Postpartum reflections with Grilled Muenster and Truffle Honey

I started this blog years ago for a few reasons:

1) to give myself some creative outlet when I felt like I settled, selling my soul to banking (I no longer work in banking)

2) to inspire any who would read it to cook and eat well and happily and easily (I had my husband in mind as the specific audience type – one who originally knew only how to boil water and fry an egg when it came to cooking because he could not make a meal without a recipe). This was always meant to be a recipe-less blog

Now I’m adding a third reason for myself and anyone else who needs it:

3) to keep reminding myself and committing myself to cooking and enjoying cooking even postpartum (1 month and 1 day now as of today, May 7, 2022).

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Leftovers for Salad

These days I physically feel incapable of standing for more than 5 minutes (36 weeks preggos here!) so lunch has to be easier and faster than ever before. My legs and feet and back literally start throbbing and hurting if I stand any longer than this.

Thankfully I had leftover salmon and sweet potatoes from a dinner my hubster cooked earlier this week so I threw these in with a chopped up Persian cucumber and 1/4 of a beautifully ripe avocado. A little shake of some Extra Virgin Olive Oil, salt, pepper and a final squeeze of lemon drizzle – and DONE.

Delicious, healthy, aesthetically pleasing to the eye. And easy on my digestive system which has been very sensitive these days!

Soup Therapy

Because I’m unable to workout for a few weeks, I am now delving even more of my day’s decompression into the kitchen. There’s something about working with my hands after a day of screens, and something about not needing to say a word but to let stirring and chopping be my vocabulary, that I find so therapeutic.

And perhaps the bubbling of soup is what I found especially therapeutic today after much mental, physical and emotional exhaustion.

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When you’ve got The Chef Show on your mind

my little attempt at “Scarlett’s Pasta”

It snowed quite a bit here in NYC this weekend, so while my hubs was hard at work shoveling out the car, I enjoyed a few episodes of The Chef Show which I had started awhile ago due to my obsession with the movie Chef, but never watched more than the first episode.

I’m not sure what made me decide to pick it up again yesterday but I did, and I found myself basically drooling through each episode and wishing so badly I could reach into the TV and eat everything they were making and/or featuring.

I’m not a “real chef” though (and don’t forget I’m super lazy and only make things that seem easy enough) so most of the things they showed I could only long after – not make for myself.

It wasn’t until I got to Episode 3 where they make Scarlett’s Pasta that I thought (besides OMG I NEED THAT NOW) “Hey – I think I could actually make that!” And funnily enough I only realized now as I’m writing this blog post that there’s an actual recipe link out there! But I didn’t need one as all I needed to do was watch Roy and Jon make that goodness and devour it immediately after. And I knew I was going to make this for dinner the day after (today) because I wouldn’t be able to stop thinking about it until I did.

Continue reading “When you’ve got The Chef Show on your mind”

Fancy cookware worth the splurge

I may have recently been overly into the theme of “Treat yo’ self” these days – but zero regrets on it so far!

About a year ago, I stayed at this absolutely charming luxury A-Frame near the Berkshires (but in NY) that had some NICE kitchen toys I fell in love with: a huge thick wooden cutting board (I’ve only ever had plastic) and a nice wide All-Clad skillet (the fanciest I’ve ever had was Calphalon).

staying in a dream 😴

Needless to say, the experience of cooking in that beautiful Airbnb using those wonderful tools never left my memory and I’d been since dreaming of not only returning to the cabin but also of someday owning my own wooden cutting board and All-Clad pan.

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30 Min of Yoga = Marination Time

Half Baked Harvest’s Moroccan Lemon Chicken Marinade 👌🏽

A process that’s potentially working itself into a regular routine of mine in our new pandemic normal is food prepping right before a home workout and letting meat marinate for the duration of that workout (usually about 30 min for me).

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My lazy way of meal prepping

Meal prep is not something I excel in or do regularly. It sounds like such a chore so I’m often hurdled by my own false notions of how time consuming it will be.

But it really isn’t as difficult as I imagine. Leftovers + Trader Joe’s + Instant Pot is my new road to success!

This salad took 5 minutes to pull together, was delicious and satisfying, and made me feel good about eating something healthy and bright for lunch. But the 5 minutes it took was enabled by a few tools and things I had done earlier in the week:

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Making Monday better – with Grilled Cheese

grilled sourdough with kale, egg, salami, and cheddar and Colby Jack cheese

The trick to a good Monday can be as simple as a delicious grilled cheese for breakfast. It can be fancy and gourmet while also being completely uncomplicated.

I’m a fan of using whatever is in the fridge – and this time that happened to be:

  • a few slabs of leftover cheese from Trader Joe’s Party Tray Cheese
  • 2 leftover slices of salami from a Christmas party cheeseboard
  • a handful of kale
  • and a fried egg to make it breakfast-y (I cooked this as I unfortunately don’t keep fried eggs handy in the fridge)
  • The one thing you do need (at all times in my opinion) is really good sourdough. My favorite is almost any loaf from Bread Alone.
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Breakfast: Eggs, Coffee, and …Salad?

Salad for breakfast was an unappealing idea to me until recently. That might be because salad for any meal is unappealing to me in general.

When it comes to raw or cooked veggies, I always tend to prefer cooked. I love them roasted, grilled, sautéed but don’t usually extend the same affection toward them when raw.

But beautiful vibrant photos of breakfast salads have been appearing in all the magazines I love and the notion has been making its way into my heart, so I’ve been waiting for an opportunity of a slow Sunday to attempt this for myself and Dan.

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when you don’t have the ingredients, or even the tools…make it anyway

I woke up earlier than usual for a Saturday morning due to the fact I needed to pee.

Instead of returning to bed, I decided to take breakfast duties upon myself (usually my hubs makes pancakes or waffles on weekends – yes, he’s a good one) and change things up a bit today.

I’ve had Pioneer Woman’s Sunday Fritatta recipe pinned in my Pinterest for years and thought today was the day I was finally going to make it. I quickly looked through the recipe and figured although I was missing many of the ingredients and I didn’t have an oven safe skillet – I was still going to make this because I had what I deemed were the essentials, and I was determined to have fritatta for breakfast.

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Rule #1: Add color to your plate

So of course I had to make this Rule #1 as it was the rule that named this blog after all.  But, listen to this rule please.  It will change your life.  It will make you smile. It will cause your tummy to grumble with longing and then to be filled with happiness.  Colors do that for you.

On a more serious note, adding color to your plate (no fake colors please), means adding variety which generally makes a dish more exciting.  It also most likely involves including veggies, which we all know are good for your health and range from a beautiful spectrum of hues. Green has always been my favorite color, and I try to incorporate it into my meals everyday.  When cooked right, vegetables and roots can really brighten any plate with vibrancy and flavor.

What colors will you splash your plate with today?