When Tim and I landed in New Zealand on Christmas Day 2015, the first thing he asked for was chicken chips, making me immediately rethink my commitment to travel to "the bottom of the world," as Tim calls it. A few chicken chips later, though, my faith in NZ was restored. Lo and behold, chicken chips are not in fact chips cooked in chicken fat or fed to chickens or made out of chicken or anything you might think. Instead, chicken chips are regular potato chips coated in "chicken salt," a seasoning mix commonly used on rotisserie chickens in Australia and New Zealand. I quickly became addicted, probably in no small part due to the MSG in the mixture.Read More
Senior year of college, I went through a phase (honestly probably one of my favorite phases to date) where I would come home from a bar, make bagel bites, and eat them in bed at 2am while watching the Food Network. Party animal over here! While I eventually moved on and discovered Jumbo Slice after graduation, my love of pizza bagels remains true - for dinner now, not just as a late night snack. Although, now that I think about it, this would be a pretty great (and easy enough to be post-bar-friendly) late night snack too...Read More
Like so (so, so, so) many others, I am jumping back on the healthy eating train this January, or, as my family calls it, "the plan". "What plan?" well-intentioned friends ask, continuing on to list as guesses the many brand-name diets out there. "It's just, you know, THE plan," we explain uselessly. Basically, a commitment to stop treating our bodies like garbage disposals. We issue this declaration somewhere around once a month, spend a week or two getting back on the plan, and then, come vacation, holiday, or crammed social calendar times, fall off again, only to declare that we're getting back on again. It's a vicious, vicious cycle.Read More
It's beginning to look a lot like SOUP WEATHER! While I unabashedly crave soup year round, even in the hottest summer months, winter makes it feel more like a need. Especially when the cold is paired with the wind we've been having, I need something to warm me up. I use mugs of tea as hand warmers at work, but when I get home and have full access to my kitchen, anything goes. Saturday morning, I woke up cold and craving chicken soup, so I headed to the grocery store and grabbed a bunch of stuff that looked good. Anyone who knows me knows I have a bit of a pho addiction, so a lot of the ingredients ended up being very pho-like. I threw them all together in a big pot and created what Tim called "maybe my best recipe yet"! When asked if it was blog-worthy, he said it was something that everyone should make - so take it from him, it's kind of the best!
After re-making this in the Instant Pot (on sale again for only $80!) the other night (meaning yes, Tim and I have had this soup for approximately 6 separate meals this week), I decide to provide the Instant Pot instructions because a) I keep telling people how great the Instant Pot is without actually publishing any recipes for it and b) this is even EASIER in the Instant Pot and, dare I say it, more delicious because less broth evaporates and it is a brothy spicy bowl of wonderfulness. Instant Pot instructions have been added below!Read More
Growing up, my favorite take-out nights were when my dad would go to Tara Thai and come home with larb gai, chicken satay, shrimp pad thai, and, my absolute favorite, beef kapow. I would take a little of everything else and hoard as much of the kapow as I could. Side story: my mom had surgery for a torn ACL a few years ago right before my birthday, so I spent the night at my parents' house the night before my birthday since she was immobile. My parents told me they planned to have some of the food their friends had dropped off but asked if I wanted anything different for my birthday dinner; I asked for Tara Thai and asked my dad to just get all of the usual stuff. It wasn't until he got home and we sat down to dinner that I realized my parents STILL planned to eat the food their friends dropped off, and my dad had unquestioningly gotten me FOUR meals for my dinner. Best. Birthday. Ever.Read More