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…)

Savory zucchini cakes with cream cheese

zucchini cakes

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…)

Salty, spicy eggplant stir fry

Eggplant stir fry

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…)

Trader Joe’s uttapam – fun food find

Trader Joe's uttapam with coconut chutney

I found a new favorite breakfast item today in Trader Joe’s uttapam with coconut chutney. Some people  might not want to eat these delicious little Indian pancakes for breakfast, but they are a perfectly acceptable meal for lunch or dinner (or a snack) as well. I happen to really enjoy them for breakfast, but I did grow up eating rice and fish for breakfast in Southeast Asia. That’s not to say I don’t enjoy an omelet or a pancake now and then though. Mmm…French toast too. I’m getting off topic here. Back to the uttapam!

A little bit about uttapam: Uttapam are oftened referred to as Indian syle pizza. However, I prefer to compare it to a pancake as opposed to a pizza because the dough is more spongy. Naan would be more suited for Indian pizza (in my opinion). The uttapam dough is made from fermented rice and black lentils, then topped with vegetables. Also, a little fyi, uttapam are gluten free and vegan. (more…)

Pasta with chicken, pancetta and vegetables

pasta with chicken, pancetta and vegetables

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…)

My thoughts on the movie Chef


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I’ve wanted to see this movie ever since I saw the trailer for it. It’s been out for over a month and I finally made it to the theater to see it and I’m SO glad I did. From the previews, I thought I would like this movie, but I didn’t expect it to resonate with me the way that it did. Not to mention, John Favreau gives a phenomenal performance.

Movie Synopsis (some spoilers): (more…)

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