It’s been a busy, but inspiring, few days. I’ve been in New York for the 40th anniversary of the IACP conference (the International Association of Culinary Professionals). I had some amazing (food-related) celebrity sightings: Authors of some of my favorite cookbooks were here speaking, as well as editors of food magazines, chefs, cooking teachers, nutritionists, food stylists, etc. It was basically a nerd fest for anyone in the food media and culinary industry. Today I’m speaking on a panel with Pamela Salzman and Barbara Fenzl about teaching cooking classes from home. Pinch me. When I started teaching out of my home 15 years ago (really as a way to meet people and make friends when I first moved to Houston) I never knew where it would lead. I love what I do and feel lucky to have clients who want to learn to cook easy, healthy meals for their families. Thank you to my students, and I can’t wait to get home and dive into teaching again this week!
If you’re home today and want something that will intoxicate you with delicious aromas, try Ina Garten’s Beef Bourguignon. To make it gluten-free, trade the 3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour with arrowroot flour or cornstarch. My family likes beef stew with a scoop of sticky rice, but wide egg noodles or polenta would also be a win. These short ribs from Bon Appetit are the answer if you’re not home to “babysit the stove.”
I’m heading back to Houston from New York and don’t land until afternoon. Dinner needs to be something simple, fast and low-effort. I’ll definitely use Instacart to get my groceries delivered for the week, ideally soon after I arrive home. I know I have miso in the refrigerator, green onions and bok choy. A warm pot of easy miso soup and easy homemade veggie sushi sounds perfect. If you don’t want to make the sushi, just pick up good quality super market sushi from Whole Foods, Central Market or your local gourmet grocer.
Tonight I’m making one of my family’s favorite dinners (and one of the most popular recipes on my website): Weeknight lasagna, roasted green veggies and a chopped salad with homemade buttermilk ranch. The roasted green veggies aren’t necessarily a fan favorite, but my family is getting them anyway!
I’m teaching a private class from home today and another class at Central Market tonight. I need what I call a “stupid easy” dinner. I know taco Tuesday was yesterday, but we’re doing shredded salsa verde chicken, my youngest’s favorite black beans in the Instant Pot, avocado, salsa and pickled red onions (duh). Mash some avocados with lime and salt, or make my kale guacamole. I’ll get the black bean recipe uploaded soon, just working out a couple tweaks! I’m intrigued by this easy creamy jalapeño salsa (with no cream) but I may not have time to test it today. If you do, I’d like a full report, please.
Healthy comfort food to get through the end of the week. Classic homemade mac n’ cheese sounds decadent and delicious. Pair with whole roasted cauliflower and if you want some meat on the side, pick up a rotisserie chicken or make one in your slow cooker. Although, the color of this all sounds very cream and yellow, so on second thought you might need some sauteed spinach to add color to your plate!
It will be in the 70s and sunny in Houston and it’s painful to squander decent al fresco nights around here. Our favorite turkey burgers will go on the grill with a side of grilled veggies (maybe asparagus if it looks decent, yellow peppers or mushrooms). If you’re gluten-free, substitute the bread crumbs in the burger with almond meal or gluten-free bread crumbs. Since I missed National Margarita Day, I’m mixing up the Paloma’s I made in my last Roundtop Cooking Retreat. Cheers to the weekend!
Tequila-Grapefruit Paloma (one serving)
¼ cup kosher salt
1 grapefruit wedge
¼ cup fresh grapefruit juice
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1 teaspoon agave
¼ cup tequila (or mescal)
¼ cup club soda
Pour about ¼ cup kosher salt on a plate. Rub half of rim of a highball glass with grapefruit wedge; dip rim of glass in salt.
Combine grapefruit juice, lime juice, and agave in glass; stir until agave is dissolved. Stir in tequila, add ice, and top off with club soda. Place the grapefruit wedge on the rim of the glass.
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