Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Lamb Stir-Fry with Pomegranate and Yogurt

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma

Yikes! September was my last post. Where did the year go? It's been a crazy fall, but I'm finally feeling like I have a handle on this new schedule involving an 8:10 drop off at PS 75. Despite the earlier mornings, I no longer have to pack two lunch boxes every single day and that has been enormous relief. No more cutting grapes in half at ungodly hours of the morning.

Anyways, I have been cooking a lot with all my newly found "free time," but I somehow haven't been inspired by my grainy, ancient iphone photos. (Hi Santa!) Lately I have found some great recipes though, so before the year ends and I head off to gorge on southern California tacos for a week, I wanted to share at least one. New York Times just published their 20 most popular recipes in 2015. A bunch of my favorites were on there, so now I'm determined to try them all. A few days ago I started with the Oven-Roasted Chicken Shawarma, and it will now be a staple.

 Literally all you need are a few lemons, spices and boneless chicken thighs. Cheap and easy! Like the recipe says, it's a great base to play with and you can add salad, rice, yogurt, etc. Do not make the mistake of adding vegetables to pan though as it will make the chicken soggy. (Sorry last night's dinner guests who got that variation!)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Fried Eggplant with Chickpeas and Mint Chutney

What a summer! I think I spent three nights at home in August between vacation in Michigan, hiking a 14,000 foot peak in Colorado and working my tail off in Kenya. And then September started with Xavier entering Kindergarten and all the craziness that entails. I feel like I'm finally catching my breath, which in Jessie talk means I'm cooking again. It probably helps that my mom is camped out on my living room floor (#NYCliving) helping with the kids during the Jewish holidays.

Last night I wanted to use up the baby eggplant, batches of herbs and 15 lbs of tomatoes from the farmer's market. This recipe nailed that, and the two pickiest eaters in the house -my mom and Xavier -loved it. Miracles!
And check out our farmer's market flowers?! Even I can splurge on $8 for those.


It's a good transition recipe. It's not quite a fresh, summery salad, but it's not a winter stew either. I'm not there yet. I'm still hoping for many more days outside!

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Quinoa and Chard Cakes

In the summer, I try to eat dinner in the park at least twice a week. While our fire escape works for bedtime stories, I’m not sure a family of four could comfortably dine out there. Luckily we have the world’s most amazing (overpriced) picnic chairs and the ubiquitous JJ cole picnic blanket that seems like it’s a requirement for entry into Central Park these days.

Anyways, I actually find it hard to pack a picnic that feels substantial, and doesn’t break the bank in the way French cheeses, prosciutto and baguettes do. When I saw this recipe for quinoa and chard cakes, I thought they would transport well, be good at room temperature and tempt my kids to eat vegetables. I was right on two counts.

I ended up using half rice and half quinoa to clear out the fridge, and I skipped the step of toasting and grinding the cumin and just used ground cumin. I served them with a dollop of garlic yogurt. The adults loved them. The kids ate pasta and chocolate covered raisons for dinner. Again.

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Peanut Soba Noodle Salad

You know that feeling when you open your kitchen cabinets and they are overflowing, but yet there is nothing to eat? The other day I sat there staring at four different types of paprika, a giant bag of almond flour and dried cranberries and became determined to start "using down" some of my dry goods.
This peanut sauce does just that, and tastes amazing.  It even  used up some of my old black tea!
The soba noodles and peanut sauce are a great base and then you can toss in anything you like. I ended up throwing in a bunch of herbs and radishes that I had on hand, including the recommended cucumber and mint to keep it bright. I added chicken to make the leftovers last longer.
This dish is definitely for peanut lovers. I literally eat peanut butter straight from the jar, and these noodles satisfy that craving while also making me feel slightly less pathetic in front of my coworkers!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Chile Cumin Lamb Meatballs with Yogurt and Cucumber

Lottie + Doof is one of my favorite food blogs. I love his recipes, and  his tone. In his most recent post he wrote, " Can we get on the same page about something? Sometimes I just want to post a recipe, with the implied imperative: you should make this! Sometimes there isn’t much else to say. Cool?," I listened.

Meatballs are often served as a heavy dish, so I was intrigued by the idea of pairing them with cucumbers and yogurt. (Cucumbers are also basically free at the farmer's markets these days.) I loved the combination, and the bright red glow of the chile sauce. My only complaint was that it called for a blender, food processer and a spice grinder. The fact that I even own all those thing given my kitchen size is beyond me. At least they got some use!

Monday, July 6, 2015

Goan Shrimp Curry

I love NYC in the summer. Picnics on the Great Hill, free movies on the river, and drinks at my new favorite bar called Ellington in the Park on 105th looking out over the Hudson. I also sleep better in the summer because I can blast the AC and drown out the sirens and drunk people on my stoop!

The downside - the big downside - is not having outdoor space. It's brutal, especially with young kids as we have to be indoors after bedtime. This is why I was particularly appreciative of Rupal's rooftop dining invite last week. Dinner with her is a treat; I always leave feeling more relaxed and less overwhelmed by NYC. But I also leave with amazing leftovers!

Last week she made a Goan shrimp curry loosely based on this recipe:

I'm going to try and replicate it next week. Do you think I could substitute playground dandelions and alley weeds for the edible flowers?

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Grapefruit and Watermelon Agua Fresca

For the past couple weeks, I have been making  watermelon agua fresca. Agua fresca, for those of you not obsessed with all things south of the border, is like juice, but with added water and sugar. This makes it sweeter, but yet lighter and more refreshing at the same time. It screams summer.

The watermelon agua fresca has been delicious, but despite adding a lot of lime (and tequila for those over 4), there was something missing. I then came across this recipe that included grapefruit and I knew this was the winner.
I threw everything in the blender and then just strained out the pulp. Xavier, who "graduated" from Hola NYC this weekend, proclaimed it the best juice ever. This is a lot coming from a kid who would inject Capri Sun if he could.

Mix some up for the Fourth of July!