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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Tortilla time!

Originally posted August 2012.

Good news, everyone! This next recipe is one that someone — gasp — shared with me!

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Yes, you heard (saw?) me. This didn’t come from someone else’s cooking blog, or a magazine, or the Food Network, or Pinterest. By the way, after claiming to be staunchly, adamantly against Pinterest, it has ensnared me and now I’m obsessed. I still maintain that it makes me sad that I don’t have a room made entirely of bookshelves, or an organized walk-in closet full of multicolored boots, but it’s fun, dagnabit, and addictive.

Anyhow, my mom concocted this recipe a couple of months ago, and it was a pretty big hit with my dad. It sounded delicious, so when I went over there with Colin and our mischievous, monstrous fur child this week, I asked her if she’d mind making it for us.

It was good, but good lord, was it spicy. Though, when she told me it was seasoned with adobo, I should have really seen that coming.

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This will convert you into a macaroni salad fan. If you’re weird like me and didn’t already like it, that is.

Originally posted June 2012.

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Dear Macaroni Salad,

If you don’t mind, I’m going to be frank with you — I never really liked you. Now look, I’m not saying this to hurt your feelings, but I’m just trying to establish an honest relationship with you.

It wasn’t your fault, really. I’ve just never really thought that macaroni should be served cold. Macaroni, in my eyes, has always been at its best served hot, slathered in tomato sauce and topped with two or three big ol’ meatballs. Or baked in a plethora of cheeses. Heck, I even enjoy macaroni on its own, with just a bit of melted butter and parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

But cold? Macaroni had no business being served cold. And especially not with celery. The starch salad that always won my heart was that of the potato. I know you’ve had your fans, Macaroni Salad, but I was not one of them.

Not until this came along…

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This delicious, spicy, smoky, COLD macaroni dish that I would happily make on a weekly basis. This macaroni salad that I made last night and just polished off the leftovers of for lunch. This macaroni salad that you must try to make on your own. Seriously, I demand it.

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