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Preview: mimi on the move

mimi on the move

mimi moved it half way round the world!

Updated: 2018-03-06T00:24:16.102-05:00


pan roasted chicken with honey mustard dressing



you'd think from this blog that i'm some sort of natural gourmand. but the truth is, i ate horribly until i met mr. mimi -- my palette was unadventurous and whatever i did eat was of the worst nutritional balance. one of the things i love about our relationship is how much i've learned and experienced with new foods over the years.

and although this dinner isn't so lofty, it was something new for me since i've never had a real honey mustard dressing before. it's embarrassing to admit, but the only honey mustard i've ever had is the sticky sweet kind in those plastic containers from random eating out at mcdonalds. and i don't mean to sound like a gourmand, but how does one ever think that is the way food tastes? mcdonalds might be an extreme comparison, and it's not like i ate junk food or fast food on a regular basis. but so much of what i used to eat that's considered "natural" was just a processed version of something that is so simple to make at home -- and dressings are a prime example. if you don't believe me, then surely you'd believe mark bittman! but if you need more proof, try this recipe that is super easy but full of flavor (aren't all donna hay recipes pretty easy but so tasty? that's why i love them).

pan roasted chicken with honey mustard dressing: serves 4
adapted from donna hay (spring 2009, issue 47)

4 chicken breasts
4 large carrots, sliced
6-8 baby potatoes, halved (or quartered if too large)
1 package of baby spinach leaves
olive oil
salt and pepper
1 tb whole grain mustard
1 tb honey
1 tb white wine vinegar

1. preheat oven to 375F. make the honey mustard dressing by combining the mustard, honey, vinegar, and 1/4 cup olive oil in bowl; set aside.

2. toss carrots and potatoes with olive oil and salt and pepper, place on baking sheet and roast for about 15-20 minutes.

3. meanwhile, salt and pepper the chicken breasts and heat oil in skillet on medium high heat. sear each side of chicken breast until golden brown, about 4 minutes each side.

4. put chicken breasts on top of carrots/potatoes on tray and continue roasting everything until chicken has internal temp of 165F, and carrots/potatoes are cooked through, about 20 more minutes.

5. toss spinach leaves with carrot and potato to warm and slightly wilt. serve with chicken breast on top and spoon over dressing to serve.

roasted fish, potato, asparagus with dill butter



just because i don't like salmon doesn't mean i don't like white fish fish (although now that i think about it, i do like salmon when it's raw suhi, but not cooked). we tend to make the same kind of fish dinners, only because we like to keep the flavors really simple and clean. this recipe is really no different, just another great combination of all the things i like -- asparagus from the farmer's market, potatoes, and capers. it's a super easy recipe, and with a great presentation and hardly any work involved at all, it would be a great option for a small dinner party, too.

roasted fish, potato, and asparagus with dill butter: serves 2
adapted from donna hay (spring, 2009 issue no. 47)

4 baby potatoes, sliced
1 lb firm white fish fillets
1 bunch thin-medium asparagus, trimmed
1 tb capers
olive oil
2 tb butter
1 tb dill leaves
salt and pepper to taste

1. preheat oven to 400F. toss potato and asparagus with olive oil and season with salt and pepper (not too much salt because of the fish and capers in the dish). place potato on baking tray and roast for 25 minutes.

2. season fish with oil, salt and pepper. add fish and asparagus to tray and roast for 15-20 minutes or until the fish is cooked through and the potatoes are golden.

3. combine the butter and dill and spoon over fish, garnish with capers and squeeze of lemon (donna roasted the capers along with the fish).

spinach salad with mango and candied pecans


it's amazing what happens when you try a fruit you hate in the place where it comes from. has that ever happened to you, with any kind of food? like you normally hate gumbo, but then you're down in new orleans (my heart hangs heavy) and get the real deal and you're like wow, this is good. six years ago (!!) mr. mimi and i enjoyed our honeymoon down in peru, and on our second week we stayed in the rainforest where of course there were fresh avocado and papaya trees, two of the fruits i typically hate eating. yeah, i know, advocado! weird, right? everyone loves avocado. well evidently i don't, unless it comes right off the tree. same with the papaya. buy me some up here in the US and i hate it. pick one off the tree in the rainforest and i love it. sure, i admit maybe it has something to do with the beauty of the place -- i fell in love with the fruit because i fell in love with being in the rainforest. i admit it because i know how closely food is tied to emotions and well-being (isn't that what "comfort food" is all about). but it's like my taste buds changed once i tasted what a real avocado should taste like. same thing with the mango. i've always hated it. but down in haiti, mango trees are everywhere. it's the fruit du jour, tourjours! the first month i was in haiti i didn't eat any. but the second month i finally succumbed to needing some fruit in my diet and hesitatingly i ate my first mango in a really, really long time.i loved it.ok, maybe i admit i was in haiti and desperate for fruit in my diet -- that any fruit would have been delicious. but the mango was so fresh and juicy, with such a sweet flavor, but not like a berry sweet, just an unfamiliar (to me) tropical sweet. so when i came back home i went on a mango binge, 10 for $10 at the grocery store, done.then i found this recipe and i was like hmm, mango and candied pecans?! what is not to like about that idea! and, indeed, i loved this salad, all three different flavors -- earthy spinach, tropical mango, and sweet candied pecans -- were wonderful. spinach salad with mango and candied pecans: serves 4adapted from bon appetit (april 2000, original recipe click here)large piece of parchment paper1/4 cup packed light brown sugar6 tb olive oil3 tb balsamic vinegar1 cup pecan halves1/2 lb baby spinach leaves2 large mangos, dicedsalt and pepper to taste 1. stir sugar, 1 tb oil, and 1 tb vinegar in skillet over medium heat until sugar melts and syrup bubbles, about 3 minutes.2. mix in pecans and stir until nuts are toasted and syrup coats evenly, about 7 minutes. turn nuts out onto parchment paper, separating them to cool completely.3. combine spinach, mango, and pecans in large bowl. whisk remaining 5 tb oil and 2 tb vinegar in small bowl to blend, season with salt and pepper. toss salad with dressing, and enjoy![...]

seared citrus salmon with dill-cucumber sauce



salmon is one of those things that i eat because i should, not because i particularly like it. not even smoked salmon with a schmear of cream cheese and capers (although doesn't that sound so hopelessly romantically new york?) but you know, it's healthy and blah blah blah so i try to eat some maybe once a month (and yes, always wild-caught alaskan).


but this salmon dinner was one i actually finished licking my lips. and i don't think it was the dill-cucumber sauce because that's just ordinary. but the orange-lemon glaze was amazing, i wish i had doubled it (though i wonder, does it follow the law of diminishing returns?) so if you're a salmon-phobe like me, do try this recipe out.

seared salmon with dill-cucumber sauce: serves 4
adapted from bon appetit (april 2005, original recipe click here)

2 tb olive oil
2 1/2 lb center-cut wild alaskan salmon fillet, pinbones removed and cut into 4 pieces
1/2 cup fresh orange juice
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
coarse sea salt and pepper to taste

for the dill-cucumber sauce
1 medium cucumber, peeled, seeded, cut into 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tb milk
2 tb chopped fresh dill
salt and pepper to taste

1. toss cucumber with salt and let stand for 30 minutes. transfer to colander and rinse well. pat dry with paper towels.

2. mix cucumber, sour cream, milk, and dill in small bowl. season with salt and pepper. cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

3. preheat oven to 375F. season salmon with salt and pepper. heat oil in oven-proof skillet on high, sear salmon skin side up for about 3-4 minutes. flip and sear skin for about 2 minutes. pour off oil (hold salmon with spatula).

4. mix orange and lemon juice and pour on top of fish, finishing in oven to 140F internal temp. the orange-lemon juice should be a bit syrupy -- pour that on top of each plated fillet. spoon the dill-cucumber sauce on the side and garnish with fresh dill.

andean bean stew with squash and quinoa



we made this back in march so again, apologies for another out of season recipe. but in my defense it is cold and rainy this week and winter squash be damned, i wouldn't have minded having a warm, cozy dinner like this last night!

the new york times runs this "recipes for health" series, although only until recently did they start including the nutritional information for each recipe. i like the way it's indexed by main ingredient so i can easily come up with dinner based on what i already have in the pantry or fridge.

even if quinoa weren't the nutritional powerhouse seed that it is, i would still always like to cook with it because i love the nutty taste, especially the red quinoa we used for this dinner. and like my previous enchilada post, this is a perfect vegetarian meal, too -- all real ingredients, easy to cook, and lots of sweet and nutty flavor. all you need is some crusty bread to offset the soft texture, and you have a perfect dinner for a cold night! and yes, it's better flavor as it sits, so a perfect left over lunch the next day, too!


andean bean stew with quinoa: serves 6
adapted from the new york times (november 2008; original recipe click here)

1 can pinto beans
1 can chopped tomatoes, with liquid
1 medium onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 lb butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1/2 cup quinoa -- make sure to rinse thoroughly
olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 tb sweet paprika
1 bay leaf
3 tb chopped fresh parsley

1. heat oil in large, heavy pot and cook onion until tender, stirring often, about 5 minutes. add paprika, cook for about 1 minute and then add garlic. cook, stirring for a minute or two, until onions and garlic are fragrant but not brown. stir in tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. cook, stirring often, until the tomatoes have slightly reduced, about 5-10 minutes.

2. add bay leaf and squash, bring to simmer and cover for 30 minutes until squash is tender. add beans and quinoa and simmer for another 20-30 minutes, until quinoa is translucent and the little white thread uncurls from the seed. season with salt and pepper if needed and serve with a sprinkling of chopped parsley.

chicken with clementine salsa



this is going to be another one of those don't look at that photo, just listen to how wonderful this dinner is kind of post. i tend to not repeat making a recipe more than once, but this is definitely going into that small pile of eat, enjoy, repeat recipes. and yes i know that it's now mid-may and past clementine season, but it never hurts to bookmark this and try out later (later, like in next winter when they returns!). or maybe you can try this with regular oranges and see how it works out. a light, easy weeknight meal originally for chicken, surely this clementine salsa would work fabulously with fish, too!

chicken with clementine salsa: serves 4
adapted from bon appetit (december 2009, original recipe click here)

4 chicken breast halves
4 clementines, diced (about 1 cup)
1 cup grape tomatoes, halved
1/2 cup finely diced red onion
1/2 cup finely diced celery
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh basil
2 tb fresh lime juice
1 serrano chile, minced
4 tb olive oil
1/2 cup clementine juice (need about 6 clementines)
salt and pepper to taste

1. place chicken breasts between two sheets of parchment paper and pound chicken to 1/4 inch thickness.

2. mix clementines and next 6 ingredients in medium bowl, with 2 tb olive oil. season with salt and pepper.

3. season chicken breasts with salt and pepper, heat 2 tb olive oil in large skillet over medium high heat. add chicken and cook until slightly browned and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. transfer chicken to platter, but do not turn off heat.

4. add clementine juice to skillet and boil until reduced to 1/4 cup, stirring often, about 2 minutes. drizzle sauce over chicken and spoon salsa on top.

sweet potato and black bean enchilada


this poorly taken photo is an embarrassment, there's so many things wrong with it! besides composition how about that white plate that looks pink? urgh. i'm determined to get myself a copy of photoshop elements this summer and give myself a proper tutorial on how to edit my digital photos. i know photo editing won't magically turn my photos into press perfect images, but it certainly will help me turn that plate white!why all the complaining about this photo? because this dinner was just so good, that i feel badly my photo can't possibly give it any justice.strange as it may sound, but i made the conscious decision to stop eating all those "fake meat" products when i decided to eat real foods, including meat. oh sure, i made a lot of great dishes from my favorite vegetarian cookbook by deborah madison but eventually convenience took over and it was as if eating vegetarian became only about pretending to eat what i didn't (boca burgers, smart bacon, etc), instead of creating new dishes that were worthy on their own. how did that ever make sense? and have you ever looked at the ingredients on those things? the list is just as long and convoluted as some of your typical processed junk food, maybe just minus the high fructose corn syrup.and that's why this dinner was just so good. it was everything that a vegetarian dish should be -- real ingredients with all the right flavors, a little sweet and a little salty, and filling without making you feel over stuffed. i started thinking that even my meat eating friends would be impressed! honestly i can't remember exactly why i liked it so much but the minute i finished it, i mentally checked it as one of those recipes i would definitely make again. so forgive me for the bad photo, because it's the only one i have, but i hope my words have at least convinced you to give it a try!sweet potato and black bean enchilada: serves 4adapted from whole foods market (original recipe click here)1 jar of green chile sauce (we cheated and bought a jar of chile sauce, but it's easy enough to make your own and it's included in the printable recipe)1 can black beans, rinsed and drained4 garlic cloves, mincedfresh juice from 1 lime2 cups cooked diced sweet potato1/2 cup chopped roasted green chilies1/2 tsp ground cumin1/2 tsp chili powdersalt and pepper to taste2 tb chopped fresh cilantro8 small flour tortillas (we couldn't find fresh corn tortillas the weekend we made this, so had to deal with the flour ones -- which technically makes it more like a mini burrito than an enchilada, but either way it's all good!)4 ounces shredded monterey jack cheese1. preheat oven to 350F. to make enchilada (mini-burrito) filling, combine the black beans with minced garlic and lime juice. toss to coat the beans and set aside.2. in separate bowl, combine the cooked sweet potatoes with the chopped green chilies, and the spices and season with salt and pepper.3. pour about 1/4 cup of the green chile sauce on to the bottom of a large baking dish. assemble each enchilada separately by laying the first tortilla in the baking dish, wetting it with the sauce. spoon 1/8 of the sweet potato mixture down the center and top with 1/8 of the black bean mixture. wrap and roll to the end of the baking dish, and repeat with the remaining tortillas.4. spoon any leftover mixture around the sides, top with a generous coating of the chile sauce, and sprinkle with the shredded cheese.5. bake for 20-25 minutes or until they're piping hot and sauce is bubbling around the edges. mid-way through, we topped with a little bit of chile sauce to keep the flour tortillas from drying out (not sure if this is an issue with corn, but you might want to just check).[...]

fish and fowl: origins unknown



even though i wasn't on my blog doesn't mean i wasn't actually cooking and taking photographs. i actually have quite a few photographs of some tasty meals that i'm going through now, some very good, indeed.

then there is this one that i remember being very tasty, but for the life of me i can't remember where i got the recipe from and i've looked everywhere. you can google something like fish, fennel, orange and get a recipe or two to try out. but none of them were the one i used. besides the tomato base it also looks like there is some sliced potatoes in there, too. i wish i could remember as fennel is one of my favorite vegetables!


and here's another origins unknown photo. although i remember that this one wasn't from a recipe, but just a dish that we created. evidently we must have been in a tomato phase, even though these were both made in the dead of winter. so much for seasonality! but a sauce of chopped carrots, onions, and tomatoes over grilled chicken and topped with capers -- not sure how exactly we made it, but still looks tasty!

haiti in words, no photos


what a start to 2010! so far, half the year was spent working in haiti, alongside some incredibly dedicated people trying to protect the children in their communities. it’s always the people that i meet and work with that keeps me wanting to go back out for more. many of you ask me what it was like there; here’s one story. when i was there in february, the scenes of huge piles of concrete rubble and the wrenching stories you'd hear were always worse than whatever i saw or heard on television. it’s one thing to hear about 100 nurses who died as they were in a training; it’s another thing to be hearing the story as you're standing next to the collapsed building that still entombs them under rubble and dust. my driver showed me photographs he kept in the glove compartment of his fiancée who died in the earthquake; he showed me where his house once stood, and now these photos that he salvaged from the rubble was his an expat bystander the whole atmosphere wasn’t so much depressing, as just chaotic and overwhelming – only so many ways to help, only so much resources, but everywhere you drove by were immense needs not being met. signs made out of bed sheets, pleading for food, water, and medicine. and when the heavy rains came, it brought relief from the heat, but you knew it brought muddy misery and drenched nights for the thousands others not as lucky to have shelter. and the fear that lingered in the beating roar from the chopper blades of every helicopter overhead, or the deep vibrations that shook the walls when each mack truck rumbled along on the street, not to mention the real aftershocks that happened on a regular basis. everyone ran in panic, or just stood there frozen, feverishly hoping that this, too, shall pass. then i went back in april, and the scenes were still the same – everywhere were still huge piles of concrete rubble and twisted rusted metal. nearly everywhere were colorful buildings partially collapsed that still looked ready to tumble into the road, and onto people, any minute. i can't even come close to adequately describing the panorama of physical destruction that still dominates the landscape. and almost everywhere were those blue and gray plastic tent cities (bed sheet cities for those still not as lucky to have shelter), people camped out with barely nothing, or people being moved by the government to where there was even less – to huge barren fields of gravel with no green trees or natural sources of water, under the hot haitian sun. the streets of port au prince were choked again with colorful tap-taps, careening trucks, motorbikes, people, mounds of trash, and stray dogs – everything kicking up dust and filling the city's winding mountainous streets with a crash course just waiting to happen. but one thing was different about the street scenes this time, and you immediately noticed it. as we drove to the office at 7am, you now saw children in bright uniforms, smartly pressed. boys with neat haircuts and girls with pigtails and braids with big plastic colorful barrettes and ties. all wearing a backpack, often too big for their little bodies, and sometimes carrying a lunch bag, too. walking with their caregiver (here in haiti you can never assume that adult is necessarily the child’s parent), or maybe walking with their older sibling, carefully navigating between all the traffic and other people, and on their way back to school. it’s a naïve cliché to smile at the sight and sounds of small children on their way to school, brightly dressed. but here in haiti, you can’t help yourself. because you take in this scene like a colorful breath of fresh air amongst all the panorama of gray rubble. even after i kept seeing it every morning, i kept breathing it in, and nothing could temper my feeling that things are going to be ok. well, alright i adm[...]

holidays at home: lemon-caper crusted turbot and roasted rack of lamb


the holidays were quiet at the mimis, in a new city without having many new friends yet. i don't feel quite at home, yet. my stuff is here, but it still doesn't seem like something i can really nestle into (which only makes it worse to own so much stuff). i had the small epiphany that for every other apartment we've lived in, we always made sure to paint the walls of each room before moving in. i always thought it made the rooms show off our personality, and i guess now that my walls here are pure white, a palette of color made those old apartments feel like home, too.

but i'm too lazy (and uncertain of the future) to take the time and effort to paint the walls now that we've moved in. the only way to create some sense of comfort is in our cooking. so we decided that for both christmas and new year's eve, we would stay inside, trying to recreate the warmth of home with dinners that would hopefully make us feel like there was nowhere else to be.

we originally had this idea of crab stuffed sole for christmas eve, but when we got to whole foods (sadly, we haven't found a "real" fish monger here in DC, yet. we miss blue moon!) the turbot looked unbelievably fresh, as if you could eat it as sashimi. mr. mimi's dictum is always buy the freshest looking fish, even if it isn't what you thought of making. so we bought a fillet and crusted it with some lemon breading, broiled with white wine, and garnished with capers and chives.


for new year's eve, it was the rack of lamb that was looking the freshest that afternoon and who am i to refuse a beautiful rack! i guess i'm making up for all those years i didn't eat any, but i just love lamb.we cooked this up with a port wine reduction glaze, with deep roasted garlic and rosemary. it was all so rich and delicious, for a moment there, it almost felt like home again.


milo loves lamb, too.


hello, again


it's been 4 months, nearly to the day. i know a lot of you aren't reading anymore, or should i say i know that many of you probably don't have me in your reader feed anymore since there was nothing more to first i was going to blame it on work, and say it's not my fault, i was in the philippines responding to the emergency after typhoons pepeng and ondoy. and i was, but that was back in october and only for 4 weeks. so what happened to the other 3 months?(for my other photos from the philippines, they're all on flickr).and then i was going to blame it on this sort of late-early life crisis i'm having. you know the kind where you go wtf am i doing with my life? and perhaps it coincides with me coming back from the philippines because after i read this beautiful writing, i was left with that painful feeling that even though everything i've been doing for the last several years has me on the path to the success i've always envisioned for myself, now that i can see it closer, that version of success doesn't really seem to be what i want, afterall. or when i think about it honestly, that version of success doesn't match with what makes me happy, day in and day out.but i'm still here, cooking and taking photographs, and occasionally baking. and what better way to start off this little blog again, then by sharing a quick and easy hors d'oeuvres that could easily start off your new years eve party coming up (we made them to start off our christmas eve dinner). i found these on smitten kitchen, who happened to find them on the nytimes. they just looked so good on her blog i knew i had to try them. i made slight variation here and there, sometimes based on what we had in the fridge (sour cream instead of heavy cream) and sometimes based on the "classic" french method mr. mimi knows best (see note below). but they disappeared as soon as they were done. so easy, delicious, and does exactly what an hors d'oeuvres should -- whet your appetite for the next course! so let these tasty creamed mushroom toasts whet your appetite for my blog again. i promise i'll be back soon with the rest of the holiday dinner, and lots more kitchen adventures for next year! creamed mushrooms on chive toast: serves 2-4 (it served 2 of us gluttons, but you could, i guess, serve 4 people with this recipe)adapted from smitten kitchennote: this mixture is basically a standard duxelles. the original nytimes article, and smitten kitchen's recipe, has you chop the mushrooms to 1/4" and then cook. but to prepare this in the "classic" french method, the mushrooms are roughly chopped (or even not at all if they're small enough) and then after cooking, finely diced. the reason for this is because of the relative high water content of the mushrooms. cooking them on high heat nearly whole (or in bigger pieces) will make them brown nicely and sear in this moisture. i'm sure another reason is because the french like to make things more complicated than they seem, bien sûr! :-)1/2 lb cremini and shiitake mushrooms2 tbs butter1 large shallot, chopped2 tbs dry white wine1-2 tb sour creamsalt + pepper, to tastechallah or brioche bread, 4 slices about 1/2" thick and then cut into points or other shapes1 tb chopped chives1. brush off dirt from mushrooms, de-stem, and chop mushroom caps. 2. melt butter in skillet over medium-high heat, add shallot and sauté until translucent, about 3 minutes. turn heat to high, add mushrooms and cook, stirring, for about 10 minutes. mushrooms should be soft, and a deep golden shiny color. add wine and de-glaze, reduce until almost dry, about 2 minutes. 3. put the mushroom-shallot mixture back on the cutting board, and finely dice. return to the skillet on medium heat. temper sour cream and add to mixture (you could use regular heavy cream instead). season with salt [...]

grilled lamb chops with salmoriglio sauce


wow for someone who was vegetarian for about a decade, i do seem to eat a lot of meat now!! it's not something i'm necessarily happy about. i would be lying if i said i didn't like the taste of certain pieces of meat. but i would be definitely lying if i said it didn't make me feel morally conflicted. i try to assuage this conflict by at least only buying locally raised meats from the farmer's markets. this past weekend i went to a new farmer market (new for me folks, and that was thankfully light years better than that other one i tried out) and some of the farms even had photo albums of all their happy chickens, sheep, pigs, and bison in real fields and mucking grounds. it certainly convinced me that, indeed, these animals probably lived their lives as naturally as possible. but it made it that much harder for me to look at those photos and then buy a piece of cryovacked loin. but like i read somewhere recently, these chickens had a really good life for several months and then one very bad day. i don't mean for this to devolve into a manifesto of sorts, although i do believe too little attention is paid to what we put into our bodies. i spend the majority of my disposable income on food. i believe that i should spend an equal amount of thought and conscious effort in making sure i know the provenance of that food. if not because of the animal i am eating, or the inevitable environmental damage, but at least because of the very fact that i am ingesting it!i might think a lot about food, but when it comes to cooking, simpler is a lot of times better! i was looking for a new lamb chop recipe and came across this unassuming idea. salmoriglio is a strong, pungent lemon-herb sauce, originally form calabria and sicily. i could not believe how delicious it was! if you like lamb, please try this recipe! and then we can go back to debating whether i should be vegetarian again :-)grilled lamb chops with salmoriglio sauce: serves 4from gourmet (may 2000, original recipe click here1 1/2 tb finely chopped fresh oregano1 1/2 tb finely chopped fresh thyme2 tsp freshly grated lemon zest1 1/2 tb fresh lemon juice1 tsp coarse saltsalt + pepper to taste6 tb olive oil4 shoulder-blade lamb chops1. grind herbs, zest, lemon juice, and 1 tsp coarse salt to a paste with a mortar and pestle. transfer to bowl and add oil in slow stream, whisking until emulsified. season with salt and pepper to taste.2. pat lamb dry and season with salt and pepper. heat a lightly oiled well-seasoned ridged grill pan over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. then grill lamb, turning once about 4 minutes on each side for medium-rare.3. spoon sauce over lamb. if this is how the sicilians eat, then i need to move there. [...]

chicken fajitas with mojo de ajo


when i lived in new york city i had a favorite quick, cheap mexican place as a go-to for dinner. it wasn't nearly "authentic" mexican, but somewhere between that and the oozy, greasy, cheesy, incarnation that tex-mex often becomes. it had all the usuals, and normally i like fajitas because i'm such a sucker for sizzling platters of food! but i wasn't terribly fond of the fajitas at this particular place because while sizzling in temperature, it never seemed to really dazzle me in when i saw this recipe in martha's magazine a couple months ago i definitely wanted to try it. and fajitas are one of those recipes where one can think, do i really need a recipe? cut up some peppers, onions, meat and toss it in a hot skillet! and true, it doesn't really get (and shouldn't get) much more complicated than that. but i was really curious about this "mojo de ajo," especially since we loved bobby flay's mojo on a grilled pork tenderloin.evidently mojo is the cure-all because it's definitely what my go-to place was missing in their fajitas! plus the combination of thighs and breasts (gee, that phrase seems awkward, huh?!) made it so much more flavorful. we only served ours with guacamole and pico, no cheese or sour cream (the guacamole is creamy enough!) i think this is a perfect dish for impromptu summer dinner -- quick, easy, and ready to share with friends or family! chicken fajitas with mojo de ajo: serves 4adapted from martha stewart living (june 2009, original recipe click here)mojo de ajo1/4 cup olive oil3 tb minced garlic (4-6 cloves)3 tb fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)1 tsp red-pepper flakes1/2 tsp coarse saltfajitas1 tb olive oil1/2 large onion, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices (about 1 cup)1 large green bell pepper, cut into 1/2 inch thick slices1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breast, sliced 1/2 inch thick8 oz boneless, skinless chicken thighs (about 2), slicked 1/2 inch thick8 small 6-inch flour tortillas, warmedsalt + pepper to tasteguacamolepico de gallo1. make the mojo: cook oil and garlic in small saucepan over low heat until garlic is soft and fragrant, about 8 minutes. remove from heat, stir in lime juice, red pepper, and salt.2. heat large skillet over high heat, add oil and gently coat. add onion and bell pepper, season with salt. cook, stirring frequently, until onion is bornwed in spots and pepper has softened slightly with blistered skins, about 5 minutes. 3. add chicken, salt, and stir and cook until chicken is browned and thoroughly cooked, 5-7 minutes (you can finish in the oven if you chose). 4. add mojo de ajo, and stir to coat. season with salt and pepper. serve immediately with guacamole, pico de gallo, and warm tortillas![...]

pork chops with rhubarb-raisin compote



yes, yes i'm still here!! although i have had a lousy track record, these past two weeks were not entirely my fault for not posting. i finally started a new job, yay! but it meant leaving my beloved new york city, sniff sniff.

except i haven't had really any time to mourn the loss of living in the best city in the USA because i received the offer one week, and moved myself down the next weekend (with the faith that i would be lucky enough to find an apartment in a day, and not be camping out on a park bench), and started working last week! i'm still living in a basically empty room -- i'm living on an aerobed and not much else! -- because the rest of my belongings don't come down until next weekend. and hopefully mr. mimi will follow soon thereafter.

so you see my absence was not intentional, and to prove it here's a post about an obviously previously made dinner. why obviously? because folks, it has rhubarb!! and we all know the peak rhubarb season is only in spring. i was a little late to the party because i was in nigeria, but there were still some good bunches left in june.


we didn't have cherries so we used the raisins from the pantry. the compote (as expected) was delicious and could easily be used with a chicken dish as well. in this heat of august you probably won't find any good rhubarb around, but bookmark this for next spring and i'm sure you'll love it!

for the recipe, click here.

tangy sweet coleslaw



wow, you're still here?! thank you for hanging in there with my non-existent blogging. i'm not sure why i've been so quiet since i returned from nigeria.

i think part of it was because i kept a daily journal while i was there in order to reflect on what i saw and felt and also to keep my sanity when i was lonely. and when i was really, completely, desperately bored and lonely i would actually write backwards. yes, longhand writing but with the letters and sentences written backwards -- sort of like in a neurotic heeere's johnny kind of way. so to be back home and not have to write at all felt liberating.

another reason was because my taste buds were so disappointed when i first came home. my last week in nigeria i really started thinking about foods from home. i mean, the best thing about living in new york city is its sheer variety of cuisines. but when i came home, nothing tasted good at all. restaurant or home cooked -- everything was bland, nothing was satisfying. i was cranky and that made me crave even less, which only made me more cranky.

what slowly pulled me back to american style food was the grill. and everything that dining al fresco in my own backyard brings with it -- the charred meats, longer nights, white wine, and relaxation.



one of the first grills we had was baby back ribs, something i've never had before. actually i don't think i've ever had any kind of rib before. i liked them, although i don't know if i'd necessarily make them again [mr. mimi interjects here, "whaddaya mean?!? they were great, you loved them!" -- i did?! i honestly can't remember, which makes me believe that i didn't.]

but i found a great slaw to go with it. coleslaw is so easy to make, there's no reason to buy supermarket slaw that's gooped up with heavy mayo and all sorts of preservatives. this slaw by martha uses half mayo, half plain yogurt and it was refreshing. i was on the fence about the tomatoes -- i like tomatoes, and it adds color, but i didn't like the soft texture with the rest of the crunchy slaw. either way, if you invited me to your potluck grill, i might bring this side with me! for the recipe, click here.


good-bye nigeria, hello new york


my workday lunch spotit's been a week since i left nigeria. it all went by so quickly. you wouldn't know it since i haven't posted anything in like forever, oops!! people keep asking me if experienced "culture shock" in nigeria? honestly, not at all. i'm not sure why? i guess because i lived in the capital city and my travels were to large cities as well. i mean, yeah life was a little different here and i ate different food and listened to different music and saw some of the poorest of the poor. but it's not like i was living in a bedouin tent in the middle of the sahara, going to work on camel back for the past three months.i bring home many stories with me, some that i will share, some that i will just hold in my visual and mental memory. i might not have experienced culture shock but i definitely understood that my life is very different, and not because of me as a person -- but only because of the sheer circumstance of where i happen to live. before i left i bought my taxi driver a goodbye gift, we were in the store together and i told him to pick out something for himself. he immediately proceeded to show me an electric hair shaver. i was like umm, ok if that's what you want??!! it cost 2,300 naira (about $18). to me that wasn't expensive but to him (and to anyone of his class), that was a generous gift. but i was thinking -- of all the gifts you want me to buy, you pick out an electric hair shaver??!!on the car ride home he gave profuse thanks, and appreciated how generous i was and how happy he was. i asked if he had one already but was broken? he said no he doesn't have one, he goes to the barber and his son goes too -- but he worries about HIV/AIDS infection and so he is so grateful that he can now cut his hair and his son's hair at home. and immediately i realized, to me it was just 2,300 naira spent as a gift for a friend here, but to him it meant so much more -- to him, to his wife, to his family. that's when i realized what the real difference -- the real "shock" -- is between me and everyone i met there. it's not about their culture or what they eat or wear or how they live. it's the fact that i go to the salon and get my haircut and my only worry is i hope it doesn't look like crap. my friend goes to the barber and he worries about being infected with HIV/AIDS. i tried to anticipate how i might feel when i'm back in new york city. i remember when i came home from a two month stay in geneva. i hated the city, i hated the noise and sidewalk litter. i absolutely hated the MTA (can ya blame me there?!) -- but in about a week i fell back in love again with all the things that's amazing about new york. this time is a bit different. i've never had to deal with such noise pollution (honk, honk, hooonk, HOOONKKKKK!!) as i've had in the streets of abuja. so now new york city is like an oasis of calm and quiet! but a week later and i still don't feel quite at home. i have less patience for the constant jockeying along the hipness and coolness spectrum that is the circus life of new york -- even if i don't join in on the circus, it's become tiringly annoying to watch. i also don't have my tastebuds back yet -- everything i eat leaves me unsatisfied.but in my downtime i'm catching up on the (literally) thousands of blog posts i've missed in my google reader and i can't wait to start cooking and baking again -- i promise mimi on the move will be busy again soon![...]

nigerian field visits photos


As most of you know I'm in Nigeria for four months to finish my masters, working with an international NGO.This past week I was able to visit the three child protection teams in northern Nigeria -- Bauchi, Kano, and Kaduna. It was a great experience, and sits with me deeply. All my senses were taking it in -- the sights of the never ending rubbish, goats at every turn of the road. The smells of all those motorbikes, rubbish fires, and at times, sewage. The sounds of all those motorbikes, the hawking, the mosque calls to prayers. The taste of northern Nigeria cuisine, which even the same basic item (fried yams) tasted different. And of course, the children. I'm not sure what I think. On one hand, it's easy to be angry when every corner in Kano has a bunch of Almaijari boys begging at every car that passes by -- you spot them by their plastic bowls. Boys are sent to the Almaijari "schools" which are Koranic boarding schools where neither the Koran or any form of education is taught. Instead, they are forced on the streets to beg. Millions of boys in northern Nigeria are in this situation.But it becomes much more complicated when you travel to the communities. Beyond the poverty, you see so many children during the day who should be in school -- in the streets, hawking, working, caring for other children. It's like another world -- especially in Kano, where these communities are basically a hidden world from the main tar streets. But it's not just as easy to say "well, they should all be in school!" At the schools -- the children enrolled are easily identified by their uniforms, but many more children hang around the schools who are not receiving an education. However the reaction of the children to the foreign oyibos are always the same regardless. With the little ones, it was like a running, screaming mob. For the older ones, we would walk into a classroom, and they would all be hushed by the teacher. They would sometimes sing a song, or merely say in their loudest, proudest English a big "dank you!" -- and once we walked out, it was like pandemonium as squeeling of delight and wonder filled the room. It was impossible not to hear the children and see their laughs and smiles -- and feel relieved and happy. But at the same time -- I always wondered how naive or presumptuous I was to feel that. How cliche, right?And for the moment you were all waiting for -- yes I took photos, finally!! I didn't get as many photos of images/experiences that I wanted to. Mainly because I was "working" and not travelling, where I could stop as I'd like. And even when I did get to take photos, it never seemed to capture what I was seeing/feeling. But they are up on flickr, so click on this link to view --[...]

three random stereotypes that are relatively true


1. women carry huge amounts of X, Y, Z balanced on their heads -- well, this is only partly true because plenty of men are hawking items along the street, even if the majority are women. but you see them everywhere, balancing a huge bowl of bananas, mangos, water, rice, etc etc while walking down the hot, dusty sidewalks. i try not to be impressed by such feats of balance but more than once i wish i could try to do such balancing myself without (a) dropping the load on my feet like the lame oyibo i am or (b) appearing condescending or naive like the out of touch oyibo i am. 2. nigerians drive like shit -- ok, you want me to be kinder and gentler? how about they drive like crazy crap. this is something that photos cannot do justice to, nor even mere narrative. i cannot describe what riding around in a taxi is like here -- this is something that can only be experienced first hand. but all those rumors i heard about driving on sidewalks, cutting people off, no headlights at night, burn-out car crashes in the middle of the road etc etc are very much true here.part of the problem is that there are too many cars. everyone owns his/her own car because taking taxis all the time can add up pretty quickly (i should know). so it's a source of pride -- you always see people cleaning up their cars to a glittering sheen, whether it's a brand new peugot or a beat-up 20+ year old volkwagen with no door handles and cracked windshield. however, once they get on the road -- it's the law of step aside bitch, me first. i like to believe they don't necessarily do this with malicious intent. the truth of the matter is the process of getting a driver's license consists of forking over the required "fee" and there you go, you're ready to drive! it's all about money, baby. so i say a good majority of the drivers out there have never really "learned" how to drive. so a road technically wide enough for 3 lanes easily becomes a 4 lane road. or even funnier, when the 3 lane road becomes a 2 lane road -- nigerians seem to love to think of lane markings as what you drive over, as if it's a monorail tracking. i've finally gotten used to 4-way intersections with no street lights where the law of step aside bitch, me first is quite an adventure. basically i hold my breath and hope not to get side swiped. only one taxi ride (out of many) have i ever felt "are these my last thoughts? am i going to die here in abuja, alone, in this taxi?" -- but it still doesn't get any easier. 3. nigerians love obama and think of him as a brother -- this is also very much true from my unscientific sampling of taxi drivers and other local folks. the best conversation i've had about obama though was from a taxi driver who was amazed that a black man could become president of the US -- his voice was filled with awe and he felt that made the US a wonderful country where anything was possible, and he only hoped for such greatness to be able to happen in his country. i admit (and i don't even like obama) that i was pretty proud to be representin'!tomorrow i leave for nothern nigeria -- bauchi, kano, and kaduna -- for a week of field site visits. bauchi recently had some riot troubles, but the curfew has been lifted and so we're going ahead. i'm pretty excited, especially to see historical kano. this is supposed to be work and i'm not really supposed to act like a tourist but i hope to have time to see the famous dye pits and the ancient city walls (what's left of them). i'm also bringing my camera so hopefully i'll have photos soon![...]

abuja, nigeria


it’s been over two weeks here in nigeria and i still haven’t written. i guess partly that’s because there is no cooking or baking to tell you about. it is so hot (even by nigerian standards - every day has been easily over 100F degrees) that the thought of turning on the stove or oven seems a cruel punishment. but hot weather has never deterred me before.

then i realized it’s because i don’t have any one here to share it with. i never think of food as purely sustenance. i’m fascinated by the rituals, customs, and habits of people sharing food. i enjoy cooking and baking because i enjoy sharing it with others. my fondest memories are embedded in events surrounded with food. baking is a solitary activity for me - but it's always shared with others afterwards. and my favorite part of cooking is doing it together with mr. mimi. so when it comes to cooking or baking by myself, and for myself - i’m at a loss.

so unless you want to hear random stories about nigeria i probably won’t be writing much here. if i bring out my camera maybe i’ll post some photos. right now i’ve only been using my iphone to take quick photos - certainly not blog-worthy!

until next time, as they say here - you’re welcome!

banana bundt cake



how appropriate that i'm here on a tuesday with a dorie recipe. it's bittersweet because i no longer bake along with the lovely tuesdays with dorie group, although i do follow many of them along the way. i don't believe this one has been made by the group yet, but i know they will love it once they do!

this was my first time making a bundt cake in order to justify buying the pan a couple months ago!

so simple, and probably my favorite recipe so far. it came out so moist and the banana-sour cream flavor was perfect. when googling around to find an online print of the recipe, i found that dorie made these into banana cake muffins with half the recipe - what a terrific idea for an easy portable breakfast treat!


for dorie's banana bundt cake recipe, click here. i did not use chocolate (the book recipe does not include it either), but i did add a lemon glaze once it cooled.

for some strange reason, this is my fourth post on banana baking! i either really love bananas, or i routinely let them brown-rot far too often. but for other banana bread/cake ideas, click here or here or here.

orange cream cheese muffins with pepita crunch


citrus is pretty much my favorite fruit and one of the very few reasons i can tolerate winter at all! however, when i was a wee girl of about 6 impressionable years i was at a family dinner function of sorts. towards the end, fresh fruit was served, including orange wedges. after eating mine and leaving the rinds on my plate, one of my ornery uncles cleverly said "hey, why aren't you eating those? you're supposed to eat all the orange parts!" i had never heard such a thing but i was the quintessential curious kid, so i bit off a big piece of the rind ..... and a thousand glasses of water couldn't get rid of that bitter, awful taste!!ever since then i've had an unnatural, neurotic obsession with peeling off every dangling piece of rind and white pith whenever i peel an orange. yes, even though i know the white pith has all that good nutrition! but what can i say, my taste buds were traumatized and now i can only have my oranges i was a bit wary, to say the very least, with this recipe that asks for the orange - flesh, pith, and rind! - to be incorporated. as a pre-caution, i zipped it to a pulp.but my fears were unwarranted, because these muffins turned out so good. i'd even prefer them a bit more orangey (maybe a round 1/4 cup?) and the pepita crunch was a lovely topping. here's to a yummy breakfast treat!orange cream cheese muffins with pepita crunch: makes 12*from great coffee cakes, sticky buns, muffins & more (2007, p. 106)for pepita crunch1 large egg white (reserve yolk)2 tb plus 1 tsp sugar1/2 cup pepitas1. preheat oven to 350F. spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray or line with parchment. in small bowl, whisk together egg white and 1 tb of sugar. add pepitas and toss well. pour onto cookie sheet and spread evenly in single layer. sprinkle 1 more tb of sugar over pepitas. bake for 7-8 minutes.2. stir pepitas with fork and bake for another 7 minutes. stir pepitas again, sprinkle with remaining 1 tsp of sugar and bake for another 3 minutes. remove and allow to cool; set aside.for muffins1/2 small navel orange, cut into 6-8 pieces (rind, pith, and flesh)4 oz cream cheese, room temp, broken into 3-4 pieces2 cups all-purpose flour1/2 tsp baking powder1/2 tsp salt1/4 tsp baking soda1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, slightly firm1 cup sugar2 large eggs1 egg yolk (from pepita crunch)1 tsp vanilla1. increase oven to 375F. whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and bakng soda; set aside.2. turn on food processor and drop orange pieces through the tube. process until finely chopped. measure out 1/4 cup pulp and return to food processor bowl (discard any excess orange). add cream cheese and process in three 10-second intervals, scraping the sides after each. 3. but butter into 1-inch pieces and with electric mixer and paddle attachment, mix on medium speed until smooth and light, about 1 minute. stop and add cream cheese/orange mixture, mix on medium 1 more minute. add sugar in steady stream, then blend in eggs, yolk, and vanilla.4. reduce mixer to slow and add flour mixure in three additions, mixing until just blended after each addition. 5. portion level scoops into muffin pan. sprinkle top of each with 1 tb of pepita crunch. be sure to use any sugar that remains in the pan. 6. bake for 22-25 minutes, rotating halfway through, until golden brown and tops are spingy. cool on rack.* note: despite ms. walter's annoying insistence on making 14 muffins in her recipes, i just whip up the whole batter and make 12 and it's never been a problem. however, i have to wonder, why write rec[...]

roasted chicken stuffed with dried fruits


how fitting that my election night post was about roasted chicken, and here we come back to roasted chicken for today.besides my political dreams, as an adolescent i also thought i was going to be a famous artist. i'd skip classes for days on end to be in the art class studio all afternoon. i was passionate about van gogh, cezanne, and kandinsky. i loved hopper. i was sure i was going to be the next contemporary brice marden or julian schnabel.then my tortured adolescence of drawing and painting came to an end, but i still loved visuals - typography, design, illustration. and so when i ended up working at a bookstore, i was always a sucker for the cover of a book. i bought man without qualities because when both volumes are put together, the spines are a image of his face. and no, i have never gotten past page 100, but i still love that cover.another thing i learned working at the bookstore is that the holidays are prime cookbook buying time. who knew? but several years ago we joined that tradition and bought claudia roden's middle eastern book for someone. back then i was pretty ignorant and all i knew about middle eastern food was your standard kebabs, hummus, and tabouli. and i was definitely ignorant about what a great writer claudia roden is. she doesn't just give recipes, she's a storyteller - of food, history, and culture. honestly i really didn't know anything except that this book had a gorgeous cover! so gorgeous in fact that i had to buy a copy for ourselves the next year.and after all that babbling, all i have to say is: make this chicken. you will love it.roasted chicken stuffed with dried fruits: serves 4-6adapted from claudia roden's new book of middle eastern food (excellent book, highly recommended, 2000, p. 225)1 chicken, about 3 1/2 - 4 lbs (preferably organic, humane)1 onion, finely choppedbutterolive oil1/2 lb dried prunes, soaked, pitted, and chopped1/2 lb dried apricots, soaked pitted, and chopped1/3 cup raisins, soaked2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (a specific type is not mentioned; we used granny smith)salt + pepper1 tsp cinnamon1. preheat oven to 325F. fry the chopped onion in 2 tb butter until soft and golden. add chopped fruits and raisins and sauté for a few minutes. season to taste with salt, pepper, and cinnamon. 2. stuff the chicken with some of this mixture, securing the opening with a toothpick. rub chicken with olive oil, salt, and pepper. put the remaining mixture in a roasting pan. place the chicken - breast side down - on top of the mixture. salt and pepper. (this roasting method of breast side down is unsual, but mr. mimi is convinced what gave the chicken such great flavor and moistness and wants to try it with other dishes.)3. roast the chicken for about 1 1/2 hours total, turning the chicken over after 40 minutes. serve the chicken with the extra stuffing mixture, accompanied by rice. [...]

honey shortbread cookies


i admit, i only wanted to make this because (a) it has five ingredients, easy-parcheesi! and (b) i've never made shortbread before. can you believe i've never made shortbread - even though trefoils are my third favorite (behind thin mints and samoas, of course!)??well i'm glad that oversight was rectified because these are some the yummiest cookies i've ever made! everyone knows that the combo of sweet and salty is near goodliness, and for any skeptics, the case was confirmed with that famous new york times article last year that caused legions of bloggers to take note and bake away with a little sprinkling of sea salt!i used a scant 1/2 tsp of fleur de sel instead of kosher. all i had in the pantry was wildflower honey, which i normally find too floral but once it caramelized it was fine. and of course, the sprinkling of salt made it perfect!sprinkling or pour? as you can see, i was a wee bit generous with the salt. but i am someone who will pick popcorn and chips over chocolate and ice cream any day, so - uh - i guess that means no problem for me! but even my sweets obsessed mr. mimi thought it was just fine. so i guess it just looks too salty in photos even though technically it didn't taste over-salted. also, it was a teeny tiny bit crumbly when i cut the slices. but only really at the narrow apex and it totally had no impact whatsoever on the "oh. my. goodness, these are so insanely yummy!" that we mumbled between each bite.the recipe suggestion was to serve once cooled completely, although i preferred the cookie just on the edge of slightly warm. mr. mimi preferred them room temp to better appreciate the sandiness of cookie. in the end, i would have preferred if i didn't eat almost all of them!for the fine cooking recipe, click here. i am also sending this on over for the weekend cookbook challenge of five ingredients or less! [...]

chunky peanut, chocolate, and cinnamon cookies



i have finally settled back into new york city after a really great holiday vacation in san diego, san francisco, and sonoma. and now i have just a little more than two and a half weeks before i leave for nigeria.

it's a strange feeling not having a place to report to. since i can remember, i have always had to - in theory, folks - be at work or in class. but now, in between a few school papers due and and a couple of travel-related errands, i really have nothing to do.

i guess i should cherish this downtime, but i have heard i will have lots of it in abuja!! so i decided to take the next two weeks and bake every day. all those things i have wanted to try again and get right, all those bookmarked blogs, and tagged book pages. of course, i can't get to it all, but there is really no excuse to start having fun again in the kitchen.


so sit back and enjoy the treats. my first bake is by request of mr. mimi: chunky peanut, chocolate, and cinnamon cookies. honestly, i hardly tasted any cinnamon, but they were still very good. i did add the vanilla in with the wet ingredients instead of at the end (as instructed) because it just seemed very weird to me to do otherwise.

i used the recipe from her book, in which she suggests that you can make ahead and bake-off when needed. simply form the dough into 1-inch balls, flatten them slightly, freeze them on cookie sheets until firm. keep in resealable plastic bags for up to one month. i froze about 3/4 of the dough and baked some off last night. i love that i have cookies waiting for me in the freezer!

for the online version, click here.

happy new year!


i wanted to try to blog while on vacation ... but alas, vacation took over ;-)now vacation is coming to an end and in just a few more days i'll be back home freezing my tuchus off in cold, wintery new york city. i don't have any food-related items to chat about now (plenty of eating, just not any cooking involved, it is vaca after all!) but i'm a list-lover. so when i came across these two from mary schmich of the chicago tribune via nonsociety (yes, i admit it, my daily guilty pleasure) i had to be a virgoan over-achiever and fill out both of them. enjoy and i'd love to see what's on your list!(click here and here to see both original lists)looking back on 2008- I gained two very good friends- I lost the patience to sit through classes that bore me to tears- I stopped thinking about my ex-friend who was never my friend to begin with- I started eating meat again- I was hugely satisfied by our visit to kruger park- And frustrated by the inability to connect- I am so embarrassed that I was socially awkward in front of my new friend- Once again, I googled RL and couldn’t find her- Once again, I did not run a 5k- The biggest physical difference between me last December and this December is I lost 10 lbs … but I think I gained it all back on this vaca ☹- The biggest psychological difference between me last December and thisDecember is more confusion- I loved spending time playing tennis- Why did I spend even two minutes trying to chase that which was not going to be mine?- I should have spent more time riding my bike- I regret buying so much clothing- I will never regret buying our trip to south africa even though with that money I could have bought a lower credit card bill- I procrastinated way too much- I didn’t become healthy enough- H drove me crazy- Was our annual holiday party crazier than ever last year? Or was it me?- The most relaxing place I went was south africa- I feel so happy when I write that down- Why did I go to social work school?- The best thing I did for someone else was forgive- The best thing I did for myself was buy a mac- The best thing someone did for me was give me the chance- The one thing I’d like to do again, but do it better, is make people laughand looking forward to 2009- One thing I will learn: french- One place I will go: nigeria- One physical habit I will break: sleeping in late- One physical habit I will cultivate: running- One mental habit I will break: regret- One mental habit I will cultivate: patience- One relationship I’ll repair: sex life- One home repair I’ll finally get around to: moving- One work habit I will change: arriving late- One thing I’ll throw out: clothing that doesn’t fit- A second thing I’ll throw out: old files- One thing I’ll eat more often: fruit- One thing I’ll eat less: meat- One thing I’ll drink more: good wine- One thing I’ll drink less: cocktails- One overdue e-mail I’ll send, or overdue phone call I’ll make: honestly couldn’t think of anyone- One resentment I’ll get over: losing RL through nobody's fault but my own (albeit more like regret, not resent)- One person I’ll treat more respectfully: my husband- One thing I’ll spend less money on: clothing- One other change I’ll make in my finances: I’ll get a job- One thing I’ll spend less time doing: second-guessing myself- And a thing I’ll spend more time doing: being happy with feeling happy- One resolution I’ve made befo[...]