All of the recipes are the product of my achey little head. If they’re inspired by an existing recipe, I’ll note that.
I’m notoriously vague about measuring and timing things, but I’ve made a real effort to be more precise for the purposes of this blog. I’ll always try to describe the consistency of something, or the way it should look when it’s done, to allow for mistakes I might make, and the variations in different ovens. If you ever try a recipe and something doesn’t work for you, please let me know!! If you’d like the measurements converted to metric – please let me know and I’ll do my best. I tried to install a converter, but my computer skills weren’t equal to it, I’m afraid.
I tend to use a few ingredients very often, so I’ll just add a note about those:
Olive oil is the only kind of oil I’ll buy. I buy a big can of decent, regular olive oil, and I use it for everything. If we’re flush I’ll buy a smaller bottle of nicer extra virgin for salads.
Balsamic vinegar: I use this a lot, too! In salads, and to brighten soups and stews.
Shallots: I never buy onions. They’re just too much for me! But I love the sweeter, milder taste of shallots, and I use them in most dinners. They come in wildly varying sizes, but for me “a medium-sized shallot” is about 2 inches long. Feel free to substitute onions!
Nuts: I cook with nuts a lot, both sweet and savory dishes. I buy nuts in the bulk section of the grocery store. I always have some roasted cashews, some sliced almonds, and a few other types on hand.
Herbs: I use fresh when I can, dried when I can’t find fresh (in the winter!). I never use dried cilantro or tarragon. I’ll buy a small batch of fresh and use it in everything I make for a while.
Cheese: I always have a big chunk of mozzarella (just the regular kind in winter, fresh in summer) and a big block of sharp white cheddar. I use them a lot in cooking! I like to buy goat cheese, smoked gouda, feta, and others as well, and tend to use them in everything I make when I have some.
That’s all I can think of for now, but I’ll add more if it occurs to me. If you ever have a question while you’re cooking, leave a comment. I’m a fairly obsessive e-mail checker, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.