Posts Under: Eat

Eat

How To Make Sauce With Tomatoes From Your Garden

Here is an annoying thing I do whenever people come over to visit: I drag them to my side yard so that I can show off my tomato plants and loudly exclaim "how wonderful it is to have tomatoes straight from your own garden!"

Isn't that SO ANNOYING?! I can't help it. Before we moved to California I'd never grown tomatoes, and for whatever reason having everything to do with luck and nothing whatsoever to do with my abilities, the tomato vines that I plant every summer grow into freaking trees within weeks. I mean it: they are massive, and so heavy that they can't be contained by ordinary tomato plant container-things, and end up spilling out into the path, and it's all very dramatic and smells AMAZING.

The thing is, I'm soooo good at tomato-growing that I always end up with way more tomatoes than we can reasonably eat. I send my kids out into the yard to gather them up every night, but still: the branches are practically been hanging to the ground from all the weight. So the other night, I decided it was time to do something that'd use up massive quantities of them in a way that would still let their flavor come through, and made marinara sauce using a combination of heirlooms and cherry tomatoes - basically, whatever was ripe.

Eat

Bagel Snob

When I was growing up, New York City bagels were a "thing." You just couldn't get anything even approximating one once you left the boundaries of the city. People continue to act like they're still a thing, but by now Noah's and Einstein's and similar chains have made their way across the country, and while they're not anywhere near as good as an H&H Bagel straight out of the oven (I used to live a couple of blocks from the factory and walk over for a fresh bagel with cream cheese and lox on cold mornings, and oh my godddd), they're certainly acceptable. Even delicious.

But still: not the same. And since I don't have a solid bagel place anywhere within a twenty-minute driving range, I just don't really eat them very much anymore. This is obviously a shame.

Then my friend Alisa told me that she makes her own bagels. I mean...who does that? That is an insane thing to do. (I actually consider any bread-making an insane thing to do, since - as you may recall - I am oh, so very bad at it.) So she said she'd show me how she does it, and now...well, ok, I'm not going to make these myself, because I am wayyyyy too lazy and impatient for a recipe that involves yeast and waiting. But anytime someone wants to make them for me, I'll be right there, cream cheese in hand.

Eat

I Can’t Stop Eating Shrimp Rolls

It took me years and years to understand the appeal of shrimp rolls. I think this is because I tend to only encounter them at places where you can also eat lobster rolls, and...I mean...eating shrimp when you can eat lobster is sort of like eating white chocolate when milk chocolate is available, no? Like, why would you do that?

The answer, as it turns out: Because lobster is expensive, and lobster is really only great when it's fresh...but shrimp? Pretty cheap, actually - especially if you get it at Costco, ahem. And shrimp are delicious even when they've been frozen and defrosted, making them practical, as well.

I'm very particular about my lobster rolls - I need them to be juuuust the right combination of lobster meat and mayo, with very few other ingredients gunking up all that perfect simplicity - and it turns out I'm equally particular about shrimp rolls. Which means that when I tell you that the one that I have been making constantly these past few weeks is perfect, I mean it. It's perfect. (Did I mention that you can easily make it in large quantities for guests, as a much more swishy take on regular old hot dogs?

Eat

When That 2009 Mason Jar Obsession Comes In Handy…

Hey, remember a few years ago when pretty much every post I wrote included a Mason jar in one way or another? What that time period resulted in was me owning a lot of Mason jars.

Which is fortunate, because now - thanks to Diana Snyder's Young And Hungry: Your Complete Guide To A Delicious Life, which I'm slowly making my way through both for the easy recipes and just because it's so sweet and funny and reminds me of my early 20s - I am aware that I can use my Mason jars to send Kendrick off to work in the morning with homemade ramen. And homemade ramen is the kind of thing that earns me points in the "Who Wakes Up Early With The Kids On Saturday" tally, which is kiiiiiiind of everything.

Thank you for the extra hour of sleep* this weekend, Diana Snyder.

Eat

The Very Best Stuff You Can Get At Trader Joe’s (According To Me)

Like so many things in life, the joys of Trader Joe's are sweeter for having known the sad, grey world that existed in their absence. Until I was twenty-seven years old, you see, I lived in tragic ignorance of the fact that pre-marinated meat could be so delicious (and so thinly sliced!), or that crumpets could be so wonderful-tasting that they could make the casual usage of the word "crumpet" (almost) acceptable, or that drinkable four-dollar wine existed. Even in those heady days during which I first roamed the aisles alongside fellow Himalayan sea salt lovers too broke for Whole Foods, Trader Joe's was a once-a-month special occasion, because each trip resulted in the purchase of oh, so much four-dollar wine that I was required to splurge on a $25 taxi ride home.

Now I am a suburbanite. I own a car that I call a "truck" but that most people would probably consider an SUV. There is a Trader Joe's located 15 minutes from my house.

And now? Oh, now I know all about it. I can close my eyes and see the shelves laden with quinoa chips and dried broccoli florets in stunning - even technicolor - detail.