Hello Readers! I’ve been on hiatus for a while now, moving to and getting settled in to my new home: Pittsburgh, PA. This hasn’t left much time for fun creative cooking. I’ve been eating old favorites like black bean stew and endless combos of beans, rice, and fresh veggies. All the while, I’ve been wearing the soles of my shoes thin by walking all over this beautiful city. Pittsburgh is a pleasant mix of yesterday and today. Old factories and warehouses and falling down houses dot the landscape, while folded in are new buildings, brightly painted townhouses, hip small businesses and cheery murals.
Nearly two months later, I’m finally feeling at home: I’ve got a room in a big old house with some other women and a fluffy cat, complete with a giant kitchen. My dear friend Dorothy the food processor is out of storage, and as the days cool into crisp autumn weather, I’ll be back to whirring vegetables into little bits and boiling big pots of beans. I have a job I like, doing fundraising for non-profits, and my neighborhood is very much like Brooklyn.
I spent last weekend with my family in the country, baking pies for our church festival. Not too many, just four dozen ;). And since I still had some energy left after baking the pies, I whipped up a birthday cake for my older brother and sister using my grandmother’s recipe. It has eggs in it, so I won’t share it here, but I used soymilk in place of cow and no one knew the difference.
But now that that sugar-rush weekend is done, it’s back to healthy eating again. I’m making my daily green smoothies again, and cooking stir-fry for lunch. I’ve got kombucha brewing in hopes of finding some new customers. Right now I’ve got a big batch of chickpeas bubbling on the stove to make hummus for our house party on Friday (and some for my little brother who is bringing the tahini.) Plus I’m revamping some chili into a pot of quinoa and spinach laced glop for tonight’s dinner at work. I’ve also developed a mild obsession with peanut sauce dumped on all of my veggies, so I’ll share with you a loose approximation of how to make it.
big blob of peanut butter (I like all-natural stuff, but Jif and Skippy are fine too)
Rice vinegar (or whatever you have, apple cider is fine too)
a bit of sugar (maple syrup, honey, agave, etc)
Something hot like red pepper flakes, cayenne, or Sriracha
finely minced ginger and/or garlic
a little water to thin, if needed
1. Whisk it all together until combined and season to taste. Sorry for the lack of measuring here, I just eyeball it and keep adding and tasting until it’s good.
More great recipes to come! I’ve been challenged to make a healthy hot-pocket, so stay tuned!