Yesterday was my wife and daughter’s birthday (yep, baby was born on Mommy’s birthday!) and with every birthday comes the time to reflect on the past year. And man, we’ve experienced a lot! Our tiny munchkin grew into an energetic, verbal, challenging, sweet, goofy little person; my wife received her graduate degree and accepted her first professional doctoral position; We started planning our move to the coast of Maine; I cooked and baked more recipes than I knew was possible in one year; …and the legalization of marijuana really started to make its presence everywhere.
Hokay so that last one isn’t necessarily a milestone we celebrated this year but you have to admit that progression, especially in today’s political landscape, is worth a few cheers. But what this new development DID bring me was a new discovery: CBD! And naturally I had to find a way to bake with it. Enter: CBD Chocolate Chip Cookies
I have a confession: I’m a closeted Southern food fanatic. And not because I’m ashamed or embarrassed. Quite the opposite actually! I say I’m closeted because, despite my in-depth search, I continue to find it difficult to access Southern food. Think about it, how many Italian restaurants are available within a 10 mile radius from your home? Or what about Thai food, or Mexican, or a classic French restaurant? I bet most of you could name 5 restaurants in your town and not one would be Southern. And I bet you don’t come across many Southern inspired recipes like my Old Bay Black Eyed Peas, Peach Chow Chow, and Collards recipe often. That needs to change. There needs to be more Southern food!
I used to hate corn. My only positive memory of it comes from meals spent with my grandparents. My grandfather ate corn like it was going out of style. Anytime it was on the menu, he passionately devoured that cob of corn so ferociously that it was inevitable to spot one or two (or 10) kernels on his face… which was hilarious to 6 year old me. I think we even found kernels in his ear once. But even though I could see how much he loved corn, I still couldn’t understand why. My disdain for corn was matched by his love of it.
If you remember yesterday’s post, I’ve started to sift through our kitchen pantry in an attempt to jump start packing for our move to Maine. It’s quite amazing how much stuff actually piles up in those dark crevices. But the upside is that I’m scoring a bunch of interesting ingredients that I forgot I had! This Chilled Vietnamese Noodle Salad with Shrimp and Blueberry Nuoc Cham came to fruition after discovering some tasty rice noodles that were hanging out next to the soba (future post?). So thanks to that great find (and Chef Stephanie Izard), here is today’s easy and refreshing recipe.
Since returning from our house scouting trip to Maine I became increasingly aware of how much stuff we have. As excited as I am for this next adventure, I am equally dreading the act of packing our house. But it’s happening, hafta do it, so might as well start. And since the kitchen is my domain, I decided to start there. And what better way to use up leftover items than throw it into a dinner. Thus this Seared Salmon with Lentil Pilaf and Mint Yogurt Sauce came to be.
Ceviche has to be one of my favorite go-to meals during the warmer Spring and Summer months. Because it is a 100% “raw” preparation meal, I not only get more time to enjoy the outdoors but I dont have to turn on the stove/oven when the temps are already uncomfortably warm in the house. AND with its unlimited options of flavors and ingredients, it’s an easy meal to make everyone in your household happy. Take this Japanese ceviche: I bet it will be a go to in your house as well.
I remember first discovering how versatile, complex, and exciting food could truly be. I was amazed when I first tried a dish similar to this Green Tea Poached Fish with Carrot-Ginger Sauce. Poaching a protein in anything other than stock was so foreign to me at the time and yet, when I learned about this interesting technique, it was a major light bulb-kind-of-moment. Well, duh! Of course you should poach delicate fish in an herbal tea! I always knew I wanted to be a chef, but that dish certainly set the stage for my culinary career.
This Strawberry Basil Welsh Cake recipe may seem simple. But these simple pastries hold so many personal childhood memories that it was on the “duh, of course I should make them” baking list this past weekend.
I was lucky enough to have grandparents who lived in a beautiful house minutes away from the lake in Tahoe, California. We would spend every winter on sleds and in kid-made igloos. And every summer was spent running around the deck, tossing horseshoes, and eating all kinds of yummy treats with my sisters and cousins. And one of the most iconic treats from that era (aside from the fudge) were these welsh cakes. Well, not this strawberry basil version but the original cakes my grandmother grew up eating. I’m sure that particular recipe is over 120 years old.
This dish is all about the chicken skin. It’s a highly sought after snack in my house. I’ve heard the skin can be a major point of contention in others. Family wars have been fought over Thanksgiving turkey skin (not proven but sounds legit, right?). And let’s be honest, no matter what your dietary preferences are, there isn’t anything quite like crunching into a salty piece of chicken skin. Which is why this Poached Chicken with Honey-Mustard Chicken Skin dish needed to exist.
I’m going to be honest with you, I’m not sure where the inspiration for this smoked chicken with preserved lemon-sweet potato risotto and artichoke came from! I’m not one of those chefs who’s obsessed with smoking things. And unless thrown into a salad, I could leave canned artichokes alone. But for some reason, these ingredients came together so harmoniously I just had to share!