I should really call this recipe bean soup instead of BLACK bean soup because, truth be told, I actually only had one can of black beans in my pantry when I decided to make this. I used a can of pinto beans as a substitute for the second can of black beans and it was just as good and it actually still looked like black bean soup. So, just pretend it’s truly black bean soup.
I made this soup for lunch one day when I was home sick from work. Nothing I had in my fridge sounded very good and I was craving soup. I always crave soup when I feel under the weather. So, I took stock of what I had in my pantry and came up with this delicious, flavorful, healthy soup. I used chicken broth but you could definitely use vegetable broth and make this vegan. (more…)
For our wedding, which was two and a half years ago, one of our friends got us a gift certificate for some Omaha Steaks. We were cleaning and organizing the apartment the other day and stumbled upon it. Apparently we had never used it. I am notorious for doing this, by the way. I lose gift cards and gift certificates. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I think part of the problem is I always want to save them for a special occasion and then I just forget about them. I should probably just use them right after I get them to avoid this problem. Anyway, we ordered the steaks. (more…)
Polenta is one of my new favorite items to pick up at the grocery store. I usually buy the precooked polenta “logs”, cut them into 1/3 inch rounds and then sear them in a pan with a little olive oil. Once the polenta rounds are seared you can top them with almost anything. One of the reasons I love cooking with polenta is because it’s a blank canvas and works well with so many different flavors. It’s an easy way to be creative in the kitchen. I’ve made many variations, but this recipe is probably my favorite polenta recipe.
Matt has been sick with the flu and hasn’t had much of an appetite the past few days so last night I was cooking for one, myself. I’ve mentioned before that Matt prefers meals that include some type of meat. I, on the other hand, can take it or leave it and try to eat meat free a few times a week. Since he wasn’t really hungry last night and it had been an incredibly busy day, I wanted to make something quick yet satisfying for myself, preferrably meatless. Enter polenta and portabella mushrooms. I suppose most people might consider this to be a side dish but last night it hit the spot as a main course for me. The creamy mushroom topping was the perfect accompaniment to my seared polenta rounds. (more…)
Broccoli is one of those vegetables I hated as a kid but somehow it’s turned into one of my favorites now that I’m older. I cook with it about once a week. My favorite way to cook broccoli is very simple. I usually just roast it with some olive oil, salt and pepper. It’s one of my staple vegetable side dishes because it always turns out really well and it’s so easy. But sometimes you have to switch it up and last night I was in the mood for something different.
I had some leftover brown rice and some soy and ginger marinated cod from Trader Joe’s so I decided to use some of those same flavors in my broccoli side dish. It turned out really yummy and was perfect served over the leftover rice, which soaked up all the stirfry sauce. (more…)
I love mashed potatoes but I often make too much for just Matt and myself and then we wind up eating mashed potatoes for days. Not that there is anything wrong with leftover mashed potatoes but sometimes they can get a little boring. These potato cakes are the perfect way to spruce up those cold, leftover potatoes.
You guys, these are SO good. I form small patties with the leftover cold mashed potatoes, coat them in crispy breadcrumbs and salty parmesan cheese and then pan fry them until they turn a golden brown color and the coating gets crisp. These take comfort food to a whole new level. They are the perfect side dish for almost any meal. Last night I served these alongside a mediterranean stuffed chicken breast I picked up from Trader Joe’s on the way home from work and Ina Garten’s green beans gremolata. (more…)
Last night was another “clean out everything in the fridge” night. I was away this weekend at a conference and haven’t been to the grocery store in over a week so when I got home on Sunday night I was truly at a loss as to what to make for dinner. I debated calling for Indian take out but my checking account is verging dangerously close to a $0 balance. All my bills happen to come out in the first few weeks of the month and so I always have to be a little more careful in the beginning of the month. So, even though every fiber in my being wanted to call for take out or delivery I decided to open my almost empty fridge and see what I could scrounge up for dinner. (more…)
I know I may be in the minority when I say this but I love snow. I don’t particularly like the cold but if it’s going to be cold I want it to snow! Lucky for me, we have about 5 inches on the ground right now and the snow is still coming down. I got to work from home today which basically means monitoring my emails and making a few calls. Working from home also means lots of free time for things I love like cooking.
One of the things I made on my “snow day” was this pesto frittata. First of all, let me just say that frittata’s are awesome. They are basically a delicious way to use up any leftover veggies, meat or cheese you have in your fridge. They are incredibly easy to make and the finished product always looks beautiful. Frittatas are a great brunch item because they don’t have to be served piping hot. They are delicious at room temperature too. You also don’t have to stand at the stove flipping omelets or pancakes. The frittata starts on the stove but finishes cooking in the oven. (more…)