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Everything You Need to Know to Make Fluffy, Flavorful White Rice

Everything You Need to Know to Make Fluffy, Flavorful White Rice

Basic white rice is surprisingly difficult to make. It’s either burned on the bottom, crunchy on the inside and mushy on the outside, or mushy all the way through. Or, it tastes like cardboard. Mmmmm, cardboard. I had all of those problems until a few years ago when my dad taught me this recipe. I posted a video […]

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All the Mexican Recipes You Need!

All the Mexican Recipes You Need!

I’m posting these for Cinco de Mayo, but these recipes yummy Mexican recipes are also great for easy weeknight meals, or Mexican-themed dinner parties. Of course, for a truly perfect occasion, add margaritas! Easiest Crockpot Pork Verde (gluten free) Easiest Crockpot Chicken Tinga Tacos (gluten free) Crockpot Barbacoa (gluten free) Authentic Caldo de Res (gluten free) Ceviche (gluten free) Ceviche tostadas (gluten […]

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Even Easier Mashed Cauliflower

Even Easier Mashed Cauliflower

I posted a recipe for Cheesy Puréed Cauliflower about a year ago. Since then I’ve improved the recipe — with a better explanation of key details and a simpler recipe, so I wanted to share the updates with you. Here’s the deal with this dish: You need to cook the cauliflower until it is very, very […]

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How to Roast Acorn Squash in the Oven

How to Roast Acorn Squash in the Oven

Let’s talk fall for a minute. Acorn squash. On the outside, it may be dark green, orange, or beige. The ones with dark green skin seem to be more common at our local grocery stores, although Trader Joe’s had some pretty orange ones last fall. I find acorn squash easier to work with than the other amber-fleshed […]

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Easy Crock-Pot Beans / Frijoles Faciles

Easy Crock-Pot Beans / Frijoles Faciles

Beans. Such a simple, primitive food. Yet so controversial in their cooking. Over the years I’ve heard infinite opinions about when you should salt the beans and whether you should soak them. (To add to the confusion, some say you should salt them while you soak them.) Sigh. As for the actual cooking part, this excerpt from The Kitchn […]

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The Easiest Way to Cook Broccoli

The Easiest Way to Cook Broccoli

Hi again y’all! Yesterday I posted about the easiest way to cook salmon, and today I’ll share the easiest way to cook broccoli. (Just think, if you make the salmon and the broccoli together, in 20 minutes or less you can have what might be the easiest and healthiest meal on the planet!) Here’s what you do: Place […]

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Recipe Round-up: 25 Naturally Gluten-Free Recipes

Recipe Round-up: 25 Naturally Gluten-Free Recipes

Nothing quite makes my day like meeting a new friend! Like my new friend Laila, who I met on Instagram yesterday. She recently made my Crock-Pot Pork Verde, and even her kids enjoyed it! Laila said that she has recently started following a gluten-free diet. So for her, I’m doing this gluten-free recipe round-up. All of these […]

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Spaghetti Squash

Spaghetti Squash: The Universal Side Dish

We have been trying to eat less white carbs over here, which means that I don’t cook a lot of rice, potatoes, bread, and noodles. Which is great for my hips but hard on my brain. Meaning, I have to think a bit harder about what to serve with what. My two go-to sides of […]

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Cheesy Puréed Cauliflower

Cheesy Puréed Cauliflower

John and I agree on a lot. But not everything. Cauliflower, for one. I love it, he doesn’t. I won’t give up that easily, though. So the other day I made this Cheesy Puréed Cauliflower to go with our Crock-Pot Barbacoa. I thought if I served it just like mashed potatoes, maybe John would think that it […]

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On the Mediterranean Diet: Tabbouleh Salad

On the Mediterranean Diet: Tabbouleh Salad

John’s grandparents are originally from Lebanon, so we eat a lot of Mediterranean food at our house. (For a funny little post about learning recipes from his family, click here.) I love to make a big spread of Lebanese food with the usual suspects (hummus, baba ganoush, rolled grape leaves) and this tabbouleh salad. Tabbouleh is very […]

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Wedge Salad

Side for Steaks: Build-Your-Own Wedge Salad

If there’s one consistently reliable source for advice about life, it’s bumper stickers. Okay maybe not, but there is one bumper sticker that I keep thinking about. It’s in the shape of a paw print, and inside, it says: “Who rescued who?” Who rescued who. It reminds me of what my mom always says about raising children: […]

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Quinoa

Quinoa with Butter, Almonds and Cranberries

Okay, so I am officially becoming my dad. I am usually in bed before 9 p.m. I have a Japanese car (with light-colored seats!) that gets good gas mileage. I’m an over buyer, especially as to milk and paper towels. I use my blinker like a Driver’s-Ed instructor. I can’t stand loud restaurants. And my […]

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Best Crab Cakes Ever

Ideas for Valentine’s Day Dinner

Hey Guys, have you made plans yet for the big day?  No, not the Super Bowl. Valentine’s Day!  How about this: A romantic dinner for two (or more) in your own cozy dining room.  It’s what John and I have been doing for years. We usually invite over four or five other couples (with kids) […]

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Sautéed Summer Squash with Parmesan

Sautéed Summer Squash with Parmesan

When it rains, it pours, as they say.  It’s been a hectic few months is what I mean. First things first.  I’m pregnant, which is great news and a huge blessing.  But geez, I am not a fan of the first trimester.  Nausea, headaches, exhaustion, insomnia; repeat.  The one thing that has gotten me through […]

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iPad App for Cocina Marie!

iPad App for Cocina Marie!

I heard a story on NPR a couple of months ago.  It was about how, now, with social media, some authors are able to get input from readers as they write.  I can’t find a link to the story or remember how it all worked … but I do remember thinking, “What a good idea!” […]

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Steakhouse-Style Creamed Spinach

Steakhouse-Style Creamed Spinach

We make creamed spinach every year on Thanksgiving.  I included a picture of the finished dish in an earlier post, and in response, sweet reader Monique asked me to post the recipe.  As Casey Kasem would say, “Well Monique, here it is.” In addition to serving creamed spinach on special occasions, I also love to serve it […]

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How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

How to Cook Spaghetti Squash

What is your criteria for a good side dish? Easy? Nutritious? Affordable? Tasty? Kid-friendly?  For me, all of the above.  Lately, my favorite side dish that meets all of those requirements is spaghetti squash.  I love to bake it in the oven and then just toss the strands with parmesan and butter (recipe below).  So simple, […]

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Gabrielle Hamilton's Harissa Zucchini Salad

Gabrielle Hamilton’s Harissa Zucchini Salad

I’m in a book club.  (What with the homemade astronaut costume and now the book club, you can tell that my life is totally crazy!)  The book for this quarter was Blood, Bones & Butter by Gabrielle Hamilton — a great read, if you haven’t read it yet.  After everyone finished the book, we planned to meet […]

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Do You Ever Just Wake Up Annoyed?

Do You Ever Just Wake Up Annoyed?

I do.  Though, fortunately, not very often.  It did happen to me a few days ago, and it wasn’t pretty.  Literally everything — from the way-too-hot-for-this-time-of-year weather, to the dirt on the floor that somebody tracked in, to the pile of laundry in the hallway — was completely and utterly annoying.  And, what was even […]

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Recipe for Peas: Sautéed Peas with Shallots and Mint

Recipe for Peas: Sautéed Peas with Shallots and Mint

So John and I had a dinner party last night.  Pretty much everyone who came is either a great cook or married to one, so I was a little intimidated when planning the menu.  Here’s what I came up with: Appetizer: Lump Crab Cakes + Cheese Plate + Lil’ Smokies (long story) Main Course: Prime […]

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