Confession: I am worn out. Teaching plus doing a large chunk of administrative work at my school have taken their toll on me, so I am taking the summer off! And my first stop after I finally disentangled myself was a much-needed visit to see my family. Visiting my family is always an awesome time. My mom and I shopped til we dropped and watched several chick flicks while downing large containers of fro-yo. I jammed with my brother, who is a significantly better guitar player than I am, and shared a midnight chat (er…snack) with my dad. Sometimes I don’t realize how much I miss them until I come back home.
But there is one tricky aspect to visiting home, and that’s eating. Between my mother, who is seriously lactose intolerant and allergic to wheat, my grandfather, who is diabetic and a triple-bypass survivor, and me, a picky pescetarian, it can be challenging to find good foods that meet all of our dietary needs. Salmon and salads are great meetings point for us, as they are low-carb, contain heart-healthy fats, and are as dairy-free as you want them to be. So when my mom asked me what I thought we should make for dinner with Papa, I immediately thought of one of my favorite salmon recipes: herb mustard salmon.
This salmon only takes about 15 minutes to make. It’s tangy and delicious, down to the last bite!
Well the past two weeks have been incredibly hectic for me as I finished out the teaching quarter. Unfortunately, I’ve had very little time to bake or cook much of anything. Instead, I spent all of my free time grading papers and quizzes and writing an English proficiency test for the school.
But happily, I am now (more or less) free for the summer! And I had the privilege to kick off my summer with brunch with my sisters in law! I decided to make a frittata, which also allowed me to reward myself with a new skillet!
This dish was such a winner. It’s healthy and delicious, full of my favorite vegetables. It’s quick to make, and actually a great way to do eggs for brunch—more exciting than scrambled eggs, and even if you have to travel with it, the skillet keeps the eggs warm. Plus, it serves about 8 people for brunch (depending on how much other food you have, it could serve more!).
My husband and I don’t have a cable plan at our house. This is really no big deal, as Hulu keeps us knee deep in shows to waste time watching. The main drawback for me is that the Food Network hasn’t really caught on to the online episodes trend. Sure, they do have some episodes online, but for a very limited number of shows…and the episodes posted never seem to change.
So what happens is that every time I get near a TV that has the Cooking Channel or the Food Network, I become attached to it and I soak up every second possible of Ina and Giada and whoever else is on. Sometimes, I get really lucky with a great, figure friendly, vegetarian dish like this Greek Caponata, which I saw one glorious December day on Everyday Italian, and have waited anxiously to make once warm-weather vegetables were readily available. Which is now!
This last week has been one of the most stressful weeks in my memory. I had two final projects due at the very beginning of the week (gah…30-page papers!), and I had to give quizzes to my students…then they had a meltdown about the quizzes, so I had to improvise my subsequent lessons so I could help them return to a calmer, more confident place. Anyone that knows me knows that I worship planning. Improvising freaks the crap out of me (yikes…maybe teaching is not my calling).
I also made many failed recipes recently: caramel sauce (I decided to refrigerate it so it would set faster…which caused it to bec0me extremely hard, more like toffee) followed by caramel candies (way stickier than I thought…ultimately a great, stretchy, sticky mess), golden gazpacho (is it supposed to taste like you are eating a grainy, raw tomato?), and last-minute microwave brownies (I know…that sounds like a horrible idea…and apparently when you halve the recipe, it actually IS a horrible idea). How frustrating! I keep trying to make great foods, but they are not coming out as intended!
However, I did have one minor success this week: Creamy Hummus!
I actually made a small gaffe on this recipe, as well (note to self: don’t start cooking 3 minutes after waking up). I made a double recipe of this hummus to serve to my students on quiz day…but in my sleepy stupor, I forgot to add the cumin! I actually didn’t notice this when I was sampling the hummus during school, though I thought the garlic was stronger than I remembered from the previous time I’d made it. Fortunately, none of my students (even those that grew up eating hummus regularly) noticed!