Category Archives: Food


chocolate bundt cake

December 4, 2013

You may remember that I got a ridiculously amazing copper bundt pan (and copper colander) from the thrift store recently. Since then, I’ve been trying to find the perfect bundt recipe to christen the beautiful piece. As much as I love Pinterest and food blogs, I’m a firm believer that while not an expert on savory cooking, Martha is the queen of baked goods. Every one of her dessert recipes I’ve made have been huge hits.

There are also about a zillion types of bundt cake, but for my first, I went for a simple chocolate cake dotted with walnuts and drizzled with chocolate sauce. A lot of people in the comments section said the cake was dry, but I baked it for 55 minutes and it was moist to perfection. What wasn’t perfect? My drizzle. I really just don’t know how to glaze properly. I think it had to do with letting my glaze sit too long and thus harden before pouring it. But we’re splitting hairs here; there’s nothing ever wrong with chocolate sauce on chocolate cake.

I wasn’t ballsy enough to see if the cake lasts longer than the one day Martha warns, so I doled out quite a bit to my friends. Also, vanilla ice cream. This cake necessitates vanilla ice cream.

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ricotta, arugula and fried egg open-faced sandwich

November 20, 2013

Some call it an open-faced sandwich. Others (like myself) call it stuff on toast. Don’t get me wrong, I love sandwiches, especially hoagies seeing as how I’m from New Jersey. But there’s something a lot more gourmet — not to mention photo-worthy — about stuff on toast. Divvying up the ingredients onto two separate slices forces me to eat slower, and I get to appreciate each component without mushing it all between bread.

The name of the game today is a ricotta, arugula and fried egg open-faced sandwich from Cooking Light. It sounds so fancy, no? It’s very simple, an easy way to get your greens, especially if you don’t like salads (me! me!), and works for any meal of the day.

Look and drool:

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why you should try meal planning + 4 recipes to try

October 21, 2013

Meal planning. I recently talked about how I was going to start this weekly ritual, in which I’d plan a week’s worth of lunches and dinners ahead of time to keep grocery shopping fast, easy and cost-effective. Like I said, this wasn’t an attempt to make fancy dinners and use my Sur La Table goodies. Some meals would be more involved and some would be frozen pizza.

Now that I’m five weeks in, I thought it was worth sharing my take on the process, the things I’ve learned and my favorite meals.

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4 pumpkin recipes for your sweet tooth

September 25, 2013

Yesterday I went swimming in Balboa Park’s outdoor pool. Two days ago, I went for a walk in shorts and a tank top. I still sleep in shorts and a tee. It’s safe to say that it’s nowhere near fall out here in San Diego, and I don’t totally hate it — the weather is, of course, why we moved here — but I’d be lying if I said a part of me wasn’t missing the ceremonious switchover from flip-flops to boots, the swapping of sunglasses for scarves.

And yesterday in Trader Joe’s, it was as though I were walking through a parade of fall’s most glorious bounty: pumpkin! Canned pumpkin, pumpkin latte mix, even decorative pumpkins on branches in the flower section, and then I saw the jar of TJ’s pumpkin butter and all my memories of baking in my crappy Manhattan kitchen came flooding back. (Fact: I had zero counter space in my last NYC abode.)

So even though temps are in the 70-80s (don’t hate me), I’m looking forward to ushering in my own fall within the confines of our apartment. Here are four pumpkin recipes I’m excited to try:

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homemade basil pesto — the way grandma makes it

August 26, 2013

Can I just say that I love having a balcony? Because I love having a balcony. And part of the reason is that I can now grow a mini garden. We have a green zebra tomato plant that’s doing well so far and a basil plant that’s had its share of ups and downs.

We bought the potted basil plant from Trader Joe’s and after an initial pruning to use all the leaves for cooking, I was left with a naked plant. Too scared to over-water it, I hydrated it about twice a week only to see it barely bloom. The plant gets lots of afternoon sun, so I’ve now switched my watering schedule to every other day. It’s certainly doing better, but it’s nowhere near as full as when we first bought it.

One tip I heard was to keep plucking leaves to encourage growth. You know what that means? PESTO!

I’ve made basil pesto a few times, but each iteration has been a total flop. Then I found this recipe for basil pesto that doesn’t require a food processor — just sheer bicep power. It involves mincing the ingredients little by little all by hand, just the way Italian grandmothers do it. This is my new favorite method because you get to taste each ingredient in its full richness without the blades of the processor killing the flavor. Unfortunately, because I didn’t have big, bushy leaves to work with, mine was a smaller, less green version, but the taste was all there.

Teddy supervised, as you can see.


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zucchini-goat cheese bites

August 14, 2013

I know there are plenty of uses for zucchini, but whenever I buy them, I draw a blank in terms of what to make, and they go bad before I know it. I’ve done the breadcrumb-coated baked zucchini chip thing and I’ve done the roasting with herbs thing, but I wanted a fun and different way to incorporate more zucchini into my life.

The answer: bite-size cheese rolls!

I came across this recipe from Blogging Over Thyme for zucchini bites with harissa, goat cheese, lime and mint on Pinterest, but there were a lot of tools and ingredients I didn’t have to make it work, so I improvised.

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how to make rotti, a savory South Indian rice pancake

August 7, 2013

Before I moved to San Diego, I asked my mom to write down the recipes for all her greatest hits. I’d name them for you, but you’ve probably never heard of these dishes. That’s because there are so many North Indian restaurants in America but so few dedicated to South India, where my family hails from. It’s always a treat to share these recipes with friends and readers because these dishes don’t get the airtime they deserve. (Here’s a quick lesson: Chicken tikka masala? Saag paneer? Not a South thing.)

Rotti is a savory rice flour-based pancake made with onions, cilantro and cumin seeds. This was one of my favorite foods growing up and seems to be very specific to my family since none of my South Indian friends know it. (Though, please chime in if you’ve had one of these. I’m curious!) It’s super fast and easy to make, especially since it’s a very as-you-wish dish. Want tons of cilantro? Go for it. Like it onion-y? Go wild. Thick? Thin? The choice is yours.

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around san diego - Food

the weekend at a glance

July 29, 2013

A little glimpse of life lately…

I don’t know why I bother buying Teddy stuffed animals when he rips them to shreds. To be fair, I only buy his toys at Ross or T.J. Maxx so they’re much cheaper and he’s painfully adorable when he first meets his new toy, but this particular one lasted one day before Teddy ripped an ear off. On Sunday, he ripped the other ear off. Poor blue pup.

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