Sugar Pumpkins – pepitas and puree by Weezie

Posted on 11-01-10 · Tags: , , , , ,

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I am sitting in the living room of one of my closest friends in Philadelphia, Anj’s godmother Kristin. I grew up in Philadelphia and have been very close with Kristin since I was 16. That is over 40 years. She is dying of lung cancer and I don’t know if this is the last time I will be with her.

For the last year I have been making the purest and simplest food for her – organic chicken broth or very simple organic lentils with greens. Even though I can’t be there to cook for her every night, she can combine these simple foods to make soups and stews – giving her comfort, inspiration and the nutrition she needs to keep her strength. I freeze them and bring them to her about once a month. Now most of what she is eats comes out of an intravenous tube. (What she takes by mouth she usually throws up.)

So here I am, sitting next to her, and writing this post while she dozes on my shoulder – a surreal experience. But work is an anchor that grounds the soul – so here we go.

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Matar Paneer by Weezie

Posted on 06-16-10 · Tags: , , , , ,

Mom's Matar Paneer

Last year was a bad year for peas in Simsbury. There was too much rain and the peas did nothing. Maybe I got one meal out of them. As the snow fell in January, Priscilla and I sat by the fire with a cup of tea and a basket full of seed catalogs. We browsed through the seed write-ups, dreaming about next year’s garden. We tried to imagine which peas, peppers, brussels sprouts, lettuces, or onions would do well in our Connecticut soil. We strategized on how to rotate our crops this year to defy the squash borers or the cabbage moths without using poison. We tried to guess how much of each vegetable our family would want to eat in 2010. Priscilla lives five minutes away and like me she has an organic garden. She spends every available moment during the school year and all summer amidst her tomatoes, raspberries, blueberries and her 1000 heads of garlic. She and I often plant different vegetables or different varieties and then share our harvests.

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NYC to Santa Fe and a side of pork by Anjuli

Posted on 12-29-09 · Tags: , , ,

Santa Fe

Matt and I did some driving during Christmas break. Quite a bit, actually. We finally, after almost 10 years, moved out of NYC. It involved not only an anticlimactic exit culminating in hours of Jersey traffic, but also countless hours packing our car chock full of everything we felt was worthy of making the trip. It was a liberating and slightly nauseating experience.

We drove 2,300 miles through PA, Ohio, and Missouri, narrowly missing the snowstorm I’m sure covered many of you back east. We then met up with the Mother Road, Historic Route 66 and drove through the heartland, across the Panhandle and into the Southwest. Our little car and all our worldly possessions headed up the mountain to Santa Fe, New Mexico on Tuesday, December 22rd. The following day we surprisingly found an adorable adobe house, were all starry-eyed at how this would never have been possible on Christmas Eve in NYC, and settled in for a dry, snowy Christmas.

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Shockingly gingery ginger cookies by Anjuli

Posted on 11-04-09 · Tags:

Triple Ginger Cookies

We have been making these shockingly gingery ginger cookies since summer. They are head-to-head with my other favorite ginger cookie, the ginger snap. We’d been looking for thick, chewy, and gingery cookies (but not so much it burns) for a long time. I’m a longtime fan of 101cookbooks.com, and Heidi has definitely found a winner with these triple ginger cookies. Instead of pondering the ideal source of ginger (dried, crystalized, or fresh), why not use them all? Why not indeed. Ginger has long been considered a good way to whet the appetite. So why not have these before and after dinner?

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Greens for the SICK by Anjuli

Posted on 03-13-09 · Tags: , , , , , ,

Mizuna and watercress salad with roasted asparagus, toasted sesame and garlic-soy dressing

It feels like we’ve been tackling the flu since our return from Japan (or are we just sick with longing to go back?). When I caught sight of this recipe chock full of garlic, ginger, and dark leafy greens loaded with calcium, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C, I thanked its source, Eating Well, for giving me a treatment I don’t need to gag on and swallow with huge gulps of water. Not only are the ingredients healthy, but this salad tickles your sweet, salty, bitter, and sour buds. Throw in some kelp and you’d have all five taste buds present.

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Watercress salad with sesame tofu, ginger chicken, and mystery dressing by Anjuli

Posted on 02-27-09 · Tags: , , , , , , ,

Watercress salad with sesame tofu and ginger chicken in a spicy Asian vinaigrette

I can’t share this whole recipe with you. It’s not a secret. It’s just that I was in a mood when I started it, and ended up opening my cabinets and dumping everything into a bowl in instinctual proportion but without paying attention. So to repeat, you may need to release the tension into the salad dressing, abandoning any care for convention, and relish this spicy concoction. So somewhere in the line of: 2 minced shallots, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 teaspoon lemon juice, 1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil, 1 teaspoon honey, 1 teaspoon cashew butter, crushed red pepper flakes, a little coconut milk, 1 teaspoon chipotle salsa, 2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon whole grain English mustard, 1 teaspoon soy sauce, 1 teaspoon rice vinegar, and some pepper. Whisk. Taste. Holy shit.

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South Indian Green Curry by Anjuli

Posted on 10-29-08 · Tags: , , , , ,

Indian Green Curry

Aki came over for dinner last night and we tried to do all the dirty work in advance. However, we seem to go at our own pace when cooking, and things rarely turn out like magic. After a bit of practice with this recipe, the 10 minute theatrics of making the curry come to life will surely be something to save for the crowd. The spicy and very savory curry of this dish goes well with the softness and sweetness of the fish. The shallots are similar to the small pinkish onions found all over India, and give a more complex flavor than yellow onions.

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Mulligatawny by Anjuli

Posted on 10-18-08 · Tags: , , , , , ,

Making mulligatawny

Mulligatawny, an Indian-Brit recipe, means “pepper water” in Tamil (“millagu” is pepper and “thanni” is water). This was my favorite soup growing up. The list of ingredients may seem a little daunting, but just think of the cooking spread over two days (like we do), and it’s a cake walk. There is nothing complicated to make this (other than the prep and measuring of spices). I have made it with my mother before, but this time documented while she cooked, and am now presenting her recipe to you.

It’s got a complex flavor coming from the sweetness of the coconut and onion, spiciness of the chili and pepper, and a complex aroma from the broth and Indian spices. The soup is a beautiful golden yellow color, specked with green, and has a soft texture and smooth finish. The chicken basically just melts in your mouth. Served on brown rice it is an excellent and complete dinner.

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