Erin Sarah Insler

Erin Sarah Insler

PREP TIME: 6 years 6 months
COOK TIME: 41 weeks
YIELD: 1

For those familiar with the blog, the format of the recipes is straight-forward.  There are the introductory remarks, followed by the “What to Grab” and “How You Do It” sections. These sections are at once straight-forward, but also infinitely complex.  A recipe for apple pie, for instance, will have only so many ingredients, and those ingredients – apples, flour, butter, sugar, cinnamon, cloves – will vary only so slightly, if at all, from any other apple pie recipe.  But in the construction, the creation of that pie, there are an infinite number of combinations, variations, and subtleties, such that any given recipe may stand out from its predecessor.

So, too, of course with a child.  The basic format is a matter of biology, common to almost all living organisms.  And then again it isn’t.

On April 12, 2016, Caitlin and I welcomed Erin Continue reading

Classic Tabbouleh

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As I noted last post, I have been on a Jerusalem kick.  The flavors and ingredients of the Near East are exotic, yet delightful, offering a welcome change from some of the normal mid-week meals.  One such ingredient is tahini, a ground sesame paste, that is central to hummus, halvah, and other staples of middle eastern cuisine.  Another ingredient is bulgur, which is a critical component of kibbeh (a stuffed meatball) and tabbouleh.

In one recent dinner, a layered kibbeh pie, we had a mix of bulgur and tahini (along with ground beef, pine nuts, and plenty of chopped parsley).  Speaking of chopped parsley, tabbouleh can properly be seen as a vehicle for parsley and more parsley.  It is a parsley-heavy salad.  But it is also a cool Continue reading

Wild Rice with Spiced Chickpeas

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I have been really enjoying Yotam Ottolenghi’s Jerusalem of late.  The book features recipes from the Israeli and Arab cultures of the region, with many vegetarian recipes highlighted.  Chickpeas, eggplants, and tahini are, predictably, staples of many of the items found in the book.  Many of the recipes are straight-forward and come together relatively quickly.  All of them have been delicious.

This Wild Rice and Spiced Chickpea Continue reading

Herb and Apple Stuffing

Herb and Apple Stuffing

I wouldn’t consider myself a stuffing man. It’s not something I usually think to have or make with a meal. And I am definitely not bold enough to try putting the stuffing in any raw bird. That’s just not something I am willing to try.

But this past Thanksgiving (yes, this recipe is looong overdue) I was willing to try a stuffing recipe. And I am glad that I did. This recipe turned out great. It was absolutely delicious and the leftover stuffing was the first of the Thanksgiving leftovers to bite the dust.

We had actually tried to make cute stuffing muffins from this recipe, packing the mixed stuffing into buttered muffin tins. The stuffing cooked fine, but it did not hold together in a muffin shape. Instead, it quickly came apart the minute we removed it from the tins. In the end, it was probably for the best. I liked Continue reading

Chocolate-Chip Peppermint Cookies

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Candy canes are only so useful after the holidays have come and gone.  What does one do with hundreds of mini candy canes, individually wrapped, sitting above one’s refrigerator?

Fortunately, the New Yorker has a number of suggestions.  You could, for example, crush them up and use them to salt, er rather, mint your your driveway in advance of wintry weather.  You could use them to pull clumps of hair out of your drain or drag struggling marionettes off stage.  These are but a few of the New Yorker’s (somewhat) humorous suggestions.

Or, you could crush them up and make these cookies.  I have tried, unsuccessfully, to make these in the past.  Too often Continue reading

French Lentil Soup with Mushrooms and Kale

Lentil Soup

Lentils are a favorite in our house. We make our lentil burgers and our mustard-vinaigrette lentils. We have our lentil tabbouleh and lentil penne dish.  We love our lentils. This lentil soup is a recent addition to our lentil love. The beauty of this soup is that it comes together quickly and makes more than enough to go around (and then some).

So leftovers are a given with this recipe. And the advantage with a good soup is that the flavors tend to intensify with time. A few days in the refrigerator Continue reading

Butternut Squash Tart with Rosemary Crust

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Picking a recipe is never easy.  There are thousands of recipes on any given website and among any collection of cookbooks.  And then, when cooking for a crowd, things get only more complicated, as more and more tastes, allergies, and preferences must be accounted for.

Among the vast collections of recipes, this one stood out almost immediately.  I love a good homemade crust.  Caitlin loves a good gourd.  The addition of fresh rosemary (from our own herb garden out back) was an additional selling point.  Beyond those considerations, Continue reading