My Living Kitchen

I keep a small herd of kitchen pets and experiment with cooking all sorts of delicious, healthy things. I document what I can on my Medium blog. Here are a selection of recipes and how-tos.


How To Grow Delicious Slabs of Bacteria and Yeast To Flavor Water

Much like sausage, kombucha is one of those things for which you may not want to learn a creation story. But if you are hooked and tired of buying it for $5+tax per bottle (I saw one for $8 the other day), here’s the nitty gritty. To get started, you will need the gather the following for a one gallon batch (scale up or down as needed) before acquiring a symbiotic colony of bacteria and yeast (SCOBY):

Organic green tea: I use bagged tea as it’s simpler, but you can use loose leaf. If you want a flavor, go for it. If you want to risk soaking chemical-laden leaves in hot water, go ahead and use conventional rather than organic, but it seems risky to me.

Raw local honey: you could use pasteurized, mass-produced honey but then you lose all the micronutrients found in the magical stuff. I prefer local, Spring honey so I’m working on building my relationship with regional pollens and thereby reducing seasonal allergies.

Read the rest on Medium

I’m Hungry But It’s Too Hot To Cook

I’ve been trying to figure out how to make very large pan-fried tamales, so I have an open can of black beans and some quest fresco in the fridge. I don’t have the desire to turn on the stove, so I took a page from my mom’s very liberal definition of a cabbage salad.

I grated some red cabbage and carrots into a bowl. You could really put any veggies in, I just didn’t have anything else. Tomatoes, bell peppers, avocado, onions — anything you can cut into tiny strips.

Add a few spoons of black beans. Crumble in queso fresco. Squeeze a lime, dust some cumin and salt & pepper to taste. I added a dash of sriracha and some homemade yogurt. Garlic would be good and it’s almost a crime to eat this without cilantro but I’m not going outside.

Stir it up and boom! A light, healthy and cold lunch. Not much to look at but pretty wasn’t one of the requirements here.

See all the photos on Medium


Bárbara’s Dulce de Leche

My roommate was telling me a story of how her grandmother used to spend all day stirring a pot of cream and sugar to make dulce de leche. Her mother evolved that process by using a can of sweetened condensed milk, meaning there is no stirring necessary although it does take some monitoring.


See the full recipe with photos on Medium

How To Never Say Goodbye To Your Favorite Lettuce.

I got this beautiful head of butter lettuce from Blue Apron and I couldn’t resist a little windowsill experiment.

I stopped everything and grabbed a spare pot and my trusty Black Gold (I find it necessary to have extra dirt and pots around at all times but especially in Spring). The perfect addition to a counter busy with the makings of a garden salad: dirt. I feel I should add here that I have no idea if this can work — these roots are just so gorgeous I can’t help myself. I was so surprised when I rolled them out...

See all the photos on Medium