Tag Archives: Newark

Leftover Easter Ham Recipe #1: Spring Mix Pasta

11 Apr

Last night my husband had to work the late shift. When I’m on my own for dinner like that, one of two things happens: I either microwave a single serving of something for myself, or I get inspired to do something creative in the kitchen and take advantage of the fact that there won’t be any interruptions. We have a lot of leftover ham from Easter Sunday dinner so I’ve been thinking about all the things I could do with it. In past years, I’ve made all sorts of yummy hot and cold sandwiches with it. But this year, I’m in the mood for something different…and with less bread (one of the things I’m trying to drop off my personal menu in order to lose weight). I mentioned a few potential ideas–such as the ham stock soup I plan to make this week (I will post the recipe)–in my previous post about Easter eating. Looking at what we had to work with in the kitchen last night, this is what I came up with:

leftover ham recipe #1

Leftover Easter Ham Recipe #1: Spring Mix Pasta

Spring Mix Pasta.

Ingredients: 

– leftover ham cut into small pieces

– boiled noodles (I used spaghetti because that’s what we had but penne would be better for this)

– boiled choclo (or corn), cut off the cob

– a green veggie, such as peas or spinach

– seasoned white sauce (butter, flour, milk, salt, pepper, thyme, cumin)

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Vacation Eating: East Coast Edition

10 Apr

We only get to go to New Jersey to visit my husband’s family about once a year because it’s hard to budget for the airfare these days. But when we get there, it’s a whirlwind of house-hopping to see each of his FIVE brothers, his mother, his aunt and cousin, and our friends in the area, all set to the sounds of merengue, salsa, bachata, and hip hop, and the smells and tastes of Peru, Brazil, and Newark. It’s always an amazing time. I fell in love with Newark when I moved out there to go to college…and then I fell in love with my husband, whom I met there. His family moved to Newark when he was a little kid. Being from the west coast, it was a crazy culture shock at first

Newark bridge

A Newark bridge on a cold, overcast morning.

to move to Newark, but after the first week, I knew I’d found a new home. I spent nearly five years there before we decided to move to Los Angeles for a while. It’s an area that has a little bit of everything from nearly every part of the world…with a distinct New Jersey attitude about it. Plus, it’s only a 15-minute train ride from Manhattan, which is awesome, of course.

Newark sunny

Newark on a bright sunny day during our trip. Beautiful springtime.

I can imagine us moving back there someday, but LA is my home too, so we envision a life of living in several places in the future. As long as we’re together, home is where your heart is, right? Anyway, my point is that we have a blast when we go there. And a lot of the fun and visiting is centered around food, which is a terrific, bittersweet problem to have because everything tastes great but I’m trying not to eat too much. When you’re around family and on vacation, it can be extremely difficult to not over-indulge or even feel pressured by others to eat more, as I described in this previous post. For example, practically the first words out of my Peruvian mother-in-law’s mouth were, “Estas rellena. Toma, come,” which, loosely translated means she told me I looked like I had filled out (was a little heavier) than when she last saw me and then she told me to eat the huge plate of food she was handing me. She cracks me up. I love her to death and she’s an awesome M-I-L, but how am I supposed to eat after being told I look ready-to-have-babies heavy? Ha! Because she raised six boys, bless her heart, she typically overloads a plate for me–even if I tell her it’s too much, she insists I eat it–so sometimes, when my husband finishes his plate before me, I’ll switch my half-eaten plate with his empty plate when no one is looking. :) He happily eats more, I sit there happily stuffed.

I noticed a few general diet-saboteurs that occur when traveling:

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