Warm asparagus- leek salad

asparagus4Woohoo for spring! You can now sit outside, put away the winter coats and extra layers, and enjoy the pleasure of pulling inchworms off of your clothes when you come in from outside and then watching them inch along on your finger.

You can also find ways to slide asparagus into at least one meal every day, as I’ve been attempting to do as soon as I realized that not freezing weather=asparagus season. Sometimes, I even eat asparagus more than once a day. Continue reading “Warm asparagus- leek salad”

Lentil and tomato stew

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I forgot that the Super Bowl is this weekend. If I’d remembered, I might have found a dip to share with you. Actually, I have a recipe for a caramelized onion dip that I’ve been wanting to try, and a Super Bowl party would have been the perfect reason to make it. It’s too late for that, though– I’m actively searching for ways to avoid hearing/watching Ben watch the game. But now I’m thinking about the dip, and now I want it, so I might make it anyway for my own not-Super Bowl party (aka me binge-watching Friends on Friday night.)

Instead of appetizers, snacks, dips, chilis and foods involving hot dogs and barbecue sauce, I’ve been focusing on the things that will get us to springtime: Foods that have some vegetables, dishes that ooze with gooey, lightly browning cheese. Dinners that you can make on a weeknight and some sweets for you to leisurely whip up on Sunday afternoon. I’m especially trying to take advantage of the citrus that’s in season– all of the oranges I’ve tasted this year have been particularly juicier and sweeter than I’ve ever noticed. (Don’t worry, at least one citrus recipe will be coming soon, and you will absolutely love it.) Continue reading “Lentil and tomato stew”

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”

Quick tomato sauce

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This sauce might make your Italian grandmother cry. It’s effortless, and it has no heartwarming story. Being me, though, with absolutely zero drops of Italian blood pulsing through my veins and family members who think that pasta is one of those meals that you prepare when there is nothing else in the fridge, I’m not going to bother to console the weeping grandma. She needs to get with the times and make delicious tomato sauce that takes about half of an hour to throw together. No simmering for hours here– this is a great weeknight dinner when you want a home-cooked meal but just can’t put in the effort. Continue reading “Quick tomato sauce”

Roasted garlic and Vidalia onion dressing

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I’ve briefly talked about my job at the gourmet deli in high school. The best thing I learned there was a ton about food. I gained my love of food and cooking from my grandma, but I cultivated what I already knew and was exposed to more culinary knowledge than I ever imagined in that little store. Although I tend to cook pretty unpretentious food, I know a lot about it.

I also know how to make a pretty good sandwich. There was this great specialty sandwich at the store that I had to make every morning, and if there were any left at the end of the day, I could take them home. I’d usually take the leftover sandwich to school for lunch the next day, and everyone at my table would be jealous. It was a smoked turkey avocado sandwich on ciabatta with a sweet onion vinaigrette. It was, is and forever shall be absolutely delicious.

Continue reading “Roasted garlic and Vidalia onion dressing”

Spaghetti puttanesca

spaghettip3It’s finally time the time we’ve been waiting for all year: Farmer’s market tomato season. This week, I diligently went to the farmer’s market in front of my office, as I do every week, to check out the inventory. Today was the day. They had everything. Yellow squash, zucchini, peaches, peppers, cantaloupes and the prized tomatoes. I purchased four tomatoes, my hopes high with anticipation to see and eat the perfect, beautiful deep red fruit.

I went home, thinking only about tomato slices lightly sprinkled with salt, and sliced a tomato. After the first slice, my hopes and expectations came crashing down. The tomato was not the apex of summer but only slightly juicy and with whitish green spots throughout. I’m eating my farmer’s market tomatoes, but they’re not all I’d hoped for. I’ll try a different stand next week.

In the meantime, without my perfect tomatoes to satisfy my hunger, I had to actually cook something.

Continue reading “Spaghetti puttanesca”