Verde Chili with Rice

Verde Chili With Rice

I lived in New York for a time during college and it was impossible to find good cheese dip.  My friend, Loren, who also happened to be from Georgia, better known as ‘The Land of Good Mexican Food,’ joined me on my quest to find authentic cheese dip somewhere on the island of Manhattan.  We tried dozens of places, all with amazing reviews on Yelp.  Yet each time we order Queso, anxiously awaiting what we hoped would be authentic cheese dip, we would end up being served a warm glob of neon orange nacho cheese.  Man, it got so depressing having to pay for that!

It’s hard to have Mexican without cheese.  It’s pretty essential, like icing is to cake.  So in my house, where I try my best to keep a close watch on my cheese intake, Mexican is a special treat.  Read More

Fennel Salad with Pomegranate

Fennel Salad with Pomegranate

So we’re an entire month into 2014.  It’s still early, but it might be a good time to do some reflecting before the year is too far-gone.  How’s everyone doing on their new year resolutions?  Sticking to them better than you thought, or have you slacked off?

I just pulled up the list that Roark and I put together on January 1st.  It’s not so much a list of resolutions, but rather a list of goals that we hope to accomplish throughout the year.  So far, I’m killing my goal of learning to speak Italian, spending at least 5 hours a week practicing and countless more listing to audio tapes, chatting with a friend in Turin via Skype, and watching children’s shows on YouTube.  There are quite a few things on the list that pertained to this blog, and I’m working behind the scenes on them, albeit slowly.  Read More

Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

Triple Chocolate Black Bean Brownies

I have a confession to make…  For Christmas I stuffed two different bars of specialty chocolate in Roark’s stocking.  I managed to make it through all of December without pulling them back out and indulging in a little bite.  But when Christmas came and went, and three days later the bars still sat on our counter uneaten, taunting me, I honestly couldn’t help myself.  I might have eaten the entire milk chocolate and pretzel bar and the remainder of the dark chocolate, almond, and sea salt one over the course of three days.  Roark didn’t even notice the chocolate was gone until another three days passed since he is not as addicted to sweets as I am.

It’s a problem, a real problem.  It seems like almost every week now a new study comes out showing that sugar is harmful to our health linking it to cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.  Read More

Squash with Cream and Parmigiano

Squash with Creme and Parmigiano

Ever since I started cooking, well if we’re really being honest, since I started eating, I’ve had a love for Italian food.  The cuisine relies not on the expertise of its chef, but rather in the quality of its ingredients.  For someone like myself who was self taught the ins and outs of the kitchen and how to put a meal on the table, this was a promising idea.

Still today, with much more skill under my belt, I find the proposition of simply prepared fresh ingredients to be enchanting.  When cooking Italian, it’s almost as though you can do no wrong, especially if your ingredients are up to par, which can immensely cut down on the stress of making dinner so long as you enjoy hunting for sublime produce. Read More

‘This’ French Onion Soup

French Onion Soup

There was this time when I had a few hours to kill in Paris.  That might sound more romantic than it really was.  At the time, the sky was dumping upon us the worst kind of European winter rain; the type of cold wet that gets you shivering deep into your bones.  We, a group of two tired and squabbling couples, were strapped into our oversized backpacks with rain gear on, wandering aimless along the flooded, gray streets of the City of Light.

It’s moments like these that are the nightmares for backpackers around the world.  You just need to find a spot of warmth for a few minutes that unfortunately the train station and metro doesn’t provide.  And more unfortunately, if you want that warmth, you’re going to have to pay for it.  Read More

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