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Archive for the ‘Cooking’ Category

I recently became a member of Arganica, a “food club” that offers year-round access to locally-sourced, artisanal and organic foods delivered right to your door. (I like that last part the best…)

Unlike a typical CSA share, Arganica lets you choose what you receive each week instead of just giving you a box filled with random fruits and vegetables. However, since I bought my membership through a special Groupon deal, one of my benefits is a free produce crate, which is… a box filled with random fruits and vegetables.

So now I’ve got a fridge full of carrots, strawberries, broccoli, apples, oranges, beets, onions and more. And I’ve got to figure out what to do with them all before they go bad.

I’ve already bookmarked recipes for a carrot-cumin salad, broccoli soup and a strawberry crumble…

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This week, I made chicken cutlets with a pomegranate-honey sauce.

I made the cutlets myself by halving chicken breasts and pounding them flat with my cast-iron pan (yes, it was the first time I’d ever done that). After dredging the cutlets in a little bit of olive oil and giving them a dusting of flour and a generous sprinkle of salt, I fried them in another splash of oil for just a few quick minutes on each side.

Whenever I’ve cooked chicken breasts before, they’ve usually come out dry and bland. These cutlets were so moist and flavorful – it was a pleasant surprise. While I was preparing them, I simmered some mashed up pomegranate seeds with honey and spices for a tangy-sweet sauce.

Served with an apple-walnut salad, it was a quick and easy weeknight meal…

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This year for Christmas, my parents gave me an immersion blender. I specifically asked for it; while I’m grateful to get any present from my parents, I’ve learned over the years that I need to be directive with them, or else I’ll end up with who knows what. (One year, they gave me a completely random home health guide, and the very next year? They gave me the exact same random home health guide…)

I finally used the blender for the first time this past weekend to make sweet potato and pea soup from a recipe I got from the Whole Foods app. It was incredibly easy and incredibly healthy — just vegetables, water and spices. After cooking the vegetables for an hour, I whipped out the blender and pureed everything until it was smooth.

I’ve been eating it all week with a toasted pumpkin seed garnish…

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This past weekend, I roasted a chicken for the first time.

I used a recipe from the Beekman 1802 Heirloom Cookbook, which I got for Christmas from Brian. I love cookbooks, even though I don’t cook as much as I’d like to, and I’d been wanting this one for a while. It’s got a ton of mouthwatering recipes featuring local and seasonal ingredients, plus there’s space for you to add your own heirloom dishes and personal notes.

I’ve cooked chicken parts before (mostly frying), but this is the first time that I’ve actually roasted an entire bird on my own. The prep was simple — just a little butter and rosemary between the skin, a lemon in the cavity and a generous amount of coarse salt all over — and when it was about halfway done, I added some small potatoes to the pan.

Usually, my chicken comes out on the dry side, but this was super-moist and flavorful. Served with a simple green salad with butternut squash and walnuts, it was a perfect dinner.

Thank you, Beekman Boys!

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Look at this mess.

I love kitchen gadgets, but since I’m really not much of a cook, they usually end up in this drawer unused. Aside from the fact that I just like getting my hands on new things, I’m always secretly thinking that whatever gadget I’m buying will be the one that finally helps me to figure out this whole cooking thing.

Of course, it doesn’t work out like that. And I end up with something new to add to the drawer…

 

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As much as I’d like to prepare something fresh and healthy for dinner each night, sometimes I just don’t have it in me. Last night was one of those times.

Yeah, that’s a frozen pizza box. But I did make a salad to go with it…

 

 

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After way too many years, I’m finally learning how to cook.

This...

I always pull out recipes from the many magazines I read (a rule of thumb: if it’s got Martha Stewart’s name on the cover, I read it…), but I’ve always been too intimidated to actually try them. Ever since I started my search for some rural roots, though, I decided it was high time to at least learn the basics… and maybe a little more.

...and this...

Keep reading…

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