Simple, Customizable Granola Recipe

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I love granola.  For breakfast, for snack, and with enough chocolate chips, even for dessert.  But I change my mind a lot when it comes to granola.  Sometimes I want it extra chocolate-y, sometimes I want it full of fruit and nuts.  Sometimes I like a kick of ginger to my granola, and that just doesn’t mix well with peanut butter chips.  So I needed a granola recipe that I could easily customize depending on my mood and chocolate cravings. I decided to just make a very simple base granola recipe and add mix-ins later based on whatever I felt … Continue reading

Vegetarian Black Bean Soup

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My company has lunch on-site every day.  Nothing fancy, mostly just soup, a salad bar, and occasionally a sandwich bar.  Still the convenience is great, and I love having warm soup for lunch.  Unfortunately, the vegetarian soups lean heavily on lentils.  French lentil soup, vegetarian lentil soup, curried lentil soup, etc…  I like lentils as much as the next girl, but when the non-vegetarian soups range from wild mushroom bisque to black bean soup, I have some serious soup envy.  Especially since many of those soups could be easily made vegetarian by using vegetable broth instead of chicken broth. So … Continue reading

Juicing: Green Ginger Limeade

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I go through bouts of juicing.  Especially during the summer, when our garden was producing more lemon cucumbers and kale than we knew what to do with, juicing was a perfect way to knock out some of that produce and drink some serious nutrients before breakfast.  I’ll replace morning coffee with a big glass of green stuff, and banish any evening panics that I haven’t had enough vegetables in my day.  Lately my afternoon coffee has become an autopilot routine, and I’ll find myself halfway to Starbucks without having made the conscious decision to go.  That’s my usual sign to … Continue reading

Oatmeal Bread

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J and I have strongly divergent ideas about bread.  The coffee shop on our corner makes bread I adore.  I’ve been known to go down there and order two slices of bread with my coffee, carefully ferry them home, and toast them here where I can top them with my own jam.  It’s sturdy, whole wheat bread, cut plenty thick so that when you toast it there’s plenty of soft warm center between the crisp outsides.  J hates this bread.  Hates it!  He swears the café’s sandwiches would be wonderful if only he could have better bread.  Mostly he eats … Continue reading

Wheat Berry, Lentil and Butternut Squash Salad with Balsamic Reduction

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Have you ever had a coworker peer over your shoulder at your lunch and proclaim “wow! that looks really … healthy…”  Let me warn you in advance that this salad will definitely get the reaction.  So just calmly thank your coworker because you’ll be prepared. I’ve failed to make a balsamic reduction about ten million times.  I’ve reduced not enough and just had extra pungent vinegar.  I’ve reduced too much and made rock candy.  I’m still not sure what voodoo magic J had to work to save that pan.  By some rule of randomness, I finally succeeded, but I’m not … 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

Polenta Pancakes with Cranberry Clementine Syrup

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I love weekend breakfasts.  Truly, breakfast is my favorite meal, and during the week I rotate through oatmeal, bowls of fruit with quinoa or wheat berries, and even the occasional fried egg with toast.  Weekend breakfasts are a whole other meal though.  The goal is no longer just to fuel you quickly on the way out the door.  Rather, weekend breakfasts for me are about relaxing, and taking the time in the morning to cook something delicious to start the day off on a happy note.  I like french toast and pancakes for my weekend breakfasts, but always with a … Continue reading

Salted Chocolate Cloud Cookies (gluten-free)

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So, I thought I was cookie-ed out.  It was after Christmas, and I’d eaten my weight in my mom’s Grand Marnier sandwich cookies, apricot jam stuffed half moons, O’Henry bars, and Seven Layers of Goodness.  But then I really wanted to make macarons.  These little cookies are just adorable, and a Berkeley bakery makes a delicious salted caramel version that I desperately wanted to create in my own kitchen.  These salted caramel macarons are like the subtle French counterpart to my supremely American, dense, chocolatey, salted caramel whoopie pies.  There is nothing subtle about whoopie pies. Now I don’t have … 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

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