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…)
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…)
Zucchini and yellow squash are overflowing from local farms around here this time of year. If you read my last post, you know I bought a bunch of fresh produce during my most recent trip to the farm stand. Amongst that fresh produce, were a couple of zucchini and yellow squash. I’ve been cooking with zucchini all summer long. I’ve grated it and put it in pasta with mushrooms and parmesan cheese. I’ve chopped it up into bite size pieces and stir fried it with some corn (recipe to come). I’ve sliced it lengthwise, grilled it and drizzled it with soy sauce. There’s a lot you can do with zucchini. My mom sautees it with garlic and a can of diced tomatoes and it comes out delicious. But, out of all the ways to cook and prepare zucchini, zucchini cakes might be my favorite. (more…)
I’m obsessed with the produce from local farms this time of year. This past weekend I went a bit overboard and bought a little too much. Everything looked so fresh and beautiful and I couldn’t resist. I bought zucchini, yellow squash, onions, tomatoes, peaches, blueberries, and two GIGANTIC eggplant. Seriously these eggplants were huge. I probably should have stuck with just the one, but I do love eggplant. In an effort to use up all this produce, particularly the eggplant, I’ve been cooking a lot of meatless meals (sorry, Matt). Work was also crazy busy this week with client visits and lunch meetings and so, the office was inundated with all sorts of naughty food (i.e. birthday cake, Philly cheese steaks, pizza, etc.). So the meatless meals, full of veggies, were also part of an effort to counteract all the bad food I encountered (and ate) throughout the week. This easy eggplant stir fry was one such meal. If you don’t like eggplant and prefer to eat meat, you could definitely do this with chicken, or even beef, but I think the eggplant holds up really well in this dish and I didn’t miss the chicken at all (although I rarely do). (more…)
When I’m not sure what to make for dinner, my go-to is usually pasta because it’s quick cooking, easy and because it’s a great vehicle for using up other leftovers. Case in point, last night, I had one lone chicken breast in my fridge and some diced pancetta. Two people probably can’t make a meal off of one piece of chicken and some pancetta but combine that with some veggies and bulk it up with pasta and you’ve got yourself a pretty hearty meal, plus leftovers for tomorrow. (more…)
I need to make shopping lists before I go to the grocery store. If I don’t I almost always wind up forgetting something or buying something we already have. Case in point, we have three bottles of unopened Windex sitting on a shelf in our apartment. The good news is I won’t have to buy Windex for many, many years. Recently, I managed to do the same thing with eggs. I asked Matt to pick some up and he brought home a dozen. Then, a couple of days later, I forgot that we already had plenty of eggs and I picked up another dozen on my way home from work. I mean, honestly, it’s going to be really hard to eat 24 eggs between the two of us before they go bad. Unfortunately, unlike Windex, eggs don’t keep for years. So, needless to say, I’ve been trying to come up with recipes that incorporate eggs. This sweet potato hash with caramelized onions and sausage is one such recipe. (more…)
I wasn’t really sure what to call this recipe. It’s definitely crispy, thanks to good ol’ corn starch and it’s definitely got some pretty potent Asian flavors going on like soy sauce, ginger and garlic, so I settled on calling it: Asian style crispy chicken and eggplant. But it’s not authentically from one particular part of the world, at least that I’m aware of. Maybe it counts as some sort of fusion food, although again, I’m not even sure which countries are fused together in this. It’s a concoction of sorts, but a delicious one, none the less. (more…)
I’m obsessed with the show The Kitchen on Food Network. Whether the hosts share an interesting cooking technique, a kitchen gadget, or offer tips and ideas for recipes, I almost always learn something new and I walk away with renewed inspiration. In one of the recent episodes, Katie Lee (love her!), who, by the way, was apparently married to Billy Joel at one point according to wikipedia (what??), offered a tip that helped me come up with my dinner Monday night. They were discussing deli shortcuts and tips and Katie’s tip was that she often picks up some grilled veggies from her deli and uses the veggies to make quick and easy burritos. She didn’t go into too much detail, but I thought, what a great idea. To be honest, I never even noticed the grilled veggies at the deli, but the next time I went to the grocery store, sure enough, there they were! Pre-sliced, perfectly grilled veggies. (more…)
I finally finished my Isagenix diet and cleanse and although it was tough, I was pleased with my results. In 11 days I lost 9.4 pounds and a number of inches all over my body, mostly from my chest (not a good thing) and stomach (a very good thing). All the hard work paid off in the end. You can read about my personal experience in this blog post.
Returning back to normal food and normal life hasn’t been so easy. I’ve had to go out to eat 4 times and it’s only been 5 days since I’ve finished the diet. I’ve been faced with temptations over and over again in just 5 days. For someone who loves food, I think I’ve done pretty well considering all the eating out and Mother’s Day celebrations, but nonetheless, I stepped on the scale this morning and I am up 1 pound. Frustrating to say the least. In the past, I’ve let these frustrations get the best of me, thrown myself a pity party, convinced that I would never be able to lose weight and quickly given up whatever diet I happened to be on. Not this time. (more…)
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…)