The Year of Maple Syrup

Maple Thyme Chicken Thighs and Pears

2014 was the year that failure was recognized as an attribute towards the journey of success. That’s if the lesson was learned from the act of failure. This recipe was a difficult dish to develop. It was perfect the first time. The second attempt was too sweet. The third try lacked a flavorful taste. And, when the dish was finally successful, it was perfect.

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Say Yassss to Spring

Baked Eggs in Harissa Spice Tomatoes Sauce with Quinoa and Kale

Say yasssssss to Spring being around the corner, especially after we had one too many snowstorms this past winter. As I’m writing this, we’re due for another snowstorm (or dusting) the next day. Usually my refrigerator is packed with flour, buttermilk, orange juice, eggs and maple syrup for a pancake breakfast. This time, there will be no pancakes to celebrate another snowflake.

Overlooking the buttermilk, I remove left over red quinoa from a salad made earlier in the week. I find other ingredients for a quick breakfast: Crisp baby kale, a new jar of harissa spice, fresh thyme and plenty of eggs. On a whim, a savory tomato and egg dish with a bit of harissa spice was made.

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A Fair Choice of Mushrooms

Rustic Kale and Chanterelle Pie with Creamy Parmesan Cheese sauce

There was a choice to use any FungusAmongUs products (The name is laughable, but for mushroom lovers, like me, it sounds like pure joy). It was a tough decision, because I was too intimidated to pick the whole truffle. I wanted it, but it’s not nice to come off as a greedy food blogger. To ask for it means the recipe better compete with a top chef on the food networks. I tried writing recipes incorporating truffles, but they only needed simple (still delicious) mushrooms. For a long time, I was indecisive, because they’re many FungusAmongUs products to choose. The final choice was fair: flavorful dried chanterelle mushrooms and the exquisite truffle mustardContinue reading A Fair Choice of Mushrooms

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

Butternut Squash and Kale with Red Quinoa with Ginger Vinaigrette

Butternut Squash and Kale with Red Quinoa with Ginger Vinaigrette

Is there a whole grain recipe in your holiday menu? Impress guests with this vegetarian and gluten-free salad of red quinoa tossed with dice butternut squash, lightly sauté dinosaur kale and ginger vinaigrette. Currently in season in the Northeast region of the United States, butternut squash taste similar and can be used interchangeably with pumpkin. Use one large butternut squash diced in vegetable soups, pureed in breads and roasted for salads. It’s mildly sweet flavor compliments red quinoa’s earthy and nutty taste. Adding a bit of savory flavor is thinly sliced sauté kale. The vinaigrette adds tiny bites of ginger throughout the salad. Include this beautiful and healthy salad in your traditional holiday meal. Continue reading Butternut Squash and Kale with Red Quinoa with Ginger Vinaigrette