musings from the pink chair

Archive for the ‘food’ Category


Posted on: 27 March 2010

there are two kinds of people in america: those who consider t.g.i. friday’s a legitimate dining option, and those who don’t.



Posted on: 25 March 2010

okay, i have to say this:


it’s disgusting. it tastes like sizzled lard. the texture varies between really hard and really squishy. it makes me want to vomit.

i feel the need to put that out there because BACON IS TAKING OVER THE WORLD. it’s showing up in EVERYTHING. pasta sauce. seafood. BROWNIES AND DOUGHNUTS. I AM NOT MAKING THIS UP.

next time i try to order scallops, i don’t want to have to settle for something else because they can’t make the sauce without the freaking bacon. and bacon in DOUGHNUTS? anyone who thinks it’s possible to improve on a hot krispy kreme original glazed, especially by contaminating it with bacon, is clearly certifiable.

the greatest comfort food in the entire world is pumpkin scones.

this is not my opinion.  it is a scientific fact.  there is nothing, NOTHING better than a pumpkin scone, especially in the dead of winter when it’s dark and cold and wet and depressing and all you want is to be warm and cozy.

this is the recipe i use, and they always turn out fantastic.  except i only put on the spiced glaze and leave out the white.  and no, the rachel who posted the recipe is not me.

but probably the best pumpkin scone i have ever had came from alice’s tea cup in manhattan.  my friend devin took me there last time i was in new york about a year ago, and i have been fantasizing about the brunch we had there ever since.  so if you’re ever in new york…go there and get a scone and some tea.  it’s not an option.  you have to.  it’s that good.

ANYWAY, i made a batch of pumpkin scones today because it’s freezing cold and i’m seriously ready to break out my shorts, flip flops, and swimsuit.  but since it’s still only february, i have to rely on the world’s greatest comfort food to keep me from slipping into a winter-induced coma.

today i ate four chocolate cupcakes with my delicious homemade chocolate frosting.

good thing i didn’t make a new year’s resolution to lose weight.

have you guys tried the cranberry tuna salad from whole foods?  it is freaking amazing.  my boss introduced some of us at work to it like a year ago, and we’re all now obsessed.

however, said cranberry tuna salad unfortunately costs like $9.99 a pound.  not especially journalist-salary-friendly.  but when i looked at the ingredients, i thought it would be insanely easy to duplicate at home.  and i’m pleased to report…i was right!  so behold, this super-simple yet fabulous cranberry tuna recipe:

Whole Foods Cranberry Tuna Salad — Rachel’s Ripoff Version
(this makes enough for one person, or two side-dish servings)

  • one can tuna (whole foods uses yellowfin, i like solid light in olive oil, solid white albacore would work too — just don’t use that chunk light crap)
  • 1/2 cup or so dried cranberries (you can use fresh, but you’ll have to chop them up)
  • half a lemon
  • 1/4-1/3 cup yellow or white onion (not sweet, adjust amount based on how much you like onion)
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise (or 3-4, if you really like mayo — i hate it)
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of sugar, ONLY if your dried cranberries are unsweetened or you’re using fresh

dump the cranberries into a bowl and squeeze the lemon over them.  let them sit for a minute to absorb some of the juice.  then drain the tuna and flake it into the bowl (size of the chunks/flakes is up to you — whole foods makes them pretty small). mix that around with the lemon juice and cranberries.  chop or mince the onion (depending on how you like it) and toss that in.  then add your 2 or so tablespoons mayo — you really just need enough to bind it all together (i use as little as possible since i can’t stand the stuff, and i use the olive oil kind — but you can use whatever).  add your pinch of salt and pinch of sugar if your cranberries are unsweetened.  mix it up, and you’re done!  YUM.

whole foods, i still love you.  but i now have a pantry full of canned tuna and dried cranberries, and i won’t be buying your expensive-yet-delightful tuna salad again anytime soon.  i’m so pleased.

i like to cook.

however, i also like to dance, play violin, write, decorate my apartment, read magazines and frivolous literature, and play with my cat. between that and my (wonderful) job, i don’t have a lot of time to cook during the week. i save the time-intensive recipes for the weekends (profiteroles au chocolat, anyone?), but during the week i go for simple and delicious.

a lot of the time that means falling back on my endlessly versatile pasta dish, first thrown together in college when i was sick of takeout. the basic mixture: almost any kind of pasta tossed with grape tomatoes and bulgarian feta cheese, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil. delicious hot or cold. variations: add any combination of green onions, shredded chicken, fresh or wilted spinach, mushrooms, broccoli, etc etc etc. sometimes i add some crushed red pepper to give it a kick. it’s pretty much unbeatable in terms of both pure deliciousness (i can’t think of better foods than good olive oil, good feta, and fresh tomatoes) and ease of preparation (the only “cooking” involved is boiling the water for pasta) — but you can get sick of anything if you eat it enough.

SO, i was on the hunt for something new. i decided this something would be a recipe with leeks, because i adore them in leek soup but haven’t ever had them any other way. i’m pleased to say i now have a very simple but super-delicious leek recipe for weeknights thanks to cookthink, an ingredient-based recipe project that my friend claire used to manage. and, bonus: with the exception of the leeks, all the ingredients are stuff you almost surely already have.

here’s my version of their leeks braised in white wine:

after you’ve removed the top and bottom, slice the leeks in half lengthwise (also widthwise if they’re really long, like mine were). lightly brown them, cut side down, over medium heat in a mixture of about 2 tbsp. olive oil and 2 tbsp. butter (about four minutes). flip them and lightly brown the other side. then pour in about half a cup of dry white wine, and let it cook for a couple minutes until the alcohol burns off.  add about a quarter or a third of a cup chicken or vegetable stock, and cover. simmer the mixture for about 8-10 minutes. add some freshly ground pepper to taste, plenty of parsley, a squirt of lemon juice if you like (i used half a lemon, but i like everything really lemony), and a bit of salt if you like (i wouldn’t add the salt unless you used unsalted butter and low-sodium broth/stock). let that sit for another minute or so, and then you’re done.

mmmmm, so delicious. and easy.

i like living alone most of the time.  i don’t have to watch anyone else’s favorite TV shows, i can tap dance in my kitchen and do yoga on the balcony (really), and there are no awkward bills or chores to split.  the one thing that sucks, though, is living alone when you like to cook.

cooking for one sucks.  it just does.  you have to constantly go [EDIT: omg! split infinitive. style fail] to go to whole foods/trader joe’s/wherever constantly because if you buy more than you need for a few days, all the food starts to go bad.  recipes are always designed to feed at least four people, so you either have to guess and cut the proportions down or make the whole thing, freeze the leftovers, and eat them for two solid weeks.  AND there’s no one to cook with and no one to admire your lovely culinary creations.

like this fruit tart, for example:

i made it when my parents came to visit.  and now i want to make another one.  …but it’s so huge.  so i think what i’ll do is make a bunch of mini-tarts in cupcake pans and bring them to work.  people go nuts for free food at work (although not as nuts as at duke, but it would be hard to match that), so i hope that works.  we’ll see.  yum.

oh, and i hope everyone enjoyed my of montreal quotation in the subject line.  as jake would say, “i’m so freaking indie right now.”


I'm a twentysomething journalist who lives in Atlanta, loves all things artsy, and updates this blog from the cozy pink chair in my living room. More?



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