Chakhchoukha (Algeria) + Pita

September 14, 2012 § 2 Comments

J: Continuing (slowly) along our culinary voyage around the world, we next hit Algeria.  As has been the case with many of these countries, I really had very little idea of what Algerian food looked like, or what a “classic” Algerian dish might consist of.  This stew-type meal turned out to be quite delicious and comfort-food-y — I suspect it would make a great warming meal on a cold winter night.  The original recipe included chicken, but as we are trying to be a little more vegetarian (accepting that we won’t be able to get around meat in many of these international dishes), we substituted potatoes for the chicken, and it still turned out really well.

a bowl of bread and veggies

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April 1, 2012 § 1 Comment

J: My mom used to make cornbread for us from scratch all the time when I was a kid, and it was always one of my favorite sides.  She gave me the recipe when I moved down here, and then I heard that Erik had never really found a cornbread he liked — challenge accepted.  We made this a few weeks ago and he loved it!  It’s not so sweet that it crosses into “dessert” territory, but it’s just sweet enough to complement any spicy chili or stew-type dish you might want to serve it with.

cornbread in a teaser photo for our next post!

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Zucchini Bread

August 28, 2011 § Leave a comment

J: This is a family recipe that my mom used to make all the time when I was growing up.  I would always get so excited when I came home from school and smelled zucchini bread fresh out of the oven — this is such a yummy, hearty, and sweet-but-not-too-sweet bread.  It’s got a rich flavor and, even though the zucchini itself doesn’t pop out and hit you in the nose, it lends a lovely moistness to the bread, giving it an almost cake-like texture.

sliced and ready for eating

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Brioche Buns

August 16, 2011 § 4 Comments

J:  I have had this one particular burger idea in my head for months now.  I saw it on some YouTube video or food show or something, and haven’t had the opportunity to actually make the burgers… until now.  But of course, as soon as I mentioned my idea to Erik, he suggested that we make the buns from scratch as well — and being the foodies that we are, of course that’s exactly what we did.  So, what was this burger idea?  Well, you’ll have to wait a few days for that post; this right here is dedicated to the reason storebought buns will never make you happy ever again.

deliciousness of homemade buns

These things are a) easier than you expect, b) light, fluffy, and just like storebought only BETTER (and with a snazzy sense of accomplishment on the side), and c) so. delicious.  Also, if you bake, oh, ever, odds are that you have everything you need for these babies in your kitchen/pantry right now.  No excuses!

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Pecan Bread

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.

breakfast or dessert: don't you love versatility?

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!

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Flour Tortillas

March 10, 2011 § 3 Comments

J:  We’ve got a simple but very versatile little recipe for you today.  Tortillas are a really useful thing to be able to just throw together — they can be used as a base for so many dishes, and when you know how to make them yourself, why on earth would you go buy ones from the store, especially when they’re likely to have all sorts of different preservatives in them?  No, these little tortillas are easy and worth the hour or so it takes to put them together.  You can definitely make them (as we did) on the side while you’re making another main dish to go on top of them.  And don’t you fret, we’ll give you the delicious main dish in not too long!

EDIT: Note that you can take a shortcut and make these in about 20 to 25 minutes. At that pace, you could pretty much make them whenever you need tortillas.

On to the recipe…

cooking away, looking quite tasty already

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January 29, 2011 § 1 Comment

J: HOMEMADE BAGELS, GUYS.  Do I even need to say anything else?  Well, probably not, but I am going to give you a bit of background anyway: since moving down here to start grad school, I’ve been totally bread-independent.  I haven’t bought a loaf of bread in five months and it’s been awesome (and probably also saved me a lot of money).  But I was still buying bagels, because I thought they were more difficult to make and didn’t want to bother.

No more, my friends.  No more.

Want to be a real boss in the kitchen?  Next time your friends come over, casually point to the stack of huge delicious bagels in your pantry and say, “oh, those?  Yeah, I made those, no big deal.”  Nobody else has to know how easy it is to make bagels!

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.  It’s go time.

who needs storebought??

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