Saffron rice

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Last spring, I found a new food obsession: Risotto. This fall, I found a new food obsession: Saffron rice. (I never found a good time to share it in the fall, but now I have.) Oddly enough, though, I’ve never been a fan of rice. I never want to eat it, I never want to make it, and I really only use it to mix with whatever saucy food is sitting atop it. It’s bland, pretty dull looking and the texture’s kinda funky too, if you choose to think about the oddity that is rice. However, considering that Wikipedia says that rice constitutes more than 20% of the calories the world eats, most people in the world clearly do not think like me.

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Chai peanut butter

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There is a peanut butter company in Durham that sells peanut butter nationally, primarily in local businesses but even through Food52. The products are awesome.They have your standard peanut butter, but they also have variations and mixtures with different types of nuts, some with chocolate, and a couple other flavors. I’ve only tried one type, chai spice peanut butter, and it is to die for. But a small jar of it costs $13.

$13 peanut butter is an expensive habit, so although I couldn’t resist buying one, I savored my little jar. No delicious chai peanut butter sandwiches graced my lunch routine; I only ate a smear on a small slice of bread after meals. I wanted to eat so much more though. I wanted to eat the whole jar in one sitting, and I easily could have done that. Two or three sittings might be a more reasonable approximation than one, but Ben would have polished it off at one time without a second though. Therefore, he wasn’t allowed to eat any of the special nut butter.

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Cacio e pepe-style braised kale

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So. Kale.

The “it food” is actually losing a bit of its celebrity. If you’ve read any articles on food trends for 2015, kale is on the way out and a hybrid kale-brussel sprout thing is the new it-healthy-will-fix-all-of-your-problems-forever food. I haven’t seen this mysterious cruciferous vegetable in real life yet, but I’m certain it will be coming to a store near you ever so soon. (Hey the pictures look pretty so I might break down and buy into the hype.) Continue reading “Cacio e pepe-style braised kale”

Charred eggplant dip

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Do you ever have weeks or months or seasons where it seems like you never stop? You’re always busy or have something nagging at you to be done, and you can force yourself to do them, but really all you want to do is sit around and relax? Maybe you’re the sort of person who always likes to be busy, and if you are, go you– my mom is definitely this sort of person and it is beyond my understanding how she can always have the energy to go from one task to another to another all the time. Needless to say, I’ve sort of been in a busy-rut that I don’t particularly want to be in, but I also do want to be in it. It’s hard to put into words because all of the things that make me busy are things that I want to be doing. They’re tasks that I enjoy, such as cooking and this blog, but that also take away from veg time. Alas, I recently decided to stop stressing about all of the things and start finding ways to create more fun. And if you’re ever feeling the same vague and indescribable way I’ve been feeling, I highly suggest you search for easy ways to have fun, too. Continue reading “Charred eggplant dip”

Chocolate spice cake

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Valentine’s Day is coming up, and if you’re going to bake something to show your loved ones some affection, it’s time to get down to business. There are two days (maybe more like one and a half) left to decide what to make, so there is plenty of time to get started on a fancy, complex recipe. But if you’re like me, you want to make something delicious that’s not too complicated and is also a bit different than the ordinary chocolate chip cookies, brownies, or– dare I say it?–store-bought chocolates. Continue reading “Chocolate spice cake”

Spinach and ricotta pasta

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I completely botched a recipe. I guess that “completely” might be a bit of an overstatement, but it certainly felt that that way when I was trying to mix raw spinach into a pound of cooked pasta in a 3 quart saucepan. It seemed like a novel idea– the piping hot pasta would surely steam the spinach; my pot was just smaller than what I was supposed to use. I was wrong though. The test cooks at America’s Test Kitchen did not say to use the residual pasta steam to cook spinach. They really did plan you to make the pasta dish in a pretty easy manner. Continue reading “Spinach and ricotta pasta”

Chicken tikka masala

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We’re in the depths of comfort-food time. I feel like I’ve been eating more comfort food than I have for a long time–you’ll see some more examples from my table soon enough. For everyone involved, I hope that they’ll be ready way before swimsuit season comes around.

One thing I’ve learned from all this comfort food I’m eating, though, is that it the recipes for it make a lot of servings. Maybe part of the comfort you get from them is peace of mind from not cooking for a few days? I don’t really consider not cooking comforting, and I think we’re in the same camp since you’re reading a food blog, but it can be really nice to come home and eat leftovers for a few nights. Continue reading “Chicken tikka masala”

Candied orange peel

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I promised you a citrus recipe, so here it is. It’s probably not what you were expecting. It wasn’t exactly what I was expecting either, but you might see that here sometime this month too–it just depends on my schedule and how much room there is in the fridge.

The story of my journey to make candied orange peel: I am a big fan of the public library. I go to it at least once a month, and more often than not, I end up in the cookbook section. There are so many cookbooks there, even more cookbooks than at a bookstore! The Dewey decimal system for cookbooks is pretty odd, though; I haven’t yet figured it out, but I’m certain that there are sections for regional cooking, desserts, baking, cookies, grilling and vegetarian recipes, among others. I never know where the sections are until I start seeing titles like The Cake Bible, Cakes for Dummies and riffs on that huddled together. It’s pretty easy to deduce what the section is once you’re staring at it, though. Continue reading “Candied orange peel”