Asparagus and Mushroom Tacos with Quick Pickled Onions


When I was young, without fail, whenever my mom would ask what we wanted for dinner, my sister and I would chorus “tacos!”  Taco night was our favorite.  There was something about the self-assembly part of taco night that made it extra special.  I usually loaded mine up with extra cheese, only adding lettuce or tomato if strongly encouraged. I still love taco night, but these days vegetables play a starring role instead of being a simple afterthought.  I have written about taco night before, as it’s a favorite in our house.  While I love these zucchini and potato tacos, … Continue reading

Comfort Food: Mashed Potatoes with Mushroom Gravy


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

A Vegetarian Riff on Stovetop Stuffing

stovetop stuffing

I grew up on Stovetop Stuffing.  The red box was totally integral to our holiday season.  My sister and cousins and I could demolish two or three boxes of Stovetop Stuffing all on our own.  We called the kids’ table the “black hole” completely in reference to our ability to eat stuffing. Look familiar?  Yes, I was that crazy person taking pictures of groceries in Target with her phone.  I’ve missed Stovetop stuffing since I stopped eating meat.  But really, it’s not made with the most recognizable ingredients. As I experimented with this stuffing recipe, I found that the dominant … Continue reading

Mushroom, Tofu and Bok Choy Soup with Homemade Noodles


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

Polenta with Chanterelle Mushrooms and Kale


I did not grow up with polenta.  I have no food memories of helping a grandmother stir the polenta with a wooden spoon that came over from Italy.  I’m Irish.  I have overly fond attachments to mashed potatoes.  And to Stove Top Stuffing (that’s the American heritage, I’m sure.)  So polenta is a fairly recent discovery for me, and I wasn’t really sold on the idea of it initially either.  Corn meal mush? sort of like corn grits?  I was skeptical. I’ve done grilled polenta cakes before, but I hadn’t experimented with just a bowl of polenta until this recipe.  … Continue reading

Individual Mushroom Pot Pies


I have adored mushrooms ever since I started cooking them properly.  There’s a scene in Julie and Julia where Julie is cooking in her tiny kitchen.  To paraphrase, she’s just learned that you shouldn’t “crowd the mushrooms, otherwise they won’t brown.”  She exclaims that she’s been cooking mushrooms wrong her whole life.  When I first read the book (and later saw the movie) and saw that passage, I had the same “aha!” moment.  Since then I’ve always been very careful not to “crowd the mushrooms” because the browning really develops a much deeper flavor. I had mushrooms on the brain … Continue reading

When You are Craving Veggies…


We’ve had a lot of wonderful visitors over the last few months.  It’s funny how people are more excited to visit us in California than they were to visit us back when we lived in Baltimore.  Having visitors tends to correspond with a lot of eating out.  Sharing favorite restaurants is just part of the tour for visitors, as far as I’m concerned.  (Hey, I’ve dragged all of our visitors to our grocery store too.  I’m special like that).  Even though I know just as well as the next person that you can pick the healthy option when dining out, … Continue reading

More Veggie than Egg Frittata

I’m not sure where I saw the headline or title for a more veggie less egg frittata, but I instantly liked the idea. For this quick dinner I browned up some mushrooms. Ever since I first saw the movie Julie and Julia, I can’t seem to make mushrooms without thinking of that scene in Julie Powell’s tiny kitchen. In my head, I hear “don’t crowd the mushrooms, otherwise they won’t brown.” The don’t crowd the mushrooms advice was revolutionary for me, as previously I didn’t enjoy the rather squishy texture of mushrooms. I also found button mushrooms or cremini mushrooms … Continue reading