All posts by Stephen

Ethiopian Lentil Soup




Up until this point, it would be fair to say that I had never over-seasoned anything. And I was tired of making things that were a little bland. So for this dish, I tasted it frequently and kept adding the berbere mix. The end result was very good, but definitely a little on the spicy side for me and Laura. Also – importantly – I need to get better at looking at servings when I go to buy ingredients, because that recipe makes an incredible amount of stew.

Cajun Sole


Veggies recipe!

We went to the store looking for catfish and a few specific vegetables and discovered that they had basically none of it. So we got sole instead, and that turned out just really well. Definitely the best fish I’ve made.¬†For the side we couldn’t find mirliton and so got zucchini and mushrooms instead, which worked out great.


Thai Lemongrass Shrimp

Thai soup



I made this for Laura and a couple of friends and I screwed it up pretty badly. I forgot to buy curry paste and one of the two cans of coconut milk I got was light. So very early in the process it was clear that this was on its way towards being both watery and bland. I tried to recover by letting it boil off more of the liquid and by adding an incredible amount of the lemongrass curry I was basing it on. The result was still a bit too coconutty for my tastes, but in general it turned out to be a success.


Za’atar Chicken



As mentioned in my last post, the za’atar salad was a bit too green for me. But I wanted to get a sense for the seasoning so I made myself a super-basic dish which consisted of putting za’atar on grilled chicken and adding rice and raisens. Not particularly exciting, I know, but I liked it a lot.

Chinese Five Spice Glass Noodles




This was an especially exciting dish because it gave me an excuse to buy a mortar and pestle. It was also exciting because it was tasty, although maybe slightly bland.

When I made it, I made both tofu and chicken so that various people could have it various ways and I ended up sad because the tofu didn’t turn out well. Super dry and not appetizing. I need to learn more about tofu.

Potato-Carrot-Leek Soup

PotatoCarrotLeekThis was my first attempt, after I decided to really give cooking a try. Sadly, the recipe has been lost to time. I think I made it fairly accurately, but it was a bit bland. And I learned something very important about cooking for Laura – which is that she really likes texture. The recipe called for this being turned into a puree, which I did much to Laura’s sadness. To get some texture back in we ran downstairs and got a roll of potato bread. I think the overall result was still a little unexciting, but we got it into an ok spot.


Cooking: Begin the Food

I’ve never been super into cooking or…well, food. I eat a lot of super-delicious Red Baron single serving pizzas, which I always burn slightly. But I’d like to get better about both halves of that, for lots of reasons. So a few months back I started trying to cook somewhat regularly. A lot of what I cook isn’t really for me – it’s mostly for Laura. Which means it is more veggie-oriented than I usually prefer. So yea, lots of exciting challenges await. I’ve been doing this for a while so I’m going to post a bunch of blogs up front to get caught up and then try to stay caught up from there.