Posted in December 2011

Spicy Chocolate Chili

My tolerance for spice is about a 2, and my usual chili is so mild, it’s really just a stew with chili-esque ingredients. But enticed by tales about a friend’s chili cook-off, I have been craving a darker, richer, smokier chili. The Chipotle Chocolate Chili recipe from OurBestBites seemed to fit the bill: adding depth … Continue reading

Cashew Chicken Lettuce Wraps

The first time I visited my besty at her super grown up apartment in Boston, she made this great cashew chicken stir-fry with wild rice, wrapped in sweet buttery Boston lettuce wraps. Applause for the best nester I know! Anyway, it’s a RealSimple recipe, so it qualifies as quick and simple, but it includes more … Continue reading

Almond Butter

Around here we eat almond butter like there’s no tomorrow. Almonds have a zillion health benefits, but they’re also conveniently delicious. By contrast, peanut butter seems almost intolerably….sticky, not to mention excessively sweet. Almond butter has always been more pricey than its common peanut cousin, but while I used to cringe at the $7 price tag, … Continue reading

Oatmeal Pancakes

Breakfast is underrepresented in my repertoire because: 1) who on earth has time to cook breakfast?! 2) impossible timing! bacon takes 25 minutes, eggs take 5 minutes, pancakes take 5 minutes each, and none of these are easy to keep piping hot until everything’s ready 3) the dishes, my god! eggs and bacon and pancake batter … Continue reading

Homemade Nutella

Everyone has the occasional Nutella-by-the-spoonful day, right? Well this was mine, and since we didn’t have any on hand, I dug out an old recipe clipped from a restaurant industry magazine for the DIY version. Despite the shameless sugar content, I felt less guilty about it, being homemade & all. Chocolate Hazelnut Nutella Spread 25 … Continue reading

Chicken Barley Salad

I don’t like salads, and for most of the year I won’t eat anything colder than room temperature. But there are a precious few salads that manage to stay in my rotation. This chicken barley concoction is good hot or cold, in winter or summer, and relatively quick and affordable. I made it this week … Continue reading

Pappardelle with Sausage Mushroom Ragu

Continuing my general hibernation trend, I made pasta twice this week. And no small quantities either; it’s like a pasta factory around here. Wrong time to start a health diet, family! One recipe was entirely Americanized: heavy, gloopy, cheesy, and altogether too white. I won’t include it here for fear that I would be captivated … Continue reading

Spinach Tomato Lentils

In keeping with the seasonal inclination to hibernate, my chief requirements for meal creation on these chilly days = hot + heavy. Even for snacking, I now choose ramen over an apple, oatmeal over humus. Cold food is useless to me! But some tiny, rational part of my brain remembers that an extra ten pounds … Continue reading

Pumpkin Muffins

While visiting friends in Chicago a couple months ago, an ambitious soul baked up a moist, delicious loaf of chocolate chip pumpkin bread for breakfast one morning. I have been craving it since, and while I easily tracked down recipes for pumpkin cake, I never get away with eating cake for breakfast. Pioneer Woman finally came to … Continue reading

Whole Bowl

Food carts have become something of a cultural institution in Portland, serving up everything from bacon donuts to vacuum pot coffee to cuban flank steak. There are a few carts that keep me coming back, sometimes several days in a row. The Whole Bowl cart is one of my reliable standbys for a feel-good workday … Continue reading