I told my husband last night that I loved him but what I really need is a 1950′s wife. Someone who will hand me a cocktail and my slippers when I walk in the door so I can relax, pat the kids on the head and send them off to bed while sipping my scotch. Sadly, my reality is more along the lines of leave work, pick up the baby, drive drive drive drive drive, come in, immediately rush to find dinner for the Nuni and Bootsy, feed the kids, bedtime routines, fix grownup dinner (if we didn’t eat with the kids), eat grownup dinner, and then start in on the laundry before I even get to think about a cocktail.
Since weeknights are a little crazy (to put it mildly), I’m always on the lookout for meals that are a) healthy and b) quick to prepare. And that doesn’t mean 30 minutes or an hour quick. I mean on the table in 20 max, so I can get to my cocktail faster. This salmon on curried spinach, which is an old recipe of my mom’s, just fits the bill.
Continue reading Salmon On Curried Spinach
After we went to New York this summer, we decided to head up the coast to Maine. Ken and I both love New England — he spent part of his childhood there, and we met in college there. I’m a total California girl, but the other place I really feel at home is New England.
Neither of us had ever been to Maine, though I had been fascinated with it since I was a child. To a kid growing up in Los Angeles, nothing is quite so exotic as the Pine Tree State. We rented a darling little cottage with a water view, no cell service, and a lot of peace.
And here’s the thing about Maine — it’s exactly how you imagine it to be.
Continue reading Summer Vacation II: Great State of Maine and Crab Rolls
In the summertime, I’m usually all about the simple food. The amazing fruits and vegetables practically prepare themselves for dinner, and a typical weeknight menu will look something like this: BLT, Caprese Salad, Sauteed zucchini on toast, pasta with tomatoes and olive oil, and another BLT (I really like BLT’s). But sometimes the occasion calls for a little more sophistication. Something that’s a little more exotic, that requires some more thought, some more layers of flavor. But at the same time, you don’t want to lose the wonderful casualness of summer dining — the feeling that every meal should be eaten outdoors and barefoot.
When I saw this recipe in last month’s food and wine, I knew I had found my summer dinner party dish. The prep is incredibly simple – no marinating required, no fancy cooking. And the flavors are fantastic — complex, bright, nutty, and utterly satisfying. The shrimp are intensely flavorful fro Continue reading Miso Shrimpo Po’ Boys — Summer Sophistication
I have a little bit of a cookbook problem. You see, when we moved to our current home, we dedicated a reasonable sized bookcase to the cookbooks. It had four shelves, was about two and a half feet wide, and seemed perfectly fine. Until I started putting my cookbooks on it. There was a little overflow, a few cookbooks I put on another shelf, some books that I recategorized as “travel books.” But the problem only got worse. It’s not that I buy a ton of cookbooks — I mean, I do buy a few, sometimes to cook with, sometimes as a souvenir when I’m traveling, sometimes because I really can’t resist a used book sale. But I also receive cookbooks as gifts. And cookbooks have a way of finding their way into my house in other ways too. As a result, I have several cookbooks that are more for recreational reading than actual cooking, per se, and several more that never really see the light of day (but do look so ornamental on that bookcase. And the surrounding bookcases as well.)
The point is, I have a lot of cookbooks, and while I don’t mind this, my husband seems to think my collection is a bit … excessive. So you know a new cookbook is good when he comes up to me and says “You know, that cookbook really fills a niche that I think was missing from your cookbook collection.” This cookbook isn’t only endorsed by me, it’s endorsed by him, and that is a rare thing indeed, when it comes to cookbooks.
The cookbook in question is, of course, The Steamy Kitchen Cookbook by Jaden Hair. People who are up on the food blogging community will recognize Jaden from her popular blog, Steamy Kitchen, and if you’ve met her in person or seen her on TV, you know that she has a lot of personal charisma and energy (Full disclosure — I met Jaden at the 2009 Blogher Food Conference, and I received a complimentary copy of the book through the conference after party), but even if you’ve never heard of Jaden Hair, this is a book you’ll want in your kitchen.
Continue reading Steamy Kitchen Cookbook Review and Garlic Butter Noodles with Shrimp
I am often asked where I learned to cook. I am someone who cooks regularly, and enthusiastically and sometimes even ambitiously, so I suppose this is a simple and obvious question. But the answer is multilayered. I learned to cook from my family, though I don’t remember many sessions of standing by someone’s side as they explained some technique or recipe to me. I learned to cook from eating, since long practice and exposure to good food has given me experience in what tastes good. But most of all (and I suppose this is fitting given that I am the child of two English professors and a confirmed bibliophile) I learned to cook from the written word.
Continue reading My Love Affair with Gourmet — Crab Cakes with Spicy Avocado Sauce