How to Build a Basic Frittata

A good friend of mine had her second child back in March, a 9 lb 6 oz, 23-inch bundle of joy named Jordan. Since her first child is a daughter at the fun-but-exhausting age of 4 years old, I had promised ages ago that I would come down to her digs in Maryland and help her when the new baby was born. I was down in the DC area for three weeks, and while I managed to take in a […]

Black Bean Enchiladas

Yes, I’m well aware that you don’t need me to tell you how to make enchiladas. There are plenty of people who are far more versed in Mexican food than I. If you Google “enchiladas” you’ll get about eleventy billion hits before this one shows up. But that’s all good, because I’m not really here to tell you how to make enchiladas. I’m not here to sell you on a 30-minute “quick & easy” version, a 7-hour “authentic” version, the […]

Green Bean, Corn & Bacon Salad with a Chipotle-Lime Dressing

I’m sometimes at a loss when it comes to green beans. I mean, sure: when I’ve got a handful or two, the way I will buy them at the farmer’s market, I’ll toss them into a curry or noodle dish, no problem. But often it seems, when beans are ready, they are READY: the harvest comes fast & furious, and we end up with two bulging gallon Ziplocs in the fridge, courtesy of the CSA (and of me avoiding green […]

Caramelized Fennel & Bacon Pizza

I had the weirdest dream last night. (Wait; don’t run away! You’ll notice I did not start out with “Dear Penthouse Forum, I never thought this would happen to me…”). After a snowy afternoon of baking beet brownies and watching Kitchen Nightmares, I went to bed and had a dream about Gordon Ramsay. (Did I not just tell you that Penthouse Forum was in no way involved? Get your mind out of the gutter. Take mine with you.) In my dream, […]

Leftover Love: Slow-Roasted Chipotle Beef

Next up in our week of Leftover Love, a meat component: a top round of beef, dry-rubbed with chipotle powder and an orange-rosemary salt, and slow-roasted on a bed of aromatic vegetables. When I pulled this top round steak out of the freezer in the morning to thaw, I had every intention of making beef tacos for dinner: I had cabbage, carrots and cilantro in the fridge, pickled chiles and salsa in the pantry, masa harina in the freezer, and […]


Well, the minestrones have it: so here you go! Minestrone: there are so many versions, so many seasonal options, that it should really just be called “soup.” Or, more accurately I suppose, “zuppe.” Because that’s the story: “minestrone” is basically a collective noun used to describe any number of thick soups based upon seasonal vegetables and some form of starch, be it beans, pasta, rice, or potato. Usually tomatoes and greens are involved, but there don’t seem to be any […]

Honey-Soy Braised Beef

Guilty confession time: I’m having a bit of a love affair with Gordon Ramsay. And I’ve dragged in my husband. And my good friend Fran. I can see the Daily Mirror headlines now: “GORDON RAMSAY SHOCKER! Shouty chef in 4-way sex scandal! Slams lover’s food blog as “amateurish” and “not restaurant quality!”” It all started with the completely wacky ABC Baking Company episode of Kitchen Nightmares, which I first heard about over at Eater back in May. The show was […]

Rangpur Lime Tequila Bars

Using a cookbook is like dating: you get attracted by an aesthetically pleasing cover, spend 5 or 10 minutes checking it out, and then, almost on a whim, you bring it home. During that first recipe, you’re tentative, accommodating: trying to stay within safe boundaries, do it his (or her) way. A couple of recipes in, you’re ready to assert yourself: “No, that’s way too much sugar,” or “Boil for how long?” After about a half a dozen times together, most […]

Tepary Bean, Pork & Winter Vegetable Soup

Have you ever had tepary beans? Apparently, once upon a time, they were an important food source for Native Americans in the American Southwest, and the history of their use dates back over 6,000 years in Mexico. Yet, until recently, I had never heard of the tepary bean (whose name seems to derive from t’pawi, Papago Indian for “it’s a bean”) and without Rancho Gordo, I probably would not have been able to find them. Tepary beans are drought-resistant, native […]

Downeast Beef Chili

As you might have heard, I’ve been staying with Tai’s grandmother Louisa, in Downeast Maine, since before Thanksgiving. Louisa is awesome: she is bright, warm, and generous, and has always made me feel welcome and an important part of this big, wacky family into which I married. But Louisa is 88 years old, and while she has maintained an amazing amount of independence and vitality throughout her ‘golden years,’ in the last six months or so she has suffered some […]

Superstew Sandy

Seven days. Seven days since Sandy visited the East Coast with her high winds and devastating storm surge. Seven days that I, and hundreds of thousands of others in the tri-state area, have been without electricity. Seven days: and we are still without power Chez Local Kitchen, and our estimate for power restoration is the feels-oh-so-far-away Wednesday night at 11 pm. In some ways it feels much longer: while we are very lucky, with no damage to our property, despite […]

Mac and Cheese with Balsamic-Roasted Tomatoes & Country Bacon

For the last month or so (not at all coincident with my 45th birthday, I’m sure) I’ve been trying to get into shape. Get back into shape, I should say, as usually I am pretty fit, by American standards: when a “fun weekend” means scaling 200-foot cliffs or hiking 12 miles & 6000 feet, you need the muscles, heart & lungs to make those journeys more pleasure than pain. Sadly, there haven’t been a lot of crags or peaks on […]

Chipotle Hash Browns

I am drowning in data. I am trying to wrap up a huge project at work, a study that has been going on for over a year and has produced reams and reams and reams of data (much of which came from yours truly); I’m now in the process of distilling it all down into some sort of meaningful conclusion. And while this is the most fun part: understanding how all the pieces come together into one overall picture of […]

Use It or Lose It! Bean & Sausage Chili

It’s not like this site really needs another heirloom bean recipe; and I think I’ve fairly covered the spectrum of pork sausage possibilities. But this recipe isn’t really about beans, or sausage, or even chili for that matter: it’s about how “putting up” isn’t just about jam. And about how put-ups aren’t always meant to stand alone: while some, it’s true, are glorious on the oft-recommended cheese tray, I could eat a cheese tray for dinner every night of the […]

Use It or Lose It! Salsa-Braised Turkey Breast with Chile & Citrus Peel

Take half a turkey breast: brown the outside. Add it to a pot with liquid and vegetables. Simmer. Rest meat, reduce sauce, serve. Such a simple procedure and one I’ve done many times, often, like now, when I have things that need clearing out of the fridge and freezer: an open pint of salsa; a gallon Ziploc full of fat, frozen jalapeños; another jammed with citrus peels. It’s generally tasty, sometimes ugly, but almost always satisfying in the filling-up and using-up categories. Occasionally, […]