Shortly after we started the blog, I posted my recipe for homemade flour tortillas. I continue to make them whenever we’d like to have tortillas at a meal. They simply taste so, so much yummier than typical grocery store brands. Having made them many more times since originally posting, I thought could refresh my recipe with tips and notes I’ve picked up along the way. I’ve definitely found ways to make them turn out more regularly shaped and to roll out nice and thin, but also stay soft enough to wrap and fill. The more I make them, the less work they seem too! For your first time making them, however, plan for them to take an hour or more.Read More
I’m always on the lookout for vegetarian meal ideas because I try to plan three meatless dinners each week. My kids (and husband) would almost certainly be happy with a pasta dish on each of those days - and honestly I wouldn’t be too bothered about it either - but for the sake of variety and creativity and (probably) a trimmer waste, I usually mix it up with other vegetarian staples like eggs or beans and lots of hearty vegetables and grains. But beans and rice and frittata all get a little tired, no matter how many variations you try, so when I saw Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything Vegetarian at the library, I was so excited at the prospect of freshening up my meatless menus. And this book definitely delivers! It is impressively comprehensive. Bittman has so many tips and ideas and recipes with endless variations that I could use this book every day for a full year and still not have tried it all nor be tired of it. After looking through the book - and it is a huge book - I was almost tempted to go entirely vegetarian. It demands a change of mindset, one that takes those food groups generally thought of as supporting roles and makes them front and center. So challenging and creative!Read More
When I first heard of hamburger buddy, I was skeptical. The name doesn’t sell it very well, calling to mind boxes of prepackaged, minimal assembly required meals. Convenient, sure, but not something I usually go for at the store. Though the recipe doesn’t explicitly say so, I’m positive this is supposed to be the homemade version of Hamburger Helper.Read More
A little less than a year ago, I posted this recipe for Mac n’ Cheese. The technique of cooking the pasta in the béchamel sauce was new to me and so appealing for cutting down on dishes. It reliably gave the baked Mac n’ Cheese a wonderful texture too, something that had eluded me with other recipes. Now my Mac n’ Cheese comes out the same every time and just the way I like it. I found this recipe, and I’ve stuck with it very happily.Read More
That’s all I really want to say to introduce this recipe. I could go on about how yummy they are, but really I just want you to take my word for it and make them. They are Ottolenghi at his best - simple but totally packed with flavor.Read More
This is one of those sides that are perfect for lightening and brightening a heavier meal, that is interesting and tasty, but requires minimal ingredients and almost no time. Simple, but perfect, especially in warmer weather.Read More
This Moroccan Chicken Pie is easily one of my favorite foods. I remember the first time I took a bite…it was an explosion of flavor and I couldn’t get enough of it. Crispy, buttery, flaky, sweet, savory, nutty, spiced, herbed…oh it’s just too good.
And the whole process of making it is nearly as satisfying as its taste.Read More
The quest for the smoothest, creamiest and fluffiest hummus is no stranger to the internet. Methods for achieving this ideal are all over the map, some swearing by certain brands of canned chickpeas, others insisting on starting from dried chickpeas, or maintaining you must soak them, boil and even peel them.Read More
For our household, I’m often looking for easy, crowd pleasing, economical meals. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up how to eat a potato for dinner. But happily, one of my searches brought this kugel to light. The original recipe never mentioned serving it as dinner, but that didn’t stop me. Doubling the proportions, using a large casserole dish, and adding a sprinkle of cheese on top (or not), this seemed substantial and tasty enough if served along a nice side of greens or veggie or fruit. While I make it for dinner many times, it also serves as a stupendous brunch dish. Plus, I love how it takes under a half an hour to whip up. The rest is hands off time in the oven.Read More
Sometimes you combine two things and it really doesn’t work at all. Like Grape Nuts and oatmeal. That didn’t work. But sometimes imagination and reality match up beautifully, like in this potato salad. I had volunteered to bring potato salad to a bbq potluck but I wanted something more interesting than your standard American version. Esquites is just the off-the-cob version of the Mexican street corn called elotes, which is corn that gets charred and slathered in a creamy, zesty combination of mayo, crema, cotija, cilantro, and lime. It’s one of those dishes that makes your taste buds go crazy with textures and flavors. Perfect for tossing with some plain potatoes and turning into something delicious and interesting!
You will love this salad. So will anyone you share it with. Make it for your next BBQ! Or make it for your Easter luncheon. We had it for dinner with black beans and slaw. It’s really good warm or room temperature but it can be served cold, too. I never find roasted potatoes to keep amazingly well for the next day, but this holds up alright because of all the yummy extras.
A note about the roasting: I love the extra flavor and texture dimension that roasted potatoes add to this salad, but you could just as easily boil the potatoes until tender and then let cool a bit. They might soak up a bit more of the dressing, but that’s nothing to complain about!
warm esquites potato salad
serves 4-6, can easily be doubled or tripled
2.5 - 3 lbs potatoes, scrubbed and chopped into 3/4 inch chunks (I use gold or russet potatoes)
4 Tbsp vegetable oil, separated
4 ears corn, shucked
1/2 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
3 scallions, chopped
1 garlic, minced
1 jalapeno, diced fine
1 tsp chili powder
1/4 cup mayo
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp lime
1/3 cup feta or cotija, crumbled
First the potatoes: Preheat the oven to 475. Put the chopped potatoes in a large pot and cover with water. Salt the water well! Potatoes absorb a lot of salt while cooking, giving them flavor; otherwise they will be bland. Set over high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for just a few minutes until the potatoes are just about fork tender but not quite. Drain. Place a large baking sheet in the oven with 1 Tbsp of oil and let it heat up.
Drizzle the remaining 2 Tbsp of vegetable oil over the potatoes in the large pot. Cover the pot with a lid and shake the potatoes around pretty vigorously to coat the potatoes with the softened starch and the vegetable oil. This will result in very crispy edges when roasted. (Note: if you boil your potatoes too much they may fall apart at this stage so be careful!)
Remove the baking sheet from the oven, tipping and shaking gently to spread the heated oil. Carefully dump the potatoes out onto the pan and spread out. Give them a sprinkle of salt, then stick the pan back in the oven.
Roast for 20-30 minutes or until tender, crispy and golden brown, turning over the potatoes midway. Remove and let sit while you make the esquites.
For the esquites: Whisk together the mayo, sour cream, scallions, cilantro, and lime juice.
Carefully slice the kernals from the cob using a sharp knife. Heat 2 Tbsp oil over medium high heat in a skillet. Add the corn, sprinkle with a bit of salt, stir a bit, and then let sit and cook and develop a little brown on the underside. Stir after a few minutes and let the other side brown for a few more minutes. Add the garlic and chili powder and stir for just a minute.
Scrape the corn into a large bowl. Add the sour cream mayo mixture and stir well to coat.
Add the potatoes and toss well to combine. Salt to taste. Sprinkle with the crumbled feta. Serve warm or at room temp.
I came up with the idea for this recipe after making chipotle sour cream to go along with baked bean & cheese burritos. The sauce was so good, I just wanted more of it. Then I remembered beef stroganoff, which is essentially beef coated with sour cream. If I just added chipotle to the sour cream, I’d have exactly what I was hankering after, right?Read More
Have I mentioned how much I love Ottolenghi cookbooks? His recipes opened up a whole new world of flavor in my kitchen. He is so creative with flavors and food combinations. I’ve never been disappointed with an Ottolenghi recipe I’ve tried, and there are some that we return to again and again.
This recipe here is inspired by one from his newest cookbook Simple. It is simple. It’s also really delicious and makes a substantial meatless dish. The original recipe calls for ciabatta but I only had a loaf of sourdough so I used that. I made it a little more herby, too. I would maybe add some ham or bacon in a future version but it certainly doesn’t need it. It was puffy and light with delightful crusty cheesy baked edges. Mmmm. Serve it with a salad and you've got yourself a perfect weekday meal.Read More
I love this kind of salad so much. It’s colorful, it’s hearty, it’s nutritious, and it tastes delicious on top of all that. I serve a basic old house salad with every dinner, so a salad like this is kind of like a treat. It’s also a perfect side salad to fill out a meal that needs just a little more substance on the side.
Alternatively, you can throw grains (like farro, barley, or quinoa) or roasted veggies (Brussel sprouts and sweet potatoes are my personal fave) and make this a legit meal. It makes a delicious lunch or a lighter dinner. With all the different elements and flavors you end up feeling totally satisfied.Read More
Tomato soup and grilled cheese: it’s an American staple. Probably because it’s fast, and it’s satisfying.
The thing is, as a grown adult cooking for my family, I discovered that many cans and cartons of tomato soup are chock full of sugars. On the other hand, a lot of homemade recipes, although fresh and delicious, take time to make, and don’t yield that ultra smooth brilliant soup you get from a can.Read More
I was inspired to make this dish after trying a recipe from this Food52 cookbook. The squash & chickpea salad/side recipe was delicious, but lacked enough “oomph” to pass for a meal on its own (at least in our house). So I added in couscous, tweaked the proportions, and discovered a few toppings that paired nicely. The result: a delicious, filling and surprisingly fresh dinner, sometimes hard to come by in the winter with no garden fresh produce.Read More
Posting this as a recipe feels a little like posting a recipe for, say, a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. It’s just so basic, just another toast variety that we eat on the regular. I never give a thought to amounts or proportions. On the other hand, there’s definitely a technique for the eggs ... and even if it is a teensy bit fussier than a simple fried egg, the final product is so aesthetically pleasing that it feels that much more of a treat. This is the number one favorite breakfast in our house.
I’ve done these eggs on a couple different stove tops and it always works so I’m going to go ahead and call it a fail-proof method. The trickiest part is peeling the shell but that just requires a little patience and gentle touch.
I highly recommend a sprinkle of Trader Joe’s Everything But The seasoning. That stuff is bonkers. We put it on everything - eggs, avocado, vegetables, cream cheese on crackers, even in my sourdough. It’s so good.
Avocado toast with soft boiled egg
your favorite bread or whatever you have on hand, sliced and toasted
1 egg or more depending on how many you are serving (I’ve done up to 5 eggs)
For the egg(s): In a small saucepan, bring 1/2 inch water to a simmer over medium low heat. Add the eggs, return the water to simmer, cover, and set the timer for 7 minutes. After 7 minutes, remove the pan from the heat, carefully pour out the hot water, and run the eggs under cold water to cool down. Add a handful of ice cubes to the water to speed up the process.
Meanwhile, have your toast ready and spread with slices of avocado. Sprinkle lightly with salt (if you’re not using the TJ’s Everything But The seasoning).
Carefully peel the eggs. This can be a finicky business, especially because with the soft yolk inside they are still, well, soft. I try to crack up the shell all around before I begin peeling, and I always start from one of the ends. Sometimes they come out like a dream, sometimes I end up taking off chunks of egg white. It doesn’t really matter much to me.
Place the egg on the toast and cut open. Watch all that beautiful yolky goodness spread like a rich sauce over your toast.* Sprinkle with aforementioned seasoning. Eat and enjoy.
*If you prefer your yolk to be on the more gelatinous and less liquid side, simmer for 30-45 seconds longer.
I think most of the country has a few more weeks until warm weather, so I’m offering this deep hearty soup as a small comfort in the long lingering winter. This soup was everything I wanted it to be on the cold and rainy day I made it: warm and comforting, creamy smooth, flavorful and filling. The roasted garlic and fennel give it depth and the beans give it substance so that with a slice of bread and a hearty salad you’ve got a very satisfying meal. I served it with salty crisped salami which highlighted the mellow sweetness of the fennel and garlic. I don’t think kids should always be a standard of a successful dish but when they gobble down a bowl of soup and ask for leftovers the next day I think it’s safe to say it’s a keeper.
roasted garlic fennel and white bean soup
12 cloves garlic
2 bulbs fennel, sliced 1/2 inch think, fronds cut off and reserved
olive oil and butter
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cans (about 3.5 cups) white beans (either cannellini or Great Northern)
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
optional garnish: crisped pancetta, bacon, or salami and fennel fronds
Preheat the oven to 400. Coat the fennel slices and unpeeled garlic cloves in a couple glugs of olive oil. Lay out on a sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes, or until soft and just beginning to brown on the edges. Remove from oven and set aside. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop up the fennel and peel the garlic cloves (you can basically just squeeze the cloves right out of the skin.)
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5-8 minutes. Add the chopped fennel and garlic and cook for a minute or two more. Add the broth, beans, and bay leaf and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and blitz the soup with an immersion blender, or in batches in a standing blender. Return to the pot and stir in the cream. Salt and pepper to taste. If desired, serve with a swirl of cream, a sprinkle of crisped bacon, pancetta, or salami and the reserved fennel fronds.
Potato soup is comforting, easy, and economical. This recipe takes under an hour to throw together and makes everyone happy and content. The garlic and cheese are really what make this shine and taste all the more delicious.Read More