July 27, 2014

Pickled Grapes

I'm always looking for an unusual, yet simple recipe.  One food blogger that I follow writes a beautiful blog called Not Without Salt.  I like her pro-salt blog title as well as the feeling I get when I read her words and look at her photographs.  I picture her life being one big lush, misty Washington morning with a cup of coffee in a mason jar.  

July 17, 2014

Chicken Pad Thai without Fish Sauce

I’ve always loved pad thai, but I never realized that fish sauce was a staple in Thai cooking until I met Alan.  He’s allergic to fish.  Actually my mom and one of my best friends is also allergic to fish.  I thought, how unfair that these folks have to miss out on such a thrilling noodle dish.  With that thought, I set out to find a recipe for pad thai that doesn’t involve fish sauce so that Alan and I could have a pad thai date night at home.  Enter Martha Stewart’s Vegetable and Tofu Pad Thai recipe, which I tweaked a bit.  On a weekend in Chattam, NY, I found some mushroom soy sauce at a market and thought it would add the depth of flavor that fish sauce usually provides, so I took a bottle home.

July 4, 2014

Basil Juleps

I write to you from upstate New York where Alan's super awesome band, Ten Minute Turns, is rehearsing for an upcoming recording session.  Being secluded in a rural area is giving me time to make blog posts, read, write and learn about stock trading, my newest obsession.  Last month's obsession was part-time veganism.  A month before that, it was jewelry making.  I like to dabble.  No matter what you're getting into on the weekends, do it with a basil julep.  Alan and I made juleps with herbs from our porch-garden.  He made his with mint and I decided to go out on a limb and make one with basil.  Here's how to do it (no fancy julep cups necessary, but highly encouraged)...

July 1, 2014

Black Bean and Green Burger

A black bean burger is not by any means juicy.  If you slapped it on a bread bun, you'd be on a high speed train to dry town.  But if you put this flavor-packed patty on a bibb lettuce bun, you're in store for a cooling, fresh, energizing burger experience. You can even eat two of these bean beasts and still feel like you can run a marathon, not so for your standard meat burger.  Save your meat burger for the weekend and spend your weeknights with a Black Bean and Green Burger.  Don't fret if you're sans Cuisinart; you can make these burgers with a bowl and a wooden spoon too.  So make your shopping list and look forward to a guilt-free burger night.

June 9, 2014

Nutella Crepe Cake

What kind of birthday cake do you make for your crepe and nutella loving boyfriend?  A Nutella Crepe Cake of coarse.  Layering these buttery discs and smearing them with gooey chocolate takes time, but it’s not too difficult, unless of coarse you’ve never made crepes before.  I usually whip up a stack of crepes once every few months so I’m familiar with the tilt and swirl technique.  When I make them for myself, I usually don’t use the whole stick of butter that the recipe calls for, but for Alan’s birthday party, I had to go whole hog, no pun intended, since I’d have a bunch of party people with which to share the calories.  And really, a crepe without a stick of butter is like a bagel without cream cheese. Unthinkable.

May 29, 2014

Almond Milk Margarita aka Lazy Man’s Horchata Margarita

We discovered a little bar a few blocks away from us called Dick and Jane’s.  It’s been there for three years but we never knew it as it’s tucked away on a side street behind thick, black wooden barn doors.  They serve a cocktail there called Tigre Blanco which is a horchata margarita.  Horchata is a sweet, rice-based Mexican drink.  The bartender lines the rim of the glass with a smoky, limey salt similar to my favorite cabinet dweller, Tajin, a lime and chili infused salt.  I used and raved about Tajin in this corn salad last summer.  

May 19, 2014

Thai-ish Turkey Mushroom Lettuce Wraps

You’re growing tired of the taste of pasta and pizza.  You need something fresh, something to awaken your taste buds, and something that doesn’t have carbs.  It’s summer after all and you wanna shed those winter pounds.  Enter the lettuce wrap.  I crave the flavors of soy sauce, rice vinegar, cilantro and sriracha all thrown together inside a crunchy iceberg shell.  Lean ground turkey adds protein.  Mushrooms add some umami.  This is your new after-work, warm weather dinner. Who knew Monday nights could be so exciting...

April 28, 2014

Chorizo and Pepperoncini Sandwich

This sandwich may look easy to throw together, but it's a combo you might not have thought of before. It's inspired by a sandwich I had a few times at Forager's City Grocer in Dumbo, Brooklyn made with spicy soppressata instead of chorizo. The first occasion on which I ate one was last summer while driving, sans napkins, hoping I wouldn't end up with bright orange soppressata drippings on my jeans. The next occasion was much more pleasant as I shared the sandwich with Alan on a picnic table by the water on the Brooklyn Heights Promenade after a bike ride.