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Mary
Washington, DC
I grew up on canned vegetables and processed foods. I'm trying to kick the habit by visiting the farmers market more often and cooking with whole ingredients. Basically, I'm learning to cook and learning to eat better. I'm not saying that I'll be free of preservatives, processed, or fried foods (my favorite downfall). The point is, I should be eating more arugula and other green vegetables, especially when I cook at home. We'll see how that goes. <p> This blog is about good food. I write about my experiences learning to cook, eating out, collecting cookbooks, my addiction to the food network, and how I manage to cook anything in my tiny kitchen.<br><br>Check out the arugula files in the <a href="http://www.washingtonian.com/blogarticles/people/capitalcomment/13280.html">Washingtonian</a> and on <a href="http://amandamc.blogspot.com/2009/08/five-bites-on-friday_14.html">Metrocurean</a>.
Interests: cheese, david sedaris, macs, salt, this american life, ben folds, cooking, photography, blogging, shoes, the ocean, arugula, the new yorker, flickr, tegan and sara, farmer's markets, life of pi, purple, get your war on, malcolm gladwell, peaches, old cookbooks, vince vaughn, brussels sprouts, canning, julia child, crabcakes, mushrooms, lemons, ginger, basil, shrimp, olive oil, alice waters, ina garten, andrew bird, kale, santogold, eagle vs. shark, central, clam shacks, the splendid table, the moth podcast, my pillow, hank's oyster bar, black squirrel, lalibela, parchment paper, pyo, assateague, walking places, eatonville, dino, flight of the conchords., nava thai, fine cooking magazine, little ms. sunshine, sweet green, baja fresh, dupont circle, adams morgan, salty meats, cream pasta, big loopy earrings, glee, jade plants, jemaine clement, fried calamari, zatinya, oyamel, rasika, the city paper, tweetdeck, scallops, net news wire lite, onion dip, bedroom fans, what is the what, bastard out of carolina, jane lynch, lemon poppy seed donuts from birch and barley, canon rebel, fine cooking magazine, antique ball jars, seedlings...
Recent Activity
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When Josie was a baby, she ate a lot of kale. Most of the time she ate it with cheese-y grits. Perfect food for feeding a 9 month old: soft, green, delicious. No worries about choking, but still real food. Then one day she said, no thank you and stopped eating kale. I kept putting it on her plate, but she would just work around it. Not long after, she proclaimed it yucky. Sigh. This dish is my last chance kale. I thought, kids like little pies so why not give it a try? And, guess what, she ate it.... Continue reading
Posted Nov 22, 2014 at the arugula files
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Feeding kids isn't that easy. I found that Josie became pickier as she grew closer to two, but I stuck with serving her a variety of foods, usually what we were eating, and now that she is three, I can see her slowly becoming less picky, I think. So what helps? What's the secret? Talking to other Moms (and Dads). That's it. Hearing about how they struggle too. About what dishes have been a hit and what dishes totally bombed. Knowing that some Moms feed their kids eggs for dinner too. Figuring out different ways to cook broccoli because it's... Continue reading
Posted Sep 28, 2014 at the arugula files
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I've cooked this meal at least 97 times. It's my go-to crowd pleaser. Chicken breast, seasoned with chipotle pepper and some kosher salt, and then, after grilling, drizzled with lime. Grilled peppers and onions with fixings like guacamole and salsa on the side. (Sometimes I buy the guacamole and salsa from Whole Foods. Shhhh). My family knows this meal. We eat it at least twice a month. This is what my dinner rut looks like, which isn't terrible. I'm finally coming around to giving my final thoughts on Dinner A Playbook, by Jenny Rosenstrach which hits stores in a few... Continue reading
Posted Aug 29, 2014 at the arugula files
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I've told you about my CSA before. Here's my haul from Lancaster Farm Fresh Cooperative: sungold cherry tomatoes - Crystal Springs Farm sweet onions - Wrightsdale Acres new red potatoes - Bellview Organics green bell peppers - Twin Pines Organics red beets - Shady Hollow Organics orange carrots - chemical free - Shady Hollow Organics collard greens - swap box zucchini - swap box rosemary - herb share I've been on the road for a bit. Either at the beach eating Thrasher's french fries, or, shortly after, on a business trip ordering room service. I'm looking forward to some fresh,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 19, 2014 at the arugula files
Audrey - I did include the stalks. I adjusted the recipe for clarity.
Toggle Commented Jul 18, 2014 on Swiss Chard and Barley Gratin at the arugula files
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I want to love swiss chard. Who couldn't love this gorgeous vegetable? But as I've mentioned before, for me, swiss chard is lacking in the taste department. Too bitter and not enough texture. Enter cream. Also, parmesan. And garlic. Finally, barley. Wait, what? Barley? Yes, haven't you heard, I love barley now. This was a marvelous dish that I can pretend is virtuous because, you know, swiss chard. And also: barley. Swiss chard and barley now that sounds silly healthy, doesn't it? But let's admit that it doesn't sound delicious. That's where the cream comes in. Swiss Chard and Barley... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at the arugula files
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My sister, one of my top advisors, says I've gone "filter crazy." Says I need to stop. I will admit, I have a problem. I love photo filters (instagram, VSCOcam, etc) and I want to spend all my money on photoshop "actions." I will admit that sometimes it's clear that filters are too much, but sometimes I just can't decide which version of a photo I like best: the original or the filtered. What do you think of these peas? Which one do you like best? (Original after the jump). Continue reading
Posted Jul 8, 2014 at the arugula files
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Some photos from our blueberry picking adventure. This one makes my heart happy. Hardworking blueberry pickers. And farm girls too. We might not even get to baking since we have already eaten about half our our haul. Continue reading
Posted Jul 7, 2014 at the arugula files
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This season I'm trying out the herb share offered through my CSA. So far, I've been pleased. Basil, cilantro, thyme, lovage, stevia, and now, lavender, have made their way to my kitchen. I turned the basil into pesto; the thyme I added to mushroom pizza, chicken and barley soup, and pasta. Cilantro, that one was easy: Mexican food, including many dishes of guacamole. Not sure what to do with it, I traded the lovage for rainbow swiss chard. And I passed the stevia onto my neighbor, to sweeten her tea. Now back to the lavender. It's too pretty to give... Continue reading
Posted Jul 4, 2014 at the arugula files
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My friend Sangeetha, or SangeeFA, as Josie calls her, brought strawberry shortcake to my house last weekend. It was the best summer dessert: sweet biscuits, whipped cream, and perfectly ripe strawberries. What a treat. Here's the recipe. Perfect timing for July 4th. Hope you enjoy the long weekend. We are going blueberry picking and for an early lunch here! Strawberry Shortcakes Adapted from Bon Appetit Shortcakes ¼ cup sugar 1 tablespoon baking powder ½ teaspoon kosher salt 2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for surface 6 tablespoons (¾ stick) chilled unsalted butter, cut into pieces 1 cup heavy cream 1... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2014 at the arugula files
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For those of you who are just joining, here's a quick recap: I'm in a dinner rut and to get out of it I am working my way through an advanced copy of Dinner: A Playbook. At the beginning of the week I picked some recipes and made a meal plan for seven days. I've also been following some of the author's tips for how to make dinner easy and breezy (which I will recap at the end of the week). Monday night dinner, Tuesday night dinner, Wednesday night dinner, and here is Thursday night's dinner: nothing? Should I say... Continue reading
Posted Jul 3, 2014 at the arugula files
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For those of you who are just joining, here's a quick recap: I'm in a dinner rut and to get out of it I am working my way through an advanced copy of Dinner: A Playbook. At the beginning of the week I picked some recipes and made a meal plan for seven days. I've also been following some of the author's tips for how to make dinner easy and breezy (which I will recap at the end of the week). Monday night dinner, Tuesday night dinner, and here is Wednesday night's dinner: Chicken and Barley Soup. I made the... Continue reading
Posted Jun 27, 2014 at the arugula files
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For those of you who are just joining, here's a quick recap: I'm in a dinner rut and to get out of it I am working my way through an advanced copy of Dinner: A Playbook. At the beginning of the week I picked some recipes and made a meal plan for seven days. I've also been following some of Jenny's tips for how to make dinner easy and breezy (which I will recap at the end of the week). Here's Tuesday night's dinner: whole wheat linguine with broccoli and anchovy bread crumbs.* The results? Josie ate the entire bowl... Continue reading
Posted Jun 25, 2014 at the arugula files
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For those of you who are just joining, here's a quick recap: I'm in a dinner rut and to get out of it I am working my way through an advanced copy of Dinner: A Playbook. At the beginning of the week I picked some recipes and made a meal plan for seven days. I've also been following some of Jenny's tips for how to make dinner easy and breezy (which I will recap at the end of the week). For now, here's the first night's dinner: Buttermilk-Herb Baked Chicken Fingers.* CHICKEN FINGERS? BEFORE YOU GET ALL JUDGE-Y ON ME... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2014 at the arugula files
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Planning and cooking family meals takes up around 10 percent of my total time each day. Is that right? Wait a minute, that seems too small. Another way to look at it is to take out the fixed time, like sleep (8 hours, LOL, I wish) and work (8 hours) (16-24 hours=8 extra hours in the day) and then getting family dinner on the table (2.5 hours on average, which includes meal planning, shopping, cooking, and clean up) takes about one-third of my "extra" time (2.5 hours/8). Let me say it again: Planning and cooking family meals takes up about... Continue reading
Posted Jun 24, 2014 at the arugula files
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The farmer's are killing it with the big bunches of asparagus they deliver to my neighborhood each week. Spring has been long and generous this year, though I'm sure it's about to end (or has it officially ended?). Before it does, find some asparagus at your farmer's market. I find that since the season for asparagus is usually a short one, simply prepared is best. Roast it in your oven or grill it then sprinkle it with a little salt and a squeeze of lemon. Serve it with Israeli couscous or place it on pizza. Continue reading
Posted Jun 19, 2014 at the arugula files
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My daughter, Josie, loves playing in the dirt. On the way to the park, she will get distracted, lose sight of the promise of the swings to stop and play in a big puddle. Mud soup, she calls it, as she stirs it around with a long stick. This year we planted our little container garden together. I think it was one of the best days of her little life, so far. She loved pushing the dirt into the pot. At one point she turned to me and said sunshine, water, and love is what this plant needs to grow.... Continue reading
Posted Jun 9, 2014 at the arugula files
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Radishes are slowly becoming a staple in my house. I toss them in salad, stuff them in tacos, and layer them on buttered toast. Usually we eat them raw, or, less often, pickled. I never really thought about roasting them until I saw this gorgeous picture in a magazine. I wasn't sure if their flavor would match their looks, but they did. When cooked they lose their bitter bite, and taste similar to potatoes, but a little lighter. I dressed them in this vinaigrette and served them with flank steak, grilled onions, greek yogurt, and flat bread. Eating al fresco... Continue reading
Posted May 13, 2014 at the arugula files
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My husband thinks this chicken salad is ludicrous. Raisins and nuts in chicken salad? Stop the insanity! I offered it to him for lunch. He turned it down, ran out the door, said he would buy lunch. He probably went to Subway. Sigh. Me? I think it's the only way to eat chicken salad. So much flavor! This dish is inspired by the prepared foods section at Whole Foods, where they sell it by the pound. The recipe is not posted on their website because, let's face it, who is going to spend $13 on a small container of chicken... Continue reading
Posted May 4, 2014 at the arugula files
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Week night cooking is exhausting. Totally exhausting. I'm constantly searching for week night meals that meet the following criteria (1) short prep and cook time; (2) use some of my CSA veggies; (3) fresh, light, and healthy; (4) rely mostly on kitchen staples (no trip to the super market required) (5) tastes good. I've been hitting my target with the book Good For You, Easy Healthy Recipes for Every Day. This Spicy Ginger Beef and Bok Choy is a great example. I was surprised to find recipes that I'm actually cooking because I bought this book purely for the photos.... Continue reading
Posted Apr 19, 2014 at the arugula files
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I turned 41 years old this year. FORTY ONE. It is time to start lying about my age. Shhh....don't tell anyone how old I really am. I'm going to start telling people I'm 36. I'll be like, hey, I'm 36! Do you believe me? Now before you go wishing me a happy birthday, please let me say that I celebrated my birthday in January, the month that I was born (36 years ago, EXACTLY). So, this post is a little, ahem, late for the party. But I have to tell you about this cake because culinary resolutions list. Number #13.... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2014 at the arugula files
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It's that time of year. Time for me to set my culinary resolutions. I usually follow through on half of them and acknowledge that I'm in love with making lists, which is why I do this. (My lists from 2013, 2012, 2011, and 2010). Here goes: 1.) Eat at Rose's Luxury 2.) Can enough fresh tomato sauce to make it through the winter 3.) Take a bagel or bread making class 4.) Learn how to use my 5D, Mark III. 5.) Introduce Josie to one new food a week. 6.) Use my pressure cooker 7.) Stop using the phrases "comes... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at the arugula files
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Photo: Scott Suchman On the rare occasion I go out to dinner with my husband or friends, I aim to try a new place. A restaurant has to be very, very tasty for me to go back a second time. There are just too many new restaurants opening on 14th street in the DC area. Here's a list of restaurants where I would go back for more. The restaurants on this list are a mix of casual dining or gourmet markets ( #1, #3, #10, #4), to trendy (#5, #6, #5, #9, #2), to suburban (#8, #4). Interestingly, most of... Continue reading
Posted Jan 7, 2014 at the arugula files
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I don't know about you, but I ate my face off during the holidays. One of my favorite meals was a lobster dinner prepared by my Uncle Sonny. Lobster, butter, garlic bread. A little bit of salad. Delicious. Josie kept calling the lobsters monsters. That didn't stop her from trying a few bites! Here's Uncle Sonny! Happy 2014. Continue reading
Posted Jan 1, 2014 at the arugula files