I have been away from this blog for a few weeks, and I missed it pretty much every day. I know I need to be more consistent and I like writing here, so I’m back.
The first week I missed was election week and we started potty training, which required me to pay extra close attention to the littlest member of the family. I have also been spending more time on job searching. I’m also trying to declutter and sell things on Mercari and Poshmark. It’s both a slow and busy season around here, if that’s possible.
For once, I decorated for Christmas before Thanksgiving. The mantle is covered in decorations, the door has a wreath on it, and there is a light up dinosaur on the floor next to the fireplace. (Yes, you read that right.) I just won’t put our stockings up until the week of Christmas and, although I was considering it early, Paul said we should wait on setting up our artificial Christmas tree until the day after Thanksgiving.
When I was a kid, I didn’t used to like potatoes, or at least I would complain about them at dinner time even while eating them. Thankfully, I have learned to appreciate potatoes. Russet potatoes still aren’t my favorite, but you can often find me cooking baby potatoes or Yukon Gold potatoes. I especially love that the yellow-fleshed Yukon gold potatoes are slightly sweet and tend to cook faster than Russet potatoes.
Roasted potatoes go well with pretty much any dinner. This week we had the potatoes with some leftover pork and tortillas. There wasn’t much pork left from the night before so the potatoes filled out the tacos. The next night, we had the leftover potatoes with mahi mahi and wild rice pilaf. Sometimes I make these potatoes with stovetop burgers and call them home fries.
I like roasting potatoes with a good helping of olive oil, salt, and rosemary for an easy side dish. Oh yeah, and garlic is nice too. I forgot the garlic until after I put the potatoes on the baking sheet and then had to add it in, but you won’t because I’m reminding you now. Garlic is good on pretty much anything savory.
Surely you’ve heard of watermelon feta salad. Now meet pineapple cotija salad. It’s simple and refreshing, as any summer salad should be.
I was already buying pineapple for the pan grilled pork chops with pineapple salsa I was planning on making and I had been wanting cotija cheese for tacos this week, so I thought why not combine the extra from the two and make a salad? Of course, then the pork chop recipe used an entire pineapple, so I had to wait for the next week to make this salad.
I have never been very into potato salad. When I was younger, I was pretty picky about potatoes in general. I remember my mom poking fun of me because I’m of Irish heritage and didn’t like potatoes, except as French Fries. I also hated mayonnaise, but don’t so much any more. I have grown up since then and my tastes have changed, but I still don’t like the sight of traditional potato salad.
One of my favorite comfort meals is macaroni and cheese, especially when it’s cold. It’s one of my favorite winter meals, right up there with chili and broccoli soup. Although it’s not winter yet, it’s starting to feel like it. Today it rained fairly hard and it was windy too. That doesn’t happen too much around Southern California, so when it does it’s a big deal. We’re wimps, I know.
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.
One day earlier this year when I was in the break room at the child care center I was working at, I was snacking on a leftover container of kale chips. Another teacher looked at it and said, “What is that? Weed chips?” She seemed genuinely weirded out. I was a bit put off by her question. It must have been a joke, but we weren’t friends and din’t work in the same room, so I felt embarrassed. I guess baked kale looks like weed. But of course that wasn’t what I was eating while on break at a school where I took care of infants and toddlers.