Baked spinach.

DSC_0658

My family was sitting around the dinner table one night in the mid ’90s. I was about eight or nine, still young enough to play with my dollhouse, but old enough to start stressing out about things like our house getting burglarized or burning to the ground. (I was a weird kid.) My sister must have been about six, probably missing a couple of her front teeth and generally being adorable.

Our mom had made zucchini for dinner, and neither of us really enjoyed it. I could handle it, but Katie – ever the typical showman youngest child – could. not. even. We were not rude, spoiled monsters, so we obviously did our best to eat stuff we didn’t like, but at that point in time, neither of us had much success conjuring up any enthusiasm. (Currently, we both dig it. THIS IS GROWING UP, KIDDOS.)

My mom asked us – probably in a sarcastic way that was meant to convey one or both of us was being ridiculous about something – what we thought the worst thing god could ever make us do was. I said something probably apropos of my weird, macabre, overly anxious childhood self, like, “Make you kill the people you love.”

Katie, however, was more…well, Katie about it.

Continue reading

Greek salad couscous.

little bowl 2

I know. I know. It’s been like, three weeks since I last posted. I was away for a week, then I was simultaneously busy and lazy for another week, and now… I’m getting back on track.

I believe I’ve mentioned before that at my old job, I was spoiled by our cafeteria. It was staffed by two very sweet women and one very nice dude, who just so happened to have been trained at the Culinary Institute of America (and shared some recipes with me, which was awesome). There were fresh soups and salads every day, with “deli” sandwich specials and hot meal specials, and everything was delicious, all the time.  This iteration of Greek salad was featured pretty often, sometimes with chickpeas and other times with Israeli couscous. I always made room on my plate for a little scoop of it. I finally got around to buying a canister of Israeli couscous a few weeks ago, and made my own version of it. You should make it too, especially if you have an olive thing. I…have an olive thing. I’m not proud of this, but I ate a whole can of pitted green olives this weekend. I keep buying them with recipe-related intentions, and then I just scarf them all down and wonder how I got here.

Continue reading

French onion soup

bowl 2

I don’t know about you, but I looove me a bowl of French onion soup. Sometimes, there’s nothing better than cracking through that crispy lid of cheese, creme brulee style, and diving into a (scalding hot, often) bowl of buttery, caramelized onions in a savory, well-seasoned beef broth. And I’m not too picky about it, either. Sure, you can probably screw up French onion soup, but I generally enjoy even the most lackluster bowls. There’s a saying about pizza (and sex) that implies that even when pizza is bad, it’s still pretty good.

That’s a filthy lie.

However, when French onion soup is bad… well, it’s still pretty okay, and I’m still probably going to enjoy it. (My father is probably tremendously disappointed in me right now for saying that, and Dad, if you’re reading this, I’d like to remind you that pretty much all the other wisdom and good taste you’ve imparted on me has stuck. Except for MacArthur’s Park. I’m on Mom’s team in that department.)

Continue reading

Bright & crunchy cole slaw

cole slaw

Following my post about the oh-so-good carnitas last week, I had a couple of requests for my cole slaw recipe. I originally didn’t measure out my ingredients, but during my semi-monthly grocery store binge, I decided to pick up the ingredients I needed and made it again… and measured my dressing! Hooray!

Here’s the thing about cole slaw – you either love it or you hate it. And I think a lot of people unfairly hate it because their experience with cole slaw is with something that’s watery and bland, and way too gloppy. Not to mention, “slaw” really isn’t the most appetizing word. Like George Carlin’s unwillingness to eat anything that has a “y” and a “g” in its name (yohhhguurt), I’m sure “slaw” just sounds totally unappetizing to many people out there. But, as Colin so aptly put it when I handed him his plate the other night, “You should call this entry, ‘Hey, people! You know you can eat cole slaw that isn’t terrible?'”

Continue reading