Things That Fade

I’ve been thinking a lot about the things that I love most, the things that never fail to delight, amuse and enchant me. The things that always put a smile on my face… what are they?

As a notoriously picky eater as a child, I was completely disinterested in food. I never understood the concept of “hungry” or “crave” because I simply was not interested in eating anything. But, as I got older and out-grew my finickiness, I found that summer corn on the cob always tastes good. My mother’s Korean pancakes are always good. I always love peeling and eating pomegranate. And, every time I taste fresh cilantro, I love it.

Food, unlike anything else, never fails to enchant me. I never tire of the new flavors and the smell of produce. Food isn’t something that fades. The only two things that I will change my schedule for are good meals and running… everything else can wait.

My sister once told me that as a baby my mother would put me in my baby chair and hand me half an avocado. Apparently, I would take handfuls of the avocado and stuff them into my chubby baby cheeks. I’d be covered in creamy green avocado, but I would relish the creamy avocado. I don’t remember smearing myself with avocado, but I do still love avocado. It’s one of those things that never fades, even when I get those disappointing avocados that are brown inside but look just delicious outside!!!

Since it is summer, and I am training for a marathon (trying to keep my spirits high!) I am eating healthier. I was pressed for time this morning, but I didn’t want to buy another (ANOTHER) sandwich for lunch – I quickly sliced some avocado and tossed it with tomatoes and cucumbers. A dash of balsamic vinegar and I was running out the door for work. It’s not complicated, and you could add some peppers or chicken to make this more hearty. I often use avocado instead of mayo in chicken salad, and the result is delicious!

Avocado Lunch (Kaprise Kitchen, summer lunch!)

  • 1 ripe avocado, sliced
  • 3 ripe Campari tomatoes, cubed
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 tablespoon of fruity balsamic vinegar
  1. In a bowl, toss the ingredients together and refrigerate until ready to eat

The end product isn’t attractive, but the flavor of the creamy avocado, tart tomatoes, and cool cucumber is phenomenal on a hot summer day!

Arugula, Clam, Corn and Tomato Pasta

What a mouthful to say! But even more delicious!

As a kid growing up, I loved snowstorms. There was something beautiful about the quiet silence that descended after the lush blanket of white snow had just wrapped itself around everything. Snow days in particular were wonderful, you’d wake up with the bright sun shining through the window but know that the beautiful white wall of snow was keeping you home with your mom. My mom once told me that she loved snow days as much as we did, because she got to spend a little extra time with us. My mom would make us delicious breakfasts and in the deepest snows would take us on adventures. Once we went sledding down a huge abandoned ski slope, and another time we went to McDonald’s and sat warming our feet on the car heater eating french fries and ice cream. So, it’s no wonder that I have a wonderfully soft spot for snowstorms and snow days.

Today, after 5 inches of slushy snow descended on the city, my classes were canceled. (Yesterday’s too after 1 inch of snow!) I’ve realized that in this part of the country… snow is considered an apocalyptic event. I went to undergrad where classes were canceled once (and that was because nearly FOUR FEET of snow fell in a single night), so I laugh a little whenever I get a snow day and there are mere inches of snow on the ground.

Since there is snow on the ground and people are swarming the grocery stores, I stayed home with my little muchkin and made a pasta of what I had on hand.

Arugula, Clam, Corn and Tomato Pasta (Snowy day pasta!), Kaprise Kitchen Original

  • 1 1/2 cups of whole wheat pasta shells
  • 2 handful of baby arugula
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of canned clams
  • 1/4 cup of frozen sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup of sliced grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup of white wine (preferably dry)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of basil
  • 1 pinch of nutmeg
  • 1 dash of Worchestire sauce
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  1. This makes enough for 2 people
  2. Boil salted water and cook pasta until al dente
  3. In a sauce pan, heat the olive oil and saute the onions until lightly brown
  4. Add the tomatoes and corn, and stir until the moisture has been released from the tomatoes
  5. Add the white wine, basil, nutmeg, red pepper and Worchestire sauce and heat until bubbly
  6. Add the clams and simmer for 2 minutes
  7. Remove the sauce from the heat and quickly stir in the minced garlic
  8. Drain your pasta and divide into two bowls
  9. Top the hot pasta with a handful of arugula and then top with a heart scoop of the sauce

This recipe from start to finish took me less than 15 minutes and I ate the piping hot pasta sitting on my windowsill with some warm tea.

Notes on this recipe

  • Baby spinach, steamed kale or any other green would be great in this pasta – I personally like the peppery taste of the arugula more than the sweeter and milder greens at the market now
  • I added a sprinkle of Parmesan because I do not pepper or salt my food, but feel free to add a sprinkle of salt and pepper to the sauce for some oomph in addition to some cheese
  • I used a very dry Mediterranean house wine for the sauce, but feel free to use a sweeter wine with spinach so the acidity doesn’t over power the greens.