Tag Archives: recipe

Cooking Food

Grilled Baby Eggplant

Today’s post is about babies. My baby brother just had a baby. She’s named after a food!

When I was five and my new baby brother came home from the hospital, I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about all the things that I had to teach him about life and then fretting about the appropriate sequence. I got up and went to his room, and looking down at him, sighed and thought, “You have so much to learn.” Now that he’s had his own baby over 35 years later, I’m thinking the same thing. Wait, why do you think I’m neurotic again?

Luckily, I don’t feel I need to teach baby eggplant much of anything. Babies are so cute, and these are no exception. Awww, look at these sweet little aubergines.

I’m embarrassed to even call this a recipe, it’s so easy. But it’s really yummy. Just slice the babies in half:

Brush both sides generously with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt.

Put them on a hot grill for 3-4 minutes per side, until the flesh is soft and turns a light caramel hue.

Adjust seasoning to taste, sprinkle with pepper and garnish with some cilantro. Yum! You can use the same simple technique with full-sized eggplant too — just slice and grill until the flesh is soft.



  • 5-6 baby eggplant
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 4 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • fresh ground pepper to taste
  • cilantro, for garnish


Heat a grill. Slice eggplant into halves and brush both sides generously with olive oil. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Reserve the leftover olive oil.

When the grill is hot, place the halves flat side down and grill covered for 3-4 minutes. You should see clear, grill marks on the surface when you turn them over. Grill on the other side for another 3-4 minutes. Eggplant is cooked when the flesh is soft.

Put on a plate, add pepper and adjust salt to taste. Optionally, drizzle with leftover extra virgin olive oil. Garnish with cilantro.

Serves 4 (as a side).

Cooking Food

Kale Gruyere Beef Burgers

The other day, I was drying my hair and my daughter came into the room. She looked at the tall red bottle of  Big Sexy Hair Root Pump on the counter, then at my hair, then back at the bottle, and had the startling realization that using a product called Big Sexy Hair does not, in fact, guarantee you Big Sexy Hair. If only I had been equally immune to its marketing.

But it’s way too hot to try to style my hair today. And if I’m not going to do my hair, then I’m not going to turn on the stove either. I’m pretty sure it’s one of the Ten Commandments.

I’m worried that kale’s going to get as overexposed as bacon someday soon, but it does have nutrition going for it. My local farm’s still giving me lots of it, so I’m stealth-stuffing it into everything nowadays.

I recently bought a part of a grass-fed, grass-finished animal from Glacier Grown and have lots of ground beef and bison. Today, I’m using beef.

These burgers are easy, yummy, and full of antioxidants! First, enlist a child for unpaid work separating the kale leaves from the stems. Ensure your kitchen is cluttered to project a prolific culinary image.

 Next, chop up the kale into little bits. Make them smaller if you want to hide the kale.

Mince about 1/4 cup of red onion. Mix it together with 1 lb ground beef and the kale. Add in 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp pepper and 1 tsp soy sauce.

Form into patties, and press your thumb in the middle of each patty. This ensures a nice flat burger once it’s cooked, so that you can pile more stuff on top.

Put ’em on a hot grill.

Then flip ’em.

About a minute before you’re done, put a slice of gruyere cheese on each burger and allow to melt on a bit.

Top with tomato, avocado and lettuce, and eat!



  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion
  • 2 large leaves of kale, minced
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp soy sauce
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 4 slices of gruyere cheese
  • 4 leaves of lettuce
  • ketchup
  • hamburger buns


Heat a grill.

Combine the beef, red onion, kale, salt, pepper and soy sauce in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Shape into four disks. Press your thumb in the middle of each disk to make a slight indentation.

Toast buns for 30 seconds on hot grill.

Put burgers on grill for 2.5 minutes. Turn burgers over, place a slice of gruyere on top and grill for another 2.5 minutes, or until meat reaches 160 degrees.

Place burgers onto bun and top with ketchup, tomato, lettuce and avocado slices.

Serves 4.

Cooking Food

Crisp Asparagus Salad with Sesame Oil

Nowadays, we seem to find meaning in quantifying everything about people: you are your Klout score, Twitter followers, Facebook Likes, Quora answer votes. I may be proud of my eBay feedback score and might have read my eBay positive feedback once or twice to bring me up when I’m feeling down. (I said might. Though I hear that no words give your self-esteem a lift more than “A++++++ eBayer! Hope to do business again soon!”)

Yet another reason that I like food: it’s a bit escapist from all the measuring. People try to quantify the food experience — like through star ratings on Yelp — but in the end, it’s hard to have an objective measure. And perhaps we shouldn’t; maybe we should just enjoy the food experience for its own sake, if only to have a break from the endless barrage of scores and data (which I like, at work. Just not so much in my free time.).

By the way, this post features some of the worst photos that I’ve ever taken. I’d like to say that I was channeling a Siberian gulag experience when I took these, but the truth is that I was hungry and styling was lower on the priority list than eating. On the bright side, think about how good this would look to you if you were in a gulag! So just trust me that this looks much more appetizing in real life than what I’m showing you here.

I got this recipe off of Facebook, through my friend Chris Wood, who may spend as much time with bacon as I do. I haven’t seen Chris in over 20 years, but Facebook has a way of introducing you to the intricacies of people’s diets even if you no longer really know what the people actually look like anymore.

Anyway, on to this nice, easy refreshing summer salad. You’ll be shocked to know that you begin with a bunch of asparagus.

(I know, I know, the composition, the cropping, the lighting! Aargh. Go look at the pictures in another post to recover your eyesight. I’ll wait.)

Prepare an ice bath in a bowl big enough to hold the asparagus.

Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water until it turns bright green, and is tender but still crisp. (Ok, this next picture is really bad — you can even see the reflection of my overhead lighting in the water! I’m going to say that my 7-year-old took it.) The time will depend on the thickness of your stalks, but for this batch of medium-sized stalks, it took about 2 minutes. Next time I’ll cut the stalks so that they’re prettier, at a nice clean 45 degree angle.

Drain the asparagus and put them into the ice bath to stop the cooking.

Prepare the dressing by combining 1/2 clove minced garlic, 2 TBSP sesame oil, 1 TBSP lemon juice, 2 tsp dijon mustard (someday I will blog on this all on its own but there is only one mustard I ever use, which I used to ask my in-laws to smuggle from France, Amora Dijon Mustard. It is far superior to anything I’ve found in the US (more flavor, less sweet, bigger kick), and I recently discovered to my delight that someone is selling it on Amazon! It makes for phenomenal vinaigrettes.), 1/2 tsp pepper and salt to taste.

Remove the asparagus from the bath and toss with the dressing. I’d recommend adding in the dressing gradually to taste. Chill in the refrigerator.

If someone makes this and sends me better pictures I will post them!!!!



  • 1 bunch asparagus, cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • 1/2 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbs. sesame oil
  • 1 Tbs. lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • salt to taste
  • sesame seeds (optional)


Blanch the asparagus in boiling salted water until bright green. You want them to be tender but still crisp, about 2 minutes. Immediately drain and put in ice bath to stop cooking. Remove asparagus from ice bath when chilled.
Meanwhile, whisk together all other ingredients and taste to adjust seasoning. Toss vinaigrette with asparagus and refrigerate.
(Optional) Toss with sesame seeds before serving.

Serves 1-2.