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Archive for the ‘Savory’ Category

I stopped across this recipe many times–a couple times here, and another few times here.  Each time, it never occurred to me to bookmark it because it looked strange and… healthy.  It’s as though someone decided to toss a whole bunch of healthy ingredients together and called that a dish.  Hey, that’s what the whole wheat pasta thing does to anything ;)

A year after I first saw the recipe, I bookmarked it, so something must have happened between now and then.  I am pretty sure I haven’t been bought by the health factor because clearly, I have no problem with baking up a storm.  Not only that, the ingredients looked like they didn’t belong together.

At least, at first glance, and a few more glances.

After a while, I saw that perhaps, they do fit together in the nutty theme of things.  Whole wheat adds nuttiness, as does slightly browned cauliflower.  Walnuts are umm, self-explanatory.

Plus, the colors of the pasta look pretty.  I am always bought by visually-pleasing things ;)

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Halfway through the semester, I have decided that I needed to broaden my understanding of the world, so I acquired this newly found interest in cheeses.  I am not sure the logic behind that because it is clearly unfair to a lactose-intolerant person to suddenly express fascination with cheeses.  There are limitations to my ability to experiment!

Still, I like the idea of bumbling around in a specialty shop and being guided around by an expert.  (Yes, please enlighten me!)  I like the idea of sampling cheeses and taking a small wedge to nibble on.  Okay, I am not sure how I am going to do that between exams or tax returns, but I will cough up time for this new hobby!

That brings me to this quick bread, which I first saw in the Food section of the New York Times.    It sounds like all of my favorite things in a panini in a more portable form, or as the New York Times article preceding it playfully entitled “The Hors d’Oeuvres that the French Call Cake.”

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I suppose you can call me the case of the late bloomer.  I was (and still am) the quintessential dork, nerding my way through the books.  I still get the unfortunate case of the case of the giggles over the dorkiest jokes.

Somehow between the all-nighters and overdoses of caffeine in college, I shifted from the rolled-out-of-bed look to fitted shirts with curious neckline names (boatneck, v-neck, necklines without official names) look.  While the feeling is relatively new, it does feel liberating.   I mean, I do not have to fit the mold of the nerd because that’s how everyone designated me.  I can be feminine too!

It’s funny though that it has taken me the summer before college graduation to accept myself–femininity and all.  You know, the kind complete with the sleepy talks with your friend at the park with the car windows rolled down; muffled giggles about boys at coffee boutiques with a latte in hand; and free-for-all cleaning of the ice cream maker bowl of homemade strawberry sorbet.  Okay, that’s for another story ;)

In any case, I challenge my identity more now than I ever had straight out of high school.  That includes my eating and cooking habits.  It was only a few years ago that I was poking my fork through my first rubbery gnocchi dish.  Now, I am fishing through Zuni Cafe recipes and making my own gnocchi?  Weird!

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Shakshuka

In business, people recommend not to eat anything with tomato sauces.  Common sense, right?  It splatters, and it stains.  Nothing looks more professional than having a perfectly ironed white blouse with a lovely dash of marinara across it.

Unfortunately for me, I am an aspiring business person yet adore tomato sauces.  I enjoy alfredo and other cream sauces every once in a while, but they tend to make me feel heavy and lethargic.  You know, the I-don’t-want-to-do-anything kind of feeling.  Haha, that doesn’t bode well for business if I want to curl up into a ball even in a fitted blouse and pencil skirt, does it?

I guess that means I am going to have to hide my affection for tomato sauces at work.  A tad painful if I’m at an Italian restaurant, but I shall brave up!  Until the internship starts, I am going to squeeze in as much tomato as possible starting with this spicy Israeli breakfast, shakshuka.

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Lately, I have been trying to make more savory dishes to carve my way out of the sweets.  Don’t get me wrong–I still <3 my sweets dearly, but I need to be able to cook and feed myself once I start living out on my own.

This has me thinking about pastas more often.  Before, I would overlook pasta dishes because they are anti-glamorous.  I mean, they were created to stretch leftovers for another meal!  That doesn’t sound as amazing as saying, “I bought this steak to make this dish!”  Okay, I haven’t said that yet, but I do say that a lot with desserts.  “I bought this block of chocolate to make this cake n_n”

Nowadays, I am giving pasta a second look with the intention of making easy yet satisfying meals.  I must put some dishes under my belt before I work full-time and experience the glory they call busy season.  For a girl who adores her artichokes, this pasta sounded like a perfect Friday dinner :)

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Between the scribbles of numbers and account titles, I can taste the freedom from school.  I have one semester left to go, but that’s all I have been thinking about as of late.  I am not sure what that cliche is supposed to taste like, but I envision it to be something like stepping out onto a beach.  The slow inhales of salty zephyrs.  The gaze across the shimmering blue expanse.  Alas, the tickle of spring breeze and dash of sunlight is getting to me!

That case of spring fever brought me to the Ferry Building’s Farmers’ Market, where all sorts of tantalizing produce and food were ready to be oogled and bought.  Verdant greens abound, including some gorgeous asparagus :)  Then, I thought of this pasta recipe I had tucked away for a while that highlighted goat cheese and asparagus.  Time for a cooking project study break!

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As the weather perks up with the first signs of spring, people are starting to ask, “What are you going to do in the summer?”  For the first time, I have a more interesting answer than summer school or moping around at home.  Haha, it appears that a summer tax internship is quite the conversation starter!

However grateful I am for people’s advice and insight about working for one of the Big Four, it does have me worried whether I act professionally.  In a way, I felt compelled to “practice” being a professional, which seems easy enough since I am juggling three group projects simultaneously.  Being a professional seems to mean a lot of things, mainly the ability to multi-task seamlessly.  It is the idea of always looking “put together” even if your mind is in total disarray.  It also means being able to wave your hand around and force a smile at the small mistakes that don’t matter in the long-run.

For a perfectionist like me, that part is hard to swallow.  There seems to be a never-ending marquee of observed mistakes that goes on and on like the stock market ticker.  I keep telling myself “Small fries!  Small fries!” when stuff like that happens.  (Oh man, watch me–one day, I am totally going to say that aloud, and people will just stare at me!)  It’s not that I despise working in group projects, as much as the days seem to grow longer and more complicated due to the people element.  It’s those kinds of days, where I just want something fabulous and foolproof—my go-to thing that makes me believe in myself even after seeing all these mistakes pass me by…

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