Tag Archives: food

My Mother’s Duck, ELF Eyeliner and Other December Monthly Favorites

#DailyWings: “Hitting a low note on a piano with a really good bass is like taking a bite out of a rich chocolate cake.” -Anja N.

Today’s #DailyWings is brought to you by one of my best friends, Anja. Like me, Anja grew up playing piano (we even had the same piano teacher for a while) and appreciates classical music more than anyone I know. It’s been years since she first made that simile, but it always stuck me and reminded me to appreciate all the good things in life, to live like a bon vivant. And, I mean, when you think about it, can’t you just taste that chocolate and hear that bass? (The appropriate response to this question is, yes, you are all about that bass.)

I like to call December 2014 “pre-winter.” Most of the month was characterized by relatively warm weather in North Carolina; in fact, I remember the sun was shining and caused me to sweat a day or two after Christmas! I’ve always enjoyed white Christmases the most, but the lack of snow didn’t stop me from sharing the holiday spirit or enjoying time off work with my family. Here are just a few of my highlights from December:

The SELF Diet Recipe: Lemon-Garlic Spaghetti Piccata

#DailyWings: “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” ― Charles M. Schulz

I am really excited about today’s edition of “The SELF Diet,” mainly because this was the first dish that made me actually love cooking. This dish, a lemon-garlic spaghetti piccata, was inspired by a recipe for “Linguine with Tuna, Capers and Raisins,” which I found on my Epicurious iPhone application (if you thrive in the kitchen and have a smartphone, download this app now). This dish is perfect for potlucks or, better yet, a romantic dinner date at home (think “Lady & the Tramp“). You can either make the pasta before your date arrives, or you can make it together (there’s no better way to bond with someone than to prepare a meal).

Another reason I’ve looked forward to writing this post is that my favorite food, as some of you may be able to guess, is pasta. (I’m a carb fanatic.) Pasta is an excellent “base” food, just like rice or quinoa. You can add almost anything to pasta and it’ll taste delicious. To me, there’s nothing heartier or more delicious than noodles tossed around with some spring vegetables or chunky meat and a creamy sauce.

While today’s recipe is vegetarian, I’ll give you some tips toward the end of the post about how to incorporate meat and other fixings. I created this dish by being adventurous with a single recipe; a single bit will give you a burst of various flavors and textures. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ingredients and herbs to suit your personal tastes; let me know in the comments section if you decide to make this dish and what you did to make it your own!

The SELF Diet Recipe: Gourmet Macaroni with Polska Kielbasa (Thanksgiving Edition)

#DailyWings:Most of us have fond memories of food from our childhood. Whether it was our mom’s homemade lasagna or a memorable chocolate birthday cake, food has a way of transporting us back to the past.
-Homaro Cantu

 Happy Thanksgiving Week! Even though I can hardly believe the holidays are just around the corner, I’m so excited to be sharing this special time with you all – starting with my first edition of The SELF Diet!

Many of you who have been around the blog for a long time know that I’m obsessed with macaroni and cheese, and with great reason. It’s the perfect comfort food for rainy days, post-exam blues and lazy Sundays as well as tailgating, office parties and other celebratory functions. More importantly, to take a leaf out of renowned Chef Homaro Cantu‘s book, macaroni and cheese transports me back to my childhood when I used to eat it every day after school as a snack.

In honor of Thanksgiving, I want to share with you a recipe for macaroni and cheese that I came up with while experimenting with food about a year ago. I call it Gourmet Macaroni with Polska Kielbasa. While classic “mac n’ cheese” is delicious on its own, you can do a million fancy things to the basic recipe as well, pairing different ingredients together to create a completely new dish.

In a Nutshell: My Week as a Vegetarian

#DailyWings: “It is better, I think, to grab at the stars than to sit flustered because you know you cannot reach them.” — R.A. Salvatore, Sojourn

I used to be one of those people who said they’d never go on any sort of diet because of how much they love food. Well, the latter still applies to me: I love to eat. (Who doesn’t? In the end, no matter how terrible your day is, pepperoni pizza and cookies and other comfort food will always be there for you.)

But since coming to college, I’ve developed a bad habit of eating junk like processed edibles, unhealthy snacks and fatty meals because of the convenience. And, let’s face it, junk food tastes pretty good. I was lucky enough to avoid gaining the “freshman 15,” but having a fast metabolism doesn’t necessarily equate to top-notch health, nor does it last. Earlier, it hit me that I’m going to be 21 years old in a couple months — well into adulthood — and, unfortunately, can’t eat whatever the hell I want anymore. 


Marie Callender’s Pasta Al Dente Selections

Question of the Day: Which restaurant (any) do you enjoy going to the most? What dishes do you usually order there?

My tummy has fallen in love. All the symptoms are there…loud grumbles signaling hunger as well as longing, soft murmurs that indicate satisfaction, and occasional sighs that tell its owner that it is daydreaming again. Of Marie Callender’s Pasta Al Dente selections.

I discovered this brand a few days ago while shopping at Kroger’s grocery store. As I strolled across the Frozen Foods section, the corner of my eye caught sight of a wide column displaying an army of golden food boxes. Marie Callender’s: Since 1948, it said at the top left corner of each box. Each row held a different dish, and one with the word GARLIC in it caught my eye first. Penne Garlic Chicken. The outside cover had a photo of seductive pasta adorned with garlic and parsley swimming in a sea of a creamy, oil-based sauce. Embedded in between noodles were thick slices of perfectly grilled chicken, artichokes, spinach, and tomatoes.