Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Last month I made some beef stock from bones ordered from Farmers Fresh. It’s been my most successful stock experience to date. I think the secret is putting the cooling stock in the fridge over night so that it’s really easy to skim the fat.

I used a beef stock recipe from simplyrecipes.com.

In addition to the bones and some chopped onions and carrot, there were these ingredients .

thyme, carrot peelings, onion bits, bay leaves, garlic, and par-cel

The bones were rubbed with olive oil and put in the over to roast along with the onions and a carrot.

Here’s what they looked like after the roasting. (more…)

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Friday’s lunch was lo-mein with shrimp, eggs, Brussels sprout leaves, broccoli leaves, and celery leaves.  (And onion and garlic from Kroger, but that’s less interesting.)

Lo-mein is great for using up scraps. Often my lo-mein-like dishes are made with stems from various vegetables from recent CSA deliveries. But over the past couple of weeks, I’ve found myself with mostly scrap leaves. (more…)

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Last night we tried a new variation on the “Kale with raisins and pine nuts” recipe – Bordeaux spinach with dried figs and walnuts.


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This week I increased my peasant dish repertoire with Korean vegetable pancakes (Pa jun) suggested by Kitchen Kung Fu. There were many different recipes on line, and they all said pretty much the same thing: pretend you’re making blueberry pancakes and swap the blueberries for sliced vegetables. Well, that’s not quite what they said. Close, though.


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Ah, nuts.


Walnuts have become a staple in my house after we bought an enormous bag at Sam’s so that I could make biscotti Christmas gifts. Even after all the baking, we still had a couple of pounds of shelled walnuts. Thinking, “We’ll never get through that many walnuts,” I’ve used them in everything I could think of this winter: with greens and pasta, in salads, oatmeal, and desserts. And last week, I scurried off to Sam’s to buy another enormous bag of walnuts.

Health nuts

Nuts are good for you. They’re high in unsaturated fats, Omega-3 fatty acids, and arginine. The Harvard School of Public Health touts the cardiovascular benefits of eating nuts, and The Mayo Clinic describes their part in healthy Mediterranean diets.

Nutty ideas

Here are some nutty dishes we love:


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Bon voyage, The Minimalist!

“The Minimalist” column in The New York Times has been one of my favorites for years. Like in his cookbook How To Cook Everything, Bittman proposes general notions that encourage understanding and experimentation rather than the rigid perfectionism of set recipes. Now after more than thirteen years, “The Minimalist” is coming to an end.

To celebrate all those great years, here’s a post from 2008 – My favorite recipe of all time. The recipe comes from “The Minimalist” column Summer Express: 101 Simple Meals Ready in 10 Minutes or Less. I’m not sure if it’s still my favorite recipe of all time, but it’s definitely way up there and I am grateful for it and many others.

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Cabbage is a wonderful thing. Once you meet a local cabbage, you look at cabbage completely differently. It’s a vegetable with great flavor and texture. And a cabbage is a good friend when you find it weeks later in the back of the crisper. Peel off a layer or two, and you’ve still got a lovely head of cabbage. That’s what happened to me last year. Chris and I enjoyed every bit of that head of green cabbage.

Green cabbage

Green cabbage has a tightly-wrapped, round head and can last a long time in the fridge. Here’s an extraordinarily large example of green cabbage from last year in the center of this pic.

And here are the two best recipes we’ve found for green cabbage. (more…)

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Gussied-up ramen

Today we had ramen noodles with two eggs and some veggie parts:

Tuscan kale stems, Shiitake stems, and garlic

I sauteed the veggies in a little peanut oil before adding them to the soup. During the last minute of cooking, I stirred in the two eggs, beaten.

Here’s the fairly good-looking result.

Sadly, it’s not as good as it looks. Shiitake stems I’ve used in stir-fries with heavy sauce, and the sauce covers the bitterness of the stems. Not so with ramen soup.  Other mushroom stems are fine, but Shiitakes are too bitter. Next time, they’ll join the compost pile, and I’ll use some of the dried oyster mushrooms from the freezer instead.

Other than that, the soup was okay, although I wish I’d chopped the kale finer. It was hot soup on a cold winter afternoon, and we ate all of it.

I plan on doing more ramen soup experiments. Usually when I think of vegetable soup, I think of an afternoon’s undertaking making a whole stockpotful. This is a nice way to have a bowl or two of vegetable soup with some random vegetable pieces.


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So storing the basil in water on the counter hasn’t  worked so well for me.

My leaves never perked up as this site suggested they would. Explanations for failure include 1) I didn’t trim the stems the first time before putting them in water, and 2) it’s chilly in my house because we’ve held off turning on the heat.

The bad news is I have to use up the basil in the next few days. The good news is I have to use up the basil in the next few days.

About half of the basil, we had in tomato-basil pasta for lunch. Here’s the basic recipe for two.

Tomato-basil-Parmesan pasta

  • Start water for pasta.
  • Heat 2 or 3 tablespoons of olive oil on medium low. Add a crushed clove of garlic and cook for about 15 minutes. When the clove is a little brown around the edges, remove it.
  • Add pasta to the boiling water.
  • Carefully add a cup of roughly chopped tomatoes to the oil. If you just toss them in, you might get spit on. Add a dash or two of salt.
  • While the tomatoes cook, chop a handful of fresh basil leaves.
  • Drain the pasta and dump it in a bowl. Pour the tomatoes and oil on top of the pasta and mix well. Then add the basil and top with grated Parmesan.
  • Serve immediately to hungry campers.


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Last night, Chris and I had a supper of broiled eggplant with goat cheese, fresh tomato, and basil.

I followed this recipe except I cut ¼ inch instead of ¾ inch rounds (whoops!) and used basil in place of all the other herbs.

Tomato, basil, and goat cheese - oh, my!


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