Asparagus Salad with Roasted Potatoes and Hard Boiled Eggs

asparagus_egg_potato2

In a rather convoluted way, this salad started with garlic aioli.  Months ago now, J and I were eating at Canary Square, a restaurant in Jamaica Plain.  We’d split an order of fries to start, and our waiter offered to bring us a second dip in addition to the house-made ketchup.  A side of garlic aioli came out with the fries.  As I dipped in my first fry, I had to summon massive amounts of willpower not to go at the little container of aioli with my spoon and then my tongue.  Silky smooth and garlicky, the aioli was a … Continue reading

Kale Coconut Salad

lounger

When you move to California (having never even visited before), you falsely feel like you have some sense of the place.  TV and movies promise palm trees, sunshine, and surfers.  While I knew I was moving to Northern California and not San Diego, I was still surprised our first morning here (in August no less), that I needed to pull on a sweatshirt to go search out a local coffee shop.  I always find myself explaining to friends and relatives back home that my part of California is usually always 67 degrees.  Even in August.  Even in November. So this … Continue reading

Homemade Matar Paneer

matar_paneer_naan

A block away from my freshman dorm was a restaurant called “Tamber’s Nifty Fifties.”  The décor was pure American diner, with the vinyl booths, jukebox, and just a touch of neon.  They served burgers and tuna melts and milk shakes.  Plus an entire menu of Indian food.  Truly a strange combination.  At the time, I just thought it was weird; I was far more obsessed with classes and grades than food at that point in my life (for days at a time I derived the majority of my calories from Annie’s shells and cheese).  Looking back on it now though, … Continue reading

Juicing: Green Ginger Limeade

green_juice_bright

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

Buffalo Roasted Brussels Sprouts

buffalo_roasted_brussels_sprouts

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

Roasted Vegetable Stock

about_to_become_roasted_veg_stock

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

Mashed Potatoes and Turnips with Blue Cheese

mashed_potato_turnips_blue_cheese

We are strongly attached to our traditions in my family, especially traditions that are associated with food.  We’ve been eating approximately the same Thanksgiving and Christmas for as long as I can remember.  We’ve added dishes over the years, but nothing can be subtracted.  I can only imagine the mutiny that would ensue if we tried to mess with the mashed potatoes at our house. Mashed potatoes are a particular specialty of ours.  We always fight for the leftovers, but somehow mashed potatoes almost never make it past the first round of leftovers.  They are nothing fancy, just potatoes mashed … Continue reading

Blended Vegetable Soups

swamp_soup

Fall and winter are nearly upon us in Berkeley.  That means that it gets darker earlier, that it’s about 5 degrees cooler outside, and the fog descends in the morning and doesn’t burn off until lunch.  While Berkeley fall and winter can hardly compete with Boston’s cool crisp days turning to cold snowy days, it still feels like soup weather.  Somehow, I just seem to know that it’s time to pack away the shorts and tank tops and pull out the sweaters and boots, even if the weather would still be considered warm if we were back in Boston.  Along … Continue reading

Our Berkeley Winter Garden: Week Two

garden_long view

Here’s just a quick walk through of what we’re trying to grow this time around. I have a bunch of herbs in pots on the deck.  This mint plant looks like it wants to take over the world.  What else can I do with mint besides make drinks?  I have a LOT of mint.  Perhaps making my own mint chocolate chip ice cream is going to be in order… Here’s a little pot of thyme.  Perfect for winter soups, and perhaps for reinventing a vegetarian version of Stove Top Stuffing. Some tricolor sage.  I love the pink and purple tones. … Continue reading

A Saturday Trip to the Berkeley Farmers’ Market

warty pumpkin

We’re sort of between seasons in Berkeley right now.  (Unlike in Boston, where winter came early!)  There were warty pumpkins at the market. And all kinds of squash. But there are still tables full of tomatoes at the market, even though our backyard tomato plants have given up for the season. Beautiful heirloom tomatoes in all shades. Many varieties of plums were available. Plus gorgeous fresh beans, and cartons full of colorful peppers. I picked up plums and pears, some fresh rosemary bread, a dozen eggs, and a little bag of chanterelle mushrooms.  I also grabbed this delicious tart for … Continue reading