The election is over, the hurricanes are gone, and there are no nor’easters in sight. I don’t know about you, but this calls for a celebration! (And perhaps a glass of wine?)
Wild mushroom risotto is a favorite of ours. It’s warm, indulgent, and highly addictive. Consequently, it is the perfect dish for both fall entertaining or for curling up in a ball on the couch with your loved ones. My kind of meal. Continue reading Wild Mushroom Risotto
This was a surprising combination. In a good way. I wouldn’t generally think about pairing shrimp with rosemary, but… why not? Even though I cook with rosemary year round, it’s earthy flavor always reminds me of fall. And in case you haven’t noticed, it’s decidedly fall outside. (I’ve got friends in parts of the country , however, who are already experiencing snow. SNOW. In mid-October! Does anyone remember last year when we had our first snow storm in NYC on Halloween? Fingers crossed for a warm and dry one this year.)
When I came across this pasta on a restaurant menu last week, it intrigued me. John and I aren’t eating out as frequently these days (thanks, Ethan), but I knew I could recreate it at home. I like the challenge of trying to exceed a restaurant quality meal here in my own kitchen. Thankfully, this one was easy.
Continue reading Spaghetti with Shrimp and Rosemary-White Wine Sauce
I miss cooking. I miss eating things other than grilled cheese or tuna fish sandwiches. But mostly, I miss blogging.
I don’t like this whole “taking it easy” thing. It doesn’t suit me. If only my doctor could see what I’ve really been up to! Pretty sure he’d send me straight to my room and ground me (again).
Last weekend was my baby shower. It was all kinds of wonderful (imagine a room full of friends, family, and the cutest little baby clothes imaginable). But if you think that I just sat around and let things happen, you are sorely mistaken. My genius husband and I decided to throw a bbq/housewarming/friends and family get together immediately after the shower. I mean seriously, what were we thinking?!
Mistake #1: Hosting a party at 34 weeks pregnant.
Mistake #2: Insisting that 90% of the food be made from scratch.
Mistake #3: Insisting that 75% of the homemade food be made by me when I’m not supposed to cook or stand or do anything other then lie around.
Shall I go on?
The good news is that I still haven’t gone into labor.. YAY! Also, it was beyond wonderful to have so many of our close friends together again. The bad news is that the whole thing was a chaotic mess (at least according to John and I), and we were unbelievably stressed and tired by the end of the weekend. (Not to mention, we were less than pleased with how a lot of the food came out… and for someone like me, that’s devastating.)
I can’t change the past, but I can vow to be more careful in the future. When this baby comes, I promise to let as many people bring us food as possible. I will sit back, relax, and enjoy my time with John and our little one. No cooking. No cleaning. And those are my words, not the doctors.
Having said that, I’ve been dying to share this recipe for a few weeks now! John and I made this together before the craziness of last weekend went down. This is good. I mean, really, really good.
We’re big fans of Greek food, in general. We also happen to adore cheese, butter, cream, and pasta. What happens when you combine the two? Magic, my friends. Magic.
Continue reading Greek Macaroni and Cheese
I seriously could not wait to share this recipe with you. It is fantastic. Amazing, even. Perhaps the greatest dish I’ve made this year. (True story: as soon as I took my first bite, I emailed John to inform him of this.)
Pasta with peas and mint is a classic combination. I’m not sure why it took me so long to give these flavors a chance, but if you’re in the market for something new and exciting, make. this. pasta.
Speaking of markets, that’s where the inspiration for this pasta came from. There’s an adorable Italian market right down the street from us (Tarry Market – owned by Mario Batali and Joe Bastianich). Last weekend, John and I were walking around picking up a few goodies (black olive tapenade and, more importantly, homemade gelato) when I spotted fresh English peas. I only ever see these a few times a year, so I knew I’d have to act fast if I wanted to cook with them.
As soon as I got home, I planned out our menu, then went back a few days later to pick them up. Gone were the fresh peas that were already shelled, but I was able to pick up some fresh pea pods to shell myself. Also on the grocery list were pancetta, pasta, some sort of Italian cheese, and lots of fresh mint.
My mouth is watering just thinking about this. Continue reading Garganelli with Pancetta, Peas, and Mint
“What are we having for lunch this week?” – John
“You’ll see.” – Me
“Okay… why can’t I know now?” – John
“If I tell you, you might not want to eat it.” – Me
Probably not the best way to get someone excited about a new dish, but I was worried he’d hear the words “baked” and “quinoa” and think I was trying to prohibit him from something tasty.
I’ve talked about my appreciation for quinoa in the past: it’s filling, packed with nutrients, and can easily replace pasta or rice in most recipes (so no excuses for having never tried it) If only it had good looks, it’d be the whole package.
Fortunately, anything covered in cheese begins to look better. Am I right? Continue reading Baked Quinoa Chicken Parmesan
Oy, what a morning. In an attempt to increase my fruit intake, I decided to do some baking. Scones, to be exact. Raspberry scones. (For those not in the know, fruit in the form of baked goods still equals fruit. And fruit is good for you!)
Only something went terribly wrong. I understand that when baking, it is paramount to follow a recipe precisely (not so when cooking), so, um… I did. Yet somehow I was left with a round pile of mush that after adding almost an additional 1/2 cup of flour (!!) to (in an attempt to smooth things over, literally), came out tasting like… flour. With a little essence of raspberry.
I could go on about my utter scone sadness, but instead, I’ve pulled out a second stick of butter and am preparing to try again.
No, not scones. (What are you crazy?!) Muffins. We think I can conquer muffins, right? I’m going to have to, because I am seriously lacking fruit in my diet these days.
It’s failed attempts at baking like this one that make me realize how much I love cooking. Or rather, how much better I am at cooking. (Seriously a good thing I never attempted pastry school. Or maybe that’s the problem? Perhaps taking a class or two on baking would whip me into shape!)
But I digress. I came across this recipe for sesame rice noodles with chicken a few weeks ago. Looked pretty good. Noodles (my fav), Asian flavors (something I’m craving at the moment), and soy sauce. Lots and lots of soy sauce. We’re lovers of salty things in this family, so I knew this one was a must-try.
The beauty of my recipe below? It’s a loose adaptation of the original. I was able to adjust proportions and tweak ingredients wherever I wanted, and it turned out fantastic.
Take that, baking! I’ll cook a savory meal any day over measuring out flour and sugar. (Though to be clear, I will happily accept and eat baked goods any day of the week.)
Continue reading Sesame Rice Noodles with Chicken and Veggies
Ask anyone who knows me whether I’m emotional or not, and they’ll probably start laughing. The answer is an obvious and resounding yes. I joke with my girlfriends that now that I’m pregnant, it’s 100x worse. (Who knew that was possible?)
I cry when I look at children’s books. I tear up over sad commercials. I sob for no apparent reason whatsoever. (Case and point: last night. Imagine your significant other coming home from work to find you spontaneously burst into tears because you had a “bad day,” then not being able to stop for 30 minutes. Fact. Must be fun to be married to me! Fact?)
That’s just the sad emotion. Let’s not forget about anger. I used to be (read: pre-pregnancy) a normal, level-headed person. I would try to rationalize and use my better judgment to deal with uncomfortable or upsetting situations. Nowadays? Au contraire. I think my social filter has vanished. I find myself voicing my displeasure in the form of head-on confrontations with overeager sales reps, berating pharmacists who screw up my insurance, and nearly punching idiotic adolescent boys in the face — who work at grocery stores — for their accusatory tone when I say I’m not interested in donating to a certain charity today.
“Are you sure?” he asked me. Are you sure you want me to punch you in the face? Because I’m pretty sure it’s not your job to be judging me for buying 30 cans of baby food (for my dog) and then saying, “Not today,” when you ask if I want to donate to some children’s charity.
(For the record, John and I donate frequently and are not horrible people.)
Are the crazy pregnancy hormones to blame or am I just using them as an excuse to finally say all the things I’ve wanted to say? Guess we’ll find out in the fall.
This pasta — and the tub of low fat ice cream that comforted me while I watched Grey’s Anatomy last night — were the best parts of my day. Here’s hoping today will be better!
Continue reading Rotini with Eggplant and Roasted Red Pepper Sauce
This couscous first made an appearance in my life last summer. John and I were headed to a friend’s barbecue and he had offered for me to bring a salad.
Seriously — a salad? I am not the person who offers to bring a bag of mixed lettuce to a party. Now I’m not dissing the green stuff (our go-to weeknight salad is a mix of arugula, strawberries, goat cheese or gorgonzola, and some type of toasted nut), but in 90-degree weather, I’m not about to put out a bowl of lettuce whose only trick is to wilt before my eyes.
That’s what I said at the time, at least.
Instead, I brought this couscous. The best parts about this recipe are that (a) it can be made ahead of time, and (b) it can be served cold or at room temperature. For anyone who has entertained large groups before, you know what a pain it can be to time your cooking perfectly so that everything is served warm and at the same time.
Another added benefit? It’s vegetarian! Most barbecues are centered around burgers and dogs, grilled chicken, and stick-to-your-ribs foods that are not always veggie-friendly. This changes that.
Continue reading Roasted Vegetable Couscous
You know the saying, “When life hands you lemons, make lemonade,” right? Well when life (read: your amazing, wonderful friends) send you homemade fettuccine with sage and a wild mushroom and sage olive oil, what do you make?
Isn’t the answer obvious?! Mushroom and sage fettuccine!
And you make it immediately. Continue reading Mushroom and Sage Fettuccine
It happened again.
I had a weird, inexplainable craving for buffalo chicken wings.
Of course, at the same time I was also wanting eggplant parmesan and chocolate cake, but in the end the buffalo chicken won out.
I think I’m just excited for the Super Bowl (read: excited for Super Bowl eating!).
This tastes exactly like you might expect. Chickeny, cheesey, spicy, pasta goodness. If you’re looking for a unique dish to highlight at your Super Bowl party next week, switch out the buffalo wings with some other flavor combination (these baked parmesan and garlic wings ought to do the trick) and make buffalo chicken lasagna, instead!
Continue reading Buffalo Chicken Lasagna