Bay Gardens Beach Resort in Saint Lucia

Reduit Beach, Saint Lucia

Saint Lucia is a seriously beautiful country. The island has the white sand beaches and sparkling blue water that the Caribbean is famous for, but it also boasts magnificent mountains (like their famous Pitons), volcanoes and rainforests. It’s diversity makes it the perfect island for anyone, offering plenty of adventure for risk-seekers and adrenaline junkies, but also plenty of beautiful beaches for those that just want to relax. Locals are friendly and welcoming and there are many opportunities for visitors to get a real taste of local culture during their stay, either by trying the famous island roti from street or beach vendors, or by visiting Anse La Raye on Friday night for the weekly fish festival. I was lucky enough to spend a few blissful days on this unique, diverse island in September. My only regret is not staying longer. (more…)

Creamy, Indian chicken and eggplant

creamy, Indian chicken and eggplant

If you know me at all, you know I have a long standing love affair with Indian food. And although I tend to gravitate more towards the vegetarian Indian dishes (like palak paneer) I enjoy the meat dishes as well. And I love me a good chicken tikka masala. Between the mildly spiced tomato cream sauce and the tender pieces of juicy chicken, what’s not to love? Seriously, if you think you don’t like Indian food, give chicken tikka masala a try. I’ve never met anyone who tried it and didn’t like it, and I’m not sure I want to. (more…)

Simple eggplant, corn and feta salad

simple eggplant, corn and feta salad

Sometimes it amazes me how simple recipes turn out to be the best ones. Most people often think that complicated cooking techniques, a slew of exotic ingredients, and a lot of time make a good recipe, and sometimes they do. But many times it’s just the opposite. Dishes that utilize only a few, good quality, local ingredients can turn out just as well as the fancy, complicated ones. Sometimes, they turn out even better. And that’s what happened when I made this simple eggplant, corn and feta salad. When I took my first bite, I was honestly surprised at how good it turned out because it’s too easy! (more…)

Spaghetti squash and kale with bacon and parmesan

spaghetti squash and kale with bacon and parmesan cheese

This is my new favorite vegetable dish. When I started making this I really didn’t think it would turn out as well as it did. I kind of just needed to use up half a bag of Trader Joe’s kale and a spaghetti squash that had been sitting in my fridge for some time. I like vegetables. In fact, I love them, but I literally could not stop eating this. I ate it the same way I usually eat fried rice or pasta. I almost finished the entire pan in one sitting, which is okay because it’s relatively healthy. It’s salty from the crispy bacon pieces and the parmesan cheese and a little bit spicy from the red pepper flakes. It’s a veggie dish I’ll be making again and again. I know spaghetti squash is not a substitute for actual pasta but it’s still delicious in its own right. (more…)

Healthy crab pasta

healthy crab pasta

I’m so sorry for my absence on the blog, as of late. I realize it’s been almost a month since I last posted but it’s been an incredibly hectic few weeks for me. Between the day to day grind of work and social obligations, as well as participating in my friend’s wedding and a recent trip to Saint Lucia (which I will be sharing about on the blog soon), September just flew by. BUT I have a delicious, healthy crab pasta to share with you today to make up for my lack of posts this past month. You guys, this pasta is DELICIOUS. (more…)

Summer vegetable gnocchi

summer vegetable gnocchi

Gnocchi reminds me of my childhood in Bangkok. Isn’t that weird? Small, potato dumplings, native to Italy, remind me of my childhood growing up in Thailand, the land of chili peppers and fish sauce. But, believe it or not, the first time I ever tried these incredible, pillowy dumplings of deliciousness was in Bangkok. My family used to eat at this little Italian restaurant and, although I hardly remember any details about the restaurant itself, I remember the happy times with family and friends and I remember the amazing gnocchi. The important stuff. (more…)

Easy, cheesy scrambled eggs with pancetta and scallions

cheesy scrambled eggs with pancetta and scallions

Matt and I took a few days off last week. We “went down the shore” (as they say in Jersey) and spent a few days with family and then spent some time at home relaxing. I did some reading (finished Mindy Kaling’s book and started One for the Money, by Janet Evanovich), A LOT of laundry, and a fair amount of cooking. I love days that have no set agenda and you’re free to be as lazy or as productive as you’d like. Every now and then, days like that are 100% necessary, at least for me. On one such day I made these easy, cheesy scrambled eggs with pancetta and scallions. I slept in (read: woke up at 8am and lounged around watching Food Network and Bravo until 10am) and leisurely made my way to the kitchen. I was about to pour myself a bowl of cheerios when I decided that I wasn’t in the mood for an ordinary breakfast. This was a special day! A lazy day! And, occasionally, lazy days should be celebrated. So, I made scrambled eggs. But not just any scrambled eggs. Delicious, creamy scrambled eggs with salty pancetta and crunchy scallions. (more…)

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…)

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