Zucchini and Arugula Salad with Lemon-Anchovy Dressing

June 21, 2010
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The last couple of times I’ve been to Rome I’ve had a wonderful salad made of a bitter green I’ve only seen there called puntarelle. You can see photos of it on my Favorite Rome Markets post. Typically this green is trimmed, pushed through a wire slicer, and then plunged into cold water so the leaves curl and crisp up. It’s then dressed with lemon juice and anchovies. Simple yet fantastic, like most food in Rome.

Here at home, I don’t have puntarelle, but I do have a surplus of zucchini and yellow squash in my garden (yes, already) and I’m always trying to figure out new things to try with it. I thought it would pair well with this dressing and liven up an otherwise sometimes bland vegetable. I’ve added the arugula to give it a slightly bitter, peppery kick like the puntarelle. This salad is light and …

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Moroccan Garbanzo Bean Stew

May 24, 2010
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Most chefs, like fashion designers, are easily influenced and inspired by those who have gone before them and by the greater world around them. We learn, we adapt, we modify and improve upon the food we eat and even read about. We’re inspired by our environment, our location and even the weather. Basically, like fashion, there is very little “new” in the cooking world unless you are someone like Ferran Adria whipping up a liquid olive in a fit of molecular gastronomy. Cooking is reinterpreting the basics, over and over, in new combinations, to keep it interesting.

When I was looking for ideas for vegan dishes to make during the 21 day cleanse I did a few months ago, I came across dozens of recipes for soups/stews made with garbanzo beans (a.k.a. chickpeas). This recipe is not any one of those in particular, but certainly influenced by many of them. …

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How to Make Fresh Pork Sausage

May 18, 2010
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Sausage is like the chicken soup of the meat world. From juicy Italian pork sausages, to spicy Mexican chorizo, to the firm and dry sausages in Asia, almost every culture has their version. Most likely this widespread culinary theme comes from frugality. How better to use all the odds and ends of the animal?

Making bacon from scratch last summer was a revelation. Not only was it great tasting, but it was easy and soon we were on the hunt for what to make next. My mom wanted to make prosciutto, but I thought trying to cure an entire pig’s leg was a bit ambitious for our next porktastic project. I bought her Michael Ruhlman’s book Charcuterie for her birthday and since then we’ve been talking about making sausage from scratch at home, including stuffing it into casings. Fortunately, I already had the grinder attachment for my Kitchen Aid Mixer …

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Cooking Your Own Fast Food; Pizza with Fresh Sausage, Mushrooms and Olives

April 26, 2010
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In his book Food Rules: An Eater’s Manual, Michael Pollan says “Eat all the junk food you want as long as you cook it yourself.” His theory is if you have to make the french fries yourself, you are less likely to eat them as often as you would if you got them from the drive-thru window.

This rule resonates with me on many levels. People tend to say they “don’t have time to cook.” I think that may be true sometimes, but nowhere near as often as people use it as an excuse to eat poorly. With a little preparation and planning, so many healthy meals can be cooked and on the table in less than a half an hour. For example, this pizza can be made in the time it takes to have one delivered. Pizza dough can be made in advance and stored in the …

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Roasted Potato and Leek Soup

March 29, 2010
Thumbnail image for Roasted Potato and Leek Soup While it may technically be spring, I'm well aware that many parts of the country are still buried under snow or at least suffering with chilly temperatures. This recipe for Roasted Potato and Leek Soup should help banish any chill and fill the house with a savory aroma that will be sure to make everyone feel warm and toasty. The roasting of the main vegetables (potatoes, leeks and garlic) add a depth of flavor you just don't get by simply boiling them. For more, check out the post...
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Meyer Lemon Lavender Cake

March 13, 2010
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A couple of weeks ago my mother was cleaning out a box of stuff in her office and came across a bunch of old recipes. In the middle of it was a 5×8 note card with a recipe for “Old Fashioned Lemon Bread,” handwritten by yours truly.

 The letter started, “Dear Mom, I just made this and liked it so much I had to send you the recipe.” It ended with, “You are required to make this as soon as possible.” I was college student living in an apartment and starting to cook more on my own. On the front side of the card I had decoupaged a selection of phrases cut from magazines including “Hot Stuff” and Highway Mileage May be lower” and the Surgeon General’s warning about smoking. God knows what I was thinking. No matter, the cake was fantastic and once I saw the recipe again, …

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