Sunday, April 29, 2007

Chez les Awde

Where to start?

No doubt the warmth of the Awdes who hosted such a lovely barbeque.

But the mountains of kebabs, troughs of hummus and baba ghanouj, and piles of pita deserve mention. Plus the multitudinous potluck offerings *and* voluminous coolers full of drinks.

And also the gorgeous crowd of relatives and friends in attendance. Was this secretly a casting call for American Apparel?

You tell me, George.

Ice Cream Binge - Part IV

Fourth Batch: Lavender Honey

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Chez Maman

La vie est delicieuse quand on mange du soufflé
(aux épinards-cheddar), des carottes marocaines, de la salade,
des betteraves et leurs feuilles, des croissants, du vin...
delicieuse et belle!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

(Pre)Birthday Barbeque

What a way to celebrate the first really warm weekend of spring and Nomi's upcoming birthday. For dinnerlastsunday, Dan grilled some ribeye steaks and chicken breasts, I threw some greens and fresh veggies into a bowl but left off the dressing; baby brother wanted some goddess goodness while the rest of us opted for standard vinaigrette.

Oh, and potato salad brought to you by Jesse.

BTW: Today is Nomi's actual birthday. Happy Happy 30 years!

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Pesach Potato Knishes from Argentina

Vale made these great kosher for pesach mini potato knishes by forming balls of traditional knish filling and coating them with a "breading" of matzo meal. Vale attributes this recipe to her mom's friend Marta Galpern of Buenos Aires. They are pictured here with a fried egg on a bed of sauteéd greens and onions. ¡Riquísimo!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Pizza Pizza

Hil and I invited our new downstairs neighbors for some pizza and salad on Friday. I used the Cheeseboard's recipe for the dough which rose beautifully and remarkably quickly. I'm often yeast-phobic, thinking that the dough won't rise in our drafty kitchen. So I followed a suggestion in the cook book: place a bowl of just-boiled water in an empty oven and leave the dough to rise there. The steam heats the oven to the right temp, and there are no drafts.

We topped the pizzas with mozzarella, goat cheese, roma tomatoes, caramelized onions, and roasted garlic.



About 20 minutes before deciding to do the juice fast, I bought a 5 lb. brisket. So I ended up cooking it in the middle of the fast so that it wouldn't spoil and froze it until afterwards. It turned out fabulous. What's my secret? I marinated the meat overnight in two buck chuck and some coca cola.

Kosher l'Pesakh

Hil made almond macaroons for Vicki's visit.

We had a few before our fast was officially over, though they tasted a bit too sweet.

Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner

We did 2.5 days of juice juice and only juice.

By the end, I was pretty into it.

Besides this combo, we had some exquisite papaya pear juice and another batch of fennel, grapefruit, celery, and apple.


Raw Foods

So what followed after all that cream and sugar and eggs? Passover!

Hilary and I did a raw foods and juice fast together.

Pictured here:
Raw asparagus soup
Beet, zucchini, and lettuce salad with tahini lemon dressing

Ice Cream Binge - Part III

Third Batch: Vamina

I made vanilla ice cream from Saveur's online archive for some (sadly) unpictured profiteroles which Andrew and I served to Mary Farrell over spring break. Quite fortunately, we had ample leftovers which Vicki Kaplan enjoyed during her visit here last weekend.

Ice Cream Binge - Part II

Second Batch: Saffron

This ice cream has some important history. I ate Persian ice cream for the first time with Sara and Agha-ye-Doktor-e-Sani four years ago at Maykadeh in SF. Needless to say, it left a strong impression. Sara and I tried to make it in Templeton a few months later, but we didn't have the thickening agent sahlab, a powder made from dried orchid roots. The ice cream didn't really turn out, so last year at the Spice Bazaar in Istanbul, I picked up some saffron and sahlab intending to make bastani the way (I think) it should be. And here it is... light saffron color and fragrance with pesteh and bits of frozen creme fraiche and the faintly marshmallowey taste of sahlab.

Ice Cream Binge - Part I

I got it into my head that I needed to start making some ice cream.

First batch: Mint.

Hil and I ate one pint and brought the second one to a St. Patty's Day party.

Muchas Gracias to Jen Eyl for the use of her ice cream maker!

S Lyn Goeringer, what a champ!

I got a flat tire late night on campus but got a ride back home for me and my wheels from Lyn! Hil and I convinced her to stay for this dinner:

Black Beans
Sticky White Rice
Baby Salad Greens (from the CSA)
Sauteed Chayote
Beet/Tahini/Yogurt Salad

Sangria and Mother of Wilson

So much talk of the party got me thinking that our drinks deserved a post. We served gallons of red and white sangria; the leftovers are still in these Ball jars in the freezer.

Not pictured: the (in)famous blue punch, "Mother of Wilson." It's easy to make - just mix tequila, blue curacao and sour mix to taste. Make it strong and add some ice to dilute it.

Saturday, April 14, 2007


We and the dj, and his striking sidekick, sealed the deal over banana bread studded with dates and walnuts. What followed was the greatest summertime dance party the ocean state has ever seen...

Soft focus

Really we should have a slice shot of this baby...Tartine pumpkin bread...a crumb like no other.

The money shot

ok these were fucking awesome. the amazing thing is that you make them on the stove, no yeast, just stirring and then they're ready in 15 mins or less. french popovers! i had no idea, despite the fact that I'd eaten so many when I lived a little closer to Tartine...
and they go so good with split pea soup

DJ wooing dinner part two

We also served them non-baked food! Split pea soup...that was SO good I'm remembering now...and kinda the Moroccan carrot salad from Paula Wolfert, with cauli.

How to throw a great dance party

Eli and I were throwing a dance party so we invited the dj and his roommate over for dinner. Here we are getting ready. In the workshop: Eli's completed (Tartine) gougeres, my (Tartine) banana bread ready for the oven, and the beginning of a (Tartine) pumpkin bread.

It's a pie!

4 days to make it, 5 days to eat it.

This is not a final product

Now that both bananas and cream (along with chocolate and caramel) are satisfyingly in the banana cream pie, it's a good time to say why I even was making banana cream pie, which I had never before eaten nor even had any desire to eat. Well, I had some pie dough in the fridge, because Eli and I both had visitors over Presidents Day weekend and I made the Tartine quiche. Which is really really amazing and really does taste as good as the quiche at Tartine, ie heaven. And when you make the crust recipe from Tartine it says you get enough dough for two crusts but really it's three. So I had two dough rounds in the fridge (I used one of them after this pie for another quiche...this was weeks later, and like the caramel, the dough kept amazingly well, still baked out flaky, tasted great, etc.) and I had a couple really ripe bananas and some soymilk that needed to be used up. And there was this recipe for banana cream pie in the Tartine book and I needed to make something from it to keep up my resolution. After this pie, I took a few weeks off from Tartine, figuring I'd stacked up enough comp "things."

Together at last

Pastry cream in shell! We're almost at pie!

Pie, deconstructed

I'll count the caramel as a thing in its own right because I am .still. enjoying it. The recipe makes a generous amount, and Eli and I have been pouring caramel over apples, yogurt, and most recently Eli's delicious homemade ice cream, for weeks. The same caramel I made for this pie, which has gotta be at least six weeks ago--it is really still good!

But back to things...pastry cream was the next layer in the pie. Again, its own recipe in the book. But really pastry cream is only good as a component of another dessert--it can't stand on its own (like caramel). Although I did take a spoonful here and there along the way, just to make sure it was cooling properly. This was my first pastry cream and its a winner, even with soymilk which is what I used.

How many things am I holding up?

The pie crust is one complete recipe from the Tartine book. It even takes up a few pages. Does that qualify it as a "thing" to fulfill my resolution of making one thing a week? Maybe not--though some people may love crust enough to look forward to it alone, I've never been one of gotta have a filling to have a pie. Although the Tartine crust is so flaky, it might be changing my mind.

So I won't count crust as a "thing". And melting chocolate is just a step in the Tartine Banana Cream Pie recipe. But after you paint the crust with chocolate, you spread on a layer of caramel...which is another recipe in the book. Thing?

New Year's resolution

I bought myself a New Year's gift: the Tartine cookbook. I made an informal pledge to cook one thing from it a week. What I didn't realize was how hard it would be to define "one thing." Take this banana cream pie. Or at least this beginnning of a banana cream pie. How many things do you see?

Cold times, hardy veggies

This pic highlights the fuckin awesome roasted root vegs. Not much was coming in in the last weeks of our winter csa. We had but the salad greens pictured here (the greens were bountiful, fresh and delicious) and a few beets (red and white), parsnips, potatoes, and carrots. But oh they were sweet! No one ever told you, but roasted parsnips are candy. The potatoes were a treasure--rich, earthy, naturally buttery, they got right crisp in the oven. We threw a couple garlic cloves in too. This was good good good at its best. We made something and threw it on top of the salad, too, though I don't remember what...may have been lentils. Whatever. Veggies are the stars.

**Eli says: on top of the greens were a warm black eyed peas and feta salad.

Old Ways

Our eating habits changed this semester, but this meal returned to our roots: grain, legume-based protein, veggies. Here's tempeh baked in a red wine marinade on a bed of quinoa, braising greens (thanks csa!) sauteed with carrot ribbons, and steamed cauli with flash-fried bean sprouts. Oh that was tasty.

Dinner dialectic

We came home hungry after a long day, both of us so tired, clearly we had to conserve energy by having only one person make dinner. But we craved different things: Eli, chicken stir fry and rice; I, red wine tomato sauce, penne and chickpeas. Steamed broccoli bridged the two meals. Everything was delicious.

I remember eating an appetizer of rice to keep Eli company, since his dinner was ready before mine...the sauce had to simmer a while.

Back in the saddle

After a long hiatus, friends, I'm here to post what all we've cooked and eaten these winter months...which seem not to be ending...hence I suggest you all Step It Up tomorrow wherever you are in the national day of climate action! Find an event near you at

Foodwise, I'll begin with braised escarole (thanks Deb Madison). The escarole came in our csa and I added a little tofu. This aftershot shows mostly tofu I think because we ate all the escarole, which was yum beyond belief.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Unexpectedly delicious burrito-omelet

I refrigeraided this morning for my breakfast and was pleasantly surprised by the results, an overstuffed rice-and-bean omelet. Dinner last night (black beans, brown rice, red pepper, onion, salt, pepper, chili powder, cumin, ground chipotle, and a splash of vinegar—thanks, EliMonster, all those years ago) got even better wrapped in two eggs and topped with fontina. Didn't sound like a winner to me, either, but it sure was. I let the eggs cook just longer than I intended, but it was the soft brown crust that put it over the top. Try it out the next time you get tired of Joe's O's.

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Sunday, April 01, 2007

making gelilte fish at the Cohens

Hi all dinner last night fans. Here's chef extraordinaire Aliza demonstrating the lost art of gefilte fish making- We did not photograph the actual cutting and grinding of the fish so as not to offend the squeamish among you.

For those who do not like gefilte fish, our condolences!!!