Category Archives: food

Green Beans and Cantaloupe

It was time to sauté the green beans…but the cantaloupe sitting on the shelf whispered excitedly “me too, me too!”

Peculiar mixture, but I obliged.

It was delicious! Throw in a few big basil leaves at the end, also.

Sauteed green beans and cantaloupe

Sauteed green beans and cantaloupe


Billowing Brown Curtain

Sitting and waiting at Friedman’s Lunch for my dining partner yesterday morning (yes, we came to a place with “lunch” in the title for breakfast!), I looked around the dining area at the quaint yet sleek, cool vibe. The dark, heavy brown curtain that hung hovering over the doorway would billow every time someone walked in. Sitting so close to it, sometimes it would caress my thigh or knee. I really liked the fabric and its velour heaviness. The way the curtain made a show of presenting each person who entered through the door was slightly captivating. The whole experience was one that caught my senses.

ravioli, Polaner All-Fruit

Breakfast Ravioli!

For Xmas Eve, we had fresh ravioli with dinner and in a stroke of inspiration, I had an idea for the extra raviolis that were not going to be served- save them for the morning after. How nice would they be once fried gently in butter, maybe with a dusting of powdered sugar on top? I envisioned squishing a little jelly into their centers before frying them (I used strawberry Polaner all-fruit) and laying them into a pan of melted butter. Once golden brown, I gave them a dusting of powdered sugar and served with a tad more jelly on the side.

They were perfect. Just the right amount of sweetness to complement the ricotta and savory herbs with which they had already been stuffed. I expect I’ll be doing this more often!

ravioli, Polaner All-Fruit

Breakfast ravioli with strawberry Polaner All-Fruit and a dusting of powdered sugar.

broccoli rabe, arugula, chicken, lemon pizza

Getting Our Greens (and Carbs!)- Pizza with Broccoli Rabe & Arugula

I had some arugula in the refrigerator and a vision of pizza in my mind. On my trip to the store, the pizza crusts were on sale, further proof of the “meant to be” serendipitous nature of my culinary idea.

First, I set to work zesting a little lemon, juicing it and mixing it with some olive oil, basil, and parsley. I let the mixture settle into the chicken breast I was about to saute (in butter).

Next, I chopped up the garlic that is so necessary for broccoli rabe. It emitted its familiar aroma. Washing the broccoli rabe, I took note of its crisp leaves, which always feels like the sound of the word “cruciferous” to me. I cooked it up, watching its green color deepen and its leaves start to wilt. I also added some red pepper flakes for a little extra oomph.

After the chicken and brocooli rabe were cooked up, I went to work dressing up the pizza crusts- one with marinara sauce, one without. Then I spooned the broccoli rabe on top. Amply sprinkled shredded cheese over it. Arugula. Raw onion slivers. Chicken. More cheese. On the sauce-free one, I added the leftover lemon juice and butter.

Baked them for 22-25 minutes and admired them once out of the oven. The onion with its crisp burnt edges, the chicken with its burst of lemony flavor. Aaaahhhhh……

Moroccan Beef Stew Revisited

I had a lot of leftovers from the Moroccan beef stew, so I doctored it up a bit when i reheated it. I took some pine nuts and toasted them in a little grapeseed oil, then added some leftover kale from a recent side dish and also plopped in the leftover couscous. I simmered it with some beer and beef stock, then added some of the beef stew. Yum!

Moroccan beef stew re-doMorccan beef stew re-do2


Throughout the summer, the bushes lining the parking lot at our local gym (which is on the grounds of a nature trail) had been bursting with raspberries. It did not seem like many were taking advantage of this luxe freebie, but we managed to snag several handfuls of delicious berries. It made going to the gym far more fun.

I even started to bring a container to put them in so I could take them home.

fresh, raspberries, fresh raspberries

Bonus- look really closely and see if you can find the heart-shaped one!

It was definitely a highlight of the summer. I loved the feeling of the waxy contours against my fingertips as I picked the berries, the instances when a little too strong of a touch released some of the juices, the little burst of flavor upon eating them.

I’ve found myself missing the days of those bright juicy berries once they were gone. I now have a reason to actually look forward to summer. I should probably start collecting a few recipes so I’m all ready once the raspberries pop up again for the season.

Fresh Stuffed Shells on Charcoal Grill

In an effort to experiment with taste and cuisine, I’ve let my creativity wander towards some pretty interesting flavor combinations. One of my recent brainstorms was, “why not put fresh stuffed shells on the grill?! That would surely taste amazing!”

We tried it a few weeks ago, to rave reviews. It was delicious! We used vodka sauce and lots of fresh basil. The fresh stuffed shells went into an aluminum pan and heated on the grill to impart that deliciously smokey flavor.

This time around, we opted for marinara sauce (but stuck with the loads of fresh basil) AND… we took the leap and put the shells right on the grill this time. Heaven. It’s just such a wonderful taste. I don’t know why I didn’t think of this sooner!

These fresh stuffed shells were cooked on the grill!

These fresh stuffed shells were cooked on the grill!

I should have taken pictures of the perfectly charred underside of the shells. As a consolation prize, here’s a pic of the plated shells at our Sunday dinner table:

Sunday dinner with fresh stuffed shells, charred by the grill.

Sunday dinner with fresh stuffed shells, charred by the grill.

The Italian Specialty Market

Do you have one of these in your area? I always enjoy going to an Italian specialty foods market to indulge in the sights, scents, and culinary possibilities…along with a little stroke of nostalgia. Growing up in an Italian family, prosciuttosoppressata, and broccoli rabe (my grandmother called it by its brand name, Andy Boy) were frequent staples at the dinner table…and sure you can get these in a “regular” grocery store, but it’s just not the same as collecting these items in a specialty store.

On my way to work yesterday, I had a hankering for a sandwich with fresh mozzarella. Not wanting to rely on the local big-name grocery store, I decided to take advantage of the newly-opened Livoti’s not far from the office.

It was my first time in there and it was without a doubt a special treat. Delicacy after delicacy in the deli case. How could I choose from among the marinated artichokes, eggplant parmagiana, and stuffed peppers? Then there were the homemade soups (Italian Wedding) being one of them.

I decided on the marinated Brussels sprouts (not very Italian, but I needed some vegetables) and the marinated artichokes to go along with my honey-maple turkey sandwich with fresh mozzarella, pesto spread, and balsamic vinegar. I also was compelled to try the “homemade hummus”. Tahini fever! The hummus has a strong tahini flavor which was really pleasing to me. The marinated artichokes were adorned with a glazed balsamic, perfectly sweet and sour.

My tastebuds were in a reverie yesterday!

Cinnamon and Peaches

A few weeks ago, I had a hankering for comfort food in the form of pancakes (or flapjacks, if you prefer). I could clearly envision them topped with lightly sauteed peaches. Could practically taste them. So of course, I went about making my enthusiastic, good-natured argument of “pancakes for breakfast!”

We used Kodiak Power Cakes to make sure we amped up our protein intake. S made the flapjacks and I went to work on our nearly-unusable peaches. Nothing a little butter in the pan and cinnamon can’t fix!

Cooked peaches to adorn our breakfast-for-dinner flapjacks!

Cooked peaches to adorn our breakfast-for-dinner flapjacks!

The aroma was heavenly. The taste was delightful. I felt rejuvenated and cared for, sensuous and fragrant while eating this meal. When was the last time you had breakfast for dinner? What are your favorite “breakfast for dinner” recipes?