Friday, May 29, 2015

What I Ate: Crab Jjigae

I know I've been doing a lot of 'What I Ate' posts all week, but that's because these are all of the meals I had when I got back from being on the road and I was seeking comfort meals and not super excited to make new stuff to blog.
Besides, how could I resist making a super delicious crab jjigae when I found super fresh crab at the seafood market?

Thursday, May 28, 2015

What I Ate: Angel Hair Pasta

We had a supremely delicious seafood pasta in Italy that I was keen on recreating at home. I wanted to give the pasta part some practice (to get the ratio of herbs and spices right) so I tried jazzing up a really simple batch of angel hair pasta.
When I make this with seafood, I'll omit the parmesan (because Italians frown upon the combination of seafood and cheese) but I think I have the base recipe down. I can't wait to make the seafood version.

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

What I Ate: White Wine Chicken

The meal I'm sharing today seems kind of inappropriate considering it's sweltering hot today. However, the weather's been really wacky this season, fluctuating from 50F to 90F within a week, and this was made during one of the temperature lows. That being said, this is the type of weather that makes everyone sick (including my dog who seems to have a case of kennel cough and was hacking all weekend) in which case this meal would be super comforting, even on a warm day.

We still have a few bottles of unopened wine leftover from our family Christmas party. It's not stuff I would normally drink - I'm more of a beer gal and when it comes to wine, I like it sweet and fruity - so I've been cooking with it.
I recently popped a bottle of Chardonnay and it's been splashed into several dinners. The first dinner was this awesome one pot chicken.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

What I Ate: Spaghetti & Meatballs

I was out of town for about a month, from mid-April to mid-May. I always enjoy the occasional lazy hotel stay. I mean, having someone else make my bed and clean my bathroom is pretty indulgent. However, not having access to my own kitchen is rough and possibly the worst part of being on the road (in addition to being away from my pup). And even if I'm only gone for a week, I always feel gross from eating too much takeout or I feel malnourished from not eating anything because I'm too lazy to go out for food.

Suffice it to say, I was pretty excited to be back at home to be reunited with my dog and my kitchen. My first meal back was a super simple spaghetti and meatballs, using some of my favorite standard recipes with a slight twist. I used my basic tomato sauce recipe, except I used fresh oregano from my garden and a splash of white wine. And I used my simple meatball recipe, except I stuffed them with a little chunk of cheese. I know not everyone will agree, but because I love cooking, making dinner on my first night back was a lovely therapeutic welcome home for me.
It doesn't get much more comforting than spaghetti and meatballs, does it?

Monday, May 25, 2015

Weekend in Philly

Happy Memorial Day! Thank you to everyone who has served, is currently serving, and will serve our great country. It is a privilege to live here, thanks to you.

At the beginning of the month, I went to Philadelphia for the weekend to hang out with my cousin and her husband at their new house (which is gorgeous and amazing, by the way). The four of us are huge food lovers (as in, we really love food, not that we're all obese) and we ate at a lot of yummy eateries. We also made a party for their official housewarming (for the Kim family) and cooked up a bunch of yummy food too.
My sister and I drove in on Saturday morning to incredibly gorgeous sunshine. We dropped off our stuff at the house and then went for a stroll in their neighborhood.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Italy 2015: Milano Eats

I thought about maybe saving this post for next week and doing a little lazy Memorial Day Weekend recipe roundup. But to be honest, I was too lazy to do that lazy post - I'm such a sloth. Anyway, if you need help, check out my grill tag and ice cream tag for some summer recipe inspiration.

Milano was our final city in Italy. Frankly, I wasn't that excited about it because it was a bustling huge city and compared to the four tiny gems we'd visited prior to, it was daunting and seemed a bit boring. However, it was still enjoyable and food-wise it was great, albeit, expensive.
We arrived in Milano super early in the morning. We flew in from Bari and after dropping off our bags, we went for a stroll. We headed to the Duomo - where else? - but before heading in, we grabbed a snack.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Italy 2015: Polignano A Mare Eats

Polignano A Mare was another city I found through Pinterest. I saw its beautiful blue waters, its amazing rock-carved buildings, and I knew I needed to visit.

I love visiting sea towns because it means fresh and delicious seafood. And luckily, again, the food here was really affordable.
We ate breakfast at Tipicamente in Alberobello before hopping in a car and driving to Polignano.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Italy 2015: Alberobello Eats

Alberobello is one of the cutest towns I've ever been to. Everyone's been asking how I even found out about it and my answer is, "Pinterest." It's incredibly picturesque and different. The trullo (which are the adorable houses) are hundreds of years old and they are really beautiful. It reminded me of a Smurf village.

Not only was it beautiful, but it was a delicious experience. Mussels and orecchiette are the two must-have dishes here. Another thing to note is that the food here is super affordable. Maybe it was because we'd just come from Liguria, which is much more populated and touristy, but seriously, the price of our cheques were basically cut in half for twice as much food.
We arrived in Alberobello late at night, but lucky for us, restaurants were still open for dinner.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Italy 2015: Genova Eats

We had some delicious food in Genova.
This is the birthplace of pesto, it's known for focaccia, and it's a seaport town so the seafood is incredibly fresh.

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Italy 2015: Cinque Terre Eats

If you hadn't heard, I was in Italy for a week last month. If you're interested in the non-food stuff, you can hop over to my travel blog, because I've started sharing all of my tips and photo diaries.

Anyway, the main reason we decided to go was for the food. That is how important food is to us. I thought I'd share snippets of what we ate in each city.
First up, I'm sharing the deliciousness from Cinque Terre.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Garden 2015

A few weeks ago, the day after we got back from Italy, my sister and I drove to Home Depot, filled up a cart with lots of greenery, and planted this year's garden.
This year's garden is pretty typical for us with lots of peppers, but we got a couple of fun new plants.

Friday, May 8, 2015

Chicken Souvlaki Pita

I really like updating old posts because I like making them look prettier. Plus, my older posts are not as easy to follow and my chicken souvlaki pita post was definitely in need of some improvement.

This dish has been a favorite of mine for years. I can't even remember the first time I made it. I just know that when I was home from college on break, my sister and I would hit up this pita place in Montclair (Beyond Pita) and we'd always get one falafel pita and one chicken shawarma pita. I haven't perfected my falafel recipe yet, but when I do, I will share. I have, however, perfected my chicken souvlaki recipe, so here it is in all its glory.
Ingredients [serves 4]:
1½ lbs. chicken thighs
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 tablespoons minced parsley
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3 tablespoons olive oil

flatbread pita (2 to 3 per person)
chunky tzatziki
diced tomatoes
feta crumbles
diced onion
diced avocado
minced parsley
pickled peppers
hot sauce

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Cannellini Bean Dip

I wanted to make some hummus to accompany a Mediterranean-style meal but we didn't have any chickpeas. So, I decided to make a white bean dip instead and I actually enjoyed it more than hummus. I think that canned chickpeas can taste a little feet-ish (sorry if I've just nauseated you but they do). But cannellini beans are always perfect in my book. They're incredibly creamy so they lend themselves to being blended and quite neutral in flavor so they soak up seasonings well.
15 oz. can cannellini beans
2 tablespoon sesame seeds
1 tablespoon + 3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper
½ teaspoon cayenne pepper
+ feta crumbles
+ parsley
+ dippers (pita chips, celery, carrot sticks, etc.)

Monday, May 4, 2015

What I Ate: Bo Ssam

We only go to the Korean grocery store three or four times a year. First of all, it's a bit of a drive (about 40 minutes) so we only go when we've run out of something. Secondly, most of what we buy are pantry staples and we stock up so that we don't have to go that often. And lastly, it's expensive so it's not in our budget to go there all too often.

However, when we do go, we'll buy certain perishables that we've been craving because we haven't been able to eat them since the last grocery trip. Pork belly falls into that category.
As I mentioned before, bo ssam is something I make on a day that I've made a batch of julienned radish kimchi.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Cinco De Mayo Recipe Roundup

Cinco de Mayo is on Tuesday so I'm assuming most people will be celebrating this weekend. I thought I'd share some yummy Mexican-themed recipes.
I know it's usually all about the margaritas, but I'm offering some of my favorites.
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