Tag Archives: vegetables

san francisco

The last week of January I took a long overdue trip to San Francisco to visit friends, eat delicious food and explore the city. It couldn’t have been better.

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As most of you remember from my days in Ithaca and my Instagram, I just love a good farmers market. I spent a long time walking around at the Ferry Plaza Farmers Market and couldn’t get enough! The highlight of the day was getting to visit Three Babes Bakeshop. I donated to their Kickstarter campaign a few years ago and have been proudly following along with their success, and was so thankful to finally have a chance to try their UNBELIEVABLE pie. She even had me working the booth for a little bit! Such a great time.



california avocados YUM

california avocados YUM


Love this lady

Love this lady

Another highlight was visiting The Mill, a fantastic bread store near Alamo Square. As a novice bread baker, I bow down to Josey and hope to make bread half as good one day. I stuffed my suitcase with two loaves to bring home and have been enjoying the toast for breakfast. SO GOOD. 



I happened to be in town during the Superbowl, so I helped to prepare a delicious Superbowl feast at my friend’s house!


Another noteworthy stop on the trip was to B Patisserie for a kouign amann. I may have gained five pounds eating it, but it was totally worth every calorie.


Last but not least, a shout out to my friends who made sure I had an amazing time. Couldn’t have asked for better hosts!


You did good, San Francisco. Thanks for a fantastic week.


stuffed artichokes


Artichokes have been one of my favorite foods since I was a little kid. My mom always stuffed them with breadcrumbs and I loved alternating between dipping the leaves in melted butter and red wine vinegar.

I know that artichokes can be intimidating, with their sharp prickly leaves and bitter choke, but I’m here to tell you that the effort is so worth it, and once you learn how, preparing artichokes can be quite therapeutic.

Just this week the New York Times published an article entitled the 9 Ways to Make the Most of an Artichoke, which explains how to prepare artichokes raw, stuffed or sautéed, and provides recipes for each.

Stuffed Artichokes


  • 1 lemon, halved
  • 4 whole artichokes
  • 2-3 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 1/2 cup grated Pecorino Romano cheese
  • 1 small garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley leaves
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup EVOO

Squeeze the lemon halves into a large bowl and fill the bowl with cold water. To prepare them stuffed, first use scissors to cut off the prickly tops of the leaves and disgard any hard outer leaves. Then slowly tug the leaves outward to loosen them for the filling and dig out the sharp little leaves on the inside with a spoon until it’s nice and clean. Also be sure to trim off the stems so each artichoke can sit flat in the pot. I cut up the stem into little circles and steamed them along side the artichokes. As each one is completed, place it in the lemon water to prevent it from discoloring.

In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, cheese, garlic, and parsley and season with pepper. Mix well; slowly add the oil till the crumb mixture is moistened enough to stick together. You may need to adjust the amount of oil depending on the type and amount of bread crumbs used.

Stuff the filling into the middle and also pull each leaf open slightly and stuff a little filling into the opening. Place the artichokes snugly side by side in a large pan with a tight-fitting lid. Add 1 inch of water to the pot. Squeeze lemon juice over the top. Cover, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and steam until the bottoms of the artichokes are tender, 35 to 45 minutes; a knife should insert easily. Make sure the water doesn’t boil dry. Add more water if necessary.

Serve each artichoke hot, on an individual plate with melted butter and red wine vinegar in little ramekins to dip. Also be sure to put out big bowls on the table to deposit the leaves in once you’ve eaten them.


easy roasted tomato soup

I don’t know how this happens…my last post was a new years resolution to blog once a week and then BAM! it’s February 15th and I haven’t posted yet. I’m very sorry, dear readers, I promise to do better!

Life in New Orleans has been pretty crazy lately, with two weekends of mardi gras, the city hosting the superbowl in between, and valentines day. I’m so ready to detox from all of the drinking and eating I’ve been doing, and this roasted tomato soup is just the thing to soothe my sore throat and nurse me back to heath.

I’ve always made Campbells tomato soup with sauteed celery and onions when the craving came around, but knowing how much sodium is in those cans of soup, I started to investigate how I could make the soup myself. It turns out, this soup is incredibly easy to throw together and tastes infinitely better than the Campbell’s version.

easy roasted tomato soup

adapted from the Food Network

2 (14-ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes or diced tomatoes
extra virgin olive oil to drizzle over tomatoes
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 stalk celery, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 yellow onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 cup chicken or vegetable broth
1 bay leaf
2 tablespoons butter
1/4 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup cream or milk (optional- I didn’t use it)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.

Strain the canned tomatoes, reserving the juices, and spread onto a baking sheet. If using whole peeled tomatoes, cut them in half. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, drizzle with olive oil and roast until caramelized, about 15 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a saucepan, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the celery, carrot, onion and garlic, cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the roasted canned tomatoes, reserved tomato juices, broth, bay leaf and butter. Simmer until vegetables are very tender, about 15 to 20 minutes. Add basil and 1/2 cup cream or milk, if using. Take out the bay leaf. Puree with a hand held immersion blender if you have one, otherwise transfer to a blender or food processor and process until smooth.


bon appetit!

puttanesca tomato sauce

Hi friends,

I have a ton of new posts coming up for you as I have been cooking up a storm lately! Classes ended last Thursday, and what better way to procrastinate studying for finals then to cook? I have already had two 6 person dinner parties and countless late night dessert sessions. This is the Australian version of finals week and I like it.

Today I am sharing my delicious homemade puttanesca tomato sauce with you. I love that you can basically just throw anything you have in the fridge into the pan and come out with a hearty homemade sauce in about the time it takes to cook the pasta. The ingredients I show should only be a guide, as you can really use any vegetables you have/want. I paired it with whole wheat pasta because I like the healthy nutty flavor, but you can use any pasta you have in your pantry.

homemade puttanesca sauce


5 cloves garlic, minced
1 large onion, diced
2 zucchini, diced
1 – 8 oz container of mushrooms, chopped
handful of artichoke hearts (canned or marinated), chopped
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
handful of kalamata olives, chopped
3 tablespoons tomato paste
1 – 28 oz can whole peeled tomatoes with juices, loosely chopped
1 – 15 oz can diced tomatoes with juices
Pinch cayenne pepper, and S/P

To start, get everything mise en place, which means to put all of the ingredients in their place.

Saute garlic and onion until they start to brown. Add zucchini and mushrooms until cooked through and wilting. Then add artichoke hearts, capers and olives and stir everything together.IMG_3563

Add tomato paste, and stir to combine. Finally, add the canned tomatoes, breaking up the whole tomatoes with your hand or a knife. Add the cayenne pepper and seasonings, and let simmer for 10 minutes, or until your pasta is ready.IMG_3564

I served this with my favorite roasted asparagus and a glass of red wine.

Bon Appetit.


Shrimp & Tofu Stir-Fry

One of the best kitchen purchases I made at IKEA before school started was a wok. I knew of course, that having a wok is essential to a fully stocked kitchen. It evenly distributes heat and has been the source of many fast and easy dinners throughout the semester.

Lucy and I decided to have an asian night and discovered sweet potato noodles (also called yam noodles) at this little asian store on Eddy St. up the block from our house. So we whipped out the wok and got to work.

love trader joes.

extra firm tofu
raw shrimp
whatever vegetables you have. I used:
mushrooms (I used dried mushrooms that I reconstituted-SO GOOD)
bamboo shoots
water chestnuts
baby corn
pearl onions
asian chewy rice cakes (you can find them at most asian markets/stores)
noodles (any kind you want-rice, soba, udon, lo mein, etc)
stir fry/teriyaki sauce (i used Trader Joes Soyaki)

1. Cut up the tofu into small pieces and press out the excess water. Then cook it in the wok with a little sesame oil until lightly browned. Set aside.
2. Cook the shrimp in the wok for a few minutes until pink and nearly cooked through. Add to the tofu.
3. Boil water and cook the noodles and chewy rice cakes if using.
4. Throw all of the vegetables you’re using into the wok with some sauce and stir fry until cooked through. Then add the shrimp and tofu back in and heat until shrimp is fully cooked.

The best part about stir fry’s are that you can customize them to use up whatever you have. I used shrimp and tofu but you do chicken or beef if you prefer. You can also use whatever vegetables you like. I wanted to keep with the asian theme and used baby corn, etc, but it is totally up to you!

And if you don’t have a wok, get yourself to ikea and buy one for $5 now!