Monday, February 27, 2012

Joy's ginger and lentil soup

This meal really hit the spot during this chilly, gray, yet snowless winter we've been having.


And it's a good thing, too, because this recipe makes a whole heap of soup.


I followed Joy's recipe, and her serving suggestions. I ate this soup with pearl couscous and cheddar on top.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Joy's creamy garlic soup with roasted potatoes

I remember when I first discovered that you can just eat garlic.


It was in college.  (I learned a lot of things in college.)  My friend Peter gathered a few friends together and took us to a tapas restaurant in Old Pasadena.  One of the tapas was roasted garlic with crostini.  It was so simple.  So brilliant.  Why hadn't I thought of this myself?!  Until then, garlic had been a spice, one thinly sliced clove here, a few crushed there.  It seemed so indulgent to just eat it, straight up, by the head.


I felt the same way when I discovered garlic soup.

And then there are the potatoes.  Have I mentioned my obsession with the purple ones?  I'm convinced they're better for you than the garden variety.  (To validate my claim, I did a little googling, and it seems they actually are.)


I realize she's a baker, but in my mind, Joy's savory meals are where it's at.  At least until I'm ready for dessert.


Saturday, February 11, 2012

Deb's smashed chickpea salad

I love easy recipes!  And meals I can feel good about, nutrition wise!  And chickpeas!  And taking photos in natural light, especially if it means not showing my face in the office 'til... I don't want to incriminate myself, but you know, after I cook, photograph, and eat lunch.  Smashed chickpea salad is perfect.


I'm an olive hater, so I omit those.  I added raw red peppers into the mix.  A little of this, a little of that.


This recipe is so simple, infinitely versatile (add feta, avocado, sun dried tomatoes, pepperocinis, help me think of others!) , and dirt cheap.  And so good I could eat it for lunch every day.


At this point I'm just gushing, so I'll stop.  But seriously Deb, nice one.

Friday, February 3, 2012

Deb's really simple homemade pizza

I am so pizza obsessed. I have (at least) three favorite pizza restaurants around town, and I'm a fan of homemade pizza too. Sometimes I just burst out in song, proclaiming "I WANT PIZZA" like the Olsen twins, slowed down. However, I don't think I've nailed making my own crust yet, so I seem to try a new recipe every time. To have a more methodical trial and error method for pizza crust, I'll post the recipes I try on the blog, with a few comments.

The first is, of course, the really simple pizza crust from smitten kitchen.  Toppings were kept simple: this pizza was all about the smoked mozzarella we had picked up.


His and hers pizzas.  I like mine saucy and light on the cheese (left), and Phil is the opposite.  Both are heavy on the garlic.


The recipe says to bake the pizza at your oven's hottest temperature.  For me, that was 500ยบ F, and they came out nice and bubbly.


And top mine with a small mountain of arugula, please.  It makes me feel healthy.

I thought the crust turned out well!  I didn't need to roll it out because it was easy to spread and shape just using my fingers.  Mine did turn out a little too thin in places, and because of my liberal saucing, it got a little soggy in those places.  Next time I'll try to make the crust a more uniform thickness (or thinness, but not too thin).

Saturday, January 28, 2012

another grilled sandwich

Ok, I was pretty proud of my sandwich grilling skills after making grilled cheese. I had seen a grilled pb&j on this blog, linked to ages ago by A Cup of Jo.  And since I've never been a jelly on her sandwich kind of girl, I went with something a little different.


Grilled peanut butter and banana!  Or pb&b.


Serve with plenty of milk.

Deb's tomato soup and grilled cheese

Phil went out of town for a week to a conference, so I took this opportunity to make a personal favorite. A huge batch of soup that would keep me well fed and warm while he was away.


I was inspired to make a tomato soup by these really prettily packaged canned tomatoes from Trader Joes. I followed this recipe from deep within the smitten kitchen archives. The only changes I made were using water instead of chicken broth to make it vegetarian, and using light cream instead of heavy because that's what I had in the fridge.


Of course, the giant food processor got to come out and play for this one.

My grilled cheese was a little less classic than Deb's version: I made it with my favorite pain de campagne from Whole Foods, Emmentaler cheese, and a few spinach leaves.


Somehow the contents of my grilled cheese sandwiches seem to end up on the outside of the sandwich; I'm not that smooth when it's time to flip it over. But I like the toasty cheesy bits, so it's all good.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Deb's green beans and lemony pasta

It should not have been a surprise to me that Deb makes cooking look so easy.  Like inspire me to make a two-layer cake easy.  When I was browsing smitten kitchen for dinner ideas, I landed on spaghetti with lemon and olive oil.  Mouth begins to water.  And in the post she mentions she served these green beans.  Mouth watering intensifies.

I know that making a meal with two dishes is no big deal for many people.  But I'm someone who might just eat chips and salsa for dinner if I can't be bothered to cook.  For me, this was on par with Thanksgiving.  (I actually did make these green beans for a thanksgiving potluck!)


Let's just say that the process wasn't too graceful. Things got a little frantic. But the result was pretty darn good!