A revival, with a promise. (Recipe – Torta Española.)

Yes, my dears, I know it’s been a while. Almost three months, in fact. And I have no excuse for my absence – a lack of Internet (old news), but more relevant, a lack of motivation and inspiration. Even beyond that, a feeling of not quite right – maybe I shouldn’t blog, I don’t belong, my blog is useless and the name is all wrong and it doesn’t even match my URL. (that really does bother me more often than not, but it’s my fault.) so I’ve been thinking this thing over in my absence: to be or not to be? Despite the trials of keeping up, I didn’t take long to decide to be. Especially given that my last post was the 100th post on boonie foodie (huzzah!).

Being, of course, requires more organization and discipline and I have considered that as well. And I want to address other areas of my life besides just food, too – other areas that are related to food – or rather, food is related to those areas, like the garden I hope to grow in the backyard, the farmer’s market in town and the eggs I buy from a county local; or the quiet decision to live more sustainably and what that really means for me and mine. The real meaning of words and using them to their best. And of course, bettering my photography skills to something besides “i takez pix.” (Maybe I’ll even build that DIY lightbox that’s floated through almost all blogs, one day.) The point of this creation is not only to share myself with the rest of the world, but to better myself in the process – as it was, I was just writing and posting to post, following an arbitrary internal desire to follow a schedule that never really manifested.

My first desire is to set up a more dependable schedule – one day, food; one day, gardening and green, maybe two; and hopefully Menu Plan Monday. It depends on how much I can find to say. Hopefully my schedule is finally nailed down enough that I can schedule posts on Saturday for the following week. I’ll be working on a buffer in the next two weeks so I can actually get this in effect. In the meantime, I intend to clean up the blog overall: visual design, tags, language – all but the content and the photos. (The really poor posts I can use later for slow-thought days – remake and retry.)

In honor of this revival, here is the first recipe I’ve been inspired to put up in quite some time. It’s not new to many, and it’s not fancy; what it “is,” is filling, cheap and lovely in its own homely way. Many people have made it and loved it; I am now one of those fortunate folks. Torta Española or torta de patatas (or tortilla de papas, or a combination of these as your preference or region dictates) is nothing more than a layer of oh-so-thin potato and onion slices lightly browned, then covered with egg and cooked as an omelet. Simple to make and as versatile as you like it, my only recommendation is that you make it in batches that are manageable enough to flip, or beware that yours may end up as ugly as mine.

Oh, and add cheese.

Torta Española

serves 2-4

1 medium waxy potato, thinly sliced
1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp unsalted butter
salt and pepper
5 eggs
2 tbsp water
2-3 oz cheese

Slice the potatoes and onions as thin as possible, using a mandoline if available. Heat the olive oil and butter in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat; when the foam subsides, add the potatoes and onions and season generously with a sprinkling of salt and pepper. Stir to coat, then let brown as a single layer for 2-4 minutes on each “side.”

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, beat the eggs with the water and a light sprinkling of salt and pepper. Shake the skillet to settle the potatoe-onion mixture into an even, flat layer. Pour the egg mixture into the pan and turn the pan to distribute the egg evenly. With one hand, stir the eggs in one direction while shaking the pan in the other. Do this until the eggs thicken a little, add cheese, then let cook until the eggs are browned on the bottom. Flip the omelet and let cook until the center is just set. Serve warm with ketchup.

Curried couscous salad.

I meant to take pictures of this, but I threw it out before I managed. Sorry.

If you like couscous with a Middle Eastern wang to it, this is your recipe. Curry seasoning, lime, chickpeas, carrots, raisins… it’s a colorful salad, very filling with an interesting mouthfeel and definitely has some twang to it. It’s just not my kind of salad. I hope it works out well for somebody else.

(Recipe under the cut.)

Curried Couscous Salad

inspired by ‘Lime Biryani’ in Women’s Health Magazine, June 2008

cooking time: 20 minutes


1 c dry couscous (yields 3 c cooked)
1 1/4 c water
5 tbsp lime juice
1 can no-salt-added chickpeas (garbanzo beans), rinsed and drained
1 c carrots, sliced or julienned
1/2 c scallions, green only, finely chopped
1/2 c sunflower seeds (or nut[s] of choice)
1/2 c raisins (or golden raisins, etc.)
4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 1/4 tsp curry seasoning*

* If you don’t have curry seasoning, make your own! Combine 1 tsp curry powder, 1/8 tsp ground ginger and 1/8 tsp ground cinnamon.


In a medium saucepan, combine water, lime juice, 2 tbsp of olive oil and curry seasoning. Bring to a boil, stir in couscous, cover and remove from heat. Let sit for 5 minutes, fluff with a fork and set aside.
Combine chickpeas, carrots, scallions, sunflower seeds, raisins and 1-2 tbsp olive oil. Mix thoroughly, add to couscous, mix again and serve warm or cold.

Serves 8 (1/2 cup servings).