Last weekend the eastern part of the U.S. had an unseasonable heat wave, but in Utah it was cold and rainy both days. It seems like my brain is hardwired to the weather, because when it's cold outside, I have to make soup or stew. I certainly hadn't planned on it, but I looked in the cupboards and fridge, combined a few things, and came up with this bean stew. I'm calling it stew instead of soup, because I cooked it for a long time so most of the lentils dissolved and thickened the broth. This was delicious with some crusty 100% whole wheat bread, (although I wouldn't mind making salad if the weatherman wants to send a heat wave this weekend!)
Wednesday, April 29, 2009
Monday, April 27, 2009
From time to time, readers write to me with cooking questions, which I do sheepishly try to answer, reminding them that I'm pretty much a self-taught cook, and might be breaking all kind of kitchen rules. One question that I've gotten more than once is "Can I use bottled lemon (or lime) juice in this recipe?" to which my answer is an emphatic "NO!" In my mind, the overly sour and artificial flavor of bottled lime or lemon juice is no substitute for the subtle, fresh, and slightly sour-citrus flavor of fresh lemon or lime juice.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 8:01 PM
Saturday, April 25, 2009
(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites April 2009) I was thrilled when I learned to make Pilafi (Greek Lemon Rice) from my friend Georgette because it was one of many Greek dishes I'd always loved in restaurants. Georgette recommended Uncle Ben's Converted Rice to make this, and I was thrilled again when I learned that Uncle Ben's Converted Rice is a low-glycemic type of rice, even though it's white rice. Apparently the "converting" of the rice (parboiling) removes some of the starch and makes it slower to digest than regular white rice.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:58 PM
Friday, April 24, 2009
(Four Year Birthday Graphic from ClipArtStock.net)
It sounds like a cliche, but when I wrote the first post on Kalyn's Kitchen four years ago, I never imagined how much this blog would change my life. I was just a fourth grade teacher who liked to cook, and I'd never thought about photographing my food or writing about it on the internet. Now I've got shelves full of "blog dishes," a collection of notebooks filled with recipe notes, and I'm about to trade a 30 year teaching career for the job title of food blogger. I feel constantly thankful for all the good things blogging has brought into my life, not the least of which is connections I've formed with other bloggers and readers from all over the world.
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Farro is a chewy, slightly nutty tasting type of Emmer wheat that's imported from Italy, and I loved it the first time I tasted it. Most Farro will be perlato, which means some of the hull has been removed so it won't need to be soaked. However I bought the Farro I used in this recipe at a tiny grocery store in the North end of Providence, Rhode Island, where I went with Lydia, and it seemed to be whole-grain farro. After soaking, I cooked the Farro in a rice cooker, but you can cook it on the stove as well. True Farro can be hard to find in the U.S. (even Whole Foods sold me spelt in Salt Lake, although spelt and farro are not the same.) However, if you can't find Farro where you live, you can make this salad with wheatberries or barley.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 9:00 PM
Monday, April 20, 2009
For a long time I was mildly infatuated with the pinto beans from Rubios, a popular Fresh-Mex fast food restaurant. Rubios is famous for fish tacos, but when I go there I'm either getting a salad or these wonderful beans. The menu declares the pinto beans are "not refried" and the creamy, slightly chunky beans are served plain, with no cheese or toppings. To me Rubios beans have the absolute perfect creaminess and flavor that makes pinto beans so delicious.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 10:33 PM
Saturday, April 18, 2009
(Updated April 2009) In 2005 I got this recipe for Crockpot Chicken Fajitas from a blog called MomFood, written by a blogger named C. Jones who graciously agreed to let me republish it here. That blog disappeared shortly after I got the recipe, although C. Jones did leave a comment on the original post in 2006. At the time she was still reading Kalyn's Kitchen, so if she's still reading now, I hope she'll be pleased to see this. I'm trying to update my oldest posts that don't have photos, so today I made fajitas in the crockpot and took a few pictures. Of course, I know that fajitas made in the crockpot aren't really Fajitas, but this recipe is still pretty delicious even without that fajita sizzle. Tortillas are completely optional here; I like to eat this just piled up on a plate with melted cheese, salsa, and a dollop of sour cream. Some Cilantro-Lover's Guacamole would go great with it too, but unfortunately there was none of that left for the photo!
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 8:04 PM
Friday, April 17, 2009
I do appreciate my loyal readers not complaining about the endless house renovation photos, but I've been through the process of remodeling a house once and lamented the lack of photos when I was done, so I don't want to make that mistake again. Last week I showed preparations for sheetrock, and now we have sheetrock, which may make for pretty boring photos but quite exciting nevertheless! Above is the intial sheetrocking of where my desk will be.
Wednesday, April 15, 2009
I remember the first time I tasted guacamole, on the menu as "Guacamole Salad" at a now-long-gone restaurant in downtown Salt Lake City named Tampico's. It was creamy, slightly spicy, and had just a touch of lime, and I thought it was one of the most heavenly things I'd ever tasted. For years I made guacamole for parties with just avocado, lime, and a bit of chili powder, and it was always a hit. Then around ten years ago I started adding some very finely chopped cilantro and red onion to my guacamole recipe. Nowdays I have a definite fondness for guacamole with exactly the ingredients in this recipe, although truthfully I'd probably eat guacamole just about any way you wanted to make it. I'm guessing there are other people with specific guacamole preferences, so if you want to weigh in on it, please leave a comment telling us just what you think the essential ingredients are for perfect guacamole.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 9:23 PM
Monday, April 13, 2009
This recipe started out as something I whipped up when my friend Robin stopped by on a Friday night, and since we both loved the way it turned out, I took a few quick photos. The photos were okay, but not great, so on the weekend I made it again and took some photos when I had natural light. Interestingly enough Robin stopped by that day too, and I fed her this whole wheat spaghetti dish a second time. Both times Robin declared the spaghetti to be *very* good, so here's a super-quick recipe that's good enough to feed your best friend if he or she drops by some night.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 8:23 PM
Friday, April 10, 2009
I probably should have called this set of photos "Preparing for Sheetrock" because if you follow me on Twitter I mentioned I was getting sheetrock today. I got home too late to take photos of that, and I'm trying to create a record with these updates, so I had to share these photos of what came before the sheetrock could be done! First a hall had to be framed, leading into the new set of rooms. That piece of plywood is covering the doorway to my kitchen.
Wednesday, April 08, 2009
I can tell Easter is coming, partly because of all the people finding my post about How to Make Perfect Hard-Boiled Eggs through Google. That post has a lot of ideas for using boiled eggs, which many people have in the fridge after Easter. This year I thought it would be fun to find interesting ideas for deviled eggs. Check after this recipe for lots of deviled egg variations, and I'll keep adding them through Easter weekend if I spot more deviled egg ideas that sound good. If you have an interesting recipe for deviled eggs, please share in the comments.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 10:32 AM
Sunday, April 05, 2009
It's been a long time since I've posted a recipe with the word "casserole" in the title, but lately I've been in a casserole kind of mood. It's not just that I've been hearing casseroles are back or that some people have called them The Ultimate Recession Food. When I was growing up, casseroles were always a regular part of the menu. When I first started the blog I made a lot more casseroles than I have the last few years, even adapting some of my favorite casserole recipes to make them more South Beach Diet friendly. I know plenty of people who read the blog are cooking for families, and lately I'm thinking a few more casserole options might be a good thing. (If you have an opinion on casseroles, please weigh in with a comment.)
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 10:03 PM
Saturday, April 04, 2009
(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites, April 2009) Scallops are one of those things I love to order in a nice restaurant, and actually I'd been eating them for years before I ever ventured into cooking them. That changed when my beloved Costco started carrying good quality frozen sea scallops at a reasonable price. I quickly learned there are two secrets to making scallops taste great: cook them quickly at high heat and be very careful not to overcook. Anything else you do to bump up the flavor is just a plus.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 6:25 PM
Friday, April 03, 2009
Here are a few photos from my much-too-quick trip to Austin a few weeks ago for SXSW. After I knew I'd be going there, I researched Austin food options and wrote for BlogHer about Where to Eat in Austin, but then a family funeral kept me in Utah for most of the time I would have spent trying out Austin restaurants. Even though the trip turned out to be a short one, I did have some fun.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 11:15 PM
Wednesday, April 01, 2009
Kalyn's favorite phase one recipe for March 2009 is
Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling
Asian Lettuce Cups with Spicy Ground Turkey Filling
The only good thing about March in Utah is the arrival of spring, and I'm always happy when it's time to move on to April. When the calendar page flips over, it's time for the monthly round-up of phase one recipes I've posted this month or spotted on other blogs. This was a pretty high-stress month, but when I checked del.icio.us, I was actually surprised to see a lot of phase one recipes that I'd managed to save. (By the way, if you don't know about del.icio.us, it's my favorite place to save bookmarks!) Of course I can't find every tasty phase one recipe posted during a month, but if you're a food blogger with a recipe you think might work for phase one check after the list to see how to submit it.