Notes from the Pantry: Tomato-White Bean Soup

I was just thinking about strategies for survival in a zombie apocalypse… no idea why… maybe it was something I saw on TV today? Never hurts to be prepared!

If you’ve ever seen The Walking Dead then you know that bullets and canned goods are as good as gold. Both are critically important, but only one is edible!

FYI, If someone tells you to “eat lead” then I’m pretty sure they’re not inviting you to sit down for a nice bowl of lead shavings…

The following recipe utilizes canned/pantry goods and is tremendous for situations when I not-so-soberly offer to cook dinner for friends or am on the run from yuge hordes of zombies.

Continue reading “Notes from the Pantry: Tomato-White Bean Soup”


Buttermilk Biscuits: The Real Deal

2016 left a bad taste in my mouth. However, the new year is an opportunity to cut loose from negativity and move on to better things. You know what else leaves a bad taste in my mouth? McGriddles.

I love the concept of the McGriddle: a breakfast sandwich enclosed in syrup-y pancakes (made by McDonald’s). The syrup, however, is highly problematic: although the bursts of sugar are momentarily pleasant, the shame of fake maple syrup-consumption lingers for hours afterwards… and physically lingers as a nasty chemical film on my teeth until my next meal or teeth-brushing. Please tell me I’m not the only person who experiences the icky mouth-feeling? The shame part might be specific to my Vermont-roots! Continue reading “Buttermilk Biscuits: The Real Deal”

Maple Soymilk: Blending Taipei and Vermont

We just booked tickets for our (annual?) trip back to Taiwan! Just look at how excited we are!

Jumping for joy at Chiang Kai-Shek Memorial in Taipei, Taiwan. PC: Hannah Choi Photography

If you are at all familiar with Taiwanese culture, then you know that skipping breakfast is a grave error. For about $2.00 USD you can expect a diverse meal of meat in dough, veggies in dough, and… bread in dough? Continue reading “Maple Soymilk: Blending Taipei and Vermont”

Herbed Focaccia

This is my new favorite bread: crisp on the outside, yet fluffy on the inside; aromatic of herbs when toasted, and it makes a killer sandwich! This recipe, from King Arthur Flour’s blog, Flourish, makes the best focaccia I’ve ever had (although my memories of Florence, Italy have grown a little dim…) and is quite easy.

Focaccia is a yeasted flat bread that originated in Italy that can be made into sandwiches, topped like a pizza, or eaten straight-up. The bread is dimpled by the baker’s fingers prior to baking to prevent excessive bubbling, and the garnishes of oil and salt make pockets of tastiness in the small divets.  Continue reading “Herbed Focaccia”

Asparagus-Pancetta Sauté

Asparagus is expensive- even more so when one considers how much woodiness typically needs to be cut off! There are few things more disappointing than tough and stringy asparagus. Recently, my parents bestowed a bounty of asparagus upon me from their garden in Vermont. Those tender spears were to-die-for (and free) so I think that I’ll be swearing off of grocery-store asparagus for the rest of my life! Continue reading “Asparagus-Pancetta Sauté”

Leek & Pork Dumplings

Remember that leek-corn-potato chowder recipe that I wrote about last week? This is a companion recipe which offers a way to use up those leek greens!

My husband introduced me to the wonderful world of dumplings during our college years. We would buy 50-count bags of frozen dumplings in Chinatown (R.I.P. Prosperity Dumplings) for $9 to keep in our freezers for emergency meals. Extremely greasy, and potentially rat/cockroach-contaminated, but so good. Continue reading “Leek & Pork Dumplings”

Mango Scones

My husband and I disagree about when our first date actually happened. I argue that we never went on any dates until after we were officially boyfriend and girlfriend. My husband maintains that a trip we made to Levain Bakery  in our sophomore year in college counts as the first date. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, our plans to make the trip with friends turned into the two of us taking the 1-train from Columbia down Broadway to 72nd street. Sitting and talking in Verdi Square, we shared an oatmeal-raisin scone as well as their famously thick and gooey chocolate-chip-walnut cookie. Even though I didn’t consider it to be at the time, I think that we can retroactively call that a date!

The occasion for us to share scones once again this past weekend was far less ambiguous: I was just trying to get my husband out of bed on a weekend morning! Continue reading “Mango Scones”

Braised Radishes & Bacon

Raw radishes are strong, to put it lightly. My husband was quite put-off by the uniquely spicy flavor that assaulted his senses when I showed him our latest CSA haul. I enjoy the sharp taste, but could not see myself stomaching the whole bunch shaved onto an endless succession of radish-y salads. Surely, I thought, there must be another way to enjoy these beautiful veggies.

Radishes are an ingredient that I had associated with health-nuts, believing that they were a vegetable to be tolerated for health benefits, but not enjoyed. I was doubtful (as you might be, as well) of the palatability of the cooked radishes that I came across while flipping through recipes.  However, I (and the two carnivores that I fed this dish to) can attest that it is absolutely addictive!

Continue reading “Braised Radishes & Bacon”

Hakurei Turnip & Shiitake Soba

I had always thought of turnips as the boring version of potatoes. A vegetable to be tolerated, but not enjoyed. After reading that Hakurei turnips are the “caviar of the turnip family,” I was thoroughly intrigued. I was able to get my hands on a bunch through our CSA. If you are lucky enough to acquire this tender turnip, usually outside of the realm of the grocery store, then I suggest trying out this preparation inspired by a PBS recipe. The resulting dish is highly complex, slightly sweet, and refreshing. Continue reading “Hakurei Turnip & Shiitake Soba”

Brussels Sprouts-Pecan-Cranberry Sauté

I was never forced to eat brussels sprouts as a child, but was well-aware of their reputation as a torture-device employed by parents against their children. When I encountered real-life brussels sprouts in my high school cafeteria, I found that they lived up to their bad reputation.

It was only a few years ago that I gave brussels sprouts a second try. My little sister had found a simple, yet tasty, recipe from Alton Brown and I fell in love with the crisp-tender sprouts. I quickly forgot why I had disliked brussels sprouts in the first place, and began to buy fresh sprouts regularly at Costco. Continue reading “Brussels Sprouts-Pecan-Cranberry Sauté”