Last weekend, probably like many of you, I was invited to a labor day potluck. On the menu was carne adovada from the most recent issue of Milk Street Magazine with my favorite sonoran style tortillas from Mi Abuelita Bonita. Keeping with the Tex-Mex theme, I was told I could bring a “pinto bean side dish”. My first thought was what is a pinto bean side dish besides plain pinto beans? Keep in mind I’ve spent the past 6 years being indoctrinated into a Mexican family. For special occasions they may make frijoles charros, a dish stewed with different cured meats and tomatoes, but I didn’t want more meats with the heavy meat main course. Then my mind drifted to the canned chili beans my dad used to heat up as a quick addition to many Mexican meals he cooked when I was a kid. They’re a nostalgic food for me and so I decided to recreate them – this time upgraded and from-scratch. Read More
Since as you may know, *ahem* I love to cook, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that I can easily whip up a full dinner on a weeknight for myself and whoever I’m with. And when I say dinner I mean a main course, vegetable, and starch side because to me, making a pasta dish for dinner is like taking a break. But sometimes it’s good to take it easy, especially when that comes in the form of sausage sandwiches with chimichurri, caramelized onions, and shredded radicchio. Originally I was going for an Argentinian choripan vibe here, but I don’t think they’d appreciate me putting caramelized onions and radicchio on there so we’ll just call them sausage sandwiches. Read More
These fresh masa empanadas have been hanging out on my list of recipes to post for far too long. I made them on a rainy day back in March and they were so delicious that three of us devoured the entire batch before dinner time, yet for various reasons they haven’t made it onto the blog until now. Either I had just posted a Mexican recipe (if you can’t tell by now, I like Mexican food a lot), or the weather was too hot, or I had cooked something else that I was just so excited about that I couldn’t wait to post it. But really, those excuses aren’t any good because there is no bad time to have freshly fried empanadas. Read More
With all the summer fun I’ve been having this year I’ve missed a few more weeks of posting here than I’d like. After two years of saving up my vacation days, I told myself to say yes to any opportunities that came my way and to follow through on promises to visit friends that I’ve been putting off for years. A partially off-the-grid trip to the mountains in Lassen County, followed by a girls getaway weekend to Pismo Beach has left me feeling relaxed and fulfilled in life, but definitely left this blog by the wayside. So, before I jet off to New York to visit one of my oldest friends tomorrow I leave you with these grilled ribeye lettuce wraps with salsa criolla. Read More
A couple weeks ago I finally got the opportunity to try a spicy shrimp taco that I had read about in Saveur over 2 years ago. The article was about a taco eating trip down highway 99 in California with stops mostly in agricultural areas with larger mexican populations. I was busy with school and too far away from the restaurants at the time, but I love Mexican food so the article sat in the back of my mind, added onto the running list of food anecdotes and meal ideas I keep in a dark corner somewhere in there. When I found myself in Fresno recently I somehow unearthed the article from the depths of my subconscious and hopped on Yelp to make sure they were still open. Read More
Recently I’ve been thinking a lot about and been inspired by peaches and cream. For the Fourth of July I made a fresh peach tart with a graham cracker crust and a light pastry cream. Next week I’ll be making a peach cake with vanilla ice cream for a family gathering, and for everyday i’ve been eating lightly sweetened Greek yogurt with fresh peaches. So good, especially since I’ve been waiting about 10 months for good peaches to come back.
To give my morning yogurt more substance and a little crunch I whipped up a batch of homemade granola last weekend. I followed a recipe posted recently by Stella Parks on Serious Eats that intrigued me. She uses buttermilk to soften the oats, then adds the sugar and allows it to dissolve. It seems counterintuitive to wet your oats just to dehydrate them again in the oven, but trust me the results are worth it. What you end up with is granola that is a lighter and crispier than you would normally get with an even coating of sweetness. I prefer my granola with only nuts, but feel free to add any dried fruit as the granola cools after baking. Read More
Summer is here and with it comes a bounty of produce. Although my zucchini plant is just at the blossoming stage now, I know that one day i’ll blink my eyes and suddenly i’ll have more squash than I know what to do with. So, before we get to that desperate stage when we have zucchini coming out our ears, I present to you this simple and delicious grilled zucchini crostini. Read More
If you were to open my pantry cupboards you’d find, like most people, different bags and boxes of pasta, various types of canned beans, and canisters full of bags with small amounts of assorted grains, dried legumes, and nuts bought from the bulk section at the grocery store. I just can’t resist the fact that I can buy as much or as little as I want. I’m like a kid in a candy store, filling bags with a little of this and a little of that, some old favorites, and some that I’m not sure I like yet, but I want to try out. The favorites usually get eaten first and the others left to languish, waiting for a spark of inspiration.
That’s how I ended up with a small bag of hazelnuts – just enough, I thought, for an early March salad of roasted beets and gorgonzola. Well, I got busy and forgot about the beets at the bottom of the fridge drawer and once I remembered I just didn’t feel like eating them. I did however feel like eating chocolate cupcakes, and so I did, topping them with the toasted and chopped hazelnuts that narrowly escaped their healthy fate. Read More
I have a thing for summer food. What do I mean by “a thing”? Well soups, stews, and roasts are great, but what I really want year round is to be able to eat something light, flavorful, and that hopefully was grilled outside. This summer salad hits all the marks. Read More
We all have those few food that we love to eat. The foods that, no matter the day, time, or place, if it’s there we’ll eat it. The foods that we fall silent while eating because we’re just enjoying the moment – no need for distraction by conversation. Corn on the cob is one of those foods for me. Read More