Sunday, January 1, 2012

very well dressed salad

totally obsessed with this salad dressing right now. so so easy and so so good:
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 - 3 cloves fresh crushed garlic
  • juice from 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tsp dijon mustard
  • a little less than 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tsp agave nectar (more to taste if dressing too acidic)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • freshly ground black pepper to taste
mix to emulsion and toss your salad with a few tablespoons of this dressing about 30 minutes before serving.

Friday, November 26, 2010


a beautiful burmese pumpkin grown by a new roots for refugees farmer.

burmese pumpkin bread batter.

future apple crisp.

rachel's tacos. best tacos. (garlic potato).

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Pomegranate Pear Pico (salsa)

Holed up in a snow-covered cabin in the woods of southern Missouri is the last place I would have expected to discover this amazing salsa recipe. But I've got fantastic food-loving friends (thanks to rachel and marion for this one), so I shouldn't be too surprised.

We ate (actually we devoured) this light and sweet salsa with black bean and sweet potato nachos, but I'm sure it would be great with just about anything - tacos, burritos, tortilla chips...when we got too full of nachos, we ate the last of the salsa on its own by the spoonful.

Pomegranate Pear Pico (salsa)
2 pomegranates (fruit jewels removed from skin)
1 chopped pear
1 finely chopped onion
1/2 cup finely chopped cilantro
Juice from one lime
Salt and pepper to taste

Mix ingredients. Devour immediately.*

*rachel claims this salsa is even better if you wait a day to eat it (giving the ingredients time to marinate) but how you could hold off eating this salsa for a day is beyond me.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Return of the Black Eyed Pea

Thank you Jenn (and Gwen) for this little gem. I'm so happy to have been reintroduced to the Black Eyed Pea!! Michaela and I enjoyed it recently over a bed of delicious brown rice.

Also - brussel sprouts - boiled but not overcooked, drizzled in finely chopped garlic, olive oil and garlic red wine die for!

Indian Black Eyed Peas

  • 2 medium white onions sliced (usually into rings, or half circles)
  • ¼ cup oil (or less – for sautéing the onions)
  • 1 tsp finely chopped fresh ginger root
  • 1 tsp crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 1 ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp ground cumin
  • 2 cans black-eyed peas (rinsed & drained)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • 2 fresh green chilies (diced – wear gloves if you can!) - or you can ge them canned
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (about a half cup or so)
  • 1 TB lemon juice
  1. Turn on some Black Eyed Peas music (i'd suggest a random mix of Elephunk & Monkey Business)
  2. Dance for a minute to really get yourself in the groove
  3. Get all your veggies and stuff ready
  4. Heat oil in the pan. Add onions and fry until golden brown
  5. While it's cooking, do some more dancing and lip synching to the music.
  6. Add the ginger, garlic, chili powder, salt, coriander, & cumin. Stir-fry mixture for 3-5 minutes
  7. Add the water to the pan and cook until all (or most) of the water has evaporated
  8. Think about how great it is that you'll soon be eating BEPs while you listen to the BEPs.
  9. Add the black-eyed peas, green chilis & cilantro and stir it all together. Let cook for 3-5 minutes
  10. Transfer to a serving dish and sprinkle with lemon juice. Serve hot or cold.
  11. Continue the BEP lovefest while you enjoy this dish with fellow BEP enthusiasts

Sunday, February 1, 2009

back by popular demand (or singular demand really - you can thank maux for this update) I present:

EAT IT TO THE ROOTS (the bleak February edition)

so it was hot hot hot the last time this blog was updated.

it is now far far far from hot. and even the thought of pitchers of fizzy mint limeade seems a little ridiculous.

cold is serious.
cold is demanding.

And as pointed out on a recent very cold morning "The time has come to set aside childish things.”

So fizzy limeade it out. Lemon raspberry meltdown cake is out too. For now.

Their time will come again. But for now food is for comfort. Something to take the bite out of the wind. Something like a warm pair of socks fresh out of the dryer. Flannel sheets. Quilts.

a few foods that have been keeping us comforted around here:

Ultimate Comfort Chocolate* Risotto
This is a simple recipe, but it does take a little patience (lots of stirring). Worth the effort though. Think rice pudding meets hot cocoa.

2 cups Arborio rice
2 vanilla beans split lengthwise (if you can get 'em, using real vanilla beans is worth it!)
6 cups milk (soy milk works too)
1 cup sugar (I did it with 1 cup, but it was pretty sweet - you could probably cut the sugar in half)
4 tablespoons butter
1/4 pound chopped bittersweet chocolate
2 tablespoons chopped hazelnuts (I used chopped toasted almonds)

bring the milk, sugar and vanilla beans to a bare simmer over low heat for 10 minutes to infuse vanilla flavor. Remove the bean pods and keep the milk hot.
Heat 2 Tbsp of the butter in a large saucepan over moderate heat. Stir in the rice and cook, stirring until the rice is hot, about 2 minutes. Begin adding the hot milk one cup at a time, stirring often and adding more milk when the previous addition has been absorbed. Adjust heat to maintain a nice simmer. It will take about 40 minutes for the rice to become creamy and al dente, it is possible you may not need all of the milk. Remove the risotto from the heat and stir in the remaining butter, and chopped chocolate. Sprinkle with chopped nuts and serve warm.

*The recipe listed here is just straight up chocolate, but there are lots of possible variations you could try - chocolate cinammon, espresso, orange zest...

Deep Dark Secrets Chocolate Cheesecake
Made this cheesecake twice so far. And it was ridiculously delicious both times. I mean ridiculous. Not exactly a traditional winter comfort food. But it's got enough chocolate to sink a ship, so I think it still counts.

24 chocolate wafer cookies (from one 9-ounce package) (chocolate graham crackers work)
1 tablespoon sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter, melted
if you want to be extra decadent you can add some ground espresso to the crust too

1 9.7-ounce bar 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
4 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature (yes 4!!)
1 1/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
4 large eggs

ganache topping
3/4 cup whipping cream
6 ounces 70% Cocoa Bittersweet Chocolate, chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
(to accent the chocolate in the cheesecake, you can add a flavor to the ganache - I tried cinammon once and ground espresso the other time, both were good - chile could be interesting, or orange zest, or mint, or??)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Blend cookies in processor until finely ground; blend in sugar. Add melted butter and process until well blended. Press crumbs evenly onto bottom (not sides) of prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool while preparing filling. Maintain oven temperature.

Stir chopped chocolate in metal bowl set over saucepan of simmering water until melted and smooth. Remove bowl from over water; cool chocolate until lukewarm but still pourable. Blend cream cheese, sugar, and cocoa powder in processor until smooth. Blend in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in lukewarm chocolate. Pour filling over crust; smooth top. Bake until center is just set and just appears dry, about 1 hour. Cool 5 minutes. Run knife around sides of cake to loosen. Chill overnight.

ganache topping
Stir cream, 6 ounces chocolate, and sugar in heavy medium saucepan over low heat until smooth. Cool slightly. Pour over center of cheesecake, spreading to within 1/2 inch of edge and filling any cracks. Chill until topping is set, about 1 hour. Do ahead: Can be made 3 days ahead. Cover with foil and keep refrigerated.

Release pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter. Top with chocolate curls. Let stand 2 hours at room temperature before serving.

Best Mashed Potatoes EVER*
we didn't use a recipe for these potatoes, or do too much measuring while we were cooking, so i can't guarantee i have completely accurately represented these potatoes in print, but i think you should be able to get the idea:

a bunch of yukon gold potatoes (cubed - and i think the yukon golds are important)
a ton of fresh garlic (chopped)
half and half
dubliner cheese (grated)
fresh spinach

boil potatoes until soft. in separate pan melt a bunch of butter, add the garlic, take off the heat and let the garlic infuse in the warm butter. add garlic butter to cooked potatoes. mash. mix in half and half until creamy. add lots of dubliner cheese. at the last minute flash boil some fresh spinach (dunk it in boiling water for approx 30 secs - should be just barely wilted and turn bright green). mix the spinach gently into the potatoes. sprinkle additional cheese on top, and salt and pepper. eat. eat. eat.

*made in honor of sarah's visit! so we had some serious inspiration for these

Stovetop popcorn
not a recipe really, mostly just a reminder about the wonders of homemade popcorn. there is really nothing like it on a cold night.

(or garlic salt)
(or parmesan cheese)

pour enough oil to coat entire bottom of pan. add a few kernels. put on the lid. turn on the heat. once you hear the first kernels pop add the rest of the corn. let it pop until most the kernels have popped or your container is full.

kettle corn
we usually just make the recipe for kettle corn up, but i found this version online and it sounds pretty close to our version:

1/4 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup white sugar
1/2 cup unpopped popcorn kernels

Heat the vegetable oil in a large pot over medium heat. Once hot, stir in the sugar and popcorn. Cover, and shake the pot constantly to keep the sugar from burning. Once the popping has slowed to once every 2 to 3 seconds, remove the pot from the heat and continue to shake for a few minutes until the popping has stopped. Pour into a large bowl, and allow to cool, stirring occasionally to break up large clumps.

that's what i've got for now.
eat up and stay warm.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

hot hot heat

so it is H-O-T hot hot red hot here.
i mean HOTTTT.

this red hot heat used to just mean pain and suffering. but this year i have taken this heat head on as a challenge - a challenge to make the most delicious, most refreshing, most sweat-stopping, de-wiltifying, cool to the core, food possible. food so cool it could make us all beg for just one more week of summer…we’ll see about that. but this food is pretty damned refreshing, so hope for a hot day and eat up!

and if you are looking for fresh ingredients to make all these recipes and happen to live in kc, i would highly recommend the following amazing sources of fresh delicious produce (or support your own local farmers where you live):

new roots for refugees– at the brookside farmer's market (63rd & brookside) each and every Saturday morning
kccua – also at the brookside farmer's market every Saturday morning
bad seed farmer’s market – at bad seed (19th and McGee) every Friday evening

fresh pickles

Apple cider vinegar (enough to completely cover your veggies)

Sugar (to taste - you would be surprised how much you can add)

Salt (to taste)

Fresh chopped garlic

Chopped Onions

Fresh dill chopped

Thinly sliced cucumbers - fresh from the garden or farmers market

Thinly sliced carrots (or any other veggie you feel like)

mix. stick covered in the fridge for at least a day or two before starting to eat. enjoy all summer long!

fresh fizzy mint limeade

1 liter club soda

1/2 cup lime juice (plus a little extra - to taste)

1/2 cup sugar (plus a little extra - to taste)

Handful fresh mint leaves (beat the leaves up a little to release their flavor)

Sliced limes in the pitcher for looks

Ice (extra if you are living in a crazy hot unairconditioned house)

mix. serve immediately.

fresh tomato basil pasta
chopped fresh tomatoes (got to be from the garden or farmer’s market or its just not worth making)

LOTS of chopped fresh basil

LOTS of chopped fresh garlic (raw)

olive oil - a good amount (enough to coat pasta)

splash of balsamic vinegar

parmesan cheese
kosher salt (a good amount)

cooked pasta

chop garlic and mix with olive oil. Let sit for a bit to let oil soak up garlic flavor. then add all other ingredients but the pasta. Mix and adjust spices to taste. Toss mixture with cooked pasta so it coats pasta fully. serve immediately.

roasted beet salad
cubed fresh beets
chopped onions (big hunks)
fresh rosemary – coarsely chopped

olive oil

kosher salt


goat cheese

fresh spinach greens

balsamic vinaigrette (vinegar, oil, salt, chopped garlic)

toss chopped beets and onions and rosemary in olive oil. spread on cookie sheet. sprinkle with kosher salt. roast for about 20 minutes at 400degrees. turn beets. cook for around another 20 minutes - or until soft and a little crispy on the edges. let cool some. put on top of bed of spinach. add chopped walnuts, goat cheese, and dressing. serve.

Tied Thai Bean Salad
(got this amazing recipe from bad seed)
1 lb "noodle" beans

1 med zucchini, grated coarsely

2 tomatoes, peeled and chopped

1-2 serrano, Thai bird or other hot chili

1/4 c fresh lime juice

1/4 c fish sauce

2 T brown sugar or palm sugar

1 T kaffir lime leaves or grated lime zest

2-4 cloves garlic, muddled or minced

cilantro, torn or roughly chopped to taste (optional)

steam long beans for 5 minutes, then shock in ice water

tie knots in beans (as many as flexibility of the beans allow)*

cut between knots, forming bite-size pieces with a knot to 'trap' sauce*

lightly toss beans, zucchini, tomatoes and chilis

mix sauce ingredients well and pour over vegetables

lightly toss again and let flavors marry at room temp

*if you haven't time or patience for this, just cut into bite-sized pieces

lemon raspberry meltdown

2 layer white cake (from a mix is fine)

1 pint raspberry sorbet

fresh or frozen raspberries

lemon butter cream frosting (see next recipe)

make frosting (see next recipe). make cakes. let cool. frost first layer. take sorbet completely out of container. slice into 1/2 inch thick rings. place all over cake. can use butter knife to smooth pieces together. top with second cake. frost entire cake. top with fresh or frozen raspberries. place in freezer until time to serve.

lemon butter cream frosting

1 lb. confectioners' sugar

1/2 c. butter, softened

zest of one lemon

juice of one lemon

3 tbsp. milk

In large bowl, beat together sugar, butter, lemon zest, lemon juice, and milk until smooth. If necessary add more milk until frosting is spreading consistency.