We return later today from a glorious long weekend, spent with Marissa and her boyfriend, Jeff, in San Francisco and Napa.
Marissa had a very busy and stressful work week, so I made dinner on Friday night in her very small kitchen. When I say small, I mean really small!
In May, Marissa moved from the Outer Sunset neighborhood to Pacific Heights. Part of the tradeoff to live closer to the center of the city was less space.
The closet-sized kitchen is only 7 feet wide by 10 feet long, with less than 25 square feet of walkable floor space and only 3 linear feet of counter space. No dishwasher, no garbage disposal, and a smaller than average sized refrigerator.
Speaking of the refrigerator… remember this Friday Funny I posted last week?
It is Marissa’s reality! Here is her refrigerator…
… and here is how mine typically looks. Just a bit of a contrast!
So, what did I make for dinner in the tiny kitchen, you ask?
After a quick trip to Trader Joe’s, I unpacked it all, which took up every inch of counter space, then I proceeded to make a one pot (no drain) pasta dinner, rounded out with salad and garlic bread. The salad recipe will be posted tomorrow.
The one pot Marissa owned, that was big enough, had a lid with holes, for draining pasta. I needed a solid lid so I covered the pot with foil, then added the lid, for a tight seal.
October 7, 2013 7 Comments
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again – I’m just like you – some nights it is sheer drudgery to make dinner. This is how I feel on those days…
This recipe was made on one of those nights. Going to the grocery store was not even a remote option – it’s too blazing hot to even think of getting in and out of the car.
I had frozen scallops in the freezer, fresh mushrooms and cream cheese in the refrigerator, dried mushrooms and pasta in the pantry, and herbs in the garden… so this is what I made.
There were no complaints …. but if there were….
I think I’ve reached the end of my rope with this summer heat. Oh, who am I kidding? In all honesty, that is always my attitude.
August 20, 2013 4 Comments
“Fourth of July in Quebec”
Yesterday was our first ever 4th of July spent out of the USA. We are near Ripon, Quebec – which is about 50 miles northeast of Canada’s capital city, Ottawa.
Dave and I, along with Terry and Barbara Fenzl, are visiting our friends, Paul and Kim Howard, at their picturesque family vacation home.
We may be in another country, but we celebrated in traditional Red, White, and True-Blue American style.
July 5, 2013 2 Comments
As I mentioned a few days ago, I make it my mission to clean out the fresh food in my refrigerator before we go out of town. The easiest way to do that in the winter is to make a soup and the easiest way the rest of the year is to make pasta. I call this “garbage” pasta, because I’ll put any and everything in it.
This particular time, I had a partial box of cherry tomatoes plus fresh heirloom tomatoes from my garden. In addition there were partial bags of green beans and sugar snap peas. I always have garlic and onion on hand, so those always start the dish.
The first step is to get a big pot of water boiling. Add salt and blanch vegetables such as the green beans, sugar snap peas, asparagus, snow peas, carrots, broccoli, and cauliflower for a couple minutes. Use a slotted spoon or spider to remove them and have a big bowl of ice water ready to drop them into – to stop the cooking.
Once they’ve cooled down, drain and set aside.
May 27, 2013 1 Comment
On the last day of Les Gourmettes classes last week, Barb sent me home with a big box of spinach and a package of feta. Both would have gone bad in her refrigerator – since she would be eating out all weekend.
The following pasta recipe is what I created with it.
Waste not, want not.
It’s magical to watch a huge pile of fresh spinach wilt down …
and down … to a little handful of cooked spinach …
… in only a couple minutes.
April 29, 2013 No Comments
Traditional Puttanesca sauce is made with chopped garlic and anchovies that are sautéed in olive oil. Chopped chili peppers, olives, capers, canned tomatoes, tomato paste and oregano are added along with salt and black pepper to taste. It is simmered for at least 30 to 40 minutes.
My lighter fresher version is anchovy and olive oil free and uses fresh chopped tomatoes that are cooked briefly and tofu Shirataki noodles with zero calories and only 3 carbs per serving. The dish comes together in 15 to 20 minutes, depending on your chopping skills and speed.
I began making it at 5:45 and had it on the dinner plates by 6:00… taking the photos took another couple minutes… as always!
One last note, I forgot to add the olives. And, darn it, they were missed! I’ve added them to the recipe, so don’t forget them.
April 9, 2013 2 Comments
My dear friend Karen recently turned me on to a gluten-free noodle product. The noodles are made from either tofu or white yams.
The brand is Shiratki and they can be found locally at Sprouts and Fry’s. At Sprouts the everyday price is $1.69 each, at Fry’s a bag is regularly $2.29. They are found in the refrigerated section, near the tofu.
(Thanks to a kind comment from LCDC, I learned that the brand of the noodles I found is House Foods and that Shirataki is the type of noodle. I happily stand corrected. Thank you, LCDC!)
I was skeptical at first, considering they come packaged in water and look a bit slimy … but they were delicious! Shirataki noodles are quite a bit more expensive than dry noddles, but considering they are precooked, quick to use, and the yam variety has zero calories, the tofu style – only 20 calories… it may be worth the extra dough.
They have a long (about 3 month) expiration date, so if you find them on sale, stock up!
March 9, 2013 3 Comments
This was my horoscope on Tuesday.
How perfect is that? Oh, here are the last few words you can’t see, “… nourishment and warm feelings.”
It’s perfect because I already had on my calendar two dinner parties this week.
Peggy and Anne were over last night and my dear friend, Karen, who was a bridesmaid in my wedding 27 years ago, and her husband Bob, are coming over for dinner tomorrow night. Got to Love It!
Are you ready for the onslaught of Meyer lemon recipes? I hope so, that is what I’ll be making for quite a while now!
Don’t have Meyer lemons? Not to worry. You can use regular lemons in any of my recipes that call for Meyer lemons.
I saw a photo of a version of this salad on Pinterest and was inspired by the use of a trifle bowl to serve it in. I created the recipe from scratch but stole the visuals and serving idea. If you don’t have, but have always wanted, a trifle bowl – Crate & Barrel always has them in stock.
It’s so pretty and springtime fresh and it turned out to be a delicious main course salad. I’m sure Peggy and Anne will attest to that. It would be lovely as a side salad on a buffet too.
January 17, 2013 2 Comments
Saying, “Eat Your Kale” is so 2012, but that doesn’t mean Kale is not still King in 2013.
- One cup of kale still has only 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 0 grams of fat.
- Per calorie, kale has more iron than beef.
- Kale is high in Vitamin K. Eating a diet high in Vitamin K can help protect against various cancers.
- It is high in antioxidants, such as carotenoids and flavonoids, which also help protect against various cancers.
- Kale is a great anti-inflammatory food. One cup of kale is filled with 10% of the recommend daily allowance of omega-3 fatty acids, which help fight against arthritis, asthma, and autoimmune disorders.
- Eating more kale can help lower cholesterol levels.
- It is high in Vitamin A, which is great for your vision, your skin, as well as helping to prevent lung and oral cavity cancers.
- Kale is high in Vitamin C, high in calcium, and kale is still a great detox food.
To summarize – Eat Your Kale!
This quick and easy pasta recipe should help get it on your table on any busy weeknight, especially if you use the meat from a rotisserie chicken, as I did.
January 9, 2013 4 Comments
I’m sorry it took so long for me to get this soup posted. It makes great use of the delicious broth that was produced by making John Ash’s fantastic Ginger Chicken.
As much as I love soup, and you know I do, the real payoff from making that chicken was John’s outstanding sandwiches.
Hopefully you’ll find time to make all three recipes. The white meat I have leftover (after making the sandwiches and this soup) will be used to make THESE enchiladas.
Three great meals from 2 chickens, now that’s a good deal!
October 29, 2012 2 Comments