Recipe Challenge

Aileen learns to make a new recipe every week. Most recipes are ones she’s been meaning to make for years, but never got around to. Join in by making the one Aileen makes, or dig in to your own personal catalog of aspirational recipes.

Long Island Iced Tea

Is there anything Contessa Garten can’t do? This Long Island Iced Tea recipe creates a delightful alcohol bomb that is easy to make. We left out the gin because gin makes me crazier than usual.

Felicia also doesn’t drink gin because she says it makes her feel weird but when we did some quick (and sober) research all we found was that gin is flavored vodka and there is no reason for it to make us any weirder. We decided the internet was a disaster of lies and left the gin out, just to be safe. Read more

GOTV Recipe Challenge


It’s a week late, but the food we ate while getting out the vote is still worth sharing. Enjoy!

Burritos! Donuts! Ice Cream! Asian Fusion! And that was just Saturday.

We had some very good food while in the Fresno area and we would like to share some of it with you. Read more

Black and White Cookies

I really, really, really like it when I let Six pick the recipe. He invariably picks cookies. What a smart boy. I thought these were going to be hard and they weren’t but that is because we didn’t make the two-tone glaze. As we were making the glaze, I told Six that the cookies had half vanilla and half chocolate frosting.

He just looked at me for a few seconds then said, “No.” Read more

Spaghetti Puttanesca recipe challenge

Spaghetti Puttanesca

Spaghetti Puttanesca sounds dirty. Turns out, it is! Not the dish, that is delicious, but the name. There are a bunch of stories about how the dish came about. Every story seems to agree on three things. Naples as the home of the sauce, sometime in the mid-twentieth century for the time frame of invention and prostitutes. Either the ladies made this highly fragrant sauce to lure in customers or the sauce smells like the docks or…well, then the stories get kind of ugly so we’ll stop there. Read more

Café Santorini Recipe Challenge

Café Santorini

Last weekend, Felicia and I went to dinner at a lovely Pasadena restaurant, Cafe Santorini. It’s upstairs, has a wonderful patio, pours a startlingly strong Old Fashioned and the stuffed grape leaves…I’m going to pause here for a minute or two and remember how delightful they were. The food was good, the service was friendly and I mentioned how strong the drinks were.

Tonight is Sunday. Next week looms, full of possibilities and pitfalls. I can’t say how it’s going to go. Maybe there will be an actual recipe here next week. Or another picture of an alcoholic beverage.

Only time will tell. But until then, give Cafe Santorini a try.

Not This Week

No new recipe. Not this week. I haven’t eaten a home cooked meal in over a week so the chances that I have attempted a new recipe are slimmer than usual. So what did I do this week?

I hid. Read more

Supreme Court Nomination

Supreme Court Nomination

I am writing this on Thursday, September 27th, 2018 a day most people probably won’t remember, at least without prompting, a few years from now. Supreme Court Nomination proceedings where Dr. Ford sat before a panel of mostly inconceivably powerful rich white men and told the world a painful portion of her life story.   Read more

Tomato and Avocado Salad

Tomato and Avocado Salad

This week I make Contessa Garten’s Tomato and Avocado Salad mostly because I have a bunch of avocados in the house. Also, this is probably the last hurrah for tomatoes. I changed the onion to shallot since raw onions give me heartburn.

I would say onions give me heartburn because I am old but raw onions have been giving me heartburn since I was in my mid-thirties.

And no, mid thirties is not old. Read more

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Six decided he wanted to learn how to make chocolate chip cookies. I love having kids, they come up with the best ideas! Breaking with using only Contessa Garten’s recipes, we will be using the classic Toll House cookie recipe. I have made it a million times. Familiarity with a recipe will help me deal gently with having Six in the kitchen. Read more

chocolate cake with mocha frosting

Chocolate Cake with Mocha Frosting

I did it again. I made Contessa Garten’s chocolate cake with mocha frosting and I feel no shame. None. I feel a little queasy from having eaten so much cake but I can live with that. It’s my birthday week so I started it off by taking Six to Disneyland then I made this cake and then I ate a bunch of cake and then for the rest of the week I am going to try and have my favorite foods from my favorite restaurants for one meal a day.

That’s how I can cheat out of recipe challenge! I’ll write about all the foods I love to eat! Did I say cheat? I totally meant…uh…weasel my way out of. Read more