I have a rule that I try to follow. It’s very Rachel Ray. On weeknights, I try to spend no more than 30 minutes cooking a meal. It’s one of many, often not very successful, ways that I try to manage time and keep balance in my life. I speak from experience when I say that it’s awfully hard to not want to create every meal from scratch, but when trying to keep up with work, friends, and the day to day responsibilities of life, shaving off time in the kitchen means more time for everything else.
Which is why I love this easy way of making ravioli. Won ton wrappers found in Asian food stores save lots of time when you use them as ravioli noodles instead of making noodles from scratch. Options for fillings are limitless and depending on how much time you have, you can either make a homemade sauce or pick up your favorite store brand. Either way, it’s a special dinner that is quick and easy to make.
I always get excited when I come across a new food. Which is why yesterday, when I was at my local farmer’s market, I bought two pounds of rhubarb. It’s not that rhubarb is new, but I’d never seen it for sale and had never tried this vegetable with its distinctive red, celery-like stalks and its unusually tart taste. However, I had read plenty about it and its uses, which are far from normal for a vegetable. You see, while it’s possible to make a savory dish from rhubarb, it’s most often used like a fruit for desserts where its sour taste is balanced with plenty of sugar. Making it even more mysterious is the fact that you can’t eat its leaves, which are toxic to humans, because of the oxalic acid they contain. Let’s just say it’s not your typical vegetable.
Which is why I couldn’t wait to make something with it. Fortunately, there was no shortage of recipes. Some recipes suggested using rhubarb in combination with strawberries or ginger, others called for preserving the vegetable, and I even saw one recipe for soaking rhubarb in vodka with sugar to make a rhubarb schnapps. Ultimately, I decided to use a basic recipe for rhubarb pie found in the cookbook classic, Joy of Cooking, which I adapted to include the cup of strawberries that I had on hand that had passed their peak.
Last week, after going to Atlanta for a baseball game, I was craving something healthy and refreshing for dinner. What immediately came to mind was a shrimp and feta pasta dish that my Mom had passed along to me several years ago. I only made it once, but I remember it being delicious.
Unfortunately, when I went to look for the recipe I was unable to find it. Determined to fulfill my craving, I decided to wing it. While different from the original, I liked this version enough to make it again last night when once again, after being out of town, I needed something light and healthy to return to the land of the living. Continue reading
A lot happened in April. I packed away my winter clothes. I suffered through my annual spring cleaning. I started wearing flip-flops. I got out of my kitchen.
My love of food has gone outside. I no longer want to spend long afternoons inside simmering meat until it falls off the bone or creating hearty stews that fill our home with the most comforting aromas. Instead, I want to stroll through my local farmer’s market and pick out the perfect artichoke. I want to sit on our balcony and drink a refreshing glass of sauvignon blanc. I want to pull out the grill every night of the week and I want to eat my lunch in the park. Continue reading