Easy Shiitake Asparagus Couscous

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Hello beautiful. It’s been a while. With the wedding almost two weeks away now, and moving to a new house THIS weekend!!!, I haven’t had much time for blogging. However, I DID receive this gorgeous food photography book from some sweet friends for my birthday, and I can’t wait to utilize its techniques for this blog after the wedding. Once everything is settled and the wedding is over, I look forward to blogging multiple times a week again. For now, I wanted to post a quick and easy recipe for just these times in your life, when cooking may seem like the last thing you even have time for, but know you can’t eat out every night of the week. My shiitake and asparagus couscous is a great side dish, but can also work as a main with a little side salad. You could add a little grilled chicken in the mix as well. My recipes are all about giving you ideas on what to make for dinner, where you can make your own adaptations or versions. This is what I refer to my stack of cookbooks for: inspiration. On that note, I hope this recipe inspires you, and I promise I will post a LOT more in a couple of weeks after all this excitement 🙂 Have a wonderful Tuesday!!

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Sweet and Sour Pork w/ Rice Noodles in Brothy sauce

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As our wedding approaches with only 3 weeks to go :), I’ve been craving all kinds of delicious yet healthy foods that won’t sabotage all of the hard work I’ve been doing in preparation for the big day these past few months. This Sweet and Sour Pork recipe is easy, flavorful, and healthful. My three favorite combinations for dinner these days! I just love cooking with citrus and ginger, as you have probably noticed by now if you have read any of my previous posts, and this recipe utilizes these ingredients so well. I’ve also made this recipe with chicken and just veggies (like shitake mushrooms, snow peas, and red bell pepper) and it’s great with whatever protein you decide to use. If you are looking for something that is super delicious without any guilt, give my Sweet and Sour pork recipe a try. You’ll love it!

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Cooking with a Clay Pot: Achiote Pork Tacos and Arroz Verde

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One of my favorite wedding gifts that we have received so far is this gorgeous clay pot cooker from Williams-Sonoma. I have actually never cooked with a clay pot, but have been intrigued to try cooking with this method ever since I was little and would eat Kleftiko in Cyprus every summer. Kleftiko is a traditional Cypriot dish that’s basically lamb that cooks at a very low temperature in the clay oven to the point where it’s almost melting with deliciousness. Since the clay oven is pre-soaked with water, at these low temps the steam from the clay along with the low cooking temperatures is what makes the meat so incredibly tender and melt-y. The clay pot incorporates the same methods, just in a mini version you can pop right into your oven at home. The key is to pre-soak the bottom 3 inches of the pot in the sink with cold water for 10-20 minutes before cooking. Oh, and if you start with a cold oven, not a pre-heated oven, that will make a difference as well in how the steam will release from the clay.

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Sake-it-to-Me Salmon

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Good morning and happy Cinco de Mayo!! I am sure you will be flooded by Mexican-themed recipes from other bloggers, so I’m hoping this Asian-style sake simmered salmon will be a nice change of pace. This salmon recipe is absolutely mouth watering. I have never cooked with bonito flakes before, so this was a learning experience for me, although bonito flake “cooking” is pretty easy. I was inspired by the smoked bonito flake garnish they do over at Uchi that adds a magical quality to the escolar. You could whip out your smoking gun and smoke the bonito, but I guess most of us (including me) don’t have access to a smoking gun. But used to intensify a sauce, or just sprinkled over fish for garnish will do just fine. I found that just sprinkling it over the fish adds an element of surprise and whimsy that will impress your dinner guests. I also recently discovered that leaving the skin on salmon and serving it nice and crispy is a huge plus when cooking salmon. The crispy skin makes for a much tastier fish. I will explain how to keep the skin nice and crispy and keep it from getting soggy as well. Finally, the sake sauce in this dish is light, citrus-y and will braise the fish to a supple, juicy consistency you will love.  You will definitely want to make this dish again and again!

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Go for the Bubble Tea, Stay for the Buns… Veggie Heaven Review | Austin, TX

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As a student at the University of Texas, I remember walking by this tiny little restaurant nearly every day, the garlicky smells flirting with my nose buds (nose buds are real, right?) until my friend Amaranta eventually coaxed me inside after having tried it and fallen in love herself. Walking in, I discovered the place really IS tiny, with funny little lucky cat decorations and wood paneling on the walls. But the smell!! I knew if the food was as good as it smells, this was the beginning of something beautiful. And it was love at first bite. I can’t remember exactly what I ordered that day, but I CAN attest that every dish I tried after that was just as amazing as the first.  

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