Refrigerator pickles

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Recently, I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff. First, I cut my finger. Not badly, and it’s almost healed by now, but still, cutting your finger sucks. Then, I bumped a hot oven with my arm. Burn 1. I stuck my hand in 171F water. Burn 2. A couple days later, I decide to go for a long run. Three-fourths the way through, I trip on nothing and scrape my knee like a little kid. I ran home with blood running down my leg, and no one said anything to me. I was really surprised about that, actually. Continue reading “Refrigerator pickles”

Lemon and zucchini tea cakes

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I have not been taking full advantage of summer produce this year. Most of this is because since I no longer work in an office, I no longer have a farmer’s market magically pop up in the street in front of my place of work once a week. I used that as a nice little 15 minute break from office air conditioning, walking around, checking out the goods, and riding up the elevator with a few bags of freshly picked, local produce in my arms. Now, I actually have to make some effort to go to the farmer’s market, and although it isn’t a hassle at all, I have to think about it, and I only seem to remember it an hour after it’s closed. Continue reading “Lemon and zucchini tea cakes”

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”

Hong Kong-style French toast

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Hello world!! It seems like that is my response whenever I feel I’ve been off the grid for a bit and I’m coming back to reality (as well as the Internet, cell service, etc…although I definitely had wifi almost everywhere that I was). I’ve been in Hong Kong for the past two weeks, and if you’ve never been drawn to travel to Asia, going to Hong Kong will change your opinion. I’d never really had much of a desire to go, but when the opportunity presented itself, I went, and man am I glad I did. And now I want to travel everywhere in Asia, too. But enough about that–I’ll tell you a bit more about my trip. Continue reading “Hong Kong-style French toast”

Whole-grain breakfast bars

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Breakfast, as you already know, is the most important meal of the day. It’s important to have something wholesome, and of course you also want the first thing you eat for the day to be delicious. However, it’s so easy to grab a granola bar or Pop tart or to skip the meal altogether, but I know that every time that I have a doughnut for breakfast, I’m hungry within two hours and regret the decision. Continue reading “Whole-grain breakfast bars”

Chai peanut butter

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There is a peanut butter company in Durham that sells peanut butter nationally, primarily in local businesses but even through Food52. The products are awesome.They have your standard peanut butter, but they also have variations and mixtures with different types of nuts, some with chocolate, and a couple other flavors. I’ve only tried one type, chai spice peanut butter, and it is to die for. But a small jar of it costs $13.

$13 peanut butter is an expensive habit, so although I couldn’t resist buying one, I savored my little jar. No delicious chai peanut butter sandwiches graced my lunch routine; I only ate a smear on a small slice of bread after meals. I wanted to eat so much more though. I wanted to eat the whole jar in one sitting, and I easily could have done that. Two or three sittings might be a more reasonable approximation than one, but Ben would have polished it off at one time without a second though. Therefore, he wasn’t allowed to eat any of the special nut butter.

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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”

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”

Jalapeno-cheddar corn muffins

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I eat a lot of salads, I’d say at least one for a meal every two days and often once a day. They’re easy, quick and healthy. My salads are usually pretty boring, though– spinach, tomato, avocado, boiled egg if some are on hand and salad dressing. Although I do like this salad, I get really tired of it. There are weeks when I just can’t eat one more piece of raw spinach. Those weeks require much more meal planning than normal. They’re pretty rough.

Although I eat lots of salads, they often don’t seem to be enough, even if I’m full after eating it. I just want something else, too. I have a huge sweet tooth, so a dessert can fit the bill, but sometimes you want something a bit more wholesome than that. Bread can get boring, though, and an apple definitely doesn’t count when your meal is a salad– that’s all healthy and no fun.

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Fried dill pickles

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For being someone who isn’t into snack foods, I’ve sure been on a roll with them. I made homemade Cheez Its. I just finished a bag of pretzels that I bought for a beach day the weekend before the 4th. And now I’ve made a bar food/Southern appetizer staple: fried dill pickles.

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The fried pickles weren’t technically my choice, though. My mom has a ginormous (technically one gallon) jar of sliced dill pickles in her fridge. What on earth are you supposed to do with a gallon of pickles? You either have a cookout for 1,000 or an unhealthy obsession with pickles to justify that purchase. She fortunately did not purchase the jar, but it’ll take her five years or so to get to the bottom of it.

We did, luckily, find this great use of the new pickle collection during my 4th of July visit to Kentucky.

Continue reading “Fried dill pickles”