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Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with Coriander, Cumin, and Fennel

For some reason, I lacked inspiration this week. Truly, I was a deer caught in the blinding glare of iced cookies shaped in silhouettes of Santa, his reindeer, trees, and angels. Of holiday gingerbread houses, and a perfect trifle on the cover of Saveur (beautiful if I do say so). What to do? How could I possibly say anything when it seems everything had already been said? An even grimmer prospect: My house is a complete building site. Whatever dream I had of being creative was shot to hell without a kitchen work top to rock and roll on. And so it’s Christmas. TV dinner anyone?  I pressed on, hoping for inspiration. Christmas food is yum. I get it folks, I get it. It’s just that I want to eat something that won’t make me riddled with guilt the next day. Is it against the law to hanker for something that feels bad, but is good for you? Then it came to me in the middle of the night. I have heard of nighttime creativity, but honestly, deep love for my pillow has been too intoxicating a contender. At some point in the wee hours, my mind became transfixed on [...]

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Traditional Fish Pie

I am very lucky to have two great Mother in Laws. Norma and Judy are both vivacious, fun, and creative. Norma, Toby’s Mom, is a party girl at heart. She has a breezy, go with the flow attitude, that is down to earth, welcoming, and infectious. Her home is bohemian, comfy, and begs you to stretch out and stay a little longer. It’s filled with quirky finds in thrift shops, curiosities from pound stores (similar to our 99 cent store), and watercolors that she paints. You find yourself supported by mooshy pillows, snuggled under wooly blankets, with a cup of Early Grey tea and Ginger Nut biscuits, watching the BBC.  In our time, we have played to a bit of air guitar and disco danced around the house with the music blaring (or is that just me Norma while you laugh at me?). I have spent many a year trying to recreate this energy in my own home. I’m telling you, it’s heaven. I’m almost ready to book flights to London just thinking about it.  Toby’s step Mom Judy is pretty major as well. She and Toby’s Dad, John, live in the West Coast of England. Judy is a master [...]

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Spicy Green Beans and Tofu in Red Chili

How is it that before we’ve even celebrated Thanksgiving, they’re erecting skyscraper-sized Christmas trees and pumping holiday music all around town? I’ve had enough of this corporate prescription of blind shopping panic to find the right gift, “before the rush.” What rush? The five minute glowed rush of buying a delightfully wrapped present (and in the frenzy, they’re hoping you buy a few too many for yourself), quickly followed by, “damn there goes my credit card bill.”  Don’t get me wrong, I love hunting for special gifts for friends, but in my own time. This mindless manipulation by the media really stinks. Pumpkin Spiced Latte anyone?  As you can see, I am feeling a bit rebellious today. It’s true, we are entering the holiday season, but in other parts of the world, no one gives a monkeys about the Pilgrims sitting down together for a meal with the Native Americans. We all know what a rip roaring relationship that turned out to be. Today, I haven’t the newest twist on Pumpkin Pie, nor a recipe for Deluxe Stuffing a la Stove Top. Of course, I will be Womanning the kitchen on the day, and kicking some bootay, but I am almost [...]

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Home

Hello Dudes and Dudettes. Sorry to have missed you all this week, but we’ve been moving and setting into our new house. When I hit the the spice rack, I’ll be back with more dishes. While you’re here, have a listen to the track, “Home” by The Talking Heads, and check out my photos of hippy buses in the neighborhood. If you want to watch the performance on bigger screen (for a great performance by David Byrne dancing with a floor lamp) and view the images at the same time, double click on the arrow. See you soon!

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Vegetable Udon Soup

We’ve all grown up with Top Ramen and Cup O’ Noodles, but at some point, you have to say, enough is enough. Those dainty silver “flavor” packets laced with MSG are scarier than Mel B, who stars in her aptly titled reality TV show, “It’s A Scary World.” Yes, quite.  This one’s for the noodle lovers. It’s a soup that has all of my favorite elements: tasty, filling, and deceptively good for you. This is by no means a strict recipe. Feel free to play around with different vegetables. It’s hard to go wrong on this one. And no one gets left behind: It’s a cinch to prepare. Just boil up some udon noodles (udon=hip btw) for a few minutes, and in a separate pot, simmer some veggies. Plonk the noodles and soup into bowls, and by some freak of nature, it looks cool. Even Toby fell for it by saying, “Oh, that’s looks nice.” In fact, I did a double-take. I worried that he left and a different man was sitting at the table. Another point: Have you ever met a kid that doesn’t like noodles? Say no more. If they get a bit creeped out by the Shiitake mushrooms, more [...]

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