Creamy spinach soup

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I realize that I was just recently discussing how it still feels like winter, but I must reopen this topic so I can confirm that I definitely was correct. This past weekend was just downright cold, especially given that there’d been a few daffodil-filled days in the not so distant past. I’ve been an icicle for a few days now, but according to the weather forecast, I should be thawing by later today, and hopefully fully by Thursday. I’m looking forward to it.

For the time being, though, I’ve still been looking for foods that warm me up. Luckily I found something that is quite warming and also shows glimmers of spring, and even hints toward a spring vegetable. Creamy spinach soup. Continue reading “Creamy spinach soup”

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.

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Greek green beans

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Most cities and towns, at least the ones in which I’ve lived, have at least one Greek Orthodox church. I know nothing about the Greek Orthodox church, but I know the most obvious fact: Greek people attend them, and Greek people make delicious food. The churches typically have an annual Greek Festival that lasts a weekend where they serve delicious Greek specialities. The festivals that I’ve attended also have other attractions, like booths to purchase random stuff and Greek dancing, but I’m always there for the food, and by the looks of things, that’s the top priority of everyone else in attendance, too.

For me, the pastries are the most important part of a Greek Festival. There is baklava, butter cookies and honey cake– there are a lot of more options, too, but I can only name my favorites off the top of my head. Although the pastries tempt me most, though, I’m never too focused on them to skip the real food. The meals served are pretty typical Greek fare. You can get gyros, stuffed grape leaves, Greek salad, spanakopita, lamb. It’s a pretty big spread, but at the festivals I’ve been to, there’s always a pretty standard meal that everyone seems to get. Continue reading “Greek green beans”

Red wine poached pears

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Now that I’m back from afar, it’s back to cooking and blogging and vegetables and all of the normal stuff. I actually had planned on continuing to blog while on my trip; the new posts you saw were things that I’d preemptively written in preparation of not being in the kitchen, and I thought that I could continue to write and give you some real-time stories of adventure while away. That whole idea failed though–I emailed Ben when to hit publish for those two posts and quickly gave up any ideas of writing when I realized that typing more than a paragraph on an iPad would be an enormous and practically impossible feat. However, I had gone ahead and prepared a few dishes that I wanted to share, so now I’ll get started on that!

The most pressing thing that I have to share are poached pears. Poached pears, specifically red wine poached pears, are God’s gift to humans. The pears themselves are tasty, but the reduced wine syrup that’s lightly spiced, slightly fruity, and velvety sweet, is what really brings us a little heaven on earth. I dream of using the winey syrup in every way imaginable: Alongside the pears (of course), poured over vanilla ice cream, as a base in which to nestle a slice of flourless chocolate cake, out of a dog bowl so I can lap it up whenever I wish. Continue reading “Red wine poached pears”

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”

Spicy shredded beef

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I just realized that 2014 was the first (and hopefully only because I definitely have time to rectify the situation in 2015) year that I didn’t go to a basketball game. Except for a short lull in basketball fandom in high school, I was a loyal and enthusiastic Kentucky fan until my sophomore year at UNC. UNC wasn’t very good my freshman year, losing the NIT championship on the heels of an NCAA win, so I used their lackluster performance as an excuse to slow the drip of Kentucky royal blue blood that was steadily leaving my veins. When my family poked fun at me for going to Carolina, though, I promptly recited “If God isn’t a Tarheel, then why is the sky Carolina blue?” Continue reading “Spicy shredded beef”

Saffron rice

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Last spring, I found a new food obsession: Risotto. This fall, I found a new food obsession: Saffron rice. (I never found a good time to share it in the fall, but now I have.) Oddly enough, though, I’ve never been a fan of rice. I never want to eat it, I never want to make it, and I really only use it to mix with whatever saucy food is sitting atop it. It’s bland, pretty dull looking and the texture’s kinda funky too, if you choose to think about the oddity that is rice. However, considering that Wikipedia says that rice constitutes more than 20% of the calories the world eats, most people in the world clearly do not think like me.

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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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Cacio e pepe-style braised kale

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So. Kale.

The “it food” is actually losing a bit of its celebrity. If you’ve read any articles on food trends for 2015, kale is on the way out and a hybrid kale-brussel sprout thing is the new it-healthy-will-fix-all-of-your-problems-forever food. I haven’t seen this mysterious cruciferous vegetable in real life yet, but I’m certain it will be coming to a store near you ever so soon. (Hey the pictures look pretty so I might break down and buy into the hype.) Continue reading “Cacio e pepe-style braised kale”