You say goodbye, and I say hello: Discovering my new city through food

When my husband and I decided to leave New York City (after…

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When my husband and I decided to leave New York City (after 7 years for him, 11 for me), the first thing I did was make a list of all our favorite food places and experiences that we had to repeat before leaving. Our most-loved grocery stores and markets, the ramen joint we only discovered in our last year there, the pizza that ruined all others. But these were not farewells – just a revisit to tide us over until the next eat, as we planned to come back to visit frequently (and have, so far.) Except in the case of my coffee beans, which I will continue to buy forever from Zabar’s – THAT I stocked up on. Everything else has become part of the flavorful fabric of my time in NYC, which I can return to and savor as a place that was once “mine,” a gift I cherish.

No, the truly daunting  – and exciting – task was discovering the tastes of my new city, Philadelphia. Luckily, Philadelphia has a long-standing rep for being a great food city – the cheesesteaks! the beer! the cream cheese!  – so I was psyched to discover my new home, bite by bite.

Summer Nectarine Galette

Is there anything more decadent than a perfectly ripe nectarine, enjoyed on…

IMG_3091Is there anything more decadent than a perfectly ripe nectarine, enjoyed on a lazy August afternoon? Perhaps there is, but right now I simply can’t think of anything. Nectarines, which just may be my favorite fruit, are in high season now, and have become my daily afternoon snack, savored while they last. But, if you find yourself blessed with an abundance of nectarines and need to use them up, or want to dazzle your dinner guests with a dessert (almost) too pretty to eat, then this recipe will do the trick.

Broccoli rabe with pancetta and eggs

Who else loves broccoli rabe? Anyone? Just me? I adore this slightly…

WD_89DFWho else loves broccoli rabe? Anyone? Just me? I adore this slightly bitter leafy green, with its little tidbuts of broccoli-like buds sprinkled throughout. Surprisingly, it is not related to broccoli, despite the name. It’s more closely related to turnips (which I also adore), and the greens more closely resemble turnip greens. But, the bud clusters within the leaves are somewhat broccoli-like, which is where it got its name, I suppose. Whatever it is, it’s one of my favorite greens. So, when I found it in all its glory at the farmer’s market this weekend, I had to buy a healthy bunch to bring home. The next morning, it became a damn tasty brunch, if I do say so myself, with the addition of a little pancetta and an over-easy egg.

The best parts about this dish, aside from the broccoli rabe? It’s 6 ingredients, and takes 15 minutes start to finish. Oh and it’s ridiculously healthy. Go grab you some rabe, or your other favorite green, and try it for brunch, lunch, or dinner! If you like it, check out my recipe for eggs in a nest, a similar dish.

Healthy Taco Casserole

Normally, when I see that a recipe contains the ingredient, “tortilla chips,”…

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Normally, when I see that a recipe contains the ingredient, “tortilla chips,” I run the other way. Such an ingredient suggests the sort of processed, high-fat, high-sodium food I normally avoid, and gets a little too close to the Paula Deen style of cooking, which, frankly, makes my arteries shrivel up just thinking about it. But, I came across this recipe for a tortilla chip casserole in a Cooking Light several years ago, so I was intrigued. I trust Cooking Light implicitly, and I thought, “They would not lead me down the dark path of processed food. If they can make a light and healthy tortilla chip casserole, then gosh darn it, I will try it.”

So I did.

And let me tell you, never did a tortilla chip taste so damn good as it did in that casserole.

Hello, summer! Green Bean and Potato Salad with Mustard Cream

Nothing says Memorial Day like potato salad, am I right? With the…

Nothing says Memorial Day like potato salad, am I right? With the holiday today, summer, AKA picnic and grilling season, has officially begun. Although I am writing this post from an Amtrak train between NYC and Boston today, I am already daydreaming of all the outdoor eating I’ll be doing this summer, and one of my guilty-pleasure dishes – potato salad. But I must admit I didn’t always love potato salad. Mayo grossed me out, and the hard-boiled eggs made it smell funny to my oh-so-discerning teenage senses. So I needed a salad like this – a gateway potato salad, if you will –  to help me fall in love with this American staple of summer.