Monthly Archives: July 2012

My life is pretty romantic…

… and that’s because in my day job I’m a publicist for romance novels. That’s right. You heard me.

So this week I’m attending the Romance Writers of America conference in sunny Anaheim, CA. Apologies for the lack of posts but I wanted to drop you a quick note to remind you to check out my Pinterest page! I pin tons of recipes, including my own, and even some wedding dresses I would like to someday wear. But you can ignore those and focus on the food.

Have a lovely (romantic…) weekend, my friends!

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My New York Food Diary

I spend a lot of time trying to convince people that I don’t really have the appalling eating habits I appear to from my blog posts. People read this blog and say, “HOW do you eat like that?! Wheeeere do you put it?!” And I laugh and say, “Oooh, I just don’t eat that MUCH! I eat small portions. I’m not a total slob.” But you know what? I’m a total slob. I love junk food. And not McDonald’s, but junk food in general. Butter and sugar and chocolate and oil and carbs and starches and marbled meat and donuts and everything that makes people go, “Mmmmm” with pleasure when they ingest it. So as I read the New York Food Diary column on NYMag.com this week, I thought, I’m gonna do it and I’m gonna prove everybody wrong!

All I did was prove y’all right. So I’m just gonna ride this wave until my pants stop fitting. Read at your own discretion…

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Vegetarian Week: The Whole Meal

All in all the vegetarian meal was a success. Everything tasted delicious and everyone had room for a slice of cake afterward. And really, isn’t that what it’s all about?

On the menu:
Caprese crostini with espresso balsamic vinegar
Peach, tomato, and corn salad with feta cheese
Zucchini quiche
Quinoa salad with red pepper and chickpeas

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Vegetarian Week: Quinoa Salad with Red Pepper and Chickpeas


When preparing my vegetarian menu, I knew I need something to round out the vegetables and dairy. While staying away from traditional pastas, I thought I’d experiment with quinoa. Truth be told, the only reason I’ve never delved into this seed-that-functions-like-a-grain prior to my veg meal is because I can’t find it in my grocery store. And I’ve experienced the blank “I don’t know what the heck you’re talking about” stare at that store too many times to ask for something that sounds French but isn’t at all. “Keen-waaaaaaah?”

I found some organic quinoa at my produce market instead and went to town on this recipe. It ended up being way more delicious than I thought it would be and filling to boot.

On the menu:
Quinoa salad with red pepper and chickpeas
Serves 4 as a side

1/2 cup dry quinoa
1/4 chopped fresh parsley
1/2 cup canned chickpeas
1 shallot, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 Tbsp tahini
1 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook quinoa according to the directions on the package. Once completely cooked, remove from heat and stir in chickpeas, red pepper, and parsley. In a small bowl, whisk together the shallot, garlic, lemon juice, tahini, and olive oil. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle dressing over the quinoa and chickpeas and stir gently until incorporated.

This can be served warm, or refrigerated for a later use and served cold.

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Vegetarian Week: Zucchini Quiche


When it came to choosing the focal point of the meal I knew I did not want to serve pasta. If you are a vegetarian or know any vegetarians, you know that 75% of vegetarian entrees involve pasta in one way shape or form. Ignoring the fact that a steady diet of pasta is diabetes waiting to happen, how boring is that? Pasta with vegetables 24/7. Womp womp.

This dish is not ground breaking or even particularly new but it had even the meat eaters at the table going in for seconds. It’s hearty, it’s filling, it is by no means healthy, but it fits the bill of main dish quite nicely in this vegetarian meal.

On the menu:
Zucchini quiche
Serves 4

1 pre-made pie crust or use this recipe for homemade
2 Tbsp butter
2 large zucchini, sliced into 1/8 inch thick rounds
1 cup shredded mozzarella
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup half and half
3 eggs
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried basil
1/4 tsp garlic powder
Pinch of pepper
Paprika

Bake pie crust as directed. If you’re using homemade pie crust, roll out the dough in your pie or tart pan, prick the bottom with a fork, and bake until lightly brown. Let cool.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large skillet, sautee zucchini in butter until slices are softened. Drain the zucchini of all moisture (NOTE: this is important, as zucchini has a surprising amount of water in it and if you don’t cook it down and drain it, your quiche will be a soggy mess).

Fill your cooled pie crust with half the zucchini. Top with mozzarella cheese. In a small bowl, lightly beat the eggs together. Add salt, oregano, basil, garlic powder, and pepper and whisk until completely combined. Add ricotta cheese and half and half, and whisk until combined. Pour egg mixture into the pie tin and spread so it’s evenly distributed. Top with remaining zucchini slices in an aesthetically pleasing pattern. Top with a sprinkle of paprika.

Bake the quiche for 45 minutes or until firm. Let cool for 10 minutes before slicing.

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Vegetarian Week: Peach, Tomato, and Corn Salad with Feta


Prepare yourselves: this salad is a hit. I know, you’re like, “Seriously? An exciting salad?” But in the dead of summer, when fruit is at its ripest and heat is at its hottest and your pits are at their sweatiest (no? just me?), you want something cool and refreshing even if you’re sittin’ pretty in Arctic/office air conditioning. This salad is it. When I served it to my parents my dad said, “What made you think this would all go together?” But truthfully, the geniuses over at WSJ thought this would go together. And I trust them.

On the menu:
Peach, tomato, and corn salad with feta
Serves 4
Adapted from this recipe from Wall Street Journal

3 ripe, sweet tomatoes
3 ripe (but still semi-firm) peaches
2 ears corn, shucked and boiled, kernels cut off
1/4 cup red onion, sliced thin
3/4 cup feta cheese, crumbled
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

Cut tomatoes and peaches into wedges of equal size. In a large bowl, add tomatoes, peaches, corn kernels, onion, and olive oil and toss until combined and coated. Plate salad. Crumble feta over the top. Serve any remaining feta on the side.

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Vegetarian Week: Appetizer

Hello friends! Welcome to vegetarian week on Food E. I know it doesn’t really fall within the traditional parameters I’ve set for myself here on my “eat butter and beef and don’t apologize for it” food blog, but this past weekend I challenged myself to make an all-vegetarian meal in honor of my mother’s first visit to my new-ish apartment. She’s a vegetarian and is often relegated to pasta with peas or platters of roasted vegetables when we go out to dinner. My goal for the meal was to create a full spread that not only she would enjoy, but also The BF and my father, both proud carnivores, would love, as well.

Each day this week I’ll share a recipe from this meal and by Friday you’ll have a stack of recipes that you can use to create a complete and filling vegetarian meal yourself. No boring pastas included.

On the menu:
Caprese crostini
Serves 4

1/2 baguette
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 small bunch fresh basil, leaves plucked from the stems
2 ripe tomatoes, sliced
1/2 cup fresh mozzarella, sliced
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar*

Slice baguette into 1/2 inch rounds with a sharp bread knife. Place on a cookie sheet in a single layer and distribute olive oil evenly over the tops (I used a spoon but if you have a basting brush, use that). Bake rounds at 350 degrees for around 10 minutes or until the rounds are stiff to the touch. DO NOT wait until they are brown! They will be too crispy by the time you serve them if you wait for them to brown up in the oven.

Top each round with a slice of mozzarella, a basil leaf, and a slice of tomato. Drizzle the balsamic vinegar over the top, plate, and serve.

*I’ve been meaning to highlight an incredible store I visited in Virginia called Savor the Olive where I purchased an espresso balsamic vinegar, which I served in place of your standard balsamic. The espresso balsamic has a smoother finish than traditional balsamic and just a hint of espresso flavor. Savor the Olive offers dark and white balsamics (imagine a white apricot balsamic drizzled over vanilla ice cream…), and every olive oil under the sun. If you’re ever fortunate enough to be in the area of Norfolk, Virginia you should definitely swing by.

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