Monday, August 31, 2009


My worst love is the Olive Garden. I LOVE the minestrone and breadsticks and would eat it every meal if it was followed by cheesesteaks. But for serious, summer in SF is time for soup, because well... its freaking cold! So we made some awesome minestrone and have been eating for days with some local crusty bread. I have been topping mine with grated parm and nut yeast, but that's just me. Our minestrone puts the OG to shame... which is where the OG belongs- in a deep, dark pit of fake Italian shame. Anyhoo...

3 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, 1/4" dice
4 ribs celery, 1/4" dice
3 carrots, 1/4" dice
2 Tbsp double concentrate tomato paste
5 large heirloom tomatoes, chopped roughly
1 can chick peas, rinsed and drained
4 cups vegetable stock
1 cup water
1/2 lb green beans, trimmed, cut into 1/4" segments
1 cup pasta (We used Eden Organic Alphabet pasta)
2 Tbsp Italian seasoning
salt & pepper to taste

Get a big pot and turn on the heat to low. Throw in your oil, mirepoix (onions, carrots and celery), a pinch of S&P and saute until your entire apartment smells good, about 15 minutes, stirring between songs on your ipod, every 5 minutes or so. Add in the tomato paste and cook for an additional 5 minutes to "toast" the tomato paste and bring out the tomato flavor.

Add the chickpeas, heirlooms, stock and water, cover the pot and go have a drink. Heck, have 3, you have 45 minutes. Get a separate pot of water boiling for your pasta. When the 45 minutes are up, the tomatoes will be nicely broken down in the soup and you can start cooking your pasta in the other pot. Toss the green beans and Italian seasoning into the soup pot, taste and adjust the S&P. Now you need to cut your bread and get it into the toaster oven as well. When the pasta finishes cooking, drain and add it to the soup, and then thank me in the morning. Soup is awesome!

Sunday, August 30, 2009

fig spread, pear & brie flatbread

OH MY FREAKING GOD I WANT TO EAT THIS ALL DAY LONG. Heck, I would bathe in this if Katie let me. Mmmmmm delicious sweet, savory and buttery loofa. I digress. We both had some ideas on how we wanted to use the pears, figs, and some brie on top of some crusty bread, and those ideas progressed over a few hours and this is what came out. If we have a party, or attend a pot luck soon while figs are in season, I guarantee that this is what we will be bringing on top of some crostini. It was easy, relatively quick for making a fruit spread, and completely blew our minds.

2 Tbsp olive oil
10 figs, trimmed and cut into eighths
1/4 white or yellow onion, 1/4" dice
2 pinches dried thyme
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 pear cored, thinly sliced
1/2 lb brie, sliced (We used Fromager d'Affinois)
BIG and CRUSTY bread
salt to taste

Heat olive oil in a small sauce pan on medium-low heat. Toss in your onions and go take a break; watch some TV, do some dishes, make fun of Rachel Ray, whatever makes you happy. Just stir them every 5 minutes or so. Once the onions are caramelized, about 16-20 minutes, add the figs, thyme, lemon juice and a pinch of salt, cover and repeat the exact same process again; stirring every 5 minutes while saying "Yumm-O!" in silly voices until the figs are also caramelized and the whole product looks like fig spread, approximately 20 minutes.

Smear the resulting product on to some thick sliced crusty bread, top with sliced pears and brie and put it in the toaster oven for a few minutes until the brie gets melty. Seriously the best thing I have put mouth in a hot minute. I have eaten it 3 times since we made it, and everyday its more amazing than the last. I really want to eat this everyday until I have a heart attack.

zucchini and squash "pasta" with alfredo sauce

For this light dish, we used a romano cheese that was studded with black peppercorns, recommended to us by the super knowledgeable and always on-point Hazel Rue!

3 zucchini
3 summer squash
2 Tbsp butter
2 Tbsp all purpose flour
2 cups heavy cream
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1/4 cup peppercorn romano
1/2 cup grated parmesan
salt & pepper to taste

Using a mandolin, slice the zucchini and squash into matchsticks. If you don't own a mandolin, just do your best to thinly slice them. Melt the butter in a large sauce pan and stir in the flour to form a roux. Stir constantly to incorporate the flour until the roux starts to smell like buttered toast, about 4 to 6 minutes. Next, add in the heavy cream slowly to incorporate with the roux. While the cream is thickening, add in the garlic. When the sauce has reached your desired consistency, stir in the cheeses and season to taste. Add the zucchini and squash, cover and cook over medium high heat until the veggies are heated through, about 6 or 7 minutes.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

weekly delivery 08/26

In this week's box:

3 red beets
1 honeydew melon
3 Bartlett pears
2 zucchini
1 bunch dried lavender
3 tiny summer squash

2 heirloom tomatoes
1 pint Mission figs
3 tiny lemon cucumber
1 bunch fresh rosemary
4 yellow onion
1 cucumber
1 bunch green okra

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Using tomatoes with varying degrees of ripeness will not only add color to your panzanella, but also a lovely contrast in textures. Ripe red tomatoes will release their juices and help moisten the dish, while green tomatoes offer a delightful crisp bite similar to that of an apple.

1 loaf day old bread, cut into bite sized cubes (We used Semifreddi's country levain)
4 heirloom tomatoes, sliced into wedges
1 clove garlic, minced
5 sweet peppers, julienned
1 pint fresh mozzarella bocconcini
2-3 Tbs olive oil
salt & pepper

Once you have everything prepped, toss it all in a large bowl, drizzle with olive oil and season generously with salt & pepper. Refrigerate for one hour before serving so that all the flavors meld together. Got some basil, red onion or cucumber laying around? They'd all make great additions!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

cabbage and carrot slaw

1 small cabbage, shredded
1 large head of romaine lettuce, shredded
4 carrots, shredded
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1/4 cup coconut milk
juice of 1 lime
1 Tbsp mixed black and white sesame seeds
salt to taste

This salad was SUPER tasty! It takes your average everyday cole slaw to a whole new level!
Just combine all of the vegetables, mix and then add the coconut milk and lime juice. Add salt to taste. Top your pulled pork sandwich, tacos, or just eat it right out of the bowl. Oh my gosh, so good. I finished ALL the leftovers for lunch the next day.

BBQ skewers

A list of things I really enjoy would include salty cheese, figs, and anything smothered in hoisin sauce. Add the word grilled to any of the above and I'm in heaven.


Fig & haloumi skewers:
1 pint figs, trimmed and cut in half
1/2 lb haloumi cheese, cubed

Eggplant, tofu & red onion skewers:
3 Japanese eggplant, cut into 1" chunks
1 block super firm tofu, cut into 1" chunks
1 red onion, also cut into large chunks
Hoisin sauce

After we assembled all of the skewers, I cooked them on the hot side of the grill for about 3-4 minutes on each side. The tofu and eggplant skewers got a lathering of Hoisin sauce with each turn. So simple and easy but so ridiculously amazing tasting. While eating these I put the contents of one of the tofu skewers on a warm corn tortilla and topped it with our carrot and cabage slaw, and it was bliss. Follow it up with the fig and haloumi for dessert? Out of this world. They were a total hit with the friends that we had over for dinner. We will definitely be making these again!

melon salsa

1 cantaloupe, 1/4" dice
1 avocado, 1/4" dice
1/2 red onion, 1/4" dice
2 Tbsp cilantro, roughly chopped
juice of 2 limes
1 jalapeno, finely diced (You can remove the seeds if you don't want it too spicy.)
salt to taste

What to do with all of this melon? While just snacking on it is great, we decided it was time to put it to another use (it also helped that there were people coming over for dinner!), so we made some salsa! Just cut and mix all of the ingredients together, add the lime juice and give it a nice stir, carefully though as not to crush all the delicious avocado chunks. Serve with some tasty chips and get down! It has a great blend of sweet, salty, spicy, and creamy that really explodes on your taste buds.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

happy blogoversary!

Woo!!! We've been blogging for one year! To celebrate I bought a whole bunch of new backdrops from Pink Chalk Fabrics. Get ready for some color, folks.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

weekly delivery 08/19

Super colorful box this week:

1 melon
2 yellow crookneck squash
4 Bartlett pears (oops, I already ate one)
1 bunch carrots

4 sweet gypsy peppers
3 lipstick peppers
3 heirloom tomatoes
5 yellow onions

1 zucchini
1 bunch Italian flat leaf parsley
1 pint figs
3 Japanese eggplant

Saturday, August 15, 2009


Not only do we constantly have food on the brain, we also love to watch any and all TV shows about food, including The Next Food Network Star. The winner this year, Melissa D'Arabian, made ratatouille for her last elimination challenge and mentioned a helpful mnemonic device she uses to ensure all the vegetables are cooked perfectly: EZPOT. That stands for eggplant, zucchini, peppers, onions and tomatoes- the order in which you need to add each ingredient into the pot. Well it just so happened that inside the box this week were all the ingredients you need to make ratatouille! Uh, assuming you still have some onions left over from last week that is.

2 Tbsp olive oil
4 sweet peppers, seeded and cut into chunks
1 onion, sliced
5 tomatoes, seeded and cut into chunks
1 eggplant, peeled and cut into chunks
2 summer squash, sliced
3 pattypan squash, cut into chunks
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
salt, pepper & 2 tsp herbs du provence

Follow the EZPOT- or in this case ESPOGT. Doesn't have quite the same ring. Heat the oil in a large pot and add the eggplant. Allow to cook just until it begins to soften, then add the squash. When the squash has softened, throw in the peppers. After the peppers start to soften, next up are the onions and garlic. Finally, add in the tomatoes when the onions are translucent. Season generously with salt, pepper and herbs du provence. Cover the pot and cook over medium heat for one hour. We served with some polenta, to which we added 1/4 lb Montasio cheese.

Friday, August 14, 2009

chipotle peach seitan

Honestly, I think this is the best thing we've made in a while. The photo doesn't do it justice. Sweet peaches and smoky chipotle are in perfect harmony. Slather on some garlic aioli and top with avocado and you've got yourself one hell of a sandwich! The kind of sandwich that makes you mumble "Damn, this is good!" while you've got a big bite of it in your mouth. Didn't your mother teach you not to talk with your mouth full?!

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 peaches, pitted and sliced into eighths
2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
2 packages seitan, cut into thin strips
1/4 cup ketchup
1.5 Tbsp brown sugar
1/8 tsp liquid smoke

Heat the olive oil in a pan over medium-low heat. Add in the peaches and chipotles and cook until the peaches begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add in the seitan and stir until heated through. Next add the ketchup, brown sugar and liquid smoke and cover the pan. Allow to simmer for about 10 minutes until everything is hot and moist. (Ha! Hot & moist. I'm a 12 year old boy.) Toast your bread, spread on some garlic aioli or Vegenaise, top with the chipotle peach seitan and then with avocado. If you can resist, allow to cool slightly before devouring. Makes enough for 4 sandwiches, or ditch the bread and serve over rice.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

weekly delivery 08/12

Here's what we received from our CSA this week:

1 bunch purple basil
3 yellow peaches
1 pint blueberries
2 yellow summer squash
3 patty pan squash
4 sweet gypsy peppers

1 gala melon
1 bunch grapes
1 globe eggplant
9 heirloom tomatoes

1 pint strawberries
1 head red leaf lettuce

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

slow cooker veggie curry

Ever since we ate at Vij's in Vancouver we have been dying for more Indian fare. The problem with good curry is that it takes time, usually lots of it. Luckily we have a slow cooker! We started it in the morning before we went to work, and then finished it up when we got home. The long simmer time was able to really infuse the tofu with lots of flavor, and give it a nice firm texture.


1 block super firm tofu, cubed
2 onions, sliced
3 heirloom tomatoes, seeded and chopped
1/2 pint cherry tomatoes, sliced in half
2 Tbsp curry powder
4 cups water
1/4 cup vegetarian chicken broth powder
1 medium head cauliflower, broken into florets
1/2 pound green beans, ends trimmed, and cut into 1 inch pieces
1/4 cup chopped cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp. canola oil
2 Tbsp. garam masala powder
salt and pepper to taste

Add onions, tomatoes and tofu into your slow cooker. Whisk the chicken broth powder into the water then pour into the slow cooker. Add the curry powder and cook on low for 6 hours. Start a large pot on the stove on medium heat, and add the canola oil. With a slotted spoon remove tofu, tomatoes, and onions from the liquid and put them into the pot on the stove. Reserve the extra liquid on the side. Toss in the cauliflower, coconut milk, lime juice, and garam masala; cover and cook for 6-7 minutes until the cauliflower is almost cooked through. Add in the green beans, and a little of the reserved cooking liquid if necessary. Cover again, and cook for 4-5 minutes until green beans are finished cooking. Stir in the cilantro, and season with salt and pepper.

We served this with long grain white rice that we added 6 cardamom pods, and about 15 coriander seeds to in the rice cooker. It was super flavorful and really paired well with the curry. The leftover cooking liquid from the slow cooker can be used for a lot of things, making rice, another curry, or some lentil daal; which is what we tried, except I forgot about it and it didn't come out so well. Meh, next time.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

weekly delivery 08/05

So excited to get our box this week and get back in the kitchen! Hell yeah, let's do the damn thing!

3 hearts romaine lettuce
1 gala melon
1 bunch Bing cherries
1 bunch broccoli
1 bunch purple basil
4 yellow onions
1 portobello mushroom
1 pint blueberries

1 pint cherry tomatoes
3 heirloom tomatoes
1 bunch seedless grapes

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

we're back!

We have returned from our vacation and are so looking forward to our next CSA delivery tomorrow! You can check out some photos (mostly food & beer) of our trip on my Flickr.

Monday, August 3, 2009

interactive seasonal ingredient map

Check out this interactive map from Epicurious. Click on the month and location you are interested in and a list of seasonal fruits & veggies will pop up. Explore further with descriptions, recipes & tips for each of the individual ingredients.