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In general, I am not a savory breakfast person. It’s not that I eschew bacon and eggs when the opportunity arises (which it does, about every other Saturday morning, when my husband takes charge of breakfast). It’s a simple matter of preference and habit. Yogurt makes me happy. So do fruit, muffins, toast with peanut …

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Tgiving

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope you are already enjoying the holiday; I am, and having my sister here is making it all the more wonderful. She and Kevin have been in English-professor-discussion bliss, and Nick has is deliriously happy with his favorite playmate. I love the chance to cook and goof off with one of …

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New Beginningquinsalad

It was a bit of a melancholy day here at Enlightened Cooking. Nicky’s first day of “real” pre-school begins tomorrow. Up until now, he’s only gone to Mother’s Day Out two times per week from 8-12 (although, more like 9-12; though he wakes at the crack of dawn, he slow out of the door). Now …

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Fresh Mint and Petite Pe ssop

Brilliance, beauty, and kindness must be recognized, especially if they come in one neat package. Hence I am writing about my friend Eralda, and her new food blog, The Split Pea.I met Eralda a year and a half ago. She was one of my husband’s graduate students (her husband, Brian, too), and they came to …

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Fast Foo

Most critics of “fast food” object to the “food” component of the term: it’s too fatty, caloric, salty, processed, and the list goes on. I agree a diet built on a foundation of assorted McMorsels will lead to ill health, but I’m no extremist; it seems silly to bemoan an occasional hamburger & fries indulgence, …

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SweePotaSalad

I had no plans to write about last night’s dinner; Kevin grilled some chicken, and I made a salad from the May issue of Bon Appetit. A pleasant, easy Mother’s Day meal, but not one for the blog.But as I gazed down at the assembled salad, I changed my mind. It looked stunning in its …

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Devontea

Happy Mother’s Day! It may be 90 degrees plus 100% humidity today in Texas, but that’s not keeping me from having the one thing I want to have at 4 pm on a day that is all about me: Devonshire Tea. Forget the brunch, or formal luncheon. After a few days on the road in …

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yogwithstrawberr

Happy May Day! It’s no mistake that my post is on Sunday, May 3rd. Today is the official May Day at my alma mater, Bryn Mawr College; it was always celebrated on the Sunday just before or after May 1st. Bryn Mawr is a school steeped in traditions. The list is long, but they include …

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basilspaetz

I imagine all of us who cook have moments when we wonder, “why on earth have I never attempted [cinnamon rolls, poached eggs, steak au poivre, cheesecake, roast turkey, etc…]?” I am not too proud to admit I have such moments often. Because I like to tinker with flavors and techniques in more familiar fare, …

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potlatk

My parents have been visiting me (from California) this past week, so I apologise for only posting about Easter today, more than a week later. After several days of idyllic spring weather, Easter was a day of torrential rainstorms. Not good for the new spring dress I had planned on wearing to church, nor the …

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Falafe

That’s right. I went on a crash diet yesterday. And I loved it. The food was everything I could have hoped for, and more. I do hope you’ll try it; but only the diet, not the crash. It’s this simple: I wrecked my car on Thursday. Totaled. Worse, it was my fault entirely. No injuries …

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CaffCorrectAffogat

“If any doctors are aboard this flight, please press your call button.” The announcement has been made on several of my recent flights (thankfully, no life-threatening ailments), and every time, I’m tempted to ring in. You never know, the crisis may be a philosophical one. Social stratification? The presentation of self in everyday life? Post-modern …

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An April Fool Makes Rice Pud

What a fool I’ve been: it’s been more than a year since I last made rice pudding. I was reminded of my lapse by Ms. Molly Wizenberg’s (aka Orangette) ever-delightful column in Bon Appetit magazine last month, dedicated to the lumpy-bumpy stuff. Her recipe sounds just the thing—a good old-fashioned pudding, rich with heavy cream, …

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These are not words a meat-eating husband likes to hear. Which is why I was that much more elated when said husband mumbled, “Hmm..that was good. We should put that into our rotation (of dinners). (I confess I served some leftover roast chicken alongside.) I was so excited by the millet muffins (which I’ve been …

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Whole Grains

Magic Grains!Oxygen’s Nutrition Special, Fall 2006 By Tosca RenoTake a walk down the grocery aisle – grains are hardly boring. With names like quinoa, spelt, kamut, mahogany rice and kasha, there’s bound to be something to suit everyone’s taste buds.Vegetarians depend on grains to round out a diet lacking other protein sources. And the USDA …

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Quinoa Tabbouleh

Those of you who live in warmer climes may be scratching your heads at my recipes for today, which are clearly warm weather fare. But deep in the heart of East Texas today, it was hot and humid, about 85 degrees. I took Nick to the park sans sunglasses and water (Nick had a hat …

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Roasted Parsnip Soup

Before continuing with my filming saga (yesterday’s post), let’s talk food. Tomorrow, after all, is Valentine’s Day. If you need some last-minute suggestions for treats, I have a few lighter (in fat and calorie), but intensely chocolate options from previous posts: 1-2-3 Bittersweet Chocolate Truffles Vegan Chocolate Truffles Mini Chocolate Cardamom Brownie Cupcakes Chocolate Pots …

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Easy Piri-Pi

Happy New Year everyone! So sorry for being gone so long. I have been utterly self-indulgent the past week and a half, visiting with my family in California, and literally lounging in my pajamas until noon eating bon-bons. But it is a New Year, and while I am still on “vacation” in California, I am …

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No-Stir ris

I’ve been traveling around these past few weeks, which is no excuse for not posting; let it suffice as feeble explanation. Dinners on my return nights have been mostly one-pot meals (the best option for these chilly days), some made in my Dutch oven, others in my wok, and many more in my crockpot. Crockpots …

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Don’t gnocci

I am so sorry to be missing in action, dear readers. That croup from the other day got worse, and I have been hacking myself awake all night. I finally got the drugs I need, and am feeling better able to bake, cook, and generally face the world. Getting on to business, I have two …

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Mac & Cheese Mini Frittatas {Gluten-Free Option}

Woe is the blogger who fails to post for a week. The brain blocks, the words fail, and the ideas, despite many meals and recipes made and served, evaporate. But this blogger decided enough is enough and started writing about her success with one of the harshest critics she has encountered in her cooking career: …

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Boo! How to Frighten Your Husband

************************************************************************************Halloween Fright: A Play in One Act Scene: 7:08 a.m., the day before Halloween, morning of child’s preschool Halloween party.The kitchen of a middle-class home, USA. Strains of Sesame Street audible. Bowls of icing, muffin tins, and paper baking cups strewn across counter tops. Wife stands on kitchen chair in state of dishabille (costumer’s note: …

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Thank you, Hannah!

I want to thank Hannah Craner, at Craner Design Studio, for doing such wonderful work on my blog design. If you are interested in a face lift for your blog, do contact her! Working with her is a pleasure, in every regard. Here is a link to her blog: Craner Design Studios

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Moist, Dark Gingerbr

In my last post, I mentioned baking gingerbread, which led to several requests for the recipe, including a comment from Marianne. I am happy to share, and was glad to have an excuse to make yet another batch. I’ve been making this particular recipe for the past decade, beginning in graduate school. It arose from …

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Spiced Couscoud with

I made the mistake several months ago of confirming a rumor that an acquaintance had recently overheard: I make dinner, not on occasion,but every night of the week. Based on her mixed expression of horror and disbelief, I imagine she envisioned our encounter a momentary escape, and that the rest of my day was spent …

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Marmalade Makes it Easy

My husband loves to tell friends the story of his first encounter with the interior of my parents’ refrigerator. It was his first visit home with me to California, and after a long airplane trip and a delayed connection, we arrived exhausted and starving. In typical fashion, my mother had made a full dinner, despite …

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Biscuit Bliss

How can you inspire love and devotion? It’s a heavy question for a belated blog entry, I know. Poets, sages and lovers have pondered the question for centuries, but you will be pleased to know that I have the answer: Make biscuits. Really, that’s it. You might delight and impress if you whip up a …

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Easy Lunc

My case of of chronic babysittercancellitis turned acute this past week, so lunch has been a wacky free-for-all: a handful of this here, a bite of that there, and some speedy slurps in between. But after a day or two of fretting, I realized that my bits and pieces approach to lunch was both filling …

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Plu pside Down Cake

It’s been over 100 degrees in my neck of the woods this past week, so if you’ve been wondering where in tarnation I’ve been, and why the heck I haven’t been posting, it’s because I’ve been sprawled in front of the fan, trying to keep my cool…and attempting to channel inspiration for the perfect dinner …

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Phyllo Samosa Cigars

Perhaps it’s due to my British heritage, but I have long believed that most any food tastes better encased in several layers of pastry. The filling may be humble or haute cuisine, it really does not matter; the wonders of a fat & flour blanket work universal magic. The onset of my affection occurred in …

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A Slaw-Inspiring Meal

Dear readers, am I the only one perplexed and annoyed by the “home-made” proclamations of corporate food processors and chain restaurants? I’m curious, whose home might that be? Is there an elaborate network of home cooks (or, perhaps, elves), whose members FedEx fragrant loaves of bread to select supermarkets and submarine sandwich shops? Or, perhaps, …

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Figgy Fun

Has it really been five days since my last post? Heavens. But with the holiday, out-of-town visitors, a traveling husband, and a babysitter who cancelled two times in a row–oh, and that little issue of work–let’s just say it’s been a challenge to focus on my favorite activity. For some confused reason, I thought this …

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Green & Blacks: Part 2

So, day 2 of the Green & Black’s adventure. Our guests got to sleep in after the previous night’s activities while we winners loaded onto a bus at 6 am to meet Curtis. Part of the prize was to meet and shop with him, then prepare a lunch at the James Beard House. (I hadn’t …

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A Brief Delay

Hi everyone, Well here I am, breaking my promise to post part 2 of the Green & Black’s getaway by today. I’m in a hotel away from home and thought uploading my photos would be as easy as it is from my office setup. Haha. You’ll just have to blame me for being a cock-eyed …

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Hi everyone, I know it’s been a few days since I wrote anything more than guidelines and results of the giveaway. So sorry. But I just haven’t been cooking as much the past few days (looming deadline; I’m in the eeek!!! zone); I didn’t think you would appreciate a rhapsody on cold cereal and dirty …

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Cereal Giveaway: Winners!

I did the random drawing last night (from a pink bucket, rather than a hat) and am excited to report the winners in the cereal giveaway: Rebecca GregoryKateri RouthPam ClasquinSuzanne Bastien-AdamsNancy Mihalich Congratulations! I wish it was more than 5 winners; 104 of you entered. I’ll let the sponsor know there was such a great …

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Cereal Giveaway

Hi all, I haven’t done anything like this before here at Enlightened Cooking, but I am excited to begin: I’m offering a little giveaway for five people for two full size packages of new varieties of Nature’s Path Organic Cereal for children (EnviroKidz™). Here’s the scoop (pardon the pun): I’ve written about my favorite cereal–Flax …

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Tips for Storing Produce

Christinia posted a comment the other day with a request for tips on storing produce. As one has cleaned out her fair share of brown, goopy produce bins over the years, I am more than happy to share my acquired knowledge on the subject. Friends, the answer is simple and straightforward: keeping produce drawer slime …

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Light Salad Dressings Part 3: Master Recipe for Light Fruit Vinaigrette

One thing nine years of entering recipe contests has taught me is how to stretch and rethink single ingredients. Some contests limit the number of ingredients (e.g., “make a sophisticated main dish with four ingredients, including a box of jello!”) and/or require a sponsor product be used in an innovative way (e.g., “show us your …

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What is Tamari?

Following yesterday’s post, a few of you emailed asking what tamari is, and how it is different from regular soy sauce. Tamari is one of my favorite flavor enhancers, so I’m hoping I can convince some of you to buy a bottle if you haven’t yet given it a try. Tamari is a type of …

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Crust or Bust

I married a crusty man. Tetchy and surly he is not, but smitten by toothsome sourdough, ciabatta, and most any filling—sweet or savory—encased in flaky layers of dough he is. He considers mile high pies an affront (“why skew the filling-to-crust ratio to such ridiculous proportions?!”) and was thrilled when, last summer, a friend presented …

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A Brief Blogging Furlough…

The other day I mentioned, in passing, several looming deadlines. Well, today I mapped out a precise schedule and came to the following realization: I will need to stop sleeping (and possibly showering and eating) to get what needs doing done. Or, I can follow plan B: cut back on my nutty schedule for a …

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Power Hungry