Kimchi is an incredibly versatile condiment. For those who haven’t been introduced to the wonderful world of kimchi, kimchi is cabbage that is fermented in chili, garlic, onions and other seasonings. Because kimchi is naturally fermented, its natural bacteria is great for your digestive health. Over the years, I’ve started incorporating it into many dishes but I love to eat it with just about everything. (Tip: Kimchi and eggs go really well together!). I only recently started trying Mother-in-Law’s kimchi and I am hooked. It’s tangy, effervescent, and got incredibly complex flavors compared to other brands of kimchi I’ve tried. You can buy it here or I usually get it at our local Whole Foods. Be prepared to pick up many jars of this stuff because you’ll go through it really fast. Stay tuned, because we’ve got some kimchi-inspired dishes for you this week!
Our Meyer lemon tree is exploding!! Seriously, there’s more fruit than we know what to do with. We’ve given plenty away to family, friends and neighbors, but it just keep on coming! I think it’s about time to strip it down, juice, and freeze for later. But first, a good Meyer lemon recipe is in order. Audrey has been experimenting with different lemon cakes for a couple weeks now, and finally settled on this slight adaptation from the one and only, Tartine. It’s perfectly moist due to the sugary glaze and a big helping of almond paste. You can find almond paste at the grocery store, but I included simple instructions on how to make your own.
For me, when it comes to comfort food, nothing epitomizes comfort food more than a large pot of hot and spicy carne adovada. Carne adovada is pork braised in chiles and a mixture of spices of cumin, coriander and cinnamon until its falls apart and soaks up even more of that delicious chile sauce. I make this dish all the time. It’s one of those great throw-it-in-the oven-and-forget-about-it-dishes. It simply requires a bit of prep work, but the work is worth every minute and makes a huge difference. For starters, throw away that bottle of chile powder. NOW. As long as you have a blender, making a chile sauce from dried chiles is really simple and totally worth the extra effort. Second, I’m a big fan of using whole spices and grinding them yourself. Sure, if you have some ground cumin or coriander you can use it, but consider switching to whole spices. Not only do they last longer, but the flavor is more complex and intense. I love eating the carne adovada with some warm tortillas that I simply throw over an open flame for a few seconds on each side and creamy avocados. This is one of my all time favorite dishes and I hope you make it soon!
I’m constantly on the lookout for interesting glassware to use in my cocktail posts. One of my favorite weekend activities is hunting for new props (food/drink bloggers, you know what I’m talking about). Sounds like fun, right? Wait, don’t answer that. From the retail chains to the local boutiques, the thrift stores to the antique shops; it’s all one big adventure! Lately I’ve been all about the estate sales. I’m not talking a random estate sale that you happen drive by and stop to check out. But rather, on the email list and waking up at the crack of dawn on a Saturday to stand in line an hour before it opens kinda estate sale. Sometimes I feel almost like I’m on a reality show. Any agents out there? Recently at an estate sale (one time . . . at band camp) I picked up this lovely little crystal glass, along with an old 5th edition (1941) copy of the Old Mr. Boston cocktail book. I decided to celebrate with a cocktail straight from the book. I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to get a Chartreuse cocktail on the blog. While here in the Old Mr. Boston guide it’s referred to as the Jewel, this cocktail actually dates back to the late 1890’s where it was, and often still is, called the Bijou, French for jewel. Supposedly, the name jewel is meant to reference diamond, ruby and emerald as gin, vermouth, and chartreuse. Don’t let the similarity to a Negroni fool you. It’s much sweeter, more vegetal, and has some serious bite. But hey, it’s not every day you get the chance to sip a 120 year old cocktail, right?!
I’m a savory breakfast kinda girl. I always love the idea of pancakes and french toast but end up usually making some kind of egg dish. This recipe is the best of both worlds: light fluffy yeasted waffles filled with melted cheddar and salty bacon. First, let me tell you that you haven’t had waffles until you’ve had yeasted waffles– they’ll change your whole breakfast game. I’ve been making yeasted waffles exclusively ever since I first made them. But second, this dish is everything you love about breakfast all rolled up into one runny, sticky delicious mess. Trust me, this is one is worth getting a waffle iron for if you don’t have one!
We don’t really celebrate Valentine’s Day at our house. In fact, this year there’s a chance I’ll be hanging out with my mother-in-law playing bridge . . . but I digress. The truth is that my wife is a picky eater (shhhh…) and all those special prix fixe menus you find out on Valentine’s Day don’t quite suit her taste. Not to mention the prices! Consequently, it has been long established that Valentine’s Day is a stay at home holiday at our house. And I think this year with baby Fiona, that’s exactly what we’ll do. Don’t get me wrong, the drinks will still be Flowing (yeah that’s right . . . capital F). This is one of those, why didn’t I think of it sooner cocktails. Three of my favorite ingredients mixed into one: blood orange, amaro, vermouth. I’ve been obsessed with Amaro Nonino lately. It is both bitter and sweet, mellow but complex, and bursting with citrus. So if you’re like me and Valentine’s Day is more of an on-the-couch affair, do yourself and your pickier half a favor and give this cocktail a try.