This Week in My Kitchen

This is my first post from my new "food" home to the lovely cooks over at ....

I had a lot of fun with the cooking I did this week. First up were some fun "cupcake frittatas" from a recipe in this month's Cook Vegetarian (from the UK) by "Hemsley + Hemsley"…though if I make them again I need to increase the flavor:

Next was an interesting Kelp Pot Noodle dish from the same ladies in the same magazine. In fact, their dishes are so interesting with their techniques I've never seen anywhere else that I ordered the book from which they had been excerpted, Hemsley + Hemsley's The Art of Eating Well -- especially after seeing (it could be an error) that the American edition, according to Amazon, is SIXTY fewer pages than the original, British edition. Not only have I seen errors creep into cookbooks whose ingredients and their measurements have been Americanized, but it's more fun, and just as easy, if one owns a kitchen scales and knows a few British food terms, to use the original. This also avoids the problem of an American editor's deciding for you which American food to substitute for a British one; frankly I'd rather decide for myself based on my own experiences.

Here's an easy salad I made one night.


Here's a lunch, raw vegetables with leftover onion chutney and pecan butter on toast.


Last dinner mention for this week: The Best Thing I've Made in Years. Cook Vegetarian featured chefs' all-time-favorite vegetarian dishes, and I made Thomasina Miers' Roasted Red Pepper and Goat's Cheese Tart which was totally amazing, though I made quite a few changes and found that it took forever in my slow way of cooking. I didn't use her suggestion of premade butter pastry, though that would've been luscious and taken a lot less time! but what I chose instead I think was even more delicious as well as better-for-u -- a whole grain oil pastry from the 1970s New York Times Natural Foods Cookbook. The crust didn't look fancy, though! I made it even less fancy though much easier by both mixing the ingredients right in the pie pan and then pressing them out rather than rolling them -- the pastry is very fragile.

On top of it you spread a totally amazing tapanade.

Then I topped it with tomatoes, already-roasted red peppers, both goat and a nutty hard cheese, basil both Italian and Thai, and pecans and almonds and onions. 

…Then you bake it, then I sprinkled it with both smoked sweet paprika and dried chili bits.

She says it makes enough for 4; I actually find it a bit too good for that! and think it would make a better appetizer for 8.


Also in my kitchen this week….My other kitchen looks super rustic and I love it; in fact, my theme photo at a now defunct cooking site -- of which this is its wobbly resurrection -- a site I used to do with friends from around the world -- included that rustic kitchen; you can see it a bit at .…but we moved most of our furniture to this house where I do all of my cooking nowadays. For ages I had all the spices in a rustic cabinet -- sorry I forgot to photograph it pre-move -- but it meant I had to go into another room every time I needed anything, because like most American kitchens ours is packed with built-ins, with no room for an antique cabinet. So I decided to be boring but practical and move things around. Here they are on their way to their new home:

And here they are right where they really belong, where I do almost all my food prep. (There's yet another picture of my obviously favorite food magazine this week, Cook Vegetarian!)

And here's their old home, where I'm just keeping finishing salts that I hope won't be affected by the sun -- before, with the spices there, I had to keep the doors closed all the time. The little plates are my preferred souvenirs (actually a bit bigger would be my preferred but I never have room in my suitcase!).