Cranberry pecan spinach salad

This salad is made with a baby spinach and greens mix, pecans, cranberries, and a triple berry balsamic dressing. I was inspired to make the dressing when I came across my cousin Laura’s recipe for Triple Berry Spinach Salad in our family cookbook.

I think this salad would be a great addition to a Thanksgiving table. It feels like a fall or winter dish because of the cranberries and pecans. You could also eat this the day after a holiday get together with the addition of leftover turkey or chicken.

Cranberry pecan spinach salad

Serves 4 as main dish, about 6 as side dish

1 package baby spinach and red butter salad
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup glazed pecans
1/4 cup chopped feta cheese

Glazed pecans
1 tbsp avocado oil
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup pecan halves

Triple Berry Balsamic Dressing
1/4 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup of olive oil or a a mix of olive and a neutral oil, such as avocado oil

I hope you give this a try. It’s easy and satisfying, like all my favorite dinners.

I wish the photos for this post were better but it’s hard to make salad look attractive. It doesn’t help that these photos were taken after sunset.

Meal plan vs. reality

This week mostly went according to the plan. I planned very simple things so that’s probably why. We ate dinner out Friday, Saturday and Sunday with Sunday being homemade food at my mom’s house. I feel lucky that I didn’t have to wash as much dishes.

I ordered groceries from InstaCart on Friday. I didn’t order any fresh meat this time for a few reasons. Last week I accidentally let some ground beef go bad because I didn’t get to cooking it in time. I didn’t want that to happen again.

Continue reading

Claremont, CA: Restaurant guide

I love Claremont and have been coming here for years. I used to spend time with my family here when I was a kid. I went on dates here in college. Paul and I got married in Claremont, even though we lived in Santa Monica at the time, and now we live here.

Consider this list like Chrissy Teigen’s list of L.A. restaurants, which she was criticized for by L.A Times writer Jenn Harris. (I still care for them both any way, by the way.) I’m no restaurant critic. I may have missed your favorites as I still haven’t been every where but these are my personal favorites.

Continue reading

Skillet chicken with orzo pasta

IMG_1069

My mom used to make this skillet chicken with orzo pasta when I was growing up. I loved it and started making it myself when I moved in with Paul a few years ago. It’s pretty easy and very satisfying. She got it from a newspaper column that I think was in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune.

This meal is good for weeknights, especially because there are very few dishes involved. The fewer dishes, the better, as far as I’m concerned.

It’s great for lunches the next day too. I can’t remember for sure, but I think my mom packed this in my lunchbox when I was in junior high or high school. It’s funny to me that I can’t remember high school as well as I used to. It was 10 years ago now, so of course.

Continue reading

Meal plan vs. reality

This week has been a bit hard. I think I left the pozole out for too long after dinner. I didn’t think about it and still ate it for lunch on Tuesday. I had food poisoning starting around midnight. I took it easy on Wednesday and Paul’s mom came over to help.

Maggie skipped her afternoon nap on Friday and Saturday, which resulted in tired parents in the evening onward and more frequent night wakings. Not to mention, without the nap I didn’t really have time to clean or cook. But Sunday, Paul’s mom and sister came over to help with Maggie and housework. It was so, so nice.

Continue reading

Chicken pozole rojo

Chicken pozole rojo

This recipe is based off a recipe on The Kitchn called 30-minute chicken pozole. Let me just tell you, it used to take me about 30 minutes back in the pre-kid days but this time it took longer. I have made this several times and it has always been easy and turned out amazing.

It’s a great weeknight meal. I used to make this when I would come home from work sometimes. I also like that it makes a lot of servings, so for some families there would be leftovers the next day.

Continue reading

A realistic meal plan

Chili Verde Enchiladas

I have been so tired lately. Well, story of my life. Or at least since I became a mom. Even though I’m a stay-at-home mom, not working, and sort of creating my own schedule during the day, I’m just tired. I sort of create my own schedule but it’s a collaboration between myself and my child.

Lately Maggie sleeps great during the day and I actually can get things done during her naps. I can cook dinner, wash dishes, fold laundry, take a nap. But at night, I can’t sleep. Even if she sleeps better than normal, I find myself waking up at 1 am and again at 3 am out of sheer habit. Perhaps she’s waking up out of habit at this point too.

Continue reading

Beer braised beef short ribs in a Dutch oven

Braised short rib with couscous

For this short rib recipe, jalapeño, onion, garlic, beer, and rosemary all come together to make a savory and slightly spicy braise. I love that the liquid imparts a lot of flavor on the short ribs in the long cooking process.

I should probably mention that you should plan on getting started on this about 3 hours before you would like to eat dinner. It takes about 1/2 an hour to prep and sear the meat and then it cooks in the oven for 2 to 2 1/2 hours. It is so worth all that time in the oven though. The meat becomes very tender and pulls completely away from the bone.

Continue reading