Category Archives: Cooking

Cooking without a Kitchen

We are quickly working our way through week four of this kitchen remodel.  There are times when I feel quite zen about the whole thing and other times when I am completely convinced that it is absolutely never, ever going to be finished (insert very dramatic music here)!!  Sometimes, I feel both things in the same day.  The last couple of weeks it feels like such a monumental task to do the slightest thing that involved cooking.  We currently have most of the kitchen kind of set up in Walter’s bedroom (his bed is currently at the end of ours because he refuses to sleep by himself, but that is another post…) along with a coleman stove on the patio next to my grill.  As I type this, it sounds not that bad, I have some basics, so it seems I SHOULD (oh the “shoulds”) be able to whip something up.  The problem comes when I attempt to find anything.  The kitchen is in Walter’s room, but most of the time I have only a vague idea of which box it might be in.

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Kitchen Destruction!

It started out simply enough.  The tile has been coming up in our kitchen since the day we bought the house.  So when our tax return came back, I decided it was time to replace it.  It was also white and white is just an awful color for a kitchen, especially one that a toddler and dog use every day.  I could clean it constantly and it would never actually stay clean.  But I digress….So this re-tile…I called the contractor we used for our previous bathroom remodel; he came over; gave me a price and told me it would be simple and take 3 days. It seemed so easy, that I felt like dusting off my hands and calling it day. Continue reading Kitchen Destruction!


We are slowly making the transition back from India.  It is funny how we had an incredibly hard time there at first and then we found our feet and now we are having trouble adjusting to being back home.  Alex and I have developed an acute need for coconuts!  Part of our readjusting is getting the house back in order and running smoothly again.  A big part of that is restocking my fridge and pantry with all my essentials.  I cleaned out the fridge completely before we left.  It felt good to get all the crap out and start clean when we arrived home.  So now, one of those things the fridge needed was mayonnaise.  Mayonnaise seems to have developed a bad rap over the years.  No one likes it.  If you only eat the crap that they sell in the store, I don’t blame you.  However, I use mayonnaise for a surprisingly large number of things; its current most important function is a necessary ingredient in my homemade vinaigrette (I have to confess that I use America’s Test Kitchen’s recipe.  They are like crack for cooks, just start with their recipes you will never ever stop and then when you do use another recipe you will be mad that it does not measure up to the same precision and wonderfulness that theirs does, but I digress….).  It really just pulls it together and makes it a tasty dressing for my salads.  I would argue that it is one of those fantastic kitchen staples that takes no time to make and it is just too delicious to ever buy store bought again! I admit to possibly liking the spatula when it doesn’t all fit into the designated jar.  So on that note, here we go!

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Romaine Salad with Bacon, 5-Minute Eggs, and Creamy Garlic Anchovy Dressing

Last Saturday night, I had one of those rare moments to myself.  Walter was off playing with Alex and Rob, a friend of ours, and I had the kitchen to myself at dinner prep time.  It was a bit late, but we had had chai and snacks with friends in the late afternoon and no one was particularly hungry yet.  So I got to cook, by myself in my own little cooking trance.  It was delightful.  Then afterwards, I cleaned up the kitchen so that it was in this shiny, spotless state where I just want to come back in the next morning and create tasty things (this is not my kitchen’s usual state).  It was a housewify zen of sorts.  I went to bed feeling quite fulfilled and content.   Continue reading Romaine Salad with Bacon, 5-Minute Eggs, and Creamy Garlic Anchovy Dressing

Chocolate-Espresso Dacquoise

I baked this for a New Year’s party at a friend’s house (yes, I am aware that it is the middle of January, but sometimes life gets in the way of my blogging!).  They had a lovely potluck dinner in which each couple made one course of the dinner and the hosts paired everything with wine.  It was absolutely delicious!  The hosts asked me to do the dessert.  Last year, I had gone with a traditional Howe family New Year’s dessert of Kit’s Chocolate Mousse from The Williams-Sonoma Collection: Dessert.  The dinner had been fantastic and everyone was a foodie so this year I decided that I needed to up my game. Continue reading Chocolate-Espresso Dacquoise

Trumpet Dosa with Potato-Coconut Subji and Cilantro Dip

We are headed to India next February to study for a month with Sharath and Saraswati at KPJAYI in Mysore.  Alex and I went to Encinitas to do led classes with them last April and really enjoyed it.  So the next logical step seemed to be to plan a trip to India.  Well, Alex might disagree, he is rather petrified at the thought of a 24 hour flight with a toddlington and then the prospect of taking care of him in India.  I, however, am much more excited about it and am hoping that the traveling will agree with Walter and he will have a lovely time (he LOVES Indian food so I think he will do just fine).  Additionally, the uber planner that I am, have decided that I would like to try have another munchkin and that they should be about 3 years apart so this is my last hurrah to enjoy being in charge of my own my body before I give it over to grow another munchkin.  Needless to say being pregnant makes my practice a wee bit more difficult.

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I love general recipes that basically become dumping grounds for whatever happens to be in my fridge.  I feel so virtuous when I am able to use things up and have the fridge basically cleaned out each week before I go grocery shopping.  Pizza is one of those such recipes.  I can use a bit of this veggie, a bit of this leftover meat, use up and end of cheese here and another one here until I have a tasty concoction that is quite popular with Alex and Walter.

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Apricot Jamminess

Last year, when we were thinking about buying our house, Alex and snuck into the backyard to see it on the way home from a run. As we passed through the sideyard where the trash was, I looked up and noticed a tree full of apricots.  I was able to jump up and grab one to eat.  It was quite tasty.  I thought to myself, “if we buy this house, I am making jam out of those apricots next year.

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Seared Tuna and one too many Gimlets

I have been mad grilling lately.  It has been so darn hot lately that there just doesn’t seem to be a reason to turn on the stove when I can grill outside and drink tasty things.  So on my weekly trip to Whole Foods last Friday (did you know they offer really good specials on something every Friday?  The deal is generally good enough that I schedule grocery shopping around that day.  Your frugal housewife tip of the day!) when the fishmonger offered to slice me up a fresh slice of tuna, I jumped at the chance.  My mouth was practically watering.  It was a gorgeous piece of fish.

Continue reading Seared Tuna and one too many Gimlets