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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