Caprese, Beaujolais, Sunshine, and Cookies

Here in Seattle, we take summer very seriously. When you’ve had eight straight months of the exact same gloomy overcast drizzly weather, when the warm sunny days start to pop up between the rainy ones, you get out your checklist of stereotypical summery things to do and fit as many in as you can. Of course, when summer actually gets here in July, there will be plenty of time for such things, but we so desperately want it to be summer in June that we force it in where we can. Which brings us to todays dish: Caprese and Beaujolais on the stoop (what a great word, Beaujolais. This one is called “Le Pot” and looks like something a professional European wino would approve of). We made a round at the farmers market this morning and there were some marvelous greenhouse-grown heirloom tomatoes. Yes, two of them set us back twelve dollars (those were some big tomatoes), but such is the price of maximizing a summer day.

Caprese on the stoop


Heirloom Tomatoes
Fresh Cheese
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper

put together. sit on the stoop, drink wine, eat, and watch your dog harass passers-by.

Henry wants.

That's only half of the red tomato.

Of course, tomatoes don’t make a meal for hungry folks like us, and we had a quart of raw milk from the market, so Marie made chocolate chip cookies for an entree.

What? You have a problem with cookies for dinner?

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The Week in Review

I took a lot of pictures this week. We cooked curry, several soups, more stir fry, barley and bean salad, a tiny batch of seitan, made pizza, went to Eva restaurant, made another bread, and a couple pastas. Here’s some of my favorites. Feel free to ask for any recipes!

Hope that will tide you over until I can get around to writing down some recipes.

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New Years Party: Tacos with Pan-fried Seitan

Not dead yet! Two weeks is not the ideal interval for an active blog, but with friend Paul’s visit and a strong dedication to industrious hard work to start the quarter, I don’t feel too bad. We have continued to cook delicious meals and take pictures, so posts will be forthcoming. On December 31 of last year we hosted a wonderful party and were really lucky to have a bunch of people show up on late notice. The last thing we would ever do is host a party and not spend all day making food, so we needed a festive menu idea that would be fun for people to serve themselves.  Obviously, we’re talking about build-your-own tacos here. Since meat is a popular taco filling, and we have an almost-strict no-meat-in-the-house policy (so many hyphens! But this correct usage, yes?), and since I’ve had this bag of vital wheat gluten hanging around, this seemed like the perfect time to try out Mark Bittman’s seitan recipe. Oh, and how perfect indeed! Before delving into the particulars of rubbery fake meat, here is a menu for taco night:

menu: build-your-own tacos

corn tortillas
pan-fried chipotle seitan
mexican cole slaw
seasoned black beans with green onions
seared peppers and onions
homemade stove-top tomato salsa
shredded Beecher’s flagship cheese
sour cream and hot sauce

yum! Ok, time for seitan.

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White Bread Number One

I don’t want a recipe for bread.  I want the ability to call the bread forth from the Platonic sphere, without any thought of particulars like amounts or times.  Of course baking does not really work this way, so I tend to alternate between actually measuring things and following recipes and just sort of throwing something together.  This bread was produced in the latter vein, and the results were predictable: fine but not perfect.  The frustrating part is that the only time I’ve made what I consider to be a perfect loaf of white bread, I was also just throwing things together, and I thought I was imitating myself perfectly when I made this one.  Alas, the journey continues.

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Eggplant and Broccoli Stir Fry

Stir fry served on short grain rice
To be at peace with one’s stir fry technique is a fine state of being indeed.  After four years on regular weeknight rotation, my version has finally approached something stable and consistently edible.  Ingredients? Broccoli has never left its place in my mind as the finest stir-fry vegetable.  It holds up to high heat, acquires a yummy nutty roasted flavor when fried, likes to keep its crunch, and the crown is an inviting nest for delicious sauce. Eggplant is a more recent addition, at Marie’s recommendation, and its richness and delicate texture after frying compliment the broccoli perfectly.  The rest is whatever is lying around: here, an onion, a red pepper, peanuts.  Other times, tofu, cashews, mushrooms, kohlrabi, cabbage, zucchini, or chiles.

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Chestnut Cookies – The First Post

Welcome to the newest semi-veggie food blog on the internets! Joel and I decided after a full weekend of holiday cooking, that it is time to save our food pictures somewhere more official than facebook. Joel is in the kitchen right now, making black bean soup, polenta, and home-made french fries. I spent most of yesterday on the cookies presented above through the lens of an iMac (My camera broke this week. Don’t worry, we’ll get a real camera soon.) The recipe was stolen straight from the pages of Smitten Kitchen – my very favorite food blog. Enjoy!

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