Monday, June 24, 2019

June 24 - Stuff to read, do and devour

Ooooofff. Been a minute. Had a long list going, but I've pared it down for ya'll because your time is valuable. But we all need distractions. Here are some of my favorite recent ones:


Road Tripping with Diana Kennedy. What a neat lady. Now I need to go on a road trip to San Antonio to visit her collection! And I also just found out there's a new documentary about her. I need to track that down...

The artistry of fruit stickers. As a graphic designer for a grocery store chain... I need to pay more attention to my fruits! Although these are mostly found in London. I can follow the instagram, at least.

My mother was the one who found Jesus in a tortilla. What it's like to grow up with a famous tortilla. Very cool article from a whole series of reads about Mexican food in America from Eater.

This new online food magazine Crust is great so far!

My Great Great Grandmother's Recipe Book. Love this so much. And also reminds me I have a bunch of my Nonna's recipe I need to scan and do something with...

25 Beers to Try before You Die. I've tried 8! Not bad. Shout out to TWO St. Louis breweries that made the list (and the deserve it!), Perennial and Side Project!


We recently took a trip to Milwaukee to see the legendary George Clinton and Parliament Funk! (And Fishbone!) We did one night in Milwaukee then went to Chicago for a couple nights. Here are some culinary highlights of our trip.

In Milwaukee, we had a lovely brunch at Honeypie cafe. Admittedly we went there for the t-shirts and the pie (see below), but the biscuit bread pudding was worth a visit, also! We discovered that they don't sell the tees, which we saw on their Instagram feed, at the cafe itself. When we explained that we were out of town, our waitress went out of her way to phone the bake shop, which was down the street and not open to the public, to have them reserve a couple shirts for us to pick up! Between that customer service and the heavenly key lime coconut pie, we will be loyal patrons whenever we are back in Milwaukee!
The shirt I was hell-bent on getting from Honeypie. Photo via their IG

Key Lime Coconut Cream Pie at Honeypie in Milwaukee, WI.
In Chicago, we mostly visited some of our favorites. We had our favorite Filipino breakfast at Uncle Mike's Place.

If you are not familiar with Filipino breakfast, it's garlic fried rice (made with granulated garlic not fresh), a meat of choice (I went with Tocino) and fried eggs. At Uncle Mike's place you get a bowl of hot arroz caldo (chicken rice porridge) and ends with Champurado, a chocolate sweet rice dish.

We also hit up Jibaritos Y Mas for Jibaritos. A Jibarito is a sandwich specific to Chicago Puerto Ricans. It's 2 flattened, fried plantains that act as bread, filled with a choice of meat (traditional favorite is steak) and lettuce and tomatoes and cheese. It's topped here with minced garlic. You need to try one, and Jibaritos Y Mas is the place to go.

A first for me was the OTHER Chicago style pizza, the one locals actually eat regularly, the thin crust pub pizza. We got ours at Marcello's Father & Sons restaurant. It was great, the kind of pizza you gotta eat hot, right there at the restaurant, so shareable. Also we got giardiniera on one of ours and my pizza life is changed.


@pepperdelightblog is a St. Louis-based blogger and photographer whom I should probably hang out with. Her gorgeous photos make me so hungry.
@pepperdelightblog on Instagram

@thejamlab is another blog with stunning photos of foods I want to eat. I've pinned many of her recipes. 
@thejamlab on Instagram


It's garlic scape season! My favorite! I've made a batch of pesto and added small pieces to stir fries. I just love the flavor and also how pretty they are!

I grew these!
I am all about Mike's Hot Honey right now. Always on the lookout for dishes to finish it with. If you aren't aware, it's honey infused with chilis. It is wonderful on pizza and anything that could benefit from a sweet and spicy kick. I topped cottage cheese with grilled pineapple and drizzled some hot honey on it all, and honeyyyyyy it was good.

From now on when I'm craving Saag Paneer but don't need all that cheese, I'm gonna make Simply Recipes' pressure cooker Saag Tofu. Easy to make and very satisfying to eat, both in flavor and bulk. I served it with 2-ingredient Naan (see my post about my love for 2-ingredient dough).

That's it for this week! Hopefully I'll update sooner next time. Until then...keep cookin'!

Friday, May 10, 2019

May 10 - Interesting, pinteresting, and yummy


Thousand-Layer Chocolate Chip Cookies. A Thousand YES PLZes. Wow.
Photo: Leite's Culinaria

Celery and Chickpea Soup with Chile Garlic Oil .This just seems like an interesting, satisfying spring soup. Bonus: budget friendly! 
Photo: Bon Appetit

Nik Sharma's Egg Curry. I love eggs in spicy sauce. I just love eggs, okay. I really need to get Nik's book, Season. 
Photo: San Fransisco Chronicle


-The United States of Mexican Food, an exhaustive guide to regional US Mexican cuisines, from Eater. I am still working my way through. Will travel for tacos.

-Speaking of traveling for food, love this little anecdote about a writer and her son on a quest to find all the best croissants in San Fransisco. That's my kind of vacation!

-The illustrious Beard Awards happened earlier this week. Here are all the media/cookbook/journalist winners. So much reading I need to do!

-I did just finish reading The Cooking Gene by Michael Twitty. I'll probably write more about it when I do another book roundup post (like this, or this). Until then, you should check it out. Important and informative work.

-Soy Sauce Buying Guide. We always have Kikkoman and Silver Swan in our pantry. I'd like to play more with dark soy sauce and the sweet soy sauce she mentions.


I was invited to a cookbook club dinner party where everyone was to cook from Samin Nosrat's Salt, Acid, Fat, Heat cookbook. Swoon! Well, it ended up getting postponed, but I made this Sicilian Chicken Salad from it. You'll have to get the book if you want the recipe, but I'll tell you had fennel and currants and a good hit of lemon in it and it was the best chicken salad I've ever tasted. My favorite takeaway from the recipe was that she has you steep the raw onions in red wine vinegar before adding them, to mellow out the bite.

I finally made it to Sultan, a newer Turkish/Middle Eastern restaurant in town (St. Louis if you're new here). I had tasted my husband's leftovers from one of his visits, and they were tasty. Of course experiencing the food fresh was better. I am smitten. We started with the Turkish style fattoush, which had chick peas and roasted eggplant salad over fried pita chips, topped with cucumber yogurt, pomegranate and za'atar.

For our entrees we got the Sultan Pilau, a mixture of lamb, basmati rice, almonds, raisins and chick peas in a gorgeous Kurdish pastry crust. So much flavor, and a fun eating experience. 

We also got the Ali Naza Kabob, a creamy, smokey eggplant spread topped with beef skewers served with a giant pita bread. That was our surprise favorite of the night. So far everything we've tried here is great. You should go.

That's all for this week. Happy reading/eating/daydreaming! 

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

April 24: Springy Reading, Craving, Cooking


Samin Nosrat (love her) writes about how to make fried cauliflower that is light and crispy, and the story of how the recipe came about is quite nice.

Still working my way through this Jonathan Gold Reading list. 

Gummy Bear bratwurst is a thing, it seems. 

Plague-themed cocktails for Passover (I know, I'm late. but Plagues-themed drinks can be helpful for other occasions too, no?)

Using Leftover Easter Ham (from the archives)

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Ham and Walnuts 

Ham Stir Fry

Ham and Butter Beans Cornbread Bake

Craving Spring (from the archives)

Minty Pea Ravioli

Roasted Cauliflower, Radishes & Olives

Radish Garbanzo Salad

Craving Spring (from the internets)

Asparagus and Egg Salad with Walnuts and Mint from Smitten Kitchen

Salted Honey Pie from David Lebowitz

Giant Chocolate Chip Cookies from Serious Eats


I have been following both of these grams for quite awhile. I'm featuring them here because their feeds make me so hungry and I find myself pinning recipes from them often.


Enticing recipes in gorgeously composed photos. Photos: @jonjon33


I want it all. How cute are the bunny cocktails!? Photos: @grilledcheesesocial


I made pineapple upside down cake for Easter. One of my and my Hubs' favorite treats. I need an excuse to make it more often. It's so pretty and classically crave-able. And I love how it looks with my retro jadeite. *green heart emojii* (jadeite goals: Martha)

I finally made that 2-ingredient dough everyone is talking about. As a weight-watcher, I am really impressed. So far I've used it for bagels and naan. Excited to try it for pizza, calzones, cinnamon rolls, dinner rolls... so many possibilities! If you haven't heard, it's simply plain Greek yogurt and self-rising flour, in equal amounts. It requires no rising time. I do mine in a stand mixer so I don't even have to knead it. Read more about it here. 

3 Point everything bagels.
Naan bread cooked on the grill to go with chicken kabobs!

That's about it for this week! Happy Spring! *kiss kiss*

Monday, April 08, 2019

April 8: Spring links and inspirations

Hi everyone! Happy April! Spring is sprung and I am happy about the sunshine, warmth, flowers, grilling, patios, porch time... here's some ways I've been using my free time lately:


America doesn't like arugula as much as it should

Cooking Light tests scrambled egg hacks. Apparently I need to try seltzer water?

Speaking of eggs (I have kind of a soft spot for them), check out the history of Egypt's egg incubators! An ancient technology still in use today.

It's morel season! Really really hoping to go hunting this year. Apparently it's set to be a good 'un.

I've only been to Cahokia Mounds on field trips in middle school, and have been meaning to get back there. This article talks about discovering what citizens of mound city ate. 

My husband is this guy! He is notorious for bringing the new flavors of Oreos to parties (so we don't have them at the house, you see).


Speaking of my husband, last week was our one year anniversary! (See my wedding post here) We celebrated all weekend, with a delectable dinner at Sardella (sorry, my photos did not turn out very good), then brunch (of course) the next morning at Goody Goody Diner. We went book shopping at one of our great local book stores, Left Bank Books, because the first anniversary is the paper anniversary. I can't wait to dig into all these cookbooks!

Goody Goody Diner's chicken & waffles are a St. Louis treasure.

Paper Anniversary book haul!

Drooling Over

Sesame Panna Cotta with Maple Toffee Crisp (I need more sesame desserts in my life)
Beet Braised Short Ribs
Mango Royale (My husband is supposed to tell me about all the Filipino dishes, but he didn't tell me about this icebox cake. Harrumph)
Three Cheese Everything Spice Grilled Cheese COME TO MAMA

That's it for now. Until next time, stay hungry, stay curious.

Friday, March 22, 2019

March 22 - stuff to read, cook, consume

Hi! I'm a week behind in posting, but... I had a "milestone" birthday and things got kinda hectic. In a good way. Here are some links and pretties for your reading/viewing/drooling pleasure!

Adding to Wishlist

Of course I need this book. And I will have it someday. Until then, this Brainpickings post has many of the illustrations. 

100 Years of Restaurant Menu Design!


It’s the Year of the Pig. Is it also the year fake pork takes off in China?

It's that time of year! Food 52's The Piglet, an annual cookbook tournament. Here is a recap of round one, but I am working on reading all the reviews/individual battles. I am going to end up wanting all of these cookbooks, I'm sure.


Spring has sprung, and my recipe wanderings are gravitating towards fresh, bright flavors. These particularly caught my eye... after a long rough winter, these seem like they will bring sunshine to the table.

Slow-Roasted Salmon with Fennel and Chiles

A Spinach Soup Fir For a Cleanse - Yes, I'm serious this sounds awesome, and Samin Nosrat wrote it so it's gotta be good.

Cauliflower Shawarma Wraps with Green Tahini and Feta

Red Cabbage Wedge Salad  Guys, I love a wedge salad, what can I say?


Stunning and I mean STUNNING pies and tarts by Lauren Ko. Gorgeous.




I've been following him for quite awhile. His food tablescapes are beautiful and drool-worthy. I want to eat like that all the time! Something to strive for?



Eating (& drinking)

Since my last post, I turned 40. I had a magnificent week of friends, family, live music, food, drinks to celebrate. Too much to picture here, but maybe I'll do a post later reflecting on 40, but for now, here's my birthday Nduja pizza, egg added, from Pastaria. One of the best pies in town. 

It's Fish Fry season! I grew up catholic, so going to fish fries during lent is nostalgic for me. My husband and I went to our favorite one, Our Lady of Guadelupe, for our first one this year. They serve a mexican spin on the classics. Fish tacos, nopales salad, ceviche tostadas, hush puppies. There are always talented kids in colorful dresses showing off their dancing skills, too.

We went out for cocktails at Reeds American Table, and learned that brown butter-washed rum is a thing and holy shit it's ambrosial. The bartender explained that you simply put brown butter into rum, freeze it, all the fat solidifies at the top and you just take it off (and maybe use it in cooking), and the nutty, rich flavor of the brown butter is infused into the sweet, spicy rum. It's like drinking a Biscoff cookie. Plus, right now, all the cocktail names are Princess Bride themed. What's not to love? 

The "Tweasure Your Wuv" - brown butter washed El Dorado Dark rum, Big O ginger liqeuer,  lemon, mango peach preserves, Peychauds. AS YOU WISH!

That's it for this installment. I mean, I ate and cooked and read a bunch more delicious and interesting things, but, I'm behind, so. Here's a picture of my cat with my birthday balloons.

Friday, March 01, 2019

March 1: stuff and things and a concert


I'm turning 40 next week. To celebrate, my sneaky and amazing husband organized a concert with all my favorite local musicians in one place! And everyone is invited. That means you! Please come and enjoy the best St. Louis music! Here is the Facebook event page.


How Winemakers are dealing with/preparing for climate change

Joe Beef's sobriety

How Netflix became the new food network

A very interesting tidbit about Filipino desserts: They utilize a lot of egg yolks, because they built churches with egg whites!


We attended this Type Hike Arch poster show last week, where 60 designers made posters celebrating the St. Louis Arch's being named the 60th National Park. There are so many I want to buy! Very cool perspectives. Here are a few of my favorites:

 James Campbell

Matthew Marchini 

 Simón Lam 

Tyler Gross 


Food Typography. Check out my pinterest board! 

Have a great weekend everyone! See you at my birthday concert!