GOOP–Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle website/newsletter is a completely enthralling car wreck.  Her incredible privilege shows in every single issue, and it makes me want to throw up all over my keyboard, but I just can’t stop reading.

The hotels she recommends are well upward of $800 per night (usually in the thousands).  She doesn’t get fancy french jam from Whole Foods, she gets it from the for real France.  She has workouts designed for her personally by Tracy Anderson.  She just can’t bear to buy clothing in the United States.  And somehow she thinks it’s a brilliant idea to share these things with us little people, even though most of us little people don’t even have access, much less money to afford, all the ridiculous things she loves….and we little people subscribe to and KEEP READING this garbage. WHY do I read it? I just can’t stop.

Now I’ll stop being a jerk and admit that she does post some good recipes (or at least good looking ones, because I’ve only made a couple of them).  Last week, in honor of Rosh Hashanah, Gwyneth included a recipe for sweet looking babka.

Chocolate babka…yummmmm

Since making a babka is on my 30 before 30 list, I’ll try out the recipe Gwyneth shared with the world.  That doesn’t mean I’ll share the babka. Mine all mine. If you want to eat a babka, you bake it yourself.


A feeble attempt at food blogging

Tonight I made a healthy, delicious dinner that is totally doable for a weeknight, as long as you have the ingredients on hand.  I made Grilled Pork Chops with Garlic Lime Sauce, and Sauteed Baby Bok Choy.  The pork chops recipe I got from Epicurious.   The Baby Bok Choy I made on my own.

The whole meal took about 30 minutes to make, but it will take even less time if you don’t interrupt yourself by taking stupid photos.  Taking good photos of food is way harder than it looks (and my photos, which aren’t even remotely good, were hard for me).  For the life of me, I can’t get the digital macro setting on my camera to take anything other than a blur.  So enjoy my mediocre photos on the point-and-click setting.

Grilled Pork Chops with Garlic Lime Sauce

First, to make the Garlic Lime Sauce, you whisk together 1/4 cup lime juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, 1/4 tsp crushed red pepper, 2 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, and 1 minced garlic clove.

I know I’m SUPPOSED to start with showing you all the ingredients measured out in little coordinated cups, but I don’t have little coordinated cups, and I forgot about my camera until I already mixed stuff together.  I do have proper mixing bowls, but they were downstairs in the pantry, and I didn’t feel like walking.

SO, next.  Next you salt and pepper the pork chops! And spray them with a little olive oil!

Then, you toss the pork chops on the grill.

Separate the sauce into 2 bowls, with half in each bowl.  Use half of the sauce to coat the chops while they’re cooking.

After the chops are cooked, let them rest for about 10 minutes before serving. During that time, coat them with the remaining sauce (using a different brush, or after cleaning the brush thoroughly, of course).

The Sauteed Baby Bok Choy was a dish of my own creation (although can you even call it a creation when it’s basically vegetables sauteed in a pan?)

The unsuspecting baby bok choy after it’s had a bath.

Onions, garlic, and olive oil all frying up in a pan.  I would have taken a picture of me chopping the onions, but I was too busy crying.

Covering the pan, to get the baby bok choy to wilt.

The final step– adding some balsamic vinegar, a little less than a tablespoon.

And here is the final product!

I’m impressed that I was able to put together a tasty meal so fast, that isn’t grilled cheese, burritos, or veggie burgers! Baby Beez and Mr. Beez both liked it, too! Finally something new to put in the weeknight rotation!


cookbooks every vegetarian kitchen needs

I was a vegetarian for several years, but when I got pregnant with Baby Beez, I wanted to eat Uncle Sam’s Subs ALL DAY EVERY DAY, and vegetarianism went out the window.  I would like to go back to vegetarianism, but the one of the keys to being a veggie and not getting bored and not getting fat is to cook at home and make a variety of different things (as opposed to, say baguettes and brie all day every day, which although delicious, isn’t ideal).  I haven’t been able to cook nearly as much as I’d like lately, but when I DID have time to do all that cooking, these were the tools in my arsenal:

Fresh from the Vegetarian Slow Cooker by Robin Robertson.  Not surprisingly, a lot of the recipes in here are soups and stews, but she does branch out with some entrees, desserts, and appetizers.  Robertson includes some easy preparation tips for using the slow cooker that really helps bring out flavors.  The recipes are all very diverse– this is not a set of variations on the same bean soup.  My favorite recipes are the Maple Baked Beans (ok, so baked beans do not sound exciting, but they are really delicious), and the In a Hurry Vegetable Curry.

The Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  This is a vegan cookbook, but you don’t have to be a vegan to LOVE it.  A lot of vegetarian cookbooks are stuck in a pasta and cheese rut, and I sometimes feel like vegan cooking spends too much time trying to impersonate meat and dairy.  This cookbook doesn’t waste its time on “fake” recipes.  It focuses on beans, grains, and vegetables, and deliciously so.  It runs the full dining gamut, an encyclopedia of vegan dining with a recipe for every occasion.  It also includes very helpful cooking tips that will equip you with skills for creating your own delicious vegan recipes. Although the authors probably wouldn’t be too keen on this, I often make these recipes “non-vegan” by using regular milk instead of soymilk, butter instead of soy margarine, etc, because those are the ingredients I already have in the house.  The recipes turn out just fine with the substitutes. My favorite recipes include the Seitanic Red and White Bean Jambalaya, and the Plaintain and Pinto Stew.

Mollie Katzen’s Moosewood Cookbook is the vegetarian hippie bible, and not surprisingly it’s in the James Beard Cookbook Hall of Fame.  It contains lots of casseroles and easy bakes that easily feed a full family, and also freeze very well.  My favorite recipes are Cauliflower Mushroom Marranca (sooooo good) and Scheherazade Casserole.

Olive Trees and Honey by Gil Marks.  This is a Jewish cookbook, but it’s not all blintzes and matzoh balls.  We Jews are all over the world, and so is this cookbook.  The recipes are from all over Europe, and there are a number of recipes out of Africa and India as well.  The variety is impressive.  My favorite parts of the book are the descriptions of the background and traditions surrounding each dish, as well as different variations on the recipes based on the flavors of different countries.  There are also very informative sections about Jewish history and traditions, Jewish cooking traditions in different countries, and the qualities of different spices.  Sephardic Leek and Cheese Casserole and Noodle Kugel are amongst my many, many favorite recipes in this collection.