Sunday, May 8, 2016

My Week In Food

monday:  homemade spicy kadai chicken

tuesday: oatmeal with chopped apples, walnuts and grapes

wednesday: tortilla soup 

thursday: mushroom goat cheese omelette with sliced tomatoes and avocado, and sausages and biscuit on the side

friday: shrimp fajitas from el paso restaurant

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

#347: Lemony Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans and Goat Cheese

So, there's rain outside and this whole week has been pretty dreary, but, to me, it still feels like spring is here!! And with it comes the influx of salad recipes (though, lets be real, I can have a good salad all-year round).  This salad is made with shaved brussel sprouts, that are softened with a nice basic lemon vinaigrette, and topped with chopped celery and pecans for extra crunch, and creamy soft goat cheese.

Lemony Brussels Sprouts Salad with Pecans and Goat Cheese

Juice of 1 lemon
2 oz chopped pecans
2 10 oz bags of shaved brussels sprouts
1/2 cup olive oil
salt + pepper
1 tablespoon maple syrup 
1 avocado, chopped
goat cheese  

  1. Rinse and drain your shaved brussels sprouts in a colander.  Set aside. 
  2. Prepare a quick lemon dressing, by whisking together the lemon juice, maple syrup (or agave or honey), salt + pepper and olive oil in a small bowl.  Set aside.  
  3. In a medium sized bowl add the cleaned brussels sprouts.  Add the dressing and mix thoroughly.  
  4. Add in chopped pecans and avocado.  Toss gently. 
  5. Top with crumbled goat cheese and serve.  

Sunday, May 1, 2016

My Week In Food

monday:  steak salad with guacamole, shredded carrot and black beans 

 tuesday: blueberry ted's tart, devil's food cake donut with toasted coconut and a yummy marshamallow fluff from ted's bulletin

wednesday:  the crispiest baked chicken with a delicious pesto sauced poured over

thursday: smoked salmon on flax toast with chia seed cream cheese and cucumbers

friday:  buffalo pork ribs with cucumber ribbons and bleu cheese sauce from the green pig bistro

Sunday, February 7, 2016

My Week In Food

Monday:  An idea for your meatless Monday lunch (or snack) - sauteed greens (I just pick random ones when I'm at the Asian grocery - different flavors each time - this one had a horseradish flavored stalk) and roasted tomatoes with basil pesto and shaved parmesan on top.  

 Tuesday:  Gemelli with basil pesto, spinach and crispy prosciutto and shaved parmesan.

Wednesday:  Breakfast burrito with scrambled eggs, potatoes, onions, pork sausage and salsa.  

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

#346: Buffalo Cauliflower "Wings"

I have a serious addiction when it comes to buffalo wings.  I'm not overexaggerating.  It all began at VCU (my alma matar) when eachTuesday after classes we would head down to Buffalo Wild Wings for 25 cent wing night (50 cent on Thursday for the boneless - see what I mean by 'addiction').  Anyway, as poor college students this was the best cheap dinner around for me and my friends.  I was throwing on all kinds of sauces and rubs, asking the waiters to try out a whole mix.  I basically made my way through the menu.  I'm surprised I didn't put on the dreaded freshman 15 with all of that wing eating.  

Now as a 30 year old woman, I can't be downing these fried delicious wings every Tuesday, and I have to be all healthy and eat kale every now and again (I'm acting like that's a chore, but kale is so freakin good), so I was super excited when I started hearing about the buffalo cauliflower "wing" hype.  Now I'm super familiar with cauliflower rice and cauliflower mash, but I hadn't heard about cauliflower "wings."  Let me tell you, these little guys are delicious!!

Buffalo Cauliflower "Wings"

1 medium head cauliflower, chopped
1/2 cup garbanzo bean flour
1/2 cup water
1 teaspoon minced garlic or garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon melted butter
2/3 cup hot sauce


  1.  Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a medium-sized bowl, combine flour, water, garlic  powder and salt.  Whisk together until smooth.
  2. Toss cauliflower into batter, making sure to coat each piece completely, then place battered cauliflower on a lightly greased, nonstick baking sheet.  Bake for 15 minutes, flipping halfway through.
  3. In the meantime, combine melted butter and hot sauce in a large bowl, stir thoroughly.  When the cauliflower is done, remove it from the oven and gently toss it in the hot sauce mixture.  Place cauliflower back on the baking sheet and cook for an additional 25 minutes until it becomes crispy.  Allow cauliflower to cool for 15 minutes before serving (with ranch or bleu cheese dressing, duh!)

After its first round of baking, the cauliflower should just be this golden.

The melted butter + hot sauce mix (gotta love that Tapatio).

Tossed in the hot sauce mixture and back on the baking sheet for the second round of baking.

Fresh out of the oven with charred edges...yum!

Sunday, January 31, 2016

My Week In Food

Monday:  Spicy Tofu Burrito from Mixing Bowl for lunch.  Filled mine with kimchi, radish salad, kale, pico de gallo and gochujang.  

Tuesday: Dinner at Delihi 6 in Frederick, MD.  Samosa chaat, tandoori chicken, butter chicken and rajma chawal (rajma (kidney beans) and rice). 

Wednesday:  Kung Pao Tofu at Cheng's Asian House.  I love how well tofu takes on the flavor of the sauce it's cooked in; each bite is so delicious!

Thursday:  I have a problem...I'm hooked on Cheng's.  Went back to have Grandma's Silken Tofu with ground pork on top.  The bean sauce is super spicy in this Szechuan style dish.  Incredible!

Friday:  Afternoon tea at the Tea Cellar.  Trust me, I'm not as fancy as I let on!

Thursday, January 28, 2016

DC Eats: Tea Cellar

On Sunday Rabia and I went to tea at Tea Cellar at Blue Duck Tavern.  Now, this sounds a lot more fancy than in reality it really is.  I mean don't get me wrong, the tea was amazing, but doesn't come with any kind of pretentiousness guys, in case you're thinking that!  I absolutely love tea time.  I think Rabia asked me because while I'm definitely obsessed with coffee, my love for tea knows no bounds.  I usually have a green and herbal in rotation at all times, and so does Rabia, so it only made sense we would go together. Let me just say the Tea Cellar does not disappoint.  For $45 you get two pots of tea (of your choosing) and an unlimited sweet and savory small bites buffet.  Delicious!

We started off with the Blossoming  Jasmine Tea.  So light and subtle, but absolutely perfect.  For our second pot we went with this tea that was described as "smoky," oh and that it was. It tasted a little too "liquid smokey" for mine and Rabia's taste.  Yeah, it tasted like liquid smoke.  I love that the waitress, when asked how it was, she said "it's smoky, you either like it or you don't"...super helpful, clearly.  

Since I have more of a savory tooth than sweet, I thought I'd save the best for last, but honestly after eating everything I couldn't definitively say which I liked better.  The sweet side of the tea included scones with raspberry jam and clotted cream (how British-y does that sound?!) - my first time having clotted cream, and it's like this amazingly thick delicious butter AND the raspberry jam was delicious, if it was in a jar I could sit down and eat straight out of the jar kind of like Joey in that episode of Friends where Monica made jars of homemade jam and Joey downed them like a jam crack fiend, yup that's what I'd do to this jam.  Ok, moving along...they had assorted macarons, lemon curd tart, chocolate mousse and a dark chocolate tart and mini pear cakes.  Everything was so unique and delicately prepared...really great!

The savory side of the tea held its own!  Raw oysters with a clean taste (no cream! I hate the creamy ones); deviled eggs; open faced lobster BLTs; pumpkin tartlets; and, cabbage rolls filled with chicken salad.  The cabbage rolls were mine and Rabia's favorite.  It sounds so simple, but it was really delicious.  I think I want to try my hand at making it, fingers crossed! 

Rating:  A
I'm definitely going back!

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

#345: Cucumber Dill Salad

The other night I made pasta for dinner.  Usually I would pair my pasta with a Greek or garden salad, but I had a ridiculous number of cucumbers in the fridge (all that juicing/I love cucumbers) and remembered a quick and easy salad I use to make when I was in high school.  I might be one of the few high schoolers that, when they were in a mood for a snack, decided to whip together a cucumber dill salad.  I mean who decides to make a salad, instead of reaching for that wonderful shiny bag of chips? Ummm, I guess, me?  And, some other weirdos out there who can't get enough of their veggies.  

Anyway, I felt like a throwback salad was necessary, and boy did this one bring back some memories, but this one was a little more healthy (subbed in some yogurt in place of all that mayo) than 16 year old me would've chosen.  I guess some things do change!  

Cucumber Dill Salad

6 pickling cucumbers or 3 regular cucumbers or 2 english, diced (feel free to peel also if you like)
3 tablespoons dried dill 
2 tablespoons celery seed
4 tablespoons plain yogurt
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 teaspoon spicy brown mustard
1 tablespoon Himalayan pink salt
5 dashes of hot sauce (I prefer Tapatio or Cholula or good old Tabasco - sorry, put the Sriracha down for this one)

  1.  Prepare the salad dressing by whisking together in a medium to large bowl the  yogurt,  mayonnaise, brown mustard, hot sauce, dill and celery seed.  
  2.  Add in the cucumber and stir gently to coat the diced cucumber.  
  3.  Add in the black pepper and salt.  Stir one final time and you're ready to eat!  

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

#344: Rosemary Garlic Lamb Chops

With N arriving in DC from SF a few days after Christmas, we decided to delay the full Christmas festivities.  So on Christmas day itself our parents and I decided to still do a small but nice Christmas dinner, and wait to do the bigger meal when she got into town. 

I was thinking about the best dish to make when I came across these gorgeous thick lamb loin chops at the grocery store.  Now, I've never tried my hand at making lamb chops, so I definitely had to look through a few recipes to understand the right temperature and preparation style to cook the perfect chop, and this is what I came up with.  I was going for the crunchy/slightly charred exterior and juicy interior, and that's what I happily ended up chowing down on.  My dad enjoyed his chops thoroughly (and he's a tough one to please)!

Rosemary Garlic Lamb Chops

6 lamb loin chops (about 1 1/4 inch thick chops)
1/4 cup rosemary leaves
8 garlic cloves (I like this extra garlic-y, but 4 large cloves would work just as well)
2 teaspoons salt
cracked black pepper
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

  1. In a blender toss in the garlic cloves, rosemary, olive oil and some salt & pepper.  Blend until it turns into a thick marinade.  
  2. Place the chops flat in a glass container.  Pour the marinade evenly over the chops and massage into both sides.  Refrigerate for at least 2 hours.  (I marinated them for 4 hours.)
  3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  In a hot pan sear the chops on each side for 3 minutes and then place on an aluminum foil lined baking sheet. If you have a cast iron skillet this could work perfectly, if you can fit the chops all in (otherwise, try cooking in batches).  Searing for 3 minutes will give the outside of the chop a nice charred crust, before cooking the chops through in the oven.  
  4. Place the chops in the oven and cook with the timing below, based on how you like your chops cooked. 
  5. Once you take them out let your meat rest!  This means keeping it on the tray, not moving it, and covering it lightly with a sheet of foil for about 10 minutes.  
I was cooking these for my dad, so I cooked them well done like he likes.  

10 minutes - medium rare
15 minutes - medium
20 minutes - well cooked

To join my juicy lamb chops on our dinner plates, I made some super easy crescent rolls which I smothered with homemade vegetable cream cheese.  I also oven roasted asparagus and eggplants - simply cut them per my instructions below and drizzled them with olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper and cooked them in the oven. Then tossed a balsamic glaze over them after they were cooked. 

1 medium purple eggplant, sliced into 1/3 inch slices
1 bunch of asparagus

Asparagus faces the endless controversy (to snap or not to snap).  I snapped the ends off for this particular recipe, basically the idea is to bend the end of the asparagus until it naturally snaps off, thereby removing the tough part of the asparagus.  This feels super wasteful sometimes, so in the alternative merely peeling the outside a bit can help.  Take your pick! 

The eggplant slices take about 30 minutes, turning them halfway through.  The asparagus takes just 20 minutes.  This is all at the 400 degree Fahrenheit temperature used for the lamb chops. 

The greased up asparagus before they head into the oven.

After 3 minutes and flipped over, just look at that charry goodness!

And, we flip again!

This is what they should look like right before you put them in the oven to finish cooking. 

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