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Cooking for the truly lazy*

9 Feb

Despite being a lover of good food, I myself don’t cook on a regular basis. However, I still have to eat, preferably somewhat healthily and within a reasonable budget. I love to read magazines like Real Simple and Sunset and ogle the beautifully photographed dishes, but the estimated preparation times printed on their recipes are never realistic for a person like me. First of all, I am incredibly knife-challenged. I tend to chop things into big pieces, saying that I’m going for a hearty rustic feel to my dishes (hah), because I really would take forever if I had to chop things any smaller. Second, when I come home from work I am really hungry and just want to eat, not spend an hour making my meal. Finally, although the recipes I see in magazines look delicious, many call for a large number of ingredients I don’t have. As a single person, it doesn’t make sense for me to buy all the ingredients to use only a few times before they go bad. I also don’t have much storage space, so the things I cook need to be simple and require simple tools.  I’ll be sharing with you the simple and quick meals that I make for myself, in case you’re facing some of the same challenges.

Last night I made eggplant parmesan.  In the microwave.  It actually came out pretty well, was also filling, and inspired this mini series.

Instructions for Microwave eggplant parmesan (5-10 min prep time)

1. Slice washed eggplant in 1 inch thick slices (cross section)
2. Spoon on some of your favorite tomato-based pasta sauce
3. Grate Parmesan cheese on top
4. Microwave in covered bowl for 3-4 minutes and serve

*energy efficient individuals


Food Discoveries + Time spent with good friends

15 Jan

I spent my weekend at the SF Farmer’s market with Marian and two other friends.  We filled up on samples and got to talk to some award-winning food producers along the way.  Dandelion Chocolate had a beautiful display – they’re an artisanal chocolate bar company located in the SF Mission.  Their cacao is ethically sourced, hand-roasted feel good yadda yadda yadda yadda…ok I was really mostly drawn to the packaging.  It’s beautiful.  The chocolate tastes good too, with mildly floral flavors.

Noble Coffee Roasting Company had an awesome homemade contraption to brew their coffee – they had glass funnels held aloft by some sort of pipe fixture.  The funnles were lined with coffee filters and hot water was poured in, much like an automatic drip coffee maker (except without the automatic part).  These funnels fed into glass containers placed above a metal grate (a rectangular hole had been cut into the table).  The gutter under the grate caught spills and directed all the water into a big bottle under the table (not shown).

I tried some luscious vanilla pear preserves from Dagstani & Sons.  They make small batches of jam and sell mostly by subscription.  I struck up a conversation with Raj (the owner) about the lovely packaging.  He uses letterpress -yes, letterpress, for his labels.  So pretty!  I tried not to drip jam all over his beautiful letterpress business card.

Finally, I went to Miette for the first time to get some desserts to round out my collection of snacks.  Jenny and Sheryl, my old college roommates, were coming to visit and I may have been too enthusiastic about being a good host.  Oh, who am I kidding?  It was for me, I like to eat.

The spoils (clockwise from top left)
Miette gingersnap cookies – had rich buttery taste | macarons |Dandelion chocolate bar | spicy chorizo navarre | aged goat cheese | Weybridge creamy soft cheese | Pear Vanilla preserves

Happy Friday – Good Food Awards 2012

13 Jan

Happy Friday (the thirteenth).  I’ll be going to the Good Food Awards Marketplace in the SF ferry building tomorrow.  Hope you get to have fun this weekend as well!

Seattle Chocolates Truffle Bars

10 Nov

I went wine tasting with some friends this past weekend, and was drawn to the fun patterned packaging of these truffle bars from Seattle Chocolates.  I bought the Coconut Macaroon (like an upscale Mounds bar) and the Cappacino Crunch (a bit too sweet for me).  Many more flavors are to be discovered here