Monthly Archives: October 2010


October 28, 20101 Comment

FALL 2010. BASIL. 10.29.10

When I stop to reflect upon how much I enjoy the fall, I realize that it’s partially because the temperatures have been in the high 70s for the last month and the autumn weather of my midwestern youth (i.e. trick-or-treating in winter coats) doesn’t exist here in Washington, DC. At least not yet. It is for that reason that Halloween is staring us down and we are still up to our ears in basil and eating tomatoes like it’s Independence Day. A frost is surely around the corner, but until then I’ll be feverishly churning out a few last warm weather favorites.

Like my Sunday soup ritual, the cooler temperatures are a great time to fire up a family pizza-making tradition. I believe it was Jerry Seinfeld that said “there is no such thing as fun for the whole family.” I’d argue this comes pretty close. Not only is this a great way to get kids involved in meal preparation, it’s a fun way to show them that even foods like pizza can be nourishing. This week, I made a fresh, nutritious pizza sauce…and bought everything else from the store. Later this season, I’ll be working on a recipe for pizza dough and I’ll give you a second installment of family pizza night (hint: freeze some sauce now and you can use it then!).

mid-week update: 10.31.10

Perhaps the biggest trick of all is blowing out the Jack-O-Lantern candle after the last ghosts and bats have gone home and finding yourself saddled with 8 pounds of leftover mini candy bars. Boo! Scary indeed. I have an idea for what to do with them. Stay tuned. I’ll post the answer on Friday with the next weekly ingredient, menus and recipes.

Basil Lists

October 28, 2010Comments Off on Basil Lists

4 lb. tomatoes

6 large heirloom tomatoes

4 yellow onions

6 cups arugula

4 carrots

2 cups fresh mushrooms

1 avocado

1 bunch scallions

1 bunch Italian (flat-leaf) parsley

1 small bunch cilantro

1 large bunch fresh basil

Fresh thyme

20 fresh sage leaves

Frozen peas

Frozen corn

Meat / Fish

6 boneless, skinless chicken breasts


1 lb. fresh butternut squash ravioli

6 oz. goat cheese

Parmesan cheese

1/2 cup half-and-half

2 eggs

Pantry Staples

Fire-roasted red peppers (jar)

Sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil

1-15 oz. can black beans

Chunky salsa

Flour tortillas

1 large head garlic

Tomato paste

Yellow corn meal

Whole wheat bread crumbs

Pimenton de la Vera

Pine nuts

You’ll also need salt, pepper, olive oil, all-purpose flour, cooking spray, etc. Check the recipes to be sure you have the staples you need!

Note: List does not include “weekend splurge” ingredients.


October 22, 2010Leave a comment

FALL 2010. EGGPLANT. 10.22.10

Stop wrinkling your nose. Yes, you. “Eggplant?” you say, making the sour milk face. Of the glorious produce available right now, eggplant can be hit or miss. People either love it or hate it. If you are in the latter camp, I beg you to take a fresh look and give this voluptuous vegetable another chance. To entice you, I’m offering a collection of recipes this week that may just put eggplant in a new light for you. It’s been roasted, grilled, stacked, tossed and finally… gobbled. Even by the naysayers.

Cupcakes. Now I bet I have your attention. Isn’t anybody sick of cupcakes yet? Judging by the lines wrapping around the block at DC cupcakeries, I’m going to say no. So I decided to make the mother of all cupcakes as a twist on a birthday party classic. That’s our “splurge” this week and boy, is it a dive off the deep end. If you suffer from butter-phobia, don’t even look.  There is always next week to bring you back to nutritional terra firma.

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