Category Archives: Food

Meals, CSAs, other YUM.

2013 Recipe 2: Garlic Soba Noodles

Last night we didn’t have the little dudes, so I was free to make whatever I wanted, aka, weird foods I know they won’t eat. This tortures me, y’all. I wish they were interested in eating the weird foods I like to cook. I even wish they were interested in trying weird foods and then having a peanut butter and jelly sandwich for dinner. For that matter I wish they were interested in JELLY. What kind of kid doesn’t like jam or jelly? It is SO HARD to figure out what these dudes will eat!

Sans children, last night I made Garlic Soba Noodles.


So super good, y’all!

This recipe probably took about 30 min. start to finish, but I say probably because there was a bunch of puttering and interim dishes washing. Also I didn’t have bread crumbs, so I substituted smashed saltine crackers, and I didn’t have fresh greens, so I substituted frozen curly kale from my winter CSA. Also no green onions, so I diced half of an onion that was languishing on the counter and cooked it up before throwing in the frozen kale. We will probably cook tofu like this a lot in the future – it was really super good.

Also, I don’t usually use much (any) salt in the cooking so last night I took a chance and followed the recipe and it had a LOT of salt in it (like, a couple of teaspoons, probably – all pinches and dashes) and darn it if it wasn’t delicious. There is, you know, a strong folk tradition of tales admonishing people to put salt in their food. It involves princesses, and sometimes kings full of needles, and sometimes pomegranates full of diamonds. I think they’re on to something.

This is a #35in36 post, and I’m already a day behind. Darn it! two posts today it is!

2013 Recipe 1: Beef Stew

A sweet friend suggested that she was going to try one new recipe every week this year. What a brilliant resolution! I have got an evernote account FULL of recipes I’ve snipped out over the years, and really would like to cook more at home. I’ll give it a go too.

So: Recipe 1: BEEF STEW.



I worked at home yesterday so had a chance to make this Beef Stew, from Real Simple. It goes in a slow cooker but it is not at all like the slow cooker stews I made when I was a kid – those involved chucking everything in and turning it on, this one requires browning and deglasing. It IS delicious. The boys loved it (though Thirteen carefully ate around all of the diced onions, and really seemed to enjoy most of all the latitude to put as much bread in his body as he could).

Note for the recipe – I wouldn’t recommend following the proportions. I used 1/2 the meat, and it was entirely satisfactory. Any more and it wouldn’t have fit in my 4-Qt slow-cooker. I don’t usually have baby carrots in the house but we did from our recent car trip to Ohio and back, and I was happy to chuck those monstrosities into dinner as well.

And here is my beef (oh geez, entirely unintentional!) with slow cookers – they are really no good if you work away from the home. I want something I can chuck food into and cook and when I come home it’s all set – but almost all recipes seem to say “6-8 hours on low or 4 hours on high.” I work an eight hour (at least!) day and it takes me another hour or so to get to and from work. I can’t just leave that cooking all day long. Therefore, slow cooker use is restricted to those times I’m at home and can start it up at my leisure, letting it work hard behind the scenes while I’m nearby and ready to shut it off before dinner time.

The most things on my plate

Tonight I made a dry spicy pumpkin dish from my India cookbook. It was delicious! I also made rancho gordo beans and we reheated rice and collards from last night.

We were away all weekend and ate out nearly every meal. It was so tempting to say: let’s head out and get some dinner! But after spending money on meals for 2 days it made more sense to cook at home.

The fact the I was working from home just adds to the no-brainerness of this decision.

Contributing factors may include the part where we didn’t actually get dressed today.


I’m blogging a photo a day for the month of February. You should too! #29in29

Tea and deliciousness

One of the huge perks of working from home is fixing tea and drinking it all day long.


Another huge perk is enjoying said tea hot out of a tea cosy handmade by shawneemonkey, and whitened with fresh sorta-local non-homogenized-yet-pasteurized milk bought straight from the farmer at Duncan’s Dairy Farm. And the icing on this cake of perks? the cherry on the sundae of wonderfulness that is today? Mike is working from home today, and even though we’re both noses-to-grindstones it’s so nice to be at home together.

Pickles ‘n Fritters


Made 6-pints of spicy dill sandwich pickles from The Joy of Pickling this week. it’s been ages since I’ve canned anything (OK, since last year) and I’m pleased to report that the washing/warming/boiling/jarring/canning/sealing bits all flowed together without any surprises. Maybe after about 5 years of doing this I’ve finally got the hang of it…

We had gotten dill from our CSA a month or so ago, and it was sadly out of sync with the cucumbers – so I froze a few heads of the dill and used them in the pickles. It seemed to work just fine, I am not sure how they will turn out but I can’t wait to try them. Homemade pickles are, potentially, my favorite thing in the entire world. Potentially.



Last night Mike and I had zucchini and corn fritters. Instead of grating we jullienned (any excuse to use our awesome OXO Mandoline – it’s super affordable and works so so well. It makes pickling things seem so much easier!), and instead of scallion and cilantro we put in garlic and rosemary. Shown with delicious sriracha sauce.

I still have more pickling plans: green beans and cauliflower are next up, as is kohlrabi-in-lieu-of-radish. All I really need is 4 hours more every night and I’ll be totally caught up on my preserving.


Started a gallon of sauerkraut tonight with Mike manning the mandoline and myself in charge of recipe reading, mixing, and packing. We used 1/2 gallon jars – the largest I could find at our local supermarket with canning supplies – and filled and stashed two jars under the cabinet. We weighted the cabbage with ziplock bags of brine, as suggested in The Joy if Pickling. If it gets too hot next week we will move it to the basement.


This used two heads of cabbage, we have two more in the fridge. We will probably make kimchi with the rest in Sunday (no matter how non-traditional it is to use white cabbage).

Sardine Sandwiches


How have I never made sardine sandwiches before? I didn’t even think such a wonderful thing was possible until last month – normally I’ve just had sardines straight up, from the can, probably on crackers.

This sardine sandwich includes a nice spicy yellow mustard, a squirt of lemon juice, chopped cucumber, black pepper, and slices of tomato. I’m eating it on a whole wheat hamburger bun because that’s the only bread in the house – honestly, I don’t really eat a whole lot of bread, especially lately. Not to be all 1980s diner-diet-menu, but I think this would be delicious served without bread and inside of a hollow tomato.  If I were a little less hungry and a little more thoughtful I would have put in a pinch of chopped fresh dill.

I used Season Brand sardines, in water, no salt added, and found in the deepest darkest corner of my cupboard. These sardines may be 4 years old. I will report back if that is an issue. Hey, they’re from Morocco! I didn’t know that!
I’m not sure if it was the brand of sardines or the water pack, but I noticed that the sardines mashed so easily with a fork – much easier than tuna – and didn’t have nearly the fishy flavor that tuna does. Why on earth are sardines so scary to people? Sardines are nicer for the environment and can have a much more delicate fish flavor than your traditional albacore.

The sandwich was delicious. Wish you were here! I ate yours, though. Sorry, I didn’t think it would keep.

Sunday 4/17/10 Ride

After sleeping nearly 12 hours straight and thanking our lucky stars we were out of the rain on Sat. night, on Sunday morning Mike and I headed out to meet friends for brunch.

I was on my DRZ (natch) and he was on his 2007 Kawasaki Vulcan 1500 Classic – which he had to hose off before we left. Cruisers always look worse when they’re dirty than other motorcycles. it’s the fault of the CHROME.
We also had to change the air in the tires before going too far. First day out and all that.

it was a gorgeous day for a ride!

We planned to meet up with Michelle and Steve at the Birdsall House in Peekskill NY. We headed out across the Bear Mountain Bridge (of course I have no photos – I was riding!) and got there in good time.

(oh hey look at those handsome motorcycles in the background!)

Michelle and Steve, on the other hand, were stuck in the parking lot that was the flooded Sawmill Parkway on their way up from Brooklyn. So we had to eat with out them.
Delicious deep fried soft boiled egg over polenta, wilted spinach, and roasted mushrooms.
ZOMG maple bacon ice cream with apple butter and a cornmeal waffle.

After we ate, we hopped (being a relative term which does not adequately describe the rolling motion required by our very full bellies) back on the bikes and headed down to Sleepy Hollow, where Michelle and Steve had stopped for their own Thai lunch. and then after chatting for a good long time we headed home. We took the direct route back when we got a glimpse of the imminent black cloudiness only to be rewarded by an icy cold super windy rain storm that may have included some hail. Mike was about to complain about how much the rain hurt his hands (it was that icy needles kind of rain for a bit) and then he remembered that I didn’t have a windshield and was being struck in the chest by these same horrible needles and bit his tongue. Of course my armored gloves kept my fingers from feeling anything horrible – an unexpected benefit from extreme safety gear.

By the time we got home the rain had cleared up and we saw a rainbow! And we headed in for some hot milky tea, tomato soup, and cheese and crackers. The perfect dinner after our amazing and excessive lunch.

Such a nice ride out. I can’t wait to go back to the Birdsall House – they cure their own meat! in house! and have a charcuterie plate! and use local farms for their food! Excitement!


Flaky Pie Crusts

Flaky Pie Crusts

Originally uploaded by karinajean.

Apparently I have a knack with pie crusts. Pie crusts, biscuits, and roux. I can make a gravy so accidentally thick you’ll lose the ladle and have to send out for pizza. I can make a pie crust from scratch that will fluff up into gorgeous flaky layers of pastry. I’ve been told that these are highly advertisable skills on internet dating sites, but you know, I just thought they were pretty good knacks to have but nothing extraordinary.

I’m not a fancy chef, I never plate or sauce food neatly, but I do think I have a certain Americana knack about the kitchen that is kind of like my gramma, and also, kind of great.

2009 CSA Week 5

2009 csa wk 5

we got: lettuce (only 3 heads, it’s on it’s way out!), yellow squash and zucchini, mondo cabbage, 8 (!!) ears of corn, broccoli (a whole-lotta-broccoli), kohlrabi incl another giant head! beets, shelling peas, sugar snap peas. not shown a gorgeous bunch of basil.

from last week we had leftover – a couple of zucchini, and a whole bunch of lettuce but we have plans to braise them all, if they’ve made it this far. And I made zucchini-chocolate-chip muffins. we have some sugar snap peas left over as well. I mean to steam some of these to toss into my salads but haven’t done it yet.

On wednesday we had folks over for dinner and we ate all the corn, some of the broccoli, and all the basil in my favorite format – PESTO. and then we sent them home with half of the leftover broccoli. excellent! last week we sent them home with a bunch of lettuce, too.

I’ve been making salads every day and putting kolhrabi and yellow squash in them, and then eating them with hummus. today I’m using zucchini b/c we’ve used up all the yellow squash.

we also made this delicious dinner last night:

I love shelling peas boiled or steamed quickly and served with black pepper and chopped hard boiled egg. so simple and so delicious.

the cheesy mess on the right is escalloped cabbage, with potato chips on top, in an effort to make it kid friendly. On the other hand, we didn’t get around to making it when the kids were over, and then we ate it all without them. it has CHEEZ WHIZ in it. eep. (DELICIOUS.)

this CSA we’ve joined is so big. it’s very nearly overwhelming us every week, but somehow we pull it through. for comparison purposes, here is our share from last year in NJ – it was mostly lettuce, which was much easier to eat our way through:


2009 CSA Week 4

2009 csa wk 4

We got:

lots and lots of lettuce, kohlrabi, broccoli, tomatoes (so delicious this week), shelling peas and sugar peas, yellow squash and zucchini.

left over from last week:

shelling peas, zucchini, kohlrabi. not bad!

but seriously, though – what are we supposed to do with kohlrabi as big as my head?

kohlrabi as big as my head

2009 CSA Week 3

csa 2009 wk 3

We got:

4 kohlrabi + leaves, sugar snap peas, shelling peas, tomatoes, a giant mass of swiss chard, beets + greens, dill, 4 heads of lettuce (two purpley oak leaf? and two more like romano).

We made this delicious beet risotto:
beet risotto

and ate the peas with hardboiled eggs. We quick-boiled all the chard at one time or another and enjoyed it in it’s chardy goodness, we avoided the kohlrabi, and we ate most of the snap peas. we had big big salads with lettuce and tomatoes. so yummy.

2009 CSA Week 1

We have a new CSA this year! They’re right down the road, and I wrote about them here.

here is our first share:


AND they apologized for it being so small. YIKES! we are a little nervous.

All spread out:

2009 CSA wk 1

kohlrabi, a giant cucumber, 4 heads of lettuce (two each red leave and possible boston?), bunch of dill, gigantic bag of spinach, and 2 quarts of strawberries

The strawberries – oh my lord, the strawberries. They are so magnificent. I can’t even explain how great they are. And the cucumber! the first cucumber of the season is so incredible – the fullness of flavor is so startling after winter grocery store cukes.

CSA Wk 11


two heads of lettuce (one red leaf and one oak leaf), swiss chard, cabbage, rainbow carrots (you can’t see the red one here), regular tomatoes and 1 heirloom tomato, cucumbers, jalepeno peppers, some cubanelle peppers, cilantro, eggplant, fingerling potatoes, green beans, patty pan squash, leeks, and ground cherries.

no fruit share this week. Thank goodness! I have hardly touched the nectarines from last week. they’re just perfectly ripe now.

tonight I plan on cooking a bunch of stuff, including potatoes, leeks, kohlrabi, tomatoes, eggplant, squash, corn fritters, and cubanelle peppers. phew!


wk 1 oregano
wk 2 parsley
wk 4 kohlrabi
wk 5 onions, cilantro.
wk 6 some apples
wk 7 parsley
wk 8 cabbage, carrots, red onions, carrots, nectarines, zucchini.
wk 9 basil, carrots, white onions, purple kohlrabi, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplants, and plums.
wk 10 lettuce, yellow squash, cucumber, garlic, tomatoes, dill, dragon beans, green peppers, arugula, beets, apples and nectarines.
things I have had to toss: wk 5 spinach, wk 6 chard, wk 8 potatoes, wk 6 fava beans, wk 7 wax beans, wk 6 lettuce? where did it go? wk 7 lettuce, wk 10 english cucumber

food post

I’m happy to report that I feel a lot more comfortable with the quantity of vegetables in my refrigerator. I did a solid 3 hours of cooking last night, and things seem so much more under control!

I tackled the big bowl of white turnips and made two dishes:

a turnip casserole



the turnip casserole tasted better this morning with two fried eggs on top.

and a really incredible korean turnip salad:


I also tackled the bags and bags of wax and green beans, and the raddichio. I roasted them up with the some of the garlic. This recipe was perfect, actually, because every thing it called for? I had almost exactly that quantity.


this is just one of two pans of beans.

I think this will taste better with a chopped hard-boiled egg over it. The raddichio is still kind of bitter, and the egg will mellow it out a little.

while I was cooking I boiled the 5 ears of corn from last week in preparation for making spicy corn fritters later in the week.

and then I took a bunch of plums and made elsie’s cobbler:


which came out really really pretty with the yellow and purple plums mixed! I used more fruit than I should have, but it still was pretty tasty.

CSA Wk 10

2007csawk101 bunch and 1 head of lettuce, 2 yellow squash, 1 regular and 1 english cucumber, 2 heads garlic, 1 heirloom tomato, 2 regular tomatoes, dill, dragon beans, 5 ears corn, 2 green peppers, bunch arugula, beets, apples and nectarines.

last night I used this recipe to make a plum “cake.” I think there is something wrong with the recipe, because it says to POUR the batter and I ended up patting it down like a giant slab of playdough. One of my friends had disasterous results with the cake, too. Mine came out pretty good, though it’s more of a plummy sweet bread than anything else.  I’ve eaten a lot of the plums but it’s hard to stay on top of 2 lbs of stone fruit a week. and these plums are good, but I don’t know a lot of plummy recipes to use them up with.
I still have a whole mess of beans to eat – green beans, 2 lbs of wax beans (though I thought there was more) and now dragon beans too. And I have to do something with the raddichio, though the stuff from wk 6 might be the worse for the wear.

wk 1 oregano
wk 2 parsley
wk 3 white salad turnips
wk 4 kohlrabi, some garlic, white salad turnips
wk 5 onions, white turnips/radish, cilantro.
wk 6 raddichio, lettuce, fava beans, some apples
wk 7 wax beans, parsley, garlic, lettuce, cauliflower, beets
wk 8 raddichio, cabbage, carrots, small cukes, red onions, carrots, wax beans, nectarines and plums, zucchini.
wk 9 basil, carrots, white onions, purple kohlrabi, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans, and plums.

things I had to toss: wk 5 spinach, wk 6 chard, wk 8 potatoes
things I may have to toss later: wk 6 lettuce, wk 6 raddichio, herbs from wks 1, 2, and 5. also fava beans?

CSA catch-up (not ketchup): wks 7-9

I have 3 weeks to catch up on:

Week 7:

2007csawk7peaches, plums, wax beans, parsley, yellow squash, peppers, garlic, cucumbers, chard, lettuce, cauliflower, beets.

I used the cauliflower from this week and the prior week with some of the garlic and created a delicious roasted cauliflower dish. it was So Good!

Week 8


I almost didn’t get this one, b/c I was singing the national anthem and forgot to call ahead to have my share bagged. Luckily the clean-up crew bagged an extra share that day!

raddichio, cabbage, head of lettuce, carrots, yellow squash, small cukes, kale, dill, red onions, carrots, wax beans, nectarines and plums, zucchini, and potatoes.

also purchased 2 lbs of honey from local source. the beekeeper has some hives set up in the backyard of our pick-up family!
Week 9


basil, carrots, oak leaf lettuce (so cool), white onions, purple kohlrabi, yellow squash, zucchini, cucumbers, eggplants, green beans, green cubanelle type peppers. peaches and plums.

Things I’ve made:

fried yellow squash

cottage cheese “pie” starring chard and kale (wks 6, 7, and 8 )

pot of yellow squash soup to use up all the squash, some suspicious zucchini, an onion, and dill

stir fry of cubanelle type peppers, onions, and patty pan squashes to serve over whole wheat pasta with parm cheese. surprisingly yum.

I’ve been eating the lettuce hot-salad style, with indian food or thai curries poured on top. it’s pretty good and an easy way to demolish 1/2 a head in a meal.

I’ll do a status in the next post.

why sardines are the best.

treehugger just posted a synopsis of a study indicating that one in every four new yorkers has elevated blood mercury levels. The most interesting part is how it seems to be closely linked to fish consumption. which, as you all know, brings me to that subject that all roads at karinajeandotcom end at: sardines. I’ve said before that I love sardines for a number of reasons. I don’t know, though, if I have ever said that mercury is a tricky little guy: it sneaks through the placenta and right into a fetus. Actually, not to be flip about things, but I’ve read that the best way for a woman to reduce her body burden of mercury is to have a baby because that’s the surest way to make sure the mercury will leave your body. which is horrible! and really scary for women who want to or who are having babies!

if you’re concerned or curious about your mercury burden, you can purchase a testing kit from greenpeace (like I did!).  you won’t be included in the study (it was completed in 2006) but it’s still a cheap and easy way to do some science on your head.

csa week 6


raddichio, cauliflower, lettuce, swiss chard, beets (yay!), yellow squash, cilantro, fava beans, and extra: english peas. I should have snagged extra garlic scape but didn’t think of it until the next day.

also my first fruit share: peaches and apples. I let the peaches sit for a day out and they are so perfectly ripe now… and the most incredible sweet and juicy things ever.

I shelled the peas (with 2 other weeks worth of peas) right away and I’m finishing them off right now with chopped hardboiled eggs for my 2nd breakfast. I that night I also made the epically wonderful cheese sauce of yore for the old broccoli. and I washed off all old lettuce and ate it for lunch yesterday. While I was washing greens I cooked the beets (just boiled) and I’ve got the 2nd half of them for my lunch today as well.

status update:

wk 1 oregano (keeping pretty well in the fridge in a glass of water with it’s parsley and cilantro friends)

wk 2 parsley [I had to chuck the rest of the frisee… there wasn’t much left, at least.]
wk 3 white turnip

wk 4 kohlrabi, cilantro, 2 heads of garlic, white turnips

wk 5 spinach, onions, white turnips/radish, cilantro.

I can’t believe it, but I’m really catching up! amazing. the fruit share may make things a little harder. oh, and I didn’t finish my garlic scape soup (from, like, 2 weeks ago), so I have to chuck it. it smells… extra special. it LOOKS ok, but I don’t think I’d better risk it.

amazing incredible cheese sauce that I may want to marry.

I made the most amazing cheese sauce last night. seriously. it was incredible. I wanted to marry it, that’s how good it was.

I followed the directions my friend jesse posted at  his awesome food blog corduory orange. and by followed, I mean a few days ago I re-read his post and tried to remember what he said to do.

first I made a roux.

I used equal parts butter and flour. The cast iron skillet is, I think, the most important part of the recepie.

I browned the roux and when it started to smell a little I freaked out and poured about 1 1/2 cups of milk into it.


I wisked the milky roux for about 15 min. while I grated cheese with the other hand.
this is the funny part: the cheese? is really really old. it’s been in my fridge for over a year. A fine vintage jarlsberg:
I figured that because it was so well wrapped and not fuzzy at all, it should be ok. despite the sell-by date on the back:
seriously: this cheese was purchased for my 29th birthday party, but we never put it out. it’s been sitting in my fridge since April 2006. delcious!

I added the grated cheese (probably about 2 cups, not the 6 oz by wt that jesse recommended) and came up with this! amazing! cheese! sauce! that I couldn’t stop eating with a spoon!

and then I enjoyed it over steamed broccoli.
I am the cheese sauce genius!