I hear a lot that some people are afraid to cook fish at home, but fresh fish is actually one of the easiest things you can make. When I moved into my first apartment, I was completely new to cooking and I harbored some of these same fears. I figured salmon would be my best bet since I was pretty familiar with it, plus it completely changes color when it's been cooked. I went on a bit of a googling frenzy and I ended up in the possession of one of the easiest, most delicious salmon recipes I've ever tried (still to this day).
So here I am again! After quite a long hiatus from this blog, my life has begun to regain something resembling order and I can fit these updates back into my schedule again. The boxes have been unpacked (except for the ones that probably never will be) and the new semester has started to kick in. My new kitchen is almost sorted out, complete with a brand new range.
It's bound to happen. Every year, the temperature drops significantly over night, and then one of us gets a cold. Blech. Everybody knows that home made chicken soup makes you feel better when you're sick, even if it's only helping you mentally. If you've got some kind of full-time commitment like work or school (or screaming children), you may think that making a pot of chicken soup from scratch is an impossibility given your super-busy schedule. WRONG, IDIOT. JEEZ. DON'T YOU KNOW ANYTHING? Um, I'm kidding, but seriously, I've learned along the way how to cut some serious chicken-souping corners and still come out with a huge pot of something that tastes just as good as chicken soup from complete scratch.
I've noticed that a lot of blogs go through the cliche where weeks pass by without a single post, followed by some sort of sorry explanation to account for the laziness. Well, this blog is no exception, but I promise I have a great reason!
Making soup used to seem mysterious and time-consuming, but now I've come to the conclusion that it's got to be difficult to screw it up. Boil water with something to make stock, or buy premade stock and save yourself buttloads of time. Then you just add anything you like. I've gone through those steps multiple times and I've yet to come out with anything inedible or gross.
Don't get me wrong, I LOVE making a big ol' pot of meaty chili and letting it slowly simmer together. However, it's not always practical to pull one together from thin air. For instance, you may not always have fresh beef or its defrosted alternative ready to go at a moments notice. This vegetarian chili can be thrown together from stuff that can be kept in your cabinets indefinitely (almost), takes about half as much time from start to finish, and tastes pretty darn good if you ask me.
I'm not sure if this is a universal statement or not, but when I go back to school, my stress level skyrockets. The amount of time I have for planning and creating elaborate meals shrinks, and I pretty much just want to curl up in a ball and have somebody take care of everything for me. Since I don't live in fantasy land, I have to make due with what I can. I think this semester I'm really going to try making quasi-healthy cooking a priority so that I don't get on the train to Bloatsville, USA.
Usually for Keith's birthday, I ask him what he would like me to make him for dinner. This year he decided he wanted to eat swordfish, and all I can say is thank goodness for food blogs. Prior to that, my entire fish-cooking repertoire consisted of salmon, haddock, cod, and tilapia. That's it. Swordfish has always seemed like something out of my league. Why? Because I told myself so, and then it becomes the truth. I did a little food blog searching and came up with a recipe that seemed relatively simple to prepare.
I think it would be a lot more difficult to live lactose-free if there weren't all of these wonderful products on the market that cater to people with issues or lifestyles similar to mine. Replicating cheese is obviously a HUGE deal, as tons of childhood comfort foods revolve around this ingredient. Some of the available products I've encountered, however, have been either baffling or downright gross.
I can't believe that summer is winding down already! It's almost time to bring out the warmer clothes and spend hundreds of dollars on required textbooks that I'll probably open once or twice. I can still cling to the warm weather for a few more weeks and experiment with the last of the season's cold dishes that I'll have in my repertoire for next summer.
I realized recently that it had been a while since I spent an afternoon in the kitchen, relaxing and preparing a dinner that takes a little more care and effort than the usual throw-together-and-devour meal. As I was pondering this idea, I came across some beautiful photos on tastespotting of vegetable tian, a French casserole composed of rounds of vegetables layered over a bed of sautéed onions and garlic. As I researched this dish, I found that most of the recipes were more or less the same. They all seemed to involve potatoes, tomatoes, and zucchini at the very least, with eggplant and yellow summer squash occasionally present. Many of the recipes topped the casserole with melty gruyere cheese, which I would love to taste, but obviously that isn't an option.
12 years ago, in the dead of night, Jill and Georgeanne concocted a chocolate salad in a paroxysm of culinary creativity. That night, two artists were born.
Now separated by an ocean and several miles of land-Jill lives in Connecticut, Georgeanne in Paris- their culinary habits have been shaped by their respective environments.
Tiny "kitchens" without ovens, grocery stores with limited stock, angry neighbors, lactose intolerance, picky boyfriends and wily cats are just a few of the obstacles that have nurtured their growth as cooks and enhanced culinary creativity.
From delightfully aromatic cheese platters to superbowl party finger food, here Jill and Georgeanne regale tales of excitingly esculent adventures.