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(In a frenzy.) You would think, given that this website acts as a sort of mealtime confessional, I may be tempted to advise the world that I served my family a wonderfully balanced, seasonal meal tonight. Given the fact that W and I spent most of the afternoon at a playdate, perhaps I should have been more on the ball, stopping to buy a frozen steak on the way home before running for my bottle of valium. (Did you know that the term mother’s little helper referred to valium? Or executive excedrine among corporate types and dolls in the ’60s novel Valley of the Dolls. From 1969 to 1982 it was the nation’s most prescribed drug, earning La Roche pharmaceutical $600 million annually. In 1978, nearly 2.3 billion tabs of valium were downed. Perhaps I’m in the wrong business.) So at 6 o’clock the news came on, and suddenly we were all starving and started rummaging through the fridge and freezer in search of someContinue reading

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Does this count as a same-day post? I haven’t been to bed yet. I don’t want to slip up and miss a day before January is even finished. I say this with the bold assumption that anyone is even going to notice. (Ha – I just noticed this thing is posting 11:50, when it’s actually 12:50. So it would at least appear that I’m ahead of the game!) I have a class on Monday at the Cookbook Company, which I’ve been trying to plan today. The topic: healthy everyday meals. Although it’s a ridiculously broad subject, for some reason everything I come up with seems so obvious. So one of my favorites, that seems to be different and popular and I’ve had several email requests for since mentioning it on the radio, is this curried shrimp I make using marmalade and peanut butter. It sounds reminiscent of those meatballs you make with ketchup and grape jelly, or chicken baked in Coca Cola. But really, it’sContinue reading

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I have a 6pm meeting at the Amsterdam Rhino tonight, to discuss this spring’s Rwandan fundraiser. Guaranteed we are not going to all sit around a table and have drinks and no pub food, so I’m leaving Mike and Willem to their own devices. We had a late lunch anyway, when they came home from the zoo tired and starving. For lunch, I had two Spolumbo’s sausages left in the fridge, both spicy Italian, and so turned one into pasta sauce. One of my favorite things to do with these sausages is to squeeze them at about 1 inch intervals from their casings into a hot olive-oiled skillet, producing instant meatballs. There is no shaping, no mixing. They hold together perfectly. If you want to saute up some onion and red pepper first, that’s up to you. Once they are browned, pour in some tomato sauce and let it simmer – this will not only complete the cooking, but will season the sauce deliciously. InContinue reading

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(I’m sorry if these look unappetizing – they were totally delicious!) This afternoon my folks stopped by while looking at properties in the area, and so because my Dad is a fan of beans and Spolumbo’s sausage (OK, we all are), we had a late lunch of Spolumbos chicken-apple and turkey-cranberry sausages, grilled on the barbeque until dark and crackling, a quick bean salad and some tart homemade applesauce I froze vats of in the fall when my apple tree was threatening to drop rotten fruit bombs all over the yard, and the magpies were getting drunk off them. We had the coolest yard on the street, if you were a bird. At Superstore they have cans of ‘bean blend’: chick peas, kidney beans, cannellini beans and… navy beans? Legumes, anyway, for about a dollar a can. They all look the same shade of taupe when they come out of the can, but they do make an almost instant bean salad. Add a chopped stalkContinue reading

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A bit of a deflating day today. Being as it’s Friday, and I’m tired and got home late, it would have been easy to jump at Mike’s offer to go get Inglewood Pizza. But I knew if we opened up two boxes of steaming, cheesy pies on the coffee table, I’d devour more than is good for me. Sometimes I jump at the challenge of an empty fridge. Besides, the $25 that would have gone toward pizza can buy a pretty nice bottle of wine, which I drank half of. So I rustled around in the fridge and came up with 3 slices of bacon, something I usually don’t have on hand but is still leftover from BT, the last of a teeny bottle of sun dried tomato pesto (remember last week’s pizza?), and there is always a bag of peas in the freezer, dried pasta of some shape in the cupboard and eggs in the fridge for Willem’s favorite eggs and toast. So. GameContinue reading

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Most often when I make rice, I make extra just so that I can have it in the fridge for fried rice or rice pudding. The grains are more separate when the rice is completely cooled, so it’s a perfect use for leftover takeout rice, and makes a great fridge cleaner. Tonight I had: 6 mushrooms, an egg, the very last bit of shredded turkey, a couple green onions and a handful of frozen peas. Yes, you can make a yummy dinner with this. Get a large pan really hot and drizzle it with a drizzle of canola oil and sesame oil. Fry the mushrooms until they release their moisture. If you have a bit of grated ginger or garlic, add that too. Add the rice and cook until it and the mushrooms are starting to become gilded around the edges. Throw in your chopped chicken, turkey, pork or tofu (shrimp are good too, but add them at the very end to avoid overcooking) andContinue reading

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Dinner tonight will be cooked not by me, but by the good folks at Saint Germain in the Hotel Arts tonight. I have a meeting. Of the very best kind (dinner). But I did make lunch – does that count? I bought a bunch of cilantro last week, and even though it was only 38 cents, I hate when produce goes slimy and ends up in the compost bin. I chose this recipe because a) it contains cilantro, b) I still have some leftover shredded turkey, although this would also make great use of a roasted deli chicken, and c) I love the title. Also on my good-title list: Happy Winter Fudge Cake, from Laurie Colwin’s book of food-related short essays: More Home Cooking. Bang Bang Turkey Very adapted (except the name) from Feast by Nigella Lawson Measurements are approximate – it is a salad, after all. Chopped iceberg or Romaine lettuce Fresh cilantro and/or mint Cucumber, sliced into ribbons using a vegetable peeler GratedContinue reading

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The remains of our Christmas party ham (really just the bone with a few scraggly bits hanging on for dear life) is taking up altogether too much real estate in our freezer. Outside I have another problem altogether – the warm weather has thawed the 4 L of turkey stock I had out on the patio. So, the obvious solution when paired with too much stock and a ham bone: make soup. This is also a good idea because the house has become quarantined; Willem has had a nasty cough for days that landed his 2 year old cousin, Hugo, in the hospital, and we spent last night nursing W’s high fever. So today we’re cold and tired, and a big bowl of soup with ham and potatoes and spinach, topped with a sprinkle of Parmesan cheese, was a very good thing. I made two kinds: Ham and White Bean with Vegetables and Spinach, and Ham and Pea. (It’s amazing how far a carcass willContinue reading

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(It’s just a fancy name for bow-tie pasta.) Tonight I was lured by a recipe in the December issue of Cooking Light (one of my favorite magazines, and they have a great recipe database on their website too): Farfalle with Creamy Wild Mushroom Sauce. This name just makes Bow-Tie Noodles with Mushrooms sound very shi shi la la. It was OK, but the saltiness overwhelmed everything that might have been good about it. Normally I have a really, really hard time following a recipe, but this time I added a teaspoon of salt to the mushrooms as they cooked, just because they said so, and who am I to question their recipe? They have a fantastic magazine and do know what they’re talking about. But after adding the 1/2 cup of grated Parmesan cheese, which is salty in itself, it was just too much. Mike the Saltaholic loved it though. Tip: if your husband adores salt and shakes it on with reckless abandon automatically, beforeContinue reading

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