No Ketchup in My Kitchen

Turkey Meatloaf

My office laughed at me, because I admitted there isn’t a bottle of ketchup in my refrigerator. It’s a condiment that isn’t hated or loved. Just a sweet bottle in every American kitchen, except for mine. The office conversation started, because I told them how ketchup packets were found ‘hidden’ in a kitchen drawer from a past delivery. My other half placed them there, and I knew to leave them alone. Packets of soy sauce, duck sauce, mustard, salt and pepper from previous delivery services are immediately thrown away, because we have better quality bottles in the pantry cabinet. It’s a better compromise, because a large bottle of unused ketchup sitting in the refrigerator is what I don’t want. Since, that office conversation, I’ve thought of buying ketchup, but mind changes when approaching the cash register.
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Star Anise and Orange Duck Salad: A Harmonious Lunch Bowl

Star Anise Quinoa with Oranges and Smoked Duck Salad

As a graphic designer, I want my ‘brown bag’ lunch to taste and look visually delicious. Otherwise, I’m likely to toss it in the garbage and pay for a fresher option from a restaurant. Such actions eventually add up to plenty of regret and an empty wallet. Learning to pack lunches take time and practice. When lunch containers reveal a salad of crispy lettuce and colorful, layered ingredients or a fragrant soup waiting to be heated in the microwave, my wallet stays full.

The initial inspiration for packing lunches come from bento boxes with separate containers or compartments. The separate containers help maintain the freshness of the meal (good for hot and cold recipes). Another bento-style lunch is creating a meal in one bowl, in which the ingredients harmoniously enhance each other. Continue reading Star Anise and Orange Duck Salad: A Harmonious Lunch Bowl

Thank You, PBS Food

A Classic Turkey Bolognese Sauce Lasagna with Ricotta Cheese, Swiss Chard and Mushrooms

Last month, I was so busy with KwanzaaCulinarians.com, I barely noticed PBS Food recognized MyLifeRunsOnFood.com as one of the top 10 food blogs of 2012. It was a brief ‘WOW’ moment, then I was back to work. Then, the congratulatory emails came forward. They were returned with humbled thank you’s. Then, I went back to work. A few days later, my food world friend, Nicole, host of the online radio show, Hot Grease, made a striking comment, “[Non-ethnic] media lists rarely mentioned food bloggers of color. And, you’re listed with a few well-known food bloggers.” Oh. Double. Wow. She caught my attention.

Being one of the many food bloggers of color listed in a major media list, I feel truly honored. When Courtney of Coco-Cooks.com emailed a congratulatory note, I told her, “Let’s hope more of us get recognized.” Ironically, her recipes are crazy creative, and she should have been listed as one of the best a long time ago. I could mention more food bloggers of color, but the list will fill a whole page (Visit DuoDishes.com’s Blogroll for recommendations). So, thank you, again, PBS Food for being one of the few non-ethnic media outlets to recognize a food blogger of color. I’m hoping to see more of my friends being recognized for their creativity in the kitchen. Also, in addition to cooking our favorite soul and Latin dishes, rely on us for other types of cuisines, too.  Continue reading Thank You, PBS Food

Plum Cardamon Chicken Wings

Plum Cardamon Chicken Wings

What to do with plums left over from those last days of summer? I wouldn’t recommend serving them fresh, because they’re not quite their best anymore. However, here’s a sauce making best use of those late season, mealy plums for chicken wings or using as a dip for French fries. Where to serve them? It’s the start of another football season, and sports parties always have chicken wings. Meanwhile, my excitement for fall is because of the new television shows. This season, I’m watching Scandal and Boardwalk Empire. Continue reading Plum Cardamon Chicken Wings

Tarragon and Pink Peppercorn Chicken Salad

Tarragon & Pink Peppercorn Chicken Salad

It started with an email from JCPenny a few months ago. The PR representative explained they’re changing their brand, and she wanted to give me a $200 gift certificate to spend. It was promptly delivered, and it wasn’t used until recently for the purchase of new bed linens for our new super pillow top comfortable mattress set.

Up until JCPenny contacted me with their much needed gift, my life was a hurricane of stress, sleeplessness nights, and regrets. Then, my life instantaneously started to change. Suddenly, I had a freelance job. As the job gradually started cutting hours, my sudden luck made sure I made a smooth transition into a full-time position as a Graphic Designer with a large Brooklyn non-profit organization. With this new 9 to 5 schedule, the gift certificate remained untouched on my desk until we could determine how to maximize its benefits. Continue reading Tarragon and Pink Peppercorn Chicken Salad