Mixed potato-vegetable hash with ricotta

March 9, 2010 § 2 Comments

I’ve been working from home a lot lately.  I find that an office has this amazing superpower of zapping my ability to think and melting away all my motivation into a goopy puddle on the floor.  I know it’s not for everybody, but I’m much more able to concentrate when sitting at my dining room table – with the occasional foray to a coffee shop for a little jolt of energy, noise, and company.  Obviously with the amazing internet-ization, webification, and telecommunication of modern working, more and more people are able to work from home.  In the not so distant future, many offices may become obsolete.  Even Daniel Schorr (the super old and brilliant dude on NPR) has noticed.  And if he comments on it, then it is a serious cultural phenomenon. « Read the rest of this entry »

Spinach ricotta and butternut pie

March 5, 2010 § 7 Comments

This is a really great savory pie, a lovely hearty but not heavy supper or lunch.  But, something else first.  Everyone please take a look at my photos!  Finally, I have produced something akin to a nice photograph of my food!!!  How awesome is that?!  As far as I can tell, food styling and photography is pretty trendy right now – borderline obnoxiously so.  With the proliferation of a kajillion food blogs, it has become evident that there are also close to a kajillion rather good food photographers out there.  I am most definitely not one of them.  And it drives me crazy.  Because, even though I generally have a very negative gut reaction to things that are trendy (kind of an ironic sucker punch because I think I’m actually a sucker for trends) , I am obsessed with food photography.  But this is not new.  I have been obsessed with food photography since as early as I can remember.  Before I could even read, I have vivid memories of staring for long periods of time at pictures of food in my mom’s cookbooks.  Then later I graduated to my children’s cookbooks, and ordered my own subscriptions to cooking magazines before I was even in high school.  But, it never occurred to me to try to photograph my own food.  I never even owned a camera, so I didn’t take pictures of anything at all!

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Midweek, midday artichoke and eggplant salad

February 10, 2010 § Leave a comment

I don’t think I can adequately express my undying gratitude to ‘blank canvas’ foods and dishes.  You know, the kind where it provides a base, and you can just sprinkle with this, dollop with that, add a handful of chopped whatever, and serve.  Things like omelets or scrambles, quesadillas, stir fries, soups, and salads.  They’re like the dumping grounds of foods.  Except way more positive and edible than that.  How about, they’re like loving grandmotherly foods, waiting with open arms to accept whatever you have to add to them.

Salads, in addition to having achieved this reputation as healthy meal extraordinaire or carb counter’s best friend, are amazingly willing receptacles for other ingredients.  All it takes is a good salad dressing and you can tie together salad greens with almost any other vegetable, meat, cheese, nut, fruit, legume, or cooked grain you can produce!  In the summer I like to throw a gratuitously huge spectrum of chopped fresh vegetables into my salads – no simple lettuce salad for me, thank you!  In the winter, on the other hand, most of the vegetables I have around require cooking.  But that doesn’t mean they can’t go into a salad.  I make a lot of roasted vegetables because my general belief is, if it’s not best fresh, then almost any vegetable is better roasted.  So, I often have the odds and ends of leftover roasted veggies, and these (or sautéed vegetables) are a perfect addition to a salad.  Which is how I ended up with this deliciously Mediterannean-y roasted eggplant and artichoke salad for lunch.  I had leftover roasted eggplant from one pasta dish and leftover artichoke hearts from another, so woopsy! Onto a bed of spinach they went, along with a stray half tomato that was totally non-seasonal and therefore not particularly good, but did add lovely color. « Read the rest of this entry »

What’s for supper? Chicken-spinach quesadilla

October 21, 2009 § 1 Comment

The last couple of weeks have been exhausting.  Big, stressful deadlines, extra meetings, doctor’s appointments and other events to go to.  Oh wait, that’s normal life.  (I claim the right to be a little extra exhausted however, because I just passed an exam that my career was basically riding on)  At any rate, I shlocked my way through it, only once turning to a frozen pizza for help – though I’ll admit that I also ate spaghetti at practically every meal for several days in a row.  Actually during stressful weeks, I often find it a relief to cook in the evening.  You get to take out your aggression by taking a knife to the vegetables.  You get to prove to yourself that you really are productive by taking a handful of ingredients and transforming them into something tasty.  And then, no matter how stressful the day was, you can take some time to sit and eat, just concentrating on the meal and your dining companions, letting other things slip away for the moment.

But, that brings me to today.  Today I finally had nothing major going on.  I got enough sleep last night.  I went for a bike ride through the beautiful fall weather.  I had the time to roll up my sleeves, reach for my cutting board, and whip up something absolutely fabulous in the kitchen.  And I really, really, really didn’t feel like it.  I had no desire to cook.  Whatsoever.  However, a nagging voice in my mind reminded me that I also didn’t really want to spend the money to go out to eat, now did I, and that I had perfectly good food in the fridge I should use up so as not to be wasteful, and that I would feel much better about myself if I didn’t give in to the corporate food system, blahblahblah… « Read the rest of this entry »

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