Archive for 2011|Yearly archive page

Blog move!

In Uncategorized on February 20, 2011 at 1:48 pm

We interrupt your regularly scheduled recipe posts to let you know that I’m transferring this website to a new domain!

Please update your links to:



Weekly roundup (2/18/11)

In weekly roundup on February 18, 2011 at 7:38 am

Brr, suddenly we were swept back into winter with a week’s worth of storms.

  • Looking for help on purchasing fish that’ll be good for you and the planet? The Monterey Bay Aquarium has a very neat app called Seafood Watch to help you make sustainable choices. Plus, it’s free!
  • Maybe it’s because of the chill in the air, but I got very excited about the BBC’s menu for afternoon tea.
  • So I’m mentally preparing myself to fulfill my 2011 Resolution (pie crust, in case you haven’t been keeping track). This video certainly helped! Maybe one day I’ll even try, eh?

Chili-glazed pork and sweet potato hash

In recipe on February 16, 2011 at 7:31 am

Mad‘s back with another guest post! Don’t forget to head over to her blog for the whole Dinner & an Album feature!

I consider myself a fan and connoisseur of pork in just about any formation, be it loins, ribs, roast, chops, or the king of pork products, BACON, so it’s always fun to try out a new approach to cooking this most appetizing of meats. This recipe for chili-glazed pork was relatively simple, and goes exceedingly well with the side dish of savory sweet potato hash.

You can do a lot of things with pork tenderloin since its shape gives it a propensity for being stuffed with any number of hearty delectables, but in this case we’re taking the easy route by simply coating the outside with salt, pepper, olive oil, chili powder and maple syrup. (Who wants to bother with kitchen twine anyway?) Admittedly, I did go a bit heavier on the “glazed” part of this recipe than the “chili” part, but the proportions are pretty malleable depending on your preference for spiciness/sweetness. The end result is an aromatic, mouthwatering main course that is also quick and filling.

If the pork was the famous, high-paid star of this dinner production, the hash was the underrated character actor who ultimately stole the show. Deepak Chopra has this thing about “the flavors of life,” which describes the benefits of a diet that includes a wide range of color and texture. This idea appeals to both the artist and foodie in me, and the dark oranges and greens of the potato hash are definitely as attractive as they delicious. Though the ingredients may seem sparse (it’s literally sweet potatoes, shallots and spinach), the mélange is comforting and savory and packs a nutritional punch to boot. Let’s hear it for unintentionally eating healthy!

Chili-glazed pork & sweet potato hash Read the rest of this entry »

Perfect chocolate chip cookies

In recipe on February 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm

I adore superlative titles in recipes. The BEST BBQ sauce? There! MOST creamy mashed potatoes? I’ll try it! PERFECT chocolate chip cookies? Huzzah!

If anyone deserves to use ultimate adjectives, it’s the good folks over at Cook’s Illustrated. They will try every iteration of a recipe in order to provide you with its Platonic ideal.

Now, I usually cut corners in the kitchen. For this recipe, though, I followed every step (okay, almost every step). I’d advise you to do the same if you want these expert results.

Because you know what? THESE ARE PERFECT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES. And it’s worth it.

I defy you to think otherwise.

Oh – and Happy Valentine’s!

Perfect chocolate chip cookies
Adapted respectfully from Cook’s Illustrated

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Weekly roundup (2/11/11)

In weekly roundup on February 11, 2011 at 10:58 am

This beginning of this week was glorious in the Bay. I know 70 degree weather in February ultimately means nothing good, but you can’t help enjoying it, right?!

  • Valentine’s Day is almost here, and although I have no real strong emotion to the holiday, these precious heart-shaped macarons looks delightful and delicious (and a heck of a lot of work).
  • I’m going to a Valentine’s party this weekend, and we are required to bring a food dish associated with, ahem, an aphrodisiac. I’m trying to figure out where to get (and how to prepare) Spanish fly.
  • Okay, this is the opposite of funtimes, but now that I’m a proud CSA subscriber I really want to avoid food waste. This guide from Vegetarian Times on storing fruits and veggies seems like a really great resource.

Bacon shallot dip

In recipe on February 9, 2011 at 6:02 am

So I mentioned this recipe in my last round-up, I tweeted about it, and now I’m writing about it. How could one dip recipe capture my heart and mind so completely?!

Oh yes. I will tell you. Four words: brandy, bacon, caramelized shallots. I made it for the Superbowl, and lemme say, this little dip packs a touchdown of flavor!

Good thing I had practiced my caramelizing skills last week. It’s like I was in training to make this dip (lame sports metaphors now complete).

A side tip: you will smell like smoky bacon for the rest of the day. Not, you know, that is ever a bad thing. Some people even pay to smell like that.

Bacon shallot dip, adapted from Thrillist SF Read the rest of this entry »

High rise pancake

In recipe on February 7, 2011 at 12:42 pm

I live in an apartment with two girls and a fat lady-cat. We have a subscription to GQ here, which ends up on our coffee table. The magazines always seem to shock people. “You get GQ?!” they (usually a guy) will ask. Yes, yes we do. And here’s why: 1. the reporting is a lot stronger than a lot of ladymags, 2. better cultural pieces, 3. it’s funny, 4. there are are always pictures of good looking men jumping in suits.

They also have a pretty darn good food and drink section. Their recipes tend to reinforce the readers’ masculinity (the most intense mac and cheese! master your barbeque! eat more steak!) but there are deviations. To wit: this lovely egg pancake recipe.

I have a theory that GQ hoped their reader would serve this to a really hot yoga teacher as a late-night, post-coital snack in their futuristic-yet-inviting apartment. INSTEAD I served it for brunch on a sunny day to my roommates. And we dug it hardcore.

(It’s also a great excuse to use your cast-iron skillet if you, like me, tend to ignore that versatile little pan).

High rise pancake

Weekly roundup (2/4/11)

In weekly roundup on February 4, 2011 at 12:01 pm

I took today off, which has been absolutely splendid. Happy early weekend!

  • I’m becoming even more of a Bay Area cliche and have signed up for a CSA! Check out the deets here. Expect many more seasonal, veggie-fresh recipes (and probably more complaining about excess chard).
  • Super Bowl this weekend! I can’t tell you much about the teams, but I can tell you that this dip looks amazing (via Thrillist SF).
  • It was Chinese New Year yesterday! Happy year o’ the rabbit. If you’re hoping to get lucky, here are the foods for you.

How to: caramelize onions

In technique on February 2, 2011 at 8:11 am
As evidenced by this blog (and the fact that I spend a lot of time daydreaming about food), I love cooking. It relaxes me, it’s fun, I enjoy bringing friends together over a meal.


But I certainly not a perfect cook. There are things that challenge me, and I generally avoid them rather than address them. Examples? I can’t properly grill a steak to save my life, I get very paranoid cooking chicken, I tend to shy away from any spice combination coming from the Asian continent, and I’m a pretty uninspired baker.


But I’d like to branch out and challenge myself, which is why I thought I’d introduce a new little series here – more based in technique, maybe based in new recipes, but definitely more in the learning process rather than the advisory one.


I.e. I am going to mess up. But hopefully I’ll be able to explain why and not do it again.


First up? Caramelizing onions, which I eat happily but have never made.


Let’s caramelize! Read the rest of this entry »

Honey balsamic dressing

In recipe on January 31, 2011 at 8:00 am

I don’t know about you, but I hate cleaning gadgets. I love salad dressings with fresh shallots (like this creamy basil dressing) but I hate, hate, HATE washing a blender or food processor. They always end up needing hand-washing, and then nobody wants to dry them or put them away so they languish on the drying rack for about a week after use.


So I always get very excited when I find an easy and tasty salad dressing that doesn’t require use of a gadget. This dressing fits the bill. I served it most recently on a mixed greens-chicken-pine nut-grapefruit salad and it was delish.


Honey balsamic dressing

Adapted from 101 Cookbooks

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