I spent a good deal of my life working for cash and life fulfillment as 1. a librarian and 2. a church music director. (I taught piano, too, on the side.) Both jobs, and I sometimes held them at the same time to make ends meet, helped fuel my love of cooking because libraries have cookbooks and church choirs love to eat.
I really love, love what I have thought of as my best green bean dish, which is Lemon Green Beans. There’s little to it and I make this A LOT. It’s probably my most used “recipe” because people memorize it at my dinner table: “Cooked green beans stirred up with lots of salt, pepper, and grated lemon rind with a little crushed red pepper and olive oil.” Great summer snack, too. I just leave a bowl on the counter. Keeps me from raiding the chips. Sometimes. ALL ABOUT COOKING GREEN BEANS HERE.
|Originally published three years ago, April 2, 2014 on my dinnerplace.blogspot.com site.|
Once, while visiting my sister, I said, “How about some lentil soup?” (I knew I was cooking dinner.) She shuddered and made as if to retch, all the while saying, “I love lentil soup, but…” Turns out that years ago, when she was still cooking for her family, a very large and delicious kettle of the soup went uneaten by anyone except by her. Days went by, the soup remained, she kept eating until….well, you might get the picture. Continue reading
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
Yesterday as I thought about what dinner might bring, I kept going back to some salmon fillets I had squirreled away in the freezer. The weather had warmed up — no snow except on the Peak — and grilling was back online. Note sun on the lentils….
There was also a pound of fat asparagus waiting for its dip in the olive oil bath before grilling (contrary to popular opinion thicker asparagus has more taste than the skinny variety), but as good as all that sounded, I thought there was something missing. A bed for the protein to rest in, so to speak. We were hungry, for goodness sake. We needed something that would make for another night’s meal all by itself or for a couple of lunches, but that would cushion the blow of the salmon on the plate. Continue reading
I just had a taste for soup. A simple one-pot meal that I could eat off of for a couple of days. I don’t make cheese soups often. I’m a soup maker forever, but for some reason have usually skipped making the creamy, sometimes stringy, more-cheese-than-broccoli type soups so often sold in restaurants. The only thing like that I ever order out is beer-cheese soup in a brew pub and then it’s with a salad because that stuff will stick to your ribs.
I kept picturing the bag of Costco cauliflower florets (2 pounds for $3.79) I had in the spare fridge. And the lovely cheddar my local grocery store cheesemonger had pressed on me recently. The two needed to meet and mingle, perhaps blend and marry their distinct, but complimentary flavors. Continue reading
Mid-winter, the perverse cook in me always has a hankering for a grilled burger and potato salad. Mid-summer, I crave chili. Given the weather in Colorado, I often am able to fulfill my deepest wishes right down to the sun or cold wind to go along with the meal. It isn’t a real oddity to see 65 degrees in January or 45 in July. It happens. Somehow out-of-season dishes occasionally rear their pesky heads.
The other day wasn’t so terribly warm, but it wasn’t cold either. In fact, I was making tomato soup and just wanted something real to go with it. A couple leeks languished in the fridge next to some waning baby zucchini; a big paper box of mushrooms nearly cried foul from the crisper.
What was a girl to do?
A quick bang of the cupboards–a favorite occupation– showed up a few packages of Minnesota wild rice* and, while wild rice has a truly indefinite shelf life (no joke), it sounded fine, just fine. While I wasn’t quite sure how the meal would come together, I trusted in the spirit of the rice* and began to cook. I was sure that by the time it was done — it takes nearly an hour–I would have figured out dinner. I was right. Try this luscious bowlful, which just happens to be both vegetarian and gluten-free, and is also simply altered for a vegan version. (See bold green notes for vegan version.) Continue reading
Done in under a half hour, this lusty (I almost said perky, but perky it isn’t) soup just about jumped out of the pot, put its arms around me, and begged me to eat it. Wonderful for the I-ate-too-many-chocolates post-holiday cooking time, you can skip the fresh basil, if you still haven’t gotten to the store, and add Herbes de Provence or a combination of dried oregano and basil. Easily vegan and gluten-free (with a few changes or lack of a garnish), this meal will heat everyone up despite the weather. It’s sunny, but snowy … Continue reading