Archive for the 'Recipes' Category

Don’t know what to do with all your zucchini?

I didn’t plant any zucchini in my garden – I planted two yellow squash plants, which are producing at an acceptable but not out of control rate.  A few weeks ago, I traded some yellow squash for zucchini from a friend who has two zucchini plants that just basically exploded, growing full size fruits almost overnight.

Here is a solution for both of us. Continue reading ‘Don’t know what to do with all your zucchini?’

Pisto Manchego and Eggs

Its here!  Garden fresh veggies in abundance!  My squash have recovered from whatever was ailing them, and I’ve harvested quite a few, with many more blossoms growing.  The cherry tomatoes are sweet and ripe, the peas are absolutely perfect, and the peppers are crisp and tasty.

This summer I am making a concerted effort to eat more homemade whole-food meals, and not use canned or boxed foods for the most part (exceptions for whole wheat pastas, couscous, and brown rice).  The big challenge is to plan ahead so that I always have something fresh ready to be made into a meal.  Its much easier to do so when so many fresh ingredients are growing right on the back deck!

The other night, I decided to make the “Pisto Manchego” from Martha Rose Shulman’s NYT column.  I added a red bell pepper and used cherry tomatoes instead of canned.  Paired with some crispy kale, this was a seriously incredible summer meal.  Tonight I made a delicious pureed soup of corn, summer squash, hot peppers, and shallots.  Tomorrow?  Perhaps a carrot soup & a pesto & tomato sandwich.

Pizza Triumph

This week I had a plan.  Pizzas.  Fancy pizzas.  I made a DELICIOUS slow-fermenting whole-wheat pizza dough based on a Peter Reinhart recipe from “American Pie.”  Hey, look, an endorsement opportunity.  If you like breads or pizza or baking in general – go out to your library or bookstore or do some good internet sleuthing and get some Peter Reinhart materials.  You may recall that I made some delicious breads a while back from one of his books…. Every single bread and or pizza recipe I have tried of his has turned out fantastic.  You just really need to read his stuff before you ever make bread or pizza again.  These dough rounds were easily the most beautiful dough I’ve ever made.  Just perfectly supple and soft, but not sticky at all.  And they tasted awesome.

Okay Okay, enough with the gushing.  I made two types of pizzas: Continue reading ‘Pizza Triumph’

Onion Tarts, Part Deux

Its vidalia onion time!  Vidalias are a supersweet variety of onion that originally was developed in Texas, but is now grown in Georgia.  Keep reading about Vidalias and how to make them into nice onion tarts…

Curried Red Lentils & Naan

So a few months ago, I blogged about making lentil salad, and Sarina aka Lehigh Valley Lexicon posted a comment about making a curried red lentil soup.  Well that sounded pretty delicious to me (Sarina, I’d still love that recipe if you have it!).  Inspired by the thought of that, I decided to try my hand at an indian-style dinner recently.  I kept it simple and made curried red lentils & naan.  I was most nervous about cooking the naan on a griddle instead of a tandoor oven, but it really turned out just fine.

Continue reading ‘Curried Red Lentils & Naan’

Game Night Goodies

Tuesdays has been Trivia Night for a while among my friends, but after going to various bar trivia nights for over a year, we recently decided to just have an in-house game night.  Last night I made a few different snacks for our game night.  It occurs to me as I make this post that these snacks would also make a great menu for game-nights that involve watching sports on the big screen, too.

The three snacks I made last night were a hummus plate, bruschettas, and buffalo seitan wings. BD’s brother brought chips & salsa and we were good to go!

Continue reading ‘Game Night Goodies’

A Lazy Breakfast: Potatoes & Refried Beans

As I confessed previously, I like potatoes.  I also like beans.  Specifically, refried black beans (other beans also find their way into my stomach from time to time).  Anyway, over the weekend I wanted a hearty and warm breakfast, but didn’t have oatmeal or eggs, and had no intention of going to the store for either.  So I improvised, and made a breakfast that is a little on the starchy side, but is filling and satisfying on a cold winter morning.

Continue reading ‘A Lazy Breakfast: Potatoes & Refried Beans’

Butternut Squash Gnocchi

I really enjoy making pastas by hand, and have a fondness in my heart for gnocchi in particular.  Gnocchi isn’t for everyone.  BD hates it and thinks it has the texture of slugs.  Having never eaten slugs, I can’t imagine why he picked this, but… more for me!  Gnocchi are essentially little dumplings, and most typically, they are made with potatoes.  I have also made or eaten gnocchi made with ricotta cheese, red beets, pumpkin, and plums.  I’m sure there are many more varieties that I have yet to try, and I’m always looking out for new gnocchi opportunities.

Last week, I had butternut squash leftover from when I made the winter vegetable soup and one night I started to roast it, thinking I’d just eat it with some sunflower seeds and spices.  But once I started roasting it, I decided I was really in the mood for something a little more substantial.  Luckily, gnocchi comes together very easily. Continue reading ‘Butternut Squash Gnocchi’

The World’s Most Delicious Macaroni and Cheese

Yesterday BD celebrated his 28th birthday.  After a long day at work, his idea of a celebration was a relaxing evening at home.  I decided that I would make dinner AND do the dishes.  Hummina Hummina.  And the meal that would be most celebratory of all?  Why, Macaroni and Cheese, of course.  (I promise I’ll get back to healthier foods in my next post).  We did have it with broccoli… I’ll get to that in a bit.

Continue reading ‘The World’s Most Delicious Macaroni and Cheese’

Winter Vegetable Soup

Winter is here, and the fresh vegetables are few and far between.  But some hearty root veggies store well and make delicious soup, even in the cold of January.  This week, I made a sweet soup with some of my favorite winter vegetables.

Continue reading ‘Winter Vegetable Soup’

Zucchini Latkes & Polenta with Pesto

Last night I invited my mom over for dinner, and put together a hearty meal to stave off the bitter cold.  It was kind of a “hodge podge” as they say, but sometimes I think that’s the best way to make a meal. Continue reading ‘Zucchini Latkes & Polenta with Pesto’

A Holiday Feast

Okay, so hopefully my holiday dinner was no ones last supper, but it was quite a feast.  I planned this menu for months, and ended up with a pretty nice spread, if I do say so myself.

Continue reading ‘A Holiday Feast’

Hannukah (Latkes)

Yes, the festival of lights is upon us once again.  And as one of the many non-religious jews in the world, let me just say, “Hooray for Latkes.”  Hannukah actually is a great holiday for us non-believers, because its based on actual historical events rather than something make believe (I hope my bubbi isn’t reading this blog).  And best of all, it is celebrated by frying potatoes in oil.

Before I get to the recipe and latke pics, since some of my readers are people who know me in real life, I just wanted to post this picture of my beautiful sister, Jade with the following note: Growing up, would you ever have believed that she’d be the one with pink hair and I wouldn’t even use hairspray?

Happy Hannukah everyone!
Continue reading ‘Hannukah (Latkes)’

Being well-fed by others: Bruschetta Pizza in California

BD and I are in California for the week, visiting our friends, and currently, spending a few days at Yosemite National Park.  I’ll have pictures up on Flickr maybe when we get back.  In the meantime, I thought I’d take advantage of the free internet and early morning quiet to tell you about some really good hospitality our friends Eleanor (commonly known as Eleanor THE BEST) and Paolo provided for us when we got to town.  In addition to putting us up in their place, they fed us a delicious dinner!  Paolo made this incredible california-style bruschetta pizza that I ate two and a half slices of even though I was kind of full! Continue reading ‘Being well-fed by others: Bruschetta Pizza in California’

Pain a L’ancienne

Yep, I baked them breads myself.  And despite the name, “Pain a l’ancienne” it was relatively pain-free….. badum-cha… okay maybe my humor is a bit off, but for real, for real, I am feeling the call of breadmaking.  And yes, Wendy, I’ll be bringing some to the office in the morning. Continue reading ‘Pain a L’ancienne’


When I think of Rosh Hashanah, the jewish new year, I think of three foods: apples, honey, and challah.  This year I decided I would make my own challah, my very first.  It was an all-afternoon affair, but the reward was well worth the time and effort.

Continue reading ‘Challah!’

Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes

Last weekend I had a task: several dozen vegan red velvet cupcakes for my friends David & Maggy’s wedding.  They had already arranged for a traditional wedding cake, but wanted to make sure they could accommodate any dietarily restricted friends & family who wanted to partake.  I had to preface my offer for cupcakes by making clear that I am not a baker by trade, and although I do plenty of baking, I definitely do not know how to frost things or decorate or make it look like a “pro” job.  But David and Maggy had no fear of my ineptitude and asked me to go for it anyway! Continue reading ‘Vegan Red Velvet Cupcakes’

Summertime Harvest Risotto

I love summer foods.  I love fresh vegetables grown either in my garden or some other neighborhood locale, and I love the brightness that fresh herbs add to my cooking – although I really did not get my extensive garden into the ground this summer, I do have a pretty righteous potted herb garden, we’ll see how many of those herbs I can get to keep growing once I bring them inside…

Anyway, back to the subject at hand.  Risotto.  I think that sometimes people are reluctant to make or eat risotto in the summer, but this is my “pitch” that risotto can be enjoyed any time of year.  Yes, it is warm and hearty in the winter, but it also can be delightfully fresh flavored and is a fairly simple “one pot” kind of dish for easy summertime cooking.  In fact, if you have one of those fancy pants gas grills with a side burner, this would be a great way to show off grilled summer vegetables.   Continue reading ‘Summertime Harvest Risotto’

Muffins That Make You Feel Good

So, I grew up eating and loving homemade muffins.  My grandmother’s muffins were bran muffins, and my mom’s muffins were banana nut.  And they were delicious, and not greasy, and not sugary, and I never thought of them as junk food.  AND THEN when I was a little older, old enough to buy myself food every once in a while, I bought a muffin once at Dunkin Donuts and was horrified!  

I’ve since learned that the greasy, dry (a total mystery how most places get both of these qualities into one food) sugar and butter-laden cupcake-shaped cakes sold at most grocery stores, bakeries, and other vendors are what pass for muffins in most of this country.  However, I took my mom’s banana muffin recipe (which I think came out of one of the Rodale Natural Foods cooksbooks), and tweaked it to be even healthier – Earth Balance instead of butter, whole wheat flour instead of white, nonfat yogurt instead of whole milk yogurt, and egg replacer instead of eggs – the result was a delicious and hearty muffin that packs a whopping 85 calories (per mini muffin).  If I were really trying to mind caloric values, I could have omitted the walnuts and sweetened them with stevia instead of honey, and wound up with a muffin around 45 calories per mini muffin.  Not too shabby, when you consider that the monstrosities you can get at Starbucks pack a whopping 410 calories per serving.  Plus those don’t even come with walnuts! Continue reading ‘Muffins That Make You Feel Good’

The Sweetest Salad: Roasted Apricots, Greens, Almonds, and Honey Vinaigrette

Tonight was a night for salad, and I was determined to make one that would be light but also satisfying.  We had a greens mixture of arugula and spinach, which was a good combination – the arugula is spicy enough to stand up to many other flavors.  I had been working on a honey vinaigrette since having that delicious salad at Vignola in Portland, Maine.  The recipe I settled on is about as simple as it could possibly get, and it was perfect.  As any guest at my house for dinner knows, I happen to like fruit in my salad.  And I had a half dozen delicious and ripe apricots, so I decided to roast them and add them to the salad.  Finally, all salads benefit from nuts, as far as I’m concerned (for that matter, I think almost all food benefits from nuts), so I added some toasted slivered almonds.  Instructions for all are behind the cut. Continue reading ‘The Sweetest Salad: Roasted Apricots, Greens, Almonds, and Honey Vinaigrette’

Grilled Tofu w/ Sage Pesto

Earlier this week I came home and BD was acting very mysterious… He quickly covered up his computer screen when I walked into the apartment, and wouldn’t make eye contact….. yes, that’s right, he was planning a surprise dinner for me

… what did you think he was doing?  

Anyway, since I ruined the surprise we decided to make it a team effort, and it turned out deliciously.  I grilled the tofu, and BD made this amazing sage pesto.  Here is the recipe. Continue reading ‘Grilled Tofu w/ Sage Pesto’

a crêpe-y saturday


Claudia came over this morning and she, BD, and I had a feast of crêpes.  It was an all-morning and into-the afternoon affair, after which we all lounged in the living room and watched a cute movie called “Bottle Shock” about Napa Valley wines, followed by a late afternoon trip to close-out at the Allentown Farmer’s Market.  The total effect was exactly the kind of Saturday I wanted to have amidst the thunderstorms both literal and figurative. Continue reading ‘a crêpe-y saturday’

Springtime Sweet Potato Rolls

So the spring has sprung, as noted by Lehigh Lexicon and any other park wanderers this week.  I made an amazing discovery shortly after my last post – we have a device in the garage which is 1/2 leaf blower and 1/2 leaf-vacuum/shredder.  I have been hard at work clearing leaves and mulching and setting out bulbs and starting to sprout my vegetable and flower seeds, leaving little room for cooking.  I am also gearing up for “Capri and BD eat healthy 2k9” which basically means that we are going to eat less cheese and dairy, less pasta, less processed foods like chik’n patties and gimme lean, and more vegetables, nuts, fruits, and tofu/tempeh.  We haven’t really started yet mostly because we’re working our way through the fridge and pantry, but today I made us a pretty yummy lunch which also is pretty healthy.  Many good vegetarian restaurants offer some sort of squash spring roll, and mine is really not much different.  I used sweet potatoes because that’s what I had, but you could use any type of sweet squash or yam.  Here is the recipe.   Continue reading ‘Springtime Sweet Potato Rolls’

Veggie Pizza

I’ll be honest with you, this might be my favorite thing that I’ve made since starting this blog.  BD’s mom gave us a pizza stone yesterday, and I could hardly wait to make a pizza on it.  Luckily, Kyle came over for band practice and to chill and watch the Oscars.  What food is better for hanging out and playing music and watching TV than pizza?  I can’t think of one!   Continue reading ‘Veggie Pizza’

The Oracle: Thai Peanut Sauce

The dish pictured above is a dish that apparently, will be called “The Oracle” from now on.  I personally would not have picked this name, but earlier this evening BD and I had our friends Kyle and Stanley over for dinner before they all went out and left me here to “do my statistics homework” (which I am going to get to, I swear it).  It was in fact, these three clowns who named it The Oracle.  BD and Stanley are pictured below, shortly before being struck by this genius name.

Continue reading ‘The Oracle: Thai Peanut Sauce’

Teriyaki Tofu

Yes, those ARE more haricots vert, and in the background some jasmine rice.  I don’t know if I’ve ever blogged about it before, but I invested $25 in a rice cooker about a year ago, and it was possibly the best $25 I ever spent.  The rice steams perfectly and I don’t have to think about it or time it or anything… just pour in the rice, pour in the water, cover it and push a button.  I come back 25-30 minutes later and there it is, on the “keep warm” cycle, ready for me to pair it up with some other deliciousness.  Any kind of rice you want, too… okay I’ll stop now.

Tonight I did that and the rest of the meal took about 5 minutes to make. Continue reading ‘Teriyaki Tofu’

A Soy and Potatoes Meal

So obviously I am a vegetarian and this is a site with mostly vegetarian and vegan food experiences, either in my kitchen or out in restaurants.  But I don’t want it to be a site that only can be read and enjoyed by vegetarians.  Part of what I’d like omnivore readers to take away from this site is that vegetarians can eat deliciously.   Continue reading ‘A Soy and Potatoes Meal’

Harvesting Citrus: Grapefruit Soda

Our New Year was rung in with some whole wheat buttermilk pancakes (thanks arrowhead mills!), a heated game of scrabble, and then a harvest of the citrus in the backyard.  My method for harvesting oranges and grapefruits is to shake the branches and pick up whatever falls off…. we got a big haul this morning, I’ll be juicing for close to a half an hour tomorrow, I’m sure.

Tomorrow night Claudia joins us and I’ve already got a nice meal planned to welcome her… In the meantime, I’ll post my recipe for Fresca-style…

Grapefruit Soda, which we’ve been drinking since we got here.

  • 1/4 cup fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
  • 2-3 Tbsp Splenda (depends how sweet you like it)
  • 1 cup club soda
  • ice cubes
  1. stir juice & splenda together
  2. pour over ice cubes
  3. fill glass with club soda, stirring to mix through
  4. ENJOY

(BD enjoys his with a splash of gin)

Veggie Shrimp?

Tonight I am going to attempt to cook Vegetarian Prawns for the first time.  I haven’t eaten a shrimp or prawn in about 17 years, so it will be like a new experience for me.  I am keeping my fingers crossed… updates to come! Continue reading ‘Veggie Shrimp?’

Applesauce & Thanksgiving

This was not the easiest year.  It was my first full year without my grandfather, who was hugely important to me. The hole in my life is a big one, its hard to pass a day without feeling the effects of his not being here.  People close to me experienced painful losses in their families.  I lost my job, and so did some friends and family members, and we watched as many others also did.  I know only of a small handful of people who have been able to find work since being laid off, so I know I’m not alone in my frustration.  Its very hard to keep my head up and not feel very defeated or hopeless, but I know if I keep looking and keep applying something will work out.  

That said, I’m pretty thankful this year.  I’m thankful that I have my health and so do the people I love.  I’m thankful that I have a roof over my head and food to eat.  I’m thankful for my wonderful boyfriend and his fantastic family.  I’m thankful that because I’ve been unemployed I have been able to travel to see my closest friends who are scattered across the country.  I’m thankful for their support and friendship.  I’m thankful that Obama won the election, because even though I’m a skeptic, I still have hope.  

I was originally going to make a post about turkey, and how most meat eaters I know tell me that they kind of hate eating thanksgiving turkey, and don’t really like turkey very much as a meat.  Having never eaten turkey, I can’t sympathize, but I can tell you that generally speaking that makes me even more sad for the senseless and cruel raising and slaughtering of 45 million turkeys for this holiday.  I mean, I can understand people saying “yeah yeah I know that the meat industry is pretty bad but I love meat too much to stop eating it.” (even though I disagree), but its almost insulting that people would think so little of the animals they’re eating that they continue to support the industry even when they don’t like it.  Have you ever driven by Jandl farms?  BDs mom lives right by there, and let me tell you that place looks like hell on earth.  Anyway, I decided that I won’t dedicate my whole post to this topic, so I’ve said my piece and now I’ll move on.


In my family, our thanksgiving tradition is making applesauce.  My dad is the one who always makes it and my sister and I would help out.  Now I make my own, and this is our recipe.   Continue reading ‘Applesauce & Thanksgiving’