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yes, there was turkey

yes, there was turkey

November 27, 2009 |  Category:   cooking family growing up half holidays

Thanksgiving is sort of funny at our house. You’d think there’d be the traditional Thanksgiving spread in all its American glory, but turkey is usually just an afterthought. Yes, we did have turkey, but it never made it to the table, hence the missing bird in the photos. It usually goes straight from the oven to the kitchen counter where it gets shredded and put on a platter – there is no formal carving of the bird in a sit-down ceremony (and crap, I now realize we forgot the canned cranberry sauce. We never forget the can!). And if you must know the truth, in the last couple of years, the turkey plus trimmings has been catered in from restaurants.… CONTINUE READING

kale salad (but never mind that, look who cooked!)

kale salad (but never mind that, look who cooked!)

October 14, 2009 |  Category:   cooking recipes

I have to credit our neighbor Alison for describing something so delicious that it compelled me to head straight to the kitchen to make it right away. Ya’ll know that I don’t cook. And you’re probably thinking “KALE? Kale is what inspired you to cook after all those years of not cooking?” Yes! And it was good! And totally worth the eczema on my fingers flaring up from handling all that garlic and lemon juice.… CONTINUE READING

pork belly and kabocha stew

pork belly and kabocha stew

September 22, 2009 |  Category:   cooking recipes

One of my weaknesses if you don’t already know, is pork belly, in it’s many forms. I bought some while shopping at the Korean grocery the other day. In the past I have braised it, roasted it, braised it again, so I figured it might be time to try something different. Perhaps something a little bit less heavy? I ended up trying a Japanese stew of sorts, cooking the meat along with Kabocha squash in dashi. Tasty it was, but less heavy it was not (it put Jenna in a food coma). A “light pork belly entree” just might be the biggest culinary oxymoron of them all. Pork Belly and Kabocha Stew (serves 6-8) 2 Tablespoons canola oil 2-1/2 pounds… CONTINUE READING

yellow tomato gazpacho

yellow tomato gazpacho

September 2, 2009 |  Category:   cooking recipes

I see many similarities between the eating habits of my children and the eating habits of my sister and I when we were children. In both cases the older child is the more adventurous eater, and the younger is much more selective (read: picky). Tomatoes illustrate this point very well. My sister was the one eating our neighbor’s cherry tomatoes off the vine, and I was the one who wouldn’t eat even a drop of tomato sauce on anything. Even today I am not terribly crazy about tomatoes, except when summer rolls around. I love the different varieties of tomatoes that you can find at the farmer’s market. Not just the heirlooms, but even a simple yellow tomato, which is… CONTINUE READING

bay scallop succotash

bay scallop succotash

August 21, 2009 |  Category:   cooking recipes

Spending a week right in the middle of farm country means that tomatoes and fresh, sweet corn are just about as good as they get right now. After picking up a pound of Peconic bay scallops from the local fish store, I decided they all would make a nice succotash. Succotash usually refers to a dish that includes corn and beans of some kind and occasionally tomatoes. I skipped the beans and added bacon in its place. It was almost the perfect seasonal meal – Long Island scallop season is actually from November to March so the ones I bought were frozen, but they were still almost as delicious as any scallop I’ve ever had. Even Claudine tried a piece,… CONTINUE READING

crab cakes

crab cakes

July 31, 2009 |  Category:   cooking recipes

One thing I sometimes miss about working in restaurants is the snacking. There is always food around, obviously, and it’s easy to sneak a bite of anything while walking by. When I worked at Zoe, my favorites were the crispy calamari and the salmon tartar, both of which there were always leftovers on the line. During my time at Aquavit I could never resist eating at least one little cube of curry cured gravlax when I stepped into the walk-in refrigerator. And my most frequent snack for my five years at the Boathouse? That would be the crab cakes. They made hundreds each week, so there were always extras, and I would often put one on a bun for a… CONTINUE READING

tomato, lime & tortilla soup

tomato, lime & tortilla soup

July 17, 2009 |  Category:   cooking recipes

I’m glad that I have a little more time to cook these days, but I still have trouble thinking of what to make sometimes. I’m trying to get everyone in the family involved by having them choose one dinner a week. Jenna’s choice this week was tortilla soup. I remember making it awhile ago using the recipe from the Sundays at Moosewood cookbook. Here is my toned-down version – meaning not spicy – so that the kids might actually want to eat it. The only kind of soup they like eating are Asian soups with clear broths, and even then they would usually prefer a bowl of ramen. For some reason I thought they might like this (they didn’t, really),… CONTINUE READING

barbecue spare ribs

barbecue spare ribs

July 8, 2009 |  Category:   cooking recipes

What? Mark is actually writing a post? It’s true, my first post in just over two months! While I still try to cook tasty dinners for the family whenever I can within my busy schedule, I’ll most likely choose to fill any free time at the end of the day with a glass of wine on the couch over 20-30 minutes typing recipes on the computer. Now that July has started and we’re moving into an expected slower summer season for baked goods, I’ll do my best to contribute while I can. I’ll start with these spare ribs I made a few days ago. If you recall, I tried out some barbecue spice mixes last summer, but I never quite… CONTINUE READING

dinners, these days

dinners, these days

June 16, 2009 |  Category:   cooking life

I know Mark hasn’t posted any recipes lately. There just simply isn’t any time. Not to say that he hasn’t been cooking dinner every night because he has, but business has been steadily busy since, well, Christmas, and there hasn’t been a lot of downtime for him in the evenings which is when he used to write recipe posts. We just ate a delicious dinner last night of sesame beef with red pepper, for example, but we scarfed that down too fast to take a photo, and let’s face it…sometimes you just want to eat. The kids used to complain and protest when they were too hungry to wait as I sabotaged our dinners to take photos, but lately I’ve… CONTINUE READING

shrimp and ritz cracker stuffing

shrimp and ritz cracker stuffing

April 9, 2009 |  Category:   cooking recipes

Here’s another childhood favorite of mine. Its origins are unknown to me (Mom?), but it was a fairly regular dinner item in my house. I remembered it several years after I moved to New York and had to call my Mom each time I wanted to make it because I neglected to write down the recipe. This time I just kind of made it up based on the three main ingredients: shrimp, minced clams…and crushed Ritz Crackers. I know it sounds a bit weird, but the tastes and textures all work quite well together. Shrimp and Ritz Cracker Stuffing (serves 4-6) 1 pound medium shrimp, peeled 1 large clove of garlic, minced 1 lemon, zested and juiced 3 Tablespoons finely… CONTINUE READING

mussels with coconut milk and turmeric

mussels with coconut milk and turmeric

February 25, 2009 |  Category:   cooking recipes

I am anxiously awaiting the day when both my kids are able to eat spicy food. For most of my adult life I have cooked spicy meals for myself, but I’ve had to tone it down to accommodate their tastes. I especially miss making Thai food. I have probably mentioned before that it is the first cuisine that I really learned how to cook. My friends and I would cook elaborate multi-course Thai dinners just for fun, and we would make most everything from scratch – even our own curry pastes. So, when Mia chose some mussels for dinner from the fish store the other day, I decided to try to make them into a non-spicy Thai curry. I happened… CONTINUE READING

pumpkin pie

pumpkin pie

November 30, 2008 |  Category:   cooking recipes

It has been exactly one year since I left my job at the Central Park Boathouse. I stayed on long enough to get them through Thanksgiving, which is by far their biggest day of the year. Over 1200 people are served a prix-fixe meal, which means everyone gets dessert. That’s a lot of dessert, especially for a staff of three to produce, so you can imagine how I felt when I had Thanksgiving off this year. I thought that I’d finally be able to cook a wonderful Thanksgiving feast for my family just like any normal family. The thing is, after one of the busiest weeks of the year for the business, I didn’t really feel like cooking. Come to… CONTINUE READING

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