Monthly Archives: September 2010

adam’s margarita

This fantabulous margarita recipe comes from my brother-in-law, Adam.  Since it uses a frozen mix it’s ridiculously easy.  I occasionally feel like I need to look up a recipe to make the whole thing from scratch, but why bother when this one’s so good and so easy? Continue reading

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maple cookies

Ok, so I may have totally failed my sister’s Apple Day, but we definitely did a nice feature of maple between the maple-mustard pork and the maple cookies.  Yup, we used a lot of maple syrup for that meal and it was oh, so good.  I already told you how good the pork was, but the cookies….  Buttery and sugary and most important, one of the best flavors on earth: maple!  What’s not to love? The only downside to these cookies is that recipe calls for a whole cup of maple syrup, but luckily, we had a bunch of maple syrup on hand (emphasis on had).

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maple-mustard pork tenderloin with caramelized apples

As long as I’ve known my sister (i.e. my whole life), she’s been replete with ideas both good and bad. For example, when we were kids she liked to play “chef” and take random ingredients in the small kitchen at our after school program and “cook” (or rather, mix) them and then serve them to poor saps like me. She and her friends would run around exclaiming about their marvelous creations and I only recently learned that, despite her proud exclamations of her masterpieces, she in fact found them as disgusting as I did.  And it was such a relief! I mean, we’re talking about ketchup, flour, water, sugar, baking soda, and food coloring.  That kind of thing.  Yech.

But she does on occasion have really, really good ideas. Such as Apple Day.  Here’s what it is in her own words: Continue reading


fresh arugula and tomato fettuccine

I am so excited to tell you about this dish.  My sister and brother-in-law gave us a pasta roller attachment for our KitchenAid mixer and I’ve been itching to try it.  But we’ve been going out of town nearly every weekend and it didn’t seem wise to try to tackle it for the first time on a work night.  So we decided today was finally the day and in preparation we went to one of my favorite places in the Boston area, Hutchins Farm.

Hutchins, in beautiful Concord, MA, is an organic farm that Joseph and I found on a bike ride shortly after we had moved north.  It was my favorite place to pick up produce when I worked in Concord a couple years ago.  It’s still my favorite place to get fresh produce, but it’s harder now that I’m not working in the area.  But it’s well worth the trip for their amazing fruits and veggies, especially when you have something special in mind.  Something like my making your own pasta for the first time! Continue reading


ginger-miso halibut in shiitake and edamame broth with soba noodles

While we were in DC celebrating my Dad’s, Joseph’s and my birthdays, my mom wanted to cook a meal together (well, my dad’s very helpful participation was on the cleaning up side of things).  Joseph found a striped bass recipe on epicurious.com that looked pretty good.  My mom had some beautiful halibut already, so we trooped off to the new Whole Foods in their neighborhood for the rest of the ingredients.  And what a Whole Foods it was!  For the most part, it was just a nice grocery store and not really that different from the one we go to in Cambridge.  But in the center of the store lays a total trap for suckers like me: salt, honey, and olive oil bars.  I got small samples of a merlot salt and another, very fine, powdery salt (I forgot the name!) that we got to use as a finishing salt for the halibut, but totally forgot all about. Oops.  Anyway, the bags were so small that when they tried to weigh them at the checkout, the weight didn’t register so we got them for free.  Score!

I really wish we had a salt bar at our Whole Foods because I keep looking at this $20 bottle of Himalayan pink salt that comes with its own little salt grater and oh, I want it so much.  Like I said, I’m a total sucker for that kind of thing and I would be much better off with a little .5 oz bag of it than a whole jar just because I want the salt grater!  Why would I need a salt grinder?  For the Himalayan pink salt!  When would I use it?  I don’t know! Continue reading


macaron colorwheel

Ok, I’ve been terrible about posting.  It’s been such a busy summer with nearly every weekend out of town and I admit, I’ve totally slacked off on the blogging.  The good thing about all the traveling (besides seeing friends and family!) was getting to try more macarons!  If you’ve been following pixelated crumb at all, you know that I’ve been searching (here and here) for the best stateside macaron.

While we were in DC a week and a half ago to celebrate my dad’s birthday, we went to Praline in Bethesda, MD.  The chef who instructed my pastry class at L’Academie de Cuisine about 4 years ago told us that Praline had the only decent brioche in the DC area, so it seemed like a good bet that they would have good macarons. Continue reading


rhode island calamari

Calamari is one of those foods that garners all kinds of reactions from people.  Some people are appalled by the mere idea of it (“it’s squid!!”), some people are only ok with it if it’s deep fried, some people are only ok when it’s cut into rings and they do no want to see the tentacles, and some people love it in all its forms.  I used to be of the second persuasion: only ok with it as long as it was deep fried.  It just seemed safer and more unrecognizable in that form.  I mean, it’s breaded and deep fried.  Of course it’s good!

My very first date with Joseph was at a tapas restaurant and as we were selecting dishes to share, he suggested a sauteed calamari dish.  I was faced with a dilemma.  Do I present myself as a picky eater who’s somehow willing to eat (and enjoy) fried calamari on our first date, or just suck it up and eat something that sounds, frankly, kind of disgusting.  I went with option number one and openly admitted that I was a little nervous, but of course I would try it.  I loved it.  After one bite I didn’t want to share the rest with him. Continue reading


Zucchini Pasta with Almonds

I mentioned before that my sister had sent me a zucchini pasta recipe super similar to a Smitten Kitchen recipe that I was already planning on making.  My sister raved about this recipe from Cooking Light, so I had to try it and see how it compared.  The recipes both share all the same key ingredients: whole wheat pasta, zucchini (of course), lemon, olive oil, almonds, and pecorino romano.  The two main differences between the two dishes are the cut of the zucchini (simple dice vs. painstakingly cut little slivers), addition of tomatoes, and number of ingredients.

The Cooking Light pasta adds both mint and thyme.  As much as I love mint in certain situations (like mint and chocolate, which I love), I’m wary of it in certain food combos such as pasta.  I just feel like it has a strong flavor and can overwhelm the dish.  I might have been a bit light-handed when I added it, but I thought it was fine, adding just a subtle mint flavor. Continue reading


roasted pork loin with parsley-shallot sauce

Want a quick, relatively healthy, but really nice meal?  Look no further than Ellie Krieger’s roasted pork loin with parsley-shallot sauce.  Joseph cooked the pork while I prepared the roasted cauliflower (yes, I know I got the easy part).

Joseph used Thomas Keller’s technique of searing the pork before putting it in the oven to get a perfectly cooked, succulent, tender pork loin with a nice, browned, caramalized exterior.  Searing the meat and finishing it in the oven shortens the overall cooking time and makes for a more appealing appearance and texture.   I can’t stand a dry piece of meat and this meat was so moist that even when I microwaved the leftovers for lunch the next day it was still perfectly juicy. Continue reading


roasted cauliflower


I love roasted veggies.  Already delicious vegetables get a sweetened lift and and tender bite in a hot, hot oven.  If you’re not a huge cauliflower fan, you’ve got to try them roasted.  The olive oil, salt, and pepper bring out of the best of cauliflower and just a pinch of nutmeg lends the slightest flavor twist. No mushy, bland vegetables here.

Cauliflower gets a bad rap not just for it’s often bland preparation, but for it’s nutritional content.  You know how you always hear that the darker your green leafy veggies, the more nutrients it has?  So surely cauliflower, a white (!?!) vegetable would be a complete nutritional void.  Not so.  Joseph, my resident nutritionist (ok, he’s not a nutritionist, but he did spend 2 years studying nutrition as a part of his food and nutrition policy doctorate degree) has assured me that it’s actually a good source of protein, riboflavin, phosphorus and potassium, and a very good source of dietary fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, folate, pantothenic acid and manganese.  Phew! Continue reading