Category: Recipes

Crispy Shiitakes

  Seriously, I don’t remember where I heard of these, but as soon as I did I knew I needed to make them immediately. They are delicious and easy. I usually eat half then throw the rest in a baggie to use in omelettes. They would be good in or on anything.

  1. Preheat oven to 350 or 400 (depends on how hot your oven runs- I’ve done both and they came out the same).
  2. Throw 2 pints of sliced shiitakes onto a sheet pan. 1 pint is not enough for anyone. They shrink considerably.
  3. Drizzle with about a quarter cup of olive oil. 
  4. Salt and pepper; mix. 
  5. Roast for 15 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and stir/flip. 
  7. Roast for 10-15 more minutes. 
  8. Remove from oven when most are shrunken to crispy bites.
  9. Drain on paper towels.
  10. Eat them!

Peapod Man!

Peapod delivery finally started in my area last week! I ordered $250 (!) in groceries and scheduled my delivery. Then the tip-worrying began. How much do you tip a Peapod driver? Do you base it on how difficult the delivery seems? How many bags? The dollar amount of your bill?

Google wasn’t helpful. It seems anything from a couple dollars to 15% is customary, with some a$$holes who don’t tip anything no matter what. In the end I gave the driver $7, and immediately felt bad about it when I realized it was snowing quite a bit.

On the plus side, Peapod is just as amazing as I always knew it would be. The prices were almost all the same as my local Giant, though a few things on special at Giant weren’t on sale on Peapod so I planned to go to Giant later in the week to buy the sale items. I didn’t. I am now spoiled by Peapod and I will probably not go to Giant for anything under $10 or so in savings.

That said, someone please tell me what I’m supposed to tip my Peapod guy! Peapod Man is now one of my favorite people, a superhero who prevents me from having to do my least favorite, most aggravating activity in the universe, so I need to treat him well.

Pea Soup


I had a craving for pea soup, but I don’t love ham or its relatives. I found the best recipe for ham-free pea soup here. Yum!

I followed Ina’s recipe as is, minus the crispy ham on top. I’m sure bacon or pancetta would be great on top, too–but it doesn’t need it. Make sure to use a decent extra virgin olive oil, one that’s actually made from olives and has a greenish tint. My grocery store favorite is California Olive Ranch (no, they’re not paying me to say so!) There are generally coupons for it every few months in the paper, too.

Prego update: I’m 25 weeks pregnant with the surrogate twins. I had an ultrasound a few days ago and both boys were doing flips. I don’t know how they have room in there since I look as if I’m full term. It’s going to get interesting as the weeks progress; I already get out of breath from walking up my stairs! Yikes.

I’ve gained an ungodly amount of weight but I’m eating pretty well. Today is leftover pea soup and grassfed sirloin day. I might even throw in a baked yam. It’s normal to gain a ton with twins, it’s just hard for me as someone who has struggled with my weight for so long. I’m excited to get healthy again after the twins are born. I’m a weirdo, right? I should probably be enjoying my “license to eat” a bit more.

Chipotle Black Beans

I confess: I haven’t made beans from scratch since I was a teenager. I never, ever think to buy dried beans while I’m at the grocery store. Recently I’ve been on a mission to eat more budget-friendly, while maintaining a healthy, organic-when-possible diet. Dried beans = a lot of filling food for very little money. With a few cheapo ingredients you can make an exceptional meal!

1 16-ounce bag dried black beans
2-3 tablespoons kosher salt (halve if using table salt)
2 bay leaves (optional but add a nice flavor)
2 teaspoons adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers
1 tablespoon kosher salt (halve if using table salt)

Dump beans onto a sheet pan and pick over for stones. I always thought that was an urban legend, and of course I had a small white stone in this bag.

Pour beans into a big bowl.

Dissolve 2-3 tablespoons kosher salt into water.

Pour over beans and refrigerate overnight. If you’re in a time crunch, you can just rinse the beans and triple (yes triple) the cooking time.

When you’re ready to cook your beans:

Rinse and drain beans.

Dice one onion and sauté over medium heat in a tablespoon of oil in a 4-quart saucepan.

Mince or grate 3 or 4 cloves of garlic.

When onion is softened, after 4-5 minutes, add garlic and cook for about a minute.

Pour in beans and enough water to cover by an inch.

Put in a bay leaf or two if you have them. You could also add cilantro in this step if you don’t think it tastes like poison.

Bring to a boil (may need to turn up heat).

Turn down heat to simmer then cover and leave it alone for an hour.

Add a tablespoon or so of kosher salt and a few teaspoons of adobo sauce from a can of chipotle peppers (I finally find these in my grocery store after years of searching, Goya brand in the international foods aisle). Next batch, I’m going spicier and dicing a few peppers, and adding more adobo, but two teaspoons gave it a nice, mild spice.

Stir then return to a simmer and cover for another hour.

Taste, add more salt and more adobo if desired. I suggest simmering ten minutes or so if you add more adobo, to cook the adobo and meld the flavor into the beans. If the beans are still hard or “al dente,” they need to cook longer. I suggest slightly increasing your heat, then check the beans every ten to twenty minutes.

Serve over rice, with salsa, or eat them straight–you really can’t go wrong!


Best iPhone Cooking App

A few weeks ago, someone on Twitter asked everyone what their favorite iPhone apps are. I replied immediately with my answer: Cook’s Illustrated. I’ve been an iPhone junkie for three years or so, and it’s the only paid app I own. There’s a free version that has some sample recipes, so download it and try out a few recipes before you buy a subscription.

This is not a low carb app, but it’s certainly low carb friendly as there are plenty of amazing meat recipes. The slow-roasted beef is the absolute best roast beef I’ve ever had in my life. Generally, every recipe is the “best recipe,” as they test exhaustively until they find the perfect recipe.

The app also has the extensive product reviews that Cook’s Illustrated Magazine prides itself on. Which is the best Greek yogurt? What’s the best brand of frozen peas? I find these really helpful when I find a coupon for a brand I don’t usually buy. I pop on the app, look up the product, and see if the brand is worth buying.

Do you have a favorite cooking app?