Boston is under siege! A couple weeks ago an oppressive wave of heat and humidity descended upon the city sending our “feels like” temperatures into the triple digits. I know, I know, I should feel bad complaining about this having lived in New York, DC, and Kansas where the air is soupy enough to swim in come August, and in Texas where the dry, scorching heat will melt the skin off your face most months out of the year. But I’m a Northerner now, and us Yanks just can’t handle the heat. Continue reading
My husband and I just recently returned from a house-hunting trip to Boston in anticipation of our upcoming move in July. When we left Dallas, our fellow Texans were enjoying a typical Southern spring with temperatures in the 80’s and weekends spent lounging by the pool and grilling in the back yard. You can imagine our shock when Continue reading
Okay, so let’s talk about the name of this dish for a second. Toad-in-the-Hole is not only a somewhat unappetizing title, but it’s also historically inaccurate. This British dish became popular in the early 18th century and was traditionally made with sausages baked into Yorkshire pudding, giving it the look of a toad poking it’s head out of a hole. But somewhere along the way us sneaky Americans took that dish, changed it up, and made it our own; very much like driving on the wrong side of the road, scrapping the metric system for the super confusing Imperial system, and removing the “e” from the ends of words like theater (this one actually makes sense, “theatre” should be pronounced thee-ah-trey, should it not? I think we’ve got you on this one, Brits.). Soooo…in our quest to gain independence from England and establish ourselves as a new nation, we swapped the sausages for eggs and the Yorkshire pudding for toast, and Bam! we instantly became leaders of the free world. Okay, maybe it didn’t happen exactly that way, but close enough.
Brining, for those of you who have never heard this term before, is the process of steeping food in a saltwater solution, thereby locking in moisture and a crazy amount of flavor. You see, meat typically loses about 30% of water when it’s cooked, but when it’s soaked in a brining solution for the better part of the day, it’s able to absorb extra water into the muscle fibers, building up a reserve that is retained during cooking. Now, when you add seasonal aromatics (rosemary, garlic, and peppercorns) to the mix, you’re simply ensuring that those flavors will be imparted into the meat as well. Brilliant, right? So how do you get such wonderfully juicy and flavorful pork chops, you ask? Simple! Just follow this 4-step cooking process thought up by the brilliant minds over at Bon Appétit. Seriously, these pork chops are no joke, people! Yes, it does take 4-steps (only three of which are actual cooking though) to achieve this juicy goodness, but I guarantee that this will be the most delicious meal you’ve made in forever! And I promise that if you take the time that this hands-on method requires , I’ll reward you with super easy, super fast recipes for the rest of the week. Deal? Continue reading
The other night I made one of my all-time-favorite weeknight dishes, Chicken in Parchment, and I thought, Holy cow! This is a super easy, super delicious, super healthy meal — why haven’t I shared it with my readers yet?! And the answer is…I have no idea, because it’s totally something you guys will love. The only special element this recipe requires is parchment paper, which many of us have in our kitchens anyway, and a some mad scissor skills (but if you can cut a paper heart, your golden!). Honestly, this is the most flavorful and healthy way I’ve found to cook white meat. You see, baking the chicken (or fish, which I’ll post next week) in parchment packets, with just a trace amount of liquid, allows you to steam the meat in it’s own broth, making it really moist and tender — kind of like a personal sauna for your chicken. Continue reading
As promised, here’s another creation from my Mother’s Day smoked salmon gift, this time coming to you in the form of a frittata. I just recently started making frittatas again after a couple year hiatus. I used to make them once a week when my husband and I were first married and had very little money. We called them “Frittata Fridays” because by the end of the week we’d be out of groceries, out of cash, and out of creative ides for dinner. The only thing we’d have left in the fridge were some eggs (which we somehow always had plenty of), a leftover piece of chicken or a few uneaten shrimp, and a couple of sad looking veggies in the crisper. Tired and discouraged, I’d whip everything up, throw it into the oven, and 20 minutes later we’d be sitting down to eat. Now no longer poor, (although still tired and sometimes discouraged), my love for frittatas was renewed when my daughter became a toddler. Her obsession with eggs (fried, scrambled, hard boiled, you name it!) made me want to cook up this old favorite and share it with her. I guess distance – and a picky toddler – makes the heart grow fonder. Continue reading