Recently I went to visit my friend and her husband who live in St. Louis. I’m notorious for being directionally challenged, but in a different city, I have absolutely no sense of direction. So when the cabbie shooed me out of the cab and told me my destination was just down the street and that he didn’t want to get any closer due to road construction, I believed him. My friend lives in an upscale neighborhood around lots of trendy restaurants and boutiques. Upon closer inspection of the houses I walked past, I noticed that a lot of the homes were boarded up with plywood or were in disrepair. I thought, either I’m in the wrong spot or this place has gone downhill in the last year and a half since I’ve been here. I started walking faster, lugging my big orange suit case behind me. Nothing looked familiar, and I quickly realized I was lost. I wasn’t sure whether I was just on the wrong block or on the wrong street entirely. Then I smelled fried food and got excited. I followed my nose until I ended up in the Grove, a trendy part of St. Louis. And that’s when I stumbled across the Urban Chestnut Brewery, and thought, well, since I’m here…
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It is high time for my semi-annual haircut. I knew you’d want to know. I have this cave woman mop-like shag going on that is in desperate need of taming. I tend to wait until I catch an unsettling glimpse of myself in the mirror, and then I call my hair dresser in frantic desperation, pleading, “Can you get me in today?” My main goal is not necessarily to look trendy but to not scare children. Which is also why I always wear some form of makeup. I also struggle with coordinating my outfits. I once bought an outfit off a mannequin so I wouldn’t have to coordinate it. You do what you gotta do!
Justin and I have been attempting to incorporate more vegetables in our diet. It is an ongoing battle. Just adding salt and pepper to vegetables is fine and dandy, but after awhile, it gets old. When looking for flavorful vegetable-based recipes, I took my cue from India because they are known for their flavorful vegetarian dishes; I was not disappointed.
This zucchini dish has layers upon layers of wonderful flavor. You have turmeric and garam masala, which give the dish somewhat of a curry flavor. The chili powder makes it spicy, and the garlic, coriander, and cumin make up layers of delicious savory goodness. Then add the tomatoes and fresh cilantro, and you end up with a wonderfully complex tomato sauce. We ate this as a side dish with grilled chicken, but it can be paired with any kind of meat.
I first attempted this recipe in a wok, but I found it too small to really cook the zucchini. I quickly transferred it to a larger pot, which worked better. Vegetables cook best when they’re directly touching the pan to access direct heat. This recipe took 30-35 minutes to make, and it was well worth it! Enjoy!
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Are you all as ready for Fall as I am? And does anyone other than me think they’ve taken the pumpkin spice thing a little too far? I’m as much a fan of pumpkin spice as the next person, but they have pumpkin spice butter, cream cheese, creamer, lip gloss, TOOTHPASTE (ugh!), Pepto-Bismol, you name it. It’s taking over, and every year, there seems to be more products. But that being said, I am excited to try many pumpkin pie-alternatives for Thanksgiving this year. Stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for pumpkin recipes.
I had my wonderful parents-in-law over for dinner on Saturday and served this delicious salmon recipe with dill sauce. It was a hit! The creamy dill sauce with the tangy Dijon mustard is what makes this sauce delicious. Preparing the salmon is easy—I drizzled a little olive oil and then sprinkled salt and pepper over the fillets and then put them in the oven for 10-12 minutes. They come out tasting like you spent hours in the kitchen instead of minutes! And I baked a couple extra fillets so we’d have leftovers. Happy eating!
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Hear ye, hear ye! Let it be known that I, Lauren from the Speckled Spork, am posting a salad recipe. I know we’re nearly five months in, and this is my first salad post, but it’s better late than never, as they say. Perhaps with this post I can also dispel the totally unfounded rumor (please disregard all previous posts) that all we eat over here are carbs. I mean, I ate a carrot just last month. Or was it the month before? Whatever. That’s not important. What is important is that this is a delicious salad and one I’ve been making for years. The tangy Gorgonzola cheese with the sweet strawberries, honey balsamic vinaigrette, and crunchy pecans make this one delicious medley. You can substitute feta cheese if you’re not a Gorgonzola fan. Stay tuned for when I post the next salad recipe in another five months! Bon Appetit!
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When I was making this recipe, I misread one of the quantities in the ingredients so instead of making 3 cups of elbow pasta, I made three pounds. Three pounds! We have pasta coming out our ears over there. It’s taken over the kitchen, the fridge, and Justin says if it makes its way to the bedroom we’re in real trouble. But, I mean, as far as problems go, having too much pasta on your hands is a good problem to have. I have been making all kinds of mac and cheese recipes, and I’m happy to announce most of them have turned out (stay tuned for future mac and cheese posts).
This week it seems I’ve been on an all-carb diet, and unlike past diets, I have had tremendous success sticking to it. I eat biscuits for breakfast and mac and cheese for lunch and dinner, and then I repeat it. I should probably throw in a salad in there somewhere. I feel I would eat salads more regularly if vegetables tasted more like bacon…or cheese or chocolate. Most days, I try to fit in at least one vegetable serving a day, but I have fallen off the health bandwagon and am eating all the golden mac and cheese I want. In an unrelated note, I have been looking up muumuus on Amazon…
I want to invite you to make the baked cheesy goodness that is this dish. There are a lot of steps to this recipe but they go pretty quickly. This is a basic mac and cheese recipe. If you’d like some spice, add a dash of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes. You could probably also add Chipotle chile powder; just remember a little goes a long way. Regarding special equipment, this recipe calls for a food processor, but if you don’t have one, you’ll just need to cut up the bread with a knife to make breadcrumbs. Fresh or stale bread can be used. I think the breadcrumbs are a great addition because they give the dish a crunchy texture. Also, you can substitute different cheese combinations if you like. The following cheeses are recommended: Cheddar, plain or herb Jack, fontina, mozzarella, Asiago, provolone, Gruyere, blue cheese, and Comte. If you use Gruyere or blue cheese, keep these to less than one-fourth of the total cheese mix as these cheeses are very strong. Enjoy!
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