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I’ve always called these latkes, but before writing this post I did some googling and there seems to be a big divided camp between what is a latke and what is a potato pancake.  I think potato pancakes has to be the more generic term, so that’s what I’m calling them here.  Plus, I feel like it would be an affront to Jewish people everywhere to title this post “Latkes with Bacon Applesauce.”  If you aren’t feeling ambitious, these are almost as good with some plain old applesauce or sour cream. 

Full recipe after the jump. (more…)

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Amazing Toffee

This post would have been handy a week or so ago when you were probably stressing about what to give those people in your life whom you sort of like, but who aren’t worth a  trip to the mall.   Oops, sorry.  I told you I’m not good at this blogging thing.  Well now that the season of giving is over, you should make this just for yourself and scarf it down before the New Year’s resolutions kick in.

If you aren’t familiar with candy making, this is a nice easy introduction.  And no candy thermometer is necessary. Basically you cook water, sugar and butter until it is about done (more on that below).  Then pour it out onto parchment paper.  Sprinkle with chocolate chips. Spread, then top with chopped pecans.  Let it cool, break it up.  Boom.  Toffee.  Details and better step by step instructions after the jump. (more…)

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The weather in Boston has been unseasonably warm these past few weeks, with the exception of a few days here and there, including this weekend. I cannot say that I miss the biting cold, chapped hands, and red, runny noses. However, the onset of icy winds makes a fine excuse to stay inside, curled up in front of the TV, with a steaming bowl of soup and a good book.

I found this recipe for Sweet Potato, Corn, and Jalapeño Bisque from the New York Times by way of The Wednesday Chef several years ago. I’ve since made it at least a couple dozen times. This soup takes under 30 minutes to make, is wallet-friendly, and makes the perfect take-to-work lunch or quick after-work dinner.



Sweet Potato, Corn, and Jalapeño Bisque

adapted from NY Times

1 tablespoon peanut oil

1/2 cup chopped onions

2 teaspoons minced garlic

3 medium sweet potatoes (about 2 1/2 pounds total), peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes

4 cups vegetable or chicken stock (Homemade or Better than Bouillon) (You can also make this vegan with vegetable stock)

1 medium jalapeño, seeded and finely chopped

1 cup fresh or frozen corn kernels

2 tablespoons molasses

kosher salt to taste

1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne

Black pepper to taste

Tiny pinch of ground cinnamon

Finely chopped scallions, green parts only.

1. Heat peanut oil over medium heat in a large heavy soup pot. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until translucent (about 3 minutes). Add stock and the sweet potato chunks and bring to a boil.

2. Reduce heat to a simmer, and cook until the potatoes are done (about 10-13 minutes). Purée sweet potato mixture using an immersion blender until smooth (you can also use a blender or food processor, working in batches).

3. Put soup over medium-low heat and stir in molasses, salt, pepper, cayenne, cinnamon, molasses, jalapeño, and corn. Heat until corn is warmed through. If you like a thinner soup you may add a little more stock and heat through.

4. Serve topped with scallions or chives.

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Over 3 years in fact.  So why come back now considering I never had a large reader base anyways?  Truth be told it has been a while since I made my Chicken Tortilla Soup, and I can’t find my recipe for it, so I wandered back over to my long-neglected blog. I’ve done this a few times, so I figure, if anything, I will at least always have my recipe box accessible to myself.

In 3 years a lot has changed. I started the blog out of sheer boredom. Three years ago I was a recent law school graduate, with no employment prospects in the midst of a recession, waiting patiently for my bar exam results. In short, I was unemployed with nothing better to do than cook all day, takes pictures of it, and write blog posts. Fortunately that all ended early 2009. I bounced around between a few awful temp jobs until I landed a “real job” which I’ve held down for the past couple years.

I still read blogs daily, although more recently they’ve been the shelter or wedding variety. Work, plus planning a wedding and living in a fixer upper doesn’t leave a lot of time for cooking, or blogging for that matter. But here I am, back, hoping to get into it again. Even though my life has been consumed with stripping wallpaper and dress shopping lately, I will keep the topics to the food. My house may be a DIY disaster, and my wedding needs emergency help from David Tutera, but I can still make a mean cheesecake.

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My post about pizza was only two entries ago, but my second attempt warranted its own post. Instead of baking two thick, bready pizzas in the oven, I was able to thinly stretch that same amount of dough into four thin-crust rounds to be cooked on the grill. Two pizzas were left simple with just homemade sauce and mozzarella. The third pizza I topped with goat cheese, mozzarella, caramelized onions, and grilled chicken. The fourth pizza was topped with sliced black olives, pepperocini, and chicken. Grilling the pizzas was quicker than oven baking and yielded a crispier crust.

The homemade pizza sauce is simply tomato paste, onions, wine, and spices. See the recipe here

Delicious caramelized onions

Before putting the dough on the grill, brush it with a bit of olive oil. Cook over high heat about 5 minutes, flip, and then top with sauce, cheese and toppings. Cook covered another 5minutes.

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This was floating around the internets and I was actually embarrassed at how few things I have tried. I consider myself pretty adventurous but I guess I have a lot to experience! Below I have bolded all the items I have eaten and crossed out everything I wouldn’t touch with a 10 foot pole.
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3. Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6. Black pudding
7. Cheese fondue

8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11. Calamari
12. Pho
13. PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi (I am not a fan of Indian or Middle Eastern food, I will probably never try this)
15. Hot dog from a street car
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18. Fruit wine made from something other than grapes
19. Steamed pork buns
20. Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22. Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras (I don’t care if it is all fancy pants… no).
24. Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27. Dulce de leche
28. Oysters
29. Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31. Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35. Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38. Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39. Gumbo

40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat (was downright the sickest thing I have ever tasted)
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more (I hate whisky, expensive or not)
46. Fugu (I’m not going to risk my life)
47. Chicken tikka masala (WTH is with all this Indian crap!?!)
48. Eel
49. Krispy Kreme original glazed donut
50. Sea urchin
51. Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53. Abalone
54. Paneer
55. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58. Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61. S’mores
62. Sweetbreads (see number 23)
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67. Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70. Chitterlings, or andouillette (Intestines, no thanks)
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini (tried both, never together)
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77. Hostess Fruit Pie
78. Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom Yum
82. Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87. Goulash
88. Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo
91. Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94. Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor (I’ve had plenty of lobster casseroles, but never this. I prefer my lobster plain old steamed).
98. Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Out of the 100, items on the list, I’ve eaten 54. There are 12 things I would never try. That leaves me a lot to experience.

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hi.

Well, it looks like everyone has a blog so I figured I would jump on the bandwagon. I recently completed law school and I am waiting (endlessly) to get my bar results so I can find a real job!  In the meantime, I have been doing what I love doing most, cooking. I have a zillion recipes written on recipe cards, saved to my computer, stored as links, etc. I am always sharing with others so I figured if I could put everything in one place that would help. So, here I am. I will try to update this as often as possible and keep new recipes coming!

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