Taco Night and Making Your Own Corn Tortillas

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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

Individual Mushroom Pot Pies

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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

Simple Tomato Sauce and Canning Tomatoes

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A few months ago J and I were hanging out at our neighbors’ house.  We’d all originally intended to go out for Ethiopian food, but as we sat around the table sharing a bottle of wine, our motivation to move from what had become very comfortable chairs quickly disappeared.  Our neighbors decided that they could very easily pull together food, and they made us pasta with Marcella Hazan’s tomato sauce with onion and butter.  I’d never heard of this before, which was kind of surprising considering my obsessive reading of food blogs.  This sauce has definitely made the rounds of … Continue reading

Gardening, Cooking, and Canning

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This has been an absurdly busy afternoon.  We’re going on a trip back to Boston soon, and I didn’t want all this wonderful garden produce to go to waste. That’s just the beginning of what I got to work with this afternoon.  I picked three kinds of cherry tomatoes, plus some of our San Marzano tomatoes, plus tons more serrano peppers.  I’ve only ever seen green serranos at the grocery store, but some of our serrano peppers have started turning red on the plant.  Apparently most hot peppers can be picked and eaten when they’re green, but if left on … Continue reading

Pickled Serrano Peppers

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In Friday’s garden update, I showed you our serrano pepper plants.  We planted two of them three months ago, and for at least six weeks, the plants showed positively no sign of growing.  We even contemplated pulling them out to put in more lettuce, but luckily we didn’t (both because weeks later we were drowning in lettuce and because the peppers finally grew!)  What seemed like overnight, the plants grew a foot and started flowering.  When the first flower gave birth to a tiny serrano pepper, we were proud pepper parents.   Frankly, I wasn’t sure that it got hot enough … Continue reading

Our Berkeley Garden: Month Three Update

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Every time I post new pictures of the garden, I go right back to the Week One post.  It’s amazing to me that we actually managed to grow everything.  There must be some magic in this Northern California soil because there’s certainly no previous evidence that I had any gardening talent.  Here’s our planning shot from the day we planted everything. And here we are, three months later! Look at our zucchini monster!  This thing has seriously threatened to take over the backyard.  I’m just grateful that we only decided to plant a single zucchini plant.  This plant gave birth … Continue reading

Roasted Zucchini and Potato Tacos with Mole and Avocado (vegan and gluten-free)

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It’s Zucchini Chocolate Blog Party, take two!  Did you catch my first recipe, Mini Molten Chocolate Cakes? This recipe takes the blog party guidelines in a whole other direction.  I made a roasted veggie taco with zucchini and purple potatoes, covered in a homemade mole sauce and topped with avocado.  I had these on corn tortillas, making them both vegan and gluten-free.  I just cut the veggies into similar sized pieces, doused them in olive oil and sea salt, and roasted them in the oven at 400 degrees for ~45min.  I love the zucchini and purple potato combination, but mushrooms … Continue reading

Zucchini Week: A Sneaky Green Take on Tamale Pie

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I managed to sneak zucchini into both the filling and the crust of this tamale pie.  I’d never even heard of (or imagined) a tamale pie, but thanks to the blog world I came across this version by Jenna of Eat, Live, Run and then I found this version by Mama Pea, who writes Peas and Thank You and just published a New York Times best selling cookbook!  So suddenly tamale pie was on my radar, and it seemed like the perfect vehicle for some more sneaky zucchini.  I had just made my own taco seasoning based off of a … Continue reading

Zucchini Week: Zucchini Noodle Lasagna

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Our single zucchini plant is taking over the garden.  Looking back to when we first planted it, it’s hard to imagine that it has grown so much.  We’ve finally reached the stage that the plant and its leaves are so big that we have hidden zucchini.  Even though we try to check it carefully, we keep being greeted in the mornings by surprise zucchini that have managed to grow to the size of a toddler seemingly overnight.  Thanks to this phenomenon, I’m christening this week “Zucchini Week” here on B2B, where you’ll have the fun of seeing me try to … Continue reading