Baked Shrimp with Feta and Spinach

This dish gives you a great excuse to eat right out of the pan – it’s not only recommended but almost required! Add to the equation tomato sauce that’s baked in the oven and lots of bread for dipping, and you have my ideal recipe for a hearty winter meal.  Even though it is a beautiful and sunny day in New York and I can almost forget that it was snowing here last Saturday.  Almost.

This recipe is very straightforward with no surprise ingredients.  Just heart-healthy spinach and crumbly feta, with onions, garlic, and of course plenty of tomato sauce.


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Winter Persimmon Salad with Pomegranate Seeds, Farro, and Avocado

After the intense grilled cheese sandwich I ate for lunch yesterday, I figured I would give my body a little present by filling it with the fruits and vegetables it has been calling out to me for.  After browsing through a bunch of different seasonal salad recipes on FoodBuzz, I decided to stick with ingredients I mainly had at home, and that’s how this winter-fruit salad came about.  I should tell you that after I took a few bites of this salad, my eyes widened and I said to myself out loud, “this might be the best salad you’ve ever made Ash!”  Truthfully I don’t know if that statement is true or if I was just really hungry after my run this morning.

Either way this salad definitely hits the spot and gives you so many textures to enjoy: creamy avocado slices, crunchy pomegranate seeds, silky persimmon strands and of course the very unique texture provided by farro.  If you’re particularly drawn to pomegranate seeds, I recommend checking out this beautiful Arabic Salad recipe which includes another favorite ingredient of mine, pomegranate molasses. Don’t know what a persimmon is? Neither did I a few years ago, but after trying a ripe one with my mom one winter I quickly became hooked.  Here’s a photo of what they look like:

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Monday’s Marvelous Grilled Cheese Sandwich

Happy Halloween! Am I scaring you with my food?

I sure hope not.  I actually just want to talk to you about the very un-scary topic of favorite childhood meals.

At first I was going to write about the classics, such as spaghetti and meatballs, mac and cheese, and of course grilled cheese.  But as I thought about it more I decided that while I love these foods (especially grilled cheese!), they don’t exactly embody my childhood eating experience.  My mom is neither American-born nor very fond of cooking, so she gave herself the liberty of dabbling in all sorts of cuisines and picking and choosing whatever pleased her and us.  What did we eat as children?  We enjoyed everything from Chinese-inspired (I use inspired very loosely here) chicken dishes served with Basmati rice to chicken and shrimp fajitas with loads of caramelized onions.  Throw in a few traditional Iranian dishes and several variations of roast chicken and you are looking at the Fahr family’s childhood fare.  So grilled cheese was never actually a staple in my family, and that is probably exactly why I like it so much now.

In my mind there is very little more satisfying than putting both hands around a hot sandwich and biting into crunchy bread, only to find oozy, melted cheese in the middle.  Kind of like what happened here:

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