Everyday Buttermilk Skillet Cake

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I found my everyday cake!  While paging through the Joy the Baker cookbook, I was instantly taken by this simple recipe.  Sadly though, I don’t really need an everyday cake.  People are not constantly dropping by my house for tea, and while cake is always welcome in this house, I don’t really need cake on my kitchen table every day.  Still, it’s nice to think of life in an alternate universe where I would always need to have cake in the house.  Where my kitchen staples might be eggs, kale, cheddar and buttermilk cake.  That seems like an excellent alternate … Continue reading

Potato and Cheddar Pierogi

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Last weekend I was back in Boston, and my mom took a day off from work so we could spend it together.  I don’t get nearly as much Mom time now that I live 3000 miles away, so it was a rare treat.  I lodged a special request that we spend part of the day making pierogi.  Pierogi (a potato-filled dumpling of Polish origin), didn’t play any prominent role in my childhood, but my mom has fond memories of her Aunt Katie making them.  We’ve been slowly collecting several generations worth of family recipes and dishes, and I really can’t … Continue reading

Mexican Breakfast Bowl

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Despite the name, I’ve eaten this bowl for dinner more nights than not this past week.  When I like something, I tend to go all in.  I’ll read every book an author has written.  I eat pineapple until my mouth burns, and then I eat more pineapple.  I listen to the same song on repeat until the lyrics cease to sound like words.  And I eat this for dinner four nights in a row because it takes ten minutes to make and is just as satisfying every single time. J doesn’t like repetition.  He can actually eat just one chocolate … Continue reading

Oatmeal Memories

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“We need something no one will ever guess.  Something like… oatmeal!” I still remember being impressed with Anne’s choice of password for our carefully constructed blanket and pillow fort.  What a perfectly normal and bland sort of word.  It was downright unguessable and totally lacking in magic.  It was perfect. I can’t remember whether we were trying to keep older or younger siblings from crashing our fort that day, but twenty years later, and in a much more password driven society, I still think of her pronouncing oatmeal, and how we both knew instantly it was perfect.  I had previously … Continue reading

Lemon Snowcap Beans and Stars Soup

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Another week, another soup recipe.  Soup is so convenient for a packed lunch, easy to load with vegetables and protein, and so satisfying when heated up.  This recipe even uses tiny star pasta, though you can use any kind of tiny pasta if you can’t find stars. Rainbow Swiss chard just makes me smile.  I remember the first time I saw it at the Union Square farmers’ market in Cambridge.  I barely knew what it was, and I certainly didn’t know what to do with it, but I bought it anyways because the pinks and reds and yellows of the … Continue reading

Cranberry, Pear and Wheat Berry Breakfast

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I have just a handful of weekday breakfasts that I make over and over again.  Lately my green ginger limeade has been my breakfast of choice, since it doesn’t feel a bit like winter right now..  Normally during the winter I crave a warm start to the date and alternate between oatmeal with bananas and almond butter and this delicious wheat berry breakfast.  I first saw this wheat berry breakfast bowl on 101 Cookbooks more than two years ago.  While I’ve made Heidi’s more elaborate version for company or weekend breakfasts on a number of occasions, I use this super … Continue reading

Comfort Food: Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy

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I had a whole recipe in mind for you with a creative twist on mashed potatoes.  Mashed potatoes with whole grain mustard and thyme, paired with marinated mushrooms.  I suspect I’ll still make that dish, but as I was thinking about it, I got a phone call.  While everyone in my life is fine, the phone call threw me off my axis.  With my whole world off-kilter, I no longer felt up for the adventurous new recipe, and I needed an old comfortable standby in my kitchen instead.  When I was in Boston over Christmas, my father gave me my … Continue reading

Buffalo Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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I have spent a large chunk of my life avoiding spicy things.  I never understood why someone would want to eat spicy food voluntarily.  I associated spicy food with pain and tears; usually after accidentally ingesting a piece of jalapeno.  This was not an experience I was willing to seek out on purpose. J, on the other hand, loves spicy food.  Before he became vegetarian, buffalo chicken tenders were one of his go to pub orders.  I can still feel my eyes tearing up just sitting across the table from his order of “satanic” buffalo chicken at Cambridge Common.  (He … Continue reading

A Vegetarian Riff on French Onion Soup

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I have no childhood associations with French onion soup the way I did with stuffing.  The fact that it’s traditionally made with beef broth didn’t wreak havoc on me when I became vegetarian because I don’t think I’ve ever even had traditional French onion soup.  My sister and I hated onions when we were children.  I don’t know why we hated onions.  I don’t remember being averse to the taste, or the smell, or even the texture of cooked onions.  I just remember hating onions.  I think sometimes my mom would successfully sneak them into dishes if she cut them … Continue reading

Goat Cheese and Pear Stuffed French Toast

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When we lived in Boston, J and I had a breakfast place.  Ball Square Café is the perfect neighborhood place, and even though it wasn’t exactly in our neighborhood, it was absolutely worth the mile walk.  I’ve eaten nearly everything off their menu (though I have a strong preference for the tri-berry French toast), and every breakfast item is a home run.  They do huge creative omelets with homefries  or grilled mashed potatoes.  That’s right, they take the amazingness of buttery mashed potatoes and then grill them up so they have a delicious brown crust.  The pancakes are light, fluffy … Continue reading