Month: August 2014

Pasta with heirloom tomatoes and feta

pasta with heirloom tomatoes, feta, pancetta, basil & parmesan cheese

I like to cook (obviously) and most of the time, the stuff I make turns out pretty well. Granted, this doesn’t happen all the time. One time I attempted to make “Indian stuffed peppers” and they were completely inedible. It was a total waste of ingredients because, after attempting to choke down half a pepper, I threw out the second half along with the other five peppers I made. Even my husband, who usually manages to eat even the so-so meals, admitted they were terrible. So, yes, I definitely have some moments I am not proud of in the kitchen but, most of the time, I manage to turn out pretty decent meals. I feel like I have to defend myself and say that the Indian pepper catastrophe was fairly early on in my cooking “journey” and also let you all know that only the good stuff makes it onto this blog. I don’t post the bad recipes, or even the so-so ones. Maybe that goes without saying, but I’m feeling slightly self conscious after admitting that not everything I make turns out delicious, in case any of you were under that impression.

This is all to say, that even though I’ve had some kitchen mishaps, I’ve also had “wow” moments in the kitchen and creating this pasta with heirloom tomatoes and feta (and basil and pancetta) was definitely a wow moment for me. This is a recipe I’m really, really proud of. Sometimes after I make something, I think of all the things that could be improved upon for next time. Additional ingredients I would add, or ingredients I’d omit the next time I make the dish. I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe. I’ve been thinking about it all day and I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for dinner tonight. That’s how good it is. I felt that way about my brunch casserole with eggs, potatoes and bacon as well. There’s something extraordinarily satisfying about creating a dish that tastes this good. I’m proud of all my recipes on this blog, and they’re all special in their own right, but this one has to be one of my favorites. (more…)

Shaved brussels sprouts salad

Shaved brussels sprouts salad

When I originally bought this bag of shaved brussels sprouts, I thought I would sautee it with some bacon, or roast it in the oven like I usually do. But it’s summer and I decided to make a shaved brussels sprouts salad instead. Plus the work was already done for me, thanks to Trader Joe’s. If you don’t have a Trader Joe’s near you and can’t find pre-shaved brussels sprouts somewhere else, You can chop them thinly with a knife or (carefully) use a mandolin slicer. You may be able to even chop the brussels sprouts up very finely in a food processor. Although, I haven’t tried that yet so don’t quote me on that! (more…)

Warm potatoes with mustard and dill

Warm potatoes with mustard and dill

Recently, I’ve been making a lot of vinaigrettes. There are actually a lot of uses for basic vinaigrettes. There’s the obvious use for it as a dressing on top of cold, green salads, but I’ve come to find that it’s great on many different vegetables and works in warm dishes as well, like my grilled eggplant and corn salad, for one. You could probably even use it as the base for a really great marinade for chicken, steak, or shrimp. A basic vinaigrette also happens to be the star in this recipe, my warm potatoes with mustard and dill. The quick and simple vinaigrette is the reason this dish is so good. It’s tangy and salty and combined with the hearty potatoes and the fresh dill, it’s a match made in heaven. (more…)

My next vacation…

palm trees

The last vacation I took was in March. It is now August and 3-4 months is about my limit before I start freaking out and demanding to travel and vacate somewhere. Actually, I did go to Miami in June but it was only for 48 hours. 48 hours does not a vacation make. It was a tease.

Travel is such a release for me. If you’ve read about me, you know I often feel most at home in airports and that I am happiest when I’m traveling. Or eating. Really, eating while traveling. Unfortunately, my day job doesn’t allow me to go as often as I’d like but one also needs money to travel and, so, I stay and I work. And I save money for about 3 to 4 months and then I buy myself a plane ticket and book a room. And I go. Ideally, one day I’ll be able to work as a writer, for myself, or for someone else who doesn’t need me in an office, and I can travel more frequently. But until that day come, this is the routine. (more…)

Grilled eggplant and corn salad

grilled eggplant and corn salad

I feel like I’ve been cooking a lot with eggplant lately. Hopefully you’re not sick of it yet! It’s just so good this time of year and I can’t seem to get enough of it. I love it. It’s probably one of my favorite vegetables. Hence, the plethora of eggplant recipes. I also can’t get enough of the local sweet corn around here. It makes me sad to think summer is almost over and that a lot of the fresh vegetables and fruit I love so much will be out of season in a month or so. But, summer’s not over yet! So let’s enjoy it while we can and take advantage of all the delicious food this season brings. This grilled eggplant and corn salad is one way to do that.  The hot, grilled eggplant absorbs the tangy vinaigrette and the combination of that with the sweet corn is SO good. I wish I made two batches of the stuff because between my husband and I, it vanished in a couple of hours. (more…)

Sour cream marinated chicken

sour cream marinated chicken

Happy Saturday! It’s overcast and rainy in this corner of the world today, and, although I do love sunny days, there’s something about days like today that make me feel relaxed. I don’t know about you, but this week was a doozy for me and a relaxing, lazy Saturday feels SO good. So, in the spirit of lazy days, I have a super simple (aka lazy) recipe for sour cream marinated chicken for you. Marinades for meat are so great because, most of the time, you can prepare everything for the marinade in advance and let the meat sit in it until you’re ready to eat. Perfect for relaxing, lazy cooking because there’s really very little actual cooking involved. (more…)

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