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.

Read More

flour + water = magic

image

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. 

image

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.

Read More

breakfast.

image

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.

image

Read More

spaghetti, tomatoes, bacon, capers and mint.

image

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.

image

Read More

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.

Read More

thomas keller (kind of) for breakfast and dinner.

image

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.

image

Read More

comfort food for cold days.

image

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.

image

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. 

Read More

(sort of) beef empanadas.

image

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. 

image

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. 

Read More

throwing it together.

image

hi, my name is zoë, and my job ate my life.

it’s not that i can say that i never cook anymore… but it’s rare, and definitely not the way i used to. gone are the elaborate meals with leisurely hours in the kitchen on weekends, making stock from scratch or slow roasting anything and everything.

image

this is my fridge… and 3 people live here. essentially, you have two tubs of miso, a bunch of yogurt, some korean chili paste, some eggs and mushrooms. i think my roommate has some wilted spinach on the top shelf. 

in fact, i made two quiches last week — one to bring to work, the other for dan and i to have for dinner. and let me tell you, it was not like riding a bike. unless, say, riding a bike means falling a lot and scraping up your knees and chin. first, i used a tart pan too big, so the dough was too thin. and it had holes, so the quiche filling leaked out, filling my kitchen with smoke. round two include me making extra dough, but that being too soft because i was rushing, and that slipped down during the par-bake, and blah blah blah, that overflowed too and filled my kitchen with smoke. again. luckily they tasted really good, but sheesh. how many times have i made quiche?

Read More

overdue.

hey, there.

image

it’s been awhile, and the meal i’m going to share is something i made, oh… 4 weeks ago? yikes. i photographed it (with my phone, of course, because i cant get it together) and thought “oh, i’ll post it this weekend. 

not.

image

i promised to make daniel a big meal, and i think i did it. this, btw, is lamb belly. i got it from this really great butcher shop, olivier’s butchery, which is only a few blocks from my house. i called and ordered the day before, and they had it ready to my exact specifications when i arrived. if meat can be beautiful (and i think it can — i apologize to all those vegetarians) than this is the place to see it. they have display coolers in the front, and everything is gorgeously cut and displayed, and it’s all from sustainable farms. they also presented my order to me on a silver tray with a flourish, which made me feel a tad weird but secretly enjoyed. 

Read More