Bread and Butter Pickles


These pickles (recipe he are SO easy and delicious. They perish quickly, but don’t last long, at least not at our house, so it hasn’t been a problem. I haven’t tried the ketchup and mustard recipes (also included in the article) but am planning to try soon. I do occasionally make my own mayonnaise, which is absolutely transcendent (and surprisingly easy), so I’ll post that recipe and photo the next time I make it.

Saag Paneer

Saag Paneer

Recipe here. Saag paneer is one of our favorites dishes when we go out for Indian food, but this is the first time that I’ve made it at home.

This recipe was really easy and quite yummy. I skipped the step of chopping the spinach beforehand and just gave the mixture a few pulses with the immersion blender, instead, after adding the buttermilk and yogurt.
I added a bit more seasoning than the recipe called for, because we really love the Indian spice palette.

I forgot to buy some naan, so just served it over rice, instead. Very nice.

Herbes de Provence


Adapted from Emeril Lagasse’s recipe

2 Tbsp dried savory
2 Tbsp dried rosemary
2 Tbsp dried thyme
2 Tbsp dried oregano
2 Tbsp dried basil
2 Tbsp dried marjoram
2 Tbsp fennel seed
1 Tbsp dried lavender flowers
1 Tbsp dried tarragon
1 Tbsp dried dill weed
1 Tbsp dried chervil

Stir together and store in an airtight container. I usually make a half-batch, because I don’t go through this stuff super quickly. FYI – half of a Tbsp is equal to 1 and 1/2 teaspoons.


Another delicious Giada recipe. Recipe here.

I adapted this soup to be flexitarian by using veggie broth instead of chicken and by cooking the pancetta separately and offering it as a garnish on the side, rather than cooking it in the soup.

I also used gigante beans, instead of cannellini beans, because I had some on hand that needed to be cooked and used up. I also had already used my Parmesan rind for a previous batch of soup, so just sprinkled Parmesan on top of each individual bowl, instead.

This was quite tasty and came together very quickly. It did require quite a bit more stock (almost double) to get the soup to a liquid enough consistency and my ciabatta (which was bought this morning, so very fresh) took more than the suggested 5 minutes (about 8 or so?) to toast adequately, so your mileage may vary…

I prefer this Herbes de Provence blend, which is easy to mix up quickly and keep on hand, plus I added a little extra oregano.

Adobo Grilled Chicken, Black Bean & Quinoa Salad and a Crunchy Roasted Corn repeat

YUM!  This was SUCH a delicious meal.  I had planned on only making the black bean & quinoa salad and grilled chicken, but The Boy was with me at the supermarket and saw corn on the cob and requested this corn, which he loves.  It sort “went with” the meal, so I acquiesced.

Black bean and quinoa salad recipe here.  This recipe is delicious, but makes a ton, but it also keeps in the fridge fairly well for a day or two and makes a great lunch the next day.  If you’re not a fan of leftovers and you’re not feeding a crowd, I’d recommend making a half-batch.  It was quite good and pretty simple.

The corn recipe, basically, is here, but I used Penzey’s Arizona Dreaming for the seasoning this time.  A universal hit, every time.  Have served it for company and always have people ask for the recipe.  Boy, in particular, LOVES this stuff.

The chicken is just boneless, skinless thighs sprinkled liberally with this fantastic Adobo seasoning mixture (scroll down) and then grilled.  I really love this spice blend and am planning to use it more in the future.  It’s great on chicken that you’re planning to put in any kind of Mexican dish (enchiladas, tostadas, fajitas, etc.)  Achiote/annatto can be a little bit hard to find, but try a Latin market (or the Latin aisle of a large supermarket.)  If you’re in Austin, Central Market has whole annatto seeds (in their bulk section) that can be ground in your spice-dedicated grinder.

What?  You don’t have one of those?!!?!  $20 can fix that.  You NEED one.  How else can you make garam masala?

*This meal is gluten-free, if you use gluten-free breadcrumbs.

Anatolian Red Lentil Stew

This recipe is, again, from Madhur Jaffrey’s wonderful World Vegetarian book.

The recipe can be found, more or less, here, but you really should just buy the book to get the more comprehensible version.

This was really tasty.  We only had a tiny bit left over for Girl’s lunch the next door.  If dried mint is really hard to find (as it was for me,) feel free to use fresh spearmint (not peppermint,) but chop it finely and use less than the recipe calls for (maybe half?)  I buy my dried mint (which can also be used in this salad) from Penzey’s.

Rava Dosas with Potato Chickpea Masala

Recipe here.*

Yum, yum, yummity yum yum yum.

This is the first thing that I’ve made in a while (other than spring rolls) that the whole family has agreed upon.  Usually, I’ll make a vegetarian dish that Boy won’t enjoy because it isn’t satisfying enough for him, or I’ll make a meat dish and two hearty side dishes, hoping that Girl can make a meal out of just the sides, and then she won’t feel like she’s really eaten a “meal,” but rather just snacked on sides.

This is spicy and warm and filling enough to be satisfying for all but the most stalwart carnivores and is definitely healthy and wholesome enough to satisfy any vegetarian.  This definitely “feels” like a main course.

I, of course, made a few VERY slight modifications to the original recipe:

I used russet potatoes because I couldn’t find organic Yukon Golds and didn’t want to use “pesticide” potatoes, but I discovered that russets take a bit more time and liquid to cook than gold potatoes, so be aware of that if you decide to change up your potatoes, too.

I added another cup of chickpeas that I had leftover, just to bulk up the protein quotient for Vegetarian Girl.

I added just a bit of garam masala when I added the curry-ginger-garlic mixture, just to add a bit more flavor and some brightness (a few of the epicurious reviewers mentioned that the masala was a little bland.)

I also sauteed the onions in the pan BEFORE adding the curry-ginger-garlic mixture because I am personally not wild about onions that are not thoroughly cooked.  The only raw onions that I can tolerate are red onions or green ones; white or yellow ones must be thoroughly cooked and softened for me.

I also added a bit more water to the dosa batter, because several epicurious reviewers had mentioned that the batter, as specified, was a bit too thick.  I agree and think the extra water is crucial.  Getting the hang of making the dosas is a little bit tricky (I had to throw the first one away,) but keep experimenting (make another batch of batter, if you need to,) and you’ll get it.  I think if I hadn’t needed to throw the first one away, and if I hadn’t added extra water, then the batter probably would have made four dosas, but I ended up with 5 (made 6 and threw one away.

* This recipe is originally from November 2009 Gourmet magazine.  There is a new issue out called Gourmet Quick Kitchen that has recently reprinted it.

The Moosewood’s Caribbean Vegetable Stew

Recipe here.

This was quite yummy.  I added a bit of garlic (about 2 cloves, pressed) and about 2 tsp of Jamaican Jerk seasoning.

For the chile, I used one roasted hatch green chile from Central Market (although it would have been even better with two.)  I just LOVE the Hatch Chile festival week!  If you’re in Central Texas and haven’t already checked this out, you are missing a bet.  Head over there right away – only 2 days left!  They have huge grills set up outside the store and roast hatch chiles all week long.  They sell bags of the roasted chiles (hot or mild, your choice) and feature all kinds of hatch chile products all week (tortilla chips, enchilada sauce, chile con queso.)  They are the best chiles EVER.  I always buy a bag to use right away and another to chop and freeze for future use.  YUM.

Mexican Chocolate Eclairs

So, I decided to spice up the eclairs that I made recently to go with last night’s Mexican meal.  I used the same recipe, but added about 1/8 tsp. of Cinnamon Spice Blend to the vanilla filling and 1 teaspoon of McCormick Cocoa Chile Blend to the chocolate glaze.  I really liked the original version a lot, but this was a fun variation, too.  I have had fun playing with chocolate and spices in the past (with Winter-Spiced Molten Chocolate Cakes here and Cinnamon Cupcakes with Chile-Chocolate Buttercream here.) There was just enough chile “kick” in these without being too hot and the cinnamon really added a lot of depth to the filling.  If I’m going to do this again, it’s probably not worth using a subtle vanilla bean, if I’m just going to cover it up with cinnamon.  If I doctor it again, I’d probably use vanilla extract in the filling and not waste the effort (and money!) on a vanilla bean unless I’m keeping the filling plain vanilla, where the bean’s flavor can be appreciated.

Jamaican Jerk Grilled Tofu

We made this vegetarian adaptation for Girl the other night when we had Jerk-Rubbed Catfish and she loved it so much that she requested it again.  It was SO easy, quick and healthy.  She made the little arugula-spinach-tomato salad to go with it (we already had the Baby Bam croutons on hand.)  It’s really the spice rub that makes it; it is absolutely fantastic.

You don’t need an actual “recipe” to cook the tofu, just cut a slice the size that you want to eat (use FIRM tofu), rub it down all over with a little (about 5 drops or so – not much is necessary) canola or vegetable oil, rub it down generously with the spice rub and then grill it on a preheated grill or grill pan.  Try to flip it as little as possible, because it can be a little fragile.