mushroom barley soup

i don't think i could ever be sick of mushrooms. not only do they taste great, can be seasoned or spiced up a lot of different ways, but they are an excellent alternative to meat.


baked's aunt sassy cake [pistachio cake with vanilla honey buttercream]

remember last year when i made the mistake of buying a cupcake for my birthday and ended up recreating them myself? this year i decided to skip the middle man and make my own birthday cake.

i got about a half dozen cookbooks for christmas and had already bookmarked a bunch of "fancy cakes" waiting for an occasion to make one. me + layer cake on a regular, normal, any day, would not be good news for my pants. while last year's birthday was all about the peanuts, this year was a celebration of pistachios!

and let me tell you what, this cake is freakin delicious. light fluffy layers of pistachio cake layered with vanilla honey buttercream. i've got to find another use for that buttercream, it is so good. and surprisingly easy.

sure, it's a project. a labor of love, really. just like any other layer cake. but a project well worth my saturday afternoon.


quinoa pilaf

to be successful in my vegetarian quest, i knew the biggest challenge would be to find non-meat protein sources that would fill me up and keep me full all day. we've been eating our fair share of mushrooms and beans, but to be honest, we were both getting bored with them and needed something else. so last week, in the bulk section of my favorite supermarket, i scanned through the grains, looking for something different and settled on quinoa, not quite knowing what to expect. 


pasta e fagioli [pasta & beans]

this soup is fifteen years in the making.

i distinctly remember one winter in the mid '90s. the winter of bean soup. for whatever reason, my dad was all excited about beans. i'm sure my dad remembers it differently - and my teenage dramatics didn't help - but it was meal after meal of beans. which lead to my fifteen year avoidance of bean soup.


portobello mushroom fajitas

it's no surprise i've been eating a lot of mushrooms this month. i love mushrooms and am currently on the lookout for great meat substitutes. so i thought mushrooms would make great fajitas. i assumed this was a revelation many others (especially real, honest to goodness vegetarians, not just ones who try it for a month) would have thought of and already have an established, go to recipe for it. not so much.


broiled tilapia with lemon buerre blanc

i have some explaining to do. you see, i thought there were two classes of meatless eaters: vegetarians, who abstain from meat, but eat eggs, dairy products, animal products, and fish, and vegans who eat no animal products whatsoever. when i mentioned that january is vegetarian around here, i honestly didn't realize there were so many kinds of vegetarian. good thing wikipedia set me straight:
ovo vegetarian: eats eggs but not dairy products
lacto vegetarian: eats dairy products but not eggs
vegan: eats no animal flesh and animal products
raw vegan: eats only fresh & uncooked fruits, nuts, seeds, and vegetables
fruitarian: eats fruit, nuts, seeds, and other plant matter than can be gathered without harming the plant
pescetarian: eats fish & shellfish and no meat
as it turns out, mom and i didn't realize at the time, we're really pescetarians for the month, since we've limited our "meat" consumption to fish and shellfish only, eliminating all meat from animals that walk.


vegetarian january

it's no surprise that i am not a vegetarian. nor is anyone else in my family. but for the last ten or so years, my mother has, on countless occasions, expressed that she loves vegetables so much she should be a vegetarian. so a year and a couple months ago, i challenged her to go without meat. she lasted a little over a week, finally giving in to a cheeseburger craving.


catch up: potato leek soup

in the madness that is november and december, while i did have time to cook and great intentions to post, i didn't quite make it. and since the weather hasn't changed much, it's still the perfect time for a warm bowl of homemade soup!

all summer i watched my leeks grow. i had visions of leeks. leek risotto. sauteed leeks with butter and garlic. leeks with pasta. and this leek and potato soup. so what a surprise when i finally realized they weren't leeks. nope. i had green onions. which yes, i knew i planted, but thought they were a row over.


first year down...

i really should have made a cake for the occasion. but with two birthday parties last weekend, 3 leftover slabs of cake at home in the fridge, and two cakes in the works for my own birthday coming up later this week, i don't think i could stomach another one.

a year ago today i kicked off this blog with honey graham bread and spent the last year further nurturing my obsession with food.

in january, i had a horrible store bought cupcake for my birthday, so i immediately went home and remade them.

in february, i made the best cupcakes and ultimate chocolate frosting.

march brought ravioli, two attempts at dulce de leche, my favorite chocolate chip cookies so far, and the best snack.


catch up: pumpkin sugar cookie bars

in the madness that is november and december, while i did have time to cook and great intentions to post, i didn't quite make it. and since i still have cans and cans of pumpkin puree in the pantry (for fear of another pumpkin shortage), these pumpkin bars make an easy treat! 



catch up: cranberry clementine shortbread

in the madness that is november and december, while i did have time to cook and great intentions to post, i didn't quite make it. and why shouldn't we have cranberries all winter long?

i have a confession. i made this before thanksgiving. at the start of the holiday hubbub. back when pumpkin and cranberries were a novelty and we were patiently waiting for the first snowfall.

now that the holidays are over - turkeys have been carved, packages unwrapped, trees put away, and champagne glasses clanked - life goes back to normal. whatever that means.


top 10 of 2010

new to these parts? or afraid you may have missed something good?

these are the ten most popular recipes of 2010, in descending order -

1. lazy woman mac & cheese

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