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Archive for the ‘Vegetarian’ Category

Can you think of any ingredient that you haven’t seen slapped on a  pizza at one point or another? Pizzas come in thin crust, deep dish, vegan, cheese-stuffed, dessert varietals, even as deconstructed versions of other well known meals (cheeseburger pizzas anyone?). So it just seemed like a really good idea to me to order a pizza with my beloved butternut squash and goat cheese last year at a favorite Boston haunt. And it was. Being 3,000 miles away now it’s a little harder to indulge in my regular cravings for this pie, but I was inspired the other day by, you guessed it, some leftover ingredients and a bag o’ dough from Trader Joe’s. I know that I may be revealing myself to some of you as a home cooking poser by buying pre-made dough, but honestly, I don’t like to bake and I don’t like following recipes so a prêt à porter canvas to experiment on with freestyle ingredients really appeals to me.

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I know that some of you were probably worrying these past few days over what I was going to do with all of those leftover vegetables I roasted for the monster salad I made last week. All that food potentially going to waste, it would be such a travesty. Truth be told, I’m not always efficient at using the leftovers I have in my fridge and may often find a forgotten tupperware from dinners past in the fridge weeks later that I have to send straight to the composting. But not this time, no sir, roasted fennel and beets must be used to their maximum capacity and here I had to get a little creative.

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At first glance this soup might look suspiciously similar to the one posted before it. Pureed, a bit orangey, some green stuff on top. The taste, on the other hand, is very different. The soup represents my first attempt at putting myself out there and making friends with cauliflower. Just like brussel sprouts before him, the cauliflower is one of those vegetables I intuitively stayed clear of for most of my life. Oh cauliflower, how could I have been so wrong about you? So much for listening to your gut.

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Make this soup!

The weatherpeople in the Bay Area always act as if snow is such an anomaly here that a person is likely to only encounter it once or twice in a lifetime of California living. And while we certainly don’t get more than a light dusting (sorry East Coasters, I feel for you…I can’t even imagine what driving would be like on San Francisco hills in slush and snow), I have seen more than a handful of flakes over the years that I’ve been here to know that yes, we can get weather even in California. It is cooold today, and snow has been spotted around the Bay, which makes me extra grateful to have this soup recipe in my arsenal for this time of year.

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This posting is otherwise known as “stuff a squash with anything and it tastes good”, I just thought that title was a little wordy. I hadn’t really befriended squash in any earnest way until last year in New England, probably because squash just looks more appropriate there I guess; the only dishes I remember seeing growing up on the west coast were mountainous piles of orange blob-y stuff with a bunch of marshmallows on top…later identified as sweet potatoes. Hmm, not interested. Anyway, I have since done some lateral exploring of different gourd family members (god I love that word) and I am now a fan.

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I’m a little late to the fall game this year, and for that I am truly sad. Sure summer produce is wonderful, but I love me some soups and squashes. Not to mention it is much more enjoyable to spend time over the stove when it isn’t 6,000 degrees outside.  So, I have some catching up to do; first up is this awesome risotto that was perfect to serve on a cool fall evening to my first dinner guest in my new place.

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People say it takes 14 days to develop a habit. Well, I’ve taken 59 days and I was (was!) firmly in the habit of surrendering to the meals coming out of other people’s kitchens. And now I’m on day 2 of kicking the habit. No, I did not suffer but I did yearn for the return back to my own kitchen where I could once again indulge in my gastronomical musings. And look at what a sparkly new kitchen I have!

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