Carnitas

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I’m not sure what it is about summer – the sun-soaked time of year that lends itself to bathing suits and other figure-exposing attire – that makes me want to eat heaps and heaps of meat. It’s grillin’ season, and what goes better on a grill than juicy sausages, saucy ribs or cheese-covered burgers? I mean, yeah, vegetable skewers are great and all, but the stars of summer seem to be food that is no friend to a bikini. And it’s not limited to meats – the often mayo-laden cole slaw and potato salads are barbecue staples, and what hot summer night could possibly be complete without some rapidly-melting ice cream? And cold beers?

Now, I know that summer is also the season for great produce – tomatoes and zucchini especially are at their best, especially ’round these parts, and they both are conducive to light, beach-body-friendly meals. Meals which I’ll be making. Eventually.
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Spicy soups make winter tolerable.

Originally posted February 2013.

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Every year, I do this thing where I get tired of winter and start doing things that one has no business doing during winter. For example, this weekend I made a side dish of sauteed zucchini and tomatoes to go with my salmon. While pretty much perfect during July and August, they’re a discolored, flimsy disappointment in February.

And today, I decided that I’d wear a dress. Not a sundress, mind you, but not something with sleeves, or made out of wool, and not something that came even remotely close to hitting my knees. In my defense, I did pair it with a cardigan and tights, although those tights were pantyhose and did basically nothing to keep my gams toasty.

I’m not sure if I’m just impatient, or defiant, or unconsciously trying to will the seasons to change early, but whatever the underlying cause may be (I’m going to go ahead and say that it’s an equal blend of all three of those things), whenever I start doing this, I always end up somewhat disappointed. At this point in the season, I’d really like to be able to fast-forward to June, when I’ll be over the hump of debilitating pollen allergies, able to escape to the beach after work (!!!), and go to a couple of sweet family reunions. However, I’d settle for being able to fast-forward to March 31, when the greatest show ever (with maybe the exception of Arrested Development) returns with what are guaranteed to be crazy-awesome episodes, and when I’ll be able to walk my dog for more than 30 seconds without wanting to run back into my apartment and wrap myself in a bathrobe, Snuggie and approximately 785,219 blankets.

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Probably my most self-deprecating post to date. Fun for the whole family!

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My small motor skills have never been something to be proud of. I pretty much failed cut and paste as a kindergartner (though I was the only kid who came into the classroom reading, so I think I had my priorities in order). I would have been a straight-A student throughout elementary school had it not been for blasted “penmanship.” Yes, kiddos. Handwriting used to count before household computers became more plentiful and commonplace than TVs. Now I feel old.

Though my handwriting is legible these days (my boss actually called it “nice.” I’m still reeling from that), my small motor skills have hardly improved. I still don’t totally color in the lines, and when I have to fold my laundry…well, I think my sister’s exact words were “You are the worst folder EVER!” Apparently my tenure in the retail clothing world didn’t provide me with any improvement.

In spite of my being aware of my lack of folding skills, I attempted to make wontons the other night.

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For those about to grill…

Originally posted March 2012.

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…I sa-lute you. Seriously. Not only have we been fortunate enough to have a mild winter here in Jersey, spring is HERE. While part of me wants to call Al Gore and make sure that this is not actually a sign of our imminent demise by greenhouse gases, part of me is just really happy that sludgy-grey snow hasn’t been lingering on the fringes of the highways for eight weeks.

So, I mean, if someone wanted to break out their grill today, I’d understand. Or at least, think they aren’t crazy. I’d classify my vow that when I get my own place with an actual yard and ample milling about space, I want to host a huge potluck Thanksgiving dinner where I will deep-fry a turkey. Y’know, outdoors.

But back to grilling. I don’t have a grill. Yet. Nor do I have adequate grilling space, though I assure you, I have every intent of getting my hands on a little charcoal-burnin’ baby and making do with what space I’ve got. But for now, an oven has to suffice, so I can make these tried-and-true ribs.

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“It should be pork-tatoes” – Colin

Originally posted February 2012.

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So I went to the grocery store yesterday and bought a lot of healthy food. Like, green beans, strawberries, apples, starfruit, arugula, black beans, avocados, quinoa (I seriously can’t wait to be trendy and make quinoa everything)… and not one bag of potato chips!

I know, I’m shocked too.

So you’d think I’d be making something healthy tonight. Like quinoa burgers. Or grilled fish tacos with a black bean/fruit salad and avocado remoulade. Or steamed arugula with garlic and grape tomatoes.

Which are on the agenda. Pinky swear.

But tonight? Pork chops.

And roasted potatoes.

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