Tag Archives: Condiments

Veggie Burgers

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There’s nothing I hate more than a cold. This past week was pretty bad health-wise for those of us at the law school. It seemed like all of my friends were sick, and my friend Amanda and I got pretty bad colds.  All of my Vitamin C  consumption just couldn’t stave off the law school germs. It probably didn’t help that I’ve been staying up late doing work for the past week and a half, but what’s done is done. I’m just hoping that I’ve fulfilled my cold quota for the year and that the germs will now leave me alone. What can I say? I’m an optimist sometimes.

After a week of soup, soup, and more soup, I was really craving something hearty last night. I spotted this recipe for vegetarian burger a few days ago on Tastespotting and pinned it within seconds of reading the ingredient list. I love black beans. Black bean soup, black bean salad, black beans burritos. You name it, I will eat it. And I love veggie burgers. I’m always looking for more ways to get in my daily dose of protein, and this was just the ticket. It’s hearty and flavorful, and you can easily adapt it to what’s in your kitchen.

The original recipe calls for quinoa, but I am somehow completely out. So I substituted farro. While the grains normally take 35 to 45 minutes to cook, Trader Joe’s now makes a great ten-minute variety. I am actually obsessed. If you haven’t tried farro yet, you definitely should. It’s nutty and filling, and Oprah has classified it as a health food (so it must be true). All I know is that I feel great eating this whole-grain, and it doesn’t hurt that it tastes fantastic!

Happy eating!

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Homemade Pesto and a Great Veggie Sandwich

I spent yesterday morning at the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery. The Portrait Gallery is one of those museums that I always forget how much I like. Located in Penn Quarter near the Verizon Center, the museum is often forgotten since it isn’t on the National Mall, but it is a striking building with an impressive collection. The museum is hosting an exhibition of Alexander Calder’s Portraits until August 14th. I loved the juxtaposition of photographs and sketches with Calder’s creations, and I highly encourage you to check it out if you’re in the city. After all, the Smithsonian museums are all free!

As a student and a blogger, I have often found myself at a bit of a disadvantage when it comes to equipment. Let’s face it: the average dorm or college row house does not come with a KitchenAid Mixer, and it’s relatively pointless for any of us to buy expensive equipment as it will get either ruined by our peers or will take up space that we simply do not have. The one piece of equipment I always wished that I had, however, was the food processor. I just signed the lease on my new apartment for law school and, with even less counter space than before, a food processor is nowhere on my horizon.

So what’s a girl to do when she wants some fresh pesto? Well, my foodprocesser-less friends, I have a solution. You can still make pesto by hand. Sure, this might seem ridiculous considering you can spend five bucks on a passable jar of pesto from Safeway, but very few things beat the taste of fresh pesto, and it’s a great recipe to have under your belt. I first saw this recipe on the Crepes of Wrath and have made it many times since. While it requires a ton of chopping, it is one of the easiest and most foolproof recipes that you’ll find for pesto. I’ve even dressed it up with some cooked green beans and potatoes for pesto genovese.

Today, however, this pesto is the star in a delicious vegetarian sandwich that tastes great during the warm summer months. Give it a try or test it out on some fresh pasta. Happy eating!

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Basics: Crème Fraîche

I’m sorry.  It has been two months since my last post.  The end of the school year and the end of my grad school semester have gotten the best of me,  and I just have not had the time or stamina to blog, let alone cook.  Even my husband complained about my absence from the blog.  However, this post marks a turning point.  Grad school is over for the year, and I just have a couple weeks left of teaching.  Over the summer, this blog will be my job, and you are going to see a lot of recipes inspired by summer produce and the farmers’ market . . . starting later this week.

For now, because it has been such a long time since I blogged (or cooked), I’ve decided to ease back into it.

Now, if you’re like me, you’ve bought a quart of buttermilk to make waffles, scones, or biscuits, and after using half a cup, you’re left with three and a half cups of unused buttermilk.  After placing the carton back into the refrigerator, three weeks later, you find it unused and expired, and you end up throwing away more than half of the container of buttermilk.  Annoying.

For this reason, I was excited when I found a recipe for crème fraîche in The Ciao Bella Book of Gelato & Sorbetto.  Why did I find a recipe for crème fraîche in a book of ice cream recipes?  The answer: crème fraîche gelato.

Some recipes seem simple, but they’re actually quite difficult:  hollandaise sauce, a moist chocolate cake, homemade pizza dough . . . That is why I get so excited when I come across a recipe that I assume is hard to make and find out it’s actually a cinch.

The latter is the case with crème fraîche.  Now, later this week, I will post the recipe for Ciao Bella’s gelato, but today, crème fraîche is the focus.

If you’re unfamiliar with crème fraîche, or think it sounds really fancy, it’s just a mild sour cream.  It can be used for a multitude of things and can take the place of sour cream in many recipes.  What I really like about crème fraîche is its ability to pair with sweet desserts (such as chocolate pots de crème) and cut through the sweetness.

The other thing I like about crème fraîche is that it consists of two ingredients (buttermilk and heavy cream), and the most difficult part of making it is measuring the ingredients.  Like I said, I’m easing back into blogging. Continue reading


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