Basics

Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day~Whole Grain Master Recipe

March 9, 2010
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One of the things I really missed when eating gluten-free for 3 weeks was freshly baked bread. I’m used to baking my own bread a few times a week using the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day (ABin5) method so of course one of the first things I did when done with the cleanse diet was make a batch of dough. For those of you unfamiliar with the ABin5 method, it is a “no-knead” bread dough, made in a batch large enough for 4 loaves, and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Since discovering this method last year, I have not bought one loaf of french bread because I always have dough ready to go in my refrigerator. Now, I’m starting to make my own wheat sandwich bread too.

I was fortunate to receive a review copy of Healthy Bread in Five Minutes a Day (HBin5) …

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Beet, Leek and Goat Cheese Tart

November 18, 2009
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I was talking to a friend the other day and she was relating to me her single girl dating angst; she’s seeing two different guys. One was “hot, but a project”, and the other was “cute, but not self assured enough.” In other words, he was the dreaded “too nice” guy.  
Considering she had just broken up with a long term project, I told her she should listen to her instincts and run as fast as possible in the other direction from Mr. Project. After all, how well had the last one worked out? As for “Mr. Too Nice Guy” she needs to listen to her instincts there as well; if she likes him, great, but if there’s no chemistry, you can’t force it.
 
Sometimes cooking is like that for me. I know better, but I’m doomed to make the same mistakes over and over. I need to learn to …
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Butternut Squash Soup with Pancetta and Pomegranate

November 4, 2009



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I was in my favorite market last week in the middle of a produce buying frenzy (I hadn’t cooked for a while) when I had a flashback to college which froze me in my tracks. No, not that kind of flashback. What brought me back to the mid eighties, was a stack of ruby colored fruit and suddenly, there I was with my sophomore college house mate, “L.”, eating pomegranates.

I’m not sure I’d ever eaten a pomegranate before I met L, but I have memories of sitting in the tiny, funky, living area of our on-campus apartment (dubbed “Farenheit 451″ due to our address), making a mess of eating pomegranates, and laughing our asses off. Now, I can’t see this fruit without thinking of her.

Butternut squash soup is one of the easiest and most satisfying fall soups to make. It’s also very adaptable to different flavors and additions. …

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Sometimes Dinner Really Is Just This Simple

October 31, 2009



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I think the title and the photo speaks for itself, no?

Salami, cheese (soft goat cheese, cave aged Gruyere and a sharp white cheddar), olives, mom’s home smoked salmon and some marinated artichokes. Add to that a loaf of freshly baked bread (buy it or make it yourself) and a good bottle of wine and you have a meal ready in 5 minutes. I love to eat this way.

What do you do make when you don’t feel like cooking?

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How to Make Basic Marinara Sauce

September 1, 2009
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There are as many recipes for tomato pasta sauce as there are Italian grandmothers. My Sicilian grandmother used to make her sauce every year from the tomatoes in her garden. Much of the time the sauce had meat in it but I don’t think it was ever exactly the same twice.  A child of the depression, my grandmother would throw into the pot whatever she had on hand; scraps of a roast, pieces of cooked pork, sausages, rinds of parmesan cheese. You never knew what you’d find in the sauce, but it was always good.

This is really a base pasta sauce recipe, meant to adapt to whatever you want it to be. Like meat in your sauce? Add a tough cut and let it cook down to make a Bolognese. Want to keep it vegetarian? Enjoy the recipe as it is or add some diced up vegetables. Like …

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Grilled Eggplant and Zucchini Parmesan

August 24, 2009

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My very first job in a restaurant kitchen was as the pastry chef for a small mom-and-pop Italian restaurant. How I got that job with no experience is a story for another day. But after working there for about 6 months, I moved to working on the hot line part time. One of my responsibilities was to make the batches of eggplant parmesan and lasagna. I loathed doing the eggplant because this meant I had to stand over a scalding rondo pan of hot oil and fry rounds of eggplant for what felt like days.
Later, when I was a head chef in another resaurant and would somehow end up with an extra case of eggplant, I never forgot how much I hated all that frying and came up with a much healthier version of the dish, grilling the eggplant instead.
I haven’t made this for over a decade, but …

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