10/25/17

Weekly Meal Planning – How I Do It and Why

It’s 4pm and you’re only now starting to think about dinner tonight. Am I right? For me at least, lack of advanced meal planning is one of the top barriers to eating healthy and frankly, reducing stress. Especially given my family’s dietary restrictions (I am gluten free, though soy sauce is fine for me) – weekly meal planning has been my saving grace. It sounds so simple and yet so few people actually do it. I hope you’ll give it a try. And to get you started, I’ll share with you my own meal planning routing.

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12/16/14

My Favorite Cookbooks

Cookbooks are for me like women’s shoes: they’re very tempting, but it’s hard to know how much you’ll actually use them until you buy them. Five years later, you’ll look back and see that a quarter were practically never used, another quarter were used, but if they got lost, you wouldn’t even notice, a third were probably worth the price you paid and the remaining 15% are AMAZING and should probably be replaced, given how dirty and run-down they’ve become.  Here’s my top 15%. Continue reading

07/29/14

The Best Nonstick Pan Ever

I’m a serious cook and I expect my kitchen equipment to work well and hold up. Unfortunately I’ve struggled for many years with frying pans and skillets. They either stick too much, are hard to clean and maintain, or they are coated with materials like Teflon, which quickly wear down and eventually lose their non-stick properties. Plus, these coated pans are of questionable safety because small particulates of the chemical coating inevitably get into the food.

I am grateful to my friend Monica for turning me on to an amazing pan that solves all of these problems and produces delicious, perfectly cooked food.  I will now share this amazing find with you and also describe my experience with various other types and brands of pans I’ve used over the years.  Continue reading

05/29/14

Freezing Strawberries & How to Use Them

Photo Credit: Homestead Farm

Photo Credit: Homestead Farm

Strawberry season has just started here in the Washington, DC metro area. (It’s very late thanks to our long, hard winter!) That means it’s time for our annual journey to my local pick-your-own farm to stock up on strawberries for MUCH cheaper than in supermarkets.  Since they only last in my refrigerator for a few days, I freeze mine so that I can enjoy them throughout the year.  Here are my tips on how to freeze them properly and ideas for using them afterward.

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12/8/13

Real German Gingerbread Cookies – Nuernberger Lebkuchen

IMG_9068Some things are impossible to buy in the U.S. and one of those things seems to be German gingerbread cookies. Sure, we sell many varieties of so-called gingerbread cookies in this country, but none come anywhere close to the soft and intriguingly spicy variety I enjoy in Germany, called Lebkuchen.

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11/1/13

Veggie Pancakes for Toddlers

IMG_8617Food battles with my son began shortly after his first birthday. Over the past several months, his opinions on food have only become stronger.  He discriminates against “foods of color:”  carrots, peas, tomatoes, spinach, broccoli and squash, for instance. They apparently make better projectiles than food. Sand, rocks and discarded bottle caps, on the other hand, go straight into his mouth at first sight!

Luckily, I’ve found one way to get at least some vegetables into his diet every day, thanks to these vegetable pancakes. I make several days worth of batter at a time, then store it in the refrigerator in a jar. Every morning I just spoon out the batter and fry up the pancakes. I cook and puree the veggies in bulk and then freeze it in small bags so that when I use up the last of the batter, I just move a bag of frozen puree to the refrigerator so that the next morning it’s ready to be made into batter. Continue reading

08/16/13

Perfectly Cooked Corn + Soup & Salad Recipe


Perfectly Cooked CornModern varieties of corn are different from the corn our grandparents ate: they’re sweeter and don’t require as much cooking time.  Here’s my secret to perfect cooked corn – without a timer! Plus I’ll share two of my favorite recipes for perfectly cooked corn: summer tomato, avocado and corn salad and corn chowder. Continue reading

07/10/13

Ditch the Whey Protein Powder – Try Turkish Ayran Instead

IMG_8488 croppedHere’s a drink that’s much tastier and more nutritious than whey protein powder shakes. It’s a drink that my 16-month-old and I both became addicted to while in Istanbul last week. It also turns out to be quite easy to make at home. It’s the traditional Turkish drink called Ayran (pronounced “EYE-ron”). Continue reading

03/29/13

Better Than Canned Coconut Milk

IMG_8003Coconut has long been a staple food in tropical regions around the world and has grown in popularity in America. This is thanks in part to Americans’ growing interest in the exotic flavors from countries like Thailand, India and Brazil. But it is also thanks to the growing body of research on coconuts’ nutritional benefits (a good resource is the Coconut Research Center).  Luckily it’s pretty easy these days to find good quality whole coconuts, shredded dried coconut meat and coconut oil. Unfortunately coconut milk is another story.

Do you buy canned or boxed coconut milk or eat at restaurants that cook with these products? Ever wonder what all those extra ingredients in the can are? Do you want to know where to find pure, fresh-tasting and additive-free coconut milk without having to make it yourself? Continue reading