Archive for February, 2012

February 29, 2012

Day 110


Well, this is something I never thought I’d come across. Except in a Men at Work song from my youth. But work-buddy Lisa, in the clutches of a bizarre pregnancy craving, sent away for a jar of this Australian yeast paste. (Doesn’t sound very appetizing, does it?) I had no idea what to expect when she offered me a taste of it spread on buttered toast — especially since she told me not to smell it first. But it really wasn’t that bad. Kind of salty, with a strange, but not terrible, aftertaste. The healthy dose of butter on the super yummy sourdough toast didn’t hurt, either.

February 28, 2012

Day 109

Tempura Green Beans

This had all the earmarks of a winner: I love fresh green beans. I love just about anything that’s fried. And I dipped these babies in a beer and sesame seed batter, two more things I love. But the sum just wasn’t equal to its parts. They were okay, but nothing compared to the joy of a fresh-from-the-garden bean. I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I guess frying doesn’t always make things better. I’m feeling a bit disillusioned.

February 27, 2012

Day 108

Spicy Pickled Beans

My extended family, who always had a jar of pickled something on the Sunday dinner table, will probably be horrified to learn that my first pickled bean came from a supermarket. And possibly even more horrified to learn that I didn’t like it. But I think it was because this brand was just way too in-your-face spicy. So I’m open to giving these — or at least a more muted version — another try.


February 26, 2012

Day 107

Cacio E Pepe

I made this delicious cheese-and-pepper noodle dish for a dinner party with happy results — notice the smiles of friends Nancy and Christine as they slurp fettuccine in this faithful representation. Okay, so cacio e pepe isn’t generally made with fettuccine. But I’m a rebel. Whatever the pasta, this fancy-pants mac-n-cheese was light on the labor, heavy on the compliments.

February 25, 2012

Day 106

Lentil Soup

Made a big batch of this yummy soup, but added spicy sausage and shell noodles, plus I skipped the wine (I rarely have any wine left over to cook with). I like that the green lentils I used didn’t turn to mush like, say, split peas do. So I’ve decided to make lentil soup out of the next ham bone I come across.

February 24, 2012

Day 105

Cabbage Rolls

Completely embarrassing for this Polish-American girl to admit, but I’ve never had a cabbage roll. Been exposed to plenty of them, but I always shied away because of the cabbage part. Which is weird, since I’ve discovered I really like cabbage. I don’t know what the deal was … maybe it had something to do with my brother’s horrible cabbage-related gas. Bad memories, you know. Anyhow, I did kind of eat a cabbage roll at a polka festival that I was covering for the magazine I work for, simply because that was the only thing on the menu and I was starving. But I ate around the cabbage, so I don’t think that counts. This time I whipped some up myself (by the way, if you want to know how to peel a cabbage properly, watch this handy video), though it wasn’t my Little Nanny’s recipe. (I didn’t want to call around for her recipe, but I will hunt it up eventually.) Instead I used this recipe, except I added beef stock to the dish before baking. And it took a lot longer to bake than they said. But it was very good, cabbage and all. Will probably add these to my regular menu rotation.

February 23, 2012

Day 104

Pot Stickers

I saw a recipe for these steamed and fried pork dumplings on this great Try It You Might Like It blog. So I did try it and I did like it. A lot.


February 22, 2012

Day 103


No, I’ve never had a burrito. I’ve had plenty of tacos, but the refried beans always scared me away from the taco’s weightier cousin. And I was right to be afraid — that thick layer of legumes added nothing but a mushy mess of nastiness.

February 21, 2012

Day 102


Well, these French Quarter staples — really just fancy fried bread dough-ettes — were just super. (Don’t tell my husband, but that Fry Daddy came in handy again.) I used this recipe  — big thumbs up. But (I wouldn’t be me without at least one caveat) I liked them more once I filled the shaky bag with cinnamon-sugar instead of confectioners’ sugar. Even if that does mean I’d be strung up on Bourbon Street. Happy Mardi Gras!

February 20, 2012

Day 101


This started out okay but went south quickly, as I started to hit more and more bittery pith. I’ve decided only to eat it if someone else — an especially devoted servant for life? — painstakingly de-piths my grapefruit for me.