Year: 2014

Old Bay Polenta Fries

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I’m sure my fellow foodies are insanely excited about this week!  Turkey day is almost here!!  As you can guess, thanksgiving is my FAVORITE holiday.  Our family has the traditional thanksgiving fare with turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, gravy, corn bread, cranberry compote… the works!  It’s not always possible to have our entire family together for thanksgiving in recent years, but this year we managed to make it happen and I’m sooooo excited!  In general, this time of year from thanksgiving to New Years is my favorite time of the year.  Aside from the obvious reasons of getting time off and being with family, I think that the holidays have always been particularly memorable for me because around this time 20 years ago, my family moved to the U.S.  I didn’t fall in love with my new surroundings immediately and I was definitely NOT happy about leaving the familiar. Going from never experiencing weather below 50 degrees to brutal winters and snow was also not easy.  But  it was definitely a time of togetherness and being thankful for new opportunities, a feeling that …

Shrimp Tikka Masala

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It used to surprise me that the most popular dishes among my Indian and non-Indian friends were always either butter chicken and chicken tikka masala.  To be honest, my internal reaction was- WHY!?! There are soooo many other amazing dishes!  Then of course I realized this was one of many- “My taste buds are not normal” situations.   There are a lot of variations of these two popular dishes and everyone makes the sauces differently, but most restaurants I’ve been to tend to make these sweet.  Again- maybe to most taste buds this is awesome, but not really my thing.    So how did I come upon a tikka masala recipe?  Well, I knew I wanted to make something with the shrimp I had and I wanted it to be Indian  After careful research I found one that didn’t sound like the typical heavy/rich/sweet tikka masala I was used to eating at restaurants. I’m not even sure if the original recipe qualifies as tikka masala, I think it’s missing some key ingredients to support the ‘tikka masala’ aspect.  But I really …

Southwestern Baked Acorn Squash

Southwestern Baked Acorn Squash

I have always had a colleague or two in my career who have been avid CSA fans and would bring some extra veggies/fruits they couldn’t use to distribute at work.  If you don’t know what a CSA is, check out- http://www.localharvest.org/csa/ .  In a nutshell it’s a farm to table system where you get super fresh seasonal veggies & fruits while supporting local farmers.  I was always intrigued but hadn’t tried it before because you do have to be willing to try vegetables you probably wouldn’t get on your own volition.  I felt like I would be better off going to a farmers market, but my issue with that was always timing.  I would never get out of work early enough to get to a market before it closed or even just have the good stuff available.  This is why a CSA or similar type of delivery system intrigued me. I did some research and while there are a lot of options in the DC area, I decided to try Washington’s Green Grocer (not quite a CSA but similar). …

Ground Turkey Larb Gai

Ground Turkey Larb Gai

Hello fall, unpredictable weather patterns and of course the inevitable cold viruses. I was a bit under the weather for the past few weeks, hence the delay. I also realized I don’t have as much time to take photos with natural light since the sun sets much earlier now. Which means by the time I cook and plate, it’s dark out. I refuse to take photos without some form of natural light because it’s just not going to look good! I discovered a great tutorial to make your own table-top lighting to mimic natural light in low-light settings and so far I’m really pleased. Will share more details when it’s out of the ‘work in progress’ stage. Today’s post involves one of my favorite cuisines- Thai. Thai food is like comfort food to me. It involves a lot of my favorite flavors- sour, spicy and nutty and my favorite vehicles- noodles and rice. I decided to try my hand at Larb Gai, which is basically a minced chicken salad. You can use ground meat of any …

Chocolate-Coffee Chocolate Chip Muffins

Chocolate-Coffee Chocolate Chip Muffins

I am not a morning person  I think a lot of people can relate to this, and if you can’t… we might not get along.  In all seriousness, mornings are not particularly enjoyable for me.  It definitely takes a while for me to wake up and feel alert.  I’m also not a coffee drinker, except the very occasional Java Chip Frappucino I have from Starbucks which my husband says is “not REAL coffee anyway”.  I like tea with milk and sugar.  So that basically means, I’m extremely sluggish in the mornings.  Aside from that, I really struggle with eating breakfast.  I just have no interest in food when I wake up and only want my cup of tea. Ok maybe that’s a lie.  I do have interest in food when I wake up, but only if it’s unhealthy, already prepared & loaded with sugar i.e. donuts, cookies etc.  For this reason I basically chose no breakfast vs. bad breakfast.  In lieu of a lacking healthy breakfast regimen, I have started making breakfast smoothies which we take to work …

Palak Tofu

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Lately it feels like I’ve been talking a lot about eating organic with close friends and I realized I almost never specify the type of ingredients I use in my recipes.  I don’t like to force my preferences and methods on others because that is just not my thing and quite honestly- I don’t know if my methods are the “right” way to do things either.  I definitely do try to buy organic & non-GMO ingredients and food stuffs.  I don’t think I do it to an annoying extent, but I try wherever possible. If you google ‘organic’ today, you will find a TON of contradictory articles.  Some say organic is much better, some say organic is just the same as conventional and some even say conventional is much better!  It’s like falling into a rabbit hole when you start goog-ling this stuff. At the end of the day, I say people should do what feels right to them!   And for the sake of being neutral I keep my recipes non-specific so it doesn’t feel like a requirement  Which brings me to today’s …

Mediterranean Mac n’ Cheese

Mediterranean Mac n' Cheese

I feel like I’m going to get very predictable very quickly in the food-blogosphere When I love something, it becomes a pattern in my life.  In this case it’s my love for my oven.  I love my oven more than any other appliance in my kitchen and it will become very apparent as I post more recipes.  It suits my need to multi-task and there is smaller risk of me burning something, of course that is thanks to my other favorite: the kitchen timer!  This is a recipe that isn’t purely oven cooking, but it certainly allowed me to prep lunch while it was finishing up in the oven for our dinner!  I found it a long time ago on one of my favorite go to sites: marthastewart.com.  I did per usual make a few adjustments in this round because I didn’t have elbow macaroni on hand but I did have quinoa shells and it turned out just as good!