Kale Coconut Salad

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When you move to California (having never even visited before), you falsely feel like you have some sense of the place.  TV and movies promise palm trees, sunshine, and surfers.  While I knew I was moving to Northern California and not San Diego, I was still surprised our first morning here (in August no less), that I needed to pull on a sweatshirt to go search out a local coffee shop.  I always find myself explaining to friends and relatives back home that my part of California is usually always 67 degrees.  Even in August.  Even in November. So this … Continue reading

Strawberry Edamame Salad with Ginger Honey Lime Dressing

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This was one of those meals that come together while I stood in front of the fridge.  Usually when I stand in front of the fridge with the door open, I just find myself eating cheddar cheese, so this was a happy surprise.  I’ve been keeping a bowl of cut up strawberries in the fridge (to distract me before I can reach for the cheese).  I also had some edamame in the freezer, and when I mixed the strawberries and edamame together, I just grabbed some sunflower seeds from the cupboard for crunch.  I thought the dressing idea was at … Continue reading

Dark Chocolate Espresso Quinoa Bars

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Last week at work I realized I’d amassed an impressive stockpile of granola bars in my snack drawer.  (I’ve found that keeping all your files digital just expands the storage options for snacks).  My company stocks Odwalla bars in the break room, and I always try to grab a few of their Super Protein bars when they’re available.  I’m also a big fan of the Coconut Cream flavor of Larabars.  Lately though, my favorite easy to grab snack, by far, has been the Luna Peanut Honey Pretzel.  I buy the Peanut Honey Pretzel bars by the case from my local … Continue reading

Homemade Matar Paneer

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A block away from my freshman dorm was a restaurant called “Tamber’s Nifty Fifties.”  The décor was pure American diner, with the vinyl booths, jukebox, and just a touch of neon.  They served burgers and tuna melts and milk shakes.  Plus an entire menu of Indian food.  Truly a strange combination.  At the time, I just thought it was weird; I was far more obsessed with classes and grades than food at that point in my life (for days at a time I derived the majority of my calories from Annie’s shells and cheese).  Looking back on it now though, … Continue reading

Homemade Paneer

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I adore cheese.  I would say that I’d never met a cheese I didn’t like, but I truly have no use for mild cheddar.  Why bother?  I told a friend at the farmers’ market last week that I like my cheddar so sharp it bites back.  I also love some staple cheeses like parmesan, asiago, and feta, as well as some more specialized artisan cheese like Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam.  While I’ve enjoyed cheese all over the country, including an epic hour long visit to the Cabot Cheese tasting room, after which I swore off cheese for five solid minutes, … Continue reading

Homemade Naan

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Most afternoons I come home to find a takeout menu hung on my door knob.  Usually the neon doortag is advertising pizza or Chinese and quickly finds a home in my recycling bin.  Last week the menu was for Indian, and instead of instantly tossing it, I stood on my front porch and perused it.  When I lived in Boston I walked by an Indian restaurant everyday on my way home from work.  Sometimes I’d pop in and order some naan to eat while walking home.  How can you go wrong with warm, fluffy bread?  Better yet, warm, fluffy bread … Continue reading

Everyday Buttermilk Skillet Cake

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I found my everyday cake!  While paging through the Joy the Baker cookbook, I was instantly taken by this simple recipe.  Sadly though, I don’t really need an everyday cake.  People are not constantly dropping by my house for tea, and while cake is always welcome in this house, I don’t really need cake on my kitchen table every day.  Still, it’s nice to think of life in an alternate universe where I would always need to have cake in the house.  Where my kitchen staples might be eggs, kale, cheddar and buttermilk cake.  That seems like an excellent alternate … Continue reading

Potato and Cheddar Pierogi

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Last weekend I was back in Boston, and my mom took a day off from work so we could spend it together.  I don’t get nearly as much Mom time now that I live 3000 miles away, so it was a rare treat.  I lodged a special request that we spend part of the day making pierogi.  Pierogi (a potato-filled dumpling of Polish origin), didn’t play any prominent role in my childhood, but my mom has fond memories of her Aunt Katie making them.  We’ve been slowly collecting several generations worth of family recipes and dishes, and I really can’t … Continue reading

Irish Soda Bread

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Irish soda bread signifies March and spring to me just as much as daffodils and birthday cake.  My mom has always made it in March, usually to have at our birthday party, and somehow it feels not quite right to make it at other times.  Even now, living in California, where things seem perpetually in season, I find myself avoiding strawberries through winter.  I look forward to strawberry season and have no desire to ruin strawberry memories with a pale pink imposter in February.  March is Irish soda bread season in my turning of the world.  My mom has always … Continue reading

Mexican Breakfast Bowl

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Despite the name, I’ve eaten this bowl for dinner more nights than not this past week.  When I like something, I tend to go all in.  I’ll read every book an author has written.  I eat pineapple until my mouth burns, and then I eat more pineapple.  I listen to the same song on repeat until the lyrics cease to sound like words.  And I eat this for dinner four nights in a row because it takes ten minutes to make and is just as satisfying every single time. J doesn’t like repetition.  He can actually eat just one chocolate … Continue reading