the concrete jungle.

i just returned from 36 hours in new york, none of them north of 4th street. report to follow.


the best.

i absolutely love chard. and it's so pretty. are y'all eating it? it's really just the best. the best of the greens for certain but i bet it could win in other categories, too.

everyone* is asleep right now.

last sunday. half of a grapefruit. swiss chard with sauteed with olive oil and mushrooms. whole wheat with cheddar and a fried egg. interested pup.

*everyone = casey, chloe, huck.

inspired by.

so into the southern foods bracket. i had forgotten that things like moon pies existed until i voted for them in the first round of the bracket. and then casey and i stopped by the beer after our bike ride on thursday and i saw them on the counter and had to have one. i am not even sure casey had ever eaten one before.

for those who don't know, it's thin layers of cake with marshmallow in-between and covered in chocolate. if you made it at home, it would be decadent, but the packaged, store-bought variety is really simple. sugar sugar sugar.

and as far as southern foods go, it doesn't compare to the goo goo cluster. or blue bell ice cream.


wednesday's leftover lunch: the remains of the wheat bread with avocado and a fried egg. salad of bibb lettuce (or boston, i can't remember), carrots, raisins, and pepitas. leftover pasta, a rift on a recipe from what katie ate, the book not the website, borrowed all the way from louisiana via inter-library loan. it's got peas, pinenuts, asiago and reggiano cheeses, roasted tomatoes, loads of oregano and salt and pepper, a bit of a cream sauce.


with econometrics on the side.

monday's lunch:
toasted wheat with avocado, tomato, cucumber, and cheddar. two oatmeal raisin cookies. salad of carrots, bibb lettuce, pepitas, and golden raisins with a dressing made of olive oil, pepper, salt, and sushi vinegar.


casey's mama gifted me a kitchen scale for my birthday. it's pretty awesome. i'd been wanting one and then this adorable red one showed up on my doorstep. (there's a matching apron but that's to come later.)

we tested out its abilities by making ice coffee in the chemex.
we read loads of recipes for doing this in the chemex and we'd done it before! in the end, we followed this japanese brewed iced coffee recipe. i've got a metal kone filter so it brews a bit differently, but it's awesome because you don't have all that filter waste. 

cold brew tends to be weaker than i want. i am not sure why. even though we ran the water through the grounds twice. we ended up drinking the coffee with milk. 
and, we re-used the grounds to cold brew in a jar because the coffee was so weak. it was not terrible--about as weak/strong as what we made in the chemex.

but the scale was amazing.


i wanted barbecue. i mean, i didn't want to eat pulled pork (it's NC) or brisket (like in texas); i just wanted the taste of barbecue sauce. yes, i recognize that is not the same thing.

brace yourself: i made a barbecue-like sandwich out of tvp. i took a cup and a third of hot vegetable broth and added paprika, garlic, cumin, and chopped onion to it. i added in all of the tvp i had (probably about a cup) and almost a cup of barbecue sauce. it quickly becomes a sloppy joe sort of substance.

was it the best thing i ever made? no. not really. but we ate it on toasted buns with grilled onions and even more sauce and it was delicious. and some corn. oh, yes.

not delicious? the sweet potatoes pictured above. they went into the garbage uneaten. i had frozen them because i had received what seemed like a zillion in my fall CSA and i could not eat them all. we pulled them out and defrosted them and roasted them. i thought i'd smash them but they were unsmashable. i can't get into it, but it was a total fail.

it's almost passover.

means afternoon coffee with tina's mandelbread.


this one i know.

spicy collard greens. coffee. homemade whole wheat with cheddar and a fried egg.

perfect. simple. lunch.

bread and breader.

earlier in the week, i mentioned that i made smitten's whole wheat sandwich bread. given the aforementioned lack of bread flour, i substituted one of the cups of bread flour for all-purpose (i did have a couple of cups). additionally, i didn't have instant yeast and used active dry yeast anyhow. no problem, even given the discussions about the reasoning for each in the internets.

photographs of the rise:

it's a great sandwich bread, but it's not tasty enough to eat alone, sadly. i miss the rye. and i am too lazy to deal with sourdough and the starter--we'll hope the boyfriend will take care of that while he's in town this week.


i borrowed cookfight from the library (inter-library loan never ceases to amaze) because i love kim severson. the book is pretty simple and i didn't cook anything from it really, but i was a bit inspired by an easy jam recipe in the children's section. go figure.

in my freezer, there was probably one-third of a bag of frozen strawberries, gathering frost. in my refrigerator, there was probably one-half of a carton of blueberries, never to be eaten because i kept forgetting them and because blueberries are not my favorite.

i defrosted those strawberries, threw sugar all over them, and mashed the blueberries into the mixture. in a small pot, i cooked them with some lemon juice (maybe one-third of a lemon), until it reduced to a jam-like substance. after it cooled, i scooped it into a jar and placed it in the fridge.

is it the best thing i've ever made? no. but it's pretty delicious.

i really need to be better about posting.

or writing down the contents of my sandwiches. this is march 6th. here's what i do know.

  • greasy garbanzo beans. i cannot ever get enough of these beans. the canned garbanzo beans are too smushy for things other than hummus, so dry is best. but you'll coat them in olive oil, sea salt, and crushed red pepper. A DREAM. seriously.
  • beets with pecorino. i had some beets for way too long and decided to peel and roast them in a bit of water and then threw them in the fridge for that later date when i wanted them. that date was march 6th and i remember them being perfect. 
  • coffee. obviously.
  • no clue on the sandwich. but that's wheat bread. i would be the worst detective.


so i randomly bought some veggie burgers the other day. this is something i, pretty much, never buy. they are never great and oftentimes, i end up feeling like i could make them myself. which is something that will happen on another day. not today. or this week.

of course i figured that smitten had a recipe for hamburger buns: light brioche burger buns. i decided that those were them, THE buns.

a few concessions in the recipe.

  1. i did not have any bread flour at home so i substituted all-purpose flour instead.
  2. i messed up adding the amounts of bread flour and all-purpose flour. 3 plus 1/3 equals 3 1/3. i did 4 1/3 cups of flour, which meant that the dough was too dry. DO NOT DO THIS. i added water and that eventually made it sort of muddy/slimy/weird but it worked. 
  3. due to no. 1 and 2, i did not want to waste an egg on an egg wash, as i was uncertain they would even be edible. i threw flax seeds on top because i love flax.
  4. the flax seeds did not stick due to the lack of egg wash. you live and you learn, right?

the buns turned out pretty well. i made a delicious, glorious veggie burger, topped with melted cheddar, added tomatoes, ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise.

we'll eat them again tonight so i'll let you know if they held up. the others are in the freezer for later bun desires.

we won't be your babies anymore.

spring break staycation means pie in the morning and ice cream sandwiches with sprinkles in the afternoon. (homemade oatmeal raisin cookies and homemade vanilla ice cream) with alex, of course.
and a sprinklely sink, for good measure.

(title song lyric courtesy of LCD soundsystem)


no clue.

this sandwich looks delicious. and it probably was. but i took so long to blog it (it's from february 26th!) that i have no idea what's inside. those are definitely spicy collard greens in olive oil.

i bought the biggest bunch of collard greens. i am still eating the same bunch from late february. i've been to chicago and DC since then. luckily, they are hearty and are standing the test of time for me.

it's safe to say.

i am in a grapefruit phase. to the point where i have started referring to casey's dog as pamplemousse (or maybe that's because i bathed him in the delicious grapefruit soap). but i am eating grapefruits like they are going out of style, or probably more like i live in california or florida, like they are here, growing in my backyard. 

they are not.

but i was thumbing through the baked cookbook (they actually have 3 books now), looking for something delicious to take to book club. they have what seems to be a delicious orange olive oil bundt.  and i was thinking about adapting it to grapefruit instead. naturally. 

but then! i opened the smitten kitchen book. and there it was:  the grapefruit olive oil cake.

 done. i made it. it was the best thing ever. to the point where casey said it tasted like candy (in a good way). and my friend megan called it a "fruit loaf," because she's given up pastries and confections for lent and wanted to eat it.

i feel like you should own this book, and i am not going to transcribe the recipe. but it involves putting grapefruit rind in the dough, injecting a grapefruit syrup mixture into the top of the loaf, and coating the cake with a grapefruit-powdered sugar frosting. i was so excited about it all that i put mine on too early and so it's not so white (see below).
do it. do it now.


all about deb (mostly).

i've pretty much been hanging out and making smitten recipes. in the last week:
  • lemony hummus
  • cowboy cookies (adapted from baked)
  • strawberry-blueberry jam (inspired by cookfight)
photographs and details to come. 


that is not my photograph.

because there are no photographs of this magical evening. why would we have stopped to take photographs?

let's say i dreamt of au cheval. it's almost my dream restaurant, where everything is delicious and savory but not too salty and the place really prides itself on throwing a fried egg atop everything. this is practically the place that blake and i hypothesized about years ago.

it should be noted that we did not begin our evening at au cheval, but at scofflaw. (have i mentioned yet that i was in chicago with shira? i was in chicago with shira for the weekend.) the longest happy hour of fries and three well-crafted bourbon cocktails had us in just the right mood for this grand date.

date? yes, date. shira and i had dinner dates at au cheval. we shuffled up to the door after 9pm, thinking that our late-ish arrival would mean we wouldn't have to wait too long. we were wrong--discovered as we were informed the wait would be one to one-and-a-half hours. we must have had looks of devastation, because two men about to be seated in a four-top immediately invited us to join them.

of course we did. i sat across from shira, but next to my dinner date, sean. across from him was david.

it was glorious. the beers, all reasonably priced (no, i have no idea what i drank). the fries, with a mornay sauce (maybe). and the burger. yes, i ate part of a burger, shared with my real dinner date, shira. amazing. really. better than anything i have consumed in a while. no, not just the burger--the evening.

we were there for two hours, eating and drinking with our dates--both from minneapolis, though one now lives in portland, oregon and the other in chicago.

and so i have big love for you, au cheval. but also for shira, the windiest city, and our dinner dates, without whom this night would not have been possible.


purim delicious.

purim celebrates the story of esther. i am not going to get into this here, but there's a bad guy in the story with a triangle hat. so we eat cookies shaped like triangles called hamantaschen.
hamantaschen are much like a sugar cookie (with juice in the batter) and jam inside. mine are raspberry, peach, cherry, and lemon curd. i made shira's mama's recipe. i am not going to post it here; i'd like to believe it's a secret. (i know that's not true.)
yes. i burnt the bottoms (don't bake cookies at 400F even if the recipe says to do so). but they were awesome all the same.

egg is all you need.

boyfriend has taught me that hard-boiled eggs with salt and pepper are snack food. he's smart, that guy.


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