Bean and Kale Vegetable Stew

Often when returning from a trip somewhere, I go a little nuts stocking up on produce at the grocery store. Traveling is often light on fruits and veggies, and being back in control of my kitchen gets me excited to cook up a storm. So this week when I started to feel like I was pressing my luck with the zucchini and kale in the veggie drawer, I pulled together this Bean and Kale Vegetable Stew, adapted from Smitten Kitchen recipe I like quite a bit. Actually one of my favorite things about that recipe is how adaptable it is…

A taste of Costa Rica: homemade Lizano salsa

When we visited Costa Rica earlier this month, I didn’t experience the region’s favorite salsa, Lizano, until the second-to-last day there. After a sea kayaking excursion, we were treated to a wonderful lunch of casado as part of the package, and a mysterious brown sauce was on the table next to regular red salsa. I tried a dab of it on my rice and beans, and it was so delicious I basically drained the little bottle by half. The guide explained that it was Lizano, and I immediately started thinking about how I could enjoy this sauce at home. I could have bought…

Pizzeria-style pizza sauce

When we decided to make homemade pizzas for Christmas dinner this year, I hunted for a good sauce recipe. I wanted it to be more like a typical American pizza sauce, like the kind from the delivery joints. I love the simplicity and purity of the crushed tomato sauce, but I knew these pizzas would be topped with more things and I wanted a sauce that could play well with these toppings (and not get overpowered). The Easy Authentic Pizza Sauce recipe by ohsweetbasil looked promising, and sounded like the right combination of thick tomato flavor and sweetness I was after. Process notes…

Loaded pizzeria-like pizza sauce

Normally I make a very simple pizza sauce of lightly-pureed canned tomatoes and a dash of salt. Recently I wanted to shake things up and did some looking around for a new kind of sauce to make. I found some that were inspired by pizzeria sauces, which had many more ingredients than I usually use. Tomato paste showed up on the recipes, but I didn’t have any, so I went my own way and made one up. It was a good match for my plain cheese topping, but it would have been improved with the addition of tomato paste. Formula 14.5…

What I’m doing with 10 pounds of Russet potatoes

I could not pass up the seasonal 10-pounds-for-$.87 sale. Even though last year I swore I wouldn’t do it again because most of the potatoes went bad long before we could eat them. But this Fall I have a new plan: freezing. I broke that 10-pound bag into a few groups: 4 to bake and freeze 5-6 to shred into hash browns and freeze 5-6 to dice into cubes and freeze 6 for the refrigerator to use in the immediate future For the baking group, I scrubbed them clean, pricked once with a sharp knife, and baked for 60 min. at…