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Monthly Archive for April 2008

Hibernation: Take Two

Are you getting sick of me whining and moaning and pouting about the weather? First, it was the delay of spring. Well, now it’s the retreat of spring. Actually, more like the re-emergence of winter. Seriously, snow flakes were spotted on Monday. And the two days that preceded Monday? The ones when the weather really matters because you wait all week for them? Yes, Saturday and Sunday? Well they were no good. Rain, wind, a chill and nary a sunbeam to be found.

So, we tried to make the best of it. We watched an alarming number of episodes of HBO’s John Adams mini-series. We napped. We even made a fire, for crying out loud. May I remind you that just days ago we were sipping margaritas on our deck? And shortly after that, we were cooling off with refreshing bowls of frozen yogurt. Now we had reverted to a brand of hunkering down not seen since the dog days of January.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Dessert,Recipe on April 30 2008 » 16 comments

Ramps!!

Clearly, I’m atoning for Saturday’s seasonally-disfunctional post (stuffed bell peppers, in April!). Between yesterday’s favas beans, asparagus and peas and today’s ramps (RAMPS!!!), I’d like to think my errant eating has been absolved. So, about these ramps: I was beyond excited to find them at the market. They were tucked haphazardly among the chiles, unmarked (probably the only reason I was able to score some) and unpriced (ominous, for sure). I gathered up a bunch and sort of lost myself for a second, marveling at how simultaneously humble and stunning they looked. I spotted a nearby employee and asked him, wide-eyed and awestruck, “Are these ramps?” He smiled knowingly at me and assured me that they were indeed. Clearly, he understood. As I returned to my handful of the beauties, he mentioned: “$11.99 a pound, by the way.” I snapped out of my reverie, promptly returned half-a-handful of the ramps and began scheming about how I’d put the remaining ones to use.

Well, let me just tell you that the Internets were surprisingly unhelpful. There were not a ton of ramp recipes out there. As I was just about to abandon recipes altogether and go freestyle (probably a little reckless, seeing as though I’d never actually tasted ramps before), I found a recipe at Food & Wine’s site for a white cheese pizza with ramps.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Pizza,Recipe,Uncategorized on April 29 2008 » 28 comments

Spring Farro Risotto

Last weekend, Kevin—bless his heart—agreed to do the grocery shopping. We had a really busy weekend, so I jumped at the offer. I also made a ridiculously detailed grocery list. I knew I had a couple things on the list that might be difficult to find, so I included some locational information. But, for some reason, I failed to do so when I listed “fava beans”—treating them more like plain old (easy-to-find) eggs or milk, rather than the spring delicacy that they are. He had no idea whether they were fresh, canned or frozen. No idea what they looked like. No idea that he might have to fight off other foodies at the store who’d also been waiting patiently for favas to make their brief spring appearance.

To Kevin’s immense credit, he found the favas. And he scooped up a big handful and proudly presented them to me when I got home. My heart swelled with pride. And, man, was I excited to finally try out this new-to-me ingredient. Well, um, what I didn’t realize is that an entire pound of fava pods yields a mere cup of beans. So the handful (five, maybe six pods) Kevin had previously proudly brandished resulted in a scant tablespoon or two of pods. And that was after the double-shucking (first, split open the pods and extract the beans; second, plunge the beans briefly into boiling water, drain and rub off the outer skins—see the top two rows of photos, above) that they require. Apparently, favas not only like to play hard-to-get, but they’re high maintenance too. Quite the divas.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Uncategorized on April 28 2008 » 14 comments

Impatience Pays

Patience has never been my strong suit. I hear it’s a virtue. Maybe so. But it certainly isn’t one of my virtues. Take these peppers, for instance. I know full well that they’d be best in the dead of summer, when peppers are available in abundance at the farmers markets and at their tastiest. But I’ve also been tinkering around with this filling for awhile and I just couldn’t wait any longer to give it a go and bring it to the blog.

These peppers are stuffed with a mixture made of grains and sauteed vegetables and beans. I’ve tried a number of variations and I think this one is a winner. I chose quinoa for the grain; yellow squash, onions and asparagus for the sauteed vegetables; and chickpeas for the bean. The options, though, are endless: couscous, orzo, farro, brown rice; any vegetable under the sun; cannellini beans, kidney beans or baby limas.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Recipe on April 26 2008 » 11 comments

A Multi-Religious/Computer/Award Post

You might be asking yourself, what kind of girl posts a 100% leavened baked good recipe (Lemon-Strawberry Muffins) the day after bringing you a perfect-for-Passover macaroon recipe? Well, I’m here to tell you: a girl who lives in a multi-religious household, that’s who! And, I must admit, it’s a status I quite enjoy. I say: why bake only Christmas cookies, when you can bake rugelach too? Why stop at my family’s traditional Christmas Swedish Meatballs when latkes could be mine as well?

In addition to living in a multi-religious household, we’re living in a multi-computer household at the moment too. My poor laptop—the one that’s seen me through countless law school classes—is on its very last leg. Kevin’s laptop is shutting down too, so we added a new computer to the family last week (Kevin’s birthday!). Which is great and all, but I’m a creature of habit and the transition to newer-and-better has not been without its hiccups. Yesterday’s post, for instance, barely got up without tears (Kevin, please don’t disclose just how close we were to said tears). Upgrade, Shmupgrade.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Breakfast,Recipe on April 25 2008 » 8 comments

Special Request

I mentioned the delicious menu from Saturday night’s Seder, but I didn’t mention the fact that, over dinner, Kevin’s sister Abby voiced a special request. She asked me to post a Passover-friendly dessert recipe this week. She and her roommates (she’s about to graduate from the University of Wisconsin) have apparently been on something of a baking streak. I, of course, was all too happy to grant the request.

And, well that was Saturday night. And it’s now more than half-a-Passover later. It’s not that I didn’t want to post this recipe sooner. But when I started looking for recipes, I became truly paralyzed. It’s as though every baked good imaginable has been reinvented with Passover in mind. As someone who’s fairly new to Passover, I was bewildered by the array of choices. Would I do a flourless chocolate cake? The omnipresent matzo crunch? A recipe from the back of a Maischewitz box? I eventually made up my mind and, while Passover is certainly waning at this point, I’m hoping that Abby & Co are still in search of a baking project.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Uncategorized on April 24 2008 » 7 comments

An Ode to Bob (And My Mom)

Mine is a family who likes to tease. And, when it comes to my mom, my sister and I can be a wee bit relentless. But we kid out of love, I assure you. For instance, we like to tease my mom when she sometimes inadvertently reenacts a scene from the movie What About Bob. Have you seen What About Bob? If not, close your browser, shut down your computer, and proceed to the nearest Blockbuster. Seriously. If you have seen it: so good, right? And, do you remember that scene where Bob (Bill Murray) wins himself a dinner invitation at Dr. Leo Marvin’s (Richard Dreyfuss’) vacation home? And Dr. Marvin’s wife, Fay, cooks up a feast, which is apparently the most delicious thing that Bob has ever eaten? Which leads Bob to dissolve into incessant “mmm’s” and “Fay! Fay! Fay!’s,” to the extent that Bob’s swoon eclipses the entire dinner?

Well, when my mom really loves something she’s eating, she has a habit of being very Bob: lots of oohing and ahhing. My sister and I of course treat this rather endearing habit with merciless ribbing. Clearly, we should be disowned.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Fish,Recipe on April 23 2008 » 9 comments

Spanish Tortilla Bites

This post has been a long time coming. As I went on (and on and on) about back in January, I helped my friend Patty cook for our friend Brynn’’s engagement party. With a Spanish theme, we cooked up an array of tapas. But after planning, prepping, cooking and eating all of tapas for the party, I kind of ran out of steam when it came to the photographing and blogging. Sure, I made it around to the cake (of course) and a few of the nibbles from the party, but one of my favorite tapas of all didn’’t make its way to this blog.

So, I was thrilled when Patty asked me to make that exact thing—Spanish Tortilla bites—for a wedding shower for yet another one of our friends (something in the water, I’’m pretty sure) last Saturday. In addition to allowing me to rectify my remissive blogging of yester-January, the tortilla bites also had the advantage of being make-ahead-able. This allowed me to hand them off to Patty on Saturday afternoon, since Kevin and I would be at his grandmother’’s Passover Seder that Saturday evening, making us a bit late to the shower.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Hors D'Oeurvres,Recipe on April 22 2008 » 6 comments

Sweet Over Savory

The age-old breakfast debate—sweet or savory—has been something of a lifelong battle for me. At one point, I required an entire cup of coffee before I could finally make my menu selection. Lately, though, savory seems to have won out. Almost without fail, I’ll opt for an omelet (egg whites, loaded with vegetables and a melty pungent cheese) over anything that requires syrup. For the most part, restaurant pancakes, waffles and french toast are disappointing: limp, bland, lukewarm and all together lifeless. And, don’t even get me started on the state of your average restaurant maple syrup (if you can even call it that).

But Saturday or Sunday morning at home? Now, that’s another story. I’ve always had a thing for waffles. When I was growing up, I was definitely an Eggo girl (and you better believe I made it my personal goal to have at least one speck of butter in ever single divot in that golden, toaster-warmed waffle … OCD from the beginning). As an adult, I’m a strictly waffle iron, girl. And, for a while there, Kevin and I had a serious waffle addiction. The waffle iron has seen a lot less action lately, but we haven’t kicked the habit the entirely.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Breakfast,Recipe on April 21 2008 » 7 comments

No Gummy Bears Here

It’s been a pretty odd week here in Chicago. Between the appearance of a cougar (!) in a north side neighborhood not far from Wrigley Field to a very bad (even worse than usual!!) week for the CTA to a freaking earthquake (!!!), things have definitely been strange. So, this weekend, I think it’s best we keep this niiice and simple. And what’s more simple than plain ol’ vanilla, right?

But, while this frozen yogurt is certainly plain ol’ vanilla flavored, it’s anything but run-of-the-mill. If the term “frozen yogurt” conjures up visions of styrofoam cups filled with florescent pink, artificially flavored swirls, all topped off with a liberal amount of gummy bears, then prepare to have your mind blown by this more natural, more grown up and more interesting version of frozen yogurt. Don’t worry, though: you can still call it FroYo.

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Kristin at The Kitchen Sink in Dessert,Recipe on April 19 2008 » 5 comments

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