more seafood and simple methods.

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i don’t eat a lot of seabass. in a restaurant occasionally, maybe. but it’s got its social/environmental issues, and it’s also usually really pricey. but when i found wild line caught seabass steaks on sale, i couldn’t really help myself.

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because i don’t generally buy it, i had no clue how to cook it. i figured i could sear it, sure, or throw it on the grill (way too much work for a simple meal when you only have a charcoal grill, though), but i took to the interwebs and found a new option (and of course modified it).

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shrimp, spicy-style.

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i’ve been thinking a lot about change lately. changes at work, changes at home, changes in relationships. i’m kind of like a cat in this way — i don’t always like it. but i’ve had a steady flow of it the last few years, and i’ve had to learn to adapt and keep moving forward the best i can. 

loss is included in this. i lost a wonderful mentor from art school and a great friend from the same time period of my life all in the same two weeks. a relationship ended, and that was also incredibly hard, but i think that the relationship had kind of made me lose myself a bit. and i’m trying to get her back. not to go totally off of on a tangent from shrimp, but i think i learned something pretty important recently: we are free to make all sorts of choices in life. what we are not free of, however, are the consequences of those choices. paradox, that.

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using what you have (to make risotto).

true story: i should be writing a report right now. to be specific, the semi-annual report to the medical executive committee. but i came home just totally beat, not wanting to work past my already 10 hr work day. right now, for me, is basically a very, very intense juggling act and i’m trying not to drop anything. i have a vacation coming up in about 3 weeks and it cannot come soon enough.

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flour + water = magic

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i’ve posted about bread before on this blog, back when i was baking with omar on a regular basis. i loved making bread, loved the thrill of opening the oven when the timer went off and getting to see how it turned out. our successes were mixed back then, in terms of shape, how well it rose, etc. the flavor was pretty consistent, but depending on the weather and our adherence to the fussiness laid out in the Tartine Bread book, it wasn’t always what we were hoping for. basically, if you weren’t willing to babysit, it was anyone’s guess. 

but i’m not going to tell you how the Tartine Bread book suggests you make it — i’m going to tell you how i make it (and it’s a lot lower maintenance with fantastic results). i don’t own the book anymore (it was omar’s) and i bought a copy for my dad, but it’s 2,000 miles away in WI. This is an approximation of a memory, i guess. chad robertson gave me some directions, and without him i probably would have been lost. but i figured out an alternate route to get there. 

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we baked this bread for a solid year, but then my new job at my life, and omar and i weren’t roommates anymore. i attempted to show my friend charlie how to make bread, and it flopped, horribly, for the first time. and i took a long hiatus from bread baking.

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breakfast.

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there’s a lot going on in this thing. for one, i had bacon leftover from the previous post, and breakfast seemed like a good time to eat it. for two, it’s the weekend, and i actually have time to put something together rather than cramming a piece of toast in my mouth as i drive to work in the morning or eating a yogurt at my desk.

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spaghetti, tomatoes, bacon, capers and mint.

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i do recognize that posting two recipes in a row with pasta after stating in the past that i’m not really a pasta fan seems suspect. but here’s the thing: i made this a few weeks ago for my friend lindsay for dinner and i didn’t really halve the recipe. and then i ate it off and on throughout the subsequent week. and i realized i was, in fact, very into this dish.

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green for spring.

i actually first made this recipe a year ago or more, but i’ve been super lax in posting. and to be honest, i’ve been super lax in cooking these days. i blame the foot surgery i had 9 weeks ago. cooking on crutches is a challenge.

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thomas keller (kind of) for breakfast and dinner.

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i bought thomas keller’s ad hoc at home cookbook a few years ago. and it’s beautiful — a large hardcover book with huge glossy photos and delicious looking recipes. 

i have cooked exactly two things from it. this is one of them.

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comfort food for cold days.

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my good friends recently had a baby, and initially we all rushed to help out and make them dinner, and then of course we all got back to things and got busy and probably forgot that they’re still dealing with a new baby. so last week i told them i’d bring them dinner, and wanted to make something they could eat for more than one meal.

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i’m not sure where the idea of a chicken pot pie came from. i probably haven’t had one since i was a kid (every once in a while our parents would let us have those frozen ones from marie calender’s?). i used to make a vegetable one with lentils and mushrooms back when i was doing the lunches, but i wanted old school chicken pot pie with peas and carrots. 

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(sort of) beef empanadas.

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after (kind of) cooking last week, i was determined, after writing that last post, to be in the kitchen this weekend. and friday night came and went with a trip to a turkish restaurant, and saturday morning was yogurt and granola and then tacos in the park and dinner at someone else’s house, blah blah blah and i just knew that if i didn’t cook on sunday it wasn’t going to happen. i have a busy work week ahead and there was no way that i was going to be up for making anything on a tuesday night. and a whole avalanche would start of buying my lunch out etc, etc. 

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so i did it. and i’d had this vague idea of empanadas in my head while i’d been at the grocery store, but i didn’t really look at a recipe before i went so i’m just going to put it out there that these are in no way authentic. they are an approximation, because i was too lazy to go to the store to get raisins, etc. so bear with me. i think they turned out pretty good anyway. 

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