January 20, 2013
It’s story time with Miss Diane! Gather ’round kids.
Once there was a little girl who was a very picky eater. She didn’t like spicy foods, she didn’t like foods that were “too green,” and was generally scared of foods she’d never tried before. Eventually, the little girl grew up to be a college student who, while still being a picky eater, loved to eat.
One day, the girl had a realization. If I get over my pickiness, she thought, I can eat more food! Maybe I don’t actually hate the things I don’t think I like… maybe I never gave them a proper chance.
And so she started with mushrooms. She took some plump, pretty mushrooms, and stuffed them with everything she liked: bacon, bread crumbs, cheese, garlic…
If I don’t like them stuffed with all these good things, she thought, then I probably actually hate them. She took a fat, juicy stuffed mushroom between her fingers and took a bite. She’s been loving mushrooms ever since.
November 7, 2012
I have come to realize something about myself, and it is this: my favorite part of soup is bread.
Take this tomato soup, for instance. Usually I just have a bowl of it with a grilled cheese sandwich like any red-blooded American who grew up on Campbell’s and Kraft, but the other day I decided that it would be infinitely better if I were to skew the sandwich-to-soup ratio a bit and do it French onion style. I filled a ramekin half-full with tomato soup, added some toasted baguette slices, sprinkled on some cheese, and broiled the sucker.
Parts of the bread get saturated with the soup and parts of it stay crispy, while the cheese melts and oozes into the crevices. There’s enough topping to get a bite of cheese bread with each spoonful of bright red soup, which is just how it should be.
October 15, 2012
I know we just skipped into mid-October, but stay with me here. I know there are still tomatoes out there at the markets, and there’s no better way to celebrate a good tomato than to smash the heck out of it on some bread.
To be honest with you, reader, I haven’t been in much of a cooking mood. I still cook, of course, but it hasn’t been joyful experimentation in a while. It’s been stuff like this: simple, tasty, but but but.
I have to convince myself that it’s something you want to see. It’s just some bread with stuff on it, after all. Not even a sandwich. But this blog is about connecting with people, and maybe someone out there just wants a snack and doesn’t want to go out and buy camembert or smoked paprika to make one. But I bet you have bread, and garlic, and oil, and tomato, don’t you?
September 29, 2012
The very first thing I made upon arriving in France was a quiche. A full-sized, caramelized onion and gruyere quiche that I took to my first brunch. The onions were a little over-sweet and it was overcooked due to a timer error, but it worked out in the end. Quiches are forgiving that way.
Since then, I have bizarrely ignored what is clearly the best brunch food known to man. Which is silly, really, given my tart obsession (meaning that I always have several rounds of pastry crust in the freezer) and the gentleman requiring eggs in the morning the way a Frenchman requires a strike at least once a year.
Here’s the thing about quiche, or at least, the thing I like best about quiche: because you have this butter crust holding it together, the eggs can be soft. Extremely soft. Softer than perfect soft-scrambled eggs. If you’re a soft-eggs person, quiche is the ultimate in satisfaction and gooey yolky nirvana.