For some reason, we always celebrated Chinese New Year when I was a kid. I don’t know why, but I always looked forward to it. It was so fun, and we didn’t eat Chinese nearly as often back then as we do now. Mom would take out the electric wok and cook dinner right on the table – usually a chicken stir fry. The next night, we’d wrap the leftovers in tortillas and eat them as fajitas. Yum.
I made this clementine-soy glazed chicken a few weeks ago and thought it would be the perfect Chinese New Year post. But then I started researching and apparently I had it all wrong. The holiday has all sorts of food traditions, like eating noodles to bring long life and dumplings to bring wealth. And apparently serving a chicken or duck whole represents health, but serving it cut – like these thighs – is the opposite. Oops.
Oh well. This dish is delicious any time of the year, and you should definitely make it (if you’re superstitious or prefer to celebrate the New Year more traditionally, just wait until tomorrow.)
It’s a new month (seriously, can anyone believe its December already?!) and I have a few new and exciting projects up my sleeve. The first is that I’ve been asked to be a “spokesblogger” for Marzetti Simply Dressed salad dressings!
Throughout the month of December, in addition to my regular posts, I’ll be featuring a few quick and easy recipes that I created featuring these dressings. At the end of the month, there will be a fabulous giveaway that will allow two of you to try the dressing out for yourself.
I’ve been in something of a cooking rut lately, struggling to find inspiration and ideas for new dishes. Apparently all l needed in order to get back in the groove of things was a good challenge! When I received an invitation to take part in the Tazo Cook-Off, I almost declined. Somehow, in the bat of an eye, my schedule for August has filled up and I couldn’t imagine how I would find time to participate in a challenge that would require me to come up with three new recipes over the course of three weeks, each involving both tea and a mystery ingredient that would be disclosed to me the cook-off progressed.
But, if you know me you know I love a good culinary challenge — of course I ended up saying yes! And boy am I glad I did, because I never would have thought to create this amazing tea-smoked salmon with honey & lavender glaze otherwise. And that would be sad, because this recipe is so good that you should just go ahead and cancel whatever dinner plans you have for tomorrow and make this instead. (And if that’s not enough to get you to keep reading this post, what if I told you there’s a fantastic giveaway opportunity if you keep reading?)
So I spent the past week thinking about all of the great things that I could make with tea, when a package arrived for me on Monday with my first mystery ingredient. Lavender. Right. There go those ideas! I have to admit, I was a little stumped. I was stuck on the idea of shortbread cookies for a while, but that just seemed so obvious. No, I was determined to go savory with this dish. And I began to think about salmon.
The most recent issue of Fine Cooking had an article on tea-smoking that had intrigued me, and this seemed like the perfect time to try it out. I played around with flavors and technique until I came up with the recipe you see here. Which is incredible. The flavors of the teas — orange, cloves, star anise, cinnamon — permeate the salmon and give it an amazing flavor. The honey and lavender give it a floral sweetness that just works. And smoking it gives it the most amazing texture — silky and smooth, yet still flakey and fully cooked. I’ve really never had anything like it before, but this is definitely a technique that I’ll be using again and again.
Click to continue reading Tea-Smoked Salmon with Honey & Lavender Glaze –>
I don’t know about you, but after indulging so much over the holiday I’m more than ready to get back to eating healthy, nutritious foods. I’ve been cooking up a storm in the kitchen and have a few great new recipes to share with you. But first I thought it would be appropriate to reflect back on some of my favorite recipes from the past year. I’ve made more than a few great dishes since I got serious about blogging last winter and it seems like a shame to let them get lost in the archives.
So to help you start the New Year off on the right foot, here’s a roundup of some of the most crave-worthy recipes that have appeared on Healthy.Delicious. in 2009. This list certainly doesn’t represent all of my favorites (if I don’t absolutely love something that I make, I generally don’t post it) but they are some of the healthier recipes that I keep going back to and that you can realistically make during this time of the year. I had some fabulous recipes over the summer, but they just wouldn’t be the same without fresh, in-season produce.
Here’s to a great New Year full of healthy and delicious meals, good friends both new and old, and success in and out of the kitchen! If you had to pick one meal as your favorite of 2009, what would it be?
That’s all I can say. Thank you so much to Bertolli and Foodbuzz for this incredible experience! I had the best weekend – full of wonderful new friends, amazing opportunities, and delicious food. The entire weekend was surreal and I had a blast!!
The weekend was so jam-packed that I can’t even imagine trying to fit it all into one blog post. But since I really want to share the experience with you all, I’ll do my best. 🙂 This post is pretty heavy on the photos, but tons more can be found HERE.
Cannelloni is a traditional Italian dish that is similar to – and sometimes confused with – the more widely known manicotti. Cannelloni is a pasta sheet wrapped around a savory filling, while manicotti use a tube-shaped pasta. Sometimes – as I did here – the cannelloni shell is made in a way that is similar to a crepe. Since this type of wrapper is much thinner than pasta, it gives the dish a very delicate and refined feel. [….]
For the past few years, as soon as the cool weather sets in and apples and squash start appearing in the markets we start talking about having pumpkin polenta for dinner. I love the way the creamy polenta contrasts with the spicy topping. Its also extremely fast and easy to make – about 20 minutes start to finish! The dish also benefits from sitting in the fridge overnight – the polenta ill firm up and the flavors in the topping meld together. I recommend making extra so that you can have leftovers for lunch.[….]
Peppers make such nice little containers, don’t they?
I remember having a crab stuffed pepper at my grandparents house that I loved. I was probably 5 or 6 at the time. After that, I would always insist that I liked stuffed peppers, but whenever I had one I would be disappointed – they were always heavy and meaty and the pepper itself didn’t seem to make sense flavor-wise. But I finally found another stuffed pepper that I like. This pepper isn’t like those other ones: the bulk of the filling is orzo, which is mixed with pasta sauce, cheese, and your favorite pizza toppings. Its not nearly as dense as traditional stuffed pepper, and using fresh ingredients keeps the flavors light. [….]