Best Meals of 2012

I know, the logical order would have been to start with my favorite meals of the year and finish with desserts… But I love sweets so much that I couldn’t wait to share those with you! I promise I didn’t forget about my top breakfast, lunch, and dinner dishes though: here they are!  Continue reading for recipes.


December 31, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 10 comments.

When the Chickens Cluck, I Say “Oink!”

pork fattoush

Recently, chickens everywhere starter squawking at me to get my hand out of their hen house and cook another animal for a change. Slightly nervous but still sympathetic, I walked around the butchery section at the store and eventually settled on pork instead.   Continue reading for recipe.

August 10, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 4 comments.

Tick Tock, Sprint or Stop

Most days, I rush through the grocery store. Forget the cart: with my bad luck, mine veers off to the side from a sticky wheel and I waste precious minutes forcing it to roll down the aisle in a straight line. Instead, I grab a basked and haphazardly throw in food, bruising my leg with the cans and produce when it bangs against my shin as I power walk around the store.


Not fun.


But on the days without any meetings or appointments on my calendar, I slow down and savor the supermarket. I stroll up and down every (food) aisle, pausing in front of sale items and unusual ingredients. When I discover something interesting, I pull it off the shelf, pay for it at the check-out stands, and immediately begin searching for a recipe to use it in when I walk through the door at home.   Continue reading for recipe.

August 2, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 2 comments.

A Rivaling Rendition

At a local Thai restaurant, the chefs cook and serve numerous noodle, curry, and rice dishes. Most plates include only one or two traditional “mix-ins”—broccoli and egg, cashews and spinach, onions and sprouts—but in my favorite entrée, the cooks grab a pinch of nearly every vegetable (hold the mushrooms, please!) and toss them all in a pan with a sweet ’n sour sauce. When I see the waitress balancing my plate of peppers, onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, and pineapple, I break out the chopsticks and try not to drool.   Continue reading for recipe.

July 26, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. Leave a comment.

A Lazy Summer Day

Summer officially hit this past weekend. A little early, I know, since the calendar chose June 20th instead, but with the outdoor thermometer threatening to burst at 110° on Saturday, the summer laziness infected me. My lonely stove sat by itself like a child in timeout while I buried my head in the fridge every chance I got.


Which meant absolutely no heat for dinner. No oven, no stove, no microwave. Only cool, crisp, refreshing ingredients. Once again, I stuck my head in the fridge to root around for lettuce and veggies to make a meal. With minimal prep and a bit of spice, I sat down with a perfectly lovely lazy summer salad.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 19, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. Leave a comment.

Care for a Condiment?

As a kid, my condiment knowledge was pretty limited. My grandpa told me that people put mustard on hot dogs and ketchup on burgers, but I broke those rules and squeezed both bottles over either grilled meat. Always Heinz ketchup and French’s yellow mustard (none of that fancy Dijon stuff for a five-year-old!).


Somewhere in my teens, I tried barbeque sauce for the first time at the ever-famous Pub downtown. I ordered a barbeque chicken quesadilla, and after the first bite, I immediately became infatuated with its sweet yet subtle tang.   Continue reading for recipe.

June 13, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. Leave a comment.

Sweet or Savory?

A few months ago, a friend suggested an excellent idea for a blog improvement. As a thank you, I promised him a batch of his favorite cookies, white chocolate macadamia nut. I drove to the store the next day and bought the nuts, but then a bustling tornado of events swept through my life, leaving the unopened canister to collect dust on my countertop.


Last week, I guiltily noticed the macadamia nut can hiding behind a box of bran flakes cereal. I immediately wrote my friend for his mailing address, but in the meantime, I read through my CL magazine weekly recipe email and found one for a macadamia nut pesto. Hmm…   Continue reading for recipe.

April 28, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 2 comments.

My Substitute for the Sun

I know April showers bring May flowers, but the trees outside my window are already blossoming. I don’t need any more rain, not after the last wonderfully warm weekend!


But since the weatherman predicted rain, it must come true. And when the temperatures drop and the skies fall, I crave soup. Something warm and filling to thaw my toes and unfreeze my fingers.   Continue reading for recipe.

April 25, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. Leave a comment.

I Didn’t Get Pinched!

I nearly forgot yesterday was St. Patrick’s Day. Only after seeing green shirt on every grocery shopper and hearing my neighbors blare their party music (rap, not Gaelic) did I remember. While most of my green clothes lay in the hamper, making my holiday compliance slightly difficult, a few green vegetables sat in the fridge, begging to be incorporated into a festive dish.


With all of the rain pouring down lately I craved soup instead of the traditional corned beef and potatoes. Since I rarely want soup, I left the potatoes alone as I pulled out a pot to heat up broth on the stove. Not long after, I dipped my spoon into my creamy vegetable soup and polished off the whole bowl.


This may be a day late for St. Patrick’s Day, but maybe you’ll enjoy it for the next “green” holiday—Earth Day!   Continue reading for recipe.

March 18, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals, Satisfying Sides. Leave a comment.

My Mind Needs a Soundtrack

When U2 produced “Mysterious Ways,” they must have had my brain in mind…



After microwaving a sweet potato to feed my growling stomach, I sliced it into rounds to cool faster and convert it to a finger food as I watched reruns of “Iron Chef.” Mesmerized by Morimoto’s knife skills, I failed to notice the center sagging out of the disc in my hand until—plop!—its orange innards fell straight into my lap.


I gazed through the hole like a singular binocular or spyglass, and the cartoonish Einstein light bulb flicked on above my head. The hollowed-out sweet potato skin was the same size as a sushi roll!   Continue reading for recipe.

March 1, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Midweek Meals. 4 comments.

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