Pasta! Prego!

21 Mar

I’m a fan of creating your own meals from familiar bases. With that in mind, we’ll explore one of my favorite, easy to enhance meals, spaghetti!

Pasta with red sauce is really one of the best quick dinners out there. Pasta is such a fantastic comfort food, and it’s satisfying to make a meal in two pots and less than 30 minutes.

But what do you do if you’re a foodie who just isn’t satisfied with boring noodles and sauce out of a jar?

Improvise!

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Garbannnnnzoooosss!!!!

12 Mar

So guess what!? I got a JOB!

This is awesome because I was going batshit crazy at home (I was approaching one year unemployed), but not so great because it gives me less time to update CHUBB Gourmet.

But I’m still broke (non-profit and government jobs do not pay well), so I will be forced to cook myself lunch and dinner as often as humanly possible. Which is good for you all, my dear readers. Assuming I have the time to tell you what I’ve been making.

Anyways, I have a bunch of bulk chickpeas (aka garbanzos), and decided to cruise my fave cooking blogs for inspiration. Chickpeas are great because they (like most beans) are a protein source. I also love the way they taste and feel.

The ever fabulous Smitten Kitchen had a great recipe for “Espinacas con garbanzos” that only required me to buy two additional ingredients from what was already in my pantry. The bakery up the street from my place houses Sour Flour, and they sell day old loafs for $2. That and my 89 cent can of tomato sauce was all I needed to make what is now one of my new favorite dishes. Added bonus? SUPER fast to make, and makes enough for leftovers for DAYS. Plus, it was a great way to get rid of all the spinach from my CSA box.

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A Recipe for Success!

6 Feb

A lot of people tell me they would cook more often if cooking was “easier” or “faster.” I have a revelation for you: Cooking doesn’t have to be complicated to be delicious. The meals I cook the most often don’t come from a recipe, or involve a bajillion steps. Most of the food I cook has three simple elements:

1. Fatty lubrication (aka olive oil, coconut oil, sesame oil, or butter).

2. Something oniony (aka an onion, some garlic, or a leek).

3. Salt and pepper.

No joke, ya’ll. That’s it. Cook your fave veggies in the above elements and I promise it’ll be delicious. Wanna get adventurous? Cook some sort of grain like quinoa or rice (or couscous! or pasta!) and put your delicious veggie concoction on top! Add your favorite protein source (like veggie sausage or beans) to give it some extra oomph.

The type of fat you use will really dictate the taste of the dish- I usually use olive oil because I LOVE the taste, but try experimenting with butter (for a more French taste!) or a little sesame oil (for a more Asian feel). Salt and pepper are my favorite spices, but I suggest adding salt to taste AFTER you finish cooking a dish to avoid over-salting. The onion-y thing you add depends on your personal tastes- I like using red onion for their color and flavor, but I use leeks in place of onions when they’re in season. I also tend to double the amount of garlic any recipe calls for. Cuz let’s get real: garlic is bomb. Just remember that garlic cooks faster then onion- so add it towards the end of the pan-cooking process to avoid burning it.

If you want to saute things like potatoes or carrots instead of oven-roasting them, I’d recommend parboiling them (bringing water to a boil, then putting the veggies in the boiling water for a few minutes before draining them in a colander) before cooking them in the pan- it really speeds up the cooking process!

Don’t believe my magical recipe for success? Try one of the combos below, and tell me it doesn’t work.

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Whadda want?

13 Jan

What kind of recipes or posts do you want me to post next?

How-tos?

More recipes? If so, what kind of recipes?

Food knowledge (like my latest flour post)?

Restaurant reviews?

Shopping guides?

You all pick! Respond in the comments below and I’ll follow your lead!

A Flour for Every Occassion

30 Dec

Friends, I am here today to tell you that all flour is not created equal. Some is hard, some is soft, and some comes from the most unusual sources.

I will attempt to tell you all I know, which isn’t really all that much, but has improved my baking 1,000 fold. The information I’m sharing with you today comes from experience, and is supplemented with some cold hard facts from “Super Natural Cooking” by Heidi Swanson of 101 Cookbooks fame, and “On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen,” by Harold McGee. Both books are fantastic- I can’t recommend them both enough.

From left to right: Regular whole wheat flour, unbleached all-purpose flour, whole wheat bread flour, whole wheat pastry flour.

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Blackstrap Molasses Gingerbread for a BLACK METAL XMAS

17 Dec

Ok, so I know I’ve been an awful blogger. But hear me out: I had this insane surgery on my wrist last month, so I’ve been down-for-the-count. Which not only means I have to type one-handed, but also means I can’t cook. Like at all. I’ve been depending heavily on the food deliveries and kitchen skills of my amazing friends to keep me fed (read more about it on my latest Original Plumbing entry).

101 Cookbooks posted this AMAZING looking recipe for Black Sticky Gingerbread, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I wanted to bake so badly it hurt. So I enlisted an unsuspecting friend to help me with one-handed baking, and the result was EPIC. Seriously, guys. EPIC.

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Calling out Pink Elephants

27 Oct

My latest post was posted over at Original Plumbing. It was a hard post to write because I was unsure how folks were going to react.

Although I focus mainly on food and food politics here, I’m also very interested in size acceptance/fat positive politics. Visit the full post to see how I feel about the subject of the inclusion of fat people in queer and trans media.

“Skinny can NOT become the norm for our queer and trans bodies. We’ve worked too hard to get our genders and sexualities into public forums to have them fall into step with standard ideals of beauty. Popularizing images of skinny queer and trans* people is not helping the greater movement. We should be celebrating and highlighting bodies of all types in our media. We have control over our queer and trans* zines, porn, websites, and blogs, so let’s use them to show that we value fat bodies (and disabled bodies, and other bodies shunned by the mainstream) just as much as skinny ones.”