Monthly Archives: October 2011

Caramel Corn

Fall is in full swing here in the District. Today was chilly, and the leaves are finally changing colors. I’ll try and take a picture of D.C. in fall to post for you guys later this week. My friend Merey and I have been dying for a chill night in, and, with all of the work that we have during the upcoming weeks, what better time than the present? So, after popping open a bottle of wine, we decided to make ourselves a delicious fall treat: Caramel Corn.

Merey has been raving about her mom’s caramel corn recipe ever since the weather started to change. Let me tell you, folks: Mama Wittman-Shell’s caramel corn is pretty damn AMAZING. And it is so, so easy to make! With some freshly popped corn and a homemade caramel sauce, this is sure to be a crowd pleaser at any Halloween party or fall gathering.

So what’re you waiting for? Go make yourself some popcorn! Everyone will thank you! Sorry the pictures are a bit crummy; we didn’t have a camera on hand, but I just had to document this and wound up using Photo Booth. I’ll play around with it and hopefully improve the images!

Happy Eating!

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Healthy Snacks


I had grand plans of posting about all of the different cookies I made for my study groups in the last few weeks, but, let’s face it: I don’t want to talk cookies right now. Don’t worry; I’ll post them in time for the holidays. The thing is, I’ve spent the last two weeks writing like a mad woman, outlining the entire first half of my CivPro class, and dreaming of, well, dreaming in my bed. Hell week in undergrad ain’t got nothin’ on hell week in law school.

I realized early last week, however, that grabbing something out of the vending machine or from Au Bon Pain was not going to keep me going. I often don’t want a full meal when I work, but I do like to keep a few snacks on hand so that I have enough fuel to keep working. Granted, there are times (like this past weekend) where I am so engrossed in what I am doing that I forget about eating until, say, 3pm. But, most of the time, I enjoy the comfort a few munchies–especially because they keep me from eating too much when I finally remember to have a proper meal!

So here’s a list of the snacks I whip up to make sure I have enough protein, veg, and healthy fats in my diet. I’ve excluded smoothies and parfaits because the likelihood of a smoothie tasting good after sitting around for four hours in a law school is, well, slim. That being said, those are great for when at home! Hope these help out the rest of you.

Happy Eating!

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Winter Greens

As the temperature begins to drop (or if you are in NYC, bounces between 65 and 85 degrees), the local produce begins to change.  In place of tomatoes and peppers, we are seeing squash and root vegetables.  Of all of the fall and winter vegetables, my favorite, hands down, are the greens.  From kale to swiss chard to collards, I’m in love.  There are simply no other veggies that I actually crave.

What makes winter greens so great is how simple they are to prepare and how few ingredients are needed to make a tasty side dish (mostly just pantry staples).  The recipe below is a rough one.  I switch things around all of the time.  For the oil, I will use rendered bacon fat (and will top the finished greens with the crisped bacon).  For the red wine vinegar, I’ll sometimes throw in some balsamic.  If I don’t have shallots on hand, I will finely chop a little onion.  This recipe is all about flexibility and ease.

If you haven’t tried these leafy greens before, take a chance.  There are so many out there.  In addition to the aforementioned ones, try escarole and mustard greens.  Each is packed with vitamin C, calcium, potassium, and beta-carotene.  In addition to this easy side dish, they can be tossed into pastas and soups.  They are versatile, and did I mention, they’re delicious? Continue reading

Katz’s Delicatessen

Katz's Reuben with Corned Beef and Pastrami on Rye

If you visit New York City, you probably have a list of places to visit, and if you really know what you’re doing, one of those places is Katz’s Deli in the Lower East Side.

Katz’s may be well-known for its appearance in When Harry Met Sally, but more importantly, it has crazy-good food.  The pastrami and corned beef are unlike any I’ve had anywhere else, and even as a resident of the city, it is a treat to make a trip to Katz’s.

Katz’s is both a delightful and worthwhile trip, but it can be a slightly intimidating and, potentially, stressful experience.  The place is always bustling, and the staff, while friendly, is curt.  You need to know what to do before you walk in the doors, and you need to be assertive.  If you walk in unprepared, you could be swallowed by the crowds.  So, to help you out, I’ve put together 10 tips to make your trip to Katz’s as stress-free and delicious as possible: Continue reading

Duck Breast with Orange Gastrique

Apologies.  I realize that it has been awhile since my last post, and to be honest, there was quite some time between my last two posts.  It’s that time of year again—school time.  The time of year when I spend all day teaching and all night either going to grad school or working on grad school projects.  And while I love teaching, and well like tolerate grad school, I just have a hard time finding time to cook.

Last weekend, Brandon and I threw together another beer can chicken.  It was just as delicious as the last.  Other than that, we enjoyed some yummy bites at some of our favorite NYC places:  Lamarca (terrific pasta), Num Pang (Banh Mi [Vietnamese-inspired] sandwiches), and The Meatball Shop (well, I think you can figure that one out).

So, in order to provide you with a new recipe, I am looking back at a meal we made a few months ago.  It is certainly one of my favorites, and although it sounds fancy, it’s really not too difficult to make.  However, it does take some attention to detail.

Whenever I go out for dinner and duck is on the menu, I order it.  I just love it’s meaty flavor and its crispy, often crackly, skin.  It took me awhile to even think that I could make duck at home, but after receiving Martha Stewart’s Cooking School, I decided to try my hand at it.  This recipe is simple and requires very few ingredients.  It’s succulent and impressive.  Not to mention, you can toss waxy fingerlings in the rendered duck fat before throwing them in a 400-degree oven to make some insanely delicious roasted potatoes.   Continue reading

Kale and White Bean Soup

The weather on the East Coast has been interesting to say the least. After weeks of ridiculously cold and dreary weather, we’re now benefitting from 70-degree days and lots of sunshine. While the sunshine has definitely made my commute much better, I can’t help but wonder where the fall temperatures are. I expected October to be a bit chillier; it seems wrong that the pumpkins and fall decor are out when the weather is decidedly spring-like. After all, I can’t justify my search for a new fall jacket if there are no fall winds to be found…

In my eagerness for fall weather, I decided to make some white bean soup. This recipe makes a pretty sizable amount of food, and  I usually freeze some of the leftovers so that there is something to eat when the temperatures finally drop. While I was never much of a soup person before, I’ve found that bean soups are becoming an increasingly important part of my diet. They have just the right amount of protein, and it doesn’t hurt that they are easy to make and super budget-friendly.

You don’t have to use kale in this soup–any dark green will work (though I have found spinach to be a bit too watery for my liking). The recipe is pretty versatile and can be made with just white beans or with a variety of different ones; I just love the white beans because of their creaminess. Feel free to reduce the stock by half if you would like to make this into more of a stew (which I love to eat with an egg over easy and some toast. Yum!). You can also omit the bacon and just use a bit of butter or olive oil if you’d like to make the dish vegetarian or vegan. And, as always, wine can be replaced with some extra broth.

Happy Eating!

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50 Foods in a Jar?

Image courtesy of Under the Table and Dreaming

Hi all!

Sorry we’re behind on blogging–we’ve been pretty swamped with school on our end. My meals of late have revolved around kitchen staples and treats from my mother (thank goodness someone is still cooking)!

I just wanted to share this awesome blogpost I found while checking out Pinterest earlier today. I was completely skeptical when I first saw the link, but these a quick scroll through the post won me over. 50 of your favorite foods and drinks in a jar–how cool is that?! I’m hoping to try out the individual pies-in-a-jar sometime this fall, along with the parfait and cocktail recipes. Imagine how great it would it be to prep breakfast the night before in a little mason jar or to let guests mix up their own drinks? Needless to say, I’m inspired and have every intent of buying a whole bunch of mason jars next time I’m at the Container Store!

Be sure to check out the post at Under the Table and Dreaming!

Happy eating, and I hope you all are having a great weekend.

Chicken Piccata

I have a secret. I adore Giada de Laurentiis. I know a lot of people hate the sight of her, but I love, love, LOVE her recipes. Sure, her outfits are always a little too pristine and her hair a bit too glossy for a busy kitchen, and, yes, I sometimes joined in mocking her when watching her cooking shows. But, let’s face it: she got to cook for royalty when they made the trek to the U.S.; obviously, we think her food is good enough for a future king. So hate on haters, I will continue to lust after her mad cooking skills.

Today, I thought I would post one of my favorite Giada recipes for another kitchen staple: chicken piccata. For some reason, I once convinced myself that, contrary to everything else I knew about Italian cooking, chicken piccata was downright difficult. It isn’t. Since realizing how simple this dish is, it has made several appearances in my kitchen–especially once I saw how adaptable it was in terms of serving size.

I love this recipe because the chicken is so, so moist. I hate when chicken breast gets rubbery (I’m a dark meat person myself), and this recipe is the polar opposite. With the tangy lemon and a hint of white wine and broth, I pair this with some simple spaghetti con aglio e olio or tossed with sauteed mushrooms for guests or with a simple salad if I’m cooking for one. Regardless, it’s a dish that comes together quickly with a few pantry staples.

Happy Eating!

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