You are currently browsing the monthly archive for April 2009.

I usually use my microwave to keep track of cooking times, but there’s something much more satisfying about using an actual kitchen timer. Maybe it’s that the ring is less jarring than the mechanical beep of the microwave. Not long ago a friend of mine bought this old-fashioned vintage timer, and not only is it a funky kitchen gadget that looks great on the fridge (it’s magnetic), but it has a nice ring to it, too! It comes in four colors: light blue, red, black, and yellow. $10.95 at


I became addicted to roasted broccoli a few years ago, and since then roasting is my favorite way to prepare it (and many other vegetables). Normally, I roast it with a little olive oil and salt and pepper at 400-450 degrees for twenty minutes or so (with the broccoli cut into large florets) until it turns slightly golden brown and crispy. But recently I saw this recipe in the New York Times that turns what is usually a side dish into an entire meal: roasted broccoli with shrimp. After seeing it got nice reviews on several food blogs, including The Wednesday Chef, I decided to try it out. It combines roasted broccoli with shrimp and a handful of spices including chili powder and cumin, as well as a showering of freshly grated lemon zest. The result is a recipe that’s easy to prepare and so delicious. Also, for an even quicker version, keep some frozen, peeled shrimp on hand in your freezer so that the only ingredient you need to pick up at the grocery story is the broccoli (assuming you have all the spices and a lemon on hand). This meal is one more keeper I’ll be adding to my list of old reliables! The exact recipe is here.

In honor of Earth Day, I thought I’d tout these gorgeous and eco-friendly lacquerware bowls.  Handmade in Vietnam, they’re created from 100% organically-grown bamboo, non-toxic water-based adhesive, and natural lacquer derived from cashew nut trees. In other words, they’re all-natural. Not only that, but they come in a collection of vibrant colors that will just make you feel happy while you eat.  I think they’re perfect for cereal, but of course they can be used for anything from ice cream to pasta to soup. The only catch is that it’s best not to put them in the dishwasher or microwave–though perhaps that’s a good thing, as it’s one more way to better the environment. The bowls are $17 each and available at

I love the idea of livening up your dining table with some whimsical napkins. These polka dot napkins from World Market come in four different colors–black, orange, yellow, and pink–and can easily be paired with solid color place mats. You can also mix and match the napkins themselves so each plate setting gets a different color. They’re on sale starting at $8.88 for a set of six at