Tag Archives: recipes

how to find-and keep-a recipe

17 Aug

What do I look for in a man recipe, you ask? Whenever I’m on the prowl for a new dish, I tend to judge candidates by the same criteria:

  • Baggage: If the first thing I see is a list of 20 ingredients, half of which are things I’ve never heard of, I know that recipe is bringing waaaaaaaaaay too much baggage to this relationship and I cut the cord right away.
  • Chemistry: Once I find a recipe that won’t fill up my cart slash empty my wallet on the first date, I look for both balance and spark: Does it have ingredients I either have already at home or that I know I like? Does it let me try something different?
  • Romance: Fresh ingredients lovingly combined to make something unexpectedly delicious will melt this girl’s heart. Shake ‘n Bake will get the door slammed in a recipe’s pre-packaged face.
  • Endurance: You heard me. I usually cook for one and while seconds are pretty much par for the course in my dining routine, sloppiness is not. If this dish doesn’t bring the flavor day after day, it’s on to the next one.
  • Commitment: If a dish passes all of the above, it earns a spot in the regular rotation of Dishes I Will Make for the Rest of My Life. I know you’re wondering at this point exactly how many dishes I try before finding the ones I want to eat forever, and that is none of your business. But I swear it’s not too many.

What about you? What are your recipe must-haves/deal breakers?

Alternate Title: I’m not a foodie, I just munch a lot


¡hot plate! pollo en salsa de frijol negro

11 Aug

So way back when this blog first started, i.e. last weekish, I posted about something Spanish (I know, shocker) and a friend of mine named Melody suggested a website with Cuban recipes. So I found one I liked, chicken with black bean sauce, and tried it.

What I most enjoyed about the two times that I cooked this up was that the recipe itself is very vague (for example, it says it’s best to marinate the chicken overnight but gives no indication whatsoever as to what to marinate it in), meaning there was a lot left open to interpretation. It was like being given an open canvas, a few colors, and being told, “Just paint!” I loved that, because I’m no master chef but I’m comfortable enough in the kitchen to be able to roll with the punches somewhat, and it was affirming to cook something with little direction and have it come out good!

The first time I made this dish, the salsa was thick but a little bland–the second time I added diced tomatoes and chiles and doubled the sofrito to one cup. The flavor on the second take was bangin awesome, but the sauce was a wee bit runny. I’m definitely adding this recipe to the regular rotation, though, and will continue to perfect. One of these days they’re going to have to lift that embargo on Cuba so I can go and see how close this comes to the real thing…


sofrito w/ green pepper, cilantro, onion and garlic

Confession: I really made this dish a second time just to be able to smell the sofrito again. Amazing!


salsa w/ sofrito, tomato sauce and black beans

This is the part where I added chopped tomatoes and chiles the second time for more kick. BAM!

pollo con salsa de frijol negro

final dish, served over rice

Because it sautees with all that salsa, the chicken comes out SO TENDER. The second time I used brown rice instead of white–like I said, open canvas.

Thank you, Melody, for pointing me to this wonderful recipe! Next week’s hot plate will be brought to you by fellow newbie food blogger and all-around wonderful gal Ashley Zach, and I’ve gotta warn you, it looks deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelish!

¡hot plate! arroz con pollo

31 Jul
Arroz con Pollo

homemade arroz con pollo

Quick confession: I love all things Spanish. When I studied abroad in Madrid during college, I lived with a señora who once upon a time owned a restaurant with her husband and so was blessed with many a delicious meal while I was there. Among my favorites: paella, croquetas, natilla, sopa de patatas, lentejas y natilla.

While I’ve made a few of those dishes myself since returning stateside, last week I ventured into new territory with this arroz con pollo recipe from epicurious.com. I have to admit I was a little intimidated at first, but it turned out SO DELICIOSO I Can’t. Even. Tell you. It was my first time cooking with cumin, which I now love and adore, and saffron. Per reviewer suggestions, I substituted beer for the water, which made the flavor of the whole dish so much more robust.

If you’ve made arroz con pollo (or any other authentic Spanish dish) and have recipes or secrets, do share!

must. eat. now.

31 Jul

You have to see this tomato tart by food blogger Anamaris over on her blog, Chef It Yourself. I ran across her while registering my blog this morning on WordPress.com.

The recipe doesn’t look that bad, and has three of my favorite ingredients in life: tomato, cheese and avocado. File under nomnomnom!