Summer is here! My favorite season. Flip flops, the ocean, tan lines, fireflies and this grilled corn and asparagus salad are just some of the reasons why I love summer. Recently I’ve become obsessed with grilling, which is a good thing because it’s grill weather. I think, for a while, I was slightly intimidated by the grill. I always let my dad or brother do the grilling when I lived at home and when I moved out I lived in an apartment, where having an outdoor grill wasn’t allowed. Now that I have a house and my own grill, I fire it up pretty much all summer long. It’s a great and simple way to get awesome flavor into food.
For Father’s Day, I grilled some sirloin steaks with salt, pepper (and…sshhh…a little bit of butter) and everyone raved about them. They all kept asking me what I marinated the steak in. That’s the magic of the grill, and salt of course. The steaks were a hit but they shared the spotlight with this grilled corn and asparagus salad. It’s the perfect side dish for any summer dinner, picnic or barbecue. It’s also made up of only five ingredients, plus salt and pepper, which I declare freebies. (more…)
When I was in college, I ate my fair share of Ramen noodles. Shocker, I know. I always had a stash somewhere and when there was nothing else to eat or I was too lazy or too poor to go out, I, like all other college students everywhere, would reach for that block of dried noodles and that yummy seasoning packet full of MSG and call it a day. It was tasty, and salty and not very good for you but it provided the nourishment and the satisfaction needed during those long nights of studying for midterms. It had it’s place. (more…)
A few weekends ago I went to Carrabba’s Restaurant for lunch. I don’t go to Carrabbas that often but when I do it’s hard for me to pass up their spicy sausage and lentil soup. It’s probably my favorite thing on their menu. As I was eating it for lunch that day, I thought to myself, this can’t be too hard to make. I tried to really taste the different flavors and components so I could replicate it at home. And I think this recipe comes pretty close. It may not be exactly the same as Carrabbas famous soup but it’s close enough, and really delicious. (more…)
When I’m perusing the buffet at an Indian restaurant, there are a couple of staple dishes I always get excited about. Chana Masala happens to be one such dish. When I eat chana masala, I’m convinced I could be a vegetarian. It’s everything I want in a dish. Hearty chickpeas, spicy tomato sauce. Serve it with a piece of warm naan bread and I’m in heaven.
This spicy chickpea curry is my quick and easy version of chana masala. There are tons of variations and recipes for chana masala but I promise, this is a good one. (more…)
I always do this. I tell myself I’m going to lose weight for an event and then suddenly the event is one month away and bummer, I’ve only lost 2 pounds. Needless to say, I’m in that same scenario now. So, I’m on a very strict diet/cleanse for the next week or so and I’m not going to lie to you guys, it sucks. It really really sucks. But you know what? It’s working and recipes like this spicy, braised kale make it slightly more bearable. I cheated a bit with the bacon, but 4 thin slices of bacon for 10 oz of kale is not that much right? Hmm…Maybe this type of rationalization is what gets me into trouble in the first place. (more…)
This casserole is dangerous. Because once you make, unless you have super human self control, you won’t be able to stop eating it.
It’s an old family recipe. I’m not exactly sure where it originated, but I think it was my great Aunt Esther’s recipe. My grandma and mom both make it frequently, and recently, I’ve started making it too. I have to admit, I’d kind of forgotten about it but, the other day, my mom invited me over for dinner with some friends of ours and she made this casserole. I couldn’t stop eating it! It had been years since I’d had it last but, that night, I was reminded of its deliciousness. So, last week when I was thinking of what to make as a last minute meal for some friends of ours last week, this casserole came to mind. It’s a great recipe to fall back on when you don’t know what else to make because it’s always a crowd pleaser. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like it. Even the kiddos like this one. (more…)
This is the easiest lunch ever. Good store bought pierogis, or homemade if you have the time, a little bit of bacon, one leek, and some parmesan cheese and black pepper, and you have yourself a delicious and EASY lunch or dinner. I like the Delicious Fresh Pierogi brand, particularly the potato mushroom variety, but use whatever pierogis you can find. And, like I said, even better if you have homemade ones. I happened to be making this lunch on the go, as I so often am, so store-bought it was.
What’s not to love about this? Dumplings stuffed with potatoes and cheese, or whatever you like (there are so many different pierogi varieties), sautéed with bacon and leeks? I mean, come on. It can’t be bad. Well, maybe for your waistline, but your tastebuds will be happy, I promise. (more…)
Sometimes, after a long day at work, when I’m watching TV (most likely Food Network or The Real Housewives of somewhere), I like to pick a cookbook off my bookshelf and just flip through it. I do this, one, because I find it immensely relaxing, and, two, because it often inspires me to come up with new recipes of my own.
A few nights ago, I was looking through Ina Garten’s newest cookbook, Make it Ahead. All of her recipes look absolutely mouth watering, but I found I kept flipping back to one in particular, her Moroccan lamb tagine. This recipe stuck out to me because I love Moroccan food and tagines (although I don’t actually have a tagine), and also because it looked simple to make. As I thought about it more, I wondered if I could make it even simpler by making a slow cooker version. Ina’s Moroccan lamb tagine is definitely a party dish. It’s a show stopper, and although the recipe is easy enough to follow, it takes a bit of time to assemble and 3 hours to cook in the oven. It happened to be the middle of the week, I hadn’t planned on having company over, and I didn’t want to wait 3 hours after work for dinner to be ready. So, I brainstormed a bit and came up with my own slow cooker version of her recipe. I swapped out a few ingredients and traded lamb shanks for beef stew meat, but it still resembles her recipe and it definitely is reminiscent of those famous Moroccan tagines I love so much. Think of it as the weeknight version of Moroccan lamb tagine. It’s just as delicious, just a little less fancy. (more…)
I figured January called for a healthy recipe. After all, it is the month of resolutions and new starts. The problem is, because it’s cold, dreary and dark here in January, I never really feel like eating salad, or anything cold for that matter. Granted, there are so many things you can do with vegetables besides make a salad, but I’ve been lazy on the food front lately. But this weekend I felt inspired and on Sunday, I spent a good portion of the evening cooking. This healthy vegetable curry was, by far, the best thing I made that night. I also made a delicious beef and asparagus stir-fry for Matt, but it doesn’t really count as my recipe because I used Trader Joe’s Soyaki Sauce for the marinade. Guys, that sauce is so delicious. I rarely buy bottled sauces, because I like to make my own but, as I already mentioned, I’ve been lazy on the food front this month. If you ever need a quick dinner, marinate some meat or tofu in this sauce and stir-fry it with some veggies. It is so versatile and so delicious. But, back to the veggie curry, the star of this blog post. (more…)
I love Ina Garten and am often inspired by her recipes. I was watching Food Network the other day, as I often do, and an episode of Barefoot Contessa came on. Ina was making all kinds of delicious things, including tomato soup with grilled cheese croutons, which I quickly added to my “to make” list. She also made lemon chicken with broccoli and bow ties which was the inspiration behind this recipe. Tonight I needed to make a quick, satisfying dinner and her recipe came to mind. Only, I didn’t have time to marinate the chicken and I don’t have an outdoor grill. Even if I did, it’s way too cold to be outside. So, I came up with this quick version and called it lemon chicken pasta with broccoli. It combines many of the same flavors and ingredients but it cuts out a lot of the steps in Ina’s original recipe. I’d venture to say that it’s probably just as good as Ina’s, although, I can’t say for sure, because I’ve never tried hers. (more…)