I really enjoy cooking. I like the artistic part of it. Selecting a menu with foods that my family will enjoy, all the while balancing complimentary flavors and colors. It’s my daily challenge. But sometimes life is busy and I just want a simple, quick meal. And if I can find one without sacrificing quality and taste, even better! And these shrimp foil packets are a great answer to that.
It’s Teacher Appreciation Week! Every year, the PTA at my kids’ school has big plans for this week. Each day they decorate the teacher’s lounge with a different theme. Since the school is a Japanese immersion school, they alternate between both Japanese and American themes. Last year, I was on the American culture day team. Can you say hot dogs and potato chips? But this year, the themes were different. Each day was based on a different season and holiday, and I was assigned to the Valentine’s Day theme.
We were at the farmer’s market the other day and saw these huge blue colored squashes I had never seen before. When we inquired what they were, they said they were hubbard squash and they’re delicious. She also said since they are so big, it’s best to throw it on the ground to open it up. Hmmm, I love winter squashes and I love smashing things, so why not? Even if it tastes bad, it would be four dollars well spent just to smash it. I decided to make hubbard squash soup to start with.
Cue the Smashing Pumpkin’s song (or in this case Smashing Squash) and let’s break this thing open!
For Chloe’s first birthday I started researching Japanese style cakes to make for her. I was mainly looking for a lighter style frosting. I had made a rich homemade cake with a heavy cream cheese frosting for Ellie’s first birthday and after one bite she threw up. So for Chloe, I thought she’d appreciate the lighter style Japanese cakes and frosting. During my search I came across these awesome looking roll cakes. Roll cakes that had designs on them. But not only did they have designs on them, they were baked into them. My mind was officially blown. I didn’t know when or how, but right then and there I vowed to one day make that cake. That day had come.
We were having friends over for dinner the other day. I had planned this fancy salad with pears, dried cherries, glazed pecans, and goat cheese. I originally planned on using store bought dressing to save some time, but after further pondering, I decided I should up my game and rock some homemade balsamic vinegar dressing. With a fancy salad bursting with all that flavor I couldn’t lame out for the dressing. This balsamic dressing was super delicious and was a crowd pleaser. It kept really well in the refrigerator too. I think using the immersion blender helped keep the oil from separating. Continue reading “BALSAMIC VINEGAR DRESSING”