Sausage and Butternut Squash Crustless Tart

Raise your hand if you began cooking butternut squash at the end of August. Guilty as charged? Me too. The moment I feel fall approaching (that is, when the temperature dips down into the 60s for one quick second), I’m all about squash, cinnamon, and sage.

Here we are nearing the end of October, . . . → Read More: Sausage and Butternut Squash Crustless Tart

Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Meatballs are a big hit amongst two-year olds, and therefore make frequent appearances at dinner. They’re easy to chew, bite-size, and are a great way to sneak veggies in to unsuspecting tummies. At Chez Laing, they come in a variety of flavors. Lamb, mint, spinach, and feta; turkey, pesto, and parmesan; traditional beef. But . . . → Read More: Chicken Parmesan Meatballs

Warm Brussels Chicken Caesar Salad

This salad might be the greatest thing since sliced bread.

Warm brussels and chicken caesar salad

It is insanely good. As in you should really try to squeeze it onto your menu tonight. Tomorrow, then? Next week? Ugh, it’s the best. Continue reading Warm Brussels Chicken Caesar Salad

Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca

Can we collectively agree that we all, like Alexander, have terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days?

Those days when your morning commute to work/school/gym takes twice as long as it should. And then something flies at your windshield (a rock? some litter? a pigeon?) and crack. And then you come down with a 24-hour bug that, okay fine, is closer to 48 hours.

And then your baby girl gets coxsackie days before scheduled family photos.

And then your son who is 99% potty trained forgets he has to go and pees all over the floor.

Should I just stop while I’m ahead?

I mean, wow. What a couple weeks it’s been!

With all the ups downs and downs, I’m happy to say we’ve at least been eating well.

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Like, really well. Continue reading Lemony Chicken Saltimbocca

Chicken Tikka Masala

Indian lunch: Part 1

Me: I’m going to make chicken tikka masala for lunch this week. Sound good?

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John: Okay. What about some saag paneer? Continue reading Chicken Tikka Masala

Curried Chicken Salad

Confession: I love a meal that comes together in less than thirty minutes. As annoying as Rachael Ray can be, she was definitely onto something. Whether you’ve been slaving away in an office all day or chasing kids around outside, we can all agree that when 5:30 rolls around on a Monday evening, no one wants to be stuck in the kitchen.

Curry chicken salad

Continue reading Curried Chicken Salad

Chocolate Mousse

Other than talking about, playing with, staring at, and tickling my kids (which I do plenty of), my favorite thing in life is cooking. I enjoy the prep work, particularly getting organized, but there’s nothing that quite compares to the instant gratification of seeing loved ones smile and sigh contentedly after taking their first bite.

I particularly enjoy watching Ethan try new recipes. There are plenty of ‘misses’ — he’ll scrunch up his nose and let his tongue (including whatever I had the audacity of putting in his mouth) fall out, food crashing to the floor where Jackson [the dog] immediately plucks it up and makes a mad dash for his crate. But then there are the ‘hits’. When Ethan discovers he likes the way something tastes, he is not shy about sharing his feelings. He cocks his head back and lets out an emphatic, “MMM!” There is occasionally a happy dance, as well. If you weren’t already aware, our son is an expert dancer.

Alright, just kidding. We’re pretty sure he picked up his movin’ and groovin’ skills from our dog, which is to say, his dance skills are severely lacking. But god is it cute when he tries!

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This chocolate mousse gets the Ethan Seal of Approval and requisite coordinated dance. Hell, I’d even dance for a spoonful. Continue reading Chocolate Mousse

Bacon and White Cheddar Scones

If you, like me, are terrified of making biscuits, raise your hand. I have had one too many failed attempts at baking to ever pretend that it’s my strong point (I’m more of a savory recipe, no-need-to-measure-ingredients kinda gal). Maybe it’s not that I can’t ‘do biscuits’ — I just haven’t found the right recipe. It’s more than having precise measurements on a piece of paper. Making biscuits (or any dough, really) is about knowing when to stop. Stop kneading, stop adding water, stop adding extra ingredients, whatever it may be. You’ve got to be able to look at the dough, feel it, and know that it’s ready.

That, my friends, is something I’ll have to work on. (Ugh, pie dough is my nemesis!)

In the meantime, scones seem entirely less intimidating. There’s less pressure to get that flaky, buttery texture. And there’s also less judgment about adding extra ingredients.

A couple months ago, shortly after we moved in, John and I hosted a family brunch. Perfect opportunity to debut this recipe. (Isn’t that terrible of me? You should never really experiment on a crowd!) If I screwed up the texture, at least they’d still taste like bacon. And if I nailed the texture, the added bonus would be that they taste like bacon!

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Verdict? Good life choice.

I’ve made these multiple times now and they are just insanely good. No kneading, everything is done in the bowl of a mixer. And yes, they’re an indulgence. I mean, you actually brush bacon fat over the scones before baking. But depending on who you ask, that’s not a negative. Continue reading Bacon and White Cheddar Scones

Grilled Zucchini and Ricotta Pizza

I’m sorry to bring this to you so late in the season, but if you’ve got a grill you’re gonna want to bust it out ASAP. This pizza does not mess around. Grilled zucchini, fresh ricotta, and red pepper flakes. Melted, gooey mozzarella. A generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice. It is no joke one of the tastiest things I’ve made all summer.

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I first came across this recipe in Bon Appetit. They refer to it as a flatbread, but in our house it is decidedly a pizza. (What’s the difference anyway? The dough? Lack of sauce?) I wouldn’t quite recommend this as a last-minute weeknight meal (there’s a bit of prep work involved), but if you’re one to plan out meals (and prep ingredients!) in advance, then you can bring this together quickly. Continue reading Grilled Zucchini and Ricotta Pizza

Hello from Connecticut!

I can hardly believe it’s August and that summer is almost over, but here we are. It’s been a whirlwind of a year. I’m so glad to be back, though!

When I last left you, John and I were in the midst of searching for our first home. After months of searching we fell for a house that was slightly out of our price range. We had to let it go. Less than two weeks later, when I had all but given up hope that we’d ever find ‘the one’, it happened. We knew it the instant we walked inside. This was our home.

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We’re kind of in love. In a we-can’t-believe-we-get-to-come-home-to-this-every-day sort of way.
Continue reading Hello from Connecticut!