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

Running Update and a Guest Post

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Hi, everyone!  Head on over to Pastafree Runner to see my Beautiful Monday guest post on homemade sugar and salt scrubs.  Not all my kitchen projects are limited to dinner!  In other news I had my first successful run in three weeks yesterday.  My hip and left quad are a little tight and sore now, but I’m hoping I’ll still be able to run the Oakland half marathon for fun in a month.  I fear all my PR hopes will have to be stowed away for another race.  I have been cross training like a crazy person over the last … Continue reading

A Fully Stocked Pantry

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A while back I promised my friend Alex a pantry post, and it’s been sitting half completed in my drafts folder for weeks.  She reminded me about it this weekend, so I finished it up for you. A large chunk of my pantry is stocked from the bulk section at my grocery store.  I always have a few kinds of dried beans and grains, plus nutritional yeast in glass jars.  Right now, I have green lentils, snowcap beans, and Christmas lima beans on hand.  For grains I have brown rice, wild rice, quinoa, and wheat berries.  All of these are … Continue reading

Roasted Vegetable Stock

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This past Saturday was full of kitchen projects.  It’s been rare lately that I’ve had a whole weekend day to just putter around in the kitchen.  Making stock is definitely a time investment, but the hands on time is pretty minimal. I’ll go months using nothing but Better than Bouillon for my veggie stock, and it does a pretty good job.  But for really good risotto or vegetarian French Onion soup, there’s nothing quite like this roasted vegetable stock. I use Mark Bittman’s recipe for roasted vegetable stock, but I treat it more as a suggestion, and toss in whatever … Continue reading

Pizza with Vegan Cashew Cheese: Inspired by Gather Restaurant

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Gather is one of my favorite restaurants in Berkeley.  The restaurant has this great cozy ambience with lots of cool details.  The menu has a great mix of comfort foods, and incredibly creative pairings.  (Their vegan charcuterie is always fascinating, and while I can’t always figure out every component despite the helpful tableside guide, everything tastes amazing.)  Plus their cocktails are creative and multi-faceted and just fun to try.  My favorite thing at Gather though, is their vegan pizza with kalamata olives and cashew puree.  The cheese is melty and drippy, and tastes like… cheese.  I can’t explain it.  It’s … Continue reading

Rosemary Garlic Olive Oil Bread

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When I was thinking about my stuffing recipe, I knew I wanted everything to be as flavorful as possible.  I was also dealing with a competing priority though, which was that I knew come Thanksgiving morning I’d have very limited prep time.  My redeye cross country flight got me into Boston at 7:30AM, and since we were delayed it was actually much closer to 9:00 AM.  I knew there’d be no time for bread baking, and then for letting the bread go stale and using it for stuffing at our actual Thanksgiving celebration.  Luckily I also knew that rosemary garlic … Continue reading

Mushroom, Tofu and Bok Choy Soup with Homemade Noodles

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Can we pause for just a minute and focus on the title.  HOMEMADE noodles.  That’s right.  A number of kitchen techniques make me anxious.  I’ve been slowly conquering them, pickling peppers, canning tomatoes, and making pie crust from scratch.  Still, when I bookmarked the inspiration recipe for this post, I did it knowing that making homemade pasta was not going to be super easy. Turns out I was completely, and happily wrong.  Making these noodles is so simple.  And then you can happily consume a giant bowl of soup, and slurp every noodle feeling totally satisfied that you made them … Continue reading

Simple Tomato Sauce and Canning Tomatoes

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A few months ago J and I were hanging out at our neighbors’ house.  We’d all originally intended to go out for Ethiopian food, but as we sat around the table sharing a bottle of wine, our motivation to move from what had become very comfortable chairs quickly disappeared.  Our neighbors decided that they could very easily pull together food, and they made us pasta with Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce with onion and butter.  I’d never heard of this before, which was kind of surprising considering my obsessive reading of food blogs.  This sauce has definitely made the rounds of … Continue reading

Gardening, Cooking, and Canning

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This has been an absurdly busy afternoon.  We’re going on a trip back to Boston soon, and I didn’t want all this wonderful garden produce to go to waste. That’s just the beginning of what I got to work with this afternoon.  I picked three kinds of cherry tomatoes, plus some of our San Marzano tomatoes, plus tons more serrano peppers.  I’ve only ever seen green serranos at the grocery store, but some of our serrano peppers have started turning red on the plant.  Apparently most hot peppers can be picked and eaten when they’re green, but if left on … Continue reading

Pickled Serrano Peppers

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In Friday’s garden update, I showed you our serrano pepper plants.  We planted two of them three months ago, and for at least six weeks, the plants showed positively no sign of growing.  We even contemplated pulling them out to put in more lettuce, but luckily we didn’t (both because weeks later we were drowning in lettuce and because the peppers finally grew!)  What seemed like overnight, the plants grew a foot and started flowering.  When the first flower gave birth to a tiny serrano pepper, we were proud pepper parents.   Frankly, I wasn’t sure that it got hot enough … Continue reading