Crunchtime Food Blog

Buyer beware, this is two recipes, made in two pans and would have been two posts, but, confession, it was the photographs’ fault. Both recipes are excellent, but I’m really excited about the bok choy because it takes this passed-over vegetable from tolerating to craving.

This little miracle happened the other day – a day which started out as most: a sweatpants decision, exercise written down on a to-do list to that will never get checked off, contemplation if the shirt I slept in could also serve the day – it did. Then, later that afternoon, a ding on my phone. It’s a text from my son who’s been holed up in a study-pod house a few hours north, I believe – communication has been sparse. The text says…any tips for stir-frying? My knees buckled, I screamed. I’ve waited twenty years of his life for a question like this. It’s right behind, can I move home for the rest of my life and ahead of would you like to see my grades? I took a deep breath then spilled: “Have all ingredients and flavorings prepped into separate bowls. Pan med high. Heat oil first, then cook protein. Remove protein to plate. cook vegetables in pan maybe more oil Add protein back in Add seasonings and serve” Yeah, I helicoptered his stir-fry, but wasn’t this my moment? My countless stir-fry fails shouldn’t go to waste. If we’ve learned just one thing – stir fry is all about prep and planning, not the actual frying.

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Tandoori Chicken

Really, do we need another chicken recipe? Worth a post because this is a no-fail, succulent, pile of flavor that we rarely say about chicken. We can thank our leading actor (it’s Emmy season and I can’t not) yogurt and in a supporting role, but definitely all-about-eveing her performance – cinnamon – the Rupert Everett, Tiffany Haddish, Dory of ingredients. My reheated version in a photo does not do it justice and apologies to all the food stylists out there who are definitely not reading this blog. If you’re aware of my locked-up cookbook journey through hell, I’m about half way through the 200+ books. Apparently, I have three books from Africa, why? Exactly. Some people collect postcards on trips and I collect cookbooks for that day when I open my own safari camp. This recipe comes from a book that captures recipes from “Kenya’s Finest Restaurants.” I mean no disrespect, but it’s a small book. In all three cookbooks food coloring is often a listed ingredient. So I googled to find out why and what popped up…”why are Americans so obsessed with the color of their food.” Clear history. I’ve omitted the dash of red food coloring called for here, but have at it if you’re one the obsessed. So, let’s get cooking. read more

Creamless Mushroom Soup

Looking at this soup, you’d say at least it has nice handwriting and fortunately really rich flavor for not having cream. It’s no cauliflower soup. Mushrooms just don’t have cauli creamability, but they make up for it in umami intensity. And so in which cookbook did we find  creamless mushroom soup you ask, oh you didn’t ask and likely don’t care which is completely fine with me. Except, I’m gonna have to tell you because I can’t not talk about the cookbooks. read more

Southwestern Chicken Salad

Hello. It’s only been three years and one pandemic since we last met. Welcome to Remember March, when we were winning lockdown – bread baking, family games, Zoom cocktail parties and then we weren’t. One day, amid world chaos and cooking apathy, I found a morsel of renewal on my bookshelves. Why not make something from one cookbook each day. And to further restrict my time, let’s pick books in their shelf order. I can give you a thousand reasons why this was a bad idea, but here I am. Counting days, counting cookbooks. Some people like shoes. I like cookbooks – 200 of them, which will take me until Christmas. After being a month into this confinement, I’ve fallen back in love with a few books, definitely tossed out others (Betty Crocker and her “oriental” ingredients for one) and come across some recipes worth sharing and recording. I’m no influencer. This little website is a place for my favorite recipes that I return to often and so does bff Elizabeth which is good enough for me. With that, I will on occasion post of few of my cookbook finds. Today, is from The Very Best of Recipes for Health from Martha Rose Shulman, a cookbook that chronicles the best of her New York Times contributions. read more

Green Goddess Cheese Ball is a spread you can win with every time on Game Day. For me, game day is more like the holidays or the Oscars or any episode of Game of Thrones, but I know most of the country is inflates their balls for football. This girl will be heading to Minnesota, with the boys, for a Goodell vice-grip handshake and some Aaron Rodgers abuse; more on that later.

I was tired of the same ‘ole cheese platter…wait, I’m never tired of a cheese platter, rather, I was wanting to round out a cheese platter display when I came across this winning recipe moments before Thanksgiving. We all gave thanks for each other and for cheese and, because this pistachio-crusted spread was a smash hit, I made it for Christmas. Either my family was gracious or starving, but this appetizer nod to the Seventies disappeared as fast as shag haircuts.

It’s easy because you pulse the ingredients together in one machine and the do-ahead potential means having time for donning your favorite athlete’s jersey, which for me would not be Aaron Rogers. Here’s why.

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