Friday, October 31, 2008

stuffed cabbage

A few weeks ago, we went exploring in the Gourmet Ghetto section of Berkeley. It was a Saturday, which is one of the days that the Berkeley farmer's market is held. We wandered around a bit and found two awesome vendors. The first, Three Twins Ice Cream, sold organic ice cream sandwiches, and the second, Highland Hills Farm, had grass fed & finished beef. (They don't have a website.) We picked up 2 lbs of frozen ground beef, so here is our first non-vegetarian dish of the blog!

2 cloves of garlic, minced
1 small onion, diced
1 cup of cooked white rice
1 lb ground beef
salt & pepper to taste
1 head of napa cabbage
1 jar tomato basil pasta sauce
grated parmesan cheese

Chop off the white core of the nappage cabbage. In a large bowl, combine the garlic, onions, rice, beef, breadcrumbs and seasonings. Mix by hand to fully incorporate. Roll a small ball of the mixture in your hand, about the size of your palm. Take one leaf of the cabbage and wrap the mixture inside, tucking the sides in and rolling them under, like wrapping a burrito. Assemble the stuffed cabbage in shallow baking dish, like so:

Pour a jar of pasta sauce over the cabbage, covering it completely. Fill the dish with water, about halfway up. Sprinkle with cheese. Bake in the oven at 350 degrees for an hour and half.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

sesame kale


1 bunch of kale
2 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp sesame oil
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp soy sauce
1 dash cayenne pepper
black & white sesame seeds for garnish

Steam the kale. Stir together the wet ingredients and cayenne pepper. Toss together and garnish with sesame seeds. Serve cold or hot, with marinated tofu and white rice.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

weekly delivery 10/29

Hello! Our box this week:

A bunch of fingerling potatoes
1 bunch of kale

4 Bosc pears

4 Sugar Pie pumpkins
1 bunch of spinach

1 bulb of fennel

7 Red Jonagold apples

4 radishes
1 bunch of cayenne peppers
1 bunch of broccoli rabe

10 white button mushrooms (Yay!! -Katie)

Monday, October 27, 2008

fried rice


2 cups of white rice
4 1/2 cups of water
1/2 block extra firm tofu
3 heads of baby bok choy
4 eggs
1/4 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp sesame oil
1 1/2 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp canola oil
2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 1/2 tsp minced ginger

Cook the rice in a rice cooker- it takes 4 1/2 cups of water to cook 2 cups of rice in a rice cooker. Sear the tofu in a wok with soy sauce and sesame oil. When the rice is ready, add the rice and eggs to the wok and stir vigorously to disperse the ingredients around. Add the seasonings. When the egg is fully cooked, add the bok choy and sautee for another 5 minutes.

So delicious and easy- I went back for seconds.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

onion dip, arugula pesto

I don't think we mentioned this in our intro post, but Kenny & I both used to live in Philly before we moved out here. Since the Phillies are in the world series, we have been getting together with other former-Philadephians to watch the games. Here are two recipes I made to snack on while watching the Rays get trampled. GO PHILLIES!

Arugula pesto:
A variation on our previous arugula pesto recipe.

2 bunches arugula
1 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup pine nuts
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Blend in a food processor. Served with apple wedges.

Onion dip:
This recipe is based on Alton Brown's "Onion Dip from Scratch" recipe.

2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 cups onions, diced
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3/4 cup Vegenaise (or mayonnaise)
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp salt

Heat the olive oil in a pan and caramelize the onion with a 1/4 teaspoon of salt to help them sweat. Remove them from the heat and set aside to cool. Mix together the remaining ingredients, then the cooled onions. Refrigerate and stir again before serving.

Served with Lancaster hard pretzels!

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

weekly delivery 10/22

1 bunch of arugula
5 Red Jonagold apples

1 head of Napa cabbage

1 butternut squash
1 bunch of dinosaur kale
3 Starkrimson pears

10 white button mushrooms (which Katie is excited for and Kenny is not!)

1 head of green leaf lettuce (which Bunny should be excited for, although I'm not sure turtles can actually get excited?)
4 red skin potatoes
3 heads of baby bok choy
1 bunch of cayenne hot peppers

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

butternut squash gnocchi

Kenny allowed me to channel my inner Italian once more. I was really intimidated to make gnocchi, but also excited since it's definitely a step up from my usual cooking repertoire. This recipe was adapted from Italian Cooking & Living.

1 butternut squash, peeled and seeds removed, cubed
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for flouring counter and hands
1 cup parmesan cheese
2 egg yolks
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

White wine butter sauce:
4 Tbsp butter
1 sprig rosemary
2 Tbsp chardonnay
salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350. Place the squash on a baking sheet, drizzle with the olive oil, and season with salt. Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes, turning once. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Transfer to a food processor and pulse. (*Note- The squash can be roasted a day or two in advance.)

In a bowl, combine the squash puree, flour, cheese, egg yolks and nutmeg and mix to form a uniform dough. Knead the dough and form into a ball. Rip a hunk of dough off the ball and roll it piece into a 1-inch thick rope. Replenishing the flour on your board and hands when necesary, continue to form ropes until you have used up the dough ball. Using a knife, cut each rope into 1-inch pieces.

Meanwhile, bring a pot of water to a boil.

Next, melt the butter in a pan over medium heat. Add the rosemary and wine, cook until the wine has boiled off, but do not allow the sauce to brown.

When the water is at a rolling boiling, add the gnocchi and boil until the gnocchi rise to the surface, about 3 minutes. Remove the gnocchi using a slotted spoon, holding them over the pot until they have thoroughly drained (you may have to do this in batches), then add them to the butter sauce. Season with salt and pepper and toss to coat with the sauce. Garnish with a bit more cheese and serve.

This makes enough gnocchi for 4 servings. Uncooked gnocchi will keep frozen for 3 months.

Monday, October 20, 2008

fruit compote

We had just finished eating the potato gratin, and I (Kenny) got a severe sweet tooth craving. Sure, I could have gone to the corner store and bought candy, cookies, or an It's It, but that's just silly. We had some amazing pears and apples sitting right in front of my face, so I decided it was time to make some easy, but still decadent.

3 small ripe gala apples, cut into 1/2 dice
2 ripe bartlett pears, cut into 1/2 dice
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
1/4 cup chopped almonds
1/4 cup chopped dried apricots
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 Tbsp unsalted butter
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
pinch of salt

I preheated the oven to 350 degrees and buttered the inside of a pyrex loaf pan. Toss in all of the fruit and nuts, add the spices and mix. Top with sugar and dot the mixture with the remaining butter and bake uncovered for 20 minutes. Eat it as is, or top with ice cream. We even threw some crumbled pretzel pieces on top to add a little salt and crunch since my Grandmother sent a Lancaster County care package complete with Hammond's Pretzels (my favorite) this week.

potato and onion gratin

1 1/2 pounds of potatoes (brown skinned varieties)
1 medium onion
1 cup grated Parrano cheese (another Gouda, or Swiss, or Comte would also be great)
1 cup Parmesan
3/4 cup heavy cream
salt & pepper
1 cup panko bread crumbs
1 bunch chives, roughly chopped
2 Tbsp butter

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel potatoes and rinse well. Cut into 1/4 inch slices- if you have a mandolin it will be much faster, but even though we do I chose to do it by hand mostly because I didn't want to do more dishes. Regardless, it only took a few minutes. Cut your onion into 1/4 inch slices as well. Add potatoes and onion to a pot of water and put on the stove on high heat. Once the water reaches a boil, allow to continue for 3 minutes, or until the potatoes are fork tender. Strain and get ready to layer!

Add half of the potato and onion mixture to a Pyrex baking dish or gratin dish. Top with salt and pepper, and 1/4 cup each of the Parmesan and shredded Parrano. Add the rest of the potatoes and onions, and then add the heavy cream. Top it off with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and the rest of the shredded cheese and put it in the oven for 20 minutes after loosely covering the top with foil.

While the gratin is cooking, melt the butter in a sauce pan. Once melted, remove from heat and add the breadcrumbs, chives, and the remaining Parmesan cheese. When the gratin has reached 20 minutes of cooking time, remove the foil covering and add the breadcrumb mixture. Return to the oven and allow to cook for 5 more minutes. Remove from the oven and let the gratin set for 2 to 3 minutes before serving.

p.s.: Check out It's a fun little program to turn your digital photos into polaroids.

Sunday, October 19, 2008


Ok, whatever. You can think whatever you want of this blog. Fucking hippies. Fucking tofu and red pepper flake all over the place. Whatever. I don't care. All you need to know is that this recipe is serious, restaurant quality oh-damn-I-just-popped-a-boner type shit and you should try it, for rills.

4 hand made corn tortillas
1 can black beans
1 avocado
1 acorn squash
1 onion, sliced 1/4 inch
2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
4 small peppers (a mix of red and green), julienned
1 cup shredded cheese (a mix of cheddar and jack)
your favorite fresh salsa
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 Tbsp taco seasoning
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
salt and pepper
cooking spray

Half your acorn squash and spray with cooking spray. Season with salt and pepper and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven face down for 45 minutes. Scoop out the pulp with a spoon and mash in a sauce pot or saute pan set to medium heat that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Add black beans and all spices. Mix and season to taste with salt and pepper. Arrange 4 corn tortillas on a sprayed cookie sheet and add squash and bean mixture like so:

Add onions to a sprayed saute pan over medium heat. Cook until translucent, approximately 5 minutes. Add peppers and cook an additional 5 minutes. Top tortillas with the pepper and onion mixture, and then top with the shredded cheese blend. Place in the already preheated 350 degree oven for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melty and delicious. Serve with your favorite fresh salsa (ours is Casa Sanchez Hot) and some sliced avocado. Totally amazing!

Friday, October 17, 2008

best salad ever

Tonight we made huge salads from the head of romaine lettuce, 1 red pear, 1 green pear, 1 apple, some pine nuts and marinated baked tofu. Dress it with a little Annie's Goddess dressing and cut up some fresh whole wheat baguette... uhhh this is the best salad ever.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

weekly delivery 10/15

Today, we received:

2 butternut squash
1 head of romaine lettuce
lots of potatoes
3 Red Star pears
1 bunch of arugula
5 gala apples
5 zucchini
4 onions
2 yellow heirloom tomatoes
4 Bartlett pears

stuffed squash

This dish can be served hot or cold. If you plan to serve it cold, like a rice salad, you can prepare the squash and rice a day in advance.

2 acorn squash
1 cup white rice
1 cup wild rice
1/2 an onion diced
1 package Gimme Lean sausage style
12 small unsulphered dried apricots
1/2 cup walnuts
2 + 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 Tbsp orange juice
2 tsp soy sauce

Cut each squash in half length wise and scoop out any seeds. Spray inside with your Misto or cooking spray and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 45 minutes. Meanwhile, prepare each variety of rice. Wild rice needs 3 cups of water for each cup of rice, while the white rice needs only 2 1/2. There are rice mixes that could be substitutes, Lundberg farms makes some that are pretty darn tasty. When both rices are finished cooking, about 40 minutes, mix both in a bowl and add 2 Tbs. of olive oil and mix well to incorporate so the rice does not become sticky. Set aside and allow to cool.

Heat up a little olive oil in a pan and cook the sausage, breaking it down into bite sized pieces with a spoon or spatula while it cooks. Add the chopped onion and allow to cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.

Rough chop the apricots and walnuts and combine with the sausage and onion mixture. Add them to the rices mixture. Add soy sauce and orange juice, mix well. Season with salt and pepper and place in the refrigerator. When the squash and rice are cool to the touch, stuff the squash and serve!

Monday, October 13, 2008

sweet versus spicy

So, we had a bunch of great fresh veggies left at the beginning of the week, and a block of tofu, but weren't in the mood for a stir fry. Do we want something spicy? Salty? Sweet? Savory? We couldn't really decide so we put it all into one dish- a little yin and yang if you will...


Spicy tofu:
1/2 block super firm tofu, cut into quarters, either triangles or rectangles
1/4 cup chili powder
1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper

Sweet Tofu:
1/2 block of super firm tofu, cut into quarters, either triangles or rectangles
1/2 cup soy sauce
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp garlic powder

Sweet Tofu: Combine liquid ingredients and garlic, mix well. Marinate the tofu in a container for 30 minutes to an hour. Make a little foil bowl on a cookie sheet (see above) and pour in the tofu and marinade.

Spicy Tofu: Combine all spices and coat each side of the tofu with the rub. Place on foil (sprayed with olive oil) on the same cookie sheet with the sweet tofu. Bake both together in a preheated 350 degree oven for 18 minutes, flipping once.


Spicy Green Beans:
1 lb green beans, rinsed and trimmed
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp minced garlic
1 Tbsp minced ginger
2 Tbsp water
1 tsp (or more) red pepper flakes
salt and pepper to taste

Orange Napa Cabbage:
1 head napa cabbage, cut into 1 inch slices
1 Tbsp canola oil
1 Tbsp orange juice
1 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp black and white toasted sesame seeds
salt and pepper

Orange Napa Cabbage: Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add cabbage and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Make sure to pay attention to sauteing cabbage as it is delicate and may burn quickly, just keep turning it and adjust the heat if necessary. The cabbage will lose about two-thirds of its volume after 5 to 7 minutes. Add the orange juice, drizzle with honey, and toss gently to incorporate. Remove from heat and reseason with salt and pepper. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and serve.

Spicy Green Beans: Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add green garlic, ginger, and chili flakes and saute for 1 to 2 minutes. Add green beans and toss until covered with spicy garlic and ginger goodness. Add water and cover, cook for 6 minutes until beans are steamed and bright green, checking every 2 minutes or so and giving a toss or stir to avoid burning. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Here it is: Orange Napa Cabbage topped with Spicy Tofu, served with Sweet Tofu over Spicy Green Beans!

p.s.: There was an interesting article on CSA farms on today. Check it out.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

ranchero sauce

We are on a serious huevos rancheros binge lately. We ate them for breakfast both Saturday and Sunday and the craving is still not satisfied. So while the seitan stew was cooking, we decided to also make the most of our tomatoes and make our own ranchero sauce! Oh man, can I just tell you the entire apartment smelled like heaven when we were cooking this?


1/2 Tbsp red pepper flakes
1 Tbsp chili powder
1 red pepper, diced
1 green pepper, diced
1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno, diced
1 pint cherry tomatoes, stemmed and halved*
6 small tomatoes, chopped*
1 Tbsp butter

(*Note: This could also be done with 2 lbs. of any ripe tomatoes, or a 28 oz. can of peeled and diced tomatoes if fresh ones are not in season.)

Melt butter in a sauce pan set on medium heat. Add onions, and peppers, and cook until soft, approx. 4 to 6 minutes. Add tomatoes, and spices and simmer on low until sauce thickens and tomatoes are broken down, about 35-40 minutes. Now it is time for huevos rancheros, or enchiladas!

The sauce had a lovely sweetness to it because of the cherry tomatoes. To assemble the huevos rancheros we heated up four corn tortillas and layered each plate with one tortilla, two fried eggs, cheese, the other tortilla, ranchero sauce and more cheese. Served with a side of black bean and potato hash. The corn tortillas we used are handmade locally here in San Francisco. If you can find hand made tortillas you should definitely spend the extra dollar or two for them, you will not be sorry.

p.s.: This photo was taken with my new Ego lights which arrived today. Not bad, huh!?

p.p.s.: The night after we made this recipe we ended up going out and upon arriving home I (Kenny) was hungry. I took the remaining black bean and potato hash, put it on a tortilla, covered it with the ranchero sauce and a sprinkle of cheese and put it into the oven on 350 for 12 minutes. It was one of the tastiest late night snacks I have had in a while, and will definitely have me making this sauce again very soon. I cannot wait to try it on enchiladas!

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

seitan stew

4 Tbsp butter
4 Tbsp flour
1 onion, 1/2" dice
2 California bay leaves
1 head of celery, 1/2" rough chop
5 small carrots, 1/2" rough chop
8 small potatoes, cut into approx. 1" pieces
2 packages of White Wave seitan
4 cups of vegetable broth
3 Tbsp 2x concentrate tomato paste
1 cup water
salt & pepper to taste
1 bunch arugula, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp dried thyme
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 tsp liquid smoke

This recipe starts with a traditional roux. Melt the butter in large pot over medium heat and stir in the flour, stirring constantly until it is incorporated, and smells less like flour and more like buttered toast. Like so:

Next, add the mirapoux (carrot, celery and onion) and bay leaves. Saute 4 to 6 minutes until onions begin to turn translucent.

Add the seitan, potatoes, vegetable broth, water and 2 Tbsp of tomato paste. Simmer for 45 minutes.

When the vegetables are tender, add the arugula, remaining one Tbsp of tomato paste, herbs and spices to taste. Be very careful with the liquid smoke! It will give the stew a nice meaty flavor but don't go overboard- a few drops will do the trick! Serves six.

weekly delivery 10/08

Here is what came in our box today:

3 acorn squash

3 bulbs of garlic
2 bosc pears and 5 starkrimson pears
5 fuji apples
4 peppers
1 bunch of rosemary

1 lb of green beans
lots of potatoes
one beautiful head of napa cabbage

5 slicing tomatoes
1 bunch arugula

Sunday, October 5, 2008

lemon shallot vinaigrette

Tonight we ate our leftover spicy pumpkin soup and threw together a salad. I know leftovers are not "blog-worthy" but I thought the dressing Kenny made for our salad tonight was fantastic so here it is!

1 shallot, minced
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 tsp dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

Mince one large shallot bulb, put all other ingredients into a bowl or shaker. Mix 'em up, season and serve.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

weekly delivery 10/01

This week we switched from the Capay Valley box to the Regular box, honestly because we were kinda getting sick of okra and eggplant leftovers.

Here's what came today:

1 bunch crimson grapes
5 slicing tomatoes
1 bunch of radishes
1 big winter squash

A ton of potatoes

2 yellow onions

5 gala apples
1 pint of cherry tomatoes
5 starkrimson pears

I forgot to photograph the baby red leaf lettuce originally, so here is a photo of my tortoise eating some! Isn't he the cutest darling you've ever seen?

Over the weekend Kenny and I wandered into to the new CB2 store that just opened in Union Square and I wanted to buy everything in the store, but I settled for some just placemats to add some color and pattern to my photos. I like them all except I think the green- it does weird things to the color of the food.

I also bought these lights to help with shooting at night. Every food photographer's #1 rule is to shoot using natural light. Too bad for me cuz I'm pretty much always shooting at night, with the exception of the weekly delivery photos which I try to take as soon as the box comes Wednesday morning. I'm super excited to start experimenting with the Ego lights, they should be here next week!