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…)
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…)
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…)
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…)
I’ve recently become hooked on Amy Thielen’s show on Food Network, Heartland Table. Although I’m not a gardener nor do I always have access to all of the ingredients she uses, most of her recipes are simple enough and always unique. She often combines ingredients I would never think to put together and she uses some really interesting cooking techniques. The other thing I like about the way she cooks is that she knows how to get the most flavor out of each ingredient she’s using and that’s definitely the case in her recipe for cast-iron carrots with curry. My recipe for carrots with cumin and coriander is an adaptation of this one. When I saw her make it on her show, I knew I had to try it or create something similar. (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…)
I love cheese. I always say that I could easily become a vegetarian because I wouldn’t miss meat all that much but becoming a vegan would be really hard for me because I just can’t see myself giving up cheese. (more…)
Happy Easter Monday everyone! For those of you who celebrate, I hope you had a wonderful Easter weekend. We spent Sunday morning at church and then spent the afternoon at my parent’s house for Easter “dinner”, if you can call it that. My husband pointed out that on holidays, for some reason, we never eat at a normal time. We always eat at 2 or 3 or 4 o’clock in the afternoon. Does anyone else’s family do this? Anyway, this Easter was no different. We ate at 3 o’clock and we called it Easter “dinner”. In my family, we divide up the food and each person is usually responsible for one of the courses. My favorite, and the one that usually gets assigned to me, is the appetizers. After some thought, I finally settled on making a tomato, mozzarella and basil salad (aka caprese), my famous guacamole (its really only famous amongst my family, but it’s good! I promise!), and hot ham dip. (more…)
If you know me well, you know that I absolutely love chicken fried rice. Specifically, Thai chicken fried rice (and, yes, there is definitely a difference). Whenever I visit Thailand one of the first things I do is stop by a street vendor and order a plate of chicken fried rice. In my book, there is just nothing that tastes better. I’ve never been able to replicate the street version exactly but occasionally I do get close and this recipe for Thai basil chicken fried rice, if not exactly the way they make it on the streets in Bangkok, is pretty close. And either way, it’s delicious in it’s own right.
I stop by the Asian market by my apartment quite often and I almost always pick up a bunch of Thai basil but I never can actually use the entire bunch before it starts to go bad. Last night, I opened the fridge to see what I would make for dinner and saw the large bunch of Thail basil sitting on the middle shelf. I sighed. I used it in a chicken dish earlier in the week and now I couldn’t think of any other use for it. I knew it would probably go bad. And then I remembered seeing a Thai basil chicken fried rice recipe on pinterest. I couldn’t find the pin but I knew how to make fried rice and I decided to add the Thai basil to it and make up my own version. Here’s what I came up with: (more…)
I wind up making pasta for dinner approximately once a week. It’s not always the best decision as far as my waste line is concerned (I have a bit of a portion control problem) but pasta is so versatile, quick and easy that I wind up cooking with it quite often. It’s my go to when I don’t have a lot of time to cook and when I have random ingredients I need to use up. This was the case last week when I came up with this recipe. I needed to make something fast and I didn’t want to make a special trip to the grocery store. (more…)