My dear, imaginary internet friends, I have a confession to make. I’ve lured you here under false pretenses. Yes, I will eventually get to the velvety dumplings I promised you, and yes, you could just scroll down to the recipe. But I hope you’ll read my shameless plug first.
When I’m not cooking up fabulous dishes in my kitchen, I’m cooking up fabulous musicals for the stage. I work with a small theater company in the Twin Cities and we’re creating a new show all about growing up called Are You There, God? It’s a New Musical Revue! The show, inspired by Judy Blume and other YA fiction, will premiere at the Minnesota Fringe Festival in August.
And we’re raising funds via Kickstarter to offset the production costs. If you’d like to make a donation—even $5 will help—I’d be incredibly grateful. If you’re unable to make a donation, but you’d like to support the show, please pass along a link to your blog readers, your Facebook friends, your Twitter followers, your barista…anyone you think might be interested in supporting our show.
The Ugly Dumpling
I’ve been working on this show for the past decade, and it’s truly a labor of love. And I’d love it if you played a part in it.
And now for the recipe I promised. I’m a big fan of edamame—my favorite movie-watching treat is edamame steamed in the shell, then dusted with truffle salt. I promise: it’s better than popcorn. I wanted to give my fave flavor combo an upgrade, and hoo boy, these dumplings did the trick. They’re younger than springtime—bright, fresh, and tender—yet creamy and luxurious. Dip them in the shallot broth for a perfect sweet-and-salty bite.
Well, this is awkward. I suppose it’s a little late to give a heads up that posting will be sparse until my show opens in August…? Also, the dog ate my homework, and the check is in the mail.
I’m sure you will forgive me for failing to post a new recipe for (gasp!) an entire month, when you try this righteous salad. It’s bright and fresh, yet satisfying, with a perfect balance of salty, sweet, and sour. It’s so delicious that with one bite, you’ll forget entirely what a lazy slacker I am. The recipe is from The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook by Deb Perelman. Do you have this book? You need this book.
The day I prepared this salad is pretty much a blur—I was so rushed making dinner for Mom and Handsome Greg that I barely had a chance to take photos of the meal. So I’m sorry to say that my sad pics don’t begin to do this recipe justice. Just another reason to pick up The Smitten Kitchen Cookbook; the photos are so beautiful you’ll have to resist the urge to devour the actual pages. The only change I made from the original recipe was to omit the tablespoon of fresh, minced ginger, because, as I mentioned before, I’m deathly allergic. If ginger doesn’t send you to the ER, then I suppose you ought to add it to the dressing as Deb suggests. She knows what she’s talking about.
Continue reading for the Sugar Snap Pea Salad with Miso Dressing recipe
My blog is having a mid-life crisis. I’m a little concerned that my blog may get a flashy, new template, buy a convertible, and start dating a much younger blog.
See, when I first began sharing recipes from my tiny galley kitchen, I imagined my recipes would feature ingredients like fiddlehead ferns, duck confit, persimmon, and dry vermouth (Vermouth?! You can’t HANdle vermouth!).
And here I am, two and a half years later, blogging about refried beans on toast and wondering, what happened? Well, the truth is, a tasty, satisfying lunch that never fails to remind me of my most memorable summer happened.
The summer before my junior year of high school I went on a service trip to a tiny village outside of Mexico City. Each morning we traveled in the back of a pick-up truck along the side of a mountain to our work site. After a few hours of labor, that same pick-up returned with our lunch – a tray full of crusty rolls smeared with refried beans, topped with a slice of American cheese. And it might’ve been the heat, or the hard-earned hunger, or perhaps it’s my fuzzy memory, but I’m pretty sure those simple sandwiches were better than all the fiddlehead ferns and duck confit in the world.
And so, in a fit of gooey nostalgia, I recreated my favorite culinary memory. I toasted split club rolls and topped them with a generous dollop of refried beans dressed up with prepared salsa and cumin. A thin slice of pepper jack cheese melted over top sealed the deal.
Continue reading for the Bean-y Crostini recipe
This is the perfect side dish for summer picnics and barbec—what? It’s past Labor Day? And I missed Barbecue Season™?
I’m a day late, but I just can’t keep this recipe to myself until Memorial Day 2013, when picnics are once again permissible. Also? I’m wearing white pants. Yeah, I’m a rebel.
When I first served this recipe at a work potluck, my adorable friend Karl told me that my baked beans were the best baked beans he’d had. I was more than a little concerned that of all my recipes, the one that earned the greatest compliment was made of store-bought, canned baked beans and all the condiments in the door of my refrigerator. Fortunately I got over it.
Continue reading for the Dressed Up Baked Beans recipe
Y’know how sometimes the dumbest thing ever can be hysterically funny, particularly when someone else finds that same dumb thing inexplicably funny?
And how the harder you try to maintain composure, the funnier that stupid thing may seem, until the both of you dissolve in giggles with tears streaming down your cheeks and soda shooting out of your nose?
That’s what it’s like spending time with my friend, Sharee.
She and I took a trip to Los Angeles with my mom and Handsome Greg a coupla years ago, and we savored every opportunity to embarrass them (and ourselves) with our mindless, uncontrollable laughter.
Sharee has since become a most dignified photographer, and she recently sent me these gorgeous photos of her favorite lentil soup, along with the mouth-watering recipe.
Based on the pics, you’d think food photography was her specialty, but she’s actually focused more on maternity, baby, and family portraits.
Check out her portfolio here.
Shoot her an email if you’re looking for a Twin Cities photographer to capture the most beautiful moments in your life. Or if you just need someone to snort root beer with.
Continue reading for the Hearty Lentil Soup recipe
About seven years ago, Handsome Greg flew to New York for a terribly important marketing guy conference, and I got to tag along.
One sunny Manhattan afternoon while Greg was busy learning how to get people to buy stuff, I met up with my former roommate and current fancy friend, Jenna, for lunch in our old upper west side neighborhood. On that day, she introduced me to my new BFF, sushi.
At that point, I definitely had reservations about eating raw fish. I was afraid it would be cold and slimy and fishy (I prefer fish to taste like chicken). So my plan was to fill up on the appetizer before the sushi arrived. Jenna had ordered a bowl of tender, salty edamame, and as soon as I figured out how in the world to eat it, I was in love.
In the years following, I’d only ever eaten edamame steamed in their shells with a dusting of sea salt, just the way it was served at my fancy New York lunch – a bowl of salty edamame in front of a movie makes a great substitute for popcorn if you need a protein boost – but I was curious to try it other ways, and an edamame hummus seemed a perfect vehicle for the delicately-flavored young soy beans.
This took forEVer.
I’m not going to lie – this recipe is a huge pain in the ass to make. I spent nearly an hour peeling off all those little edamame skins. You could probably skip that step, but if you’ve got the time, and you can tolerate the tedium and potential carpal tunnel, the resulting hummus is super creamy with no lumps. I first made it for a production meeting for Those Were the Days; the team scarfed it up, but a couple folks suggested it could use a little more garlic. I tend to think it’s perfect as is, and extra garlic would overpower the delicate flavor of the edamame. So there.
Continue reading for the Edamame Hummus recipe
It seems early to share a chili recipe.
I’m afraid I’m tempting fate, daring Minnesota winter to make a premature appearance, by posting a warm, cozy one-dish meal while the State Fair still provides summer bliss on a stick.
I originally made this recipe—a perfect hybrid of chili and Italian wedding soup – last blizzardy March, so I think I’m safe. Also? I’m not likely powerful enough to control the weather, even with an extraordinarily delicious recipe.
This was the sort of dish I made back in March, when I still had a job. I’d spend Sunday afternoon cooking up a big pot of something to pack up in plastic containers for lunch through the week, and hope that I didn’t get totally sick of it by Wednesday, abandon my leftovers, and make an emergency run to Subway for lunch.
The week I made this delicious chili-soup ended far too soon, without the slightest sandwich temptation.
When I make it again (even though I NEVER repeat recipes) I’ll probably substitute a box of frozen chopped spinach for the pricey rainbow chard.
Continue reading for the White Bean and Turkey Chili recipe