Tag Archives: recipe

Slow Down with Sweet Potato Chili

If you read yesterday’s post, you learned that I was the recipient of some bad luck in that ice cream exploded all over me twice before 8am.  How this came to happen makes me laugh because I think I only have myself to blame.  

I am a very curious person.  I tend to notice things that other people don’t, and then wonder why things are the way they are.  So, when I saw a milky substance leaking over the floor of the employee break room yesterday morning at work, my first thought was, “What is milk doing on the ground and how did it get here?  I’ll open up the cooler.” 

Turns out it wasn’t milk — it was ice cream.  That one of my employees left in the refrigerator overnight because it was too big to fit in the freezer.  **Shakes head** 

Well, you think I would learn.  Sadly, I did not.  Because 20 minutes later when I noticed a milky substance pooling underneath the ice cream machine in the dining room again my immediate thought was, “Why is this milk here?  I should open the ice cream machine and see what’s wrong.” 

Side note….but do you remember Gusher fruit candies and how the juice squirts out as soon as you bite into a piece?  Imagine that, but with ice cream rather than fruit juice; that’s exactly what happened when I opened the machine’s door.  Melted ice cream splattered everywhere and left a huge mess over me and the floor.  I just started laughing, went back into the kitchen and poured myself a third cup of coffee because I knew it would be “one of those days.” 

Read on…

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Filed under It's Fun Being a Manager, Recipes, Uncategorized, Work

Kale and White Bean Penne

In need of a good Valentine’s Day dinner recipe?  Then look no further than this one.  Sure, it may be a little garlicky, but that’s not an issue to me.  If I get married in the future, the hubs better be able to handle me smelling like onions and garlic or else it just won’t work.

This, on the other hand, works.  It’s easy, filling, and delicious.  Plus, Listerine was invented for a reason. 

Kale and White Bean Penne
Serves 4 to 6

12 to 15 leaves of kale
10 oz. whole wheat penne
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup yellow onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, diced
1 Tbsp. crushed red pepper flakes
2 Tbsp. capers
½ to 1 Tbsp. caper juice (to your preference)
½ cup dry white wine
15oz. can diced tomatoes (no salt added variety)
15oz. can great northern beans, rinsed
15oz. can cannelini beans, rinsed
Parmagiano-Reggiano cheese, grated

1. Rinse kale and remove tough stems from leaves.  Pile 3 to 4 leaves on top of each other at a time, roll them together into a log, and slice into 1/2″ strips (this is called chiffonade).  Place shreds into a bowl and save for later.
2. In a pot, boil water and cook pasta according to package directions.
3. While pasta cooks, heat oil over medium in a large pan. Cook onions for 5 minutes until translucent.  Add garlic, red pepper flakes, capers, and caper juice.  Cook for another minute stirring constantly.
4. Add drained tomatoes, beans, and wine to mixture.  Allow wine to boil and cook another 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Smash some of the beans to thicken the sauce.  Add a little water if desired (½ to 1 cup).
6. When pasta is done cooking, toss the kale into the hot water.  It will cook quickly, and as soon as the color turns a vibrant, bright green, it’s done (about 30 seconds).
7. Drain pasta and kale, return to pot.  Add sauce, and stir to coat.
8.  Grate cheese on top of pasta before serving.

**Note:  You probably will not need to add salt to the dish as both capers and Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese have very salty flavors themselves.  Taste before adding any additional salt!

**Double Note:   If you’re really concerned about having garlic breath, just leave the capers and caper juice out.  It’s an easy fix, and the dish will still taste great.

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Filed under Holidays, Recipes

Fried Egg and Tomato

If you read my last post and guessed “Chinese New Year” as the answer to my question, you were correct! 

Today is the first day in the annual Chinese New Year celebration which lasts 15 days.  This time is actually known as Spring Festival in China and is an important holiday celebrated through various traditions that are supposed to bring luck and prosperity in the new year.  I would love to spend the Chinese New Year in China at some point in the future, but for now, I have to celebrate at home in my little apartment in my own little ways.  Luckily, I love a lot of Chinese food.  And I mean real Chinese food.  I studied abroad in China in 2007 and have never looked at American Chinese food the same way since.  P.F. Chang has got nothin’ on some hole in the wall restaurants in Chengdu and Beijing.

Food symbolizes many things in Chinese culture and is particularly important during the Spring Festival.  Certain dishes are prepared  because the ingredients represent various values they wish to encounter in the coming year.  Want a long life?  Eat longevity noodles.  Want to get rich?  Eat egg rolls.  Want to bring your whole family together?  Cook a whole chicken. 

Unfortunately, I don’t know how to cook most traditional dishes, or much Chinese food at all.  But, one thing that I can make is fried eggs with tomatoes.  This was one of my favorite things to eat while in China, and I’m certain you’ll like it, too.  Sugar is what makes this dish unique to many Americans, but it’s a fantastic addition.  Make this along with some rice or noodles and you will incite growth and a long life for the new year!

Chinese Fried Egg and Tomato
Serves 2

  4 large eggs
2 Tbsp. sesame oil, divided (can also use olive or canola oil)
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 large tomato, sliced into wedges
salt and pepper to taste
1 to 2 tsp. sugar

1.  In a small bowl, beat eggs together until they are a smooth consistency.  Add salt and pepper to taste, and set bowl to the side.
2.  In a medium frying pan, heat 1 Tbsp. oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and cook for 2 minutes.
3.  Raise heat to medium-high.  Add egg to the pan and stir constantly to quickly cook.  Let the egg form large chunks, and when almost done, pour onto a heat-safe plate and cover with alumnium foil.  It will look like scrambled eggs.
4.  Return pan to the stove (do not wash out!) and heat 1 Tbsp. of oil over medium. 
5.  Add tomato wedges and sprinkle with sugar.  Cook for 2 to 3 minutes.  The juice should start to separate from from the pulp.
6.  Return eggs to the pan and cook with tomatoes for 1 more minute.


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