with a few days off



This isn’t something we had on our trip to La Union but it’s definitely something that feels so summery to me.  Plump shrimp cooked in butter and garlic, and spritzed with a bright note of lemon at the end.  Light and sunny and centered on seafood.  It’s also quick to make and enjoyed by most.  Perfect to prepare on a beach weekend…or on a weekend you wish you were at the beach.

This would also be great with some chili flakes tossed in with the garlic, but I was feeding kids so I kept things non-fiery.  I served this as an appetizer for a lunch at my mom’s and they were gone in 10 minutes.  C never even got to try them!  And the only reason I got a taste was because I snuck one shrimp while I was cooking.

Although I am back in the thrall of city life, its frenetic pace and hypnotic concrete towers reeling me in, as it always seems to do, the holiday’s faded glow still lingers on my shoulders.  I sit working in my tiny corner, like a million tiny corners in this city, giving off a collective glow of a busy hive – and I once again realize how much I love, unashamedly love, the city…its tawdry glamour, its too-fast pace, its hundred and one things to do, its unrepentant grittiness.  Even as my heart bursts at the sight of the sea and some part of me longs for wide-open spaces, the city still manages to lure my loyalties back with her honeyed whispers.  Maybe one day I will be free of her.  But until that day comes I am content to be her happy slave…with a few days off, once in a while, to play in the sea.

P.S. If you are planning a trip to San Juan, La Union don’t miss the coffee and s’mores at El Union and the grilled dorado, spicy crispy basil squid, and shrimp in tomato cream pasta at Flotsam and Jetsam Hostel.  The little and big C took surfing lessons with the surf instructors in from on the Kahuna beach resort if you are so inclined.  If not, drag a book to the shore and enjoy watching the surfers!  If you are interested in the little house by the sea that we rented just let me know and I’ll send you the details.

1 Kommentar 16.6.15 04:10, kommentieren


squash alone if you prefer



All of us in the US know Thanksgiving is coming up, right? And you probably know what you’ll be serving for the big meal. But how about the evening before?

Some picky out-of-town guests may be arriving on Thanksgiving Eve. You know the ones we mean: That college student who turned vegetarian. The fussy in-law who insists on having the latest food-fad ingredients at every meal. And so on.

Fortunately, this Roast Squash and Sweet Potato Chili with Kale covers all the dietary bases elyze. It’s vegan, so it will appeal to non-carnivores. But it’s also chili (aka flavorful guy food), so meat eaters won’t mutiny. And it has kale, so it should pass muster with the food faddists. It’s even gluten-free.

Best of all? It’s easy to make. In fact, it’s basically a one-dish meal. So you’ll save time cooking—which will give you more time for arguing around the dinner table. Ah, those family gatherings.

The sweet flavor of winter squash works perfectly in a spicy dish like chili. Any winter squash will work, though we prefer butternut squash in this dish elyze. We like to add sweet potatoes for another flavor note, but you could use squash alone if you prefer.

When preparing butternut squash, the biggest challenge is peeling and cubing it. For a terrific photo tutorial on how to do this, click on over to Alanna Kellogg’s A Veggie Venture. Alanna has forgotten more about winter squash than we’ll ever know.

Now that you’ve seen the photos, here’s a quickie recap on prepping butternut squash: First, make sure you have a sharp knife. Second, cut just a bit off the bottom of the squash (to create a stable base) and a bit off the top (because you don’t want to eat that). Third, cut off the “neck” (the skinny part) of the squash right above the more bulbous body. Fourth, with your sharp knife, slice the skin off the lower body of the squash—much like you’d cut the peel off an orange. Then slice the skin off the neck of the squash. Fifth, cut the neck into chunks of ½- to ¾-inch. Then cut the body of the squash in half vertically, scoop out the seeds, and cut the squash into chunks of-inch elyze.

21.11.14 10:01, kommentieren