Archive for the ‘Italian’ Category

This is one of those recipes that I puzzled over–risotto is great, but it’s time consuming and expensive. However, if you make it with broth base instead of stock, and whatever medium to short grain rice you have on hand,Image it’s a lot less expensive. Then, if you bake it, instead of cooking it on the stovetop, it’s a no-labor recipe. (This is an Ina Garten recipe, modified.) (more…)


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This is the most basic rice salad. It’s a good use for leftover rice. I use Jasmine rice, most of the time, because it doesn’t stick, even left over.Image (more…)

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I know what you’re thinking, “bagel pizza”? Now you’re just photographing your food.Image

Actually, I’m not.  If you’ve priced gluten-free pizza, recently, it’s at least $5.00 a pizza.  If you make it at home, though, it will cost half of that. When you buy things like pizza, at least half the cost, is assembly.  The other thing about this recipe, is that nothing in this photograph is less than two weeks old. All of the ingredients will last for weeks in the refrigerator and freezer, which is why I had them around after avoiding the grocery store for um, at least fifteen days. (That’s why it’s immortal.) (more…)

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Cast Iron Pizza

It dawned on me that you can cook almost anything in a well-seasoned cast iron pan.  Instead of having a frying pan, pizza pan, cookie sheet and pie tin, all you really need is one good (mine is Calphalon) ten inch cast iron pan. (more…)

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I was looking in the freezer.  Hmm….not much there.  However, there were pork sausages and frozen spinach.  I looked in the pantry:  a box of Cream of Rice with all of the cooking instructions in Spanish.  I also had some sea salt and expensive organic parmesan.  This is another example of high/low cooking.  It doesn’t all have to be cheap, and it doesn’t all have to be expensive, to be really good.


1/2 cup Cream of Rice Cereal

1 1/2 cups water

1/8 cup grated parmesan

sprinkle of sea salt

1/2 cup frozen spinach (more…)

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Very occasionally, my local H.E.B., will make me cry. 

The first time was when I realized that they had labeled every gluten-free thing in their store on 36th street, right down to the generic mayonnaise.  Today was yet another teary-eyed moment in the grocery store, because they now sell this:

What is it?  It’s gluten-free H.E.B. brand pasta, and it’s $2.00 a bag. Why is it so important?  It means that if you have $6.00 in your pocket, you can walk into your local grocery in Texas, and walk out with a jar of generic pasta sauce, a container of parmesan, and a package of pasta, and feed a family in about an hour, just like someone who is not gluten-free.


1 package store brand gluten-free pasta

1 jar spaghetti sauce (I used Newman’s Own.  They support nice charities like camps for kids.)

1 container parmesan


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Lots of things in life that should work, don’t–like that guy who just stopped calling after a month and half, and disappeared like some WWII British spy.  This, on the other hand, shouldn’t work, but it does.


2 cups brown rice baking mix (I used Fearn’s.  Mixes are often cheaper.)

1 cup water

tomato sauce, either from a jar or a can

pizza toppings like parmesan cheese, mushrooms and olives

Books on WWII codebreaking, for style.


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