Pig and peach crostini

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It is peach season! It is tomato season! It is green bean season! It is watermelon season, and okra season, and squash and corn and blackberry season, and the season of so many other types of great produce. That means that although the the rise in temperature may correspond with the decline of your desire to actually cook, you can make easy meals without any heat.

I have quite a few recipes in the archives from last year that fit this bill, but you can never have enough heat-free options. At least I can’t. Continue reading “Pig and peach crostini”

Caramelized onion dip

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It is almost spring! Well, I guess it technically already is spring, but it seems like we’re only halfway there. In less-southernly places, I’m sure I would consider it winter; however, spring and fall are definitely based on what you’re accustomed to. If you live in Florida, maybe it has to be in the high 70s for you to consider leaving behind your winter coat, whereas people in Minnesota break out the shorts once the high hits 45. I’m not actually sure that any of this is the case, but I know that boys in my high school in Kentucky started wearing shorts when the high hit 60, and I had a friend at UNC who would wear shorts on sunny days in the middle of winter because she incorrectly thought that the day would warm up.

Continue reading “Caramelized onion dip”

Charred eggplant dip

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Do you ever have weeks or months or seasons where it seems like you never stop? You’re always busy or have something nagging at you to be done, and you can force yourself to do them, but really all you want to do is sit around and relax? Maybe you’re the sort of person who always likes to be busy, and if you are, go you– my mom is definitely this sort of person and it is beyond my understanding how she can always have the energy to go from one task to another to another all the time. Needless to say, I’ve sort of been in a busy-rut that I don’t particularly want to be in, but I also do want to be in it. It’s hard to put into words because all of the things that make me busy are things that I want to be doing. They’re tasks that I enjoy, such as cooking and this blog, but that also take away from veg time. Alas, I recently decided to stop stressing about all of the things and start finding ways to create more fun. And if you’re ever feeling the same vague and indescribable way I’ve been feeling, I highly suggest you search for easy ways to have fun, too. Continue reading “Charred eggplant dip”

Asian meatballs

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I’ve been thinking about what to write about for two days, and really, I don’t have much. My 2015 thus far has been pretty dull. It kicked off with a mini-bang–I didn’t see any fireworks or go to any parties, but we at least went out and walked around in Paris until a quarter after midnight. But only a few hours after that was a long plane ride and a switch back to the daily grind and routine, and there hasn’t really been any time for festivities. Continue reading “Asian meatballs”

Chard, potato and goat cheese tart

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I had Swiss chard for the first time ever last week. I expected it to kind of be a kale-collard greens combo, but it wasn’t. It was really mild and colorful and good! It was even milder than spinach, which was a welcome surprise. I must admit, though, my favorite part is really how colorful and pretty it is– the bright magenta stalks are a welcome sight after a dark, dreary, traffic-filled drive home after work.

I might have actually eased into my chard introduction, because I didn’t just saute it and eat it plain. I saw this recipe for a chard, potato and goat cheese tart with red onion, and it sounded like it’d be delicious. Alas, I was correct. I can’t get enough of this savory tart, and I’ve made it twice in the past week. Continue reading “Chard, potato and goat cheese tart”

Veggie dumplings

dumplings3It is officially fall in North Carolina now, although I thought it would never come. I had almost started complaining about the lack of cool weather, but now that it’s upon me, I deeply regret any frustration that I had about wearing shorts in October and still needing the AC sometimes during my commute. Now all I want to do is crank up the heat, curl up under a blanket on the sofa, watch Homeland and eat warm, hearty food.

My kitchen has been cranking out plenty of hearty food as of late. I recently got a Dutch oven (which I will discuss further another time), and it’s gotten quite a bit of use in the two short weeks I’ve had it: soups and stews and root vegetable purees that reminded me that obscure root vegetables are obscure for a reason. Continue reading “Veggie dumplings”

French fries with garlic aioli

fries4I love love love French fries. I mean, who doesn’t? Even the queen of veggies, Michelle Obama, says that fries are her guilty pleasure. The saltiness, the crispness, mmmmmmmm writing about them just makes me want them.

I have this weird inner conflict many times when I eat out. The devil part mind tells me to get a side of fries, but the angel side always pulls me toward a veggie. The veggie usually wins, especially because I can always steal some fries from Ben’s plate.

I’ll never have this conflict again, though, because I’ve found how to make fries that are even better than any I’ve ever had in any restaurant. That’s right–these are the best fries I’ve ever eaten. I’m serious. Ben even agrees. It is shocking how delicious these fries are. The potato on the inside is a soft pillow, and the outside is crispy as a potato chip. Dipped in garlic aioli, it’s a little bit of heaven. Continue reading “French fries with garlic aioli”

Spicy shrimp for two

shrimp7I don’t frequently cook seafood. It’s not that I don’t like it, but my mom nor my grandma do, so neither cook it. Therefore, I don’t really know how to cook it. I like it, though, and I’m going to try to think about going out of my comfort zone and preparing it more often.

From what one of my friends has told me, most people just stick fish in the oven to cook it. She says it’s pretty easy. I’ve found out on my own that shrimp is easier than that. All you really have to do is stick a little oil in a pan, throw in the shrimp, let them get pink on one side, flip them and let them get pink on the other side. Voila.

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White bean dip

 dip1This week, I grabbed a bunch of cans from the pantry to make three bean salad. I knew that I had all of the beans needed in the pantry– Ben gets frustrated in the bean aisle, endlessly searching for the correct cans, so when he finds what he needs, he buys at least twice the amount desired– and I was on autopilot. I opened one can, green beans! I opened another, kidney beans! The last, though, cannellini beans? That was not what I needed…oops. I found the can of wax beans hidden in the pantry, and I stuck the cannellini beans in the refrigerator to figure out what to do with later. Continue reading “White bean dip”

Corn fritters with jalapeno

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I’ve successfully not turned on my oven for two weeks. It might not be so much of a success as a challenge, since it’s quite difficult for me to restrain myself from homemade baked goods for too long. It’s almost to the point where I want to see how long I can hold out; it’s some sort of mental game that I’m playing, and everyone else thinks it’s weird. I’m really only surviving this test because of hot fudge sauce, but that’s not important for this story.

The self-imposed anti-oven challenge has reaped a reward other than a cool kitchen*: an awesome corn fritter recipe.

fritters7 Continue reading “Corn fritters with jalapeno”