You all know, I really don’t know what I’m doing. I have some kitchen knowledge. Some is learned from watching cooking shows, reading cookbooks and mags, frequenting the farmers’ market, eating at a variety of restaurants and cooking a majority of my meals. I know I have a lot to learn.

My mom, who is an avid NOT-COOKER, recently asked me what my favorite part of cooking is.  It took me a second.  Of course I love to eat. I also love to be in the kitchen. And I love the act of feeding my friends and family. But right now, what excites me in the kitchen, is cooking with ingredients from other cultures and countries.

And this is where I go back to not really knowing what I’m doing. Now, that doesn’t mean I can’t make my food taste freaking awesome. I just don’t know the proper, the correct, way to pair spices from a certain country. (One reason that we have a tag as “Asian” is because we don’t yet know the nuances of each individual country. Sure, fish sauce is Thai and wasabi is Japanese. But ginger—how do you categorize?)

This post is a good example of why people hate fusion food. And love. It was really delicious, but totally not accurate. Please excuse my ignorance.

Recipe post jump.

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Cereal After Squash, Naturally


I’m back!  Well, I’m still coughing my ass off, but I did make it back to the kitchen this weekend.  I eased into the room with a breakfast of favorites for 80 – potatoes, bacon, scrambled eggs (in bacon grease) and buttered toast (African whole wheat).  He surely deserved the feast for putting up with my flu infested body for two weeks.

And Sunday night I really reentered the world of food with a feast of vegetables and whole grains, not so much 80’s favorite, but he went with it.  Well, until 10pm when he was hungry again and chowed down on a bowl of cereal.  Not that I’m mad or anything.  I mean, it’s not insulting that mere hours after I feed this boy he goes into the kitchen for a second meal.  Whatever.

Recipe post jump

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Cream Sauce Can Be Healthy


If health and looks didn’t matter, I’d probably eat fettuccine alfredo pretty much everyday. What’s better than long, silky noodles swimming in luscious cream. Exactly. Nothing.

Okay, maybe a bloody steak with fries and bernaise sauce; maybe mussels in a walnut-pesto sauce; maybe fried eggs…over anything. You get the point. So as a compromise, I’ve doused what should have been a healthy meal with a white wine cream sauce. I guess the equivalent of washing down chicken tenders and fries with a diet soda.

Recipe post jump

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Yes Chickpeas Can


…be roasted.  But we’ll get to that phenom in a minute.

Sorry about ES-lite yesterday, but Tuesday night was no time for food blogging.  Although, it was time for a bit of election night cooking.  Although it was crazytown here in DC, I opted for a friends house; concentrating on the returns, watching red and blue pops of color, breathing to the rhythm of Chuck Todd’s analysis.

A bunch of ES bloggers and friends cooked two full chickens, a raisin-enhanced stuffing and mashers with vegan gravy (and I swear, Liza, I really couldn’t tell it was vegan!)  I was on the veggies.  With leftover summer produce, and a few kitchen staples, I whipped up something just in time for the first poll closings.  Holy fucking shit.  OBAMA!

Sorry, but there may be sudden outbursts of OBAMA in the next few days.  After all, BS, 80 and I all met during our stint working at a Dem polling firm, in the most depressing cycle of all time: 2004.

Veggies and realized hope, post jump

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A Burrito for Change


80P and I make this so much for dinner that I actually had to search through the ES files to make sure I hadn’t blogged about it before.  It’s like not even funny anymore to mention how much I love eggs, but I just can’t get over how often they assist me in meals.  While taking a break from practicing chicken pot pies (I film this Sunday – eek!) I wanted to throw together something I didn’t have to really think about, and would use up that half onion, half can of beans, leftover rice…

Breakfast—Dinner Burrito 

Now this is just what I happened to use on this particular night.  I’ve changed this a billion times, adding in greens, hot sauce, spices, prepared salsa, garlic, sour cream…I mean, really, this will work with almost anything.  Although my goal is to figure out if egg and winter squash mix.  Wait for it.

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Purple Cauliflower Majesty


Okay, don’t freak out.  But I’m starting to fall in the Liza camp.

It’s so simple and healthy to whip up something containing only veggies and a grain (or an egg), especially in the summer/fall when I can hit up the farmers’ market every weekend.  Meat is, well, kind of a pain in the ass and is one more thing to deal with (and one more thing to buy.) Plus, I feel like I am more creative when I find ways to insert a vegetable as the star of the show.  Yea, 80P bitches about this latest endeavor, but he’s secretly getting into it as well.

I’m not as hard core as Liza, but unknowingly, I probably eat meat only 2 times a week and it’s mostly when I go out or eat with friends.  Seeing a bloody cut of steak absolutely turns me on still.  Don’t worry.

Oh, and I blame Michael Pollan.  Omnivore’s Dilemma seriously fucked me up.  I have a hard time eating meat that was processed in those hell hole slaughter factories. Shit, I’m so brainwashed I don’t even want to buy produce at the Giant up the street.  Which brings me to something I’ve been fretting over recently…what will I do when the farmers’ market closes for the winter?  I can’t even remember how I survived last frost.

But, I’ll end the meat bashing for this week; we don’t want to turn our bacon contingency away.  But there will surely be more on the Pollan phenom, as I’m still figuring out how to process all of this information.

Purple recipe post jump

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It’s Actually Not a Soup


Thank you for your suggestions on what to do with my crazy blended vegetable concoction.   But like a true blogger, I really didn’t listen.

Chickpeas and Serrano Spiked Blended Vegetables

Toast a handful of pine nuts.  When starting to brown, set aside.  Warm up the sauce in that same pan.  In another pan, warm through chickpeas and precooked bulgur wheat.  When everything is warmed up, spoon sauce on plate.  Top with chickpeas, bulgur wheat and pine nuts.  Or if you don’t care about presentation, throw everything together and heat up.  Blogging means extra pans and plates, unfortunately.

If your coworker happened to give you a fabulous sack of homegrown tomatoes (thank you Edy!) then top the dish with raw chunks of tomato (sprinkled with kosher salt.)


If you hate tomato, skip that step.

Oh, and not that I even know what this does for my body, nor what it really tastes like, but you can sprinkle nutritional yeast over the chickpeas. I’m trying to find more uses for the yeast.  Although my two nut. yeast experts — Maidelitala and Elizabeth — claim you can’t mix it with yogurt.  We’ll see.

Tag clarification
So this is not Indian, I know. But with the slight heat and chickpeas and cumin and yogurt, 80 and I felt like it had an Indian flare and texture.

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