Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mesquite Grilled Chicken Thighs

Mesquite Grilled Chicken Thighs
Victory! I stuck to my meal plan on Monday night. My inspiration for the meal: I wanted to cook something that would allow me to use a new dry rub recipe and our new grill.

We invited our friend, Eugene, over for dinner since he was in the area. I also felt like I needed to redeem myself since the previous (and first) time he came over to our place, I regretfully served him over-cooked grilled chicken breast. But, who isn't guilty of that at least once in their life?

This was the perfect opportunity to use the new grill and do chicken right. Read on for my grilled chicken dish...

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Dry Spice Rub

Bon Appetit's dry rub recipe with four simple ingredients
Dry Rub in Mason Jar

A few months ago, I was shopping at Sur la Table and I was offered a free one-year subscription to Bon Appetit magazine for spending over $50. 

I've been enjoying the gourmet mag coming in the mail monthly. In the annual grilling issue, I stumbled upon this super simple dry rub. It doesn't even have a formal recipe name. I shall call it the "7 Dry Rub" since it has seven tablespoons of ingredients. There are only four ingredients and it's in a 4:3:2:1 ratio. 

Original Bon Appetit Recipe:
Tbsp. Kosher Salt 
 Tbsp. Brown Sugar 
2 Tbsp. Sweet Paprika 
1 Tbsp. Cayenne Pepper 

I spooned the ingredients in a mason jar and shook it up to distribute the spices. The seven spoonfuls filled up a 1/2 pint container.

Monday, July 29, 2013

Meal Planning ~ Week of 7-29-13

Bon Appetit Magazine

I like to grocery shop often to prevent myself from over-buying and throwing out spoiled, unused items. Yes, it is inconvenient. But, this has literally saved me money in recent years. Plus, I stay inspired by fresh ingredients. 

In the past, I used to grocery shop for an entire week's worth or so. But, alas, unexpected events or laziness would arise and I would neglect my food in the fridge. I don't know how much money I wasted by "wishful thinking" shopping.

Additionally, now I only buy ingredients that I have high probability or plans to use in a dish (aside from staples like spices or oil, and fresh fruit).

I am starting to incorporate more organic produce into my diet (which I will share more about in a future post). The organic grocery store is further from me than my go-to market(s), so I will need to buy more per visit. This means that I need to start meal planning, so I can ensure I use all of the products I buy, no mater what they are. 

I literally cook on daily inspiration, so meal planning is going to be a growing experience for me. Here's my first attempt. There are some holes, but at least I am giving myself some structure. In the long run, I hope this will save me stress from coming up with new menu items daily.

Dinner for the Week

  • Sunday - Leftovers from Saturday
  • Monday - Mesquite grilled chicken thighs with BA "7" dry spice rub (picture above)
Organic arugula + caprese salad in lemon/mustard vinaigrette (and roasted sweet potatoes as a snack for tomorrow)

  • Tuesday - oven-roasted organic Portobello mushroom steaks; oven-roasted herb potatoes; sautéed organic kale (with garlic & parmesan cheese)
  • Wednesday - TBD (my husband is working late so it can be as minimalistic as a snack)
  • Thursday - TBD (dine out with a friend or cook something simple at home)
  • Friday - out of town
  • Saturday - out of town


  • Fresh blueberries, strawberries, and figs

    • Here's a short video on how I made an easy yet fanciful fruit parfait 

  • Organic plain yogurt
  • Organic Chia seeds in my drinks and lunch salads
  • Organic dark chocolate (gluten-free, too)

How do you like to meal plan?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Grilled Hanger Steak Two Ways

My little brother is studying abroad in China right now and he is visiting California for a couple weeks. Today is his first day back, so I decided to cook him and my family dinner. 

I picked up some hanger steak a few days ago while I was grocery shopping. I got the inspiration for this protein after watching re-run episodes of Anne Burrell's show on the Food Network called "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef." 

This entry will give you some information about hanger steaks and a couple recipe preparations.

Photo Credit: