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Vietnamese Grilled Pork Chops (Thit Heo Nuong Xa) with Cold Rice Noodles

These Vietnamese pork chops are marinated in a perfectly balance of lemongrass, ginger and sugar, grilled to perfection, and served with cold rice noodles and pickled sides.

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How to put together a perfect charcuterie board

We put the must in mustard, the cute in charcuterie, and the jam in …er … jam, with this spectacular picnic spread. Ham! Cheese! Pâté! Salami! Pickles! Our festive charcuterie board is topped off with fresh, tangy home-made Maple Mustard and sweet Red Onion Jam.

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Homemade Maple Mustard

If you like mustard, you seriously have to try making your own. It’s so much better than the jarred kind and it couldn’t be easier. Our Homemade Maple Mustard is a little sweet, a little spicy and tastes incredibly fresh.

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Seared Scallops with Chili-Lime Butter, Pea Purée and Crispy Pancetta

Seared Scallops with Chili-Lime Butter, Pea Purée and Crispy Pancetta

Seared Scallops with Jalapeno-Lime Butter, Pea Purée and Crispy Pancetta

Seared Scallops with Jalapeno-Lime Butter, Pea Purée and Crispy Pancetta

Britain is a big old seaside with a few towns in the middle, and while we were there, we often had excellent seared scallops when we ate out. This is our attempt to recreate this dish, served over pureed peas with crisped pancetta.

In the spirit of curmudgeonliness, here’s the real history of Valentine’s Day.

st.-valentine

St. Valentine

On February 14 around the year 278 A.D., a Roman priest named Valentine was executed.

A little background: Emperor Claudius II (not the stuttering one) had a problem. He was having trouble maintaining a strong… military (not a euphemism, for once). For some reason the men of Rome were reluctant to join an army led by a man whose nickname was ‘Claudius the Cruel’. Go figure.

Claudius presumed it was because of their strong attachment to their wives and families, so he did what any reasonable ruler would do. He banned all marriages and engagements in Rome.

Valentine, hoping his name would one day be synonymous with chalky chocolates and teddy bears holding roses, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret.

That is until he was arrested and beaten to death with clubs. And then his head was cut off.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Sweet and Spicy Korean Cocktail Meatballs

Sweet and Spicy Korean Cocktail Meatballs

Sweet and Spicy Korean-Style Cocktail Meatballs

Sweet and Spicy Korean-Style Cocktail Meatballs

These Korean cocktail meatballs, sweet and spicy, are so tiny and cute and delicious you might forget there’s even a game on. 

It’s no secret that I’m not really a sports person. I’m the type of nerd who avoids sports bars at all costs. And if I was forced to go to one, I would probably hide in a corner with a book and a set of earplugs.

Luckily for me I married a man that hates watching sports even more than I do. Other than the World Cup and the occasional Wimbledon match, our house is a strictly sports-free zone (unless you consider marathon-watching season 2 of Fargo a sport, which I do).

But there’s one aspect of Superbowl madness I can unequivocally get behind. Game day snacks.

Sweet and Spicy Korean-Style Cocktail Meatballs

Blood Orange Salad with Shaved Fennel and Pistachios

Blood Orange Salad with Shaved Fennel and Pistachios

Blood Orange Salad with Shaved Fennel and PistachiosBlood orange salad is a colorful, tangy and healthy way to remind yourself that winter will not last forever. As a bonus, it also wards off scurvy!

This is the salad to make when you can barely remember what a real garden tomato tastes like. When you’re so deep in winter that the summer abundance of a few months ago seems like a fever dream.

This is the salad that reminds us that, even in the dead of winter, there are still wonderful things to be found if you know where to look.

Blood Orange Salad with Shaved Fennel and PistachiosBlood Orange Salad with Shaved Fennel and Pistachios

Thai Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken

Thai Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken

Thai Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken

Thai Peanut Noodles with Grilled Chicken

These peanut noodles might be one of the most delicious and easiest recipes we’ve ever created. It’s basically the love child of Chinese cold sesame noodles and Thai chicken satay. If you like those kinds of flavors, I think you’re going to be pretty happy with your dinner.

It’s also happens to be very adaptable. You can make a vegan version with tofu. You could grill shrimp instead of chicken. You could add pretty much any vegetable you would throw into a stir fry (I’ve listed some options with the recipe below).

Fresh Chinese wheat noodles

Fresh Chinese wheat noodles

We found these fresh noodles at our local Asian market but dried spaghetti works equally well. I’ve also seen fresh Chinese egg noodles for sale at our grocery store and those would be great too. Whatever style you decide on, cook them until they’re al dente (but don’t undercook them either).

Roasted Delicata Squash with Miso-Maple Butter

Roasted Delicata Squash with Miso-Maple Butter

Delicata Squash with Miso-Maple ButterDelicata squash (or your favorite winter variety) roasted until deeply caramelized and glazed with a delicious miso-maple butter. It’s sweet, salty and so satisfying.

I love butternut squash to bits but even I, an admitted squash fiend, sometimes just can’t deal with the work of prepping it. Those suckers are big and can be a pain in the butternut to peel, chop and seed.

That’s why, if you haven’t yet, you should expand your vegetal horizons to include the lovely and thin-skinned Delicata.

Delicata Squash

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