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iron stef

Updated: 2018-03-05T17:44:16.184-08:00


what I'm reading: food books


I have always loved to read. When I was younger you might have even called me a book worm. The rise of social media, however, has contributed to a decline in my worminess, it seems. Last year I finally renewed my library card and have gotten back on the literary wagon. I mostly read food-related books. mostly. Here is a round up of my most recent reads (click the covers for amazon links):

warm gai lan salad with salted duck egg


I was smitten with this Jamie Oliver recipe for Broccoli and egg salad with anchovies, and thought a version of it with Asian flavors would work out well. It sure did! This is a gorgeous dish, and can be eaten as a hearty side dish or, eaten on top of rice, a meat-free entree!   Warm Gai Lan Salad with Salted Duck Egg 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger 2 cloves garlic, grated 1/2 teaspoon

lemon caper salmon with yellow squash noodles


I've joined a cult.  You probably know someone in this cult. It's the cult of "I eat bread everyday!" The cult of "how many points is that?" Yeah, that cult. Don't worry, I'm not gonna talk about it all the time. It's just a little health kick-in-the-butt that I really really needed. Also if Oprah's in, I'm in. It's actually kind of a fun challenge to come up with meals that allow me

chili roasted acorn squash with kale stem pesto


I can think of a myriad reasons you should read Tamar Adler's book Everlasting Meal , and I haven't even finished reading it yet! I will be very soon, though, seeing as I have read 75% of it in under a week. That's saying a lot these days...I used to be an avid reader, but I have admittedly read fewer and fewer books over the years. I blame social media and it's erosion of my attention

happy new year!


Happy New Year, friends! I know 2016 was a pretty dismal year for the world in general. In that respect I am glad to put it behind us. Personally, though, 2016 had some good things in store for me... not the least of which happened on Christmas Eve. If you didn't spot it the first time, look closer at the photo of scrummy eggs above. Yep... Joel and I are engaged! He surprised me with the

chicken, date, almond & olive bread pudding


Sometimes I think I would be great on Chopped. Then I realize I'd probably be that fool that just makes bread pudding out of everything. Bread pudding may not be a good cooking competition strategy, but it's a good life strategy. One of my favorite things to eat for dinner, and a great way to reduce food waste by using up bread and anything else you might have in your pantry. The pantry item

szechuan celery tofu stir-fry


I've followed Fuchsia Dunlop on Twitter for years, and have heard her books are great. I can't buy every cookbook I want, though, I'm just not that much of a baller. A few weeks ago I finally got a library card again, and went through my Amazon Wishlist to reserve a bunch of the cookbooks I've been meaning to check out (see what I did there?) Dunlop's Every Grain of Rice will have to become a

tortellini casserole with acorn squash


I made this on election night to calm my nerves. Turns out I would need comfort food more than I thought :( What a terrible time in American history. I am heartbroken for my country. And yes, I plan to take action to try and make this place better for people. I wish I could bake everyone a casserole. Take care of yourselves, friends. Tortellini Casserole with Acorn Squash & Spinach -4

coconut peanut shrimp vegetable soup


  Sometimes you have a bucket of shrimp heads in your freezer, amitrite? Well, I did for months, and it was finally time to do something with them. Stock of course, but then what to make with this flavorful stock? A flavorful soup... one of my favorite kinds of soups... the kind with coconut milk and peanut butter in it! I've posted a couple Thai peanut soups on the blog. This one is

Italian shrimp & grits


My boyfriend is not from the South, but for some reason he always seems to have the ingredients for shrimp & grits on hand. I am not complaining. While figuring out dinner earlier this week, we realized, once again, the best option to use what we already had was shrimp & grits, again. We decided to change it up a bit. So, based on the fact that the sausage we had was Italian, we gave the

creamy mushroom and thyme linguine


Am I the only one who craves mushrooms and thyme regularly? Surely not. They are so delicious together! This is a pretty simple pasta dish. The only time-consuming part is prepping all the mushrooms. If you don't wanna do all that, you could just substitute pre-cleaned, pre-sliced ones. I like the variety of mushrooms, though... gives the dish a bit more flavor and depth than it would have with

new york


I haven't been to New York since 2001. Lots can change in 15 years. Back then I was just out of college, and hadn't traveled much. I wasn't yet obsessed with food...we chose restaurants based on their pop culture connections... Hello Deli from the Dave Letterman show, the diner from Seinfeld, A deli with sandwiches named after famous New Yorkers. This time food was the center of our wanderings

grilled brussel sprout naan pizza


Did you guys know that naan bread makes amazing weeknight pizza crust? You know, because you can just throw your toppings on, heat it through, and have a "pizza" in less than 30 minutes. Tonight was a lovely night for grilling and sauvignon blanc. It's still quite warm out, but a few leaves have fallen, so this pizza has a touch of fall with walnuts and Brussels sprouts. Grilled

rice krispy kremes


I work in an office where we celebrate every one's birthday. At the beginning of the year everyone writes 2 or 3 of their favorite treats on a slip of paper and we all draw some one's name. I drew my boss's name, and his requests were Rice Krispie Treats and Krispy Kreme Donuts. Not much fun for someone who likes to make things from scratch and be creative in the kitchen, but I had to grant his

succotash casserole with biscuit top


My garden surprised me. I had given up on it due to disappearing tomatoes (deer? squirrels? aliens??) and non-producing pepper plants. But the other evening as I was mowing I saw a bounty of poblano peppers and even a couple little tomatoes and some chile peppers! Praise Be! Between my garden  miracle and the last of the summer corn at the grocery store, I knew I needed to make something

bao buns with filipino fillings


My boyfriend has been instrumental in getting me to start blogging again. He loves to cook as much as I do, and in fact owns a restaurant and food truck here in St. Louis, Guerrilla Street Food. They are kind of a big deal. They serve modernized Filipino food. I've learned quite a bit about Filipino food in the past year, and I've fallen for it pretty hard. It's Island food, Asian food,

potato chicken casserole with lemon and truffle salt


There was an awesome sale on potatoes over the weekend. I'm trying to reserve my meager funds for a couple of upcoming trips, so dinners are often based on what leftovers I have and what deals I can get at the grocery store. I had some leftover baked chicken and lots of potatoes. Casseroles are always an option for me. Hanging out at home, music playing, drinking martinis, wearing a sweet

red bean & shrimp cajun tacos


Tacos. The possibilities are endless. Don't get me wrong, I could eat traditional tacos from my local taqueria weekly without ever getting sick of them. Okay I DO eat traditional tacos from my local taqueria weekly without ever getting sick of them. But it is fun to come up with newfangled ways to fill a tortilla. These Cajun tacos are a delightful amalgamation of

put a salted duck egg on it


It may not be the Year of the Egg anymore, but I'm still always looking for interesting egg recipes/applications. I found some Salted Duck Eggs at an Asian grocery store and, knowing nothing about them, bought them. You can buy them cooked or uncooked. The ones in this post were the already cooked ones, you just peel them at use however. I did some research online, but

Trout Piccata with Fennel Peach Caprese Salad


HI YOU GUYS!!!! Yeah, it's been awhile. Life, you know? I missed this.  Things have been pretty great. I could go on and on, but I think I'll just ease back into this blogging thing with these recipes and photos and virtual hugs. *HUGS*  Summer a.f.  Peach Fennel Caprese Salad - 1 fennel bulb, quartered and sliced thin - 2 tsp fennel fronds, chopped fine - 1 large tomato,

chicken pineapple bacon kebabs with coconut rice


I may have been slacking on posts, but I'm still cooking regularly. These are one of my favorite things I've been making this summer... pieces of chicken and pineapple inter weaved with bacon on a handy dandy skewer. These come together quickly enough for a weeknight meal. I've made them 3 times in the past month.  Chicken Pineapple Bacon Kebabs -14 wooden skewers, soaked for 15 minutes or

OverBites: Bek Hee


One of my first priorities when moving to a new area is to find the best pork fried rice. Because I need pork fried rice once a month. You know what I'm talkin' about, ladies. It wasn't until a write-up in the RFT that I gave Bek Hee a chance.  The restaurant came under new ownership, and those owners make really good pork fried rice. And a plethora of it: The container can barely

OverBites: Taqueria Durango


A few years ago my debit card got declined on a $3 purchase at QT. When I checked my bank account I saw that I was overdrawn because I was charged $8000 for 6 tacos at my favorite taqueria. After some phone-calls to the bank and visits to the owner it was determined that it was mistake made by the company that handles the credit transactions and everything was fixed. Every time I called the

OverBites: Woofie's Hot Dogs!


Here we go! The first restaurant in my OverBites: Eating Overland, MO series. What else would it be but a landmark: Woofie's Hot Dogs! Woofie's has been around since the 70's, and you're very likely to know of it, or know someone who has fond memories there. The inside is lined with signed photos of celebrities who have woofed down the fanciful stand's all-beef wieners. The bright,

Introducing: OverBites, Eating Overland, MO


There is a definite correlation between the date I bought my first house and the date I started slacking majorly on this blog. Houses are very time-consuming...who knew? I love my home, but I miss blogging. I think I've come up with a good way to settle into my neighborhood whilst re-entering the land of the active bloggers... That's right! A series on my favorite places to eat in Overland,