After finally getting a break from a parade of January birthdays, bachelorette party planning, moving, not moving, ?, work, and life in general this catch- up post will be a twofer.
First, I have been meaning to post a few songs from upcoming and recent releases mentioned earlier that I just can’t get enough of and maybe you’ll love too.
Millionyoung- Mien (Be So True EP)
This guy is definitely tied with the new Beach House album and Peruvian alfajores as my most recent addictions. Dreamy yet somewhat danceable, definitely swayable. I’m for it.
Beach House- Walk In The Park (Teen Dream)
Many call this the best album of 2010 but despite the fact that we’re only a month into the year, it might just be true. With 17 plays in only a few weeks (and trying to pace myself) every time I listen to this album it feels like going home and I love it even more. These songs are so delicate and simple yet intricate and layered. A more upbeat, mature follow up to 2008’s Devotion.
Electric President- Mr. Gone (The Violent Blue)
I was pleasantly surprised to find this one floating around on the internet as I hadn’t heard much of anything since S/T and Sleep Well. As far as I can tell this is more of the same but I am nevertheless looking forward to it. I’d probably file this under something like easy listening indie rock.
Plants and Animals- Tom Cruz (La La Land)
I enjoyed the mix of simplicity and occasional intensity (think New Kind of Love) from 2008’s Parc Avenue and have been waiting for a new album since. So far not disappointed.
I feel like most of my dishes are not worthy of recipe-fying but just because they don’t consist of 20+ ingredients does not mean they aren’t yummy (if I must say so myself). Often when browsing recipes for inspiration or even important meals, I skip over the ones that have more than 10-15 ingredients. Forget it if I have to go across town or to more than a couple stores to gather. Eating what you already have on hand and what is in season is not only easier and good for the Earth but some say healthier, too. At the request of Miguel over at FTLtweet.com (click for alternate link), here are some tasty dinner ideas that don’t require a background in rocket science or five hours of preparation.
Glazes/marinades- There are two marinades I love to use for salmon lately. One is orange marmalade, chopped ginger, Bragg’s, and a touch of Dijon mustard. The other is Dijon mustard, mayo, dill, a touch of Bragg’s, and olive oil. Mix these to your liking, throw in a Ziploc bag and let sit for 10-15 minutes. Bake at 425* for about 10 minutes.
In the pan- I never used to like fish or seafood so naturally tilapia is one of my favorites. One of my favorite ways to cook it is in the pan, with some lemon, butter, white wine, capers, and sliced sundried tomatoes. Another way is with olive oil, diced tomatoes, capers, and sliced black olives. Both only take about 5-10 minutes on medium-high heat.
Grilled- In a pan or on your George Foreman, grill some veggies (I love zucchini, red onion, mushrooms, and squash) with butter or olive oil, a hint of balsamic vinegar, and some seasoning such as basil and oregano until desired consistency. Throw them over some couscous, quinoa, or even pasta. Leftover veggies are good, even cold, as a sandwich with mayo and/or good cheese like pecorino.
Baked- Stuffed peppers are almost just as easy to make. Cut and clean some peppers and fill with cooked couscous and your choice of ingredients. I like to add cherry tomatoes, goat cheese and pine nuts. To save time I boil the peppers for about 7 minutes first, then stuff, then coat with olive oil and bake in a pan at 350* for about 20 minutes.
Sauteed– Sautee some veggies such as corn, carrots, peas, and onion (or use a frozen mixed bag) then combine with cooked couscous. Try it with pineapple, cashews, tofu, and curry powder mixed in.
Black- My favorite is probably regularly cooked black beans (you can either soak and boil them or just use a can), freshly chopped tomato, a ton of cilantro, chopped avocado, and sour cream. Goes well with some Spanish or yellow rice.
Pinto- Cook one cup polenta and three cups water for 30 minutes. Stir in chopped green chili and spread mixture in pan. Layer with corn, cooked pinto beans, diced tomato, onion powder, cilantro, and cheese for a surprisingly filling casserole.
Spices– They can really enhance food and give your dishes character but can also easily ruin a meal. Though I typically don’t use many spices when cooking because I like to taste the flavor of each individual ingredient, my three go-tos are pretty much black pepper, lemon, and kelp powder. Paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder are also safe, common ways to put some fun into your cooking. Just remember to go easy, you can always add more, and that different spices have different potency.
Herbs- The same goes for herbs though they’re typically easier to use and you don’t need an acquired taste for most. Next time you have scrambled eggs try them with some dill on top. Or try my variation of this Joy of Cooking recipe: