Weekly Reads

It was a good week. I spent most of it working, but that’s the tax season part two for you. I snuck in a little visit with an old friend and her new baby and my parents. I took advantage of my work-from-home situation not working out to get outside and enjoy the last bits of sunshine. I ate more than my fair share of Asian food, but that may or may not be in celebration of the new season of Parts Unknown since it starts in Hanoi, Vietnam. If you haven’t been watching, now is a great time to start.

Here’s what I read this week…

Bring on roasted vegetable season! Here’s how to roast most of them.

If I could eat from Lady and Pups’ blog most days, I would be one happy girl. This supple slow-cooked soy sauce chicken rice looks like no joke.

Someday I’m going to suck it up and make salmon tartare. Someday.

Comfort food in the name of homemade Hamburger Helper.

Lox and bagel donuts. Think about that for a minute. Then make me one. Please and thanks.

I’m not a big ice cream cone fan, but this rice krispies treat one may change my mind.

It’s been years (2007?) since I’ve been to London. I’d really like to go back and eat all the food like Joy the Baker.

This guy used his time in prison to learn photography. He’s now taking some pretty interesting and incredible photos.

Chicken Not-Quite-Instant Ramen

I’ve been on a nostalgia tour lately. Andrew was talking about Franz hand pies and I blurted out POP TARTS. Next thing I knew, there was a box of brown sugar and cinnamon Pop Tarts in the house. They are just as good as I remembered. I’m pretty sure there is a solid part of my childhood and teen years where I was personally responsible for the demise of hundreds of Pop Tarts. They were my lifeblood [that and Taco Bell, but that’s another story…]. I can’t believe they were as good I remembered.

Top Ramen falls into that category too. I remember eating many a packet, including the sodium laden seasoning packets. They were kind of addicting. Probably by design. It wasn’t until I was much older I started eating legit ramen thanks to their status as being one of the trendy foods. The ramen shops seem to be popping up at an incredible pace. They are the new cupcake.

The broth is key. I actually prefer more minimal ingredients and just letting the base speak for itself, but no one [read: me] has time to slow cook some great broth. This quick and dirty method worked for me. Soft boiled eggs are key. I didn’t get the timing quite right and it’s a little overcooked, but it was worthwhile. To keep the cook time to a minimum, I bought a store-roasted chicken. Poaching chicken in the broth probably would assist in the flavor department, but we all know I’m lazy.

It was a solid bunch of ramen. Way better than the seasoning packet, and not that much longer on the cook time. I’m planning on making this way more often if only to practice soft boiled eggs.

Chicken Ramen

Inspiration: Fork Knife Swoon & Yes to Yolks


  • 2 packets of instant ramen
  • 1 breast and 1 thigh from one roasted chicken, chopped
  • 1 handful of shitake mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 3 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 2 teaspoons fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon miso paste [I used white]
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon red chile flakes
  • 1/2 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1 small bunch of green onions, sliced
  • 2-3 serranos, sliced for garnish
  • 2 soft boiled eggs for garnish


In a large pot, melt the butter at medium-high heat. Add the garlic cloves and ginger. Stir often for about 30 seconds until fragrant. Add the miso paste, soy sauce, red chile flakes, and rice wine vinegar. Stir until incorporated, another 30 seconds more. Pour in the 4 cups of stock and the sesame oil. Bring to a boil. Add the chopped chicken and mushrooms. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

In a separate pot, cook the ramen according to package directions. Don’t use the seasoning packet. To serve, split the ramen noodles into two large bowls. Divide the broth between the two bowls. Garnish with green onions, serranos, and a soft boiled egg cut in half.

Weekly Reads

Because it’s Friday, I’m not working despite it almost being the 9/15 deadline, and I’m going to check out a new restaurant tonight.

That glorious photo is a pile of mole verde enchiladas I had for dinner this week. They were heavenly.

I’m clearly craving chicken this week—roasted chicken, grilled piri piri chicken, and more roasted chicken.

A taco night jams playlist? Yes please.

I have yet to succumb to the monthly box subscription, but this one has me thinking about it.

Bon Appétit killed it with this slideshow on weeknight dinners: cacio e pepe e roasted vegetables, five-minute chickpea dinner (I’m a sucker for frozen peas!), crispy sausages and greens!

Oreos! With sprinkles!

Hopefully checking out this warehouse sale extravaganza tomorrow.

Currently reading this book. Liking it. A lot.

I want one of these bags. I want all of her bags. But mostly that one.

Weekly Reads

I spent the last few days in San Diego, so instead of sharing a recipe, I’m going to share some of the things that caught my eye this week.

[Places visited this trip: Underbelly for tonkatsu ramen with oxtail dumplings; WowWowWaffle for a waffle topped with candied bacon, avocado, and goat cheese; Dark Horse Coffee because coffee; Greek Village Grill for breakfast; Cotijas Mexican Food for a surf and turf burrito; Thorn Street Brewery for a flight; Lefty’s Chicago Pizzeria for a slice of mushroom and spinach; Mission Brewery for more flights; El Compadre Taco Shop for a pollo asado quesadilla]

I’m always down for a simply roasted chicken and potatoes, but that roasted tomatillo salsa speaks to me.

Can’t deny that I wouldn’t mind going to Copenhagen. Everyone needs travel eating homies.

An interview with a rad woman doing rad stuff to support other women.

These lasagna stuffed peppers look so good.

Looks like we can start eating ugly produce–maybe it’ll be cheaper too?

More childhood nostalgia eating: cinnamon toast crunch cupcakes

Something about wrapping an apple in pie crust and then baking it sounds like my kind of dessert.

If you don’t know about Francesco Totti, you should.

Spella is always going to be my favorite coffee, but I’m not going to complain about Water Avenue moving in nearby.

The only thing better than a pop tart is a giant, party-sized pop tart.

Chicken Fajita Salad

I picked up the weirdest, most inedible avocado for this recipe. It should be no surprise that finding a ripe avocado on demand is damn near impossible around here. Your best bet is to plan ahead, since they’re usually rock hard, and age them on your counter. If you happen to find one that isn’t rock hard, odds are that it has dents from every person who came before you to squeeze it in hopes that it was the one avocado in the pile that wasn’t hard as a rock. Don’t be lured into a false sense of security. If it feels ripe, it’s not. It’s an unripe avocado bruised to high hell. Poor thing.

I thought I found something between rock and mush. It actually gave a little to the touch. I could still deal with a mostly unripe one. Desperate times call for desperate measures. When I got home and tried to cut it open, the two halves wouldn’t come apart. At all. I felt like I was hacking into a mango. After working it for a few minutes—twisting and pulling, pulling and twisting—the pit finally split in half letting me not only a half of an avocado in each hand but the pit too. As if I weren’t already thoroughly freaked out, the texture of the avocado flesh felt like plastic. It felt like a Barbie with avocado green flesh. Bizarre. A fork’s tines would barely puncture it without some serious effort. I was thoroughly creeped out. I should have just bought the guacamole that New Seasons makes. I should have known better [fyi, that wasn’t New Seasons that sold me the weird avocado, I’m pretty sure they’re better than that].

At least this salad was good without it.

Chicken Fajita Salad

Inspiration: Buzzfeed Tasty


  • 2 chicken breasts, sliced
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 5 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon chile flakes [or two if you’re me]
  • 1 head of romaine, chopped
  • 1 avocado, optional for serving


Heat two tablespoons of olive oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Add the chicken, red and yellow peppers, onion, salt, cumin, and garlic powder. Stir well to coat in oil and mix in all the spices. Cook, stirring often, for about 7-10 minutes. Once the chicken is cooked through, the peppers and onions will be soft. Remove from heat.

In a small bowl or a mason jar with a lid, add the remaining 3 tablespoons of olive oil, lime juice, sugar, and chile flakes. Whisk together if in a bowl or seal the lid on the jar and shake. Add the romaine to your serving plate or bowl before topping with the fajita mixture. Drizzle with dressing and top with avocado if you actually live in a world with good avocados.

You can mix it all together in a bowl first and serve from there, but I find that all the heavy stuff just goes to the bottom, and if you aren’t eating it in one sitting, the lettuce will inevitably get soggy. The method above avoids all that.