Creative pursuits, Captain Awkward, and the overratedness of being “helpful.”

Helpfulness: Not all it's cracked up to be.

I hate blog posts that start with “Sorry I haven’t posted in so long!”, but, sorry.  I haven’t posted in a while.  Coupla reasons:

1. Lighting in my new kitchen is dim and awful, and it’s really hard to get good food pictures in there.  The photography went from “neat daily challenge” to “chore to get even one decent image.”

2.  After documenting my food for a while I figured out:  Hey, I eat in a way that makes me feel good and happy, I don’t need to examine it so closely.  I’m sure I’ll be back at some point when I’ve cooked something awesome and manage to take a decent photo of it, or just turn this over to Twistie to blow your mind with guest posts.

3. I’ve been more wrapped up in work and other creative pursuits than in food.  My short film The Wardrobe just got into its first film festival (EgoFest in Brainerd, MN if anyone’s out that way).

4.  I started a new blog at the beginning of the year at  It’s full of curse words, brutal honesty, and sci-fi references, so if your vision of me is of a nice lady with recipes and pretty pictures you might want to just stay here. However, if you want to read about how to survive a bad breakup with the help of Dune or how to tell well-intentioned people to Shut The Front Door, stop on over.

Which leads me to my next topic.   Today I got a “helpful” comment from a total stranger, “Tom.”  Here it is:

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Bonus breakfast recipe

My boyfriend’s dad is an attorney, and do you know what that means?  Harry & David gift baskets at Christmas!  Continue reading

Winter Vegetable Chowder

Hello!  Happy New Year!

I finally have a little time to both cook and write about cooking after a busy semester and producing a short film.  So back to it, yes?

Winter Vegetable Chowder

The cookbook is Vegetable Soups from Deborah Madison’s Kitchen, and the soup of the day is Winter Vegetable Chowder.I should probably make more recipes from this cookbook, because every one I have made has been a winner, but then when I open the cookbook I’m like “Oh, that’s your favorite soup, you should make that one” and I just keep repeating old favorites.  Part of this is because many of the recipes are time-consuming and involve a lot of peeling and chopping, and it takes a few times through to have them become second nature.  But the time spent makes a huge batch of delicious soup that is tasty and substantial enough to be the main course at a dinner party, and the techniques you pick up serve you in making other soups. Continue reading

Italian deli

P.’s been doing the procuring and cooking of food this week, which means that we go to D’Amato’s Bakery for bread and soggy warm slices of their amazing cheese pizza (get 2 slices so you can eat one in the car) and then head next door to Bari for things like frozen goat cheese ravioli, homemade meatballs and Italian sausage, cerignola olives, and roasted red peppers.  Locating those two businesses next door is the very definition of synergy.

Let me tell you about today’s lunch sandwich, which I did not photograph because I am a fool:

  • Slice off some crusty D’amato’s bread
  • Lay down a thin bed of roasted red peppers
  • Top with a few paper-thin slices of genoa salami
  • Add the same amount of sopresatta
  • Add a thin slice of fontina
  • Put the other piece of bread on top and eat.



How to be a bridesmaid

L. (The Bride): Do you want to go to Hot Doug’s tomorrow and then come pick up/try on your bridesmaid’s dress?
Me: Yes.

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Requiem for a soup

I’m a soup-making fiend!

This morning I made mushroom soup, also by adapting one of Anne-Catherine Bley’s recipes, to take to a brunch party along with the leftovers of the carrot-ginger soup.  These recipes are more of a method where you start with onions or shallots cooking in olive oil, add a vegetable you like and some broth or water, cook until tender, puree, and serve – sometimes you add the creamy substance (coconut milk) during the simmer, sometimes you stir it in at the end (cream or milk).  Her squash and/or pumpkin soups are served with a crisp piece of bacon to use as an edible stirrer.  If you can make one, you can make them all.  Cauliflower leek?  Broccoli puree?  Tomato ginger?  You’ll be seeing a lot of them in this space in coming weeks because they are so simple, cheap, and satisfyingly rich-but-healthy.  Keep reading for recipe and sad story.

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Mushroom soup with chicken

Years ago I had a subletter named Rula.  I remember two things about Rula.

  1. She had a cat who never, ever, ever came out of her bedroom because it was terrified of my cat.  Whatever my cat did to her cat that first day when we both went to work was terrible, swift, and decisive.
  2. This soup recipe.

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