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

Cranberry Tea

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The name cranberry tea doesn’t properly explain how wonderful this drink is.  The first time J had it, he described it as nectar.  It’s sweet and tart with just a hint of spice.  To me, it’s completely synonymous with the holiday season. My family had cranberry tea for the first time one night when we had dinner at a neighbors’ house.  Susanna and Alan lived next door to us in the new neighborhood we had just moved to.  Susanna is an amazing cook, and had actually published a collection of her recipes.  She grew up Pennsylvania Dutch, and her cookbook … Continue reading

A Vegetarian Riff on Stovetop Stuffing

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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

Grilled Cheese with Sharp Cheddar, Apples and Whole Grain Mustard

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So I’ve written about this sandwich before.  But really, it merits a second entry.  It was one of my very first blog posts, and I wasn’t even attempting to take food pictures at that point.  Plus, it’s been nearly a year, and I still look forward to this sandwich. It’s super simple to make, but incredibly satisfying.  I press it on a Foreman grill, but you could definitely butter the outside and grill it like a more typical grilled cheese. Simply slice up some of the sharpest cheddar cheese you can find, and half an apple (I always eat the … Continue reading

Pumpkin Walnut Spice Bread

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I don’t quite get all the fuss about pumpkin.  I like how seasonal eating feels right, how cold weather makes you want hearty soups and roasted vegetables and maybe some mashed potatoes.  I knew it was fall today when I went into the yoga studio and saw a shoe rack full of boots instead of flip flops.  Seasons changing isn’t as straight forward here in Berkeley as it was in Boston, so instead it’s the arrival of boots, slightly cooler temperatures, and squash at the farmers’ market that lets me know it’s not summer anymore.  Really, when it’s always about … Continue reading

Polenta with Chanterelle Mushrooms and Kale

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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

Vegan Chocolate Chip Banana Bread

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I’ve been meaning to bake for my coworkers for a while now.  A bunch of our desks are all together, and we’ve been joking about bringing in baked goods for our little desk area.  I had bananas that were on their last legs, and I’ve been meaning to make banana bread for a while now.  I added chocolate chips to the recipe; you can never go wrong with chocolate chips. I made the recipe vegan, partially because one of my coworkers is vegan, and I wanted her to be able to eat it, but I was also out of eggs.  … Continue reading

Butternut Squash and Goat Cheese Tart

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At the Berkeley Farmers’ Market this weekend, I picked up a goat cheese and butternut squash tart for breakfast.  It was wonderful, and I was determined to recreate it in my own kitchen.  I was a little limited by an irrational fear of pastry crust.  Turns out that a food processor makes pie crust down right manageable. I followed this recipe for the pie crust.  The recipe makes enough for four of these small tarts.  I made just two, and put the rest of the dough in the fridge for some recipe that I haven’t come up with yet. Before … Continue reading

Taco Night and Making Your Own Corn Tortillas

black_beans_cotija_cheese_corn_tortilla

Taco night is something J and I both loved as children.  J says he loved how interactive the meal was, that everyone was reaching around, having fun together and adding things to their tacos.  I remember my sister and I chorusing “Tacos!” whenever my mom asked us what we wanted for dinner.  I also liked any excuse to add shredded cheese to just about anything.  We had friends over for taco night last night, and I thought I’d complicate the proceedings by making my own corn tortillas. I’ve recently started reading Gluten-free Girl and the Chef.  I’m always on the … Continue reading

Radish, Cucumber and Apple Slaw with a Spicy Honey-Lime Dressing

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We’ve had more radishes in our CSA lately.  I never know quite what to do with radishes.  When we get beets in the CSA box, my brains goes “juice!” or “roasted with goat cheese and walnuts!”  When we get kale, my brain has 5 instant ideas, and with tomatoes the ideas seem boundless.  I always have more ideas than tomatoes.  With radishes though, I always think “radishes are so cute!”  I never seem to think “wow, I’m so glad these are in my kitchen so I can roast them in a honey-balsamic glaze.” Although, now that you mention it, that … Continue reading