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Saturday, February 25, 2012

Blanquette de Veau (French Veal Ragout)

So, the plan was to surprise my husband with one of his favorite meals. A dish his mom used to make for him often, and that he always requests when we go to visit. Blanquette de Veau. It's basically a veal stew or ragout of sorts with a creamy sauce.

The goal was not to make it better than his mom's (because that would be virtually impossible), but just to foster a little nostalgia and warm and fuzzy, like a dish from your past should.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Chinese Poached Chicken with Fragrant Ginger Sauce (Hainanese Chicken)

So, to the untrained eye, this just looks like a plain old chicken. And when I was a kid, this chicken was served with a horrible, spicy, pungent sauce that only my mom would like.

Now? This is a fabulously moist and tender chicken with a flavorful, fresh sauce as a complement. Super simple, but really, can it get any better?

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Blue Cheese, Walnut & Quinoa Chopped Salad

You know when you go through eating phases? Where you seem to eat a derivative of the same ingredients over and over for a while til you somehow switch to something new?

For example, I recently had a chicken phase. I had to eat chicken everyday. My favorite was a whole roasted chicken. I would eat the wings, my husband would eat the legs, and then we would use the breast meat in sandwiches, salads, and pastas. And when we were almost out of chicken (usually within a couple of days), I would get chicken anxiety, and I would run to the store and buy more chicken. Perhaps chicken legs or chicken breasts, but it had to be chicken. Nothing else was acceptable.

Now, I am in a salad phase. But not just any salad. Nope, that would be far to easy. It's got to be a salad with blue cheese and walnuts. Somehow, the richness of the cheese and the crunch of walnuts has made salads irresistible. And even though my pantry and fridge are stocked with tons of great ingredients, I have to run to the store to buy more stuff to make some kind of blue cheese and walnut salad. Go figure.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Rotisserie Style Chicken Rub

Some things never change.

Yes, some of you may have noticed that my blog got a little uplift. So that changed recently. But some of my food habits don't. Like rotisserie chicken.

Yes, I am a Rotisserie Chicken addict. In fact, every time I go grocery shopping, I have to force myself not to pick up one of these juicy birds. They are so delicious and make the perfect, inexpensive, quick, guilt free pre-prepared food that can double as a ready to eat meal and a quick sandwich stuffer/ salad topper for lunch the next day. 

I have made rotisserie chicken before on my blog (click here to check that out). That was when I lived in Dubai and my kitchen was furnished with a massive oven with a rotisserie spit inside of it. But this time, I am using a regular old oven with my own spice rub, which gives the chicken that nostalgic rotisserie chicken taste.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Jam Crumble Bars


Everyone needs a quick and easy "go-to" dessert. For those times when you want something other than ice cream or cookies, but don't feel like full out baking. For example, when you are weeknight entertaining. Or as a sweet ending to a relaxed brunch. 

These jam crumble bars have it all. They can be cut into bars and thrown into a lunch bag, eaten as a sweet on the go breakfast, or plated, garnished and served as a homemade dessert (who wouldn't love this warm with a scoop of vanilla ice cream?). 

The other great thing about these bars is that they are pretty healthy. Made with whole wheat flour and oats, you really don't have to feel guilty about serving this to your kids or those who are watching their waistline. 

And you don't have to feel bad about leaving it on the counter and seeing your husband eat it for breakfast... 

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Endive Salad with Walnuts

Endives. I am really not use to using these slightly bitter greens at all. But every time I go back to France, I find them in abundance in the fall, winter, and spring markets. It is especially noticeable in the winter, when there are few other "leafy" greens available... just cases upon cases of endives.

So, these become a winter staple. Cooked with bechamel and ham, sauteed with a little oil, salt and pepper, or as the basis of a fresh, wintery salad.

One of my favorites is this Endive Salad with Walnuts. It is light and flavorful, but the crunch of the walnuts and the slight bitterness of the greens remind you that it is still winter. Best of all, it is incredibly easy to make and apart from the endives, everything else is a pantry ingredient.