Thursday, November 22, 2012

In the Spirit of Gratitude


Today is Thanksgiving.  A day off for most, an opportunity for many to be close to friends, family, and loved ones, and a day where eating heartily and drinking merrily are strongly encouraged.  And as it would imply, a day of giving thanks and celebrating the blessings of life.  I don't know if it's just me, but browsing through Facebook and Twitter this morning, I see more posts, status updates, and check-ins relating to the things that people are grateful for than I've ever seen.  It makes me smile, reading about the things that make people happy, and what makes them close their eyes and hold their heart in the spirit of gratitude.  And it also makes me smile seeing how many people are viewing today as much more than a chance to sleep in and amass justifications for their New Year's resolutions.  

And it also made me think: What am I grateful for?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Quinoa-Stuffed Acorn Squash with Pumpkin Seeds, Apricots, & Pine Nuts


For the Holidays, it's all about the sides.  While you might contend that the turkey, pot roast, or tofurky are the leading players, I would beg to differ that it's more of an ensemble effort, particularly during Thanksgiving and the Winter Holidays.  Everyone wants a little of everything, leaving their plates a motley crue of colors, flavors, and textures.  And as someone who has been known to order three appetizers in place of three courses, it makes both cooking and eating during this time of year particularly satisfying.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Spicy Chipotle Pumpkin Hummus


I love hummus.  Whether it's made with chickpeas, black beans, or lentils, it's a true staple in my kitchen.  I make it 2-3 times a week, and you'll just have to trust me when I say that standing in front of my food processor and rummaging through my head for ideas on how I will yet again recreate hummus is actually really exciting.  Because aside from how delicious and nutritious it is, the best thing about hummus is its versatility.  So many ways to take one basic hummus recipe and endlessly reinvent it, from seasonings and spices, to the type of bean, to adding new ingredients.  [insert sound of mental fireworks]

Friday, November 2, 2012

Black Rice Biko with Latik: Celebrating the Days of the Dead


Before my family and I left for the Philippines, I had expressed an interest to my parents in learning more about our family's history.  I was excited to know more about my parents' parents and their families - to understand my place in the long line of Itchons, Guerreros, Castros, and Sibayans.  I wanted to connect with my roots.  But arriving in the Philippines and spending the first week on city tours and visiting various museums, I became suspicious that something might have been lost in translation somewhere.  But as I've learned, most things we want in life don't happen on our schedule of 'right now' and 'can't wait.'  When we find more patience and stop reaching so desperately, it's amazing how things start to just fall into place.  And for me and my search for my family's roots, that's exactly what happened.