Tag Archives: recipes

23. Make or bake one thing from 10 cookbooks- Baking: From My Home to Yours

16 Aug


I’ve heard that you don’t know what you’ve have until it’s gone.

And then, when you realize what you’ve lost, there’s this sudden woosh of sadness.

I miss having a kitchen. The one in my apartment is, let’s face it, a disaster. You can’t even describe it as “quaint” because that paints the mental image of carved cabinets and finicky ovens. Perhaps a loose knob or two.

No. My kitchen is not “quaint,” it’s “nonexistent.” We’re talking no counter space, microwave, mini-fridge, and a four-burner stovetop. I bought a toaster oven on a desperate February snow day, positive that I could not make it another day without cookies.

It sounds like I’m complaining. I am, a little, I’d admit it. Whining, even. And really, I’ve survived. I’ve lived in the apartment for two years, and I haven’t wasted away to a mere shadow of my former self (I blame the cookies I was so hellbent on).

The problem is, when I get back into a kitchen, I go a little crazy.

I become obsessed with doing all the things I can’t do in my little hole-in-the-wall impostor of a kitchen. Seriously, I think I have dreams about the possibilities. Crazy sparkely dreams filled with flour and sugar and lemons and rainbows.

Ok, maybe not rainbows.

I’m house sitting this week. Besides getting to spend time with these ladies, I also have access to a kitchen. With a counter. And a normal size oven. And a dishwasher.

Be still my heart. I may never leave.

So far, I’ve made vegetarian chili, cheddar cornbread, and soft pretzels. To be fair, it’s been pouring rain, and my favorite place to be when it’s pouring rain, other than back in bed, is the kitchen. There’s just something so insanely movie-romantic about baking when there’s torrential rains going on outside.

Needless to say, the gym has been sorely neglected.

I also made this amazing recipe by Dorie Greenspan. It’s so simple and elegant and ridiculously easy. And it has the word “French” in the title which makes it sound that much more sophisticated. Remember that sophistication when you’re eating this with your fingers while watching bad TV.

I think it might be my “go-to” loaf cake from now on. Everyone needs one of those, right?

[keep reading! there’s more here]

23. Make or bake one thing from 10 cookbooks- Vegan Brunch

12 Aug


I like brunch.

The issue is, 88.7% of Manhattan likes brunch, too.

I don’t like long lines. They give me time to think about the fact that I’m going to spend $18.63 on eggs, coffee, and if I’m lucky, a Sunday-morning acceptable cocktail. All of which I could have made at home. I try not to think about how many bottles of Andre that $18.63 could get me.

But brunch is fun! You see friends! You get waited on! If it’s nice weather and you’re willing to wait 42 minutes, you sit outside! Sigh.

Not to rub it in, when you don’t work in the summer, you can have brunch every day. Especially when you don’t wake up until mid-morning. Because, even if you call it “breakfast,” let’s face it, it’s still brunch.

The sad thing is, you’re eating brunch by yourself.

I look pretty cool with a book at a restaurant by myself. And heavens! I’m not above that at all!

But maybe I could save some money and make brunch at home. Because then I can stay in my PJs and watch “Real Housewives of New York” while I eat. Leaving the apartment is overrated.

[keep reading! there’s more here!]

23. Make or bake on thing from each cookbook- 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know

24 Jul


I’m not a fan of wussy salads.

You know, the fussy, frilly, wimpy ones that cost $12 and don’t really fill you up. There are so many of them out there! They look really pretty, but they’re more show than anything else. And while I’m a fan of nice preparation, if I’m ordering salad, I need it to have oomph. I don’t want to be hungry at the end of it. Especially if I’m spending that much money.

This salad looks fancy, it really does. I think it’s the grapefruit. Hefty salads don’t usually have grapefruit, do they? But it’s surprisingly not wussy, probably due to the dressing. And the fact that I added avocado because I love me some avocado. Oh, those healthy fats. Don’t add it if you don’t want to, really, it’ll still be ok.
Can we talk about this cookbook for a second? Ridiculous name aside, I really like it. I was skeptical because 1) there are no pictures and 2) it’s put together by a magazine. It’s not fancy or complicated, but many of the recipes use ingredients that you probably have in your kitchen already, or that are really easy to get. I haven’t used it a whole lot, but after this salad (which would have taken 3 minutes, had I known how to segment grapefruit), I’ve decided that I like it. And despite the semi-sexist title, the recipes really don’t have to be women-only.

Make this salad. If nothing else, it doesn’t require you to turn on your stove in this disgusting weather.

[keep reading! there’s more here!]

23. Cook or bake one thing from each cookbook- Barefoot Contessa: How Easy Is That?

15 Jul

I have a crush on the farmer’s market.

It’s like the cool older brother of the annoying, obnoxious grocery store I was complaining about before.

Dear Grocery Store,

I promise to take back all the mean things I said about you if you introduce me to the Farmer’s Market. I think we’d really hit it off.

He’s just so cute.

And fresh.

And colorful.

And local. Sigh.

And…

he’s already taken?

Awkward.

Well, I have a crush on the farmer’s market. And everyone who was crowding me and agressively squeezing peaches yesterday apparently does too. It’s easy to understand, when it gives you gifts like these:

He sure knows how to woo a girl.

This recipe is like, a farmer’s market explosion. It screams, “oh em gee, I am summer in a bowl.” Actually, if your dinner is talking to you, that’s a problem. Throw it out immediately and make a new one. Gross.

If only I could have eaten it on a deck. With an ocean nearby. And some good white wine.

Am I getting too demanding? The farmer’s market never thinks so.

Perfect. Boyfriend. Material.

[keep reading! there’s more here!]

23. Cook or bake one thing from each cookbook- Nigella Fresh

13 Jul

Have you ever gone grocery shopping in New York City?

I think that sometimes most of the time it’s really awful.

Like, awful enough to make you want to order take-out and never go to the grocery store again.

Because I need an excuse to do that.

Gone are the wide aisles and the easy to find merchandise. They’ve been replaced with teeny tiny hard to maneuver rows, things stacked on top of each other, and people using carts when they really shouldn’t be.

Yeah, I’m looking at you, Buff Gym Man, with your cart blocking the whole path. Use a basket.

I can never make a “quick run” to the grocery store. Because it takes me LITERALLY 20 minutes to find whatever I’m looking for.

Unless it’s things I get all the time.

Like apples.

Or cereal.

Or butter. I’ve been buying a lot of butter recently. I know where that is.

The ONE good thing about taking forever to find things is that it gives me time to ponder the ingredients I’m getting.

There are two things I think about when buying new ingredients:

1. Am I ever going to use this again?

2. Will it really really and truly change the dish if I don’t use it? Because if not, and I’m likely never going to use it again, chances are it ain’t coming in my basket.

Like in this recipe. Black mustard seeds. Sound awesome, super cool, and pretty fly. But! Am I ever going to use them again? Probably not. Unless someone sends me a recipe for black mustard seed souffle. Which would be pretty gross.

Will they really change the recipe?

No.

Do I buy them?

No.

Because have you SEEN my severe lack of cabinet space and severe lack of disposable income for things like black mustard seeds?

I’d rather spend my money on important things like chocolate. And blueberry balsamic vinegar.

Like I said, important things.

But, dear, sweet Nigella Lawson. You go and request, nay demand, tamarind paste for this recipe.

And I comply.

Because you’re pretty, and awesome, and tell me to use my 4-cup measuring cup because you think I could HAVE a 4-cup measuring cup, even though that’s something only my sweetest dreams are made of.

So now. Does anyone have a recipe for tamarind paste souffle? Bring. It. On.

[keep on reading! there’s more here!]

23. Cook or bake one thing from each cookbook- Vegan Yum Yum

7 Jul

Sometimes I don’t floss my teeth.

Sometimes I leave the house and there are still dishes in the sink.

Sometimes I don’t clean my fish tank on the day I’m supposed to.

Sometimes I eat cookies for breakfast. And dinner. It’s no big deal.

Let me justify it. Breakfast was at 11. So that’s basically lunch. And dinner was at 9:30. So that’s basically an after-dinner snack. So I just had cookies for lunch and for a snack. That sounds less like I’m 5 years old.

But any way you look at it, I ate a lot of sugar yesterday. And I loved every second of it. But that’s not the point. The point is what the sugar was doing to my delicate delicate insides, and therefore what shows up on my not-so-delicate outsides.

Today I needed some non-sugar vitamins.

Enter: The Soup. Capital letters means business.

The Soup is an excellent way to get veggies without even realizing you’re eating veggies. I don’t have a problem eating veggies, but The Soup makes it that much easier. And if you use veggies that just get torn into little bits, you don’t even have to worry about that chopping and dicing nonsense. Because who has two thumbs and doesn’t want to do that? This girl.

“But Katie,” you might say. “The Soup? In 95 degree weather? You must be crazy, girlfriend.”

When the veggies at your superhip farmer’s market look like this

it’s ok to make The Soup.

Cook this. Eat this. And then have a cookie. Because a negative (The Soup) plus a positive (the cookie) brings you to zero.

Right? So right.

[keep on reading! there’s more here!]

23. Cook or bake one thing from each cookbook- The Food Matters Cookbook

3 Jul

courtesy of amazon.com

I have to admit something.

I really like Mark Bitman.

I mean, hello? The man wrote a cookbook called How to Cook Everything. And then went and wrote another one called How to Cook Everything Vegetarian for all of those people who couldn’t find enough to eat while learning how to cook everything. Anyone who tries to write a cookbook teaching you how to cook everything is pretty awesome.

Ok, maybe he can’t teach you everything in a cookbook. I guess that’s what Google is for. But his recipes are simple, straightforward, and allow for plenty of modifications and additions. Not to mention, his writing is ridiculously unpretentious and fun to read in bed before you fall asleep.

What, you don’t read cookbooks in bed? Oh… me neither…obvi.

I’m sorry, Mark Bitman. I did not do your recipe justice.

I meant to, I really did. I had every intention of making your awesome recipe and enjoying for many days to come. But I thought I had black beans, and I didn’t. So no awesome black bean protein.

And I thought the mango I bought was ripe, but it wasn’t. So no awesome addition of mango.

And I didn’t really know how hot my canned chipotle peppers were and I skimped on them. So no super awesome smokey hot chipotle flavor.

And suddenly “Chipotle Quinoa with Corn and Black Beans” became “Sort-of Chipotle Flavor Quinoa with Corn and Chickpeas.” It’s not terrible, don’t get me wrong, Mr. Bitman. But it’s kind of…uninspiring. And very brown.

Because what color is quinoa? Brown.

And what color are chickpeas? Brown.

And what color is corn? Yellow, but it kinda blends in with all the brown.

Sorry, Marky-boy. I tried. I’ll probably cook another recipe from the book, just because I’m a perfectionist like that,

Oh, and the pictures are ick too because I was late running out the door and couldn’t find a cute clean bowl so I had to shoot the brown meal in a Tupperware on a brown chair. No cute food blog picture for you today. Looking at other beautiful food blogs kind of makes me want to cry when I post pictures like this.

But try this recipe and make it like Mark Bitman suggests. Just don’t double the recipe because it makes A LOT and then you’ll have to figure out how many servings of quinoa you can actually eat in a day without turning into the grain itself.

At least it’s good for you.

[keep on reading! there’s more here!]