What a year it has been!
Officially, I have run this blog as you know it today for one year and three months. In that time, I have shared over 40 recipes with you all. What started out as an interest in making more than what comes in a box (the result of thinking I didn’t have time or anyone to cook for) turned into an exploration of food and the endless possibilities of each meal.
Here’s a look at some of my favorite recipes I’ve made, things I’ve seen, and events I have been to throughout 2012 (click on a photo to enlarge and view as a slideshow).
I hope you have enjoyed coming on this journey with me so far, here’s to another year of great food, and more books, and booze!
Lemon chicken salad (Jan. 2012)
Introducing smoothies as a part of breakfast. (Jan. 2012)
Turkey chili with blue corn chips. (Jan. 2012)
Balsamic baked fish. (Feb. 2012)
My first tuna pasta salad. (Feb. 2012)
Seeing mounted police in Rittenhouse Square. (Feb. 2012)
Discovering the deliciousness of skirt steak. (Feb. 2012)
Slow roasted pork over green papaya salad as demonstrated at the Flower Show. (March 2012)
Visiting Hawai’i at the Philadelphia Flower Show. (March 2012)
Trying St. Germain for the first time. (March 2012)
Making one of many turkey burgers. (April 2012)
Learning how to make things we buy from scratch and learning they taste better. (April 2012)
Recreating the dish that introduced me to lamb – Albóndigas in sherry-cream sauce with a salad. (April 2012)
Making hummus for the first time. (April 2012)
Making margaritas. (May 2012)
Lamb enchiladas with salsa verde. (May 2012)
Shrimp quesadillas. (May 2012)
Meatballs in a zucchini and corn cream sauce. (July 2012)
Discovering how easy it is to make ice cream. (June 2012)
What the inside of the feta and spinach chicken roll looks like. (July 2012)
Celebrating July 4 in AC with a 3D light and sound show. (July 2012)
Making almond cookies as a way of discovering the flavors of Morocco. (July 2012)
Taking part in the Foodie Penpals program. (June – July 2012)
Baileys white chocolate truffles. (Aug. 2012)
Seeing Nik Wallenda walk the high wire in AC. (Aug. 2012)
Experiencing the magic of Le Dîner en Blanc in Philly. (Aug. 2012)
Experimenting with my own recipe: Linguine and corn with almond pesto.
Finding out that fried chicken can also be baked – Spicy oven-fried chicken.
Swordfish with mustard and rosemary roasted potatoes. (Aug. 2012)
A peak inside lamb, potato, and cheese pierogi. (Oct. 2012)
Making pasta for the first time – Frascatelli with onions, red peppers, and spinach with a side of chicken. (Nov. 2012)
Meeting Chef Jose Garces, a chef I highly admire. (Nov. 2012)
Meeting Joan Verratti, owner of Pollyodd Liqueurs in Philly. (Dec. 2012)
Making cranberry shortbread. (Dec. 2012)
One of my favorite countries to visit has always been Italy. Whether Lake Cuomo, Vincenza, Venice, Rome, or Vatican City, the sites, sounds, and flavors of Italy are unique and unforgettable.
Some of these flavors can be found in Philadelphia, particularly in South Philly. On December 21, I had the pleasure of getting to know the latest flavor added in the form a Pollyodd, locally made ‘cellos that are currently available in four flavors – the traditional lemoncello, lime, orange, and chocolate.
Joan Verratti with her ‘cellos.
Pollyodd, produced by Noaj & Mot, Inc., is owned by Joan Verratti and Tom Cavaliere, and has been five years in the making. Five years of having all paperwork in order, getting the right licenses, and being investigated by the FBI. A law passed in February 2012 that allows micro-distillers (who produce no more than 100,000 gallons of alcohol per year) to sell their products from their distilleries and two satellite locations.
Thanksgiving is almost here, only one more day to get through until we can give thanks and break bread with family and friends.
Usually, I celebrate at my mom’s. She always pulls together a wonderful feast based on delicious bon appetit recipes from multiple years. But, this year she’s traveling and while I won’t be hosting myself, I decided it’s time to try out some dishes myself.
The finished deliciousness.
And, I’m starting with dessert. When it comes to the holidays, cranberries are definitely one of my favorites. It seems there are endless possibilities that combine tart and sweet (or savory in some cases) just perfectly. This is what happens with this recipe from bon appetit. At first, I was little hesitant to try it because grapefruit is used, and I’m not a fan of grapefruit. But, I was pleasantly surprised at how tasty this is.
I did it. I made my first homemade pasta. Every time I buy spaghetti or pasta, I always think it would be great to try making them from scratch. And it’s especially tempting when I see the pasta attachments for the Kitchenaid mixer (something I have also yet to get).
Frascatelli are a semolina dumpling, and in my opinion the best type of pasta to start with, since there is no drying or complicated steps. Semolina flour has a high percentage of gluten, which helps make pasta strands stretch and not break when cooking (according to the package). It would be interesting to see what the gluten-free equivalent would be. You may not find this at your local grocery store, but it is available in Italian markets or specialty food stores.
Frascatelli with onions, red peppers, and spinach with a side of chicken.
This recipe is from bon appétit’s Thanksgiving issue (one of their best issues in my opinion), and one they feature as fast, easy, and fresh. I wasn’t able to get mustard greens in time, so I decided to add sauteed onions, peppers, and spinach instead. If you decide to try this recipe, it will be the quickest you ever make a pasta dish from scratch. Continue reading
Welcome to my first (and definitely not last) post as a part of Blog Action Day 2012.
Blog Action Day is an free annual event, that has run since 2007. It’s aim is to unite the world’s bloggers by posting about the same issue on the same day, in order to raise awareness and trigger a global discussion around an important issue that impacts us all.
One type of education that needs the Power of We is food education. Food education is not a part of formal education yet (not to mention the unhealthy cafeteria lunches), and eating habits are largely formed within the home, and influenced by advertisements. I definitely speak from experience when I say that my journey in food has been an interesting one. Continue reading
A couple weeks ago, I came across this recipe for pierogi on Pinterest (isn’t that one of the greatest sources ever?), and I knew I had to try them. Since I was born (and partially raised) in Philly, I’m very familiar with pierogi and they always remind me of family get-togethers, but this was the first time I made them.
A peak inside lamb, potato, and cheese pierogi.
Although, they look very much like empanadas, pierogi are a Polish potato dumpling, made with unleavened dough and can be filled with a variety of ingredients mixed with potatoes. I chose to make mine with lamb, potatoes and cheese, and I absolutely loved them. They’re great to eat as a snack or with a side salad to create a meal. Trust me, these are quite filling.
I love roasted potatoes, I really do. It’s one of my favorite ways to eat potatoes (buttermilk ranch mashed potatoes at Thanksgiving come in second) and swordfish is definitely up there on my list of favorite fish to eat.
Swordfish with a heap of roasted potatoes.
As usually happens with favorite foods, you learn to make them one way, love it, and then get bored with it – at least that’s how my taste buds work. I always notice this when I go in the kitchen and thought of cooking gets a “meh” in response. This is why I love borrowing cookbooks from the library.
Two of the cookbooks I borrowed over this past month are fine Cooking In Season: Your guide to choosing & preparing the season’s best by the editors of Fine Cooking and Jamie’s Italy by Jamie Oliver. The first is wonderful because if divided into sections by season: spring, early summer, late summer, fall, and winter. The potato recipe I’m about to share comes from the fall section. The latter, I picked up because Jamie Oliver is one of my favorite chefs. Continue reading