Monthly Archives: January 2009

Things I shouldn’t love, but do

I get way too excited about things I buy for my kitchen/cooking. First, I’m newly in love with retro-style aprons. I’ve picked some up at antique stores and garage sales (I got a lovely lacy tea apron in a boutique in Ballard, Seattle  one time), and some people around town make them. But the Internet has all sorts of inexpensive options, so I’ve started giving these for gifts as well.

I’ve ordered from this artisan, Bojiboo, on Etsy.com (just search “retro aprons”):

retro-apron

The next thing I’m irrationally attached to is my special nutmeg zester. I know, I could use my regular-sized microplane for this, but this tiny one from Williams-Sonoma is extra special (thanks, mom!)

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La comida de Honduras

I recently got back from a trip to Honduras and yes, you must begin the jealousy now. And as it always is with my family, the food was central to our entertainment and pleasure.

We had a fresh seafood stew, whole red snapper, a grill-out, chorizo and many home-made tortillas and juice cocktails. We also consumed lots and lots of beer and rum.

The house we stayed at had a personal chef, Alan, who was able to make food to fit even the picky eaters in our group. He made both traditional Honduran and non-traditional foods.

Our first night, we had a shrimp dish with flan for dessert. The shrimp are so big, they make ours in this area look really pathetic.

Shrimp with rice, veggies and tortillas

Shrimp with rice, veggies and tortillas

Banana flan

Banana flan

Another meal was a tenderloin of beef (grass-fed, of course) wrapped in bacon and served with pasta and a thick sauce.

Steak and noodles.

Steak and noodles with an olive/cucumber salad.

We were served three meals a day (so spoiled!) and one day for lunch we had an amazing tortilla soup. With tons of fried corn tortillas, avocado, cheese, chicken and pork rinds to sprinkle on top.

Fixin's for an amazing tortilla soup

Fixin's for an amazing tortilla soup

Pork rinds!

Oink!

Oink!

Our chef cooked delicious meals for 13 people, and this photo displays his cool knife skills.

Tomato and cucumber salad

Tomato and cucumber salad

It’s good to be back, but I’m already planning my next big vacation! I highly recommend visiting a warm climate during these cold months. Adios!

Cupcake crush

Whole Foods’ pumpkin cupcake and lemon curd cupcake. Perfect for sick days. 🙂

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Venetian grilled cheese

Grilled cheese another way.

Grilled cheese another way.

Sometimes, you just crave cheese fried between two pieces of bread. The other day, I fulfilled my craving with an adaptation to  Giada’s Venetian Panino.

Here’s how:

Spread butter and Dijon mustard on two pieces of sourdough bread while a skillet heats on the stove. Add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan.

Sprinkle shredded Swiss cheese (Gruyere works well here) on both pieces, then layer deli turkey on one side. Add cracked pepper and a pinch of garlic powder (or salt, if you like).

Press the sandwich together and place in the pan. Press it down with a spatula while it turns golden on one side, then flip and repeat.

There’s something about the combination of dijon, cheese and olive oil that makes this delicious. Goes well dipped in tomato soup.