Break Those Barriers

Recently I stumbled upon this intriguing  tweet: Some background – Vim is a powerful text editor that is mostly used from a command prompt/terminal by programmers or other IT professionals.  It is notorious for it’s steep learning curve because its simplest operations (like moving the cursor or even exiting the program) are not immediately obvious. After … Continue reading Break Those Barriers

NPR One Review

Last week, NPR released NPR One as the official National Public Radio mobile app (Android and iphone).  I’ve become a big fan of theirs (David has too!) as I now spend much more time in a car than I did in Manhattan and don’t always want to hear the same five songs on repeat on the … Continue reading NPR One Review

YASS (Yet Another Successful Stew)

2014-07-26 22.42.03It’s almost cliché for me to post another stew recipe but I really can’t help it, it’s a (delicious) disease!  Any day can be a stew day, especially in New Orleans where it is hot all year round.  A good stew does not require lots of fancy meats and ingredients, just some basic ingredients that can be easily swapped for others depending on what’s in the pantry.  The protein is usually the most obvious differentiator; I’ve had great experiences with chicken, seitan, beef, sausage, and many combinations.

This particular recipe was easy to make and had a sweet/spicy thing that I really loved.  Try it out below!

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Almost Gluten-Free Beef Stew (Sadly, Not Gumbo)

2014-07-20 19.44.13I guess this is what I get for trying a “Gumbo Recipe” that came with my new crockpot (really cool by the way, it has 2, 4, and 6 quart sized bowls!).  While it was quite wonderful, I don’t think I can call it Gumbo without offending my neighbors.  The name refers to my mild success with some vegan sausages that contain gluten. They were cheap, had the right texture, and the flavoring was dead on.  Don’t get me wrong, I loved the taste of this dish – it was flavorful with a nice kick and the “sausage” allowed me to halve the amount of beef I used – but I was expecting Gumbo.  The texture of the final product was quite thick, much closer to the Jambalaya recipe that I made earlier this year.  Chef John’s recipe seems like it would be much more authentic, but I’ll have to try that one out next time.  Check out the recipe below:

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Surprisingly Delicious Vegan Pepper Steak

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Vegan + Delicious = Blasphemy!  Many dishes which get around dietary restrictions swap key ingredients and leave the dish lacking in taste.  The sign of a successful replacement ingredient is approval by a third party unbound by those restrictions.  I am in no way a vegan and tend to stay away from vegetables and other green things, but my curiosity got the better of me when I saw Gardein Beefless Strips  at the grocery.

This dish was really quite tasty and it wasn’t as heavy a dish as the non-vegan version, so give it a try no matter what your diet (though not gluten-free because the beefless strips are made of wheat gluten, sometimes called Seitan).  The fake beef strips have a meaty texture and flavor, making it a magical substitution.  It was a perfect meal after seeing the wonderful film, Chef, which will make you salivate for 115 minutes.  Check out the recipe below:

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Tomato Tribulations

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Photo by Rachel Andrew

Having just moved down south, far from family and friends, I was faced with a real decision to make.  My choice would change my life forever.  Clearly, the selection of the proper tomato product to purchase at the grocery store would make or break my dinner.  But being a naive and uninformed shopper, I assumed that Tomato Paste was basically unflavored Tomato Sauce.  Boy was I wrong.

No matter how much I simmered, seasoned, or diluted, the “sauce” that I made had an incredibly strong, sickeningly sweet and acidic taste.  What I was really looking for in the store was Tomato Purée.  Unfortunately, my pasta was not great that night, but I learned quite a few Tomato Terms™ (which I will share below): Continue reading “Tomato Tribulations”