Tag: vegetables

carne asada

taco spread

I have a problem over-buying groceries…sometimes. Yes, only sometimes. I’m usually very good at not letting produce go to waste. It usually happens when I step foot inside Costco. I know what you’re thinking – IT’S COSTCO! I wanted to make carne asada for Kevin and well, instead of going to the normal supermarket or butchers to get enough steak for 2, I ended up picking up a pack of meat from Costco to feed a little army ūüėČ . A smart shopper would use only what’s needed and freeze the rest. But me, I marinated all of the meat and got my thumbs ready to text friends and family to come over for a home cooked meal. Ah sure, I might not always be a smart shopper but you can always count on me to be a generous host! (more…)

polenta con funghi

polentafunghi

Yesterday’s post about wild herbs and foraging got me thinking about mushrooms. Sure you can find mushrooms year-round in the supermarket, but I was craving something tastier than your¬†usual Portobello, Shitake and White Button mushrooms. It’s hard to find the good ones in the shops like Chanterelles, Hen of the Woods, Hedgehog, and Porcini (my favorite). Autumn is mushroom season! Some foraging knowledge would definitely come in handy right about now. ūüôā I bet there are blankets of wild mushrooms out in the nearby forests waiting to be picked. However,¬†It’s not very likely that I will be foraging this season (I’d probably pick all the poisonous ones HAHA). So I did the next best thing. I went out to the Baltimore’s Farmers Market this morning under the JFX bridge and picked up some delicious funghi from the¬†mushroom stall.¬† (more…)

branzino

Do people still have house warming parties? I remember going to so many house warmings and open houses as a kid. There would be elaborate buffets of food and a pastor would come and bless the house. I was taught to¬†formally greet adults when we’d go out. I would greet any and every adult I saw at these open houses. It was¬†funny to hear them tell me how much I had grown, especially because I’m sure they didn’t have a clue who I was. Like seriously, I don’t know you! HAHA. Last summer, my friend and I went for a hike in Patapsco Park and we ran into a woman who looked like my other friend’s mom. We went over to say hello¬†and she was like ‘oh you’re here, it’s great to see you, have a good hike.’ As soon as we walked away from her, my friend and I turned to each other ‘Uh, that wasn’t her mom! HAHA. Who was that?’ Anyway, as an adult, I feel like I’ve only been to one or two house warming parties. Maybe it’s not as big a deal anymore. When we moved into our current house, we didn’t have a formal house warming. Our first guest was my mom. We prepared a lovely meal and had her¬†over for lunch. This is a photo from that day. (more…)

pork roast dinner

roast pork dinner 1

I’ve been feeling a little homesick for Ireland these past few days. Am I allowed to use the word ‘homesick’ if I’ve never actually lived there? I’ve¬†visited there¬†so many times, it’s like I’ve lived there. Seriously, nearly every page of my passport has green ink on it! I should really just get an Irish passport already, I hate waiting in the Non-EU line at customs! I tried going through with Kevin before, but nope, they accepted him and I was told to go back into the Non-EU line. So I waited and waited and when I finally reached the Customs official,¬†he asked me where my husband was. Next time Kevin, you’re¬†waiting¬†with me!¬†I don’t know where this sudden longing to be back in Ireland is coming from. Maybe it’s¬†because we’ve been drinking loads of Barry’s Tea and we don’t have proper biscuits and snacks to have with it. HAHA. Maybe it’s because we know we won’t be traveling much this year and that makes me miss my in-laws a bit more than usual. But anyways, this desire to be in Ireland has inspired me to cook Irish dishes all week. Sometimes, I feel bad for only making Korean or Italian dishes at home. Meat and potatoes have turned into kimchi and rice or pasta and salads in this house. So I dedicate this week to you my dear. I’ll cook all your favorite dishes, save for Steak and Kidney Pie.¬†I still haven’t a clue how to make that. (more…)

zucchini blossoms

blossoms from the market

Do you know what these beautiful flowers are? They’re squash/zucchini blossoms and boy are they delicious! I remember buying them a few summers ago at the Roots Market in Clarksville, MD. They showcase seasonal produce from local farms at various times throughout the year. They might get in a few dozen zucchini blossoms, a handful of garlic scapes, a few dozen patty pan squash and so on. And when they’re gone, they’re gone for the season. We don’t live so close to Clarksville anymore so we aren’t able to frequent Roots as often. We probably missed out on the blossoms delivery this summer. If you’ve been following the blog, you will know that I’ve been shopping at the local farmers markets a lot this year. I should really join a CSA. I had been searching for them all summer without much success. Every week I’d pick up a few zucchini or yellow squash and then it came to me.¬†Surely these farms must have loads of blossoms growing out on the fields. I decided to write to a few local farmers to see if they could help me out. (more…)

pasta alla norma

One thing I look forward to every week is making lunch for my mom at our house. I think she loves it too! ūüėČ She’s a pretty busy lady, so in the short time¬†we have together I make sure to prepare a lovely 3 course meal – starter, main and dessert. This way, I know she’ll leave with a full and happy belly. Oh and I always send her off with a hot cappuccino to-go. I literally buy those disposable coffee cups with lids from Costco, just for her cappuccinos.

Two weeks ago, I made my mom a fresh zucchini salad, pasta all norma (eggplant spaghetti)¬†and fruit salad of peaches, nectarines and plums. (All made from seasonal produce from the farmers market.) She liked the zucchini salad so much I made it again when the whole family was over for lunch. Although the eggplant spaghetti was tasty and looked pretty, I wasn’t completely satisfied with it. I was short on time and skipped 2 important¬†steps in the recipe and well, while the eggplant should’ve broken apart and become creamy in texture, it remained intact and was quite watery. She didn’t seem to mind, but I told myself I’d have to make it properly for her the next time. (more…)

bruschetta

lovedove tomatoes

Now that you’ve made the ciabatta from yesterday, all you need are juicy sweet tomatoes. These are the tomatoes I picked up after lunch at the Love Dove Farm stall at the Howard County Farmers Market. Aren’t they just gorgeous? I grabbed a pint of Sun Gold tomatoes and a pint of Black Cherry tomatoes. I could snack on them all day.

Farm stalls are overflowing with all¬†different tomato heirlooms and varieties during the summer. Once you’ve tried fresh picked tomatoes off the vine, the ones you find year round in the supermarkets won’t do. It’s hard for me not to pick up a pint or two when I’m out at the farmers market. When using¬†such delicious produce like farm fresh tomatoes, it’s best to keep whatever dish you’re making¬†as simple as possible. You want the natural sweetness and bright flavors to shine.¬†A great dish to show off summer tomatoes is Bruschetta. Here are a few different ways I dress my tomatoes. (more…)

jamaican jerk chicken

jerk dinner

Have you noticed that I love to cook in themes? I’ve been making lots of Korean/Asian and Italian dishes lately, I thought I’d try something different and go outside of my comfort zone. So I invited some friends over for a Caribbean themed – Jerk Chicken dinner. We even had Red Stripe Jamaican style lager!¬†I slow cooked the chicken in the oven and then broiled the chicken pieces skin-side up just before serving to get that charred taste. Delicious!

jerk chicken Jerk Chicken. Try making this dish with¬†scotch bonnet peppers.¬†You can find them at your local Caribbean or Asian market. If you can’t, you can always substitute them with habanero peppers. I’ve made jerk with both, but I prefer the heat the scotch bonnet brings to the dish. It’s great!

mango salsaMango Salsa. This fruity salsa goes great with jerk. It adds a bit of sweet to the savory and helps cools down the heat from the peppers. I season all my salsas with the same 3 ingredients Рlime juice, salt and pepper. You can make salsa with all sorts of fun fruits like pineapple, green papaya and watermelon.

coleslaw Coleslaw. Coleslaw adds a crispy texture and a fresh taste to any meal.

jerk spread

Here’s the spread. Look at all the colors and textures! What cuisine should I try next? Irish? Greek? Spanish? I have a paella pan that I haven’t used yet. Maybe I’ll make some pintxos or tapas and seafood paella. Dinner party anyone?

As always, I love reading your comments so leave me a message below. Visit me on facebook and twitter¬†and don’t forget to subscribe to the blog. Happy Eating!

Italian afternoons with family

Over the weekend my brother invited us over to Ocean City to spend the day with his family – swimming, eating and taking in the … rain! The weather wasn’t the best, but when you’re with good company, it doesn’t really matter. We got in some waves, lounged by the pool,¬†walked the boardwalk, ate loads of crabs and made new memories, especially with my nephews. Those cute little guys are growing up so fast!¬†The other day I thought¬†to myself ‘how weird would it be¬†when they’re old enough to drink.’ Can you imagine? ‘Wanna¬†grab a beer uncle Kevin?’ WHAT?!?! ūüėČ I’m getting carried away, they’re only in elementary school!!! HAHA.

To thank them for their hospitality, we invited them over for lunch.¬†I had originally planned to make 3 pasta dishes, but Kevin suggested we do some meats, salad and pasta instead. Good call Kevin, but I couldn’t let him have the last word. So to compromise, I made a meat plate, a salad, and TWO pastas! We opened a really nice bottle of Amarone wine and enjoyed a lovely¬†Italian themed lunch. Good food, great company and fabulous wine. That’s how we do it! ūüėÄ (more…)

shabu shabu (how my family makes it)

shabu shabu table

Every summer when all of us are in town, we head over to my mom’s house for a Shabu Shabu feast. It’s become sort of a family tradition. This year, Kevin and I volunteered to host the meal at our house. Shabu Shabu or Hot Pot is so simple to make. All you need is a good broth and the rest, you cook at the table as you eat. If you haven’t had hot pot before you are missing out.¬†It’s kind of like Korean BBQ in that you cook it at the dinner table. But instead of a grill, you cook your food¬†in a bubbling boiling stock. You place raw ingredients like meat, fish, shrimp, vegetables into the broth and once they’re cooked you can take it out, dip it in sauce and eat right away. (more…)