It’s so cold today! I woke up and was in the kitchen making coffee and packing up my lunch when Kramer actually called out to me from the shower asking me to turn on the heat in the bathroom, ha! He’s never cold. This is about the time of year that my trusty sweatpants-from-high school are removed from the bottom of my drawer and secured comfortably to my lower half for the remainder of winter. I’m joking, obviously. I have, like, five pairs of sweatpants from high school. They have become baggy and pilled from being worn constantly and they are absolutely fabulous. I have bought maybe one or two new pairs of pajamas since I stopped working in retail after college because nothing can compare to the sweats that I bought from a stand at a regatta during my time rowing crew. I’m sure Kramer would throw them out if he got the chance. Lord knows I have thrown out a few choice items of his, but the difference is these clothing items of shame stay in the home, where they belong. Anyway, it’s sweatpants season! Hooray! My matching ASU sweatshirt is next to make an appearance. I look like Princess Hobo at home and I love it.
Spicy beef dry pot at Han Dynasty, my new favorite bourbon-barrel tripel from Allagash Brewery, my other new favorite butternut squash yogurt from Stone Barns, and baking with peanut butter cups.
The above photos are just a mish-mosh of what I’ve been up to lately. There is a new Szechuan place in town, so you know Kramer and I were there. Han Dynasty
(or Handy Nasty, as I prefer to call it) is apparently a big deal in Philadelphia, and with promises of mouth-burning dishes, I had to go. The first time we tried to go they told us it would be a two hour wait. Two hours! So Kramer and I cleverly decided to go for the blue plate special at 5pm before a movie on Saturday. What do you know? It was totally empty. The food was fresh and incredibly good, not to mention perfectly spicy with plenty of Szechuan peppercorns to make our tongues numb. Usually we go to Mission Chinese for our pepper fix, and while I adore Mission and it is still my favorite (not to mention less expensive), Han is probably more authentic and its ambiance and dishes have a decidedly less hipsters nonsense feel to them. Definitely check it out if you get the chance! I also have to highly recommend Stone Barns’
butternut squash yogurt, which tastes like some kind of amazing (yet healthy and just 100 calories) pie filling, with just the right amount of cinnamon and nutmeg. I think you can only get it at the farm or Whole Foods right now, but it’s worth the trip, fighting through crowds of Upper East Side mothers to get at your yogurt. My other discovery this past week was this bourbon-barrel aged tripel ale from Allagash Brewery
. You pop open that bottle and you know it was most certainly aged in a bourbon barrel. I am going to go out of my way to pick up another bottle or two this weekend. It was truly delicious.
So, this is my last post with Copper River Salmon. I’ve really loved working with them this year, and I’ve been inspired to make some great recipes with the fresh Alaskan salmon that I’ve been sent. I don’t always do sponsored posts, but when I do, it’s got to be with a product that I already use and believe in. Obviously, beautiful salmon is one of those things. I’ve made gravlax, grilled salmon kebabs, bourbon cured salmon, and now, a salmon and chickpea salad with canned salmon. I’ll be honest: I have never used canned salmon before. When I got sent the tin, though, I thought, why haven’t I? I used canned tuna all of the time, and love it. Why not use canned salmon? I was going to make a chickpea and tuna salad for our lunches this week, then decided last minute to go with the salmon. I think it was a great choice. Salmon is so good for you, and we try to eat as much seafood as possible in place of meat, so this salad was a no brainer. I tossed together chickpeas, dill, and whatever fresh vegetables I could scrounge up this time of year: cucumbers, peppers, grape tomatoes, and celery. I adore celery and would recommend adding in ever more if you do, too. I know it sounds weird to say, but there’s something refreshing about it and it can certainly brighten up most dishes with its clean, simple flavor. Anyway, aside from my odd penchant for celery, this salad is great for a week’s worth of lunches that you can feel good about. I’m on day three of eating this (with a few drops of Tapatio on top) and I’m not bored of it yet! The flavors only get deeper and more delicious with each day.