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!

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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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

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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

Tortilla-Crusted Chicken with Arugula and Roasted Veggies

Time for a Spanish lesson! Repeat after me:

Hola! (Hello!)

Cómo estás? (How are you?)

Tengo hambre (I’m hungry)

Me gustaría un poco de tortilla de pollo con costra.

I’m sorry — what was that? You’d like some tortilla-crusted chicken?

Por favor (Please)

You’re in luck, friends! I’ve got one item on the menu, and that’s it.

Gracias (Thank you)

Any time.

Tortilla-crusted chicken
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I’m back! (Kind of)

Hi friends! Man, I’ve missed you.

What a whirlwind these past few months have been. Towards the end of my third trimester I pretty much gave up on food. Well, not eating it — I did plenty of that. We ate a lot of take out and prepared foods (aka: Whole Foods ate a . . . → Read More: I’m back! (Kind of)

Bolognese

I’m calling this a bolognese, but I’m not sure it qualifies. There’s no mirepoix (classic combo of onion, carrots, and celery), and I won’t pretend to know whether I left out any other star ingredients. It is, however, a meat-based sauce, and was cooked low and slow until delicious and bubbly on the stove.

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Harvest Cobb Salad

I recently read an article stating that the amount of time people spend cooking at home is decreasing. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of home cooks who still make everything from scratch, but for the most part people are turning to slow cookers or semi-homemade options to lessen both cooking times and effort needed to produce meals. I fall victim to the latter most often when making salads.

Normally I think of salads as a “quick fix” meal option. They’re our go-to when we don’t actually want to cook, but need to use up leftovers. On a good night, I can have a simple salad prepped and ready to be dressed in 10 minutes. While the results are generally fine, I need to break myself of the mentality that salads (a) aren’t filling, and (b) can’t be the star of the show.

This recipe can stand on it’s own. You could serve this as an appetizer, but it’s hearty enough — and completely satisfying — as the main attraction.

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Chicken Liver Pâté: Julia vs. Modern

Whether you’ve actually tried it or not, you probably already have an opinion about chicken liver. People generally fall into one of two categories: they love it, or… they won’t touch it with a ten foot pole. I’m here to tell you that (a) liver isn’t scary, and (b) it can be damn tasty. Especially when mixed with bourbon!

Chicken liver mousse with challah

I was recently pouring over a restaurant menu in preparation for a meal out with a girlfriend. One item caught my eye: a charcuterie platter. Wild boar sopressata, venison pâté, duck prosciutto, and chicken liver mousse. Oh my god, yum. Unfortunately, a lot of cold cuts are off limits while pregnant. Liver, however, is fair game.

Then it occurred to me: I could totally make that at home.

Once the idea was planted, all I needed was the recipe. I came across two that sounded worth the effort, and at the end of the day it was my indecisiveness which lead to our 2013 pâté taste off.

The first is a classic chicken liver mousse. Provided by the great Julia Child, this is a simple, straightforward version featuring liver, shallots, and bourbon. (She recommends cognac, but alas, we were fresh out.)

The second is an amped up pâté with bacon, apples, and fresh sage. How could that be bad?!

Alright, game time.

Continue reading Chicken Liver Pâté: Julia vs. Modern