Month: April 2014

Carrots with cumin and coriander

Processed with VSCOcam with f2 presetI’ve recently become hooked on Amy Thielen’s show on Food Network, Heartland Table. Although I’m not a gardener nor do I always have access to all of the ingredients she uses, most of her recipes are simple enough and always unique. She often combines ingredients I would never think to put together and she uses some really interesting cooking techniques. The other thing I like about the way she cooks is that she knows how to get the most flavor out of each ingredient she’s using and that’s definitely the case in her recipe for cast-iron carrots with curry. My recipe for carrots with cumin and coriander is an adaptation of this one. When I saw her make it on her show, I knew I had to try it or create something similar. (more…)

Lemon pepper pappardelle with mushrooms

lemon pepper pappardelle with mushrooms

I’ve had two packages of lemon pepper pappardelle from Trader Joe’s sitting in my pantry for quite some time. I’m not sure why since I cook pasta pretty often. Last night, I guess I suddenly felt inspired and I finally decided to use the pappardelle. The recipe I came up with, lemon pappardelle with mushrooms, is a very simple one and although the pasta and the mushrooms are hearty, the dish itself doesn’t feel very heavy because the lemon and basil in the pasta sauce add a bright, freshness to the dish that’s very reminiscent of spring. (more…)

Hot ham dip

hot ham dip

Happy Easter Monday everyone! For those of you who celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend. We spent Sunday morning at church and then spent the afternoon at my parent’s house for Easter “dinner”, if you can call it that. My husband pointed out that on holidays, for some reason, we never eat at a normal time. We always eat at 2 or 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Does anyone else’s family do this? Anyway, this Easter was no different. We ate at 3 o’clock and we called it Easter “dinner”. In my family, we divide up the food and each person is usually responsible for one of the courses. My favorite, and the one that usually gets assigned to me, is the appetizers. After some thought, I finally settled on making a tomato, mozzarella and basil salad (aka caprese), my famous guacamole (its really only famous amongst my family, but it’s good! I promise!), and hot ham dip. (more…)

Thai basil chicken fried rice

thai basil chicken fried rice

If you know me well, you know that I absolutely love chicken fried rice. Specifically, Thai chicken fried rice (and, yes, there is definitely a difference). Whenever I visit Thailand one of the first things I do is stop by a street vendor and order a plate of chicken fried rice. In my book, there is just nothing that tastes better. I’ve never been able to replicate the street version exactly but occasionally I do get close and this recipe for Thai basil chicken fried rice, if not exactly the way they make it on the streets in Bangkok, is pretty close. And either way, it’s delicious in it’s own right.

I stop by the Asian market by my apartment quite often and I almost always pick up a bunch of Thai basil but I never can actually use the entire bunch before it starts to go bad. Last night, I opened the fridge to see what I would make for dinner and saw the large bunch of Thail basil sitting on the middle shelf. I sighed. I used it in a chicken dish earlier in the week and now I couldn’t think of any other use for it. I knew it would probably go bad. And then I remembered seeing a Thai basil chicken fried rice recipe on pinterest. I couldn’t find the pin but I knew how to make fried rice and I decided to add the Thai basil to it and make up my own version. Here’s what I came up with: (more…)

Creamy pasta with chicken, peas & peppers

creamy pasta with chicken

I wind up making pasta for dinner approximately once a week. It’s not always the best decision as far as my waste line is concerned (I have a bit of a portion control problem) but pasta is so versatile, quick and easy that I wind up cooking with it quite often. It’s my go to when I don’t have a lot of time to cook and when I have random ingredients I need to use up. This was the case last week when I came up with this recipe. I needed to make something fast and I didn’t want to make a special trip to the grocery store. (more…)

Thai garlic pepper chicken

Thai garlic pepper chicken

Thai garlic pepper chicken also known as gai tod kratiem also known as one of my favorite Thai dishes ever.

Most of you know I grew up in Thailand. Most of you also know I used to figure skate, which ironically, I started in Bangkok, one of the hottest places on earth. The ice rink almost always had an inch of water on it. I loved the ice skating rink because I loved to skate (obviously) but I also loved it because of the little restaurant inside the rink. The restaurant served up the best gai tod kratiem on the planet. I have no idea if the other items on the menu were any good, or what the other items on the menu even were, because I always ordered gai tod kratiem, aka grlic pepper chicken. It’s funny the things you remember from childhood. This dish is something I remember vividly and it brings back all kinds of nostalgia for me. To this day, it’s still one of my favorite things to eat. (more…)

Birthday blessings

birthday blessings

Sunday was a gorgeous day here in New Jersey. The sun came out and it was probably the first day that truly felt like spring. Sunday also happened to be my birthday. I’m a lucky girl because, between Matt, family and friends, I usually get to celebrate my birthday multiple times. It makes me realize how loved and how blessed I am. Sometimes It’s easy to get caught up in the negatives and the drama of everyday life and it’s not always easy to stay positive. But between the beautiful weather and all the birthday cards, gifts, texts and phone calls I started to reflect on the previous year and all the blessings I am truly thankful for. Here’s to a great 27th year and here’s a few blessings I’m thankful for from the previous year: (more…)

Clydz’ creative cocktails & unique menu

Clydz
Alligator in a blanket

When I was attending Rutger University, Clydz, in New Brunswick used to be one of my favorite neighborhood bars. It’s classier than a lot of the bars you’d find near the University, along Easton Avenue (Scarlet Pub, Knight Club, and Old Queens anyone?). It’s also more expensive, which is why, as a poor college student, I couldn’t frequent it as often as I’d like. But it’s expensive for good reason. Both the food and drink menu are so unique, unlike any other restaurant/bar in the area. I mean where else can you order braised python ravioli or kangaroo loin served with potato gratin and garlic broccolini?

Clydz
Lychee martini

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Orecchiette in spicy tomato sauce with roasted vegetables

orechiette

I apologize for the amount of pasta posts lately but I promise this is a good one. It’s also another meatless one and my meat loving husband actually admitted that he didn’t miss the meat in this dish so you know this recipe is a winner! It’s a rare occurence for my husband to admit he likes something without meat. (more…)

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