Red endive salad with chili vinaigrette

We entered the grocery store for staples: bread, cheese, eggs. The plan was get in get out.

Then I spotted the shelled peas which unleashed a desire for Spring vegetables, and I stuffed the basket with the peas, pretty red endive, a bunch of ruby red radishes, a zucchini, a couple heavy glossy lemons, and a wedge of Parmesan.

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Branding produce

One of the things I missed upon returning to the US was being able to eat from a big “Netz” of clementines around Christmastime. We never had clementines growing up and I never remembered seeing them anywhere either. Mandarins were something that came in a can (it seems a clementine is a type of mandarin; I had to look it up since I was never sure if the reverse was true of if they were just synonyms). By the time I returned in 2008, there were clementines to be had, but they were expensive and not consistently good (though they’re not always consistent in Europe either). Continue reading “Branding produce”

Jalapeño Lemonade

My Mission: To find new ways to scorch my digestive tract… er… I mean, to find new uses for my home-grown high-intensity jalapeño peppers.

Jalapeño lemonade
Jalapeño lemonade

When I saw this description for Jalapeño Lemonade at Yum Recipes, I couldn’t resist:

If this sweet, tart, wet, and wild cooler sits past 3 hours, we are not responsible for the damages.

Their recipe apparently originated from the Totally Chili Pepper Cookbook. I borrowed elements from the recipe at as well as making my own modifications to add tartness and heat.
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Cheap Eats

February has always been my least favorite month, and this February was no exception. Clients are taking forever to pay, I had to turn down much-needed work because of computer problems, and now I’m trying to play catch-up while sick. Given that things are tight right now, I’m trying to limit my trips to the grocery store and cut out eating out for the next two weeks. On the menu tonight: Texas-style beans and grapefruit-avocado salad. Coleslaw to be added to the menu later in the week. Continue reading “Cheap Eats”

Inspired by Sweet Potatoes

Deciding what to make for dinner can often be an indecisive circling that ends with frustration and spaghetti with pesto.  Some people plan their meals a week ahead.  Once in a blue moon I get myself together enough to do that.  My pantry however is fairly well stocked and once I do decide on something I usually only need to pick up an extra thing or two, usually fresh vegetables or meat. Continue reading “Inspired by Sweet Potatoes”

Mojo Take Two

Excited to re-find sour oranges at the store on Saturday after they appeared for about a week a month ago, I was looking forward to making chicken with mojo (the Cuban kind) last night. Sadly it was not to be. When I opened up the chicken I had bought from the meat counter, it smelled like ammonia. I figured the chicken at upscale grocery store chains is the same as the chicken at regular grocery store chains, but I guess this was my proof. But really, chicken shouldn’t be bad regardless of where you buy it! Poop on Central Market/HEB. Or more accurately, poop on Central Market’s chicken thighs.

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Clearing-out-the-Fridge Pork with Oranges, Tomatoes, Olives and Capers

So, it should come as no surprise to those who know me that I’m an excellent procrastinator and that much of my procrastinating time is spent looking at recipes. Lately I’ve been running across a lot of recipes that use oranges and olives. Probably because I’ve been looking for ways to use up all the oranges I keep buying. Continue reading “Clearing-out-the-Fridge Pork with Oranges, Tomatoes, Olives and Capers”

Preserved Lemon

One of the favourite presents I have received was a huge canister of preserved lemons, presented as a gift for hosting a dinner party. Thought of mainly as a staple of Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine, preserved lemons have remarkable versatility, striking good looks, and a sublime flavour. Lemons pickled in lemon juice provide a citrus-on-steroids taste and aroma. Continue reading “Preserved Lemon”