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More chicken, this time marinated in a Thai Coconut Sauce. This one was good. Really good. Even better with some simple sauteed peppers. Too bad we learned daughter has a mild allergy to fresh peppers. Off to Walgreens for Benadryl I go…

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I figured it out! Finally, a solution to my spice storage issue.  I was surfing along when I found this. I’ve considered the magnetic jars, and even have a few right now for decoration, but didn’t want to clutter up my wall with a lot of them. But inside the cupboard? Genius! So, I found these at Bed, Bath and Beyond and I’m sure two, maybe three, will fit in the cupboard.  So, now, I ask you, which spices do you use the most often? I’m planning to have room for 12. Which 12 spices should they be?

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It’s Cookie Time!

It’s December. Which means it’s time to start thinking about Cookies. Christmas Cookies! Every year I have to make my favorites, Gingerbread Men, using this recipe from Martha.

I also have to try something new, and so far these two are on the list.

Whipped Shortbread from Dutch Blitz, and Chocolate Pistachio Biscotti from Food and Wine. Yum!

What are you making this year?

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Five-Spice Salmon

This is one of the easiest, fastest and tastiest dishes that I’ve made. Take a single portion of salmon, sprinkle some salt and five spice powder. Scatter a handful of fresh leeks on it and wrap it in parchment. twenty minutes in a warm oven and dinner is ready! We served it with roasted fingerling potatoes and sauteed sugar snap peas. So easy, so delicious. Yum!

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Another Pantry Dinner

I was all set to whip up a quick Chicken Curry for dinner last night, when I opened my (newly organized) pantry and discovered I was out of Coconut Milk. Really? How on earth did I let that happen? So, I took a deep breathe, reached for a couple more cans and started in a different direction.

I started by sauteeing diced onions until they were soft, then added sliced green and red peppers. I sprinkled the Chicken Breasts with salt, pepper and cumin and added them to the onions and peppers. When the chicken was browned and I had flipped it over, I added those two cans. One of black beans, the other of diced tomatoes. I brought it all to a boil and let it simmer for 10 minutes. And then, dinner was served! We served it over leftover rice and topped it off with some store-bought salsa and a fresh Avocado. Easy and quick. Perfect for a week night.

Note on the diced onion… growing up my Mom never used fresh onion. Instead she kept a bag of frozen diced onion in the freezer and when she needed onion she just poured some out of the bag. I went a step further. Whenver I chop an onion and have leftovers, instead of letting it go bad in the crisper drawer and smell up the fridge, I put the extra chopped onion into a freezer bag and throw it in the freezer. Then on nights like tonight, I have the onion ready to go. No need to thaw, just throw it in the pan.

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How to Eat a Cupcake

1. Find Cupcake

2. Eat yummy decorations off the top. Cut off the bottom half of the cake portion.

3. Turn bottom half of the cake portion over.

4. Place it on top and shmush it down just a bit. Eat and Enjoy.

Credit goes to my friend Joy, who’s got a great laugh, a PhD in something and really knows how to do the important things in life. Like eat cupcakes. Thanks, Joy!

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I met a friend for lunch last week at the new Mexican place in the West End shopping complex. The place is called Rojo and I thoroughly enjoyed the vegetarian tacos, loaded with sweet potatoes and black beans. But the best part of the meal was sitting outside on the patio with a friend I’ve known since college. Needless to say, my lunch hour was a bit longer than an hour that day. Oh well.

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Brussel Sprouts

I picked up some Brussels Sprouts last weekend at the Farmer’s Market and finally got around to cooking them. I chose a recipe from Food and Wine for Spicy-Garlicky Brussels Sprouts. I probably should have cooked them a few minutes longer than I did, but they were still pretty good. And healthy. Don’t forget healthy.

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And on the side, a grilled cheese with diced tomato sandwich. Yum.

You can find the soup recipe here.

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One of my favorite meals from childhood is Pot Roast. You know, the big hunks of meat surrounded by potatoes and carrots, all in a thick gravy. It cooked for hours and made the house smell warm and inviting. I rarely have time to cook meals that take that long, but I still like to make nice meals, so I was excited when I saw this recipe for Pressure Cooker Pot Roast from Cooking Light.

I received a pressure cooker as a gift a year or so ago and used it once to make soup. But frankly, I find it rather intimidating. But I pulled it out for this recipe. And it was pretty good. The beef cooks at High Pressure for 35 minutes, then the vegetables for one. It sounds quick, but it takes a while for the cooker to come to high pressure and to come down from low pressure, but the meat and the vegetables were both very tender (just like I remembered), but the flavor just wasn’t there. I can’t help but think it wasn’t because it cooked quickly, and not for hours in the oven.

But the cool thing is that I’m not longer intimidated by the Pressure Cooker. Okay, maybe just a little bit. That’s  a lot of pressure!

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