I know I’ve harped on this before, but this time of year always drags on for me, food-wise. Grocery store produce sections look unbearably pathetic, and the farmers’ market (which I know I’m lucky to have this early) has barely anything better. Potatoes. Some limp kale. Once again I have to appease myself with potatoes until I can find something more interesting to spark some creativity in the kitchen again. And frankly, there are only so many ways to dress up a potato, even a yummy farmers’ market potato. Continue reading
Tag Archives: herbs
Those of you who have hung around for a while remember that a few years ago, I presented you with the golden rule of bacon, namely, “When in doubt, wrap it in bacon.” Well, that still obviously holds true, but now I have a slight amendment. If you don’t want to wrap it in bacon, chopping the bacon up and mixing it in is absolutely acceptable. And adding some smoky chipotles and fresh herbs certainly couldn’t hurt either. Continue reading
The word “pot roast” can conjure up a wide array of images- anything from thick brown gloppy stuff in a school cafeteria to a glistening boeuf bourguignon served in a fancy French restaurant. In most of our everyday realities, it’s somewhere in between the two. I really never made pot roast at home because it’s just kind of… boring. But after we ordered our side of beef, I find myself wanting to revisit some old classics that will really let all this good meat shine.
This recipe fits the bill. Turns out that the key to delicious, melt-in-your-mouth, flavorful pot roast is simplicity. I mean, it makes sense, but for some reason, it didn’t occur to me how exceptionally tasty pot roast could be. And how much satisfaction it can give you for such minimal work. Oh, the satisfaction. The meat falls apart beneath your fork, the vegetables are tender but not mushy, and the flavor is surprisingly subtle for pot roast- I think the fresh herbs make a big difference here. Continue reading
I don’t know about where you live, but around Chicago it’s been a pretty freakishly hot summer. I’ve been effectively using the baby as an excuse not to leave the air-conditioning pretty much since June, and I’m sorry to say that my poor garden has gone completely neglected. The tomatoes were left cage-less (hmmm… cage-free tomatoes, maybe there’s a marketing spin there…) , there was not a chip of mulch to be found until last week, and everything is looking fairly sad and withered-looking. Except of course, the mint and parsley, which I’m convinced could grow out of the cracks in our sidewalk. As sad as I am about the lack of beautiful homegrown tomatoes, which I’ve been looking forward to since we finished the last of the tomatoes last year, there is a bright side. And the bright side is this quinoa tabbouleh.
Tabbouleh is a middle-eastern herb salad typically made with bulgur. I’ve always really liked tabbouleh, ever since my mom would buy it at the fancy-pants grocery store, Treasure Island, when I was a kid. This was back in the early nineties, and things like tabbouleh weren’t exactly available in the usual chain grocery stores, so it was a treat. And I kind of felt pretty grown up eating it. Something about the fresh herb flavor with a hint of garlic and lots of big lemony tang still brings back memories of the stuff mom used to buy at Treasure Island. However, I’m sure this is so much better than that stuff ever was. Continue reading
It occurred to me that we’ve been pretty sweets heavy around here lately, without much to suggest that we ever actually eat whole, balanced meals. And I’ve hardly even touched on the fact that it is, in fact, summer in Illinois, and we’ve been doing the usually summer things- strawberry picking, grilling, drinking wine on the porch. But we have, in fact, been doing all those things, sometimes all in the same day. Continue reading