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Five items

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Strawberry rhubarb compote

Friday, May 18th, 2012

Lately, I’ve been loathe to leave the apartment without two things: my rain gear, and my tape measure. I need the rain gear because Mother Nature continues to pay homage to Glasgow this spring with day after day of wet weather. Sometimes she spices things up with a little hail shower. The tape measure is […]

Five items: Ratatouille

Wednesday, September 17th, 2008

With summer eeking to a close, much warm-weather produce has already disappeared (for example, peaches, which were available by the crate one week and shockingly gone the next!). But the market is still full of eggplants, peppers and tomatoes — all the veg you need to make one or two last batches of ratatouille.  First […]

Five items: Quinoa, ancient grain

Tuesday, April 22nd, 2008

Welcome to another, long overdue edition of Five Items. Today’s dish, quinoa pilaf, is more of a starchy side, but it would be a terrific accompaniment to tofu steaks, either my version or Martha’s, for a fast, high-protein meal. But first, what is quinoa? Pronounced keen-wah, it’s an ancient grain from the Andes region that once played […]

Mere coincidence?

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Did you watch Top Chef last night? I was struck by the Quickfire Challenge, which required contestants to prepare a dish out of five ingredients or less (with only salt, pepper and oil uncounted), a challenge that seemed suspiciously like… our very own Five Items! Could Top Chef producers be reading this blog?!

Five Items: Tofu steaks

Wednesday, March 12th, 2008

  Tofu is great, isn’t it? I won’t expound upon its healthful benefits (of which there are many), but will say that when I don’t feel like cooking meat (sometimes it’s just too slimy) a square cube of tofu (pictured above au naturel) is a perfect protein punch. But how do you transform the bland, […]

Five items: Broccoli pasta

Tuesday, February 5th, 2008

Do you like broccoli? I do, but a lot of people loathe it (including one George H.W. Bush) –a pity for them, and their colons. According to The Penguin Companion to Food, the word “broccoli” is Italian, and means “little arms,” or “shoots.” It’s a member of the cabbage family, rich in vitamins, and grows […]

Five items: Easy as (spinach) pie

Thursday, January 31st, 2008

Why do people say “easy as pie”? In my experience, pie is not easy to make. In fact, I can think of few things more finicky than pastry. Unless, perhaps, the expression refers to Greek spinach pie, or spanakopita? (It seems improbable, but maybe?) When you use frozen fillo dough and frozen spinach, spanakopita is a […]

Five items: Pasta carbonara

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

  In no way is this a classic carbonara — in fact, this recipe is adapted from a low-fat cookbook — but if you’re looking for a simple, savory meal (and you’re tired of tomato sauce) this is the pasta for you. I can whip this up in 20 minutes or less.

Five items: Finger foods

Wednesday, December 19th, 2007

  Mark Bittman had a great article in today’s NYT Dining section on 101 simple appetizers in 20 minutes or less. He has lots of good finger food ideas — I particularly like #15 beef tartare, #19 white bean bruschetta, and #38 marinated mushrooms. A few feel like a stretch, particularly #76 hummus (I think […]

Five items: Peas Encore

Wednesday, November 28th, 2007

I realize that this post on peas (my third) may indicate an unhealthy interest in them. But I’m not obsessed, I just like them (a lot!). And when living in Beijing, we never ate frozen peas — they were always old and hard (grands as opposed to petits, I suppose). Anyway, today’s post is about split […]

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