Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Springtime Feasts...But Don't Get Curried Away!

Thai Corn Curry Soup
Tis the season for feasts. Whether you're finishing up Lent, celebrating Passover Seders, or going to Easter gatherings (see previous post!) there's a whole lot of Springtime, festive food going on. 

We had a fantastic Easter Feaster here in NYC, followed by a few days of traveling and restaurant dining with friends-- much food, love and laughter. I have to be honest though: I'm feasted out. I'm bloated, lethargic (no doubt the sodium from way too much Easter ham), and feel I should jog 5 miles, then put on a rubber jumpsuit and do hot yoga. Then live on Cayenne-pepper-flavored water until, I dunno... next Easter.

This week's post fell into my lap by way of an email from a childhood friend. It came just at the nick of time, when I was craving something light yet tasty, that didn't keep me in the kitchen for a long time. This soup has minimal ingredients (you may already have them in your pantry). It's vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free too! Partner this delicious soup with some pre-washed salad mix and a whole grain baguette from the grocery store and you have a simple, healthy meal with a unique flavor that will blow (or curry) you away!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Do Rabbits (Frito)-Lay Eggs?

Mac n' Cheese with Potato Chip Crust
Nothing reminds me more of Easter Sunday than going to church in a new dress, Easter-egg hunts in the back yard, my husband in a pink bunny costume (pictures to prove it!), and family meals boasting spiral sliced ham with homemade macaroni and cheese. 

Living in Manhattan makes it challenging to recreate the holiday family gatherings that I grew up with because it's such a transient, bustling city. With people living in tiny apartments, subletting bedrooms and handling aggressive careers, take-out menus and delivery replace sit-down dinners and conversation. You'd be surprised how rare it is for some people to get a home-cooked meal at all. It is my self-appointed goal to change that, one person at a time:-)

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Three Steps That'll Make Your Day

Flourless Chocolate Cake
1) Make this recipe.
2) Seriously. Make this recipe.
3) Then eat it.

With just 4 ingredients and less than an hour of prep and bake time, you can have this luscious and moist slice of heaven for yourself. I am shocked and amazed by how easy this recipe is and how impressive the finished product was. Pair its soft, crunchy texture and bittersweet chocolate flavor with a piping hot cup of coffee or a cold glass of milk. Your week will instantly show signs of improvement. Your kitchen will smell amazing. You will feel like a domestic virtuoso. You will be more popular (if word gets out that you have some of this cake). You will achieve world peace. It's chocolate-y, delicious, and even gluten-free!

I could stare at this forever. 
I brought this cake to the bistro where I work to share with the kitchen staff. I have some sort of latent maternal instinct to feed the people around me. I could tell they were all skeptical at first because they had never heard of a cake with no flour in it. They politely accepted my offer, but I could tell they thought this blonde waitress from Ohio had gone a little loco (they are all Hispanic)Sure enough, this recipe put huge smiles on the faces of two Dominicans, one Puerto Rican and one Argentinian. That's a slam dunk success in any language!

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Shredded Pork Tacos with Slaw

Colorful and easy!
There is something so appealing about contrasting flavors and textures. Piping hot chili with cool sour cream. Salty chips with a cold, crisp soda. Spicy buffalo wings dipped in creamy blue cheese. Savory salmon with fresh lemon wedges. And my all-time favorite, chocolate-covered pretzels. All these foods are good by themselves, but together... let's just say sometimes opposites attract.

Today's recipe, Orange-Glazed Pork Tacos with Purple Slaw hits this idea right over the head with sweetly-marinated pork shoulder nestled alongside a crisp, tangy vinegar slaw.

I made this for a dinner party that unexpectedly became a crowd (fine with me!). I turned to my kitchen BFF, my main squeeze, my knight in shining... chrome?... my good ol', trusty Crock-Pot. When you have a large group over and want to be budget-conscious, your choices are typically casseroles. Or sometimes casseroles. Or maybe casseroles. I have nothing against a casserole myself (I'll probably post some casserole recipes at some point), but this time I just wasn't in the mood, and a Crock-Pot is a great way to make a large, dollar-stretching meal. So what's a girl to do but buy a 10-lb cut of pork shoulder, tenderize the heck out of it and turn it into something delicious!