bo ssam: a party in a flash

Why Bo Ssam? It’s been cold, gray, snowy and miserable. That’s it. I call a halt on weather talk. Instead, let’s talk party food. Because we’ve all been holed away at home for too long and socializing is an important part of getting through the worst of these dark months. Start with a pork shoulder. (When is that not a good idea?) At least, that’s how I felt mid-week last week when I started thinking about Bo Ssam, a recipe I’ve wanted to make since I first read Momofuku. the excellent and adventurous cookbook from David Chang and Peter Meehan. The recipe is available online from the New York Times, and Sam Sifton does a great job explaining why you want to make it. Once the recipe appeared there, bloggers and […]


Happy Gotcha Day, Morty!

One year ago, this little skinny miniature schnauzer came to us. We named him Morty. He had been dropped off at the shelter, two years old, never groomed, and not neutered. Two days later, everything changed. He was, er, fixed, groomed (shaved), driven three hours and handed over to us. He arrived with the Polar Vortex. He needed a sweater. Louie is happy to have a friend, and in no time at all they have become inseparable. Morty perfects the “look”.   And he patrols the front door. Welcome home, little guy. We’re so glad you’re here. Happy gotcha day.


pineapple papaya salsa

I’ll admit, I struggled with the name. It’s a little jammy in texture, but acts like a condiment. Whatever it is, I’m in love with this pineapple papaya salsa (a word which, by the way, just means sauce, so I call this salsa, ok?) Honestly, I’m not even sure if it falls in the savory or sweet column. Tropical fruit always calls to me around this time of year. It’s bleak and gray and precipitating outside. Walk into the grocery store and there are faux tiki carts in the produce section. What am I supposed to do when they taunt me,  filled with pineapple, mango, banana. Plantains often end up there. Ugli fruit and other citrus. I hang around the cart wishing for a daiquiri […]

radish toast

how to eat (a lot of) black radish

About a million years ago, long before I ever thought I would write a blog, let alone a book, I was invited to a friend’s home for Passover. Jean had a family, two kids, a dog, a house and school pickups and all those other things that I, single girl, city dweller, didn’t even have on my radar screen. The dinner was sensational. The foods, some traditional and familiar to me, others new experiences. The dinner was better than any I ever had at my grandmother’s table (sorry, Gran). (Except maybe the chopped liver because that was my grandmother’s God-given gift: the lightest chopped liver in the world. Sorry, Jean.) Jean served a black radish spread/condiment before the meal, alongside the chopped liver. I couldn’t get enough […]

cubed paneer cheese

palak (spinach) with homemade paneer cheese

A few times every month, I like to cook up an Indian dinner. Never just one dish or two, I crowd the table with daal, grilled flatbread or rice, chana masala and this, my all time favorite dish, palak paneer aka spinach with cheese. [But first! Today (Monday, Jan. 19), I will be joining Carla Hall on The Chew! Please tune in. And if you miss it, I’ve been assured the segment will be online. If you are joining me here because of the show — WELCOME!] Paneer is one of the easiest cheeses to make requiring nothing more than whole milk and lemon juice or vinegar. It’s very straightforward and always delicious.This entire dish, start to finish, takes less than an hour to complete. I usually […]


I supersized Carol’s sensible skillet souffle

From time to time, Dennis says “I’m too tired to watch you cook.” Sometimes this means “Let’s order Thai food”. but it’s also  code for  “will you make Skillet Souffle?” I first came across  this Andrea Reusing recipe on In Medias Recipe, my friend Carol ‘s blog full of beautiful photographs from the Santa Barbara farmers market and gorgeous  dinners from her table. A skillet souffle is not unlike a frittata or Spanish tortilla, except for the genius inclusion of baking powder that puffs this pretty thing up in a tall, firm sliceable, pie that serves up in slices. I count on this dish, making it two or three times a month. Satisfying, refrigerator-clearing, easy to reheat, this dinner is on happy repeat. I have to fess up, though. I’ve changed up the original recipe quite […]