Chili Balsamic Glazed Shrimp with Pasta and Arugula

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After all these seafood-heavy posts, it feels like this is RG’s own personal version of shark week. It’s not my fault that everywhere I turn lately, there’s a glut of affordable, quality seafood in our neighborhood and that might have a lot to do with it. For today’s dish, I wanted to try and do something a little Thai inspired. We don’t eat nearly as much Thai food as I would like due to Davis’ and I’s food allergies, so this is something I want to try and change in our personal kitchen.

Let me warn you, the pictures might look like there is heat in this dish… and well yeah, there is. We love our food spicy and this dish had me sweating. Homemade chili oil tends to do that; you could even follow steps 1 & 2 of this dish for a fiery oil base to cook most anything, if you wanted.

While they might not pack too much heat, my love of red peppers is second to none, so I include them everywhere I can. I think this dish is a bit of a mish mash between sweet and spicy, but it’s one that I can’t wait to make again.

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Cedar Smoked Bass with Broccoli Rabe & Chard

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After watching a somewhat disappointing Barcelona football match, Davis and I made our way on an errand run where we inadvertently ended up with way more amazing striped bass than we expected from a great local grocery. $40 will apparently buy you quite a lot of fish. I’m not really at that level of super ballerdom in my life, so we had to share the maritime bounty. At this point, I had no other recourse other than to call up a couple of friends for an impromptu get together. Really, you don’t want my problems.

For Christmas, my auntie had given me some cedar grilling papers and I’ve been waiting for the perfect chance to use them. It’s not exactly outdoor grilling weather, so we went with the oven after soaking the papers in water and wine. The papers provide such a subtle flavor that they need to be paired with a mild fish, and the rest of the meal should also be kept simple and bright as to not over power the flavor.

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Apple Ginger Muffins

Apple Ginger Muffins

I do not get full-blown sick very often, usually around once a year or so. Since I’m not a huge fan of taking medication, I try to beat any oncoming illness, the way my gramma would; as soon as I get the telltale sneeze, cough, or sniffle, I hit the hay earlier than usual and try to drown it in fluids. Broth, OJ, tea, water – the works – and before you know it, the impending sickness seems to go away before it hits full force. Unfortunately, our schedule lately hasn’t really allowed for any such nursing, so here I am on the couch with a blanket, thick socks and chamomile. My record 2 year healthiness streak is shattered.

Luckily for me, I had made muffins for breakfast this week and therefore, don’t have to make anything for breakfast/lunch and we don’t have to order in or leave the house. Huzzah! Double luckily, they’re freaking delicious. Hopefully after a big broth dinner, I think I might just be able to turn the curve on this thing.

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Chicago-style Baked Polenta

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Pizza and I have a bit of a history together. One of my first jobs as a teenager was in a big chain pizza restaurant, and I grew up making homemade thin crust pizzas with my dad. I had no concept of deep dish anything really. Even more so, that it could be such a varied dish. The weather this past February was brutal; it was so windy and cold tights became a necessity, and my mind inevitably went to Chicago.

The last time we were in Chicago, Davis and I were attending the Pitchfork Music Festival in 2011. We found the city in the middle of a heat wave so intense my pasty self turned lobster red, even sitting in the shade. I enjoyed hearing Beach House’s set as I lay down like a grassland lion and napped under an umbrella in the harsh sun. We got to see some old friends and see all the landmarks from one of my top five all time favorite movies – High Fidelity. Even despite injuring my foot on a 4 mile run and Michael Bay cutting off most of the city due to filming Transformers 3, I had a fantastic time.

Upon our return, I even took virtual real estate tours of available rentals to try and imagine a life where we lived there. It wasn’t a bad life, but I have moved on to imaginary real estate tours of other areas of fine nature when a little downtime leads me into a geographical daydream.

Culinarily, I fell in love with the vegetable, meat and sauce-laden pile of deliciousness that is the Chicago Deep-Dish style pizza. Things are finally starting to move beyond the freezing temperatures we saw earlier in the year, but hopefully this dish can warm up your day.

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Peppercorn Infused Double Chocolate Cupcakes

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People don’t care what you do, they care why you do it.” Simon Sinek

I am a TED talks addict. I watch at least one a day, sometimes more. It’s something I think about a lot actually. I started writing Roxie Ginger because I really just wanted to commit to a project, but I also legitimately love going into a kitchen with a random set of ingredients and pushing myself to be creative. However, I have to admit, I’m not much of a baker. I don’t like rigorous recipes much, and baking requires an eye for exact precision. Therefore, I’m making a push to bake more…a lot more. That said, I can’t go too crazy with my new-found baking obsession, since I am also not of the constitution to just throw calorie caution to the wind – but what is a Super Bowl/Golden Globes/Grammys/Oscar party without a little sweetness?

A friend from work had introduced me to the world’s most delicious black peppercorn infused chocolates from a chocolatier whose name nobody seems to be able to recall, which is truly such a shame. I wanted to replicate that flavor in some capacity here. They came out subtle but tasty. The pepper comes through just enough to cut the sweetness of these rich cupcakes.

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Mustard Roasted Potatoes with Smoked Salmon & a Poached Egg

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Brunch – is there another word that evokes such delectable promise? Technically, it’s different from its lesser-known and more-awkwardly-pronounced first cousin “brinner,” by only by the time of day in which it is eaten. Still, I think we’d all agree that brunch is an event all of its own. Don’t get me wrong; I’m not knocking on brinner by any stretch of the imagination. Cholesterol be damned, I love eggs.

This is something I thought of when, in typical Roxie Ginger fashion, I had several ingredients that didn’t seem to go together and needed to figure out a way to make them mesh. Davis being the outspoken mustard hater that he is, it’s hard to sneak the condiment in. Topping that off with smoked salmon – another less than lauded ingredient in our house – and I figured this one would be a tough sell. Luckily though, we had company over for an impromptu movie night and this turned to be a quick, hearty winning dish. Maybe I’m a bigger brinner fan than I thought.

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