Portlandia is a weird show. Correction, when I first saw Portlandia, I thought it was a weird show. But now that I've faithfully watched three seasons, I realize it is absolutely brilliant. If you've never seen it, it's a sketch comedy TV show created by (and starring) Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein. Together, they play all types of duos that reflect common stereotypes in modern-day society - basically different types of "hipsters". It's not the slapstick of SNL, or the rom-com of Friends type of funny. It is awkward, often improvised, and after a few episodes, . . .
This past weekend, Rene and I finally hosted our official housewarming party/his belated birthday celebration. To have all our friends over, mingling, laughing and drinking all night, in a place that's all our own, was worth the wait and as awesome as was expected. Being an adult definitely has its advantages!Instead of serving chips and salsa and sad crudites, I made some of my favorite dishes, to be served buffet-style. There was boeuf bourguignon, mac & cheese, roasted purple and white potatoes, my beloved goat cheese and caramelized onion crostini, and a . . .
Have you ever heard of Scaccia Ragusana? Yeah, me neither - not until I took a Sicilian cooking class, that is. Now that I know about it and, more importantly, know how easy it is to make, I must ask: WHY THE HELL HAVE THE SICILIANS BEEN KEEPING IT FROM THE REST OF US FOR SO LONG?! When you discover the magic of the Scaccia, you too will understand my frustration.Scaccia Ragusana [skAH-chah ra-gOO-sanah] is a traditional Sicilian cheese and tomato pie... well, it's more of a roulade than a pie. It starts with a quick yeast-less dough that gets rolled out as . . .
Firstly, thank you all so much for your awesome comments on my last post! I'm so touched by all the positivity coming my way.Secondly, I'm very excited to tell you about this purple cabbage slaw! (It's definitely not normal to be this hyped up about a salad.)I had a head of purple cabbage in my fridge over the weekend and really wanted to make something summery and unique out of it. Since nothing screams summer more than corn, the bright yellow kernels entered the equation next. Refreshing cilantro followed, some blue cheese went in for fun, and I figured . . .
If you've ever watched Ina or Emeril prepare a traditional lasagna, you know it's a lengthy process, a Sunday afternoon sort of dish. There's the meat ragout made from scratch, the boiling of the pasta, the assembly, and all those dirty dishes. Since I learned to cook largely by watching the Food Network, I got used to thinking that lasagna is a tough dish to execute - and ain't nobody got time for that.I bought a box of oven-ready lasagna sheets (no boiling required) a while ago and improvised a few quick recipes but none turned out stellar. I remember one . . .
Kale. I despise kale. I find kale absolutely vile. Its texture is rough and its taste, too earthy for its own good. I'm sure that city park grass tastes better than kale. The other day I made a green smoothie with kale instead of my usual spinach and had to pinch my nose while gulping it down. Kale is just not good and I know I can't be the only one who thinks so.So why did I buy it if I hate it so much? Well, because its nutritional content is almost unparalleled. Just one cup of the stuff provides 100% of the daily recommended value of Vitamin A, which supports . . .
Bread is my favorite food. In a hypothetical line-up of all indulgent foods, I would undoubtedly go for the breads first. I don't even know what about it I find so irresistible, but yet again, I will pin it on my Soviet upbringing.Like the French, and this is likely our only similarity, we used to buy fresh bread daily. The bread contained no preservatives so it went bad pretty quickly, and we never stored it in the fridge since we owned neither toaster nor microwave to revive it with later. The bread was often still warm when we brought it home from the bakery and . . .