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Mango-cucumber salad with sambal shrimp

As I’m writing this, Michael is at the airport, headed to San Antonio for trip number two of three he’s taking this month for work, so I’ve been busy figuring out my meal plan for when he’s gone. This is going to be the longest trip of the three, thankfully, but of course now we have this potential storm to contend with I’m both hopeful for a snow day or two but not necessarily looking forward to riding it out by myself. (The only relief, to be honest, is that with his car at the airport I can park in the garage during the worst of it, but I still plan on doing some shoveling if only to make life easier later on.) So this week will entail a potentially snowy sabor de soledad, and I’m actually quite excited about the menu I’ve planned. Read More

Marinated chicken thighs in the style of Craft.

About a week ago I found a link to an article on the myth of easy cooking–in it the author claims that cooking for the most part isn’t very easy or fast, and with so many ways of ordering food made available to us, sometimes it’s simply much, much faster to get some relatively-wholesome food via Seamless or similar. On one hand, she’s right because if you did take her approach and stop at the market every day for ingredients and then set down to cook them when you got home from work, it would take an enormous amount of time. Read More

Welp, that was quick and embarrassing.

Longtime readers will remember me following along with the 2010 World Cup and Spain’s march to victory, and it was a thrilling thing to behold. La Furia Roja has played well since then, taking another Euro title in 2012 and just falling short to Brazil in the Confederations Cup last year. To suggest that expectations were high for the team would be an understatement, but I don’t know if anyone was really expecting them to take a second world title, as awesome as it would be.

Marca says it all. (via theworldsgame tumblr, link in image)

Sadly, a pair of horrible losses have put to rest any hopes of that happening, as following a perfunctory match with Australia the team will be headed back to Spain. Listen: I’m not foreign to the concept of losing. Being from the Philadelphia area, it’s a universal truth that any Philadelphia sports team* with any semblance of momentum will more likely choke instead of sealing the deal. There are a few exceptions to this, of course, but when books like this exist and your baseball team is the first to log 10,000 losses in its lifetime…well, I think you can catch my drift. What was so heartbreaking about these particular losses was the complete and utter self-destruction witnessed on the pitch; if watching the 2010 Spain squad was like observing a fine-tuned Ferrari engine at work, this was more akin to watching a Ford Pinto explode.

The final twist of the knife was watching David Villa (oh, just Spain’s highest goal-scorer for the national team but had yet to make an appearance until this match) make his final appearance for the side in the match against Australia that was meaningless other than for pride…but at least he managed a goal before he was summarily subbed off.

What a goal. (Source linked in image.)

It’ll be interesting to see what happens over the next few weeks/months and then if they can get it together in time for Euro 2016, but in the meantime I’ll be over here watching 2010 WC videos on YouTube. (OK, so I’ll still be watching this World Cup too, if only to cheer on Leo Messi and some of my other FC Barcelona boys still in contention as well as the US as they face Portugal and Germany.)

At least I can comfort myself with some good food while I watch and wallow, right? Read More

Copper River Sockeye Salmon with Mojo Sauce

Heat waves are awesome, aren’t they? They sap your energy completely, make venturing outside after 8AM and before 8PM a dangerous proposition, and–if you’re anything like me–a big ol’ sweaty mess. I literally walked across the river from my office to go to the farmers market on Thursday at lunch (at most six-tenths of a mile) and came back drenched. And very flushed (from exertion, not from sun thankfully). The trains didn’t fare much better–Friday afternoon three (!) trains coming from New Haven got tangled up in wires because of the heat, so I had to drive myself home because they suspended service around 5:00.

At least I wasn’t one of the poor people who were trapped on those trains. Read More

Updated with video!


A few days ago Michael surprised me by presenting me with the most perfectly brined pork chops along with this Cuban-inspired mojo, and they were insanely delicious.  When approached about doing another segment for Connecticut Style, this emerged as a fast front-runner–especially since we can make couscous extremely quickly.

So here it is:

Sauteed Shrimp with Mango Mojo over Couscous

Serves 2-4

  • 1 mango (1 cup), peeled and diced
  • Leaves of one small bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • Juice of one lemon
  • 1-2 T honey
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic
  • 1 teaspoon chopped jalapeño chile pepper
  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 cup couscous
  • Salt and pepper
  • chopped mint

For the  mojo:  Combine mango, cilantro, half of the lemon juice, honey, garlic and jalapeño into a blender; pulse until blended and smooth.  Set aside.

For the couscous:  Pour one cup of water into a saucepan, and add a generous pinch of salt.  Swirl the pan to dissolve, and then place over high heat to bring to a boil.  As soon as the water is boiling, add couscous, swirl to make an even layer, and then remove from heat and cover for at least five minutes.  Use a fork to fluff and remove from pan.

For the shrimp:  Toss the shrimp with the remaining half of the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.  Using a medium-sized skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and add the shrimp to the pan, keeping them all on a single layer.  The shrimp are finished when they turn pink, about two minutes, and then take them off of the heat.  Add them and all the joy from the pan to the couscous, toss with sauce, top with the mint and serve.

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