That's one of the nicest things about cooking, wouldn't you say. That you can completely ignore or forget about a concept or ingredient for years and years and then one day, holy shit, something fresh and exciting and thoroughly repeatable. The first is a "chopped salad", the second is the too-fucking-trendy spelt "risotto", both made out of a semi-desperate attempt to use up things in the kitchen.


nancy's chopped salad with oregano dressing.

4 cloves garlic
1 tbsp dried oregano 
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
juice of 1 lemon
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil

1 and 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas or white beans, drained
1 small red onion, peeled and sliced into paper-thin rings
100g hard italian cheese (well, I used Parmesan, the original recipe calls for Provolone)
100-200g salami, peeled, sliced thin/small, or this could be tuna, or possibly a hard-boiled egg
4 small pickled pepperoncini, sliced into rings
200-300g cherry tomatoes, halved
Sea salt
1 head iceberg lettuce (see Note about size), halved, cored, and cut in 1/2-inch ribbons
1 head radicchio, halved, cored and cut in 1/4-inch ribbons



sorry, no thai puns.

Yes, no comment, other than "Hey, here is another pretty successful Thai recipe", one that might perhaps benefit from being strained before re-adding the vegetables.


thai green curry.

10 green Holland peppers
1 green bell pepper
3 stalks lemon grass, bottom part only
2 large shallots
2 heads garlic, peeled (that’s right, heads)
a 1-inch piece of galangal, peeled
1 tsp shrimp paste or vegetarian boullion if you're aiming vegan
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp salt
1 tsp cilantro stems

1 can coconut milk
1 small eggplant
1 courgette
1 tsp fish sauce or 1 tbsp good soy sauce
1 tbsp brown sugar
5 kaffir lime leaves



spicy basil tofu.

Mm yes, no time for elaboration, this was just a surprisingly authentic-tasting version of Spicy Basil Anything.


spicy basil tofu. 

400g tofu
cornmeal or semolina for making a thin non-stick coating
your favorite frying medium

6 cloves garlic
1 small onion or the equivalent amount of shallots
2 tsp fresh cilantro roots/stems
2 stalks fresh lemongrass (the lower 3 inches of the stalk, tough outer leaves discarded), chopped
2 tsp of fresh galangal root (laos)
2 tbsp peanut or coconut oil
1 tbsp crushed red pepper flakes (or less, mine were pretty mild...the original recipe calls for 8-10 dried red chiles)
1/2 tsp salt

2 or 3 bell peppers, red or yellow, sliced
1 fresh red Holland chile, sliced
1 small sweet onion, sliced
black pepper

2 tbsp fish sauce or good soy sauce
2 tsp brown sugar

one seriously big handful of Thai holy basil, or failing that, reglar ol' basil



i know, let's split up.

After your third horror movie in three nights,, everything you see or do takes on a freshly sinister significance. Last night we'd just finished It Follows, after the previous night's The Babadook, and the (vastly shiittier) Conjuring 2 before that.

So the movie ends and we say "yeah, good one", and I walk to the kitchen and see this knife on the counter. When I'd left it there it was just an (impressive) kitchen knife, but now....well. I said ha ha that's funny, isn't it, normal things are sinister now, and then noticed the back door was open. OK everything is now scary? Boo. I went to lock the back door. Which while I was doing it was even scarier than noticing it was open.

I shared this with Nelson and we laughed and said oh ha ha that's totally true! But also totally stupid isn't it! Then, while still chuckling I sighed and said "OK I'm going to walk the dog." She immediately said, "OK I'm going to take a shower." Jesus, the camera might as well cut directly to the external POV of someone watching us through the window while breathing heavily or growling. Maybe I should grab a useless weapon like a broomstick or a poodle to take with me as I go out into the dark suburban night.

Ha ha ha we said.
Nelson turned on the shower and smiled very sarcastically. I sighed again and picked up the dog leash.
"OK, good luck!!!" we said.


I survived the dog walk but just barely. The streets were (seemed) deserted, but at one point Merle was behind me and his extender leash scraped on the ground in a weird way and I jumped. When we finally made it home of course the back door that I'd carefully locked before I left was open again and the shower was ominously still running.


you, sir, are bogus.

Nelson had to go to De Hallen yesterday, and we made the mistake of being reaallllllly hungry by the time we got there. She also made the mistake of being vegetarian and I made the mistake of eating like one.

When you're in a Blood Sugar Emergency you make decisions that you wouldn't normally. For example the first thing Der Nelsker did was to order four pieces of baklava from Filiz Manti. This was the one ray of sunshine on an otherwise dark and stormy afternoon of eating: after 30 seconds of careful num-numming, the rating was 8/10.

Then she ordered a falafel roll from Maza, who normally make one of the falafel options you see in the supermarket, so it seemed reasonable to expect a serviceable chomp experience. In short, "this thing was not very good" she said, in addition to being "bloody expensive" she said and to add insult to injury their bottled water cost "3 euro each" she said. I wouldn't eat there if I were you.

So to save the day. I decided to fucking spring into action, you know, cheer us up and all by ordering something unusual and exciting! This ended up being a veggie dog from Bulls and Dogs, whose sausage-related concoctions looked like one of the most unusual and exciting! or best and/or most decadent things people were walking around with.

Until you took a flash photo of them that is. OK I admit, these two pictures were taken after we had thoroughly sampled the sandwich and declared it "insultingly bogus", and so we were really just trying to insult the sandwich back with these photos. I think the sausage is even missing by this point. And yes that is fucking popcorn on this hotdog.

I know, it looks gross enough to be good, but since we ate the two thin slivers of sausage out of it already you can't tell that there's just wayyyy too much dry and uninteresting pretzel roll, and that the slaw was cut too thick, plus it didn't complement the sandwich in any way taste-wise. And then whatever that is that was supposed to be a hummus mayo or something? I don't know. Ugh. It wasn't bad, exactly. The sausage itself really was pretty delicious, so, props! but the rest....."just because you have all the ingredients doesn't mean you have to put them all together in one sandwich." Our biggest issue was the pretension.

Today we go back for another round, weirdly enough. Targets are vegetarian sushi at Meneer Temaki and/or banh mi at Việt View.