Archive for the ‘food/cooking’ Category

Cooking without a recipe

January 12, 2012

Tamara Adler

Do you use a recipe when you cook? It seems there are two types of cooks: those who wing it and those who adhere religiously to recipes. I like to wing it. (And it almost always works.) (The one exception is baking. I {mostly} stick to recipes then.)

I know it’s annoying to some of my friends when they ask for the recipe to whatever and I answer um…do this and this, then add a little bit of this until it tastes good. (Or like last week, when I had friends over, and I kept trying to add stuff that wasn’t in the recipe. Oops.)

I love to cook. Which is great because I love to eat. We make 85% (more?) of our meals from “scratch” at home. Cooking is fun and mostly stress free, probably for several reasons, but one, that I hadn’t considered until recently, is that I rarely use a recipe.

I spotted a write up on Tamara Adler’s cookbook, An Everlasting Meal: Cooking with Economy and Grace, on the NY Times “Well” blog. The article is entitled, A Recipe for Simplifying Life: Ditch All the Recipes and I thought Yes! That’s it.  Not following a recipe to the letter is so key to easy, every day, cooking. (Well, for me anyways.)

Has anyone read her book? There’s a crazy waiting list for it at our library, so I think I’ll just order it.  Among other things, she advises roasting and preparing all your veggies right after you buy them. Then you have food ready that’s easy to combine for yummy meals:

This is my 2nd week working this way, and so far it’s really great. I love the idea of preparing everything in one big batch ahead of time. We’ve eaten a TON of veggies.

(And did you spot how pretty her fridge looked? gah! That’s something to shoot for…)

In related news for all you Providence locals, check out the lovely grocery store Fertile Underground! They now have regular hours and are constantly adding yummy things to their stock.


All images credit Tamara Adler’s site

Eyebrows To The Rescue

October 18, 2011

I am sorry to say G and I saw Abduction the other night. And you know it was totally my fault:

“Let’s not go see Money Ball”–an actually good movie–“this one will be stupid and fun!”

Well I got it half right.

I am the queen of bad-good movies, but this one– due to the completely terrible writing, directing, and acting (yes, including Sigourney Weaver {agh! Blasphemy!})–was completely crap. The best part of the hour and 45 minutes was Lily Collins’ stunning eyebrows:

She was really rocking them.

As she apparently does in real life.

Anyways, she’s going to be Snow White:

Which totally looks more promising– right? …Right?

“Snacks of the Great Scribblers”

August 30, 2011

Did you guys spot this  in the NY Times a few weeks ago?  Wendy Macnaughton asked writers what they munch on while they write and this is what she came up with. (I think I like Truman Capote’s the best.)

Mine would be gum and coffee. What about you?

Going Clamming =

July 22, 2011


Did I mention we went clamming the other weekend? Oh man.

So good.

Spotted: Artisan Biscuits

June 29, 2010

Have you guys seen these?–Adorable butter cookies, ahem “biscuits”, from the British Artisan Biscuits, designed by Irving & Co.

G picked up a box of the Tortoise & Hare at Whole Foods the other night, and I can’t stop gushing over the packaging.  This line, called Two by Two, comes complete with a story or poem on the back of the box.

And the cookies match the illustrations.   Aagh!

Anyone know who did these darling illustrations?

Weekend Away

September 22, 2009

Recipe for Perfect Martha’s Vineyard Evening:

1. Kayak 40 minutes to the next town over and pull your boat up on some nice person’s backyard/ handy beach.

2.  Take the short cut to the Menemsha Fish Market.

3.  Eat your newly purchased chowder and raw clams on the pier out back, legs swinging, overlooking the fishermen hauling in lobster.

4.  Carefully pack your fish for dinner into the kayak.  Plastic bags and ice recommended.

5. Kayak home as the wind picks up.

6. Steam up some corn on the cob, set the table, light some candles, sear the tuna.

7.  Tuck in.

8.  Thank your lucky stars you have an aunt who happily welcomes visitors.

Are you a “Cooking Animal?”

August 7, 2009

Did anyone else read Michael Pollan’s article in the New York Times Magazine, “Out of the Kitchen, Onto the Couch”?  

I just finished it last night (– I love that magazine so I like to make it last.)  To summarize it briefly: it details how people in our country, despite being obsessed with channels like The Food Network, are cooking less and less.  Let’s say I found it not a little depressing, but also totally the opposite of my reality.  

I am cooking more and more.  I love to cook– actually cook, not thaw or reheat (though I do those things as well.) I love farmer’s markets, my own little vegetable garden, and, once I’m actually there, I usually find more than one thing at the grocery store that I’m really excited about.  Yes, I read about food and cooking– in books and blogs– and I enjoy all the competitive cooking shows.  But I mostly find them inspiring.  They’re certainly entertaining, but they also make me want to go cook.  I recently stopped eating wheat gluten.  Yes, it can be a drag, but its also been fun learning how to bake without reaching for the regular flour.  

I am surrounded by people who love to cook.  We can talk on end about various kinds of ingredients with most of our old and new friends.  I just spent the weekend with my teenage cousins from Atlanta who both happily received cooking-related presents, of which they both put to use within hours.  (The cookbook Vegan Cupcakes Take Over the Worldand a sweet mechanical pastry bag, if you’re wondering.) Another cousin is a vegan personal chef.  My family’s idea of a good time is cooking up a storm and then sitting around a large table to enjoy it.   The majority of the children I watched as a babysitter in New York, loved to cook– and knew how!

So.  While apparently, not indicative of the nation as a whole, being excited by cooking and real food is definitely a trend in my life.  And certainly one I plan on passing down to my (eventual) children.  It cannot be a lost art– to go the way of “horseback riding,” or “…sewing or darning socks.”  Please, Mister Pollan, cheer up.  There must be others like me out there.




A funny aside: After I finished the article I flipped through it again filled with despair and sinking feelings.  Then this photo illustration by Erwin Olaf caught my eye.  

Isn’t that kitchen AMAZING?  The counter space alone still makes me faint…just needs a little cleaning.


April 28, 2009

I mentioned yesterday our food for the wedding was a success.  

 Somehow it all went from this:

to this:

We can’t take all the credit.  Actually the wonderful caterer Tamara, of The Sunday Night Dinner, deserves a good deal of it!  She took our food shoved into tupperware containers, (and food from lots of other people) and turned it all into that magical buffet you see up there.  Not to mention all the delicious food she prepared, the wonderful bar tender, and her assistant (Melissa, I think her name was?)  They all worked so hard, and everything tasted and looked incredible. If you’re in the New York area and have an event coming up, I know everyone there that night would recommend them.

Preparing a meal for a gaggle of guests

April 22, 2009

We’re so excited!  This weekend our friends are getting married and we’re preparing some of the food!  Which means cooking for about 80.  I think about 120 people are actually attending, but as a bunch of people are participating in the food portion of the night, plus a caterer, we’re only worrying about 80 portions. Only.  Incredibly, or perhaps just ignorantly, we are actually not worried at all.   Our menu is:

  • Roasted Lamb with Minted Yogurt, and Spicy Mixed Fruit Chutney
  • Three Rice Salad, with jicama, cranberries, cabbage and parsley.  

We got everything, excluding the lamb, yesterday.  And I did a bunch of the chopping last night.  Tonight we’ll pick up the lamb legs, marinate them and make the chutney.  Tomorrow we’ll roast (or grill, weather permitting,) the lamb, and make the rice salad.  Friday we drive it all to Brooklyn, add the finishing touches and then chow down that evening.  Whoo!

Regardless of the food, its going to be such a lovely wedding.  I really cannot wait!

March 14, 2009

I was in New York last weekend for a few days.  And we kept busy!  Dinner parties, brunch(es), playdates, Broadway, the Mister even spent the day at the office (–most of the time he telecommutes and works at home.)  Besides getting to see a bunch of friends–young and old– the highlights included:

Nice new friends: Carnivalesque Films

Brunch at Papacitos in Greenpoint

Will Ferrel (!!!!!) You’re Welcome America

My first Five Guys experience

Momofuku, Noodle Bar

Some really yummy frozen yogurt that I am forgetting the name of– it was like a dessert salad bar

Those notes above from my favorite girls…

I tried to make a trip to Sahadi’s but my heart wasn’t in it.  The thought of dragging around more stuff, delicious as it would have been, was not appealing.  

Did you notice that almost everything on the list was a food item?  We meant to make a list of foods we wanted to “visit” while we were there, but it turns out we did pretty well without one.  

One of the most notable parts of the weekend was WE DIDN’T GET LOST driving there OR back! It was a miracle.  And I conquered my fear of driving in the big city.  Incredible. 

Anyhow, now that we’re home safe and sound, I’ve been working on new drawings… for my shop!  More about those later…



%d bloggers like this: