Kitchen Disasters: The Worst Thing I Ever Made

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Kitchen failures are common.  Cookies spread out and run together into one giant flat cookie pancake.  The bread doesn’t rise.  You overestimate your spice tolerance and make a stir fry so spicy that just breathing near the pan makes your eyes water.  All of these things have happened to me.  Kitchen disasters are so much simpler than life disasters, though.  A flat cookie pancake might not look pretty enough to take into work, but it still tastes pretty delicious.  Even if you’ve concocted something truly inedible, the worst kitchen disaster can almost always be solved by ordering pizza. At this … 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

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

Kale and White Bean Soup

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It’s hard to cook in an unfamiliar kitchen. Lacking your usual tools, the familiar measuring cups or your trusty cutting board, an old standby dish suddenly becomes a new kind of challenge. My grandmother has managed for years to feed the whole hoard of us Christmas dinner from a kitchen with 12 square inches of counter space, a cutting board the size of my hand and a single knife that hasn’t been sharpened since before World War II. Lacking what are clearly her MacGyver skills, I resort to tearing ingredients with my hand or smashing them when faced with a … Continue reading

Spicy Black Bean Burgers with Blue Cheese and Avocado

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The idea for these burgers came from a pieced together family barbeque.  The “kids” were sent off to the store to pick up some extra ingredients for the impromptu grill out, and J and I went on a search for veggie burgers.  At this point we realized we’re now totally useless in any grocery store that isn’t Berkeley Bowl.  I couldn’t find anything!  Friends finally helped us find the veggie burgers (near the fish sticks), and we grabbed some blue cheese crumbles (near the tomato sauce?!).  We got Morningstar Spicy Black Bean burgers, and they were great for a frozen … Continue reading

Grown up Kid Food

For Christmas one year when we were little, my sister and I each got a kids’ cookbook. I remember how cool we thought they were because they were for kids like us. I don’t know whether cooking seemed inaccessible, but we loved these cookbooks with recipes that we could make (mostly) by ourselves. I still remember many of the recipes, especially “flat tacos,” which on second thought were really just nachos. The recipes I remember were serious kid food, with various takes on burgers, tacos, and chicken nuggets, so maybe that’s really why we loved the food. The dinner I … Continue reading