apple picking

I am a big proponent of photographing food. I don’t really love taking pictures of people or events or really anything like that for a few reasons. First, it always cuts into whatever is going on and everyone shifts around so their good side is out and all the fun stops for a second. Second, I barely look at pictures. Third, usually awesome events are accompanied by food, so I may as well just take a picture of the meal we had. But, this aversion to taking pictures of things (uh, people) that aren’t inanimate objects means that I have no pictures from my amazing apple picking adventure! Which was mostly an adventure in that we weren’t too too sure where we were going. But, once we (Alice, Liz, Matt, me) got to the orchard it was pretty standard. If your standard is awesome fun with many many apple snacks.

I definitely recommend apple picking next fall, I think it’s too late this year.

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And now, all I have is a picture of a bowl of apples, since I don’t like baked fruit and I ended up just eating several dozen apples over the course of a week or so.

everyday harumi

Everyday Harumi is just an amazing cookbook.  Lauren chose it for our cookbook club which was just a great choice and meant that we got to try about fifteen dishes and they were all amazing.  I made a coleslaw and pickled cauliflower for the evening, everything was great and complimentary and as per always the company was just the best.  I stole this picture from Lauren but I think she’ll be okay with it.

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Before the cookbook party, I tried out Harumi’s udon noodles with a ground meat miso sauce, which is really one of my new favourite easy, quick dishes.

  • 1 leek
  • 2 tablespoons ginger
  • vegetable oil
  • 3/4 of a pound of ground chicken thighs
  • 1/2 cup vegetable stock
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 tablespoons miso
  • a bit of zucchini or cucumber for garnish
  • udon noodles

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Chop the leek and ginger and fry them, then add the ground meat until it’s browned.  Turkey works, too, apparently, but my butcher only has ground chicken these days.  Mix up the soup stock, soy sauce, mirin, sugar and miso paste together and add to the turkey, cooking until it thickens.  Meanwhile, cook the udon noodles and julienne the zucchini or cucumber for garnish.  Delicious.

Everyday Harumi is great, the recipes are all fabulous.  Harumi Kurihara’s writing style is grating at best, but this may just get a bit lost in translation.  I recommend the book, but maybe skim the introduction.

lentils and carrots

I went to New Orleans (amazing!) and only ate fried food for four days.  That is too many days of fried food!  Don’t worry, I tempered it with a bazillion raw oysters and too much fun.  But, when I got back, all I wanted was vegetables.  So, I flipped through Diana Henry’s Plenty, again.  Such a lovely book, and I haven’t even gotten past the section on “Vegetable Love.” This lentil and carrot dish seemed like a good idea, since it isn’t quite amazing vegetable season right now.

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  • olive oil
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 teaspoons ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup green lentils
  • 4 large carrots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 2 cups, or more, vegetable stock
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • juice of one lemon

Sauté the onion in oil until soft, then add the garlic and spices.  Next, add the lentils, carrots, tomato paste, sugar, and cover in vegetable broth.  Bring this to a boil and cook until the liquid has been absorbed.  You may have to add more broth, or water.  Add the herbs and lemon juice, and make sure the coriander and heat is okay.  I served this with frozen, fried theplas, which are totally delicious.  I actually want to eat everything with my hands.  And I will be, for awhile, because this made so, so much, so basically it’s going to be leftovers forever.

orange stew

It is fall.  I know this because it’s been raining for what, like, two weeks, and the heat in my apartment magically turned on and I just keep listening to Nina Simone.  So, yeah, fall is here.  I have to embrace it or else I will just whine about how much I love summer and that is annoying.  Plus, I love cooking fall meals, not only because I get to use cast iron and heat, but also because they’re delicious and hearty and generally awesome.

I moved out of Kensington, which is hard, and sad, but I still work Sundays at Good Egg, which lately has meant that I buy one cookbook a week (except last week, when I bought two) and spend the day dreaming about delicious food.  So much so that I got home on Monday and made this stew from Diana Henry’s beautiful book Plenty with Katie.  This book is gorgeous and covered in post-its right now because I am just that lame.

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The problem with stew is that it’s kind of not too photogenic, and the lighting in my kitchen isn’t great and it’s fall, so natural light isn’t doing what I need it to, so there is a picture of this stew that is not the best.

  • olive oil
  • 15 new potatoes, halved
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 2 leeks, diced
  • 1 large bulb of fennel, cut into strips
  • 5 tomatoes, quartered
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
  • 3 cups vegetable stock
  • 2 pinches of saffron (thanks, Jen, for all the saffron!)
  • 1 strip of orange zest
  • 3 sprigs of thyme
  • salt and pepper

Heat the oil and sauté the potatoes, onions and leeks until the potatoes are browned a bit.  To be fair, I didn’t really want to wait that long because I was hungry, but if you can, it would probably be best.  Add the garlic and chili flakes and sauté for about a minute, then add in the soup stock.  Bring to a boil, then add the saffron, orange zest, thyme, salt and pepper and let everything simmer for about ten minutes.  Once the potatoes are basically cooked, add in the fennel and tomatoes, and cook for another ten minutes.

Diana Henry serves this with a rouille, but I don’t really love rouille so I just ate it as is.  The orange is surprising potent, and saffron really does make everything better.  I am into this stew, which is good because it made about a dozen servings.  Please call me if you want to come over for stew.

best barbecue sauce

Awhile ago, Tony emailed me to ask for the recipe for this barbecue sauce. I can’t believe I haven’t put it up here yet; such a clear indicator of just how bad I am at blogging.  Basically, this barbecue sauce is the best, ever.  I can’t take much (any) credit for it, because I found it on Epicurious, but it is, for sure, amazing.

I love making pulled pork.  Everyone loves pulled pork, I think, or at least everyone I love loves pulled pork.  I love that it takes a long time and that it gives me an excuse to go to the butcher shop, and that I can then pour this amazing barbecue sauce all over it. I made about one million pounds of pulled pork for my birthday party (no pictures, I am the worst blogger, but I was too busy having fun, plus as much as I love it, I know pulled pork is not so pretty), and it fed a bunch of people pretty easily.

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It should really come as no surprise that the key to this sauce is bourbon.  I love bourbon.

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup molasses
  • 1/3 cup bourbon (I use Bulleit, it is cheap and tastes like delicious bourbon)
  • 1/4 dijon mustard
  • 3 tablespoons hot sauce (I use Frank’s Red Hot, it is embarrassing how much I love this stuff ohhhh)
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

Simmer all the ingredients together until they thicken, which usually takes about 15 minutes.  This will keep for awhile, but I usually use it all in one go.

summer salad, oops.

Okay I am really horrible and it’s October and here is the salad I ate all summer and, really, I can’t believe I am quite this bad at blogging, but maybe this salad will make up for all my shortcomings. It would not be the first time I have fixed a problem with avocado, nor will it be the last.

This salad comes via Mark Bittman’s 101 simple salad recipes. I sometimes think Bittman is a bit much, but I do agree with his stance on lettuce (thumbs down!). Lettuce is overrated, and you don’t need it to make a delicious salad.

Basically, this salad tastes like summer and takes maybe eight minutes to make if you have a difficult can opener. It tastes better with fresh, boiled, corn, or, if you are the luckiest, with barbecued corn, but I usually use a can of corn. It works.

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  • 1 can corn
  • 1 can black beans
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 handful cilantro, diced

for the dressing:

  • 2 limes
  • 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (This stuff is way easier to find than you’d think, and it is so, so good.  New staple!)
  • a bit of olive oil

This is a salad.  So, you know, toss the ingredients and then add the dressing.  I promise this is such a great salad but also works as a salsa-type condiment, I think I put it on a burger at one point and really congratulated myself on that one.  I guess it’s a bit late for barbecue season but next year, next year.

!!!

I am pretty much the luckiest. (offset by being the worst blogger!) My birthday was last month, and look at the amazing gradient cake that Lindsay and Ashley made! It matched my nails, and was delicious! Thanks so much, lovely friends.

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I had the best birthday, we ate an insane amount of smoked meat (but not actual “smoked meat,” just meat that happened to be smoked), danced around to Bruce Springsteen, drank a keg on the roof, broke into a swimming pool, and basically had the best day and night ever.