Archive for the ‘*Jeska’ Category



July 31, 2012


Since Jess has been busy with the U.S. Open and the new puppy, the rest of us have missed our weekly excuse to catch up and eat delicious food.  (Also, our time to play with the puppies.  We need our dog time.)  My excuse for hijacking this particular week is that I just moved into my very own condo, making hijacking MND sound like an easy substitute for a housewarming party.

Invariably, when you move into a new place, you spend the next few months learning things.

For instance, it turns out that my kitchen window lets in ants.  Given that the fan from the stove does not vent outside, this is unfortunate.  It’s even more unfortunate to discover this when one has arrived home only half an hour before guests are to arrive.  Oh well, lonza (which I was told would be even better with melon than prosciutto) and melon will keep people entertained for awhile, right?  Fortunately, the ants are gone in time for me to begin cooking before anyone arrives.

Digression:  I bake.  Well, I used to bake a lot before I lived in an apartment with an oven that couldn’t hold a temperature.  If it couldn’t be made in a toaster oven or a friend’s oven, I stopped making it.  So, I’ve been super excited about the gas stove and functioning oven in my new place.  Everyone else has been super excited that I’m starting to bake again.

Back to the main storyline:  It turns out that the new oven has a safety feature which automatically shuts down the oven when it gets too hot, say when the broiler has been on for twenty minutes straight while one broils repeated batches of eggplant and summer squash for a casserole.

I discovered this when, with two guests already there and four more on the way plus a casserole and a crisp to be baked, the oven shut down completely, even the digital clock.  According to my panicked scan, the oven manual does not mention this feature.  I had a vague memory that the circuit breaker for the unit was in the garage, but really didn’t want to go down three flights of stairs unless absolutely necessary.  So, we searched the closets just to reinforce that, yes, the circuit breaker really is in the garage.  (Picture the movie Clue here).  When the circuit breaker wasn’t flipped, we decided it had to be a safety feature.  (Running back upstairs in a group.)

Luckily, after two more guests arrived, the oven turned back on.  Time to pull out the appetizers and wine to keep people entertained while dinner finally cooks!
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MND: At least I taught her full Indian dinner…

January 17, 2012

So. Hello!

Petra has convinced me that, even though I’m a complete slacker (who disappeared for, oh, years), she still loves me and wouldn’t mind sharing the blog space again. After we managed to get the West Coast MND going again in 2010, a series of events pushed it into hiatus for about 10 months.

However! In those intervening months, I moved into a bigger kitchen (though, honestly, it would have been difficult to move into a smaller one). Two people can actively cook/prep/wash without knocking the other person over. And not only can more than two people cook, there’s space for people to hover in the doorways. A social kitchen, how I have missed you.
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MND: Cheese, Gromit, Cheese!

November 30, 2010

Dear country mice who visit their city mice relatives during the holiday season,

Hello, fellow country mice. As a transplant myself, I understand that the big city can be a bit overwhelming. It’s big and loud and there are so many things you don’t have to deal with on a regular basis, like, say public transportation. But that’s a discussion for another time. Today, I’m writing to talk to you about sidewalks. Read the rest of this entry ?


MND: An Honorary Thanksgiving

November 24, 2010

Let’s take a moment to discuss space or, rather, my kitchen’s distinct lack of it. My kitchen has one 36-ish inch long section of counter and one 12 inch long section. That’s it. There’s space for one cutting board next to a bowl with maybe space for some (but never all) of your ingredients. There’s space for two people to be actively cooking… but not if you also want to open the fridge. Read the rest of this entry ?


MND: Orange October and November

November 16, 2010

Pardon that brief interruption in posting. I don’t know if you heard, but the San Francisco Giants won the World Series for the first time in 56 years. And, just for future reference, you can prep for a dinner, attend crazy street celebrations and still finish eating at a semi-reasonable hour.

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MND: the West Coast Redux

October 19, 2010

Apparently, it only took me three years to get my act together and make this dinner (see the first comment on the linked post). It was worth it. Our brief summer is now fading into memory and while that usually means that it’s time for chili… For the next generation of MND, I decided to start off with my idea of comfort food. Thus the most traditional southern dinner imaginable. Read the rest of this entry ?


SND – The Fiasco Version

August 7, 2008

[Note: I started this entry…oh, 6 months ago? And am just now finishing it. Roasted chicken was just the thing to make… in February.]

I imagine that every self-taught cook has some dish that they’re absolutely petrified of for no good reason at all. Mine’s roasted chicken. Simple, right? Basically impossible to screw up, yes? Hundreds of time-tested recipes to choose from!

And yet, I have irrational fear of roasted chicken. But I decided to conquer that fear – to take on the roasted chicken and win! Which. I kinda did. An hour and half after all the rest of the food was already on the table.

Roast Chicken. Run!

No, I don’t know how it happened either.

So this entry is not about how to make the perfect roasted chicken. In the end, mine tasted pretty awesome, but I figure I’ll wait till I’ve cooked it a few more times and can actually offer pointers for how best to conquer the beast. Click on the link for side dishes and dessert.

Roasted Brussel Sprouts
Roasted Potatoes
Chocolate Mousse with Chambord Whipped Cream

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EXTRA: Or, Thanks, Petra!

March 5, 2008

Petra has not only been much more diligent than me in posting about dinner… she also updated the Recipe Index page. Check it out!


SND: Goat Cheese and Ginger

March 5, 2008

There are two things that I’ve become obsessed with this year: ginger and goat cheese. I haven’t yet found a way to combine the two, but have made a lot of recipes calling for one or the other. Here’s a dinner with both.


Gingerbread, up close

Roasted Tomato Soup (w/ goat cheese)
Toasted Sourdough Crustini
Gingerbread with Ginger Cream Cheese Frosting

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SND – Not your mama’s rhubarb

February 14, 2008

Okay, so my mama never cooked anything with rhubarb in it in her life. I don’t think. But rhubarb is something that you *hear* a lot about as a kid in the South even if you have absolutely no idea what a rhubarb looks like. 

BTW, it looks like a pink stick. The pinker the better.  

If you have access to decent rhubarb (God, I miss The Berkeley Bowl being 2 blocks from my house), this is the perfect Valentine’s Day dessert, especially if you’re not absolutely crazy about chocolate. And don’t get me wrong, I am. Sometimes I just want something a little different.


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