Potatoes. Oregano. Feta. Lemon. HELL YEAH. I picked up almost all of this from Trader Joe’s for under $10, and most of the rest of it I already had in my pantry. Good, cheap, filling side dish. And made of noms.

Crispy Oregano Smashed Potatoes with Feta and Lemon
Makes enough for 2 with leftovers, even more so for 1

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs mixed baby potatoes (I went with red, honestly)
  • 2 meyer lemons, quartered (original recommends half a lemon, it can do with more)
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 6 cloves minimum garlic, minced (original recommends 2 max. come on.)
  • .25 c dried oregano (original recommends fresh, I used my dried leaves, and it still packs a good punch)
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 2 T grated parmesan cheese (I used parmigianno reggiano from TJ’s that I had on hand)
  • 6 oz feta crumbles (I just went with the max on this, also skipped fresh basil)

Preheat your oven to 425. On a large baking sheet, toss together 1 T olive oil, the lemons, potatoes, and a pinch of sea salt.

Original recipe recommends roasting for 20 minutes, but depending on the size of your potatoes, this can take up to 35 minutes. Be sure to remove the lemons after the 20 minutes, though, and let them rest. Check on the potatoes every ten minutes after twenty minutes, and see which are tender enough to stick a fork into. If they’re ready, use the back of the fork to smash to about a quarter-inch thickness (see pic 3), and let the smashed potatoes roast with the ones that aren’t quite ready yet.

In the time between checking on your potatoes, combine your minced garlic, 2 T olive oil, and oregano in a small bowl (see pic 2). Once your potatoes are all smashed, spoon the mixture over them (pic 5), and then sprinkle sea salt and fresh ground pepper and your parmesan over them, and roast another 20-25 minutes, until they’re golden and crisp (pic 7).

While they roast, finely chop your lemon, peel and all (pic 4), and add to a small bowl with the remaining 1 T olive oil and a pinch of salt (pic 6).

Once you remove the potatoes from the oven, put them in a large bowl and toss them with the roasted lemon dressing and feta (pic 8), and enjoy!

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If you’ve not read What Did You Eat Yesterday, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s a combination of a slice of life manga about a gay couple (a lawyer and a hairstylist) in Tokyo and their day to day life, and a cooking manga, with detailed instructions on how to make the dishes that the main characters try. And it’s just a quiet, domestic manga, and sweet as fuck besides.

My boything’s been wanting to learn how to cook better, and I’ve been wanting to try some recipes from this manga, so this recipe from Volume 12 seemed like the perfect intersection of our needs. This is a simple, cheap, low effort, and easy meal to make; just slice up some sweet potato, throw it in with some rice, sake, and salt in the rice cooker, and just let it cook, and boom, you’ve got a good, hearty dish, and the rice cooker can keep it warm for as long as you want. It is a bit bland, so I would recommend adding some soy sauce (or ponzu went real well with the bowl I just had for lunch). Also, we used Murasaki sweet potatoes from Trader Joe’s for this for a change of pace, would definitely recommend them.

Sweet Potato Rice
Makes enough to feed 2 people for 2 meals

Ingredients

  • Rice and water per your rice brand’s instructions (here, 1.5 c rice, 2 c water)
  • 1 sweet potato
  • pinch sea salt
  • dash sake

Rinse your rice (I did it for the first time with this, I’m going to try to get some better instructions on this later), and then add your rice and water in recommended portions per the instructions on your bag of rice to your rice cooker. (If you’re like me, you have one of those big ass 10 lb bags, because you go through a lot of rice in the space of a year, and you have several Asian markets near you, which means it’s significantly cheaper.)

Meanwhile, take your sweet potato, rinse it thoroughly, and then half it width and length wise, and cut into .5 in fan shapes (see pic 4). As you get closer to finishing the sweet potato, add the sea salt and sake to the rice cooker. Once the sweet potato is fully cut up, add the pieces to the rice cooker, and then cook on the normal settings for white rice (usually about an hour).

Then, stir and fluff with a rice paddle, scoop into bowls, and enjoy!

It’s been a long while since I’ve been able to do an impulse breakfast like this. But this Sunday morning, we were sleeping in late after a party at a friend’s the night before, I had the ingredients for this on hand, and I was in a headspace to be able to cook, and I decided to go for it. (Again, major sign that the meds are working – I have not been able to do this as much as I would liked to in the last few years. Fuck depression, yay meds.)

Dutch babies are always fantastic, especially on a cold winter morning. And with all the holidays, odds are you’re going to have all these ingredients in your kitchen already. (Tieghan also recommends maple syrup and whipped cream, but tbh the cranberry butter is more than enough.)

Do the thing. It’s wonderful.

Cinnamon Spiced Dutch Baby with Cranberry Butter
Makes one big ass dutch baby, enough for two people minimum

Ingredients

  • 4 eggs
  • .66 c whole milk
  • .66 c flour
  • 2 t vanilla extract
  • (1 T hazlenut liquer – didn’t have this on hand, maybe try Grand Marnier)
  • 1.5 t ground cinnamon
  • pinch ground nutmeg
  • dash salt
  • 4 T butter (2 T of this melted)

For the cranberry butter

  • 4 T butter, softened to room temp
  • .25 c leftover cranberry sauce (I picked some up from Trader Joe’s)

Preheat your oven to 450, and put out the 4 T butter for the cranberry butter to start softening. In a blender, blend together the eggs, milk, flour, vanilla extract, cinnamon, nutmeg, the 2 T melted butter, and salt, until smooth (pics 1 and 2), and no flour clumps remain.

In the last five minutes of the oven preheating, take a cast iron skillet and the 2 T butter, and add to the oven, letting the oven melt the butter all over the skillet (pic 3).  Once the oven is preheated, pour the batter into the skillet (pic 4), and bake for 25 minutes, until the dutch baby is puffed and browned on top (see pic 6). (Don’t open the oven in the first 15 minutes of baking, or it will deflate!)

In the last ten minutes of the dutch baby baking, mix together the butter and cranberry sauce until combined (pics 5 and 7).

Then, transfer the dutch baby to a plate, and spread the cranberry butter over it, letting the heat of the dutch baby melt the butter. (I could probably have used more of the cranberry butter here, however, I do now have leftovers for future dutch baby making.)

And then, enjoy your wonderful breakfast, ideally while playing some Destiny 2 and cuddling.

Brie. Smashed potatoes. Together. Hell yeah. The stuffed here is more like topped, but man, these are still good.

Bless Tieghan, but pretty much everything after the brie in the original recipe I omitted, because FFS, white truffle oil??

Brie Stuffed Crispy Baby Potatoes
Makes 1.5 lbs of brie smashed potatoes. Hell yeah. 

Ingredients

  • 1.5 lbs baby potatoes (aka, one bag at Trader Joe’s)
  • 1 T olive oil
  • sea salt and pepper
  • 3 T butter, melted
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 2 T fresh chopped thyme (substituted dried)
  • 8 oz brie, cut into small wedges
  • (white truffle oil, pan fried sage leaves, crushed pink peppercorn if you want to go the full mile on garnishes)

Preheat the oven to 400. Take the baby potatoes, olive oil, and sea salt and pepper, and toss them together in a small bowl (pic 1). Put them on a lined baking sheet (pic 2), and roast for about 30 minutes (original recipe recommended 20, I found it took longer) until the potatoes are fork tender.

Just before the potatoes come out, combine the melted butter, crushed garlic, and thyme in a small bowl. Using a potato masher or a fork, gently press down on the potatoes and smash them until they’re about .25 inches thick (pic 3). Drizzle the butter mixture over the potatoes (pic 4), and then roast for another 20 minutes, until golden and crisp (pic 6).

Cut up the brie into small wedges (pic 5), enough for each potato, about five minutes from the potatoes being done. Then, take them out of the oven, top with brie (pic 7), and put back in the oven for 5 more minutes, until the brie melts all over the smashed potato (pic 8).

And then, enjoy your ridiculously rich cheesy potato!

Ye gods, I actually made a new recipe and posted it within twenty four hours. This is kinda new. 😛

I basically spent last evening listening to the Los Campesinos! Christmas EP that they released last year, watching the snow outside, and making these (and one other thing I’ll be posting today). I haven’t felt all seasonal like this in years, and ngl, it’s a real welcome feeling right now.

And these may be my new default sugar cookie recipe. The Chinese five-spice powder adds a lovely twist to the standard sugar cookie recipe. (And using my few cookie cutters reminds me I need to get more from that place.)

Chinese Five-Spice Sugar Cookies
Makes appx 20ish cookies

Ingredients

  • 1.25 c flour
  • 2.5 t Chinese five-spice powder
  • pinch salt
  • .5 c sugar
  • 1 stick (4 oz) unsalted butter at room temp
  • 1 large egg at room temp
  • 1 t vanilla extract

Whisk together the flour, Chinese five-spice powder, and salt in a bowl, until combined completely (pic 1). Using your mixer (sweet sweet stand mixer here), beat the butter and sugar together until creamed, and then add your egg and vanilla extract and mix until it’s good and fluffy (pic 2). Then, slowly add your flour in (pic 3), and mix until everything is just barely incorporated (pic 4).

Then, shape the dough into a disk, wrap it in plastic (pic 5, I didn’t have my normal plastic wrap on me), and refrigerate for about an hour.

When you’re ready to make your cookies, heat the oven to 375. Take your dough out of the fridge, unwrap it, and roll it out to .25 inch thickness (pic 6). (The recipe recommends sticking it in the freezer at this point for five minutes to firm it slightly; I did not do this, but did put the dough in the freezer between batches to refirm it, as the dough does go soft quickly at room temp.)

Use your favorite cookie cutters to cut out cookies, and place them on the baking sheet (pic 7). Reroll the leftover dough and repeat until you have enough cookies to fill a baking sheet. (You will be doing this in two batches or so, minimum.)  Bake for 13 minutes, until golden brown on the edges (pic 8). Immediately transfer to a wire rack to cool, and then enjoy with a nice glass of milk.

Looking for an interesting, healthy snack? Like salt and vinegar flavored potato chips? Ever wondered what this tastes like when applied to edamame? Well, then I’ve got a hell of an interesting, simple snack recipe for you!

Salt and Vinegar Roasted Edamame
Makes enough for a good week of snacks, depending on the package size of the edamame

Ingredients

  • 1 16 oz bag shelled edamame (thaw it if frozen, obviously)
  • .25 c rice vinegar
  • .75 t sea salt
  • pinch fresh ground black pepper

Preheat the oven to 375. In a medium bowl, place your thawed edamame, add the rice vinegar, sea salt, and black pepper, and stir to combine. Let it sit for about 5 to 10 minutes (pic 1). Line a baking sheet, and place the edamame on the lined sheet in a single layer, trying not to pour the leftover vinegar onto the sheet (pic 2 – a little will end up on the sheet, nonetheless).

Roast for 30 mins, toss gently, and then roast for another 10 minutes (see pic 3 for what they will look like at the end). Let them cool for 10 minutes, and then enjoy! Ideally with some water to keep you hydrated.

As frustrating as dealing with my landlord can be (“I’ll maybe fix the peeling ceiling after the holidays,” oh and there might be mice as evidenced by the large trap placed right by a hole in the back stairway, and one running through the bedroom, that trap seems super helpful), one of the things I love about where I live is the neighborhood. And specifically, the middle eastern bakery/grocery that’s a ten minute walk up the street. They do amazing, cheap hand pies that are great for lunch or breakfast, wonderful sides (dolma! baba ghanoush! pita!), they have a small fuckton of spices, and they have a lot of reasonably priced staples. Like say, the black lentils that are central to this recipe.

This is a simple, cheap, low energy, but amazingly filling recipe. I’ve been perfecting it over the last few months to my and boything’s taste, and the recipe as I have it currently is beyond perfect. My spices are a bit more haphazard than the ingredients list below suggests in terms of amounts, but I promise you you can adjust this to your own taste, easy. Throw this on the stove while a Destiny 2 or Overwatch session is going on, and voila.

Punjabi-Style Black Lentils
Makes enough for two and then a little meals for two

Ingredients

  • 2 T ghee (regular butter or oil also acceptable)
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • .5 T ground cumin (original says seeds, I went with what I have on hand for simplicity)
  • 1 in piece of ginger, grated (original says finely chopped, I go with the ginger grating trick mentioned earlier in the blog these days
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 T ground coriander
  • 1 t ground tumeric
  • 1 T garam masala (usually more)
  • pinch ground chile powder
  • 1 can diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 t sea salt, plus more to taste
  • 1 c dried black lentils
  • 3.5 c water (reduced from original recipe bc now I just use a whole can of diced fire roasted tomatoes, which is an extra cup up from the original recommended amount
  • 4 t salted butter
  • 2 T heavy cream (can be omitted if people don’t like it)

Over medium heat, melt your ghee. Once warm, add the onion and cumin, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onion is lightly browned in places (pic 1). Add in the ginger and garlic, cook 1 minute more until fragrant, and then add the remaining spices (pic 2) and can of tomatoes (pic 3), and cook 3 more minutes, scraping up any bits that may be stuck to the pot. Add the salt, water, and then the lentils. Bring to a simmer, and then reduce the heat to low, and cover the pot. Cook 35 to 45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the lentils are tender (see pic 5). If you want a looser dal, add more water. Adjust the spices and seasoning to taste.

To finish, ladle the dal into the bowl, add 1 t butter and .5 T heavy cream, and stir in to melt (see pic 6).