Tag Archives: cooking

We’re back!!!

There has been a lack of posts, and I do apologize.

Sam and I had our wedding a couple of weeks ago, and then we jetted off on our honeymoon.  The perfect 2 week vacation in Phuket, Thailand!

We still need a day or two to get into our groove, but I promise- we’ll be back up and cooking very soon!  And we’ve got lots of Thai food photos to share!  Yum!

Happy Voting Day!

Finding recipes and inspiration

There are so many food blogs, food magazines, cooking shows and cookbooks out there.  Where should everyone start?

My cooking streak was not always apparent.  Although I have always enjoyed food, it’s not until fairly recently that I have taken the time to realize where it comes from, how it’s made, and what ingredients make up each dish.

It takes time to find recipes, read about the latest food trends or to remake dishes- but I think it’s well worth the dedication.  When Sam and I cook our breakfasts, lunches or dinners there is a certain pride in preparing a lip-smacking delicious entree (especially from scratch)!

Where do I find new ideas and inspirations? (not in any order)

  • cookbooks
  • food blogs
  • food magazines
  • supper club
  • book club (the person hosting also makes dinner)
  • wandering down the aisles of grocery stores
  • farmer’s markets
  • restaurants
  • cooking shows (Top Chef, The Layover, No Reservations)
  • traveling & eating new foods

There are so many places you can spot or taste something that can really inspire you.  If you do find it, definitely take charge in the kitchen.  And if it flops once, don’t give up.  Cooking is definitely a trial and error sport!

I’d love to hear how all of you find inspiration to cook something new, or redo an older recipe.  When I saw this list of the notable cookbooks of 2011 I wondered where everyone come up with new ideas.  Also, if any of you have one of these books- pass on your opinion- I always like getting my hands on a recommended cookbook!  There is something therapeutic in flipping through pages of recipes with a glass of wine in your hand.

Hey, if this furry guy found out that he liked celery- you never know what you might learn!  (this is my cat- Van Gogh)

Bok Choy and Mushroom Bulgur

Sometimes I’m in a cooking groove, and cannot wait to get home and make some yummy dinner.  Usually by Thursday, when I’m tired and exhausted, that cooking groove diminishes a bit.  As many of you know, cooking can take time and planning. 
Although living in the city does have its perks, the downside is that we don’t have a grocery store nearby where we can just pop in and pick up ingredients for dinner.  The closest grocery store is 1 mile away, although it’s not that far and may be fun to go once in a while, the long lines and the idea of pushing and pulling the granny cart does not necessarily make this our ideal choice.  We sometimes pick up ingredients from different stores.  For example, Trader Joe’s has an excellent variety of cheeses.  And since the Farmer’s Market started, we’ve bought bacon, milk, eggs and butter. 


Due to the these “location restrictions”, we meal plan.  We order the majority of our food on Peapod, and list out different meals which we want to eat.  By seeing what we eat over a number of days, we make sure to have a variety of meals (pastas, grains, Mexican or Indian, etc).  I’ve noticed that I have become more aware of the ingredients I put into our food, and into my body.

Which leads me to the dish pictured below.  It was on the cover of Vegetarian Times, and I coud not wait to make it.  And it tasted just as delicious as it looks.  The flavors blended so well, and the broth kept the bulgur moist.  (In the case you don’t have mushroom bouillon, feel free to use vegetable or chicken stock) Between the mushrooms, and the steamed bok choy, this dish had a very earthy, natural taste to it.  It’s great for a warm dinner, or leftovers for lunch.


Bok Choy & Mushroom Bulgur
Adapted from: Vegetarian Times

 4 tbsp olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
8 oz crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
3 shallots, finely chopped
1 cup uncooked bulgur
1 1/2 cup water
2 mushroom bouillons
1 tsp fresh thyme, minced
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
4 small bok choy, halved

Heat 2 tbsp of oil over medium heat, then add half of the garlic.  Add the mushrooms, and cook for 5 minutes, or until browned.  Transfer the mushrooms to a bowl.  Add tomatoes to the skillet and saute for 2 minutes, or until browned.  Transfer into the bowl that has mushrooms. 

Add the remaining oil and garlic into the skillet.  Stir in shallots and saute for 2-3 minutes.  Stir in the bulgur until the grains are coated with oil.  Add the water, bouillons and thyme.  Season with the salt and pepper.  Cover, and reduce heat to medium-low, simmer for 5 minutes.

Arrange the bok choy halves on top of the bulgur.  Sprinkle the mushroom and tomatoes between the bok choy.  Simmer for 5 minutes, while covered.  Remove from heat, and let it rest for 10 minutes.