Amazing Corn Chowder

soup and breadI’ve had a bag of frozen corn in my tiny freezer for two months. This is unacceptable because the freezer is tiny and if it is full of corn, there isn’t any room for ice cream. I have my priorities.

I bought the corn when I made barley succotash and I’ve had the leftover bag ever since. When I need to add a vegetable for dinner, I often tell myself I’ll just heat up the corn, but I never do. I like corn on the cob, corn bread, and corn in things. But plain corn on the side isn’t very interesting to me and so the bag languished in the freezer.  Continue reading

Coronation Chicken

DSCN2327There is something wonderful about lazy rainy days. Today is one of those days. It’s a Bank Holiday which means Ryan has the day off. We spent most of the weekend out and about. Today, we get to stay in. It’s rainy and we are cozy on the couch watching episodes of Rome on Netflix. We are snacking on candy and leftovers and it is glorious. I love rainy days for lazy reasons but I also love them because it gives me the chance to cook things that are a little more complex and time consuming. On rainy days I can take my time, fix things on the wish-list that are unfamiliar, make a big mess, and not worry about the time.  Continue reading

Salmon and Soba Noodles

DSCN2234I’m going to admit something to you: I don’t know how to cook fish. Sure, I can cook seafood. I know how to make crab cakes, I like to add shrimp to this stir fry dish, and I’ve even made steamed mussels before. But actual fish? I have almost no experience.

I know one very simple recipe for salmon, and I almost never make it anymore. My mom wrote me this first salmon recipe when I was in college. I was a sophomore and moving into an apartment with some friends. No more meal plan, I was feeding myself! So my mom sat down with a spiral notebook and wrote me a few easy recipes – one of which we called “plain-ass chicken.” Another recipe was for baked salmon. Take a fillet, season with salt, pepper, and a pat of butter. Wrap it in a little tin foil packet and bake in the oven until cooked through. I’d eat that with a box of Near East rice pilaf and broccoli I had defrosted in the microwave. That was practically my signature dish. That’s the only fish recipe I really know how to make. Continue reading

Barley Succotash

IMG_0425[1]It’s been hot here, although I think the temperature is finally going to break today. I know I shouldn’t complain about the weather. It’s only been in the high 20’s. Crazy I know what that means right? It’s about high 70’s, low 80’s.

You’re probably reading this thinking, um, Mariel, that’s not hot. I know – I know, I just moved from DC where it’s hotter than hell. In DC low 80’s would feel like a wonderful cold front because summer is usually 100° with about a million percent humidity. But the thing is, high 70’s is hot here because air conditioning isn’t so much a thing here. Our flat doesn’t have air conditioning, the library doesn’t have air conditioning, and when you walk down the street you never pass a store and feel the cold blast of AC. We got a fan and that helps a ton. Continue reading

Piñon (Puerto Rican Lasagna)

photo 2 (3)Hi everyone. I wanted to say that I feel guilty I haven’t cooked or posted much in the last two months. And truthfully, it’s not likely to get better until the end of July. I leave for London (for real this time) in one week. ONE WEEK! I have lots to do to prepare! And then, I’ll be there a week before it’s time for me to leave on vacation to Greece. Tough life, right?

But the other reason I haven’t cooked much is that I love cooking for other people and I haven’t had much opportunity to do that. That is until a few weeks ago when I had a girls night at my apartment. It was one last big blow out with my girls before London. The eight of us (not all pictured below) had a potluck and we ate and we drank and we ate some more. In addition to piñon, we had salad, pizza, cheesecake, chips and dip, and raisin bread. Aren’t pot lucks excellent?! You get to eat all kinds of things! Continue reading

The Return of Chocolate Pasta

DSCN1422So I decided to try chocolate pasta again. If you’re unfamiliar with my horrendous first experience with chocolate pasta, read about it here.

What’s changed since last time? I had a recipe. I found it in my cookbook Melt by Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord. I decided I’d trust them and their recipe because I loved their chorizo macaroni and cheese. Last time I didn’t have a recipe and I was just winging it. But this time, maybe things would be different. Maybe the flavor combinations would be delicious. Maybe the pasta would redeem itself and not taste so nasty. Maybe I could eat a whole bowl.

And I did eat the whole bowl! And it was pretty good! Continue reading

Sweet and Tangy Wings

For me, chicken wings have sentimental value. That might sound like a stupid thing to say, but I think most people have at least one food that makes them feel happy, or nostalgic, or something gushy like that. Chicken wings are one of my happy foods.

Wings were a staple of my junior and senior year of college. Every Thursday, my friends and I would race to Cornerstone, our favorite local bar, to take advantage of 25¢ wings. The thing is, you had to arrive before 10pm to get the deal. If you couldn’t get there by 10, we would call in your order to one of our friends who was already there (and if you were first to arrive you usually had to order about half a dozen varieties of wings). But what made wing night so great, is that it was a standing date with my friends. We’d eat a ton, have a vodka cranberry (pretty much all of our drink of choice at the time), and then we’d dance all night. It was a blast, and today wings still remind me of happy times with my college buddies. Below are some college pictures, circa 2007.

Continue reading