Sunday, March 25, 2012

How To: Candied Nuts

This is a very simple candying process that will work for any of your favorite nuts. This recipe can be easily adapted for a smaller or larger bunch.

Candied Nuts
For every 4-5 handfuls of candied nuts, you need:
* 1/2 cup nuts
* 3-4 tablespoons white sugar (depending how sweet you want 'em)
** Feeling festive? Add a small pinch of cinnamon.

* Combine nuts and sugar in a skillet over medium heat.

* Stir continuously until sugar is melted over nuts, about 2-3 minutes.

* Spread in a single layer on parchment paper to cool.

*  Once cool, break the pieces apart with your hands (if need be).

* I halved the above recipe to make a couple servings for my Springtime Spinach Salad. Here is a great example of one of the uses of your candied nuts:

Spinach Salad: 2 Ways

I have been getting a lot of easy, lunch requests. One of my favorites lunches is a spinach salad. If you don't already do so, I implore you to keep spinach around. It's super easy to throw together in a salad (not to mention, the combinations are endless), it can be featured in a vast array of dishes, and the health benefits are outstanding. To make a quick lunch the night before, just put the salad in a large tupperware container, the dressing in a small tupperware container, and it's ready to go (you can also make a couple salads at a time, as long as you keep the wet ingredients separate). These salads are also fabulous for a late-night dinner when you don't have much time to cook, and you want something that won't weigh you down right before bedtime.

Here are TWO of my favorite spinach salads...

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Baked Fish w/ Arugula-Caper Salsa Verde

I love being a law student. People think it's weird. But if you knew that I do very little of the typical law school studying, and spend most of my time participating in extra-curriculars, then maybe it's not so weird. I truly can't wait to be a lawyer, and I have been doing as much as possible to become a kick-ass trial lawyer. Hence, my love of representing UH through our Mock Trial and Moot Court teams.

I recently had the pleasure of competing in New Orleans and NYC this past month. They are both such amazing food cities, and I did my part to eat my way through both of them. The inevitable result being that my pants are a little tight, and I am really needing to dive back into some healthful ingredients. The problem? Oh, still just a little busy. Immediately after finishing with that Moot Court competition, I am now gearing up for a Mock Trial competition. Yeah, I have a problem saying "no." Or, I'm crazy. Either way, getting fresh into my life has always taken commitment and planning.

But there are times when I feel in a rut. Always doing the same kinds of things for quick meals. Salads... raw vegetables... chicken... fish... olive oil... a dash of seasoning... Blah blah blah. And thus, I wanted to share this healthy, quick dish that is enhanced with a novel salsa verde.

If you're looking for a healthful, quick dish that will still light up your palate, look no further. Embrace some peppery arugula, zippy lemon, briny capers, and a hint of crushed red pepper heat -- all waiting for you to "indulge" in a herbacious bite. It's a unique and easy way to add flavor to what would otherwise be just another so-so fish meal.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

And the winner is...

Come get your goodies!! (Actually, I'll get them to you!)

And many thanks to everyone else for your encouragement! I have truly appreciated your kind words and suggestions -- they have inspired me to continue sharing my love for fresh food with all of you! In the coming weeks, get ready for some two new series entitled "Fresh Food Fast" (the name says it all) and "I Heart H*Town" (chronicling restaurants and markets around the Houston area with seasonal, fresh food). If you ever have suggestions or questions, please let me know by commenting on the blog or shooting me an email. They have been so helpful thus far!

To everyone else out there who reads my blog, I hope that you will join this site a member, and show your support! Thanks!

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Feta & Veggie Orzo Salad

Whenever it starts to heat up, my body yearns for these kinds of salads. Give me some carbs, vegetables, fresh herbs, and a tangy vinaigrette, and I am pretty much ready to take on the world. This recipe, along with my Citrus Quinoa Salad, are great examples of the kind of food that is so tasty, yet keeps you feeling energized. If I eat a big, hot meal in the middle of the day, I am struggling to pay attention in my afternoon classes. But this dish is so refreshing; it is perfect for a light lunch to keep you going!

I hope you try it out -- I promise you will find it scrumptious and satisfying. It keeps well in the fridge for a few days, so you can also keep it around for a go-to snack or side. For dinner, this dish would be a lovely complement to a juicy steak or some crispy chicken. Enjoy!

Friday, March 16, 2012

Roasted Chicken w/ Citrus-Garlic Sauce

As you can see from the picture, this recipe is entertaining gold. It is also a very simple method;  perfect for feeding the family, or grateful roommates, on a busy weeknight. Or, dress it up, and impress on the weekend!

The chicken is stuffed with oranges, lemons, and garlic, and then roasted with a citrusy-herby-garlicky marinade. You will be blown away by how fantastically moist, and intensely flavorful it is! Serve with a quick & easy sauce made from the chicken drippings, and you've got a great go-to, crowd-pleasing meal. You won't be disappointed...

*Spring Giveaway*

Why Giveaway?
I've been wanting to do a giveaway on here for a few reasons. First reason being that I truly appreciate all of my followers' feedback. Sharing something I am so passionate about is very personal, and a little nerve-racking at times, and it has been great to hear that people have tried my recipes, or are just generally enjoying what I'm putting out there. So, this is one way of saying thanks! Second, I have gotten a lot of feedback from people who like my blog, but are not technically followers of the site. This may seem silly, but it is nice to know who is following, so that I can get a sense of whether this endeavor is worth my time. I would also like to take some of the dialogue I am having on facebook and pinterest, and streamline it onto the blog itself. I think this would help everyone benefit from each others' comments. Lastly, I have a many ideas of features that I would love to add to the blog, and am looking for some more inspiration to turn these wandering thoughts into reality.

The Details
Because my point of view is using food fresh for the season, I have decided to institute a seasonal giveaway! For my first giveaway, I have put together some goodies that will help prepare your kitchen for spring. The drawing will be on the first day of spring, March 20th. I will continue the fun on the first day of every season!

If you enjoy my blog, and would like to be eligible for the giveaway, simply subscribe to my blog by clicking the "join this site" button, enter your name, and follow publicly. If you are already a follower, you have a few options. You can share my entire site, or a particular post you enjoy, on a social networking site, such as facebook, pinterest, or twitter. Or you can introduce my blog to a friend or family member, and have them join the site.

If you are new to my blog, I will automatically add your name to the drawing. If you are already a follower, just let me know the avenue you pursue by emailing me at On March 20th, I will post the name of the winner! If you live in Houston, I will personally deliver the goods to you, but if not, no worries, I will be happy to ship them to you.

Here's a description of the goodies:
Yellow Reamer
Two Mini Bowls from Crate & Barrel -- Great for single servings. I own one in every color!
Spring Dishcloth
Two Condiment Cups -- One of those cute non-essentials that you may not think to buy for yourself!

Choose one of the following:
Silicone Whisk 

Magnetic Measuring Spoons

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Guinness Cupcakes w/ Baileys Frosting

St. Patty's Day is fast approaching, and what better way to celebrate than with a truly Irish treat?! Well, look no further, because these cupcakes are a knock out! The cake is rich and chocolaty with a hint of Guinness, and is topped with the decadent flavor of Irish cream. Absolutely divine. So please, don your green apparel, enjoy these treats with your leftover bottles of Guinness, and I promise, you will have a perfectly perfect St. Patty's Day!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Red Velvet Cake Pops

Welcome to my first Cake Pop adventure! It was a rough and tumble at times, but overall, I'm pleased that I finally delved into the newest baking craze. On Valentines' Day, I made these delightful treats for my friends and co-workers, and they were also very appreciative for my first-time attempt! I hope that you try this classic Red Velvet yummy-ness, but if you want to try another flavor, I hope this blog will help you out with tips and techniques for making a great one-bite wonder!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Lemon Meringue Pie

It's always a good time for pie!!! If you're a follower, you know I'm pretty much obsessed with pie. However, Lemon Meringue just may be my favorite. It is such a wonderful, balanced combination. The light and airy meringue cuts the invigorating, sharp lemon flavor, and then, your bite finishes with the texture and flavor of a flaky, buttery crust. Just perfection!

Hope you enjoy this classic, fresh recipe! I've tried to insert suggestions throughout as pies can definitely be tricky.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Cilantro-Lemon Shrimp

Here is a another super easy & tasty recipe! Shrimp is quick to saute on a busy weeknight (the only slow down is peeling/de-veining, which works well if you can outsource to a few hands), but it is also wonderful if you have some time to grill over the weekend.

This recipe pairs splendidly with my Citrus Quinoa Salad. Also, you can use the rest of your leftover cilantro from that recipe in this one. I know I always like finding ways to incorporate extra ingredients in other dishes!

Further, this marinade would work well in a multitude of shrimp dishes or preparations. Another easy weeknight dinner could be a shrimp taco -- just swap limes for lemons in the marinade, and serve on a corn tortilla with black beans and cojita cheese!

Citrus Quinoa Salad

Winter is winding down (or, if you live in Texas, it's been sporadically winding down for the last three months), and for that reason, I would like to celebrate citrus in all its glory! I never really think of citrus as winter produce because it's so darn refreshing in the summer (and anytime, really), but lemons, oranges, and their zesty companions peak in the winter. That being said, my next few posts will be devoted to citrus while the time (and the fruit) is still ripe.