Asian style crispy chicken and eggplant

Asian style crispy chicken and eggplant

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…)

Corn, black bean and avocado salad

corn, black bean and avocado salad

The weather is FINALLY warming up in this corner of the world and it’s got me giddy with excitement. I’m totally over winter and even mildly cool weather. I am ready for the heat, sometimes even sweltering heat, of summer. But this post is not about how much I love summer. It is, however, about a summer-inspired salad. Everything about this salad screams summer from the colors to the bright, fresh flavors. I’m not sure which ingredient stars in this dish, but I think it might be the corn. It’s hard for me to say that because of my love affair with avocados and guacamole, and they definitely shine through in this salad too, but the Jersey corn this time of year is so sweet and wonderful and it pretty much steals the show. (more…)

Breakfast quesadillas

breakfast quesadillas

Breakfast for dinner. It’s not something I do often but sometimes it just feels right. Last night was one of those times. My fridge was looking pretty barren but I did have 4 eggs, 7 slices of bacon, whole wheat (low fat) tortillas, and lots of leftover varieties of cheese. These ingredients might not sound like very much but I was able to stretch them and make them into FIVE breakfast quesadillas. Plenty for a dinner for two hungry people and we even had leftovers for today’s breakfast AND I even gave a few bite sized pieces of bacon to the dogs. Bacon makes everyone happy.

breakfast quesadillas

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Easy skillet potatoes

easy skillet potatoes

As I’ve mentioned before, I don’t make meat and potatoes very often. However, the other day I stumbled across this balsamic roast beef recipe on Pinterest and it sounded so delicious. It seemed like the perfect recipe to use up a chuck roast I had in my freezer. Plus, the recipe utilized the slow cooker, which I am always excited about. The beef simmered away all day in a savory balsamic gravy. It made the house smell wonderful, and I knew it would be a winner dinner and that my meat-loving husband, Matt, would be so excited.

I just needed to figure out what to make to serve alongside the beef. It needed to be a substantial side dish that could soak up all that wonderful gravy. Potatoes seemed like the best choice. Meat and potatoes is a classic for a reason. Instead of mashing the potatoes, or just baking them in the oven, I came up with these easy skillet potatoes. They are cooked in a cast iron skillet so they get really crispy on one side, but stay soft enough to absorb all the juice from the beef. (more…)

Grilled veggie and chicken burritos

grilled veggie and chicken burritos

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…)

Princeton brunch spots

brunch frittata

Mmm…brunch. There is something about brunch that just makes me feel relaxed. I love it, especially around this time of year. The weather is warm, many places offer outdoor dining, the menus are incredible and it’s a great way to enjoy the spring season. Recently, I was lucky enough to get brunch in Princeton two weekends in a row and it got me thinking about all the awesome Princeton brunch spots there actually are. If I choose to eat out, it’s generally for dinner. I often forget or overlook the brunch spots altogether. But going out to eat for brunch is such a rewarding experience, especially if you get to do it in the Princeton area. (more…)

Lunch at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room in Princeton

crab, corn and avocado salad at Yankee Doodle Tap Room

It’s that time of year where the trees begin to bloom, everything is green again, the weather is beautiful and temperatures tend to stay in the mid 70’s. After a long, exceptionally COLD winter, people just want to get outside and enjoy the warmth of the sun and the spring breezes, even those people that suffer from allergies, like myself. We brave the outdoors despite the itchy, watery eyes, constant sneezing and swollen throats. The warm weather and sunny skies are worth it.

Outdoor dining becomes all the rage in the spring and the Yankee Doodle Tap Room is the place to do just that. The Yankee Doodle Tap Room is part of the historic Nassau Inn and is located in the heart of Princeton, in the middle of picturesque and popular Palmer’s Square. The restaurant offers a variety of menus, including special gluten free, weekend late night, and Sunday brunch menus.

Last weekend we met my parents and grandparents for lunch at the Yankee Doodle Tap Room and dined outside on the patio. The outdoor patio exemplifies the feel and charm that Palmers Square in Princeton is all about. It was truly one of the most pleasant lunches I’ve had in a long time. The weather was perfect and the food did not disappoint either. (more…)

Easy caprese salad

easy caprese salad

Caprese salad is one of the easiest and most delicious salads, appetizers, starters or first courses ever simply because the ingredients do most of the work for you. Good quality ingredients = amazing caprese salad. The rest is just assembly and making it look pretty.

I serve caprese salad often for parties or small get togethers because it’s simple to throw together, can be served at room temperature, and almost everyone loves it. In fact, I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like caprese salad and I’m not sure I want to.

Also, it’s pretty. (more…)

Spaghetti squash with chicken sausage

spaghetti squash with chicken sausage

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…)

Quinoa with lemon and herbs

quinoa with lemon and herbs

Sorry I’ve been MIA this past week. Things have been pretty hectic lately but the main reason for my lack of posts is that I’ve been on this crazy 11 day diet / cleanse. Now, I know there are a lot of opinions out there about dieting and cleansing, especially diets that only last 11 days, but the truth is I’ve wanted to lose weight for a while now and it just hasn’t been happening. I’ve lacked the motivation to do it on my own. Plus, the scale can be frustrating. It takes days, sometimes even a week for any evidence of a diet to show up on the scale, at least for me. That always discourages me and I quickly resort to my old eating habits. So, when a friend at work lost 22 pounds in 30 days, I was quick to listen in on how she did it. She told me she used a program called Isagenix. After listening to her explain the Isagenix system, I thought the 30 day program sounded a bit grueling for me but when she mentioned there was a 9 day program (it’s really 11 days), I decided to try it. (more…)

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