Thought Processes

Caramelized Onion Kugel

Growing up, one of my favorite holiday dishes was my great-grandmother's noodle kugel. Kugel is one of those things that has a wide variety of meanings - it roughly translates as pudding or casserole. In my family's case, noodle kugel was a sweet baked dish composed of egg noodles loaded with cream cheese, sour cream, eggs, and pineapples. It is one of the family recipes that I got from my grandfather, though I know that the version that he gave me was changed a bit. Like me, he was a tinkerer with food.

Obsessive Thanksgiving Planning

And so it begins...

Actually, it began last weekend, when Angela and I went over to my parents' house for dinner. (They made steak. It was good.) After dinner, my mother and I sat down and hashed out a menu for Thanksgiving. There was some negotiation involved. For some reason, she was adamantly against the idea of soup.

I don't know why. She loves soup.

Allergies, Sensitivities, and Preferences: The Challenge of Dietary Restrictions

When I have a guest over for a meal, I always try to ask them whether they have any dietary restrictions or preferences. Oftentimes, they say that they don't. When they do admit to a restriction, they usually apologize for being difficult.

Weekly Menu Planning: Lend Me A Hand

I work until 5PM most days. Angela works later, but typically gets a "lunch" break for an hour around dinnertime. This is plenty of time for her to come home and eat (she works minutes away). Unfortunately, sometimes she has to take lunch from 5:30 to 6:30 or so. This doesn't really provide me with enough time to come home, decompress, figure out what to make for dinner, and cook. Unless I have something quick planned, something in the slow cooker, or something pre-prepped, we usually end up going out those nights. Going out is expensive and, frankly, rarely as good as what I cook.

The Breakaway Cook

As I've mentioned before, I don't really read cookbooks for the recipes. Instead, I read them for the tips, techniques, and thought processes that they contain. By this standard Eric Gower's The Breakaway Cook is a great cookbook. This isn't to say that the recipes in it aren't worthwhile, but the real gems here are in the first fifty or so pages of information on ingredients and techniques.

The Problem with Leftovers

I have a confession to make.

I'm horrible about leftovers. I have a tendency to make far too much food.* This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but I also have a tendency to forget that I have leftovers in the refrigerator. Things often get forgotten until they are no longer good to eat.

Today's Lunch

Today's lunch came together well. Let me tell you its story:

On Saturday, Angela and I were at the grocery store. We decided to pick up something for dinner. Burgers? Sure. We had a jar of pickled beetroot in the cupboard, and we'd been planning on finding out if Australians (who we heard put beets on burgers) are crazy or geniuses. We both like our burgers on the rare side, but I'm wary of pre-ground beef, so I picked up a cheap steak to grind at home.


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