East By Southwest: A Chicken Burger Experience

Ahh the incomprehensible has occurred—employment rates have skyrocketed in Alyaville, and I am actually working now. If you must know, I work just a short walk down from the husband, and I do mean that literally. I was recently offered a short term position in his department (the details of which are inconsequential; we need only know that while it is not an ideal position for the fruity artsy writer/food-experimenter with her head in the clouds that I am, nevertheless I am grateful for the position and thankfully surrounded by good folks).

I just started, so my initial fear was What will this do to my blog?!??! Trust me, G has heard soooo much about my fears and whininess on this part it’s a wonder he hasn’t tried to get me fired just to appease the foodie inside me. But we are managing, just finding a pace which enables us to get work done, relax a bit, and find time to cook most days. I think in a way this will challenge me as well, to concoct a more diverse array of dishes that aren’t always so time consuming and simply by using just about whatever the heck is in the pantry considering I won’t be running to the store at the drop of a hat.

On the other hand, when I do run to the store, I tend to stock up. This blog entry: case in point. I don’t usually have avocados and wheat buns all the time, but I had a vision a while back so I decided to load on them. Plus the avocados were supposed to be for a literEature post which I haven’t had an opportunity to do yet, so more will have to be bought now. Alas. 🙂

Anyway, this burger turned out to be absolutely scrumptious (despite forgetting salt in my chicken marinade!!! Who does that??!?). A bit high maintenance but cooking is also my way of finding peace and sanity, even when the kitchen is a chaotic whirlwind of fright. Besides, homemade guacamole is a million times better (especially with green chillies chopped in!) and roasted peppers become so sweet and melty, the perfect complement to asian fusion chicken… but enough talk, let’s cook! Continue reading

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SerenDIPity!

I went to a local market and came across a delectable loaf of fluffy garlic-infused bread (not to be confused with buttery cheesy greasy garlic bread) and thought to myself, what oh what oh whaaaat can I do with this? I could make paninis, or serve it up with a nice omelet. Maybe make bruschetta or another delectable hors d’oeuvre… Hmm. I had been having a strange hankering lately. My funky little taste buds have been dreaming up dips, yes dips, of all things, ever since I made those fusion wraps. I had used a store-bought pepper eggplant dip, and wanted to make my own for a long while. Unfortunately I couldn’t find eggplant that day for some reason. No matter, we improvise!

And so I decided to try something fresh and new, with bell peppers and zucchini, as well as some guacamole and simple lime-zesty chicken. It turned out to be a light, bright, and dipped up delight of a night! And by slicing the bread very thin, I could toast them lightly in the oven drizzled with olive oil and serve them up as the perfect dipper. We had lots of fun that night, to be sure. Continue reading

Tilapia Tacos and Avocado Salsa

Get married in October – Check.  Revel in a delectably perfect and peaceful honeymoon in Hawaii – Check.  Pack up all the major essentials and ship it all to Maryland – Check.  Begin a brand-spanking-new married life with a fantastically ideal husband – Check.  Start sharing all the culinary experiences I have created in my own kitchen … check?

It would appear so.  So let’s fast forward one year and pretend this is the start of something fresh and new.  And I’ve been thinking of what to start with, since I’ve been living in Maryland for more than a month now and have done quite a lot of my own cooking, occasionally by the book, occasionally exploratory.  But, since last night is fresh in my head, we’ll just go there.

Everyday I’ve been trying to find some kind of inspiration, while also not spending too much on groceries, which is abysmally difficult to do especially when you are starting from scratch and need to establish at least the basics in your kitchen.  At any rate, I had some mango (strangely Safeway mangos have been tasting good  lately), tilapia in the freezer (the only fish my husband will touch most of the time), and small chapatis (thin Indian flat bread), so a bit of whimsy and a bit of yearning for California flavor in this near wintry gloom made me think up pan-fried tilapia tacos with mango salsa!

Except upon cutting, I found my mango had gone bad. Alas.  But avocado and red onion to the rescue made up for it in the end.  Woo hoo!  Normally this would have been grilled tilapia, but as I don’t even have a grill pan at the moment, I settled for simply cooking it in the pan for a good while… the longer you cook the fish, by the way, the tougher or thicker it becomes, which was good for a taco dish because it created a nice meatier texture while also killing off any remnants of fishiness entirely.  So here you go:

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