Friday, July 29, 2011

"Bon Appétit!"

I haven't identified the smell coming from our refrigerator yet... let alone cooked anything out of it, as you could probably tell from my last post. Life has been so nuts, I was beginning to wonder when I would ever have time to cook again. But THEN, my sister's best friend texts me on her way to Boston last night: "I really think it would be awesome if we could possibly have a dinner party at your place Saturday?" I accept! Now I have half a day to clean my disaster of a house (our bathroom just got re-painted, finally), figure out a menu and go shopping.

For some reason, I started thinking about Julia Child and my Mastering the Art of French Cooking that I bought on Amazon and have yet to crack. We've done many an Italian themed-dinner, tacos galore, Indian, Southern and everything in between. But I've never done any French cooking! So I finally cracked that book. French cooking is slightly intimidating. I think its because there are so many steps, and it seems so time consuming. I noticed that a few of the recipes had instructions spread over a couple of days. Julia Child was a patient woman.

Then there's Amy Adams...

Okay, that's weird, Amy Adams. Also, the way you say "boeuf bourguigion" makes me a little queasy.

Anyway, what if we had a French supper tomorrow night? Which of Julia Child's recipes do you think I should try?

There is, of course, the classic: Boeuf Bourguigion
The dish with a gazillion steps. The one that took so long to cook, Amy Adams slept through her egg timer and it burned. Eep.


Or, I could go the sweet route: Crepes Fourrees, Frangipane (Crepes with Almond Cream)
Looks like a Boston Cream Doughnut.

photo cred:

Baked Spinach Gratin with Cheese
This one looks amazing. However you vote, I will make this...

Sanne made this a couple years ago, and it was soooo delicious. She made a different version of it; it was a stew. I remember it was an especially gross and snainy day in December, the kind that only a hearty stew can cure. 

I'd like to try this version. It reminds me of the Disney movie, it's so pretty.
It's hard not to pull all of Smitten Kitchen's Julia recipes. She's such a great food photographer.

Lobster Thermador
Dare I?

oh, suck it up, Amy Adams.

Supremes de Volaille aux Champignons (Chicken Breasts with Mushrooms and Cream)

I like how colorful this one is. And I honestly can't remember the last time I had peas... hmm...
Alright, I think I'm finished chastising Amy Adams, and I've given you plenty of options. What do you think? Is there another Julia recipe that I should check out? Have you ever tackled anyyourself?


Thursday, July 21, 2011

to market, to market

Its difficult to come up with something food-related to write about when you haven't been cooking. But here goes...

While looking for some fun ideas for upcoming guests, I stumbled across this. Have any of you Bostonians ever been? It's a craft/vintage goods/farmer's market/food truck extraordinaire! It looks like a lot of fun, even though (and I'm a bit embarrassed to admit it) the word "indie" turns me off a little... no offense, hipsters. If you're looking for something unique and handmade, or just looking for a fun way to spend a chunk of time on a Saturday, and/or you wear eyeglasses for asthetic reasons only, then this is probably right up your alley.

photo credit:

photo credit:

SoWa Open Market
460 Harrison Avenue
Every Saturday 10am - 4pm


I still haven't been to the Charles Hotel Farmer's Market near Harvard Square, but I've heard great things about it. One Friday, Eileen was sending everyone that walked into Cardullo's over to try a snack from one of her favorite vendors, Q's Nuts. I got to taste his Key Lime Ginger Almonds and Cayenne Mango Cashews. Holy crow, were they tasty. He also has Mexican Chocolate, Rosemary Sea Salt, and Banana Foster, as well as classic roasts. The coolest part is you can mix and match flavors and nuts. This is a good market to try if you want to find something new and unusual, or local and seasonal. The website has a lot more information about the vendors, and what to expect each week.

photo credit:

photo credit:

Charles Square Farmer's Market
1 Bennett Street
Sunday: 10:00 AM to 3:00 PM
Friday: 12:00 PM to 6:00 PM
May 22 to November 20, 2011


Haymarket is one of the oldest and most well-know Farmer's Market in New England. This is one that Sanne and I use most often, because the prices are dirt cheap. In looking at their website, I discovered why: "The vendors typically buy their goods from Boston's wholesale markets in Chelsea across the Charles River on Thursday and Friday nights.  They pay very low prices because the wholesalers need to clear out their warehouses to make way for new shipments arriving during the weekend." Typically, this means that whatever we buy from Haymarket needs to be used in the next day or two, because it won't last longer than that. Besides the low prices and incredible variety, Haymarket is prime people-watching. They're open all day, but try to get there early to beat the crowds and to get the first pick. Click here for more on our Haymarket adventures.

photo credit: FeDish
photo credit: FeDish
Blackstone Street, North Street and Hanover Street. 
Fridays and Saturdays, dawn-dusk
all year (except Christmas and New Year's Day)

I barely skimmed the surface here. Are there any other Farmer's Markets that you love? Any hidden gems that I'm missing?

Keep cool my babies!


Sunday, July 17, 2011


Today was HOT. As in, 90 degrees and you aint got no air conditioner hot. And you know what they say-- "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em." Cooking in the summer kind of sucks-- voluntarily increasing the temperature in your kitchen by 350 degrees is a wee bit insane. If you're gonna do it, it better be for something good. So, I invited my friend Eileen over to cook dinner. 

She brought snacks...

strawberry stems, olive & cherry pits, fig peel

These pickled green beans were soo good! Have y'all ever pickled anything before?? Would you be interested in seeing us have a go at it?

summer food-z

We both had fish on the brain, so I picked up some Haddock from the grocery store on my way home. I started by slicing up some zucchini and onion, and baking it for about 20 minutes at 350(kill me), with s+p, olive oil and a little dried parsley.

I gave Eileen the task of coming up with a salad... She decided to serve it on top of a roasted portobello cap. Four of them were roasted with our fishy-vegetables at 350.

weeeird science

What made up the salad was another story altogether. We're all about experimentation around here. As is Eileen. So she decided to sauté some corn...

bundt pan + corn-on-the-cob = de-cobing made easy 

and onion in a little olive oil. 

She bedded it on top of the mushroom cap with a homemade vinaigrette. It was not only beautiful, but incredibly flavorful and scrum-diddly-umptious.

sexy salad 

Once the zucchini and onion had about 20 minutes to cook, I added some sliced tomatoes and lemons...

...topped it with fish and a couple pats of butter, baked and then broiled it until fork-tender.

I also picked up some strawberries and avocado, whipped up a light salad and added a little crumbly goat cheese, which turned out to be an excellent edition to an old favorite. 

almost like dessert
colorful, no?

Summer eating is so much different up north, because the seasons are much less blurry than in Florida. For this reason, cooking (for me at least) is a lot more thoughtful, keeping in mind whats in season (and what isn't miserable to cook when my kitchen is already millions of degrees). 

How about you-- what food screams epitome of summer? What do like to cook when the weather is hot?


Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Ahh Home. Let me go ho-oh-ome...

Sanne and I had this meal on our list for a while now, and I'm really glad we got around to it. I actually started thinking about it at work, and realizing that I was going to be homesick at dinnertime that evening. 

I don't know about you guys, but growing up, there were a handful of meals that my mom had in rotation. I don't remember her being particularly experimental in the kitchen when I was younger. Then again, my sisters and I were never picky eaters, so she could've been and we certainly wouldn't have complained...

Sunday night, I marinated some chicken legs in some barbecue sauce...

stained-glass chicken

I let that marinate over night in the refrigerator, covered, of course.

So, with the barbecue chicken meal, you have to have macaroni and cheese. I didn't have Sharp Cheddar, which is what my mom always used. But the basic recipe is this:

2c dry macaroni
2T melted butter
3c milk
1 egg
s+p, to taste
1lb sharp cheddar cheese
paprika, sprinkled on top

Cook and drain pasta. Mix with the rest of the ingredients, and bake in a 9 x13 pan at 350 for 1 hour. I halved the recipe. I used Mexican cheese, and added some chopped mushrooms and onions. Also, I'm trying to buy only wheat pasta, since its healthier. This is why my pasta dishes are browner than they used to be. :)

As for the chicken, I covered it with tin foil and cooked it for about 45 minutes. Then I removed the foil, drained some of the juices, added a little more sauce and cooked it for another 45 minutes. Holy crow, it smells amazing. Like my childhood. 

Of course, you have chicken and a starch, you have to have a couple more vegetables. And one of them HAS to be green. Sanne sauteed some broccoli in garlic and olive oil. Perfect.

And we had a few more lady-sized corns leftover, which rounded out this summer supper beautifully. As my mom would say... Actually, I'll let her say it in the comments. What do you think, mom?

What meal reminds you of home?


post script... we added "reactions" below... try it!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Las margaritas y el chupacabra

Do you like how I habla? Three years of spanish, and that is all I could come up with. Ay, Dios mio. 

Oh well. What happens when your grocery budget is low and the temperature outside is high? You know where I'm going with this... Saturday night, we decided to have us a little Mexican night.

And what goes along perfectly with Mexican night? That's right, margaritas! I mixed up Elizabeth's recipe, and it didn't disappoint. Limeade is the key, I think. It's a lot easier to make this way, too.

I see you, Jose
We let Rajiv test it, and he seriously reconsidered his plans for the evening.
most perfect
We didn't have taco seasoning, but who needs it? We're semi-professionals. We make our own!

Sauté some garlic in olive oil. Add ground cumin, chili powder, and a sprinkling of cayenne pepper.  

Add chicken and chopped onions.

Sometimes, I'll buy a can of chili peppers in Adobo sauce. The problem is, most recipes that call for them only use 1 of them. Then they sit in the refrigerator for months afterward. Finally, I went looking for something else to do with the rest of my peppers, and came across this...

Chop 1 pepper very finely, add 1T adobo sauce...

...mix in 1/4c+ (depending on how hot you want it...) sour cream (or greek yogurt). That's it! Its a great way to add a kick to your tacos and burritos. 


And that's how you kick off summer. Spicy food, a pitcher of margaritas, friends, chupacabra stories, loud music. Happy summer everyone!

Now here's what I did with the leftovers the next day...

Layer beans and shredded chicken on top of 1 tortilla. Sprinkle cheese on top.

Place a second tortilla on top of that, and add more cheese and chopped tomatoes.

Bake at 350 for ~10 min, or until cheese melts.

Ta-da! Mexican Pizza! Like Taco Bell, but made out of leftovers from of your refrigerator! Dip it on the Adobo sauce. Delicioso!

We got a personal request, so keep an eye out for marinades and rubs for fishes! But as I said before, low grocery budget... it will be at least next week before we get to that. In the meantime, we have a few exciting things planned for this week. Stay tuned!