Monday, March 12, 2012

Strawberry Muffins

For the past couple of weekends, I've been craving muffins. Specifically blueberry, but really any muffins would do. I made a trip to the grocery store on Wednesday with the intention of buying blueberries (for the muffins) and instead stumbled across a whole shelf of discounted strawberries!

One awesome thing about strawberries on their last legs: they cook into amazingness. One of my absolute favorite things to bake is Smitten Kitchen's Strawberry Summer Cake - a pound cake-like base with strawberries sunk into the top. While the cake bakes, the strawberries literally melt into a jam-like consistency on top that is so awesome, I can't keep the cake in the house. Last-legs strawberries melt the best because they're already almost squishy.

When I saw the strawberries, I decided I'd try making blueberry muffins with strawberries instead of blueberries. This ended up being a fantastic idea. The strawberries melted inside the muffins, so instead of biting into crunchy fruit pieces, I bit into the muffins and it was like someone had injected them with little bits of jam. I made a dozen on Saturday, and I have another batch in the oven as I type.

Friday, March 9, 2012


Happy Friday, everyone! My friend Kirsten from Eat The Queen came over last night to do a feature on my fridge - go check it out!

Then have an awesome weekend.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Miso Fried Rice

My brothers and I love to go to Benihana for special occasions. One of my favorite parts of a Benihana meal is the fried rice - I always hope that I get served last so I get some of that awesome crispy bottom that's been sizzling on the hibachi extra long. Sometimes I get cravings for really salty, crispy fried rice, but this is the first time I've ever actually tried to make it. I think it's a success!

This is an approximation of the flavor of the fried rice at Benihana, with miso paste instead of what I've always thought was garlic butter (now I'm thinking it may be miso!). In addition, I was short a few ingredients for Benihana's special orange sauce, so I decided to go a totally different direction with a fried egg and sriracha garnish. Yum!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Eggs Poached in Spicy Tomato Sauce

I love eggs. They're so versatile, healthy, an inexpensive - even if you buy the organic ones! (I definitely recommend organic eggs, there really is a difference in the flavor of the yolk!)

Anyway, I've been craving this dish all day. It's similar to shakshuka, because it's a touch spicy, and you poach the eggs in a tomato sauce, but I didn't have any feta or jalapenos (who keeps that sort of thing on hand???) so I mocked up my own version. It was so perfect - a touch spicy, and a little bit sweet because of some carrot puree, and once I cut the egg into the sauce, it took on an almost cheesy and creamy quality. Eggs poached in tomato sauce may seem strange, but I think it would make the most wonderful comfort food in the middle of the winter.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Oatmeal Galore!

One of my favorite breakfasts is oatmeal - especially in the morning during the week, and even more in the winter. It's cheap, it's healthy, and it's quick - no more than 5 or 6 minutes to prepare, toppings included. The photo above is maple syrup (the real stuff!), brown sugar, and walnuts, but there are a million different combinations I like to make. Check out below for my oatmeal base and some other suggestions for toppings...

Friday, February 24, 2012

Super-Easy Roasted Vegetables

As the title states, these delicious roasted veggies are super easy to make perfectly. I could never figure out how to roast veggies properly. They never cooked right, and there was always a very burnt element combined with a very undercooked element, combined with too much or too little salt. However, Jim did these as a part of the Valentine's dinner he surprised me by cooking, and I couldn't stop eating them. Seriously. He ran to the bathroom while they were cooling and I kept sneaking crispy bits of brussel sprouts out of the dish. Is there a better vegetable than perfectly roasted crispy brussel sprouts? I don't think so.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Spicy Veggie Dumpling Soup for One

I recently bought (on a whim) a bag of veggie dumplings from Jungle Jim's. These are one of my FAVORITE frozen purchases ever. I don't generally buy a ton of frozen food, but these swayed me because they're so simple: the ingredients are kimchi (spicy cabbage), sliced radish, onion, ginger, soy, and wheat flour. Real food! I've been snacking on them a lot, and last night I decided I wanted to try my hand at a broth-based soup. I threw it together without a real recipe, and I was pretty pleased.

Serves 1 for a meal, 2 for a side

1/4 cup matchstick carrots
1/4 cup matchstick zucchini
1/4 cup roughly cut onion
1/2 clove onion, minced
1 cup chicken broth (I used homemade broth, but if you're buying it definitely get low sodium)
1 cup water
6 frozen veggie dumplings
salt to taste
splash of soy sauce
red chili paste to taste


1) Put broth and water into a medium-sized cooking pot. Add onion and garlic, and bring to a rolling boil. Cook for approximately 5 minutes.
2) Add carrot and soy sauce, boil for another 5 minutes. 
3) Turn heat down to a simmer, add zucchini and dumplings. Cook until dumplings are done (follow your packaging)
4) Serve in a bowl, and garnish with your desired amount of red chili paste.

There are a couple things I would do differently if I made this soup again: 

1) I'd add some sesame oil or miso for a little more depth. This was pretty one dimensional, even with the added layer of the chili paste.

2) I'd slice up a little ginger, and maybe add in some mushrooms for some extra earthiness.

I think this would also be really good with udon noodles instead of dumplings, and you can always add whatever vegetables you have lying around. Yum!