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.


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!

Spinach Salad with Salmon, Bacon, and Pine Nuts

I never grow tired of eating salmon. I’m always waiting for it to go on sale, and will take any opportunity to cook with it at home. It’s oily and fatty in the best way, and when cooked properly it simply melts in your mouth.

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Continue reading Spinach Salad with Salmon, Bacon, and Pine Nuts

Chicken with Shallots and Roasted Tomatoes

I love Ina Garten. I really, really do. She makes elegant, flavorful meals that are approachable to chefs and home cooks alike. Her mantra (‘How easy is that?”) is apparent in most of her recipes. I highly recommend investing in a couple of her cookbooks, or even just borrowing them from your local library. Each recipe that I’ve tried up till now has been a home run, and this dish is no exception.

Dust off your apron, pull out a skillet, and pour yourself a glass of wine. Dinner is about to be served!

Chicken with shallots and roasted tomatoes

Continue reading Chicken with Shallots and Roasted Tomatoes

Giada’s Pirate Pasta

I’ll admit that I was skeptical about this pasta. Pecorino, capers, olives — that’s a lot of salty ingredients in one dish. It all works, though. Add fresh basil and a squeeze of lemon juice, and this feels downright light and — dare I say — healthy.

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Another winning factor? My 18-month old son loved this. He couldn’t get enough!

Okay, to be perfectly honest there’s not a lot that my son won’t eat, so this wasn’t terribly surprising. But if it passes the Ethan test, it’s good enough for me. And I’m always looking for new ways to get fish into his diet (and ours!). This happens to be an affordable option.

Pirate pasta, you are welcome here any time. Continue reading Giada’s Pirate Pasta

Corned Beef and Cabbage — An experiment

C’est la vie. They can’t all be winners, right?

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With St. Patrick’s Day approaching quickly, I knew what I wanted to make: corned beef and cabbage (duh). Other than brining the brisket (the cut of corned beef), the process is fairly quick and simple: prep the meat, get it in the oven for two hours, eat.

Maybe I should have put in a little more effort. Maybe I should have brined the beef myself (Fairway had corned beef on sale last week that was already brined — why not make my life a little easier? I thought). I’m not entirely sure where I — or rather, this recipe — went wrong, but while the results were tasty enough, Katz’s this was not. Continue reading Corned Beef and Cabbage — An experiment