Wednesday, 14 January, 2015
#DailyWings: “There is nothing in the world so irresistibly contagious as laughter and good humor.” -Charles Dickens
Anyone who has dined with me multiple times knows that I’m a pasta lover and always have been. I have a confession, though: Every once in a while, I get tired of noodles and crave something else that’s different. I finally learned how to make stuffed mushrooms.
When I discovered that the Alouette website has a simple recipe for stuffing mushrooms with its popular spreadable cheese, I couldn’t wait to make my own. The thing I love about Alouette cheese is that it’s both delicious and versatile. I’ve used it in sandwiches, as a dip and even for pasta sauces. It’s creamy, flavorful and, of course, cheesy. A little goes a long way.
It’s taken a long time for me to perfect these stuffed mushrooms. I’ve had more than one oven accident (see step #2). They’ve come out absolutely dry and burned, and they’ve also turned out watery. But that’s what cooking is all about: experimenting until you’re satisfied with what you’ve got.
Thursday, 08 January, 2015
#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:
Wednesday, 10 December, 2014
#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!
Wednesday, 26 November, 2014
#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.”
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.