shower (thinking) cap

i do my best thinking in the shower. maybe it’s because it’s one of the few times i’m alone with nothing to distract me. or maybe it’s because i take really long showers (sorry mother earth!)

anywho, while in the shower i was thinking about food (shocker) and the list of recipes and restaurants that i wanted to post about and then it hit me like a turkey leg to the face; why am i posting anything but food-related stuff? it’s basically my reason for getting up in the morning.

thus i’m embarking on a pilot project of predominately foodie posts. life and family updates will hang around on this blog, but i’m bidding adieu to just about everything else for a bit. let’s call it a new year’s project whaddaya say. you can find the new stuff here.

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marinade serenade

these marinades are easy and tasty enough to evoke bursting into song. believe me, it happens often. but first, a little marinade 101:

:: always marinate in the fridge.
:: resealable bags are the way to go. easy to seal and easy to keep clean. however if you’re going to use a container, make sure it’s glass, stainless steel or ceramic and that you cover it.
:: steaks can marinate from 6-8 hours, and as long as overnight.

it’s always good to have a basic marinade recipe on deck. here’s ours:

red or white wine vinegar. olive oil. crushed garlic cloves. sea salt & fresh black pepper

from there, if you want to mix it up a little consider adding the following:

for a little asian flare: crushed red pepper. soy sauce (or hoisin). ground mustard. ground ginger. brown sugar or honey. sesame oil.

for a heartier marinade: worcestershire sauce. sliced onion. soy sauce. sugar. black coffee.

as a general rule, you can’t go wrong by mixing any combination of the following into the basic recipe: rosemary. thyme. lemon zest. ginger. honey. balsamic.

enjoy!

nom nom nom

as per my bestie’s request, i’m going to start posting some delish and delightful recipes that i deem shareable.

let me preface with the fact that i love to cook, but rarely measure anything…thus it’s difficult for me to share recipes. however, i’m going to make a better effort to start paying attention.

this first one is for those kitchen-challenged folks out there. it’s super easy, so yummy, and like most soups, is so much better the next day.

mediterranean stew with artichokes

the what: 1 teaspoon olive oil, 1 cup chopped onion, 3-5 thinly sliced garlic cloves, 1¼ pounds ground lamb (or turkey), 1 teaspoon garlic salt, 1 teaspoon dried oregano, ½ teaspoon dried thyme, 2 bay leaves, ¼ teaspoon black pepper, 1 (141/2-ounce) can stewed tomatoes (italian style if you prefer), 1 (141/2-ounce) can diced tomatoes, (19-ounce) can chickpeas, 1 (2 1/4-ounce) can sliced black olives, 1 (14-ounce) can quartered artichoke hearts, and crumbled feta cheese for garnish

the how: in a soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. peel and coarsely chop the onion, adding it and the your sliced garlic, to the pot as you chop. add the lamb and raise the heat to medium-high. stir frequently, breaking up any large chunks of lamb and making sure that it cooks through. while the meat cooks, add the garlic salt, oregano, thyme, bay leaves and black pepper.

while the lamb continues to cook, open all the cans. drain and rinse the chickpeas in a colander. drain the artichokes and olives (you can just throw them in the colander with the drained chickpeas).

add the tomatoes with their juices to the pot. break up any large tomato chunks. add the chickpeas, olives and artichokes. stir thoroughly but gently.

continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the lamb is no longer pink, about five minutes. reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring from time to time to blend flavors and reduce the liquid slightly, it’ll be ready in about 10 minutes, but the longer it simmers the better it tastes.

when hunger comes a callin’ spoon the stew into bowls and garnish with feta cheese crumbles to taste. i buy naan to sop it all up with. (just prep the naan in the oven on low brushed with a bit of olive oil)

note: use artichokes packed in water, not marinated artichokes.

(and for the record, i realize recipes are a bit boring without pics. i’ll remedy that for next time)

savory sweet weekend

this weekend we experienced our first glimpse of autumn weather since moving to austin. slightly cooler temps, overcast skies, and a 5am thunderstorm to boot. needless to say, for me that translates to cooking with fall flavors: pumpkin, sage, thyme, and a roasted bird.

friday night’s menu:

roasted eggplant soup :: warm bread & arugula salad w/ pine nuts and currants :: sage roasted chicken :: pumpkin bread pudding

(i said a little prayer for our chicken and thanked him for his life)

sunday morning’s menu:

mimosas :: crispy bacon :: buttermilk biscuits :: eggs over arugula & goat cheese :: pumpkin pancakes

it’s warm again today…eh it was good while it lasted.