Lentil and tomato stew

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I forgot that the Super Bowl is this weekend. If I’d remembered, I might have found a dip to share with you. Actually, I have a recipe for a caramelized onion dip that I’ve been wanting to try, and a Super Bowl party would have been the perfect reason to make it. It’s too late for that, though– I’m actively searching for ways to avoid hearing/watching Ben watch the game. But now I’m thinking about the dip, and now I want it, so I might make it anyway for my own not-Super Bowl party (aka me binge-watching Friends on Friday night.)

Instead of appetizers, snacks, dips, chilis and foods involving hot dogs and barbecue sauce, I’ve been focusing on the things that will get us to springtime: Foods that have some vegetables, dishes that ooze with gooey, lightly browning cheese. Dinners that you can make on a weeknight and some sweets for you to leisurely whip up on Sunday afternoon. I’m especially trying to take advantage of the citrus that’s in season– all of the oranges I’ve tasted this year have been particularly juicier and sweeter than I’ve ever noticed. (Don’t worry, at least one citrus recipe will be coming soon, and you will absolutely love it.) Continue reading “Lentil and tomato stew”

Whole lemon bars

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Earlier this month, I was in a major cooking rut. I didn’t cook much over the holidays, and it was tough to get back to normal. There were loads of sweets in my house (if you can resist 70% off Christmas candy, then you are a stronger person than I), and I wanted the stash to be whittled down a bit before I began to add onto it with homemade goodies. I enjoy baking much more than cooking, and since I wasn’t doing that, I didn’t really want to do any of the food preparation thing. I did, though, and I’ve made it to the top of the hill. The Rolos are also mostly hidden in the depths of the pantry now; hopefully, they’ll be a happy surprise in a couple of months. So straightaway, it’s back into the kitchen, and especially back to baking. Continue reading “Whole lemon bars”

Roasted Brussels sprouts quiche

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I’ve been chipping away at my list of kitchen stuff that I want/need. Every so often, I’ll go on an online shopping spree, and a few days later, a box full of goodies arrives at my door.* One such occasion brought me not one but three thermometers: candy, probe and old fashioned analog instant-read. I’ll admit that they’ve been spending a lot of time in a cabinet, but I have used two of the three.

My mom has really been my benefactress, though; the bulk of the goods have come from her. My mom is a yard and garage shopping pro. She found a barely-used KitchenAid stand mixer for $75, and it came with some attachments. She bought me a panini press for $10, and she found two of the Cuisinart pots that I like at TJ Maxx for less than a hundred dollars total. (They’re regularly at least eighty each.) Whisks, cake pans, muffin tins, spatulas, good cookbooks, she’s found them all at yard sales. It’s to the point where I mention I want something, and the next time that I visit her, I have it. I keep thinking of things I want, but I’m running out of room. Continue reading “Roasted Brussels sprouts quiche”

Simple salad (for winter)

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 To know me is to know that I love honey mustard. I really, really love it. I’ll put it on almost anything (that’s only a slight exaggeration), and honey mustard and salad just go together perfectly to me. Sometimes I want to mix it up with different dressings, but often not.

Therefore, I eat a lot of salad with honey mustard. In the summer, the salads tend to be full of vegetables, especially tomatoes, but in  winter, the produce that I most love is out of season. Tomatoes are mealy and hard, summer squash in winter just doesn’t make sense, and everything comes from the other side of the world. My salad standbys don’t work out when it’s cold.

I’ve recently been eating a winter-appropriate salad, though, and I’ve been having second thoughts for a while about my honey mustard love. Let’s face it–honey mustard is basically the unhealthiest dressing of them all. It’s loaded with sugar, and my particular favorite, Ken’s Steakhouse Honey Mustard, is really just flavored mayo. These are facts that I know and accept, but I feel a little guilty about them. “I should want to eat salad with better, healthier, even maybe sweetener-free dressings,” I tell myself. “I like balsamic and olive oil. It should be good enough!” Yet it never, ever is. Continue reading “Simple salad (for winter)”

Asian meatballs

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I’ve been thinking about what to write about for two days, and really, I don’t have much. My 2015 thus far has been pretty dull. It kicked off with a mini-bang–I didn’t see any fireworks or go to any parties, but we at least went out and walked around in Paris until a quarter after midnight. But only a few hours after that was a long plane ride and a switch back to the daily grind and routine, and there hasn’t really been any time for festivities. Continue reading “Asian meatballs”

Martha Stewart’s perfect macaroni and cheese

macandcheese4 Okay, okay. Here I am, and I’m going to ruin any New Year’s resolution you might have had about eating healthy. I didn’t have a resolution*, so I am not to blame.

Although I’ve been lucky and it’s bright and sunny here rather than dreary, it’s cold, and I have to go to work, and it’s cold. Ben made me run outside with him a few days ago, and although I was prepared with my arsenal of winter running apparel, and wind spiked through the fabric to my legs and left them feeling prickly for several minutes as they adjusted to the happy, dry radiator heat. Continue reading “Martha Stewart’s perfect macaroni and cheese”

Winter cauliflower salad

cauliflowersalad3I do not like cauliflower. I don’t like raw cauliflower, I don’t like steamed cauliflower, and I don’t like roasted cauliflower. A couple of years ago, someone told me that they don’t like cauliflower but that they love roasted cauliflower, and I should try it. I did, and I was flooded with both disappointment and disgust. I don’t like not liking various foods–I used to not like blue cheese so I ate a little piece of it every day when I worked at a cheese shop, and now I like it. So although I don’t like cauliflower, seemingly however it is prepared (unless it is doused in cheese), I couldn’t help but give it another go.

I’m not sure what drew me to this recipe, especially since I knew the likelihood of me enjoying it was pretty slim, but I also knew that if I were going to decide to like something that contains cauliflower without cheese as a primary ingredient, it would need to spend some time in a flavorful marinade. The one thing that cauliflower has going for it is its crispness, so perhaps if that could be retained and the bland flavor masked with a pungent mixture, I’d have success and find a way to eat a new vegetable. Continue reading “Winter cauliflower salad”

Roasted tomatoes

roastedtomatoes3Hello! I am back! I hope you didn’t think I’d disappeared or been taken or had gotten bored of blogging. I was just on a little break. I think everyone deserves a break, although I actually would have shared some recipes with you had I been in my own kitchen. I wasn’t, though, and it is too difficult figuring out someone else’s kitchen to seriously cook or bake. (Easy cooking or baking are definitely possible in someone else’s kitchen, like this.)

I was in France, and I ate more cheese in those two weeks than I think I’ve eaten in the preceding three months. I’m not quite sure if that’s an exaggeration or not– if it is, I’m positive that it’s only by a month. I knew I’d be eating a lot of cheese, but for some reason, it didn’t register prior to the trip how much it would actually be. After a week or so, I was a bit cheesed-out, so I cut smaller pieces, and my appetite for it came back.

I had been planning to bring cheese home, regardless of customs being okay with it or not (it’d be an experiment!), but I checked their website and it’s fine, so now there’s a little stockpile in the fridge that I’ve told Ben he has to savor, not devour. Continue reading “Roasted tomatoes”