08 February 2015

Roasted Cauliflower Soup with Za'atar Spice

There's no way to take a picture of this that doesn't look terrible. See also: hummus
For the past 2 years, I've been telling myself that after some particular event happened, I was totally going to hop on the primal bandwagon. Obviously this has never happened, but we're trying to cook from home more often and choosing recipes that aren't just flour with potatoes and a side of sugar is probably to everyone's benefit.

Cauliflower is the darling of the paleo/primal community, so we had a head in our fridge to make it into *something*. After watching enough America's Test Kitchen, I made cauliflower soup this weekend. It was surprisingly good, although I'll definitely be playing with it to achieve a better depth of flavor. The next iteration will (hopefully) include actual bacon, I'll actually brown the onion, and look at adding other sources of umami.

1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 T za'atar spice
1/4 c whole, peeled garlic cloves
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 T butter
1 T bacon fat
2 c water
2 c stock
salt + pepper, extra virgin olive oil
1/2 t balsamic vinegar

1. Roast the cauliflower and garlic cloves in extra virgin olive oil, za'atar spice, and salt + pepper at 375 for ~30 minutes or until everything is golden brown and delicious.

2. Meanwhile, saute the onion with a pinch of salt until softened.

3. Add in butter, bacon grease, bay leaf, water, stock, and the roasted cauliflower and garlic. Bring to a boil and simmer for ~15 minutes, until everything is softened.

4. Take off the heat and puree. Add in balsamic vinegar, and taste for seasoning.

02 February 2015

Home Makings and Other Announcements

I've been thinking about Austin a lot lately. I miss being part of a community that I know by heart and being close to so many of my good friends. One of the biggest differences between Austin and the Bay Area is that everything that I "need" is spread out here, whereas I could almost find everything I could possibly want north of the Colorado River in Austin.

Watercolor maps are awesome.

One of the biggest challenges is to find a replacement for Central Market. As absolutely ridiculous as it sounds, Central Market played a big role in our lives. We played on the playground and watched the turtles in the pond. We used it as a space to get to know people who would become dear friends. I worked on my thesis while drinking iced lattes and liters of mineral water. And even more plainly, we shopped for our groceries there. I miss being able to find the ingredients I cooked with in my Austin kitchens (my kingdom for some Cento crushed tomatoes) and being able to create the meals that I've fed my family and friends for the past six years.

whole milk lattes. forever

We do need to work on making the Bay Area feel like home, though, because we'll be here for awhile. After Hackbright ended, I put some serious legwork into applying for jobs. I even had a twitter hashtag that I used like three times (#getajobjanuary).  I'm happy to report that I start work as a data scientist today. Wish me luck.