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Daring Cooks February 2012|Patties!

Specifically, Rösti!

The Daring Cooks’ February 2012 challenge was hosted by Audax & Lis and they chose to present Patties for their ease of construction, ingredients and deliciousness! We were given several recipes, and learned the different types of binders and cooking methods to produce our own tasty patties!

I have never made hashbrowns successfully.  I’ve managed to brown potatoes in a pan somewhat effectively on occasion, but I’ve never made a truly beautiful plateful of hashbrowns – until now!

Friday Tip (the last for now*)|Easy Meals (part 4)

Hey friends!

I’m cheating a little here – this didn’t get published on Friday** and the photo isn’t mine, but the lamb roast we made on Monday looked a lot like this before we cooked it and was astoundingly good.  And we still have leftovers, making this a dinner that lasted for three meals (leftovers got put into a curry and the last of it will be going into something else today).  So while it was spendy (at about $8/pound), the ROI*** on this dinner, both in dollars and work put in, was pretty high.

Friday Tip|Easy Meals (part three)

Kashe pictured with penne and no cheese

Kashe Varnishkes is one of the best and easiest dishes on the planet.  It’s also one of the cheapest.  Double score.

There’s not much to write about this dish before the recipe, because there really isn’t much to it; pasta, onion and buckwheat.  That doesn’t sound impressive as a meal, but it’s very hearty and very satisfying, due at least in part to the frying of the onion in chicken fat.

Friday Tip*|Easy Meals (part two)

Happy Friday!

Keeping with our easy meals theme, I’m resurrecting a recipe that I’ve posted before.  Since we’re doing easy this month,  I think that applies to me too.

Lentils are extremely nutritious and very easy to make.  It’s just a matter of simmering with some spices (turmeric and salt) and then finishing with oil.  Brown lentils are super healthy, but they take a while – about 45 minutes to an hour.  Their cousin, pink lentils** (which you can see are actually orange) however, take about 10-15 minutes.  In fact, this light meal (which doubles as a nice snack) can be made in about 20 minutes, and it only takes that long because you need 20 minutes to make rice.

Friday Tip & Daring Bakers Twofer!|Cheap Food Molds and Fresh Fraisiers

So am I late or what?  No Friday tip last week and three days behind with my Daring Bakers post.  What’s going on? (No need to point out that it’s now Saturday, thanks)

I’m in Alabama, where the weather is hot and life moves a little slower.  Plus I’m at an economics conference, so I’ve been kind of busy.  Apparently too busy to do a Friday tip or post my Daring Bakers on time.

Oh!  Before I forget…the bot words:

Friday Tip|Rescuing Mayo

Happy Friday!

As promised, we’re moving from philosophical to hands-on practical around here.  Today’s tip is a fantastically easy way to save a broken mayonnaise.

Don’t know what that is?  Well then, skip to the bottom of the post and let’s get you making some mayonnaise!

If you do have experience in making mayo at home (or aioli, which is marvelous and the main reason I make mayonnaise instead of buying it), you have likely found that many recipes “break.”  I don’t know why exactly breaking happens, but it’s maddening and until last night, I’d never been able to save a mayo that had done this.


Spring seems to be here in Los Angeles after a particularly cold and wet winter.  We are lucky to be able to get almost any food that we want any time of the year, so while it’s a little early in the rest of the country for fresh basil, we have it and the first warm days of spring seem like a great reason to make a batch of pesto.

Sunday Dinner|Sweet Potato Ravioli in Walnut Cream Sauce

I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of the sweet potato ravioli you can get in the store. It tends to be kind of pasty, overly sweet, and the pasta is usually too thick.

So, naturally, the remedy to this is to make your own at home! Here is our version of homemade sweet potato ravioli. It contains prosciutto, but if you want to keep it vegetarian, you could add some salt. You won’t have the same cured taste that the prosciutto imparts, but you could add a slightly stronger cheese to give the filling a bit more depth.

Take Fountain|Simple Scrambled Eggs and Mac & Cheese

The legendary story is that Johnny Carson asked Bette Davis “the best way an aspiring starlet could get into Hollywood,” to which the actress replied “Take Fountain!”*

It’s a wonderful quote, one that I think of a lot while driving here.  I love it because it speaks to the fact that the question is impossible to answer, and yet Ms. Davis does answer with the simplest and easiest solution.  I also like it because, although you could interpret it as being flip, it  has a sense of “don’t be intimidated.”  Just take the first, simple, easy step and go from there.

Indian Accident|Spice-and-Herb-Laced Split Peas

Hoo boy this stuff is good!  And to think, we almost never had it…

Garbanzo beans were supposed to come home from the grocery store, not yellow split peas.  But a reshuffling of the store inventory and a well-meaning but not-so-legume-knowledgeable shop guy caused us to get the wrong thing – and thank goodness!  I’d never really even heard of yellow lentils.  Over to the bookshelf and the staple Indian cooking tome, Classic Indian Cooking by Julie Sahni and a recipe for Masala Dal was found.