Monthly Archives: October 2013

Dinner last night

dinner

I really enjoyed my dinner last night. It was the first time I actually looked through my blog to see what I would make for dinner instead of going through a cook book or pinterest. Over the years I’ve started posting more and more original recipes and it was sort of exciting for me to look through and see all the posts I’ve written.

I usually decide what I’m going to make for dinner based on what I have available in my fridge and pantry. I happened to have some beef stew meat in the freezer and decided to make spicy chipotle beef. I didn’t have fresh cilantro so I had to omit that but other than that I followed my recipe. It was just as good as I remember it being except in the original version I used 2 whole cans of chipotle peppers which turned out to be too spicy, even for me. Always learning in the kitchen! Continue reading

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Spicy lemon chicken pasta

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Let’s talk about rotisserie chicken. It is delicious. It is a time saver. It is perfect for lazy cooks like me. One night last week I went to the store and picked up a rotisserie chicken. I got two meals out of it and I probably would have been able to even stretch that to three had I not given my dog a couple generous portions throughout the next few days. For the first meal we simply ate the chicken plain and I served a side salad along with it. Rotisserie chickens give you A LOT of meat so I had to come up with a way to use up the leftover chicken meat. I came up with this dish, spicy lemon chicken pasta. It’s so simple and really quite yummy. Continue reading

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Buffalo Calamari at Blue Point

buffalo calamari

One of my favorite local restaurants is Blue Point Grill in Princeton. It’s on the pricey side but you can’t beat the fresh seafood. In fact, the menu changes daily depending upon what is caught that day. The menu is also extensive and offers all kinds of fish and seafood. One thing I love about Blue Point is that many of their fish entrees come prepared very simply with just a light lemon butter sauce. I love this because it really allows the flavor and the freshness of the fish to stand out. Food doesn’t always need tons of ingredients to make it taste good. Sometimes simpler is better and in this case it definitely is. Continue reading

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You only turn 90 once

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We threw my grandma a 90th birthday party this past weekend. My grandma is one of the most important people in my life. She and my grandpa are like second parents to me rather than just grandparents. They have both always been really involved in our lives (both mine and my two brothers). Even when we lived in Thailand they called once a week to talk to us (back then it was expensive and we didn’t have skype), they made multiple treks across the globe to visit us, and sent us gifts and many coveted items from the US that we either couldn’t afford or didn’t have access to in Asia. They are fun, supportive, loving and great role models. Needless to say, I am incredibly blessed and lucky to have grandparents like them. So, even though planning a large party (for 130 people) can be really stressful and there were many times my mom and I wondered if it was a good idea, we both realized we are so lucky to be able to celebrate my grandma’s 90th birthday with her. She is still as bright and as sharp as ever and I mean how many people can actually enjoy a big party at 90? Continue reading

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Crock pot BBQ chicken sandwiches

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On busy days the slow cooker, aka crock pot, is my life saver. Yesterday was one of those busy days for me and I knew I would not feel like cooking dinner from scratch when I got home. Thankfully, I have a slow cooker. Here are just a few of the things I LOVE about the slow cooker:

1. Easy clean up. One pot.
2. Cooking food slowly (especially meat) makes it incredibly tender.
3. It makes your house smell amazing.
4. It does all the work for you. There is very little cooking involved.
5. It’s pretty much fool proof. Continue reading

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Roasted Delicata Squash

delicata squash

Del – a – what?? I had never heard of delicata squash either but when I stumbled upon this lovely little squash in the grocery store I was intrigued. I wish I had taken a picture of the squash before I chopped it up and cooked it so you could see what it looks like. I didn’t think ahead. Plus, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if I would share this recipe because I had no idea how it would turn out. A delicata squash is a white or cream colored oblong squash with green stripes. They are pretty AND turns out, they are delicious. Delicata delicious. If I had to describe the taste and texture I would say that delicata squash taste like a combination of butternut squash and sweet potato.

The other awesome thing about these squash is that they are so much easier to prepare than butternut squash. The skin is thinner and the squash is smaller so it doesn’t require a lot of dangerous hacking with a sharp knife. I don’t know about you but preparing butternut squash is always a challenge for me. The knife always gets stuck in the squash and I wind up having to use all my strength to pull it out, all the while praying that it doesn’t go flying out of my hand. It’s a stressful process. Preparing delicata squash as opposed to butternut is a cinch. You still need a sharp knife but you can definitely cut into these little guys without risking your life or your fingers. Continue reading

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Creamy white beans with crumbled bacon and parmesan

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I was a little nervous to make this dish. Cooking with dried beans is kind of intimidating for me. I’m not sure why except that I guess it’s because I don’t do it all that often so I’m not sure how long to let them soak or how much liquid to cook them in. But that’s what google is for right? Turns out, it’s really not that difficult to cook with dried beans! There are also a variety of ways to cook them and although the process does take some time, this recipe is simple and the results are delicious. One of the most important steps in cooking with dried beans is to soak them overnight. It cuts down on the cooking time and helps to soften the beans.

This dish combines dried white cannellini beans, veggies like onions, carrots, and celery, chicken broth, fresh thyme and grated parmesan cheese. It’s topped with crumbled bacon and fresh parsley. It’s warm, creamy and comforting and a perfect dinner for a cold, rainy day. I actually make a similar recipe that I found in a cooking light magazine years ago with brown lentils but I think I like this version even better. Serve it with a piece of warm, crusty bread and it’s the perfect comforting meal for any night of the week. Continue reading

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Fall flavors

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Although fall is not my favorite season, I happen to love the seasonal flavors of the fall like butter nut squash, apple crisp, hot chocolate, and my favorite, pumpkin. I’m having a few close friends over for dinner tonight and although I had most of the meal planned yesterday I didn’t have anything in mind for dessert. I am not much of a baker and I wanted something quick and easy because the main course and appetizers for tonight already involve quite a bit of cooking. The recipes aren’t difficult but they involve my oven and my stove top and so I was looking for an easy to assemble or no bake type of dessert. So, I headed to the grocery store for some ideas and inspiration. Continue reading

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