Category Archives: Grain

Happy New Year

Sipping a damn fine martini, made by my personal mixologist, I’m tempted to reflect on some recent meals.

Today’s chowda was an adventure, but so incredibly satisfying. I brought home clams, having read a recipe on the King Arthur Flour site, but when I got home, the recipe no longer inspired me. Instead, CHOW’s Chow-der stepped up. It required a few other ingredients, and Chris hopped to it, with the promise of some New England-style chowder on the other side.. Many hours later, delectable it was. Satisfying on this drizzly January day.

In other news, it’s really January?

Also made some oatmeal-wheat bread, using this incredibly easy recipe: Oat-Wheat Loaf. It required kneading, but it’s easy enough for to be made regularly.


In a pickle

Yes, every time someone pickles things and blogs about it, the post must be titled something about being in a pickle.

After pouring over the new cookbooks of last week, my mind was set on pickles. We had some green beans that we didn’t get around to from last week’s farmer’s market, and I picked up some lovely carrots at this week’s market, forgetting that we had a few bags of grocery-store carrots in the fridge. What to do with these lesser vegetables? Pickle away!

The bounty so far includes some curry-jalapeno picked carrots, pickled green beans and pickled russian purple radishes. I intend to try a ginger beet pickle tomorrow. I’m hoping to either use these as snacks or to top salad. Or fish.

Tonight’s dinner was a success, too. Picked up some green garlic at the market, not quite grasping that it’d be so different from the stuff we normally cook with. The texture is so bizarre when you’re chopping, but it’s really interesting and flavorful. We followed the linguine with green garlic clam sauce on this NY Times page. Served it with a mixed greens salad, with greens from Ray’s yard, and a curry vinaigrette. That vinaigrette does really interesting things. I’d love to mimic a chicken curry with grapes and almonds. Chris had a suggestion, too, but he’s talking to me right now and I can’t expend additional brainpower to access my memory.

So far, everything’s been worth repeating.

Oh, have some tomato sauce going on the back burner. Here’s hoping it meets to the successes of the rest of the day.

UPDATE: Nearly forgot.. sipping on my celery julep. Very refreshing, and makes you consider celery in ways that you hadn’t necessarily. Chris: “Peppery.” Me: “herbal.” It’s a very refreshing drink. I do declare.

Slacking! — an update

Let’s see. . .

Seth made lamb burgers on the salt block, topped with watercress and red pepper.  His asparagus with meyer lemon, also cooked on the salt, was delectable! I made a rhubarb bread pudding, but I wasn’t too happy with it, so no sense sharing the recipe.

Finally settled on brunch — Smitten Kitchen’s boozy baked french toast (sans booze).

Chris made a yummy turkey chorizo sauce and pasta. Made for great leftovers, too. He was in a trance, so I can’t really report on what went in there.

Later that week, we made a shaved asparagus salad with avocado and lime. It was an interesting technique, and I’m not sure what I’d do to improve it, yet — but I would repeat the experiment.

Last night we made a margarita cod and red quinoa. Well, it was supposed to be agave and kiwi salsa cod, but I substituted lime for kiwi… so it became margarita cod. Turned into a great, balanced meal.

Tonight was another Chris classic — a stir fry of edamame and asparagus on brown rice. Again, balanced. It was nice to have healthy food again.

I’m away from the kitchen for the next few days, but I’m not giving up on this online recipe log!

Slightly drunk noodles

With a few variations, we made drunken noodles following the recipe on epicurious. At first it appeared that the copious amounts of chilis that went into it underwhelmed, but it produced a heat that sort of built. It didn’t quite recreate the Thai dish, but it was tasty.

If I make it again, I’d perhaps find a way to lower the salt that goes into this. The salt from the soy sauce was a bit overbearing.

No-recipe Saturday

Pasta and broccoli was on the menu, but we wanted a little more. So, we searched the fridge and made an interesting sauteed honeyed radish and mustard greens dish to accompany some egg noodles with a lemony-peppery sauce. Delish!

After reading about some dark cocoa and sea salt brownies, I wanted brownies. Alas, we didn’t have enough butter to make anything. Dug up some puff pastry from the freezer. Combined some dark chocolate with orange zest and a few cherries from the freezer. Remarkably, it turned out decent enough to stand up to my craving! The leftovers might make faux-chocolate croissants in the morning. Not exactly healthy, but… I have farro on the menu for breakfast next week. Should even out, right?


The Noodlr is so much fun. It answers the question that is deceptively difficult: what to have with your noodles. Unless standing in front of an open fridge and grabbing things at will, I suffer an extreme lack of creativity when it comes to noodle-based dishes. This simple random suggestion generator (with vegetarian options) makes that a lot easier. My, though. This is dangerous to play before eating lunch.

Alice’s Sour Cream Chocolate Chocolate Chip Banana Bread and No-knead Bread

We had a lot of soon-to-be-gone bananas, and a half a bag of chocolate chips, and various other sundries, so I gave it a whirl with the grilled lamb and baba ganoush that we finally cooked. The new grill (rescued from someone else’s trip to the dump) is getting its first workout from us tonight! Also substituted some creme fraiche for the sour cream in the banana bread and used a cake flour to keep it light since my bread pan has begun to flake off its coating. Gross.

Earlier today, I tried no-knead bread, using a lot of whole wheat flour. I may become a convert. Easy tasty  bread. Followed the recipe from Macheesmo, but the recipe has made the rounds on various other blogs as well. (variation 1 variation 2 variation 3) Already planning on making another loaf of this to go with some dinner later in the week, which is well and good since the recipe does take planning…

We used a large cast iron skillet to cook it. We don’t have a dutch oven, but a cast iron purchase may be on the horizon. It meant that we missed out on the step where you cook it with the lid on, but we still ended up with a lovely loaf with a chewy crust.

The recipe is attributed to Jim Lahey. I still have trouble reading that name without thinking of Trailer Park Boys…

Buttermilk biscuits

This has become my “go to” recipe for buttermilk biscuits. Doesn’t take too long to whip up, plus you can make the biscuits the night before and toss in the oven the next morning. It has become worth keeping buttermilk on  hand to make this when the mood strikes…

Tabasco and Asparagus Quinoa

We’re substituting hot sauce for tabasco. And this wasn’t actually made yesterday, but perhaps we’ll try it tonight.  The schedule was thrown off since I forgot to defrost the scallops to accompany this.

Update: Made this on April 13 before heading to see Michael Pollan at Goucher. It was good, but the recipe wasn’t worth following to the letter. I’d take it more as an inspiration than a prescription.