Spaghettiville Bridge/Photo by Flickr user pag2525 used under a Creative Commons license

Back-of-the-box cooking

I have a soft spot for recipes from the back of the box. They tend to be earnest and straightforward—never anything too difficult or unconventional—and seem to me to represent a kind of cheerful, all-American “you can do it!” approach to cooking. Sort of like Rosie the Riveter, only in your kitchen, and lives are … Continue reading


I made a vat of chili for dinner tonight, and we already had three large containers of chili in the freezer from the last time I made it. If the apocalypse comes next week, we’ll be all set.

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

About that pear tarte tatin…

It was amazing. It was not perfect (the caramel sauce soaked through parts of the pastry), but it was amazing. I used frozen puff pastry and red pears. I used the amount of cinnamon specified and threw in an equal amount of ground ginger. We had to stop ourselves from finishing the whole tart tonight. … 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

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

What I did with the tomato sauce

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

Beyond Basic Tomato Sauce

I just emailed Jay my recipe for super basic tomato sauce so he can prepare it while I’m at work today (I should note here that this is about the only benefit of the overnight job site coverage he’s been doing this week). This is a blank-slate kinda tomato sauce. I use it as a … Continue reading

Friday Fun: Cooking at the Library

Did you guys know that Julia Child is a YouTube star? Not quite on the order of Keyboard Cat, but nonetheless, you can watch the French Chef herself on YouTube. I know this because when I took Reference for my MLS at Simmons, we had to find videos of Julia Child for an assignment about … 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