Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Holiday Food Envy

As we roll merrily along into Christmas, I started to get a craving for potato pancakes. See, we don't have those around the holidays in my Catholic household. I'm envious of those who get to eat these on cycle at the same time each year. It's probably no big surprise that I was yearning to have these, as there's only been tons of recipes published lately for every type of latke, made with every variety of root vegetable.

I'd read an article someplace in the last week or so where "Christmas Envy" was mentioned. The author talked about the tree and lights and all the decorations that go with the [cough] Christian [stroke Pagan] version of the holiday that is typically depicted in Western culture. I had never heard of this before, but then was thrown right into it firsthand over the weekend at a holiday open house.

A woman was staring at the tree and mentioned how she'd always wanted to have one for the holidays. She gazed longingly at the array of ornaments, which I must admit were a great collection. I mentioned to her that it was entirely possible for her to have one, too. She said that she was Jewish, so that the tree is not part of her holiday culture. When I pointed out that it is actually part of the old Pagan/Druid culture that the Christians co-opted, I got a rather withering look as though that didn't actually make the suggestion go down any better.

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Baked Eggs

With the sound of snowplows serenading me as I arose from my slumber this morning, I realized my first meal of the day should be something a little bit more than the usual. I knew that I wasn't going to be trekking up and down a snowy, and likely unplowed, hill to go to the bagel place. After being called on doing it by my sister, I now get the guilts if I even think about trying to get them to deliver my breakfast to me.

Fortunately, I had dragged myself out to do errands yesterday when it was still freezing cold outside but not yet snowing. I went and got milk, eggs, and some smoked salmon. I knew that I had plenty of bread in the freezer and coffee in the cupboard. Later, while waiting for the skies to start to turn white on Saturday, I caught up on my on-line reading of the New York Times and came across Mark Bittman's video cooking segment on Baked Eggs with Proscuitto and Tomato.

I love eggs for any meal, and I really like to make something hearty and rich for brunch on the weekends as a counterpoint to the quick eats I gobble down during the work week before dashing out the door to catch my bus to work. This recipe caught my eye as something different to try. It is similar to Shirred Eggs or the French Oeufs en Cocotte and is just as easy to make.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Ragu alla Bolognese

Yesterday, it was freezing outside. Today it has been warmer but is wet and miserable. I guess we can't win on the weekend front in the Northeast. The only plus side is that this means the weather has been perfect for baking and for making hearty meals.

I'd had a craving for a Ragu alla Bolognese. This rich, slow-cooked meat sauce is the basis for many a wonderful dish in Bologna, Italy. One recipe that I've found to be pretty reliable in taste and texture is from Claudia Roden's The Good Food of Italy. I have used several recipes out of this cookbook over the years. Her rendition of this classic meat sauce is the one that I have used to make my own Lasagna Bolognese (omitting the mushrooms).

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Almond Butter Crunch

This is what happens when you read too many seasonal magazines and blogs. You end up succumbing to the "I must bake during the holidays" syndrome. My work team is doing its annual gift swap on Friday. So, I asked a few folks to contribute something sweet to the gathering. Of course, I had to chip in and make something as well.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

No Leftovers Here

On Friday, while the rest of America (and maybe some of the rest of the world) was trying to figure out how to concoct the perfect sandwich from the previous day's Thanksgiving leftovers, I was trying to find something that would appeal to my cold-starved body. There was no turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce, potatoes, or veggies to reheat. Most of all, there was also no extra slice of pie to eat for breakfast.

A few weeks ago, I had seen Aida Mollenkamp on The Food Network doing a show all about eggs. One dish she made was basically a twist on a bacon, egg, and cheese on a roll, the deli hangover staple. My brain decided that this Egg in a Hole Grilled Cheese was just the kind of food that my body was ready to tackle after several days of chicken soup and cold medicine.

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Bed

That's the sickbed, to be specific. There's only one thing worse than being all alone on a holiday weekend. Being sick and alone on a holiday weekend. That really stinks. For the past couple of days, I've been fighting off some nasty bug. So, I decided to pull the plug on my trip to see my family in Virginia for Thanksgiving.

This means no turkey, no stuffing, no Dad's mashed potatoes, no pie, and none of the other treats that go along with that day. Oh, yeah, and no family either, which is a shame as some of my relatives whom I haven't seen in a while were going to be at my folks' house. Instead, I got to eat chicken soup, lots of soup, along with cold medicine and fluids.

A few months ago, when there were still lots of summer vegetables at the Greenmarket, I made a batch of one of my favorite soups to keep on hand. Peter Gordon's Spicy Red Lentil, Coriander & Coconut Soup with Chicken Dumplings* is definitely not your grandmother's chicken soup. Heck, it's not my mother's or my grandmother's chicken soup.

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Pumpkin Soup

Several years ago, I mentioned in a post that I really thought that Thanksgiving dinner (or really any great autumn menu) should start with pumpkin soup. A have a very good friend and recipe-testing buddy to thank for finding this one on line many years ago. It's become my standby soup to make once the weather gets that cool-crisp fall feeling in the air. The benefits are that it makes quite a bit and that it freezes really well. I usually end up making maybe a couple of batches each cold weather season to keep on hand.

Winter Squash Soup with Gruyère Croutons is definitely in the keeper file. Originally, my friend and I made this with Cheddar Pumpkins that we got at our Greenmarket. A four pound-ish pumpkin will give you the eight cups of chopped vegetable needed for the recipe. This year, however, the pumpkins were either on the too big or too little side the weekend I was craving this recipe. Instead, I actually followed the directions (shock, I know) and made it with the butternut squash-acorn squash combo.

While the flavor was slightly different than that of the soup made with a Cheddar Pumpkin, it definitely mimicked a French soupe au poitron a bit more closely than a recipe made with the former. This is based upon my distant memory of having had it once a while ago when I was in France. Served in a modest portion, this dish would make an elegant (with the croutons, which I omitted here) and not-too-heavy starter. This is also a great excuse to whip out the immersion blender to avoid all the fiddling of pouring hot liquid into a regular standing blender.

I put my vote forward as I did in my post about pumpkin muffins (click on the "pumpkin" category of recipes on the left to find it) to ban the overly-spiced, gluey pie that is usually found on tables across the land and to serve something a bit more interesting, and maybe in this case, something perhaps slightly more authentic, at the Thanksgiving table. As I'm one of the folks who will be pulling dinner together this year at my parents' house, I might actually get my own way.

Buon appetito!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Sometimes I get so angry I have to come home and BAKE

It was one of those days at work. Actually, it's been one of those weeks. Hey, really, who am I kidding, it's been one of those years. I should probably be able to measure it by the number of times I've come home and just decided to start baking something on the spur of the moment, much like I did tonight.

The frustration has to go somewhere, and I can't work out like I was a few months ago due to an injury. Rehab is incredibly slow, so there's just no place for the extra energy to go. So, tonight, it went into trying out two recipes that I'd pulled from my food magazine binge this weekend.

Olive Magazine had a recipe for Fluffy Apple Muffins. I'm always on the lookout for good, simple breakfast recipes. This one ended up having nice flavor. I think that next time I'll try pears instead of apples, as they are also in season at the moment, and because I now have a whole carton of buttermilk to use up. My only negative comment is that the parchment paper in the muffin tin seemed unnecessarily fussy to me.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

RIP Gourmet Magazine

It was a sad day this week when Conde Nast announced that it was shuttering Gourmet magazine, the grand dame of the culinary publications. I managed to find a copy of what will be its last issue still on the newsstand. Many bloggers and others have tried to parse what caused the demise of such a venerable media institution.

I would like to raise my hand as one of those who might have been responsible. I just never fell in love with it and, instead, have always subscribed to other publications, such as its sister Conde Nast title Bon Appetit. Like others, I've also turned increasingly to the Internet for recipes, research, and inspiration. I'm a big fan of, which pulls together both the BA and Gourmet recipe archives. Since college, I've also been a follower of Food & Wine.

The other cooking magazines I get every month are the British ones. I also get La Cucina Italian (in English), which I am on the fence about subscribing to every year. Then, there's the odd issue here and there of Cook's Illustrated. I also decided this year to pick up Saveur. After their burger issue, where they had a huge photo of a Shake Shack special that just made me drool (not attractive on the subway), I have to say that was money well spent. Their lamb issue also made me pull out some of those recipes, too, just waiting for it gets cooler to put together some of those dishes.

Aside from a few on-off items, Gourmet just never did that for me. Even this last issue, I sort of felt 'meh' about it. Overall, it had lots of pretty pictures and articles about places I wish I could afford to go to, but it didn't seem to be practical in the way that the issues that I read on a regular basis are. I'd see places listed in the others for NYC, San Fran, Chicago, DC, and other cities that just seemed accessible. Like other higher-end publications in the CN stable, it just didn't seem that relevant to me or my life.

This was a criticism leveled by others as well, too. While I am sorry to see something fold that had been a keystone of culinary journalism in the United States, I'm just not sure that it had or could reshape itself for the current climate or what our future might be. You had a good ride, Gourmet, but as they say in "Heathers," 'There's a new sheriff in town.'

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Dutch Pancakes

Serious Eats, one of my favorite blogs, hosts a weekend cooking share post every weekend. Usually, I don't catch them in time to participate but last week I did. The theme was pancakes. This hit very close to home for me as one of the first things that I learned to make by myself was Biscuit box mix pancakes.

In our family, there was a mini-tradition of making these on Saturday morning, with a side of cartoons. The ritual was that whichever older child got up first made the batter and then cooked these for the younger ones. Chocolate chips were added only rarely but butter and syrup were usually generously applied. As we're all now quite spread out geographically, we haven't been together to continue this in years.

It's no wonder then that when I saw this cooking suggestion on Serious Eats, my tastebuds were dreaming about lost weekends and remembering a plate of poffertjes that I had at the New Amsterdam Dutch days celebration a couple of weeks ago. While waiting to get into the mini village that had been set up for the occasion, I saw people eating these little paper containers of something that looked good. Wandering around the market, I came across the stand where they were being made.

Pouring the batter via a funnel into the molds

Flipping them from one side to the other to continue cooking

Sunday, September 20, 2009

My Summer Reading

After seeing the Julie/Julia movie, I decided that I wanted to read more about Julia Child's life, which is also partially why I haven't posted for a couple of weeks. I picked up one biography that was written before her death and also the book in which Mrs. Child described her introduction to French food and the journey that created Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Unfortunately, this had the effect of making me long even more for an entire movie starring Meryl Streep as Julia. The dedication and passion with which Julia Child tackled this project and her determination that American cooks have a chance to learn about this wonderful cuisine made me feel not a little bit guilty that I haven't tried to make things from her books more often.

While reading My Life in France, Julia mentions a dish called Piperade (on p. 183), that her friend Avis De Voto raved about. Aside from the general hunger pangs that reading these books caused, this reference was to a dish that I actually have made several times before which made me dig the recipe out of my own personal 'archive.' That and seeing late-summer tomatoes, ripe red peppers, and fragrant basil at the Greenmarket inspired me to put the books down and to actually make something. The clipping is from The Sunday Times of London about 11 years ago.

Monday, August 31, 2009

Silver Palate Tears

Some very sad news hit the wires today. A friend of mine texted me about it. Sheila Lukins, of the Silver Palate, passed away from brain cancer. From the obit in the New York Times, it sounds like things went very quickly. I'm very sorry for her family.

I fell in love with The New Basics Cookbook when I started living and cooking on my own, post-college. This was also the cookbook that I gave to folks as a wedding gift, I thought it was such a useful resource. The other two books I picked up later. One of the best things about any of these books is the sidebar notes and tips. These were the references for me for all sorts of new ingredients, ones that were foreign to my suburban Virginia upbringing. I just wish I'd been able to make it to their store.

After having lived overseas and currently living in New York, I get to have ready access to most of the components of these recipes. A few recipes now seem a bit dated and overly rich, although most of my friends still swear by some of them. Many of the dishes they explain are ones that I've been able to enjoy at restaurants around the city, something which always inspires me to try to put them together them for myself. I feel as though the Silver Palate ladies could make that possible through their books.

I wish Ms. Lukins her place at that great big dining table in the sky.

Buon appetito!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Julie/Julia Movie

This afternoon, I took in one of the greatest guilty pleasures ever invented: a mid-day movie. I'd originally taken off a couple of days to travel to see family, but then I screwed up my knee last week by twisting it as I walked up the stairs exiting the subway. With my travel plans scuttled, I reached out to a few friends to see about catching up, as I still needed to take the vacation days. One of the first ones to confirm that he was available had mentioned over a dinner of lobster rolls and Old Bay french fries at the Mermaid Inn a few weeks back that wanted to see Julie & Julia when it came out.

Monday, August 03, 2009

Torta al Cioccolato

I had an Italian-themed group dinner to go to on Sunday. It gave me the perfect excuse to bake the Apricot Crostata that I'd tried out for the first time earlier in the week. As you can see, the response it received was pretty much the same as it had been when I'd made it for the folks at the office. I think I was a bit surprised at the reaction to it, but maybe it was that it just looked so different from typical potluck desserts that everyone wanted to grab a slice. I'm definitely filing this one away in my "keeper" file.

The other dessert I brought was a recipe that I don't think I've made in at least ten years: Torta al Cioccolato.* It was a standby Italian dish that I used to bake when I had dinner parties. I'm not sure why I stopped preparing it except that I don't really have people over to eat dinner anymore. I just haven't had the time, energy or money to throw something together the way I used to do. Having a small apartment doesn't help either. This gathering was a great excuse to test drive it again.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Apricot Crostata

I love before-and-after shots, so it's very tempting just to leave these photos as the entire blog post without any explanation at all. The top one is the Apricot Crostata I made last night. Mind you, it was 80 or so degrees outside with about a gazillion percent humidity. I'm not sure what I was thinking in trying to bake in that weather, except that I'd picked up a dozen gorgeous, ripe apricots at the Greenmarket on Saturday, and they were starting to get to that stage where they would go from perfect-to-eat to starting-to-rot.

The bottom photo shows what happens when you take said crostata to work and let a team of hungry bankers have at it for a day. I watched one person on my team discreetly sneak some small bits of it each time she walked by the credenza where I'd stationed my culinary creation. Other folks did the usual and just hacked off a chunk of it to enjoy while sitting at their desks working on spreadsheets.

Having never made this recipe before, I was a little bit skeptical that some of the extra steps were worth it. I have another version of the same dessert that I've made for years and absolutely swear by, but, lately, it had been letting me down a bit. When I finally spotted the apricots at the market last Saturday, I debated for about a second as to whether I would make my usual tart with an almond-honey filling from Patricia Wells or venture into uncharted waters.

It was the apricots that made me take the plunge. I'd been treated to an early sample the week prior by the fruit vendor, so I just knew that their sweet perfume deserved to be maximized to its fullest. I pulled out a recipe from The Washington Post Food Section from a couple of years ago: Apricot Crostata. I'd been a bit hesitant about the fact that you actually have to cook the apricots and basically make a quick jam from them. I've never made jam. It's one of those things I think about, but then you have to fuss with sterilizing bottles and thermometers and stuff.

This, however, was just about as easy as it would have been to open up a jar of someone else's jam and pour it into the crust. It took about 15 minutes and the only real extra effort was in having to pit and chop the apricots, which can be done while the pastry base is sitting in the fridge. There was the added satisfaction of the bragging rights I got because I could truly say that I made the entire thing from scratch. To my mouth, that made it taste all the better.

Buon appetito!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Chicago 4th of July

To tempt you, I thought I'd just lead off with one of the best meals I had when I was in Chicago this past weekend, visiting family for the 4th of July. This is The Bell Ringer from Firehouse Grill in Evanston. The weather wasn't the greatest on my trip, but it was perfect for shopping, checking out the little boutiques, and staring out the car window at some of the large, gorgeous houses we passed on the way back to their place.

It was also the ideal temperature outside for digging into a post-shopping burger topped with buttery melted cheddar cheese accompanied by sour cream and chili on the side waiting to be slathered on top. The meat was grilled and seasoned correctly; the bun-to-burger proportions were correct; and the extra toppings added to, rather than detracted from, the balance of creamy, salty, beefy richness.

Being a big burger fan, I'm very sensitive to good quality, flavorful meat being used to create my meal. I had no complaints about this one. In fact, I was dreaming about having it again the next day, and had I been able to control the agenda, we would have eaten there again.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

A Homebody Weekend

It must have been a sign that I'd been overdoing it lately. On Wednesday, I woke up with a slight headache and a sore throat. By the time I managed to contact my three on-site managers, talk to the temp covering for my co-worker, and email my manager who works remotely to see if I could go home early, my head felt like it was splitting in two and my throat hurt more than it had since I'd had mono. I must have found the slowest cab driver on the East Side because, by the time I arrived at my apartment, my mental stopwatch figured out that it might actually have been quicker to take the subway home.

This signaled that I was destined to have a Homebody Weekend. You know what this is; when you: buy every magazine that you can, make sure the remote is working, pull out the delivery menus, check out pay-per-view or free movie downloads, and hunker inside for a couple of days. Fortunately, the weather cooperated for this. We are still in the middle of a grey, unseasonably chilly and rainy cycle. No offense to my friends across the Atlantic, but this feels like an English spring to me, which is completely unfair as I don't live there anymore.

It was really raining in this photo.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fulton Stall Market - Part 2

Well, those chocolate-chocolate chip cookies from last weekend didn't last very long. Of the couple dozen or so that were left over from my picnic, they were polished off at the office on the following business day. People shamelessly admitted as I was trying to pawn off the last few to have an empty container to take home that they'd had more than a few samples (three seemed to be the average number).

The rest of the produce that I picked up at the Fulton Stall Market last weekend was polished off as well during the course of the week, but this time by me. The fresh asparagus prodded me to try a recipe that Mark Bittman had published in the New York Times: Asparagus with Morels and Tarragon. I was dreaming of gorgeous green spears teamed up with the meaty flavor of the morels (another springtime delicacy) and the sharp, licorice-like snap of tarragon all enrobed in a lovely cream and shallot bath. This kind of French-inspired rich food is something that I don't make very often but that which I thoroughly enjoy eating. See how gorgeous this looks bubbling away in the pan:

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Fulton Stall Market - Part 1

Having been through the worse episode in Lower Manhattan's recent history, I'm always very happy to hear about developments that bring new life to the area. This weekend, across the street from the former site of the Fulton Fish Market a row of food stalls opened (, featuring locally grown and sourced produce. Yesterday, I decided to take the M15 bus all the way from my Upper East Side neighborhood downtown. After an hour, I arrived at my destination.

Seems I wasn't the only one who thought it was a great day to go to market.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Chassons aux Pommes - Apple Turnovers

Yesterday, I ran into someone in my class at the gym when I was at the grocery store picking up the ingredients for this recipe. She said to me, as we were bemoaning our mutual attempts to drop a few pounds for health reasons, that she'd not been cooking at home very much lately. She'd just not been able to get herself motivated and couldn't figure out what to do about it or how to get over this hump.

What struck me, and it directly relates to this blog, is that this is not a unique point of view. I've heard this same sentiment from several people, and at least one fellow blogger has admitted to the same thing. Is there some major culinary slump going on? I don't think that this has to do with the economy, as good cooks and those who love to muck about in the kitchen will do so no matter how much or little they have to spend on ingredients. It just seems as though there's some type of long dry spell taking place at the moment. I can plead guilty to have fallen victim to this same malaise (I just like to use that word.).

With spring and all the great green produce coming out, I'm hoping to pull myself out of this slump. Actually, truthfully, I've been trying the past few weeks to bake my way out of it. This, of course, runs counter to what I was trying to accomplish by watching what I eat more carefully and not to over-indulge. So, where is the balance? I'm not sure.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

New Oven Test - Almond and Pear Tart

After a several weeks' break during which I had to take an unexpected trip to Virginia and then the two weekends over which I was moving, I'm back and blogging. The new apartment is great, but it's different after having lived someplace else for nine years. I'm still adjusting to things like the noises that seem to come from other apartments, the new furniture arrangement to compensate for the smaller size of the new living room, and, of course, the oven.

The apartment into which I moved had completely new appliances, as could be determined by the stickers still left on them. I'm not even sure that all the burners on the stovetop had ever been lit. So, the first week has been one of testing and fiddle to make sure I didn't scorch my morning coffee or burn my oatmeal. The burners are set a bit higher off of the flame than with my previous range so it's been a little bit tricky to moderate the heat.

My next task has been to try to use the new oven itself. Aside from reheating leftovers and making toast (yes, I don't have a toaster so I use the broil setting on the oven to make it), I haven't actually tried to cook anything in the oven. I figured that it was time to try it out. When organizing my cookbooks in their new home, I rediscovered one that I'd picked up when I lived in the UK "Dangerous Desserts." Being a sucker for great food photography and having a huge sweet tooth, I knew I'd found the place from which my next baking project would come.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Tuscan Bean Stew

When I was at home over the end of year holidays, I picked up my mother's copy of the 2009 America's Test Kitchen cookbook. I have to confess to having a soft spot for this show and the publications that it produces. They get to do that fussy testing and fiddling with recipes that saves me/us all the time in the world. We just get the benefit of all of their hard work by getting all the best methodology and ingredient tips. I've discovered some new favorite recipes among the ones that they have published.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I'm going to be moving apartments fairly soon. So, most of my eating efforts are going towards clearing out the cupboard, freezer, and fridge. Like most people, trying to eat better and to consume more whole grains and pulses has been an on-going goal and challenge. While moving things around to find the ingredients for the cookies I made a few weeks ago, I found that I'd bought a bag of cannellini beans on one trip to the Italian market at Chelsea Market. I consulted the cookbook because I'd remembered seeing the recipe in there for Hearty Tuscan Bean Stew.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Casserole for Breakfast?

Being an avid reader of other people's blogs, as I've expressed here previously, I really love it when I find a "must try" recipe. While sometimes I find other people's cooking experiments to be interesting and intriguing, many of them don't inspire me to actually attempt to recreate their culinary endeavors.

One blog that I can usually find great ideas from is The Kitchn. I became hooked on it after a co-worker got me into checking out Apartment Therapy on a regular basis. I'm a huge fan of design and, as they often highlight solutions to storage/space issues (a perpetual New York apartment-dweller's challenge), it's one of my go-to sites on a regular basis. Their kitchen-oriented features are put together in a separate blog.

I was poking around in there a few weeks ago, when I was kind of in a cooking mood, and found a recipe that looked too good to pass up: "Ham and Cheese" Breakfast Casserole. Now, we didn't grow up eating things like this for breakfast. Eggs were usually scrambled or in omelets, and then there was the waffles/pancakes category, and then the cold cereal or oatmeal option for the morning meal. Casseroles contained tuna (primarily) or maybe you could consider a baked pasta or chicken dish a "casserole," but it wasn't generally something eaten at breakfast.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

My Oven, My Self

I have to move out of my apartment in less than a month. This is not such a bad thing for several reasons: a. I can hopefully move into someplace better for a more reasonable amount, as the rental market in my neighborhood in New York has gotten very soft; b. I'm due to clear out cupboards and closets to throw things away so it is a good excuse to do this; c. I will get a completely renovated apartment, including super-new kitchen appliances out of it. The downside, and there's always one of these, albeit a small one in this case, is that I have to give up my relationship with my current oven.

I can't say that I love this oven, but it has been a trusted friend and companion these past nine years. It has also been infinitely more reliable than any guy I've dated during that time. A perfectly-calibrated oven, like the perfect mate, is not a casual thing to be tossed aside, unlike those clothes I will never wear again and that should not be packed up to go to my new home. I will be sad to leave it. It was an older model that had the added advantage of having a top oven as well, in which I stored the pans I used on a daily basis.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

A Taste of Warmth

There are those magazines that one gets every month or week or so, whether at the newsstand or by subscription. Then, there are those that I call "trip magazines" as I only pick them up when I'm traveling and don't have anything else to read. Generally, I try to stockpile some of my regular stash to take with me when I'm going somewhere, but it doesn't always happen that way.

My boss handed me a few of her magazines, which she'd read on one of her previous trips, and I held on to them for my trek to Virginia for the holidays. This was great because she had ones that I enjoy, but don't usually pick up for myself, even while traveling. I managed to snag some interesting recipes and health tips from the ones that she gave to me, and this weekend, while sparkley snow was falling from the sky, I put together a dish that might not be out of place in the warmer climes of the South of France.

I came across Baked Shrimp with Tomatoes and Feta by Ellie Krieger in Fitness magazine (the link is to the version on The Food Network site). It looked straightforward and simple enough. As a plus it would allow me to use the shrimp I had stored in the freezer (part of my goal to cook from what I already have on hand). As an additional bonus, I was also able to put to use a pan that I hadn't used in a while. It's one of those pans that you buy on special offer and think you can use it for everything, but somehow never do.

Thursday, January 01, 2009

This Year, I Resolve To....

On the first day of a brand, spanking, new year, it's time to look back on my blog goals for 2008 and see how I did. In truth, I don't think I managed to keep very many of the targets I'd set out for myself at the beginning of 2008. It was a rough year, in general, both on a personal and professional level, so I guess I shouldn't be too hard on myself and should just look ahead to 2009.

Here's the results:

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