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

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Soles in Their Coffins

photo 1 (2)When I told you about our new place, did I tell you that we also live near Arsenal’s stadium? That’s a soccer (football) team in case you didn’t know. I was excited because in Arlington, Ryan and I enjoyed going to the Nationals games together, and I thought this would be replace that tradition. But, I found out that tickets are both hard to come by and expensive. Boo. We tried searching for tickets anyway, hoping we could get something for last Tuesday’s game. Nothing. Then, Monday at work, Ryan’s coworker sold us two tickets for a very reasonable price! Ryan’s coworker has season tickets, couldn’t go, and we got so lucky. The game was really fun, even though Arsenal tied. Also the crowd is about 80% men, it was a little surprising! I enjoyed it a lot and I hope we’ll get to go again. Continue reading

Sushi at Home

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Sushi we made during our class at Sur la Table

A trait I get from my father is that when I really want something, but maybe it’s a little frivolous, I take forever to actually jump in and do it. If Papa wants golf clubs or a new television, he’ll research characteristics and prices, he’ll go online and in stores, and he’ll talk about it. He’ll visit, and re-visit stores. And my mom will eventually say, “just buy it!!!”  But he needs to take his time. It’s what makes him feel comfortable. And I’m pretty much the same way. For a long time (like over 2 years, I’m embarrassed to say) I hemmed and hawed over a sushi making class. I wanted to go, but it seemed a little expensive and unnecessary. I mean wouldn’t it be too hard? Wasn’t class too expensive? Would I ever really make it at home? Why did I even want to make sushi? Who would I go with? And so I thought about it. And I researched which places had classes, and I price compared, and menu compared. I did this when I lived in DC, then when I lived in NYC, and then again when I moved back to the DC area. And then, as can be expected, I never signed up. But I talked about it and thought about it a lot. So, I’ve inherited this trait and now Ryan has to deal with my crazy inaction. Continue reading

Crab Cakes

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On Monday I was in Baltimore for the American Alliance of Museums‘ annual conference. Before I get to the recipe, allow me to dork out on museums for a bit. I felt so lucky that I got to attend, because registration is a little expensive by my standards. But, my job is awesome and let our department share time at the conference. It was wonderful to be surrounded by people excited to meet each other and learn about new museums. In the presentations I learned interesting advice to use at some undetermined point in the future, I listened to energizing recollections of first-museum-visits, and I heard inspiring stories  that I could not wait to take back to the office and immediately apply to my current projects. I also had a museum related celebrity sighting. Across a hallway I saw Nina Simon, which I’m sure means nothing to most of you. But if you’re a museum geek then you know she’s kind of great and well-known. And so I saw her and in my head was all, “gasp! It’s Nina Simon!” But I couldn’t think of anything to say except for, “I read your book,” so I left her alone to enjoy the conference. And overall it was awesome. Three years ago I left my home base to move to New York and get a degree in Museum Studies, and so it felt gratifying to actual be a professional, with an actual job, who can actually use the information I learn. Awesome. Continue reading

Roasted Tilapia with Potatoes and Lemons

It’s farm share season!!! Ryan and I have gotten vegetables for three weeks, and it’s lead to lots of leafy salads and stir fry. In addition to lots of greens we have also gotten lots of small, delicious, buttery potatoes which I used for this recipe. The recipe is pretty quick and easy to make. The most work you have to do for this recipe is chop. I was excited because I could also use my mandoline slicer on the lemon. It’s totally nerdy, but I think it’s fun to slice things all skinny and even. BUT, be careful because I cut myself cleaning it (again, cooking is messy!) Continue reading