It’s one of the biggest challenges and conundrums of my cooking, blogging, writing, and teaching life. Folks are so very interested in food, love to chat about it, are crazy about eating, and seem to know lots about ingredients and technique (Food Network and “Top Chef”, I guess). But somehow they often have an awesome amount of trouble getting into the kitchen and actually cooking. There are myriad reasons and I needn’t name them.
Give me a cold day. Any cold day. Let me have time and peace to stir together something that incubates in my oven gently easing its teasing, come-hither aromas throughout the house and drawing near all who enter. Add an entrancing, captivating book waiting for me during that 3-hour parole and I am a happy girl. Ok, include a balanced, but lofty bottle of wine and the deal is sealed.
It’s a snow day. I don’t currently have a paying job–this isn’t to say I don’t work– but I’m still thrilled to think I needn’t go anywhere and perhaps could be excused from accomplishing anything. Too many years of kids in the house or teaching makes me stand up and cheer when the school closings begin. Usually I spend the day in the kitchen with a big pot of soup bubbling away –and I’m about to do that after I’m done with the blog– but today a little perking dream took life.
Sausage+Beer Soup w/ Brussels Sprouts+White Beans – Scroll down for recipe
After nearly a month away from the blog and home
…first to see our daughter Emily in Pennsylvania..
…and then to cruise via some stormy, leftover hurricane seas with my sister Helen from our favorite foreign spot, Quebec City, to Ft. Lauderdale, Florida… …
It’s just beginning to warm up in Colorado Springs, but I’m already balking at long-cooking times and big plates of hot food.
Blooming milkweed with swallowtail in my yard. Read about it here.
Or maybe it’s time for Dave, my trusty sous and husband, to cook on the grill and give me a break.
To cook for friends is fun. I adore it. To cook for family is something more. Enjoying my extended brood, even for breakfast, is a highlight in my week. Last Thursday, my eldest son Sean and his wife Jami, along with grandchildren Rhyan and Piper, had a few appointments in our city and I said, “Why don’t you come beforehand and have breakfast with us?” It mean they got up at odarkearly, but there weren’t too many complaints and Grandma was happy to have the challenge of a wheat, egg, dairy, peanut, and pineapple-free meal to cook. Continue reading
There’s little better pot of gold in the fridge than a lentil salad. Make that curried lentil salad and we’re nudging platinum; you’re rich! Full of protein (add rice for a complete protein), fiber, color, texture, and nutrients, it’s a hefty and quick supper that translates into a week’s lunches at home or work as it travels so perfectly well. Tuck it into a pita or a tortilla. Warm a big spoonful and eat with scrambled eggs; it will love you all the more. See below.
Lentils are that perfect landscape upon which almost anything can be planted, grown, and harvested. They’re a warming winter soup or a trusty spring salad. They’re a platter for big hunks of protein when need be.
If I googled this dish, I’d probably find it. I prefer to think I dreamed it up in my very own kitchen. Which I did. I don’t need to know it’s not original. Necessity is the mother of invention. I had “X” number of food items. It looked like this outside:
I wasn’t going to the store. I wasn’t going ANYWHERE. The mail lady said she could hardly make it up our hill with four-wheel-drive and chains. In other words, my car was staying in the garage where it belonged. I was making do with what I had on hand.
Like most cooks, I keep a full pantry year-round, but especially in the winter as I live within sight of the Rocky Mountains. Continue reading
I looked on the blog for my work pizza kebab “recipe” the other day–thinking it would be great for Super Bowl snacks– and couldn’t find it. I had posted it on Facebook, but hadn’t blogged it. Perhaps because you might not really need a recipe for pizza kebabs. On the other hand, you might never have thought of them either. I had to search out the photo, get the date, and save it to iPhoto as I hadn’t even kept it. A very sorry management practice!
For part of 2014 and nearly all of 2015, I worked as a Jenn-Air and Dacor chef, demonstrating and teaching cooking techniques at the local high-end appliance store. It was mostly great fun and one of the things that most interested me was the need to invent quick attractive-to-the-masses recipes.
While I often teach a cooking class about pizza, I couldn’t figure out how to fit it into the time frame of my weekly demonstration. (And yes, in the class you do get to eat your work. You also take dough home to try it out in your own kitchen. See below. I teach 1/2-sheet pan pizza-making. No special equipment needed. Feeds a bunch.) Continue reading