Dear New Valentine’s Plans,

First order of business: Happy Valentine’s Day!

Whether you’re with your honeybee or checking into the heartbreak hotel, no one should have to be alone on Valentine’s Day. For those who belong to the latter category, please don’t panic. For every misfire of Cupid’s hopeful arrow, the boomerang of unexpected virtue will always come back around. Whether or not you’re “in a relationship,” don’t forget the other miracles in your life: friends, family, teachers, coworkers. Anything goes.

Dear Food Logo

Dear new cooking adventure,

At a certain point in time, I decided it wasn’t worth dying of thirst at a baseball game because I didn’t want to spend $4 on a bottle of water. I decided eating ramen ahead of time so I could save the $6 I would have spent on hot dogs wasn’t a life I wanted to lead. While making food the source of official splurging meant tons of fun, delicious and happy adventures, it also meant an expanding waistline and thinning wallet.

I don’t regret a single meal, but it’s time to change. But that doesn’t mean I can’t have delectable food fun and be more conscious at the same time.

And here’s my problem: I just couldn’t savor life dictated by a gluten-free, paleo, vegetable-and-protein-ridden diet. While those diets are smart, scientific and perfect for a lot of people, I think my life is too short not to eat butter. And salt. And sugar. And french fries.

So I’m compromising.

I have a cook book called The New Persian Kitchen. And I’ve gone as far as drooling over the gorgeous pictures and smiling at the memories of family dinners that they evoke but I haven’t taken the big step of trying it out. Starting this week, I’m staying in. No more eating out. And instead, you’re invited to dinner at my house. It won’t always be perfect, but it’ll be fun.

Come over and try something new, while I learn more about my roots by finally cooking the food of my heritage (a sort of Julie and Julia exploration, if you will).

Love,
A

Dear food girls,

I’m sorry I haven’t written in practically forever but it’s also been crazy busy these days.  The eating adventures haven’t stopped though, we’re just a little behind.

There are quite a few ideas and posts brewing back here, it’s just a matter of making time to dedicate, which will happen! I promise.  We’ve got things like DF at work, spring and summer eats, new recipes we’ve been trying and of course, outdoor patios!

In the meantime, here’s a couple of Instagrams that might help preview what’s to come:

Love,

A

Dear bad food photos,

We’ve all been there. We’ve all had a meal so delicious that we want to convey it via photograph, even though the conditions are less than perfect. And that could lead to unappetizing results. And it’s become a trend! Just look at these web-famous food porn opposites:

So what do we do about it? I’m hardly an expert at photography, but I do have a couple of tips to avoid sad desk lunching your meal:

1. Know when to just eat it: Maybe the most important skill would be to know when NOT to take a picture. If it’s a pile of mush, don’t do it. If the colors are bland, don’t do it. If there’s absolutely nothing interesting about your food, just don’t do it.

2. Decent lighting is key: Photography is about capturing light. Most restaurants are dark. Ergo, bad photo.

3. Basic photography skills still apply: Read an article. Take a class. If you’re at all interested in taking good pictures, learn some basics about lines and the rule of thirds. It’ll help.

Love,
A

In pursuit of adjectives

Words to use more often: Found it on Pinterest

Words to use more often: Found it on Pinterest

Words are my life. The minute differences matter to me (particularly if they’re used improperly). And since starting this blog, I find I’m asking myself the same question over and over again: “What’s another word for ‘delicious’?”

Adjectives matter, particularly for food. ‘Yummy’ and ‘so good’ only go so far. Rather, they’re just vaguely positive and that hardly does justice to most dishes. A peanut butter sandwich is good. A bowl of soup is yummy. But warm, just-ground nut butter made from organic, honey-roasted peanuts between two slices of freshly-baked, toasted wheat bread is more than just good. A beautiful bowl of farm-raised, roasted chicken in hot broth with not-too-crunchy-not-too-mushy carrots, fresh noodles and delightful seasoning is more than just yummy.

But sometimes, all you can think is, “Oh man, that’s delicious.” The challenge is finding those perfect adjectives when you need them and I find myself on a constant hunt for them. So in case anyone else finds himself in need for a slightly more inspired word for a dish, I started a list (add your suggestions, too!).

  • appetizing
  • delectable
  • distinctive
  • divine
  • enjoyable
  • enticing
  • exquisite
  • excellent
  • heavenly
  • luscious (also succulent, lush, juicy)
  • piquant (also spicy, tangy, peppery, hot)
  • pleasant
  • rich (also creamy, heavy, full-flavored, fatty)
  • savory
  • sweet
  • tasty
  • tempting
  • yummy

Dear cornbread with apples and onions,

Cornbread with caramelized apples and onions from Bon Appetit

Cornbread with caramelized apples and onions from Bon Appetit

I like cornbread. Who doesn’t? I decided to make some. On the same day as Brussels sprout pizza? Preposterous! But no, it can be done.

I’m new to cooking so I was happily surprised that cornbread is really easy. And I felt extra fancy dropping in a couple extras like apples and onions, both of which I enjoy heartily.

Thank you, Bon Appetit for presenting this joyous opportunity to make a warm and flavorful side dish.

Love,
Alma