Category Archives: kitchen

Budget Kitchen Remodel : Ikea Birch Kitchen

My first Ikea Kitchen post in the Budget Remodel series is up over at Horton Brasses Blog. Check out the great ideas and bold color schemes after the jump.

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Filed under kitchen, kitchen remodel

My Sink on Attic Mag!


My M. Teixeira custom Belvedere Soapstone Sink on Attic Mag

Now this was fun. I was finishing up my blog work for the day, making the rounds to my usual online haunts. Over at Attic Mag I was enjoying the post titled “Kitchen Contrasts: 1920-2010” by Jane F. (There are a couple of Janes over there).

I’m reading. I’m scrolling. I’m liking what I see and planning to bookmark the post.

And then I come to my own sink! Whaaaa! What fun.

To read the entire post @ Attic Mag click here.


Filed under kitchen, kitchen design, kitchen remodel

Recipe : Eggless Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cookies and milk and wintery morning sun. What a perfect way to end daylight savings time! While everyone else was snuggled away in bed, under blankets and tucked into flanneled pajamas, my boy and I snuck into the kitchen, unwrapped the butter left overnight on the cool marble counter to soften, and began measuring out ingredients.

In the early darkness of the chilly fall weather that finally snuck up on us and hopefully won’t sneak away too soon—we warmed the oven and snuggled against one another, rubbing cold noses and smelling like winter. The house was quiet except for our movements that echoed against the bare wood floors and were silenced by the motors of the mixer and the spice grinder. Faucets poured forth cold water and we smiled against the extra shivers, enjoying the novelty of trying to warm ourselves up after months of competing against the aggressive Florida heat.

Vanilla and maple extracts, rolled oats, brown sugar. Pack it down and then scoop it out. Into the stand mixer it all went, my boy proud and honored to be awake early, not having to share turns with his sister turning the mixer on and off. Sides of the bowl scraped down, parchment paper unfurled and flattened onto the baking sheets. Tablespoon by tablespoon the batches inched towards readiness.

Banana and butter and sugar all whipped to fluff in the food processor.

All together now in the stand mixer.

My boy doling out the dough.

Here’s how you can recreate this moment in the early hours of your own 40 degree morning…

Recipe : Eggless Banana Nut Chocolate Chip Cookies


(makes about 5-6 dozen)

2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup whole wheat flour

1 tspn baking soda

3 sticks salted butter

1 cup evaporated cane sugar or turbinado sugar

1 packed cup brown sugar

2 tbs flax eggs

1 tbs vanilla extract

1-1/2 tspn maple extract

3 medium sized ripe bananas

3 cups rolled oats

2-1/2 cups chocolate chips

1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

2) Mix together flours, salt, baking soda in a bowl

3) In a food processor or with a mixer, cream together sugar, bananas and butter

4) Combine all wet and dry ingredients, excluding: oats, nuts, chips.

5) When well combined, add remaining ingredients.

6) Drop dough by the tablespoon onto a parchment paper lined cookie sheet.

7) Bake sheets 10-13 minutes. Remove from oven, cool on wire rack.

**Cookies baked until barely golden will have a more cake like texture. Cookies baked until brownish will resemble a crunchy but not hard cookie.**


Filed under baking, kitchen tips, recipes, sabjimata, vegan

New Baby!

Not mine! I still have 9 weeks until my due date. But last weekend some new friends of ours became first time parents, after a very intense and long labor. Way to go, Lacie! You are all woman.

Today Padi and I brought over some sustenance for the family of three. I found cooking for the new parents very enlivening. Honestly, there is nothing like the first experience of becoming a parent. Completely surreal no matter how the child comes to you. A new baby is a big deal and that transition from a family of two me’s to a family of three is huge. Must say, these guys make it look easy.

Here are some pics from this morning’s cooking rush.

Not ones to "fall back," these kids were up bright and early to help me cook. At their age I wasn't allowed to even feed myself yet these two and their Montessori training have not met a vegetable they didn't insist on cutting up. They use paring knives that I've marked the handles with in permanent marker because there was some confusion about what was the cutting side and what was the top of the blade. Cooking rule number one--that vegetables should be cut in uniform sizes--has been temporarily suspended, although I am working on bringing everyone up to code.

Buckwheat. Russians love it. Full of bioflavonoids, such as good for the circulatory system ruitn. I toasted some groats, boiled them and then tossed them in butter before mixing with ricotta cheese to fill the manicotti. Trying to get some good nutrition together for the new mom!

The manicotti mixture--buckwheat, dried parsley and ricotta. Seems like the perfect bastardized manifestation of my Jewish Italian heritage. Actually, buckwheat is not foreign to Italian cuisine, although I've found no evidence of any authenticity regarding this filling. Still, the buckwheat is "good for health" and added a very earthy, autumn flavor to the dish. It wasn't my husband's favorite, but I think I prefer this version to straight cheese. Plus....RUTIN!

Manicotti. This is the tray I made for mia famiglia.

Manicotti. This is the tray I made for the new parents. Definitely not traditional. Was identical to ours, but then I topped it with a creamy sauce with zukes and yellow squash. Into the oven a bit to set up.

Knead, boil, fry, boil, broil--these seitan kebabs were cooked in the same manner as my usual vegan barbecued seitan kebabs with one difference. This time I used a sauce similar to the gravy I would whip up for a makhan paneer sabji. Heavy on the ginger and garam masala, this version tastes very Indian.

Who isn't salad good for? Pretty much everyone not on a liquid diet! This one is full o' stuff for the new mom and her breastfed babe. Green leafies, tofu, sunflower seeds, broccoli, tomatoes, and other stuff that I can't remember right now. Heck, it's even healthy for the new dad. Nobody loses with salad.

This is a pic of the vinaigrette before I stuck the stick blender in there. Cold pressed virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, fresh tarragon from our generous potted plant and prunes. Yes, I stuck a huge amount of prunes in the dressing. Just to help the new mom out. Because I care about these kind of things.

Liquified: Tarragon Prune Vinaigrette Post-Blender

Cooookies! Will post the recipe for these later in the week. This was a little sweet side note, however my friend Padi brought the real dessert....pumpkin pie! Yummo. Wish I snapped a pic of it.

Lacie and Gaura are very attentive and loving parents. And they’ve only been at it for a week! I am happy that our girls will be so close in age and pray they get on well with one another. Also, I’m interested to see how much hair my girlie has in comparison to this baby. Stiff competition! But it doesn’t surprise me considering we are working from a similar gene pool. That’s right–baby Rati is from Jewish Italian bloodlines as well.

The big reveal! New parents Gaura and Lacie and their gorgeous little one, Rati Keli. This isn’t the best pic of baby girl since she was getting a little sad from all the flash photography. Believe me, she is a stunner!


Filed under baking, cookies, italian, kitchen, kitchen tips, sabjimata, seitan, Uncategorized, vegan

Vegan Seitan Turkey Roast

My vegan friend turned 27 this week and Saturday was her party. I volunteered to cook the turkey roast + gravy.

I woke up at 5 to get things cooking before heading out to coach the kids’ soccer game in below 50 degree weather. Brrrrr.

Here’s a pictorial play by play of my turkey execution.


Frugal Housewife Tip: wash and re-use parchment paper. I do it all the time and get multiple uses out of my parchment paper until it literally disintegrates. The night before I made roasted root vegetables. Parsnips, potatoes, turnips, sweet potatoes and--very obviously--beets.

Now that I have my KitchenAid stand mixer, kneading the gluten dough for 10 minutes is not as tiring.

The mixed seitan roast, uncooked.

Double recipe, divided between three loaf pans. Homemade broth will be poured on top for basting and then roasts covered for cooking.

For my vegan chicken broth, the following spices were used: turmeric powder, mustard powder, paprika, nutmeg, dried parsley, sage, rosemary, ground black pepper and thyme + salt, nutritional yeast + Braggs.

Basted and covered, in the oven everything went. The roasts need 3 hours of cooking but mine were in the oven for only 2 before we had to head out the door. Of course, mayhem ensued during those last few minutes at home when my son discovered one cleat missing. We searched and searched franticly. The car. The laundry room. Porch. Shoe rack. Closets. It was nowhere. The kid had to squeeze his big feet into last year’s size.

Off we went at 9:15 to our 10 am game in the windy shade. Off we went after the game to a birthday party at noon where a clown painted a snake on my daughter’s face and pulled a bunny out of a box. Off we went to ice cream at Sweet Dreams where even I who frequently experiences a sharp aversion to ice cream indulged in a scoop of pumpkin pie. Off we went, returning home at 3:30 in the afternoon, to my three roasts, left in the oven that was never shut off due to the last minute distraction of the missing cleat.

Fortunately and unfortunately the party was cancelled. The birthday girl’s two year old had quite a fever.

Maybe we’ll try again next week.


Filed under baking, kitchen, kitchen tips, recipes, sabjimata, seitan, vegan

Gobble! Gobble! : VEGAN Thanksgiving is Coming

It’s that time of year again. You know….November!

Thanksgiving is just around the corner so what better time to re-post this Thanksgiving piece to get you in the list making mood. Sure, the stores want you to start making your Naughty or Nice list but let us not skip right over Thanksgiving, a holiday whose meaning has also been totally obscured over the years.

Make your Turkey Day literally painless by trying out the great recipes linked below. I will be vegan-turekeying things up around here Saturday as I bake a roast and stir my gravy to bring to a party pot-luck.

Ooops! There's some moz. Not vegan! It's fall and I've been dying to make these persimmon mozzarella basil pastry again...but lately I've been doing more attempted nesting than fancy fun cooking.

Ooops! There's some moz. Not vegan! It's fall and I've been dying to make these persimmon jam / mozzarella / basil pastry again...but lately I've been doing more attempted nesting (7.5 months down!) than fancy fun cooking.

Feel free to share links to your favorite veg or vegan Thanksgiving / Americana fare. Thanksgiving’s coming and we need to get ready!

Bryanna and her veg bird


Bryanna’s vegan turkey is a great way to de-meat your Thanksgiving feast. And she has a soy-free recipe option available!


NY Times just posted some vegan Thanksgiving recipes by that other vegan cupcake lady. Guess Isa and Terry were busy the day of the competition. Anyway, Check out the stuffed portobello recipe here.
Start your planning early. Get your menu in tune. Thanksgiving is only 20 days away!


Filed under baking, kitchen, kitchen tips, recipes, sabjimata, seitan, vegan

Copper Kitchen Hardware

When I did my Horton Brasses blog post on strap hinges, I mentioned my mother-in-law’s kitchen as that post’s muse. One commenter asked for pics. Here they are. Enjoy the old world charm of copper details in the kitchen! I think my mother-in-law’s style mixes mid-mod and traditional floweriness quite well.


These cabinets and copper strap hinges were in place when my in-law's bought their colonial house in Washington, DC in the early 60's.


They built an addition, expanding the back side of the house. What is now the pantry area (not pictured) was the original, tiny galley kitchen. My in-laws were able to get the same oak slab front cabs and copper strap hinges installed in the addition, allowing them to re-use the cabinetry and hardware from the pantry. And thus, save money!

The copper functional strap hinges and knobs have been well cared for over the years; my mother-in-law is a meticulous woman. However, they still show a lovely patina that comes with age.



In other mother-in-law news, she sent me these pictures from the school she works at. Hooks! Old hooks to be exact. Apparently, they remind her of me. Awwww!

These hooks are so what Anthropologie is going after.

The beauty of these hooks speaks to the fact that you don't need to replace everything old with something new styled on the look of something old. Keep the real stuff, save the earth from more junk in your rubbish bin and find the beauty in the worn patina. Better start now before someone thinks YOU deserve a toss in the rubbish!


Filed under kitchen, kitchen design, kitchen remodel, kitchen tips, sabjimata