You guys, it got up to 80 degrees yesterday. I’ve been telling my hubby for weeks to put the AC units back in, and finally, finally last night he did it! This was just as much for his benefit as it was mine. It’s the only way he could get me to stop complaining.
This is a turning point for us. We’ve been grilling for the past two months or so (we were overly ambitious and debuted our grill for the first time this season as soon as it hit, what, 50?), but this is the beginning of lighter, feel-good eating. Grilled veggies, salads, things that make you feel good in the summer. While soups, stews, and chili have become fall and winter staples in our family, I’m not quite ready to give them up for the year. Solution? Cold soup!
Last spring I made a delicious vegan strawberry gazapacho. It was everything you’d hope it would be: refreshing, light, and above all else, simple. Soup in the springtime? Absolutely. (I should make this again for Ethan, I bet he’d love it!)
A few weeks ago I was flipping through channels and wound up on the Food Network. And there it was: an Italian vichyssoise. After watching maybe three minutes of the show, I made my grocery list and headed to the store to pick everything up. I’ll admit that I was a little intimidated going into this. When John was in college, I came up to visit him from Florida and remember his roommates attempting to make vichyssoise. An ambitious dish for a bunch of college kids, no? The end result was fantastic, but I recall one roommate in particular sitting over a ricer for a lengthy amount of time trying to make the world’s smoothest potato puree. It seemed far too labor intensive for me. Luckily, this recipe calls for the use of a blender (I use my handheld immersion blender when making soup — no transferring back and forth necessary!).
Continue reading Italian Vichyssoise
Hello, friends! I can’t believe I’ve been gone for so long. I keep meaning to post recipes, life updates, anything, but there’s always something that comes up. Either I get caught up with work, with Ethan, or I literally just want 10 minutes to spend with my hubby at the end of a long day. Either way, you haven’t been missing much. Case and point? Last night’s dinner was cereal eaten from a mug. I’m not sure when I got this cool, but damn, it feels good
Over the last few weeks I’ve also been gardening. I use that term loosely, as I’m not sure yet how fruitful my second annual garden will be. Last year, we were wildy successful at growing herbs, tomatoes, and zucchini. We botched up the placement of our plants, though. It was a huge mess with tomato plants growing out of control, and a handful of zucchini plants overshadowing everything else in its path (peas, peppers, these never saw the light of day). I blame the demise of last year’s garden on the fact that I was super pregnant and not willing to put the time in outdoors to tidy things up. We’ve learned from our mistakes and are trudging forward.
Our raised vegetable garden is now only housing herbs (an improvement over last year!). We decided to make a grid with gardening twine, and given my neurotic need for organization and order, I’m loving it. We’ve got the standard herbs going: basil, cilantro, rosemary, mint, thyme, sage, oregano, and chives. Summer to me screams of basil and mint. Um, hi. Please hurry up and grow.
All of our non-herbs (aka: everything else) have been moved to the raised bed along the side of our backyard. This year we’re going after a couple varieties of tomatoes (which I swear I’ll keep orderly and trimmed), spinach, arugula, peas, and eggplant. The wildcard? Brussels sprouts. I realize they’re not exactly in season. But there were some gorgeous looking plants at the nursery and we thought, what the hell, we’ll give it a shot. Worse case scenario, we try again in the fall and gorge ourselves on the little beauties then.
In the meantime, I’m still struggling to find a balance between the old “gourmet” me and the new “cook dinner after 7 pm because that’s when our child goes to bed” me. I love making things from scratch (pasta, sauces, bread, etc.), but it just doesn’t happen as often as I’d like. I mean who honestly wants to make pasta from scratch at 8 pm on a Tuesday?
So I compromise. I can still make delicious, healthy, flavorful food. I just need a little assistance from say, a bakery, to bring me a loaf of bread. I need shorter prep lists, less cooking time, and easy clean up.
Enter this chipotle shrimp sammy. Better than your average sandwich? I think so. Continue reading Chipotle Shrimp and Avocado Sandwich
Some decisions are easy.
Should I hold the door open for others? Yes. Should I take my dog for a walk when he dances at the door (puppy dance either means ‘throw my raccoon’ — a toy, not an actual animal — or ‘let me outside to pee’)? Absolutely. Go in for that second (or third) glass of wine? Obviously. Yes. Without question.
See? Easy. Continue reading Chipotle Salmon BLT
So here’s the deal: you either love granola or you hate it.
If you’re on team ‘granola’, you know all that crunchy, nutty goodness is delicious on it’s own, mixed with yogurt, formed into bars, or simply sprinkled on top of fresh fruit.
If you think you hate granola, you obviously haven’t tried mine. Continue reading Homemade Granola
This is no ordinary Greek salad. Cucumbers? Gone. Tomatoes? Nada. Green peppers? Nowhere to be seen.
Continue reading Kebab Cobb Salad
“I love working out, eating small portions, and counting calories,” said no one ever. No one I know, at least.
Who enjoys giving up cookies or waking up an hour earlier to hit the gym before work? Anyone? No one wants to work for their goals. We want to stick to our bad habits, eat something tasty, and have the pounds magically fall off.
Wake up, people. Not happening. (This is directed more towards me than towards you.)
While I usually fall into the make-resolutions-but-never-keep-them category, this year I’m being more proactive. I’ve got a foolproof motivator – my son.
I want to be healthier for him. I want him to watch his parents eat well, work hard, and play harder. Healthy living isn’t easy. I know that eating nuts and berries isn’t for everyone, and that quinoa is a desired taste, but this salad? It’s a crowd pleaser.
Even better? It’s really satisfying. Continue reading Sante Fe Salad
We need to have a little talk.
This burger? You’ll want to make it immediately. Juicy, succulent shrimp, fresh avocado, homemade tartar sauce. Ohmygoodness. I made them twice in two weeks, if that tells you anything.
But seriously. Wipe the drool off your face and get into the kitchen now. Continue reading Shrimp Burgers
With Christmas and New Year’s just around the corner, I couldn’t be happier to put our holiday travels behind us. We flew down to Florida last week to spend Chanukah with our families, and thankfully, we survived. I definitely had some anxiety about traveling with a newborn, but Ethan was a trooper (as he usually is) and was the perfect little gentleman both during our trip and while being passed around to the family. Actually, I’m guessing I had a harder time with the ladder than he did; he’s my baby… give him back. (But seriously, what new mom doesn’t want to hold her baby all the time?)
Here’s our big guy passed out on the plane, exactly as we’d hoped:
(P.S. That’s a non-denominational candy cane on his pj’s.)
While in Florida, we gorged on delicious food. In addition to a few nice meals out, we had subs from Publix, TexMex from Tijuana Flats, surprisingly good pizza, and of course, LATKES. Two times. I call that a Chanukah win.
Now that we’re back home, my body has requested vegetables. Lots and lots of vegetables.
I can’t say that I’ve ever been a huge fan of lentils, but man is this dish good. It’s spicy and filling, and perfect as a post-holiday meal.
Ready to detox? Continue reading Red Curry Lentils with Chicken and Spinach
I am freezing. We’ve got the heat turned up to 73 F, I’m wearing sweatpants, a sweatshirt, and socks (not to mention I’m bundled under a heavy comforter), and I’m still freezing. The only thing that can warm me up is a mug full of thick, rich hot chocolate… or this soup.
Well, any soup will do, but this happens to be the one I have heating up on the stove.
I’ve been on a slight healthy kick again. It has nothing to do with wanting to count calories and everything to do with attempting to fit back into my pre-pregnancy jeans. The leftover bag of Halloween candy isn’t helping. (I should probably just eat it all in one sitting so it’s out of the house, right?) This soup is loaded with veggies. And veggies are good for us. Carrots, spinach, squash, tomatoes, and…. pancetta. Okay, so that last one is neither a veggie nor healthy, but man does it turn this soup into something special!
Continue reading Winter Minestrone