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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!