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Friday, December 31, 2010

Pad Thai

Pad Thai
4 TBS tamarind paste or pulp
4 TBS palm sugar (or brown sugar)
4 TBS fish sauce
2 TBS soy sauce
1 TSP sriracha
1 Package rice sticks
Peanut oil
1 Package tofu, drained and diced
2 Chicken breasts, sliced thin
4 Cloves of garlic, minced
2 Eggs
Bunch of scallions, sliced into 1 inch pieces
1/3 Cup of peanuts
1/3 Cup bean sprouts
Lime wedges for serving

Pad Thai is a classic Asian dish that always seemed impossible for me to re-create. After doing some research, I think I've come up with a pretty close interpretation. There are a few ingredients I omitted, but if you can find them, you can add dried shrimp and pickled radish for even more authentic flavor. You can enjoy this dish with or without the chicken, or even add shrimp.

First, soak the noodles according to the package directions. For the tamarind, which I found in the form of a dried brick at an Asian market, soak in warm water for about 8 minutes. Push the liquid through a sieve and put aside. If you can find already made tamarind paste, go ahead and use it. For the sauce, add the paste, sugar, fish sauce, soy sauce and sriracha in a small sauce pot and heat until sugar dissolves. Set aside.

In a wok or large saute pan, heat a tablespoon of peanut oil over medium high heat. Cook the chicken until just about done. Remove the chicken, add another tablespoon on oil, then add the tofu. Cook until browned. Set both aside.

Once noodles have soaked and are soft, but still al dente, drain and rinse with cold water. Wipe out the pan and reheat anther tablespoon of oil. Working in 2 batches, add the half the garlic. Saute for 1 minute, then add half the noodles. Cook for a couple minutes, then make a space in the middle and add one of the eggs. Beat until the egg begins to set, then toss with the noodles. Add half the chicken and tofu and cook for a few minutes more. Turn off the heat, then add the peanuts, spouts and scallions.

Serve first batch with lime wedges and more sriracha or chili oil immediately before working on second batch.

Eggs...Morning, Noon and Night

Goat Cheese Scramble For One
2-3 Large eggs
Salt and Pepper
2 TBS goat cheese
1 TBS scallions, sliced thin

I love breakfast food for anytime of the day. These eggs are a great option for lunch or dinner too, just serve with a salad. Afraid of ending up with rubbery scrambles eggs? Being patient and cooking the eggs over gentle heat while constantly stirring makes the eggs super creamy.

Heat butter in a non-stick pan over medium-low heat. Beat eggs in a bowl, season with salt and pepper. Add to the pan and stir continuously with a rubber spatula. When eggs are almost set, add the cheese and scallions. Serve with warm slices of bread.

Vanilla-Date Smoothie

Vanilla-Date Smoothie
Serves 2
1 Cup non fat vanilla yogurt
1 Cup almond milk
1 Cup pitted dates, diced

I was craving something sweet for an afternoon snack, but didn't want anything that would totally un-do my whole day. This delicious smoothie recipe from Bon Appetit is sweetly satisfying, and you could even enjoy it for breakfast.

Throw all the ingredients in a blender, blend until smooth, then divide among two glasses.


Christmas is a time for many traditions, and every family has at least one. My favorite is of course, the making of the Christmas cookies. Every year, my mom bakes about twenty different types of cookies. Most of these cookies are quite nostalgic since I only get to enjoy them once a year, such as the German pfeffernusse cookies and my great-grandmother's Hungarian cookies. I always enjoy helping out as much as I enjoy eating them. Even while I was away at college, or living in Boston, I always made sure I made it home well before Christmas so I can help with the great cookie bake-off. Today I rolled up my sleeves to make the very labor-intensive, yet addictive Hungarian cookies filled with poppy seeds and apricot preserves. We made almost 200, but I guarantee they won't last long.

Instead of gingerbread, this year we tried piparkakut, a Finnish cookie flavored with orangel peel, cardamon and black pepper. Brushed with egg whites and topped with sanding sugar, these cookies are surprisingly light and crispy.

Peppermint Bark-Very festive shortbread topped with chocolate and crushed candy cane.

Almond-Spice Biscotti-Absolutely addictive, and one of my favorites.

Raspberry Stripes-Buttery cookie with jam and vanilla glaze.

Coconut Oatmeal Lace Cookies-Little works of (delicious) art.

Christmas Potluck

Gingerbread Cupcakes with Lemon Cream Cheese Frosting
Adapted from Gourmet
1 1/4 Cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 TSP ground ginger
1 TSP cinnamon
1/4 TSP ground cloves
1/2 TSP allspice
1/4 TSP salt
1/2 Stick (1/4 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 Cup granulated sugar
1/2 Cup unsulfured molasses
1 Large egg, beaten lightly
1/2 Cup boiling water
1 TSP baking soda
1 Canister of pre-made cream cheese frosting
1 TSP freshly grated lemon zest
2 TSP fresh lemon juice
Candied ginger for garnish

My girlfriends and I decided to hold a potluck Christmas dinner over the weekend. I documented the holiday fun, and the yummy food. We snacked on pita chips and dip while we sipped our wine. Marisa made vegetable soup with quinoa, and Caitie made veggie chili with rice and cheese. We finished the meal off with my cupcakes and some prosecco.

I simply cannot resist anything with cream cheese frosting. You could make your own frosting, but since the holidays are stressful enough, I bought pre-made cream cheese frosting and added the flavors. The lemon in the frosting really brightens up the spicy cake, and they are oh-so-pretty with the ginger candies on top.

Into a bowl sift together the flour, the ginger, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, and salt. In another bowl cream the butter, add granulated sugar, and beat the mixture until it is fluffy. Beat in the molasses and the egg, beating until the mixture is smooth. In a measuring cup combine the baking soda with 1/2 cup boiling water and stir the mixture to dissolve the baking soda. Stir the mixture into the molasses mixture (the mixture will appear curdled) and stir the molasses mixture into the flour mixture, stirring to combine the ingredients well. Line twelve 1/2-cup muffin tins with paper liners and spoon the batter into the liners, filling them halfway. Bake the cupcakes in the middle of a preheated 350°F. oven for 20 minutes, or until a tester comes out clean. (The cupcakes will be flat or slightly indented on top.) Transfer the cupcakes to a rack and let them cool.

In a bowl mix the frosting with the zest and lemon juice until combined. Spread the frosting on the cupcakes and top each cupcake with some of the crystallized ginger.

Korean Beef Lettuce Wraps (Part II)

For The Steak
1/2 LB steak (any lean cut, pounded thin)
1 TSP ginger
2 Cloves garlic
1 TSP chili oil
2 TBS rice wine vinegar
Pinch of sugar
4 TBS soy sauce
2 Scallions, green and white parts, sliced thinly
Salt and pepper to taste

For The Wraps
Shitaki mushrooms, sliced thin
Salt and pepper
Bibb lettuce leaves
Chili sauce
Sliced scallions
Sesame seeds

At the request of Rich, I'm revisiting one of my favorite dishes that I have created over the past couple of months. These lettuce wraps are a welcomed break after all the heavy foods and sweets I have been consuming at holiday functions. I'm making a few changes to simplify and lighten up this meal, but still keeping all the bold flavors. Plus, I have pictures this time!

In a bowl, combine the ginger, garlic, vinegar, soy sauce, chili oil, sugar, and scallions. Season with salt and pepper. Marinate the steaks for up to 30 minutes. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Cook steaks until medium-rare. Set aside to rest. Season mushrooms with salt and pepper, grill until soft. When ready to serve, slice steak and serve with lettuce leaves, rice, mushrooms, scallions, chili sauce and sesame seeds. Assemble, and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Sesame-Crusted Tofu with Spinach and Soba Noodles

Sesame-Crusted Tofu
1 Package of extra-firm tofu, drained and cut into triangles
Sesame seeds
1 Egg
Cooking spray
Ponzu Sauce for dipping

Soba Noodles with Spianch
1 Package soba (buckwheat) noodles
1 Package baby spinach
1 Clove garlic, minced
1-2 TSP chili oil
1 TBS rice wine vinegar

It's not that easy to satisfy a carnivore when you don't have any meat in the fridge. So when I make a meatless meal, it has to be filling and flavorful. The texture of plain tofu usually gets lost when served with noodles, but getting the tofu crispy allows it to stand out. And not only is this noodle dish healthy, it also has a little kick to it. Make sure you use extra-firm tofu and to drain it as much liquid out as possible, this will make handling much easier. For an easy appetizer, You can also cut into cubes, stick on skewers and serve with a variety of Asian dipping sauces.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Drain the tofu as much as possible, and pat dry. Cut into triangles. Lightly spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange the tofu on the prepared baking sheet, and brush with the egg. Sprinkle with sesame seeds to coat. Bake until tofu begins to brown, but before seeds begin to burn (about 20-25 minutes).

In the meantime, cook noodles according to package directions. Heat a saute pan over medium high heat, spray with cooking spray. Saute garlic and spinach until spinach is just wilted. Toss in noodles and add chili oil and vinegar. Serve with tofu and dipping sauce.

Sunday, December 5, 2010


Potato Latkes
2 1/2 pounds Idaho, russet, or baking potatoes (about 4 large), scrubbed
1 large onion, peeled and quartered
2 large eggs
3 tablespoons matzoh meal (or breadcrumbs, or flour)
1 to 2 teaspoons kosher salt
Fresh ground pepper to taste
Vegetable oil for frying

The other day I was daydreaming about Zaftig's, a Jewish deli and local fave in Boston (definitely in my top 10 restaurants ever). On any given Saturday the wait for a table would be at least an hour, but it was always worth it. I would load up on their bagel chips and cream cheese, before I even put in my order for an omelet or turkey on rye with cole slaw. But on that particular day I was thinking about their latkes! Since, it also happens to be Hanukkah, I felt it was appropriate to dedicate my weekend project to potato pancakes. I did a lot of research on different recipes, but this one I adopted from CHOW recipes, seemed pretty simple.

Using the medium-coarse shredding disk of a food processor, shred the potatoes and onion together. You can also use a box grater, but the food processor is a huge time saver. Transfer mixture to a large colander set over a bowl. Using both your hands, squeeze the potato mixture vigorously. Squeeze as much liquid as possible out of the potatoes (the more moisture you get out, the better), then let mixture stand for a minute or two. Pour off the watery brown liquid in the bowl, but save the layer of pale beige paste (potato starch) at the bottom. With a large spoon mix the paste in the potato-onion mixture. Mix in eggs, matzoh meal, 1 teaspoon of the kosher salt, and a good amount of freshly ground pepper with your hands until it is evenly incorporated. Use more matzoh meal if mixture is too wet.

Heat enough oil (pour about 1/4-1/2 inch) in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat, until a shred of potato mixture instantly sizzles when dropped in. Then spoon potato mixture into the oil, making sure not to crowd the pan. Flatten each spoonful into a flat disk with the back of the spatula. Fry until deep golden brown, about 5 minutes, then flip over and continue cooking until both sides are well browned, about 8 to 10 minutes for each batch. (You may need to add additional oil to fry subsequent batches.) Transfer latkes to the paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Blot any excess oil with additional towels. Serve immediately with sour cream and applesauce, and you will be in potato pancake heaven.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Exciting News From Hungry Yuppie Land

So a while back I entered a weeknight recipe contest on a whim, and I won on my very first try! So here's the link to my winning Korean pork cutlet dish that was published in The Daily Dish blog:

Tofu in Red Curry Sauce

Tofu in Red Curry Sauce
1 Package extra firm tofu, cut into 3/4-inch cubes
1 Cup snow peas, trimmed and halved
1 Cup butternut squash, cubed
1 Package Chinese noodles (or angel hair pasta)
1 TBS vegetable oil
1 TBS Ginger
2 Dried red chilies, crushed (optional)
14 Oz can light coconut milk
1 TBS. red curry paste
1 TSP raw sugar
2 TBS fish sauce
2 TBS. fresh lime juice

South-East Asian cuisine can sometimes be intimidating, just by the sheer size of the ingredients list. A good curry sauce doesn't have to be complicated, you just need to have a few key ingredients always on hand.

Fresh Ginger Root-a little goes along way.
Dried Chilies-my dad makes his own, but you can always use crushed red pepper flakes.
Fish Sauce-Don't let the name throw you, it tastes great and it's very versatile. You can also substitute with soy sauce if you need to.
Red Curry Paste-You can now find this in almost every grocery store in the International Food aisle. It has galangal (Thai ginger), chili and lemongrass flavors in one small container.
Coconut Milk-I always go with the light version.

I'm a big fan of curry sauce with noodles, but feel free to serve with jasmine or brown rice too (it's yummy on it's own too). Rich also suggested adding crushed peanuts for some texture and crunch.

Drain the tofu on paper towels to remove excess water. Bring a large pot of water to a boil over high heat. Add the squash and cook for 5-7 minutes until just about for tender. The add snow peas and cook for 30 seconds more, remove with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the noodles to the boiling water and cook according to the package instructions. Drain the noodles, rinse well under cold running water. Set aside.

In a saute pan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add ginger, dried chili flakes, coconut milk, curry paste. Stir to combine then add sugar, fish sauce, and lime juice. Season with salt and pepper if needed. Add the tofu and vegetables, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is hot and the tofu is heated through, about 2 minutes. Ladle sauce over the noodles and serve.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Turkey Cutlets With Mustard-Sherry Sauce

Turkey Cutlets With Mustard-Sherry Sauce
2 Turkey breast cutlets, pounded to 1/4 inch thickness
Flour for dredging
Salt and pepper
1 Shallot, minced
1/3 Cup dry sherry
1/2 Cup chicken stock
2 TBS Dijon mustard

I had 2 left over turkey breast cutlets from my Thanksgiving dinner, and I have A LOT of stuffing muffins left over. Turkey is a great alternative to a chicken dinner, and it goes great great with the autumn flavors such as Dijon and sherry. Serve with buttered green beans to complete this cozy dinner.

Heat oil in skillet over medium-high heat. Season cutlets with salt and pepper and lightly dredge in flour, shaking off excess. Cook until golden-brown on both sides (5-7 minutes). Set aside. Add shallots to hot pan, cook for 1 minute. Add sherry and chicken stock. Whisk in mustard. Season with salt and pepper as needed. Bring to a boil, and let reduce a bit. Bring to a simmer, and add cutlets. Cook for a few minutes more, then enjoy.

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins

Spiced Pumpkin Muffins
Nonstick vegetable oil spray
1 Cup all purpose flour
1/2 Cup whole wheat flour
1/3 Cup sugar
1/4 Cup (packed) golden brown sugar
2 1/2 TSP baking powder
1 TSP ground cinnamon
1/4 TSP ground cloves
1/2 TSP salt
1 1/4 Cups canned pure pumpkin
1 Cup whole milk
2 Large eggs
6 TBS (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
2 TSP grated peeled fresh ginger
1/4 Cup shelled pumpkin seeds, toasted (optional)
1/3 Cup walnuts (optional)

I love this time of year because I can consume as much pumpkin as I want in soups, pies, pancakes and lattes. I can't get enough! I think it's the perfect ingredient, because it can be enjoyed either savory or sweet. And speaking of sweet, is there anything better than indulging in a warm pumpkin muffin on a cold fall morning with your pumpkin-flavored coffee?

I usually search for baking recipes based on what I already have in my pantry. I had pumpkin seeds and fresh ginger left over, so I thought this Bon Appetit recipe from circa 2002 looked pretty good. I left out the walnuts since Rich isn't crazy about them in his muffins, but feel free to add them (pecans may be good too). My brown sugar was also rock-solid, so I had to leave that out. Surprisingly it made my muffins not too sweet, which I personally like.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray muffin tins with nonstick spray (makes about 15 muffins). Whisk both flours, sugar, baking powder, spices, and salt in large bowl to blend. Whisk pumpkin, milk, eggs, melted butter, and ginger in medium bowl to blend. Add to dry ingredients and stir just until incorporated (do not over mix).
Spoon 1/4 cup batter into each cup. Sprinkle pumpkin seeds on top. Bake until muffins are golden and tester inserted into center comes out clean, about 25 minutes.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Hungry Yuppies Take Turkey Day

Not only is Thanksgiving THE food holiday of the year, it also happens to be my favorite holiday. A day filled with eating, drinking and napping, and not feeling guilty about it either! This year I will be flying south with Rich for Turkey Day with his family, so it will be the first time in my 25 years that I won't be home. The weekend before I decided to invite my parents for a pre-Thanksgiving dinner over at our place. My mom is always hosting us and she will have plenty of cooking to do next week, so I thought it would be nice to cook instead. I didn't want to re-create the usual dishes (since we will all be eating them again in a few days), so I've found some new twists on the classics. For a starter I'm making baked brie and fresh figs. It is incredibly easy to make, yet so impressive (and decadent) when you serve to guests. I've had with with fruit filling before, but I'm using caramelized onions instead. Since I won't have all day to cook an entire bird, I'm preparing turkey breast cutlets with pancetta and sage from a Cooking Light recipe. My personal favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner is the stuffing, and I have found a fun recipe from Rachel Ray that combines stuffing with my other favorite food group...muffins! And finally, I'm making roasted Brussels spouts sweetened with maple syrup and simply steamed green beans for some greenery.

Baked Brie with Caramelized Onions
Taken from Food Network's 5 Ingredient Fix
1 TBS unsalted butter
2 Large Vidalia or Spanish onions, thinly sliced
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 Cup water
1 Sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 (5-inch) rounds brie cheese
1 Large egg, lightly beaten

Stuffing Muffins
2 TBS EVOO, 2 turns of the pan
1 Stick butter, softened
1 Fresh bay leaf, available in produce department
4 Ribs celery and greens, from the heart, chopped
1 Medium to large yellow skinned onion, chopped
3 McIntosh apples, quartered and chopped
Salt and pepper
2 TBS poultry seasoning
1/4 Cup chopped fresh parsley leaves
8 Cups cubed stuffing mix (recommended: Pepperidge Farm)
2-3 Cups chicken stock

Maple Brussel Sprouts
Taken from The New York Times
1 1/2 pounds brussels sprouts
1/4 cup olive oil
3/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon (or 10 grinds) black pepper
2 tablespoons maple syrup

Turkey Scaloppine Ingredients
1 1/2 LBS turkey breast cutlets (about 8 cutlets)
Freshly ground black pepper
1 Cup flour
2 TBS olive oil
1/3 Cup thinly sliced pancetta (about 1 ounce)
2 TBS thinly sliced fresh sage
3/4 Cup white wine
1/2 Cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
2 TBS butter, cut into small pieces

To save time, get as much of the slicing and dicing done ahead of time. Start with the onions for the baked brie. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions, season with salt and pepper, to taste, and saute until just brown, about 10 minutes. Add 1/2 cup of water and cook stirring often, until dark golden brown, about 15 minutes. While that cools, dice the onions, celery and apples for the stuffing and clean the Brussel sprouts. Heat oil and 4 TBS butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. When butter melts, add the bay leaf and add the vegetables. Sprinkle with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning. Cook 5 to 6 minutes to begin to soften vegetables and apples then add parsley and stuffing cubes to the pan and combine. Moisten the stuffing with chicken broth until all of the bread is soft but not wet. Butter 12 muffin cups, liberally with remaining butter. With a large spoon of ice cream scoop, fill and mound up the stuffing in muffin tins, removing the bay leaf as you go. Keep covered in the fridge.

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Roll the pastry to a 12-inch square. Spoon the caramelized onions in the center the pastry. Put a brie round on top of the onions and brush edges of both pastry squares with beaten egg. Fold pastry to completely enclose the cheese in the pastry. Press the seams together to completely seal. Arrange each pastry round, seam side down, on a lined baking sheet. Brush the top of each pastry round with beaten egg. Feel free to add decorations as well, I cut out leaf shapes and applied them with more egg. Bake until browned and puffed. In the meantime toss the Brussel sprouts in a roasting pan with olive oil, salt and pepper. Turn down oven to 375 degrees when brie is done, and roast the sprouts for 30 minutes. Toss with maple syrup and let cook for 15 minutes more. At the same time, bake the stuffing muffins for 15 minutes, or until browned on top.

Place each turkey cutlet on a large piece of saran wrap. Cover with another piece of saran wrap. Pound the cutlet until about 1/4-inch thickness (this can also be done ahead, but you want to cook the turkey last minute). Season the cutlets generously with salt and pepper on both sides. Coat lightly in the flour, shaking off any extra. Heat two large skillets over medium heat. Add 1 TBS of oil to each. Cook until the turkey is lightly browned and no longer pink on the inside, 5-7 minutes. Remove turkey from pan and keep warm. Add pancetta and sage to pan; cook 3 minutes or until pancetta is browned, stirring occasionally. Add wine; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to 1/2 cup (about 3 minutes). Add broth; bring to a boil. Cook until reduced to about 2/3 cup (about 2 minutes). Stir in butter. Add the turkey scaloppine back to the pan and turn to coat with sauce. Cook for another minute to blend flavors.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Chicken in Red Curry Sauce

Chicken in Red Curry Sauce
3 Chicken breasts, cut into strips
Salt and pepper
1 Small onion
2 TBS vegetable oil
1-inch cube of peeled fresh ginger root, minced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 Red bell pepper
2 TBS curry powder
1 TSP crushed red pepper
1 Cup low-salt chicken broth
28 OZ can plum tomatoes, drained well and chopped fine
2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
Brown rice for serving

In Costa Rica we had a delicious curried coconut-crusted red snapper prepared by our chef, Johann. I wasn't able to gather all the ingredients for this dish, so I thought I would start experimenting with some flavors to get the curry sauce down. Since I didn't have snapper or coconut on hand, I would have to make due with chicken and a tomato-based sauce. I think adding coconut milk and smoothing out the sauce in a blender, will come pretty close to Johann's creation. You could also add plain yogurt to this sauce. Stay tuned as I explore further, but in the mean time this dish is pretty good as it is. I also used the Uncle Ben's 90 second microwavable pouches, to make this a super-quick and easy dinner.

Heat oil in a large saute pan, season chicken with salt and pepper and cook until no longer pink. Add garlic, ginger, onions and peppers. Stir in curry powder and red pepper and cook until fragrant and veggies begin to soften. Add the tomatoes and broth, simmer the mixture, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes and stir in the lime juice and salt and pepper to taste. Serve with brown rice.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Pesto "Spaghetti"

Pesto "Spaghetti"
1 Spaghetti squash, cut in half and seeds removed
3 TBS prepared pesto
3 TBS Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper to taste

I've never cooked a spaghetti squash before, but I bought one from the market anyway just to give it a try. I had to do a little research, since I had no idea what to do with it. There are a couple methods to cooking spaghetti squash - you can roast, boil, or microwave if you're in a hurry. I'm going to try the boiling method for my first time around, but it probably takes the same amount of time to roast. While it may not be a replacement for pasta, it's sure a fun and healthy alternative. I happened to have left over pesto, but you can also use tomato sauce or just butter and cheese.

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil, then add the squash, cooking until fork-tender (about 45 minutes). Remove and set aside in a large bowl until cool enough to handle. Using a fork, scrape the flesh until your "spaghetti" forms. Add in the pesto, cheese and season with salt and pepper. Stir until combined.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Hungry Yuppies Hit The Road

Hola amigos! We just returned from an amazing trip to Costa Rica. They're are so many things I love about travelling, one of them being the food. We stayed in Montezuma, a small backpacker town, in a beautiful resort lofted on top of a hill with spectacular views. Hats off to the chef there, Johann, who fed us delicious and organic meals all week long. It was hard to believe the dishes he created were healthy too, using the freshest ingredients available. Post-yoga every morning, we enjoyed breakfast which included fruit salad, fresh juices, and Costa Rican coffee. At lunch we dug into a huge salad with the best tahini dressing and lots of veggies. And dinner definitely did not disappoint, with a great variety of dishes from pad Thai with fish cakes, to veggie sandwiches with homemade rolls. After each dinner, we bombarded Johann with questions about how he created each dish. He gave up a few of his secrets, so I'm very anxious to recreate some of them including the coconut-crusted red snapper and the avocado-chocolate smoothie!

We couldn't eat at the hotel every night, just because we wanted to experience some local flavor in town. And what would a vacation be without fun tropical drinks? We wasted no time to enjoy pina coladas at one of the bars on the beach.

Cocolores was recommended by many locals (including Johann). Their Mediterranean-style ceviche with homemade bread, was muy delicioso, as were my chicken fajitas with fresh salsa and cotija cheese. And on Isla Tortuga, our guides cut up fresh coconuts to enjoy after a yummy lunch of stewed fish and rice.

Our last night we dined at Playa de los Artistas, which was probably one of the most unique restaurants I have been to. The beach front area was dimly lit by candles and gas lamps, complete with drift wood tables and funky chairs (and a fat, hungry cat). We had Peruvian ceviche spiced with ginger and chilies, peppers stuffed with shrimp and avocado, and hummus with toasted bread, and that's just for the starters! I had almond crusted mahi-mahi with yucca mash and grilled veggies, Rich had river prawns in an orange-rum sauce. The food was excellent, but the ambiance there made it a great end to a great week of food.

Luckily, we were able to get up early enough our last morning to enjoy breakfast at El Sano Banano in town where we shared banana pancakes and an omelet as we watched the monkeys in the trees. The perfect end to an adventurous journey.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Potato-Leek Frittata

Potato-Leek Frittata
6 Eggs
1/3 Cup Parmesan cheese
1 TSP salt
1/2 TSP fresh ground pepper
1/2 Cup leeks
1/2 Cup cooked baby Yukon Gold potatoes, diced

We're going on vacation next week, so I'm trying to utilize every last ounce of food in our kitchen before we leave Saturday. I had some left-over leeks from my soup and left-over potatoes from last night, and they both go quite well with each other. My secret weapon, Parmesan cheese, comes to the rescue to complete this frittata recipe.

If your potatoes are raw, boil them in water until fork-tender. Set aside. Beat the eggs with salt and pepper, add a handful of the cheese, stirring to combine. Preheat broiler. Heat oil in an oven-proof skillet over medium heat, and add the potatoes and leeks. Cook for 5 minutes until leeks soften. Add the egg mixture and cook until egg are almost set. Pop under the broiler for a minute or two, until eggs are firm. Serve with a simple salad, or with pumpkin soup and crusty French bread.

Pesto Chicken with Parmesan Potatoes

Pesto Chicken
4 Chicken breasts, pounded to 1/2 inch thickness
1/4 Cup prepared pesto
Salt and pepper
Cooking spray

Parmesan Potatoes
1 Bag of baby Yukon Gold potatoes
3 Cloves crushed garlic
Salt and pepper
1/3 Cup Parmesan cheese

There are two things that I must always keep in my fridge for week-night dinners: Pre-made pesto and Parmesan cheese. These secret weapons are not just for pasta anymore, they can make any dinner staple flavorful and delicious.

Season chicken with salt and pepper, then spread the pesto so each piece is coated on both sides. Keep in the fridge to marinate until ready to cook. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut potatoes in half and toss with olive oil, crushed garlic and salt and pepper. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast for 25 minutes or more, until browned and tender. In the meantime, heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray then cook chicken until golden brown on both sides. Add the Parmesan cheese to the potatoes and let bake for 5-10 more minutes. Serve with a little fresh rosemary on top.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Chili-Soy Marinated Flank Steak with Asian Pear Salad

Chili-Soy Marinated Flank Steak
1 Lb flank steak
1/4 Cup soy sauce
2 Dried red chilies
3 Cloves Garlic, crushed

Asian Pear Salad
1 Pear, cut into wedges
2 Cups baby spinach
1 Small shallot, thinly sliced
2 TBS rice wine vinegar
1 TBS Honey
1 Pinch red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper to taste

I think I'm going to make steak-night a weekly event. For a weeknight dinner I always would go for chicken or tofu as my protein, since red meat always intimidated me (and pre-conceived notions that it's unhealthy). But I'm learning that it's not that hard to prepare and if you get a well-proportioned, lean cut for the occasional meal, it's not that bad for you (grass-fed is even better as it's high in Omega-3's)! And it's something different, because 90% of the time I'm eating white meat (my sudden craving is probably from an iron deficiency).

This is a simple marinade fit for any meal. The soy sauce in this marinade adds a sweet glaze, and the homemade dried chilies from my dad add a nice kick (I was tearing-up as I was grilling). The salad is based on a Korean pickled cucumber I make with rice vinegar and crushed red pepper, but adding some sweetness with the pear and honey. You could swap the wilted spinach for fresh, and the pears for apples, but the pears actually go really well with the steak.

Marinate the steak in the soy sauce, garlic, chilies and olive oil for 30 minutes or more. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a saute pan. Saute spinach and shallots until spinach is just wilted. Toss in a bowl with the pears, vinegar, honey, red pepper. Season with salt and pepper and set aside. Heat grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the steak until desired done-ness. About 4-5 minutes per side for medium. Let the steak rest, then slice and serve with the salad.

The Great Pumpkin Soup

The Great Pumpkin Soup
1 TBS olive oil
2 leeks (white and light green parts), sliced 1/4 inch thick and rinsed
3 Cloves garlic, chopped
1 Medium pumpkin, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 15-oz can pumpkin puree
6 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 TSP nutmeg
2 TSP kosher salt
1/4 TSP fresh ground pepper
1 TBS fresh rosemary
Plain Greek yogurt for serving


I'm ashamed to admit that we didn't have time to get a pumpkin before Halloween, so I needed my last-minute pumpkin fix on Halloween day. I had to stop at a few grocery stores before finding the perfect pumpkin. Or in this case, the not-so-perfect pumpkin, since I learned the heavy, blemished ones are the best to cook with. After over-indulging all weekend, I decided to pass on pumpkin bread or muffin, and go for a healthy soup.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the leeks and garlic and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the pumpkin cubes and canned puree, then the broth. Stir in salt, pepper and nutmeg. Simmer until the pumpkin is tender, about 45 minutes.

Working in batches, ladle the soup into a blender and puree until smooth. Divide among individual bowls and top with a dollop of yogurt and the rosemary. Serve with a multi-grain baguette.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Pasta With Roasted Butternut Squash, Black Pepper and Parmesan

Pasta With Roasted Butternut Squash, Black Pepper and Parmesan
1 Pound linguine
2 Cups butternut squash, cubed
3 Cloves garlic, peeled and smashed
Salt, to taste
Fresh ground black pepper
1/4 Cup Parmesan, plus more for serving

This pasta is ideal for a cold, dreary night, but I wasn't quite expecting it to be 70 degrees today! Still, this is a delicious vegetarian meal for any time regardless of the weather. For the devoted carnivore, add some slices of left-over maple-mustard glazed chicken, or crumbled sweet Italian sausage.

Pre-heat oven to 475 degrees. Toss the squash in olive oil, garlic and salt and pepper on a baking sheet until evenly coated. Roast for about 30 minutes, or until tender and caramelized. In the mean time boil water for your pasta. Cook pasta until al dente and return to pot. Toss in squash, Parmesan, and black pepper and stir until combined. Season with more salt if needed.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Maple-Dijion Glazed Chicken with Spinach and Squash

Maple-Dijon Glazed Chicken with Spinach and Squash
4 Chicken breasts
1 large shallot, minced
3 TBS maple syrup
3 TBS whole grain Dijon mustard
2 TBS red wine vinegar
Salt and pepper
Baby spinach
2 Cups cubed butternut squash
1 TSP butter
Cinnamon and ground cloves, pinch of each
Salt and pepper

If I need to buy a special ingredient for a particular dish, I like to try to find as many other uses for it as I can. I had bought whole grain Dijon for my steak and a tofu dish last week, so why not use it for chicken? Maple syrup and mustard are a great combination, especially for a fall dinner. The chicken become sticky, sweet and tangy.

Pound each chicken breast, until about 1/2 inch thickness. In a large bowl mix the shallot, syrup, mustard and vinegar. Season with salt and pepper. Set aside half the mixture and use the rest to marinate the chicken. Boil the squash until fork-tender, then drain. Heat a grill pan over medium high heat and cook chicken about 4 minutes per side, occasionally brushing each piece with the remaining marinade. In the mean time heat a pan with olive oil and cook spinach until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper. Mash the squash with butter, salt, pepper, Cinnamon, and cloves until almost smooth. Serve and savor!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


The Menu
Bratwurst and cheddarwurst
Red cabbage with apples
German potatoes
Green beans and spaetzel
Apple crisp
Pumpkin pudding

Every month or so, we take a short trip east for a home-cooked meal and drinks with my family. Oktoberfest started as a family tradition quite a few years ago. We throw a lot of themed cocktail parties at our summer home with family, and we had an event for almost every major holiday throughout the summer. But we didn't have anything for the last long weekend of the season, Columbus Day weekend. From there it has slowly evolved from a cocktail party to a full-blown German feast. Though our family is not German at all, Oktoberfest seemed to be the most fitting theme. And for dessert, we had a little Thanksgiving preview with pumpkin pie pudding and apple crisp. While I can't take credit for this meal, I felt it was definitely worth sharing.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Crêpes with Ham, Smoked Gouda and Apples

Crêpes with Ham, Smoked Gouda and Apples
1/4 Pound black forest ham, sliced
1 Small golden delicious apple, sliced thinly
1/3 Cup smoked Gouda, grated
Fresh ground pepper
4 Crêpes made from whole wheat crêpe batter (see recipe from Vegetable Crêpes, or use your own)

This warm and comforting dish is perfect for a chilly night, or for a fall brunch. For an even more decadence, you can use brie instead of Gouda.

Heat a pan over medium-high heat. Spray with cooking spray and ladle in batter. Flip after 1-2 minutes and layer apples, ham and cheese. Season with fresh ground pepper. When cheese begins to melt, roll the crêpe and remove from pan. Repeat, then eat!

Monday, October 18, 2010

Grilled Steak With Mustard Shallot Sauce

Grilled Steak With Mustard Shallot Sauce
2 Small flank steaks
1 TSP salt
1/2 TSP pepper
4 TBS EVOO, divided
1 TBS Dijon mustard
2 TBS fresh lemon juice
1 Large shallot, minced

Here's a healthy and easy dish from Women's Health that I had to try since I found perfectly sized, lean flank steaks at the supermarket. Sometimes you just need to cook by what ingredients look the freshest. And did I mention that this recipe is easy? Like, really easy! I serve this dish with steamed green beans and a sweet potato mash, but you can also serve the steak on top of greens and use the sauce for dressing for a main course salad.

Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Season the steaks on both sides with the salt and pepper. and brush with 1 TBS of olive oil. If the cuts are thicker, pound them a bit so they cook quickly. Mince the shallot and combine in a small bowl with 3TBS oil, mustard and lemon juice. Whisk until combined and set aside. When the pan is very hot, put on the steaks. For a 1/2 inch piece of flank steak cook for 2 minutes per side for medium. After letting the meat rest, slice and top with the sauce.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Eggplant Roulades

Eggplant Roulades
2 Large eggplants, sliced lengthwise, 1/2 inch thick
Cooking spray
4 Cloves garlic, minced
1 Package of baby spinach
16 Oz ricotta cheese
5 Basil leaves, torn
Salt and pepper
1 Jar tomato sauce
Parmesan cheese, for serving

Don't get me wrong, I love fried eggplant covered in gooey cheese, but it's one of those dishes that should be classified as an occasional treat. If you craving eggplant parm, here's a healthy (and tasty) alternative to enjoy anytime. If you want to kick this recipe up a notch you can use spicy marinara sauce, or add thin slices of prosciutto for an entertaining-worthy dish.

First, drain the eggplant of any excess water by placing slices in a colander and generously covering in salt. Cover with a dish and a jar to weigh down the slices. Let drain for up to 2 hours. In the meantime, heat olive oil in a pan. Add garlic and spinach, saute until spinach is wilted. Set aside. In a bowl mix the ricotta, basil, salt and pepper until combined. Fold in the cooled spinach. Set aside in the fridge until ready to assemble the roulades.

Pre heat oven to 425 degrees. Quickly rinse off eggplant slices to remove salt and pat dry. Season with salt and pepper. Spray a hot pan with cooking spray and begin to cook the eggplant in batches for 3-5 minutes, or until they begin to soften. Let cool. Take each eggplant slice and place a heaping tablespoon of the ricotta mixture on one end. Roll the eggplant up and place in a baking dish coated with non-stick spray. Cover the roulades with tomato sauce and place in the oven for 15-20 minutes. If you do feel like splurging, you can top with some mozzarella cheese before baking in the oven! Serve with Italian bread and Parmesan cheese.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Greek Chicken Pitas

Greek Chicken Pitas
Chicken breasts, cut into 1 inch cubes
1/2 Cup plain non-fat Greek yogurt
3 TBS lemon juice, divided
4 Cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 TSP dried oregano
1/2 TSP salt
1/4 TSP fresh ground pepper

Tzatziki Sauce
1/2 Cup non-fat plain Greek yogurt
1 TBS lemon juice
1 Clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup cucumbers, seeded and diced
1/4 TSP salt

For Serving
Red onion
1/4 Cup chives

Here's an ode to one of my favorite diner dishes, chicken slouvaki. Make this light and refreshing dish on a particularly cold day, and you'll be instantly transported to the Mediterranean. Marinating the chicken in yogurt, not only makes the chicken tangy and juicy, but it also adds a nice crust when broiled. You can also add zucchini and red pepper to the skewers and serve over orzo for a heartier meal.

Cut chicken into chunks and toss in a bowl with yogurt, EVOO, lemon juice, oregano, garlic and season with salt and pepper. Let marinate for 30 minutes.

For the sauce mix the yogurt, garlic, cucumbers in a small bowl. Stir in lemon juice and season with salt. Set aside in the fridge while you prepare the chicken.

Thread chicken pieces on skewers (if using wood, make sure you have soaked them) and place on broiler pan. Broil on high heat for about 7 minutes, turning periodically.

Arrange sliced onions and tomato wedges on pitas. Top with chicken, tzatziki sauce, and chives.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Turkey Chili

Turkey Chili
2 Large onions
8 Cloves Garlic
2 Jalapenos
1 Red bell pepper
1 Green bell pepper
3 TBS vegetable oil
4 Pounds ground turkey
1 Can of chipotle chilies in adobo
1 Cup water
2 28 oz. cans of crushed tomatoes, excess liquid drained
2 Cups low-sodium chicken broth
2 TBS cumin
1 Bay leaf
1 1/2 TSP oregano
1 TSP chili powder
2 TSP salt
1 TBS cornmeal
1 Can pinto beans
1 Can white beans

What I love about fall and chilly weekends is that I can take the time to make warm, cozy meals that will last for the entire week ahead. Chili is a satisfying dinner perfect for the colder months (and for summer too, if you don't mind working up a sweat over the stove), just throw everything in a big pot and let it simmer away. This recipe from Gourmet called for tomatillos, but I'm using tomatoes instead for a red chili. Adding ground turkey, makes it a more diet friendly dinner too. This recipe makes A LOT of chili, so be prepared to eat this all week (or store leftovers in your freezer).

Puree the chipotles in a blender with 1 cup of water. Set aside. Dice the onions, bell peppers, jalapenos and garlic. Heat oil in a large pot over medium-high heat, then add the garlic and onions. Let soften for a few minutes, stir in the cumin and let cook for 30 seconds more. Add the ground turkey, breaking apart the meat with a wooden spoon until no longer pink. Add the chipotle puree, chicken broth and tomatoes. Stir in oregano, chili powder and salt. Let simmer for an hour, adding more water or broth if chili gets too thick. Add the peppers, cornmeal and beans, then let cook for 30 minutes more.

Serve with a dollop of sour cream and some chopped red onions or cilantro. And of course, don't forget the corn bread!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Vegetable Crêpes

Vegetable Crêpes
1/3 Cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 Cup chopped fresh chives, divided, plus more for garnish
3 TBS low-fat milk
2 TSP lemon juice
3/4 TSP salt, divided
1 TBS extra-virgin olive oil
1 Cup chopped yellow squash
1 1/4 cups baby spinach
1 Small onion, diced
1/2 Cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/4 Cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 TSP freshly ground pepper
6 Whole wheat crêpes

Whole Wheat Crêpes
1 1/4 Cups whole wheat flour
3 Eggs
3/4 Cup low fat milk
1/4 Cup vegetable oil
1 1/4 Cups water
1/2 TSP salt

There's only so many pasta dishes I can make, so here's another great alternative for using left over veggies. I love making crêpes for breakfast or brunch, but I usually fill them with ham and cheese or fruit. I adapted this recipe from YumSugar, adding different vegetables and swapping the pre-made crêpes for homemade.

Stir sour cream, 1/4 cup chives, milk, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add squash and onions and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 5 minutes. Then add spinach and stir until wilted. Reduce heat to low; stir in ricotta, cheddar, the remaining 1/4 cup chives, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring gently, until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

For the crêpes, mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl until combined. Heat pan over medium high heat. Coat with cooking spray, then add about 1 ladle-full (about 1/4 cup) and swirl around pan until coated with a thin layer. When batter begins to set and edges curl-up, flip over and let cook for 30 seconds more. Add some of the veggie-cheese mixture and fold over. Repeat. Serve each crêpe topped with 2 tablespoons of the reserved sauce and more chives.

It's a little labor intensive, but if you have your crêpe-making technique down, you'll want to make this dish morning, noon, or night!

(P.S) I had a left over crêpe for breakfast the next day, and it was delicious!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Whole Wheat Spaghetti With Kale White Beans and Grilled Chicken

Whole Wheat Spaghetti With Kale and White Beans
1 Pound whole wheat spaghetti
1 Bunch of kale, chopped into thin strips
1 Can white beans, drained and rinsed
3 Cloves garlic
1/2 Cup dry white wine
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese

Grilled Chicken
2 Chicken breasts
Lemon juice
2 cloves of garlic, smashed
4-5 Basil leaves, torn
Salt and pepper

I've been really into kale lately. Not only is it super healthy, it's a nice change from boring old spinach. The kale and white beans add some texture to the pasta and the lemon-herb grilled chicken round out this healthy dish.

Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. In the meantime, pound the chicken to a 1/2 inch thickness. Season with salt and pepper and let marinate in garlic, basil, oil and lemon juice for 5-10 minutes while the grill heats up. Grill the chicken, then set aside.

Heat oil in a large saute pan over media high heat, add garlic and saute for 1 minute. Add kale, letting it cook down for 2-3 minutes. Then add beans, wine, lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper, then let the sauce reduce while the pasta cooks.

When the pasta is just about al dente, drain and add to the saute pan. Toss until combined, and add Parmesan cheese. Top pasta with grilled chicken.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Pork Milanese Sandwiches With Lemon-Basil Mayo

Pork Milanese Sandwiches
2 Pork cutlets, sliced
Cibatta bread

Lemon Basil Aioli
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 TBS fresh chopped basil
1 TSP lemon pepper seasoning

I'm taking my left over pork cutlets and transforming them into pork Milanese sandwiches. I really like the combination of the crispy bread and cutlets with something creamy, so I'm making a lemony-basil mayo.

Pre-heat oven to 375. Cut cibatta into 6-8 inch slices, then slice each piece in half. Place on baking sheet and top with sliced pork cutlets. Heat up in the oven for 8-10 minutes, or until cutlets are warm. In the meantime, I mix my mayo with basil and a pinch of lemon pepper seasoning. If you don't have lemon pepper seasoning you could use fresh squeezed lemon juice, salt and pepper. When the sandwiches come out of the over spread the mayo then top with arugula.

Korean Style Pork Cutlets

Korean Style Pork Cutlets
5-6 Pork cutlets
3 Eggs
Panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
Vegetable oil, for frying
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1 TBS minced ginger
1/4 Cup soy sauce
1/4 Cup rice wine vinegar
1 TBS honey
1-2 TBS hot sesame oil
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Green onions for garnish

Meat tenderizer (or a rolling pin)

Rich groaned at first when he found out I was making pork cutlets. I'm not a huge fan of pork either (unless it's in bacon or ham form), but I'm always looking beyond the basic chicken and steak dinners. And I've made a Milanese style pork before, which was delicious. Cover anything in breadcrumbs and fry it, and it's going to be good! I'm going to add an Asian twist to my pork, using panko bread crumbs and a tangy and spicy sauce. I promised him this would be much better than any of the greasy, soggy pork katsu dishes he's had in the past. I also roasted some red peppers and baby zucchini to go with my pork, but sushi rice or baby bok choy would also be great sides.

Place the cutlets between sheets of plastic wrap and pound until desired thickness (about 1/4-1/2 inch). Pat dry, then season both sides with salt and pepper. Dredge each cutlet in flour, shaking off the excess. Dip in eggs, letting the excess drip off, then coat in bread crumbs. Let hang out on a baking sheet for 5 minutes while the pan heats up. Heat about 1/4 cup of vegetable oil in a large pan or dutch oven. When the oil begins to shimmer, cook cutlets in batches until golden brown (about 3 minutes per side, depending on thickness). Drain on paper towels. Place in warm oven until ready to serve. In the same pan add the garlic and ginger and saute for 1 min, then add the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, honey, and sesame oil. Bring to a simmer, then add the lime juice. Drizzle sauce over the cutlets, or serve on the side for dipping. Top with some green onions.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Vegetarian Fajitas with Black Bean Salad

Vegetarian Fajitas
1 package of sliced mushrooms
1 Red Pepper
1 Zucchini
1 Small onion
1/2 TSP garlic powder
1/2 TSP cumin
1/2 TSP cayenne pepper (or less, depending on the amount of heat your looking for)
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Salt and pepper
Grated cheese, for serving
Salsa, for serving

Black Bean Salad
1 Can black beans
Juice of 1/2 a lime
Green onion
1/2 TSP garlic powder
1/2 TSP cumin
1/2 TSP cayenne pepper (ditto)
Salt and pepper

A major culinary event occurs every summer at my parent's house, and that event is when my dad harvests all the tomatoes and peppers from his garden to make (and can) his own salsa. I had to make sure I secured my very own jar before they disappear! It's so good, I could probably eat the entire jar myself with a spoon, but I'm going to make fajitas instead! On the side, I'm going to make a black bean salad.

I cut peppers, zucchini and onion into thin strips so they will cook fast in a saute or grill pan. If the mushroom slices are thick, slice them in half. Toss with the lime juice, garlic powder, cumin and cayenne pepper. Season with salt and pepper. Grill until soft and a little charred.

In the meantime,prepare the bean salad. Drain and rinse the black beans. Toss in a bowl with lime juice, EVOO, garlic powder, cumin and cayenne. Add thin slices of green onion, then season with salt and pepper. Let sit in the fridge until ready to serve. Feel free to add more veggies or even avocado to this salad!

Grate some cheese (sharp cheddar, monterey jack, or whatever you like) for the fajitas and warm up the tortillas in a hot pan. Serve with the black bean salad on the side.

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About Me

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The Hungry Yuppies, Annie and Rich, are a young couple from CT who are self-proclaimed foodies. Annie is the chef, and Rich is her willing taste tester. Juggling a full time job in the city wasn't going to get in the way of Annie's love for cooking. It's about eating well whether you have just 30 minutes on a Monday night, or all day on a rainy Sunday.