{recipe} Kung Pao Chicken & Broccoli

For the past couple of years, I have noticed that this recipe has become a pretty regular weeknight go-to, especially when I’m pressed for time. It is quick to put together and cooks up in less than 10 minutes, and it’s just what I want from homemade Chinese comfort food: a little sweet, a little spicy, a little salty, with a rich brown sauce. Throw some rice on the stove or into the rice cooker, and you’re good to go.

kung pao chicken

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June 26, 2015   No Comments

{10 Second Vacation} Quito, Ecuador (Plus a Few Side Trips)

We hit up Quito, the charming capital of Ecuador, last summer before heading to Machu Picchu. It totally exceeded expectations. Everywhere you look, there’s a beautiful view. It’s a lively small city with a lovely colonial center. The people are friendly and there is lots to do. Not only that, it’s a really cheap town – we rented a lovely 2 bedroom apartment for around 70 bucks. A far cry from paying $200 a night for a decent hotel room as you do in many places. Plus, Quito can be a jumping-off point for so many other adventures, like a visit to the Galapagos Islands, the Amazon, or the beach.

quito ecuador

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June 25, 2015   No Comments

{hacks} 10 MORE of the Most Amazing Food and Life Hacks You Need to Know Right Now

I know what you’re thinking: after my last 13 Amazing Food and Life Hacks, how could I POSSIBLY have any more incredibly useful and fabulous life hacks for you? Well it has taken me awhile but here are some more. Read on for TEN MORE of the most life-changing, wonderful, great food and life hacks.

1. Does your room have an unpleasant smell? Tape a dryer sheet directly over your face.

life hacks

2. If you have been saving old Pringles cans so you can clean them out and store spaghetti in them, just throw them away instead. 

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June 16, 2015   1 Comment

{recipe} Three Cheese Souffles

“Souffle” is one of those culinary terms that often has people running for the hills – they have been led to believe that making souffles is hard or even impossible. But here is a secret: many souffles are simple to make and essentially foolproof. These delicious three cheese souffles have a light parmesan crust, a healthy amount of gruyere in the souffle mix, and a slice of crusty goat cheese on top. And they only take about 15 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to bake.

cheese souffles

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June 15, 2015   No Comments

{recipe} Make This: Asparagus Panzanella with Buttermilk Dressing from 101 Cookbooks

Whenever I am in need of vegetarian inspiration, I turn to my friend Heidi’s gorgeous site 101 Cookbooks. This recipe for asparagus panzanella s so good, so easy, and so quick that I know it will become a weekend lunch staple for years to come.

asparagus panzanella

The recipe is deceptively simple: you toast torn bread in some butter and salt, blanch asparagus, and make an easy buttermilk dressing by shaking together just a few ingredients. But the combination is fabulous. I think it would be great with some toasted almonds or hazelnuts sprinkled on top, and will try that next time.

Alongside a roasted chicken, it makes a pretty perfect meal – and you can make all the components in advance and just toss them together right before serving. This is one you don’t want to miss! You can find the recipe at 101 Cookbooks.

P.S. You can pre-order Heidi’s forthcoming book, Near and Far, which is coming out in September – or read this fun post about how she put the cookbook together.

June 9, 2015   No Comments

{recipe} Salty-Sweet Caramel Popcorn

I had a major popcorn craving the other day. I was in a big supermarket and couldn’t find regular popcorn to buy; only microwave. In a HUGE store. That is a travesty because microwave popcorn has nothing on fresh-popped kernels from the stovetop. At any rate after hitting up a fancier store I bought some organic popcorn and set to work on handling that craving, and decided just to target all possible cravings in one go. Popcorn, check. Salt, check. Sugar, check.

caramel popcorn recipe

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May 31, 2015   No Comments

{idea} Questionable Practice: Pass Off TJ’s Hummus As Homemade

You probably already know that the hummus at Trader Joe’s is pretty tasty. I used to make hummus from scratch but now I often just make the TJ’s hummus all fancy looking and homemade which is way easier and still super delicious. So, buy the hummus, put it in a different bowl, drizzle some high quality olive oil over it, sprinkle with fleur de sel or black flake salt, and then sprinkle over a good amount of garam masala or ground cumin. I’m eating some right now.

hummus

I love the multigrain pita chips at TJ’s too! Or, even better, you can also make your own hot delicious pita chips by cutting up pita bread, drizzling with olive oil and salt, and baking them in the oven for 10 or 15 minutes until crispy.

No one will know your dirty little secret!

May 27, 2015   No Comments

{advice} Ten of the Best Travel Tips, From a Super Frequent Traveler

You probably know by now that I am a very frequent traveler, and I thought it was about time I put together my top ten travel tips. What did I miss?

travel tips

Ten of the Best Travel Tips, From a Super Frequent Traveler 

  • If there are 2 of you traveling together, and the plane has a 3-seat configuration, book the aisle and the window seat. If no one has the middle seat, you can easily trade with that person so you can sit together. The middle seats are (obviously) the least popular choice so they are last to book and most likely to be left empty in case of a flight that’s not totally full.

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May 22, 2015   8 Comments

{recipe} Strawberry Popper Cocktail

I am kind of on a cocktail kick these days. Fresh off the success of my Dolores Park-inspired drink, I decided to take another stab at creating a sweet, spicy, tart cocktail. A sweltering spring day called for an ice-cold concoction with muddled strawberries, fresh lemon juice, vanilla paste, and a jalapeño slice. A healthy pour of vodka and some agave to sweeten it, and another great cocktail was born.

strawberry jalapeno cocktail

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May 18, 2015   3 Comments

{old school} Classic Spaghetti Carbonara Recipe

This is one of the recipes I use most often for a quick, last-minute dinner. It’s so simple to put together, takes very few ingredients, and is always absolutely delicious. A few years back I did some serious research and experimenting on Spaghetti Carbonara, which you can read about here if you’re interested. The upshot: the recipe below is the “real deal” when it comes to this classic recipe!

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Recipe: Classic Spaghetti Carbonara
makes 2 servings. [Read more →]

May 15, 2015   No Comments