Monthly Archives: June 2014

Spicy Braised Beef with Lime, p. 725


Last fall, craving a hearty stew dish I made this meal. I’m going to be honest and admit at this point I don’t remember much about the making of the stew.

But according to my notes I used three dried chiles and it was too spicy for me. Bryan loved it though.


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Pasta with Red Peppers and Balsamic Vinegar, p. 519

When we first got married Bryan had a list of foods he did not like. They included, but were not limited to: peppers, tomatoes, onions, and mushrooms. He’s grown to accept tomatoes and onions in some forms. But he loves peppers. Seriously love them. His love and acceptance of things that he previously didn’t like is what spurs me to continue to try things I don’t like (beans).

I put this meal on our meal plan with him in mind. Unfortunately the timing worked out so that he wasn’t home when I made it. Oh well. I enjoyed it and ate it all up.


I was particularly thrilled to get to use the first fresh basil of the season from our garden. I did find that there wasn’t enough balsamic vinegar to my taste and ended up adding a dash or two to each single serving I had. Also of note, I enjoyed it leftover cold better than fresh, warm.

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Baked Beans, p. 416

One day last fall I decided to cook some ribs. And in Memphis you can’t have ribs without some baked beans. No, I don’t like baked beans, but I’m a Memphian and I fundamentally can not serve ribs without baked beans. It’s a rule.

This recipe wasn’t difficult, but it takes time. The trick to getting baked beans right is to make sure that your beans are tender before they go into the oven. Mine weren’t as tender as I normally liked, but I’ve made a note to myself for future reference in the margins of my book.  I won’t make the same mistake twice.


Apparently I also served my ribs and baked beans with butter beans. I do not recall why.

They were good. Bryan poured extra bbq sauce on his beans and ate them up greedily.

Verdict: not the worst beans ever.


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Baked Sweet Potatoes

Yeah, I know. Probably one of the easiest things to cook ever. Baked sweet potatoes. This is not rocket science.

Here’s the thing though, growing up I did not like sweet potatoes. They fell under the same category as beans. But I’ve been trying different things, especially the things I don’t like hoping that maybe I’ve matured. And I’m proud to say I have. A little bit.

This past fall when there wasn’t much at the farmer’s market other than sweet potatoes and greens I bought a couple of sweet potatoes hoping for the best.  We enjoyed them!


They are the perfect side dish. After the first time I made them at least two or three more times over the winter months. So far we have just kept it simple, but maybe next fall we’ll start experimenting with fun things to top and season.


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Potato Rosti, p. 345

This past winter we got on a bit of a potato kick. They were a pantry staple. Tired of roasting them or doing hashes I looked a few new ways to cook them.

A cross between hashbrowns and a big pancake, we both enjoyed this dish. We enjoyed topping our pie piece with our favorite condiments. Me: comeback sauce, Bryan: Tabasco and ketchup.

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Anything Scented Peas, p. 329

Last week in our CSA share we received some beautiful sugar snap peas.  I remembered this recipe from when I did a variation a few summers ago (5! summers ago!!!!).

I went out to the garden to determine which of the “light herbs” Mark Bittman recommended needed some picking. Our parsley was plentiful so I snipped a few stems and brought them inside to use for the dish.

Side note: If you want to keep up with what is going on in our garden, click here:

This was a quick dish I made entirely while steak from the grill was resting. Yeah, resting. Less than 10 minutes.

It was a perfect, bright side dish to a grilled meat. I didn’t find the parsley flavor strong at all, but a stronger herb like mint might have held up a little more.


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Leeks Braised in Oil or Butter, p. 311

Apparently I’ve made this before, although I don’t have a note of in my book.

I’m still trying to get Bryan to love leeks. Currently he tolerates them. Last week I snuck some in a frittata with some potatoes. He ate his fair share.

This dish is easy and delicious. I served it a few months ago with steak and potatoes.

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