What I’m Loving


I periodically don’t cook or photograph for whatever reason – I’m lazy, the food isn’t attractive, the recipe is just not INTERESTING enough. The usual. This is good though, it makes me think outside of the box in terms of content. This lack of food to post is a great opportunity to tell you about the things I’ loving or obsessed with right now.

Millet: A couple of weeks ago I found a bag of millet my mom gave me and threw it in the rice cooker while I prepped a bunch of other stuff and threw together a quick grain salad. I adored it – the texture was wonderful. It was a really nutty, wonderful change to the brown rice BF and I have been eating recently. I have really been obsessed with my rice cooker recently – it cooks grains perfectly and it is so remarkably simple to use. As an added bonus it doesn’t heat up the house either so I don’t have to stand over a burner in warm weather. This summer expect a few rice and grain recipes to pop up here.

My Melitta Pour-Over Coffee Maker: This little piece of plastic is a dream come true. I’ve been at home in the mornings and for a long time just did tea instead of coffee, but I LOVE coffee. The taste, the texture, the caffeine, so I finally caved a couple weeks ago and grabbed a pour over coffee maker. I am so thankful I did. The brew is delicious and it’s so simple to make coffee in it that I’m back to a cup a day and relishing it.

My Porch: Is there anything as great as sitting on your back porch early in the morning and drinking coffee while you check in on your social media? I thought not. The birds are all loudly awake and kittenish goes absolutely bonkers. I’ve taken to bringing my cat to the porch with me so she gets a little outside time and I don’t have to worry about her taking off. She gets a bit fearless, jumping up onto our porch railing two stories above the ground, but she loves to chase the squirrels out there.

Polar Seltzer: Everyone is talking about Polar’s Summer flavors right now, and they’re amazing. I’ve been drinking them pretty much non-stop since I found them on sale at my local star market. The cucumber-melon made a SUBLIME mojito (with Privateer Rum, no less) and I can’t wait to try more flavors. I also love that Polar beverages are all made locally (the Polar company is over near Worcester). Not a fan of the odd summer flavors? Go for the Ruby Red Grapefruit – it’s fantastic with a bit of gin.

Homemade Iced Tea: Ever since that first warm day in mid April BF and I have had a pitcher of Iced Tea in our fridge. I’ve been using mostly Celestial Seasonings “Zinger” teas for it, they have such a nice full body and no caffeine. All of the zingers mix well too so you can swap out and exchange flavors, this week we have Raspberry-Lemon.

This Swimsuit: My sister got me this for my birthday in April. I’m SO EXCITED to go to the beach in it this summer, and in general, for beach days this summer. I want to go to the beach, play in the sand, read books, and most importantly, play a bit of skeeball.

The Boys Club: This is a great blog that my friend Brian and a few other cocktail obsessed bloggers put together – go here for all of your cocktail needs this summer. With a new post every day they cover everything from glassware to delicious drinks to breaking down what you’re drinking. WONDERFUL.

CTC International: I recently went to a great presentation by the founders of this company and learned a lot. They built s special needs school in Kenya! They donate money to rhino and elephant preservation! They are a non-profit donating to other non-profits. Also, they have butts on their bags. I love that.

Summer Beer: In the summer I pretty much only want to drink light beer or saisons. With their fun fruity flavors saisons are such lovely drinks for this season and I can drink them all day. Currently I’m plotting the takedown of Ommegang’s Hennepin Saison tonight. Saisons also pair well with my porch. Trying to stay local with summer beer is a cinch too – anything out of Jack’s Abbey is worth the time and a nicely chilled Bantam goes a long way towards cooling anyone down on those warm summer eves. For the more creative flavors head to the crew over at Night Shift – from a Habenero to a white stout they’re doing really cool things in beer. And Chris over at Notch makes low ABV beer (around 4%) that is always a light summer refreshment and keeps you upright.

Celebration Cakes


My birthday lands right at the beginning of April – it’s a time when the temperatures can jump from 75 to 45 in a single afternoon and there’s more likely than not going to be a blizzard. Every year I keep my fingers crossed for a nice warm birthday – where I can wear a sleeveless dress and flip flops. I wish for a birthday that will see me sipping a cocktail on some patio in the warm rays of an afternoon. This is all entirely unrealistic. So, instead I settle for giving myself a day of baking – the kitchen is always warm with the oven on and it is quite sunny.


Each year I see my birthday as a baking challenge – a chance to try something I haven’t tried before that I’m daunted by. My birthday is an opportunity to try those recipes that could be potential flops – that way if I mess up someone’s birthday cake it’s MY birthday cake. No harm no foul, right? This year was no different. EXCEPT instead of going out for dinner with BF and my sister I chose to conquer Momofuku Milk Bar.


I threw a dinner party. I made a ton of pasta and asiago cheese riddled focaccia. I invited BF’s and my favorite people over, we drank wine and ate good food. Dan and Mandi made a great sauce that went perfect with the I-drank-too-much-wine-last-night day that followed. Megan made a lovely spinach salad and there was liberal pouring of wine and beer. It was, truly, the best birthday I could ask for. But, in my brilliance, I decided that making two cakes that both required at least three separate pre-made ingredients and a whole bunch of love was the best way to top off this grand evening of debauchery.


I made both of these cakes pretty much exactly according to the recipes – my variation was that I used liquid cheesecake in the chocolate chip cake instead of passion fruit curd. The cheesecake was WAY more accessible. I’m not sharing these recipes today – they are too complex and my pictures are MIA as my hands were typically too much of a mess to photo-document this process. SO all we have left of this cake is a remnant and these pictures. There were twelve of us at the party. We ate most of both of these cakes. I loved them.

And I will assuredly be baking from Momofuku Milk Bar again soon.

BiBimBap with Ssamjang Braised Lamb

Lambbibimbap1This past winter I had a love affair with short grain brown rice (preferably mixed with soy sauce and sriracha, topped with an over easy egg and drizzled with sesame oil) – in my look for work, home for breakfast state, I was always looking for something quick and easy to make for breakfast.  Inevitably I ended up with over easy eggs on toast or whip it up quick oatmeal, but one day I decided to make myself some rice – it was less work to put rice in the rice cooker than it was to make oatmeal, and I would love the results.


This is where my love of Bibimbap sort of originated, this constant rice mixed with soy sauce and sriracha for breakfast topped with a gently fried egg. To make this into bibimbap I would have to change some ingredients and bulk it up, but essentially it was the same thing. GENIUS. So when the American Lamb Board and Boston Chefs emailed me and asked me to make a lamb dish for the Boston Lamb Pro-Am my mind immediately went to Bibimbap, and some delicious slow braised lamb I made this past fall.

lambbibimbap3 lambbibimbap4 Bibimbap literally means mixed rice.  It’s a Korean dish that is rice, meat, spinach, sprouts (I didn’t have those here), carrots, gochujang, and a gently fried egg. I love it. This is one of those dishes that’s going to enter our weekly rotation of meals – it cooks up fast and can easily be tailored to fit one person’s tastes.
lambbibimbap5 If you want to guarantee you can come to see the bloggers (and me, with any luck) and chefs at Lamb Pro-Am grab your tickets today here!

The Condiments

The Condiments

BiBimBap with Ssamjang Braised Lamb
Note: This is all my recipe in the sense that I didn’t need to follow a recipe for this dish, but Bibimbap is a family meal for most, so trying to follow a recipe for it is like trying to follow a recipe for pasta sauce – you make it to your taste. I used this recipe, sort of, to understand better what I needed to put in it. Also, my big sister was a huge help.

Serves 4, each bowl of Bibimbap is a single serving

For the lamb:

  • 2 lbs Lamb, cut into 4 fist sized pieces
  • 3-4 Tbs Fermented Soybean Paste, Ssamjang*
  • 2-3 Tbs toasted sesame oil*
  • Preheat your oven to 300.
  • Rub the ssamjang evenly over the lamb pieces, make sure to get all the nooks and crannies in the meat. It should look almost orange from the ssamjang. Place it in a dutch oven. drizzle the lamb with the sesame oil.
  • Cook the lamb for about 2 hours, turning occasionally so that it can sit in the juices as it cooks. Feel free to reapply ssamjang as needed. Your kitchen should smell awesome at this point.
  • Remove the lamb from the oven when it’s done, it should be light brown throughout and fork tender. Allow the meat to cool for ten minutes. WHen you remove the lamb form the dutch oven reserve the liquid in the dutch oven.
  • Shred the lamb into bite size pieces – I accomplished this by cutting against the grain to make this slices then chopped them coarsely, and I used a fork. These two methods together gave a me a wonderfully tender pulled lamb.
  • Skim some of the fat off the top of the juice in the pan – we’ll use this for sauteing later.
  • Bring the juices in the pan up to a simmer over medium high heat, whisking constantly. After the pan juice simmers add the lamb and gently stir to coat. Set it aside.

FOr the Bibimbap:

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked short grain brown rice, or whatever you have – I like the brown
  • 4-6 oz spinach, just barely steamed
  • 1 tbs soy sauce*
  • 1 tbs toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp rice vinegar
  • 2-3 carrots, cut into matchsticks
  • 2-4 cloves of garlic, sliced thinly (optional)
  • 4 eggs (worried about eating over easy eggs? Grab some pasteurized ones, I like SafeEggs)
  • toasted sesame seeds
  • scallions, thinly sliced
  • toasted sesame oil
  • Gochujang*, Red Pepper Paste
  • In a medium bowl combine the spinach, soy sauce, sesame oil, and rice vinegar. Toss so that the spinach is evenly coated.
  • Saute the carrot sticks over medium high heat in some of the fat you reserved from the lamb, if you don’t have that sesame oil works just fine here. You want the carrots to be soft but still a little crunchy – no more than a minute of sauteing.
  • Crisp the garlic in some oil – you want it to be crunchy and a bit fried. It’s delicious this way and really does make the bibimbap better.
  • Fry your eggs. To fry eggs for bibimbap the eggs need to be over easy and not brown on the bottoms, it’s much easier to break the egg up when the bottoms aren’t browned. To get this gently cooked egg cook the egg on a pan that is no higher than medium. Once the egg has set put a cover over it – this will help finish the egg without having to overcook it.
  • Assemble your bibimbap in a large bowl.
  • Start by making a mound of rice in the bowl – it doesn’t have to be huge, 1/2 cup is PLENTY of rice here.
  • Beginning at 12 o’clock add the marinated spinach, shredded lamb, and carrots to the bowl – it should look similar to the photo above.
  • Place your gently fried egg on top of the who shebang.
  • Sprinkle the fried garlic slices, sesame seeds, and scallions over the whole thing. Add one tsp of gochujang in a dallop (more if you like things spicy). Gently drizzle sesame oil over the whole thing.
  • Mix it all together, making sure to break up the egg well.
  • Deee-licious.

*You can find gochujang and ssamjang in the Asian foods section of most supermarkets, they are becoming increasingly common.
*Most supermarkets have soy sauce, go for a good brand here though, you don’t want your bibimbap to suffer because you went for the lame soy sauce, I really like Kikkoman.
*Sesame oil is probably the most hard to find item here; I tend to only go with brands I trust, this one is Kadoya. You should probably hunt it down at an Asian market if possible. Don’t get the supermarket stuff – it’s awful and you will never want to try Korean food again, and that will be so sad for your tastebuds.

I was given the lamb in this post by the American Lamb Board and Boston Chefs News to create a recipe with.  All opinions posted here are truly my own, I was honored to be asked and delighted to create this dish. It’s so good.

Event Recap: Spoonful of Ginger


My love of ginger is well documented here, here, and here. I constantly refer to my love of it – the sharp flavor, the spicy finish, the texture, ginger is just a flavor I can’t get enough of. So, of course, when an invite came through my email for A Spoonful of Ginger, the annual benefit for Joslin Diabetes Center to raise money for their Asian American Diabetes Initiative, I said yes.




Spoonful of Ginger is a wonderful event – held at the MFA, this event is gorgeously laid out and endears itself to me even more just by it’s location.  The MFA is a lovely spot and so many wonderful chefs and people came out in their finest.  It was a remarkable evening and I can’t recommend attendance highly enough. Pictured in this post are just few of the outstanding nibbles I tried at the event – everything was wonderfully prepared and had that perfect ginger bite.



I was invited to attend Spoonful of Ginger free of charge, but all opinions listed here are my own.

Dining Out: Treat Cupcake Bar


Last week I was invited to try out a Treat Cupcake Bar cupcake party with the Boston Brunchers.  I was pleasantly surprised.  I am not the biggest fan of the “Cupcake trend” that’s been pseudo-taking over recently. And Treat is not the most convenient of places to get to, but the party – was FUN. I loved being able to go and play with frostings and candies and fondant (note: I LOATHE fondant) with out having to make all of those ingredients myself.  The party was very streamlined from decorating cupcake boxes, to decorating aprons, to decorating cupcakes everything lead into itself in a very smooth way. I thought Treat’s cupcakes were fine in flavor and texture but the experience was SO MUCH FUN. I would totally set this up as a kid’s party, with mini cupcakes though – the ones we left with were HUGE (and there were six of them!). You can learn more about Treat parties here.

This Baby.

This Baby

This cupcake party was provided free of charge by Treat Cupcake Bar in exchange for this post.  All opinions here are my own.  I did receive six cupcakes but gave one to my cabbie on the way home, as a thanks.