#7 Swiss chard, chickpea and tamarind stew

This one started off with so much promise: Looks good, doesn’t it? And really, how could you go wrong with chard and chickpeas, a little tomato, a little onion, some coriander? (The photo is missing the chickpeas, caraway, cilantro, and yogurt called for in the recipe, but they all showed up later and reasonably close…

#6: Bittersweet salad

♥ blood orange, bitter endive sweet ricotta, pomegranate purple pink passion bliss ♥ As we approach Valentine’s Day, it has felt like a pleasant bit of serendipity to find myself reading The Orchid Thief. It’s a story about many things: there’s the story of John Laroche who was facing charges of having stolen protected orchids from…

OT: Great deal on a great book!

When Gawker (or was it Buzzfeed) came out with its list of all-time favorite food memoirs, it was disappointing to see the omission of Molly Wizenberg’s wonderful A Homemade Life, about her journey from graduate school student (French!) to finding her own writing voice, falling in love, starting a restaurant, and navigating the death of her father. Her…

#5 Soba with wakame

Sometimes there are plans and expectations, hopes and ambitions, dreams. And then there are the times when harsh reality intervenes. This last week has, unfortunately, been just such a time. I had hoped to tantalize your appetites with a recipe for hot noodles in a savory broth. I had aspirations for elegant discursions on the…

#4 Sweet Winter Slaw

Here’s another one that’s easy to like, and a good thing, too. We’re in the starting phases of building an addition to our house for my in-laws — bedroom, bathroom, and sitting area — and everything in our life seems to be reacting with a certain brittle rigidity to the anticipated changes. In the last…

#3: Mushroom ragout with poached duck eggs

After last week’s tempestuous entrée, you might be pleased to learn that this week we’re enjoying a far more congenial dining companion: Start with panfried mushrooms served in an intensely-flavored sauce based on a stock made from porcini mushrooms and aromatics, enriched with sour cream and spiked with thin ribbons of fresh tarragon and parsley.…

#2 Black Pepper Tofu

I am a sucker for intensely flavored foods: bleu cheese, anything with garlic and red pepper flakes, bitter greens, and spicy salsas and curries. And besides I’m always on the lookout for new ways to use tofu, which I am pretty sure I should eat more frequently. So it was no surprise that this particular…