Buy the bookSnap Peas, Spinach, Millet & Chicken
april 29, 2014

This year's first bag of snap peas arrived from our CSA, Eatwell Farm, last Thursday. I've been harvesting them in small quantity out of my garden for weeks, but those have finally run their course. A new supplier is just the thing!

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Join the Eatwell Farm CSA

Shanghai Noodles with Chicken
march 12, 2014

Like I tweeted yesterday, or maybe that was today, I love how Eatwell's newsletter now plans out a week of dinners. Yes! I need that.

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Buy the bookSpring Minestrone
july 7, 2013

You're right...it isn't spring. But I had to buy a last bunch of asparagus and use it up before the end of July, just because. From Heidi Swanson's Super Natural Cooking, this is a light, wholesome soup that I like to make with chicken stock. I serve it with bread and cheese to round out the meal.

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MothersDayDinner

Love Your Mother: Lamb, Carrots and Fava Salad - may 11, 2011

This year I made my desires for Mother's Day known well in advance: no gifts, just a day at home in the garden and a big dinner, cooked as a family.  It was delicious, and I got gifts anyway - three of Andy Goldsworthy's books, much loved by my kids after we watched his Rivers and Tides together a week or two back.

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WinterCSA
 
Community Supported Agriculture, Farm Shares and Spring Soup - april 20, 2011

Spring is here again!  The plum trees have bloomed, asparagus is in the stores, the end of the school year is fast approaching and I am officially another year older. These are the usual markers of my favorite season beginning, or as is often the case, being halfway over by the time I get around to giving it my full attention.

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SesameTofu

Sesame Ginger Tofu with Greens - june 3, 2010

This is another old favorite from Deborah Madison that my husband and I have been making for years. We've tried many variations of the sauce, and often I'll make it without marinating the tofu ahead of time, simply because I don't get around to mixing it up before I need to cook dinner. Even then it is delicious. Often it serves as an end of the week produce clean up, just about any vegetable can go in, clearing out the fridge for our incoming Eatwell box. I've made it with pretty much every sort of green we've had - stir fry mix, spinach, chard, kale, mustard (one of my favorites, with a simplified marinade). It is good with turnips, broccoli, cauliflower, always snap peas if we have them and sometimes carrots, though I can usually find a better use for those.

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ChickenSalad

Lemon Chicken Salad - may 6, 2010

 To come clean, lemon chicken salad makes our dinner sound more special than it actually was. Ina Garten's recipe in The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook calls for grilled lemon chicken, which I'm sure is delicious, but was just not in the cards tonight. I used the remainder of our roast chicken from earlier this week, and while slicing it up, marinating it and then cooking it again on the grill was enticing, it was also too ridiculous. 

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AsparagusAndSnappeas  I have to say that the Easter Bunny has a tough job - hauling all that candy around, hiding all those eggs, I'm shocked he hasn't run out of creativity and taken the holiday off yet.  But I see that Paas has taken some sort of road out because this year there were only five colors in our box.  Pink, orange, yellow, blue, green. No purple.  No turquoise, or whatever that other one usually is.  But lots of Cars stickers - and three plastic egg wraps.  I guess that is supposed to take the place of the two missing colors.

Its a good thing our bunny took the high road in terms of candy this year, and shopped at Miette, the best candy store in the country.  Walking into the Hayes Valley Miette is like going back it time, to some magical candy store I never had as a child. I love it.  

The candy store I do remember from my childhood was up at the corner of my block and the cross street that would take us to school.  It was called Prospectors because it was on Prospect street.  They stocked ice cream bars and Bottle Caps, Twinkies and Snoballs and those weird snacks with Andy Capp on the bag that only highschoolers ate.  But the best treat of all - Wacky Packs.  And how wonderful if you spent 20¢ and ended up with one of the rare ones - like Hipton Tea Bags or Kook Aid.   I always seemed to have multiple copies of Chock Full o Nuts and Bolts or one of the cigarette spoofs, which my mother would confiscate.

Anyway, all this bunny prep necessitated an easy dinner - and it was.  The kids wouldn't eat the salad, but the pitas and chicken disappeared, which is good enough for me.

Grilled Chicken Pita Salad (adapted from Sunset Magazine April 2010):

2 chicken breasts

1 bunch asparagus

handful of snap peas (if you have them in your garden)

lettuce for four (one big head or a similar sized bag of mesclun)

2-4 pitas, sliced into 8 wedges each

3 Tablespoons olive oil

juice of 1/2 lemon

salt and pepper

Cook the chicken breasts on the grill.  Because grills are so different, its hard to estimate when yours will be done.  To test for doneness, cut into the thickest part of the breast.  If it is opaque and releases only clear juices, it is done.  If you don't feel like grilling, use a grill pan on the stove or just pan fry them in a bit of olive oil over medium heat.

Wash and dry the salad.  Bring a pot of water big enough for the asparagus to fit in to boil.  Wash and trim the ends of the asparagus, wash the snap peas, pull off any leafy bits you don't want to eat.  When the water is boiling, drop the asparagus and snap peas in for a minute, then drain them into a colander in the sink.  Brush the sliced pitas with olive oil, sprinkle salt on top and toast them, either in a toaster oven or regular oven, set to 450˚ or so.  Keep a close eye on them so that they don't burn. When the chicken is done, slice it.

In a small jar, put two Tablespoons of the olive oil, all of the lemon juice and some salt and pepper. Put the lid on and shake it up. Put the salad greens in a large bowl, shake the dressing again and just before serving, pour it over the top.  Toss the salad, then divide it into bowls.  Also divide up the asparagus, peas, pitas and chicken into each bowl.  Serve right away and eat!

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Tagine

Khadesia's Tagine - march 22, 2010 (click here for just the recipe)

Tonight I made a tagine with chicken and sweet potatoes. My Moroccan friend Khadesia showed me how to cook this, so it is really her recipe. The best part of this dinner is the sweet potatoes. They steam on top of the other ingredients, which infuses them with spices. Khadesia usually makes this with frozen peas, but today I picked my first harvest of snap peas from our garden. I'll add those in at the last minute instead of frozen ones. 

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