In which I screw up the bechamel.

Every so often I’ll go to cook something I’ve made many times before, and that I know how to make, and could make in my sleep, and I mess it up. I’ve made bechamel over and over again for macaroni and cheese, tuna noodle casserole*, and whatever else, but a few weeks ago I was … Continue reading

Alice’s sweet and spicy beef noodles

Tonight’s dinner, sweet and spicy beef noodles, came to us courtesy of my old friend and former roommate Alice. Alice describes this dish as “Chinese spaghetti with meat sauce,” an apt metaphor. You almost feel like you should break out the parmesan cheese and start grating—until you taste the sauce, which is about as far … Continue reading

Putting on my dinner rally cap

I came from behind to score a victory on dinner last night: Mark Bittman’s Chicken Provencale.* I was nearly defeated by giant olives that were impossible to pit because they didn’t really fit in the pitter contraption I got from my dad. Then I realized that I forgot to ask the butcher to split the … Continue reading

Vacation alla Vodka

I’m off from work this week, and it was supposed to be a big cooking week. I got off to a great start—chicken pot pie, two kinds of cookies, the big snowed in meal, pasta alla norma—and then I got sick on Monday night. The kind of sick where I ate mostly applesauce on Tuesday. … Continue reading

Snowed in!

A big storm is headed our way, so we rolled out of bed and went grocery shopping first thing this morning and were home with a full fridge by 9:00 am. The snow didn’t start in earnest until this afternoon, but as it approached, I asked myself, “What would Martha Stewart do?” Martha would roast … Continue reading

What I did with the tomato sauce

tomatoes/photo by Flickr user Chiot's Run used under a Creative Commons license

Yesterday I talked about deputizing Jay to make a vat of tomato sauce while I was at work. Now I’m going to talk about what I did with the sauce. I am not going to talk about how Jay confessed to adding “a pinch” of sugar to the sauce, because I’m trying to forget that … Continue reading

“I realize that when I met you at the turkey curry buffet, I was unforgivably rude, and wearing a reindeer jumper.”

In the past week, I’ve made recipes on either side of a New York Times clipping from last November. The Dining & Wine section of the Times is really more about eating out (“dining”) than it is about cooking, much to my chagrin, but I need to remind myself that they do publish good recipes—buried … Continue reading

The Burgers of My/Your/Our People

Old habits die hard. Old food habits die harder. Last night I made Grandma Burgers, a delicacy of my childhood that are so called because my grandmother makes them (and to differentiate them from regular burgers served on a bun). I could just as easily call them Belarussian Burgers, because my former roommate Hanna, who … Continue reading

Dinner Experiment: Sausage, White Bean, and Kale Stew, Jay-Style

lacinato kale/courtesy of Flickr user sweetbeetandgreenbean under a Creative Commons license

When I lived alone, I used to eat a lot of dinners that involved a vegetable and not much else. They were quick and healthy, but not exactly the kind of food you’d serve to someone else, especially if kale was involved–because as my brother’s girlfriend once pointed out after going to someone’s house for … Continue reading