New and old favorite recipes

How many of you have cooked a delicious meal, vouching to make it again… soon, only to forget of its existence days (or months later)? As someone known to live in the black & white world, I’m either not into cooking at all (bring on snacks, takeout and meals out!) or trying to make as many recipes as humanly possible in one night and/or weekend. I rarely, very rarely repeat recipes. That gives me the ability to test out more of the inspiring recipes I am constantly exposed to. The flip side, of course, is that those old favorites get forgotten. And it’s a shame. This is why I have decided that each new favorite recipe must be photographed and shared with you all on Healthy and Sane (check out the favorite recipes category on the right for previous favorites). I’ll get a chance to have a go-to place to find them again and you get to hopefully discover some new favorites of your own. Win-win!

So here we go – 3 new favorites from the past few weeks

Healthified zucchini bread from The Sweets Life

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I made 2 loaves of this bread last weekend and have been enjoying a slice (or 2) each morning with some Greek yogurt and a cup of coffee. I can’t imagine a better breakfast to wake up to! This bread/cake is slightly sweet, moist and full of cinnamon flavor. And who doesn’t love hidden veggies for breakfast?

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In the perfect world, I’d start my morning with the above zucchini bread and have these grilled pork chops with peppers and capers from Mario Batali’s Italian Grill cookbooksince these were the best pork chops I’ve ever made!!

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The secret is brining the pork chops overnight (actually since salt is a preservative, I left them in the brine for a few days since I was too busy to cook – extra bonus points for ease!). You know how salt makes you retain water and bloated? Well brining does the same for meat. The water retention makes them super juicy!

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These peppers with capers were fantastic as well – smoky and briny. Yum! And no, these aren’t onions – they’re purple peppers from the farmers market. Cool, right? I have not made one thing out of that cookbook that I wasn’t completely head over heals for. LOVE.

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How about something packed with veggies for dinner? When I saw Ranjani blog about this grain salad with corn and poblano peppers, I knew those wheat berries all the way in the back of my pantry had to come out of hiding.

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I will take advantage of the last days of summer, fresh corn, heirloom tomatoes, local hot peppers and all! Smile

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I went light on the olive oil, used goat cheese instead of queso fresco (when is goat cheese not the way to go? amiright??), added chickpeas for extra protein… and apparently forgot the toasted pumpkin seeds. Oops. (I didn’t miss them though)

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I loved the chew from the wheat berries, the sweetness of the corn, spice from the 2 kinds of chili peppers and the wonderful garlic infused olive oil dressing the grains. It’s fantastic room temperature but even better warmed (the goat cheese gets all melty and seductive. Do it!)

Oh and as proof that I’m committed to reinstating some old favorites – here is an oldie but goodie. My favorite chocolate chip cookies. Everyone needs a go-to choc chip cookie recipe. Could this one be yours?

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Get a little closer…

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Hungry yet?

That’s a whole lot of favorites. What are your favorite recipes? Do share. And yes, I want details!! Open-mouthed smile

PS – A new post on a summery Russian dessert is up on Russian Bites. Check it out!

What you missed this week…

Oy vay. Looks like I abondoned this blog for a week. Totally unintentional. You see, I was in Maine, then I was out every night of the week… but I’ve been thinking of you, I promise. And cooking delicious things and totally working on loving myself and being happier (thank you, by the way, for your amazingly supportive comments – as always, you guys rock!!). It’s been a really good week. I hope yours was just as good (or better!!).

So, here is what you missed…

  • I joined Pinterest and have been pinning like it’s going out of style. I’m obsessed… and in love. It’s good kind of obsessed.
  • We finished our guest bathroom. Today actually. It looks incredible. I promise to post pics once all the accessories are purchased and the whole thing looks complete (my mom literally forbid me from posting the current pictures because our towels “need to be retired.” I laughed out loud reading that email).
  • It’s Adam’s birthday today. He now joins me in being on this earth for 29 years. You’re no longer younger than me, Adam. Sorry! Please wish him a happy birthday in the comments. I think he’ll like that!
  • We went to Maine for 4 days. It was glorious. I cooked lots of deliciousness. Maybe you’d like to recreate them? You should!

The weekend started by me attempting to make s’mores (with homemade marshmallows, but of course! I’m becoming a marshmallow making machine… in case you were wondering. lol). I was so dissapointed when I realized that my little culinary torchdid not come with butane fuel. Father-in-law to the rescue!

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Yessss

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No bake s’more bars

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Lunch on Saturday turned out exceptionally well with grilled maple chili salmon

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served with black bean and corn salad which my mother-in-law made. Good team work :)

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She made a few modifications… 2 ears of corn, 1 bell pepper, 1 cup of snow peas, some crushed red pepper flakes. It was unbelievably refreshing and a little spicy. Super addictive too (I didn’t mind that)! The salmon turned out smokey, sweet and spicy – this really was the perfect summer lunch. Both recipes are going on my favorite recipes list for sure!

This potato green bean salad was another winner. I loved the mustardy dressing. The potatoes and the green beans were from the farmers market and the peas came straight from the garden in Maine. It doesn’t get much fresher than this!

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… and you know life wasn’t so tough when watermelon margaritas (from farmers market watermelon too!) seemed like the most natural thing in the world. What, you didn’t have one in the middle of Monday? ;)

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… yeah, tough life for sure. :lol:

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What have you been up to?

Healthy and Sane in the kitchen: summer feast

It’s been a while since I’ve actually cooked anything substantial. Sure I’ve grilled up some chicken and drenched it in buffalo sauce, stuffed it in tortillas with veggies and called it tacos for dinner. I’ve made burgers (actually I showed Adam how to) and salads. I’ve utilized leftovers from numerous nights out (is it just me, or do you also eat out more in the summer months?). And then there was of course the DC vacation. In short, I missed some real cooking. And yesterday’s trip to the farmers market during lunch, gave me just the kick in the butt I needed to get back into the kitchen and whip up something good!

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This corn was picked that morning!! Look at these juicy kernels!!

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Dinner is served!

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We ate out on the patio. I love summer nights!!!

On the menu (see links to recipes):

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This salad was spectacular! I loved the spicy arugula paired with the lemon drizzled zucchini disks and shaved Asiago! Going on my favorite recipes list Smile

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We had a hard time making the bacon bits stick to the corn (I think I didn’t use enough butter to that much bacon and didn’t cut it up finely enough) and then the cheese didn’t really want to stay on the corn because it wasn’t wet enough… but we made it work. One delicious smoky, cheesy, corn-y (lol) bite at a time. [Edited to add: Jessica let me know that if you chop the bacon into teeny tiny pieces, it works great... so go ahead, make it! :) ]

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Fresh, tangy, cheesy, buttery… so many textures and flavors. This was the perfect summer feast!

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My kitchen is full of dirty dishes, which is a sure sign I’m finally back to what I love Smile

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