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Penelope Wall's Blog (Page 8)

May 11, 2010 - 11:47am

A few years ago, I bought a hot air popcorn popper at a yard sale for 25 cents. It was one of the best investments I ever made. On the way home, I stopped by the grocery store to pick up a bag of popcorn kernels—for less than the cost of a bag of potato chips—so that I could pop a batch of fresh, hot popcorn right away. That was the beginning of my love affair with popcorn.

Now I’m obsessed. I keep a bag of popcorn kernels on hand for whenever I need a quick and easy snack. While I do love a little butter on my popcorn every now and then, I eat popcorn a lot. So to keep it healthy (and...

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April 23, 2010 - 9:46am

Cinco de Mayo is just around the corner and I’ve been thinking about my party menu. I’ve got the main dishes covered but I know if I don’t serve margaritas at my Cinco de Mayo party, my friends will be bummed. I mean, what’s a fiesta without the “margies,” as my girlfriends and I endearingly call them?

But when I’m craving a tangy margarita, syrupy pre-made margarita mixers just won’t do. So I like to shake up cocktails and mocktails with healthy fruits and juices for a special twist. Blueberries in my margies? Why not? Blueberries give this classic drink fresh flavor and they’re a good source of...

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April 12, 2010 - 11:25am

When I recently shared my secret for making Philly cheese steaks without the meat, I wasn’t surprised to get a little pushback from meaty cheese steak lovers. (I get it. Some people just don’t want their meat messed with.)

A lot of us just can’t imagine a meal without a hunk of meat on the plate. But with the right recipes, you can simply swap beef, pork or chicken with a veggie-based protein and enjoy a vegetarian meal without even missing the meat. So, why bother? Here’s why: even if you skip meat just once or twice a week,...

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April 2, 2010 - 12:29pm

How many of us grew up eating grilled cheese sandwiches? As a kid, it was my favorite food for hot lunch. Even now, I still get weak in the knees for grilled cheese. And my husband, Colin, asks if we can have it for dinner at least once a week.

I try to indulge the craving often, but let’s face it: greasy grilled cheese is not exactly the healthiest fare, and I also want to get a satisfying meal out of the deal. So, I like to spice things up with unexpected—and healthful—ingredients. This week for dinner, for example, we made Hot Chile Grilled Cheese sandwiches. Mashed-up beans, salsa and hot peppers bulk up the...

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March 22, 2010 - 11:37am

It’s officially spring. And after the long winter my taste buds AND my kitchen are just crying for the light, crisp flavors of spring veggies: fresh salad greens, peas, asparagus and tender new potatoes.

For a quick spring dinner, light and easy is the name of the game. I like to make recipes I can pull together quickly for a nice meal with my husband after work (our favorite spring dinner is the Lemony Asparagus Pasta—it makes just enough for the two of us). And if my friends decide to pop over at the last minute, a satisfying salad is the perfect in-an-instant solution for company. Just toss all the ingredients into a gigantic bowl and dinner...

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