Spiced Citrus Pickled Shrimp

Aida Mollenkamp Easy Healthy Dinner Recipe Spiced Pickled Shrimp

Super Bowl is but a few days away and there are recipes galore out there for everything from overloaded nachos to kajillion-layer dips. But around these parts we’re sticking to the healthier eating habits of last month and are lightening things up for game day too.

My latest finger food obsession hails from the South but dispels all the Southern food stereotypes because it’s really light and quite healthy.  Pickled shrimp are a classic in the Carolinas but, seeing as I’ve never been around those parts, I hadn’t heard of them until recently. Seeing as I have more than a mild obsessions for all things pickled and fermented, I had to try this the minute I came across it. After a few rounds of pickling and some tweaks (inspired largely by an overzealous citrus tree), I came up with this really easy but ridiculously flavorful recipe.
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Spicy Thai-Style Steak and Eggs

Aida Mollenkamp Easy Dinner Recipe Thai Steak And Eggs

Not every meal needs something totally off-the-charts different; sometimes a simple riff on a classic will do.

This time of year, when I’m in San Francisco and the rain is slanted sideways and the fog so thick I feel alone in a city of nearly 1 million people, that’s when I crave easy recipes that are simple riffs. That’s when I crave brunch dishes that are a bit heartier, like, say, steak and eggs. And a cup of coffee — French press served black, thank you very much.

But the steak and eggs? I want them only so simple. I want them low maintenance enough that I don’t need to put in too much effort, hearty enough to soak up the remains of last night’s libations, yet interesting enough that I don’t feel like I’m just eating another plate of steak and eggs. So, usually, I throw on my sunglasses, tug on a large hat, and stay out of the glare of the sun — not too much of a problem in a place like SF — and head over to my go-to brunch joint for spot-on steak and eggs.

But, when I’m not in San Fran and I can’t roll myself to the brunch joint for this classic dish? That’s when I throw it together myself, but, as I tend to do, I add my own twist — this time with some Thai flavor. The base is a seriously versatile Thai-inspired marinade that would work just as well coating shrimp, pork, or chicken as it does this steak. And, after a brief marinade and some quick stove time, breakfast is as simple as that. Or brunch, or lunch, or dinner, because, let’s be real, this type of dish has a place at the table any time of day. Usually, I serve it over just-steamed rice (so it can soak up the marinade) though it would be even more satisfying served with a simple hash, like these beets or sweet potatoes.
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Pretty. Easy. Spiced Boiled Peanuts

Aida Mollenkamp Easy Healthy Snack Recipe Spiced Boiled Peanuts Recipe

It’s pretty much impossible to spend any real time in Hawaii without coming across boiled peanuts. Along with poke, boiled peanuts are a classic happy hour pupu (appetizer) and I can never seem to get enough of them. When I’m on Oahu, I stop by Tamura’s where there’s an awesome selection of booze, poke, and boiled peanuts. But I started getting annoyed that I was spending money on boiled peanuts since they require nothing more than a few ingredients and a few hours.
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TasteMakers: Dani Fisher

Photo by Mia Locks

Have you ever heard someone’s name again and again before you’ve ever even met her?

That’s how it was for me with prop stylist, Dani Fisher. People kept assuming I knew her and would go on about how great she was to work with, what a fabulous eye she has, and her fabulous prop collection. It wasn’t until this summer when we were shooting cookbooks down the hall from each other that my friend, food stylist, Lillian Kang, made a proper introduction. Then, not even a month later, we ended up working on the same shoot. Not only are we both California girls and both went east for school, but we’ve also both worked at magazines and are now forging our own freelance paths. Dani was a shoo-in for this month’s TasteMakers interview because I wanted her to give us some tips for tableware shopping and table setting during this, the height of the entertaining season.

Be sure to check back tomorrow when Dani will share her tabletop gift ideas.
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