Psycho Cooker

Recipes + Travels + Reviews


Penne and Broccoli

Penne and broccoli is one of the simplest and most satisfying dishes in my repertoire.  Generally, the only thing I may have to purchase in order to make this meal a reality is a broccoli crown.  It is “pantry cooking” at its finest.  I have yet again to offer thanks to Marc Bittman* for dish, although my preparation includes a few crucial variations from his original recipe.  I started making this when I was first learning to cook, and it was because of this dish that I began speculating about flavor combinations and what it meant to alter a recipe […]

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I WANT YOU… to make a grilled cheese sandwich

This morning, I was listening to the world’s greatest news program, the Takeaway*.  A new concept was being discussed: “wiki-cuisine,” a website where anyone can contribute their ideas and suggestions to individual recipes.  The website is called Foodista (www.foodista.com).  Barnaby Dorfman, founder and CEO of Foodista, was interviewed, and he was rather convincing about the site’s merits, putting a wonderfully egalitarian spin on it.  However, John Hockenberry (a host of the Takeaway and my personal hero) was suspicious of the concept, and I ultimately tend to agree with him. I need at least some sort of perspective on a person […]

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Rosh Hashanah

In addition to the mountains and almost daily sunshine, Boulder has another huge selling point for me: my cousin, Shell (short for Michelle).  Her apartment is a five-minute walk from mine.  Boulder is still new to me, and having her here is like having a bit of home with me.  Though I have treasured our proximity since my arrival, I was especially grateful for her presence this past weekend; it was Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.  Our family was never particularly religious, but we have always been thrilled to have an excuse for a great dinner.  The holidays in […]

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My First Curry

Indian food seems to be one of my culinary blind spots.  Between my parents’ love of food, my cooking pursuits, and my years of waitressing, I have been exposed to a lot in the world of food.  Somehow, Indian cuisine has not been a part of that.  My brother took me to an “all you can eat” Indian buffet for lunch once; maybe that turned me off.  Nonetheless, this entire cuisine is a mystery to me, and lately this lack of knowledge has been nagging at me.  I started doing a little research on curry.  It seemed like a good […]

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Making Do

I don’t want to be off-putting about cooking.  Some people may say I’m a food snob, which I can’t completely deny.  However, I do have Maruchan chicken-flavor ramen noodles in my cupboard, for when the mood is right.  I may doctor them up a bit, but they reside here nonetheless.  Monday night’s dinner was lacking in both snobbery and excitement.  It’s important for people to know that even a “foodie”** approaches dinner lightly in the context of a long day.  When I tumbled into my apartment after a twelve-hour day at school, I combined my exhaustion and my leftovers into the following convoluted, yet satisfying meal: Appetizer: […]

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Blonde on Blonde: Cauliflower and Pasta

Cauliflower is a highly underrated vegetable.  I absolutely love it, and this is a significant statement coming from someone who has a penchant for comfort food (see the previous post for an example).  Steamed, mashed, caramelized, or roasted: cauliflower is the epitome of versatility.  It fits into infinite ethnic cuisines.  Its adaptability is reminiscent of pasta, another one of my favorites, and the two create quite a duet in the right context, such as Pasta with Cauliflower, Green Olives, and Almonds (courtesy of Epicurious.com).  In this heady blend, linguine is tossed with sautéed cauliflower, and laced with garlic and hot […]

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Macaroni and Cheese

Confession: I love Velveeta Shells and Cheese. Yes, the processed, bright yellow, gelatinous packet, which melts into a creamy sauce over the shells, as they nestle into each other, creating satisfying clumps of noodles. Well, I have to amend this confession slightly. I love Velveeta Shells and Cheese when it is steaming hot. In fact, the first bite right out of the pan is usually the best. After about five minutes of being in a bowl, the sauce starts to congeal, giving it a plastic-like flavor and texture. The color sets into a deeper, more artificial shade of orange-yellow. I […]

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