  You’ve got time; pumpkin season is still on at least through Thanksgiving! « Read the rest of this entry »

Coq au Vin

November 6, 2011 § 1 Comment

E: Here’s another family recipe finally seeing the light of the internet for the first time. I don’t know where it came from initially, but I think it is pretty good. My mother has been making coq au vin approximately like this for years (I say approximately because she doesn’t usually measure anything) and I quite like it. I’ve made some slight changes, mostly to give it a bit more onion and garlic flavor, but the recipe is pretty much preserved from how I received it when I asked her to write it down for me in college.

yes this is rooster in wine

You can make it equally well with red or white wine, and I’ve seen recipes that do it either way. I tend to use white because the end product is prettier, but I think you can use whatever you have at the time. It certainly won’t turn out bad. I’ve also made it using vermouth when I didn’t want to open a bottle of wine and I found that definitely worked ok too.

This is a classic dish that you simply have to make at some point. But please pronounce it correctly. If you say it “cocoa vinn” I will send some angry Frenchman to find you and teach you how to say it the right way. « Read the rest of this entry »

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