Saturday, May 19, 2012

A Few Fun Updates!

I think I'm having a little bit too much fun with this food blogging hobby.  Check out this link to my recent guest blogger post to the Full Circle Farm blog: The Good Food Life.  A few simple picnic ideas for your Memorial Day weekend!

I had a blast writing it, and got some terrific suggestions from friends (MVP goes to my friend Cheryl for the Nutella & Banana Wraps- love that one!)

I'll also be a regular contributor to's Town Square 49 blog.  Here's a link to my first post, which you may remember from the blog last month.  Mmm...yummy church casserole food.

I write this from the comfort of my quiet hotel room in downtown Chicago, as thousands of police officers and Secret Service agents roam the streets of the Windy City preparing to welcome dignitaries from all over the world for the NATO summit.  My hotel is filled with men in suits, sporting crew cuts and carrying black back packs.  As soon as I arrived at my hotel, one woman asked me if I was here for the summit.  I looked down at my tennies and yoga pants, looked back at her and said, "Really?  I don't look much like a dignitary in this gettup."  She laughed, in obvious agreement (I should have also mentioned to her that I had been in airports and on planes for the LAST TWELVE HOURS.  A little slack, please?)

No, I'm not here on important diplomatic business.  Although important business nonetheless--I'm here to school up at my annual labor attorneys' conference.  And to catch a couple baseball games.  And to eat deep-dish Chicago-style pizza.  And Garrett Popcorn (the Chicago mix!)  And to invest in a new wardrobe once I eat my way through this city.  I love Chicago!

More recipes soon!

xo H

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Roasted Asparagus

Ah, spring!  To Lower-48ers, this must mean sprouting blades of grass, flowering trees, and tulip bulps popping up out of the ground.  To those of us in Alaska, it means filthy mounds of melting snow, bare tree branches, and scoop-the-poop season.  Luckily for us...we don't really know any better!  We blissfully walk along the just-cleared paths of Anchorage's glorious trail system reveling in the barely-warm sunshine thankful that our record-breaking season of snow is officially behind us.

The produce section of every grocery store in America is stocked full of beautiful, green asparagus right now- the most springy of springtime vegetables.  Perfect time to post a perfectly easy and delicious dish to grace the side of any dinnertime plate (or breakfast or lunch, for that matter- let's not stereotype the poor veggie.)  Roasting vegetables is absolutely my favorite way to eat them, no matter the season.  I love the carmelized flavor and the crunchy charred bits you taste when you roast vegetables, and asparagus particularly so. 

This is the most basic way to roast aspargus, but sometimes I mix it up by adding parmesan cheese at the end, or roasting with a little balsamic vinegar.  Once you get the method down, you can experiment to figure out your favorite combination.

Roasted Asparagus

1 bunch asparagus, rinsed and drained (roughly 1 to 1 1/2 pounds)
2 t. olive oil
1/2 t. salt
a few grinds of fresh pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  First, remove the woody end of the asparagus.  Take your fattest stock of asparagus and snap off the end.  Then line up the rest of the asparagus and cut off the ends to match that stock.  Toss the asparagus, oil, salt, and pepper on a baking sheet.  Bake for 20-25 minutes, depending on the thickness of the asparagus, moving the asparagus around on the pan at least once during roasting.  Serve immediately!

Enjoy! xo H