I like to cook (obviously) and most of the time, the stuff I make turns out pretty well. Granted, this doesn’t happen all the time. One time I attempted to make “Indian stuffed peppers” and they were completely inedible. It was a total waste of ingredients because, after attempting to choke down half a pepper, I threw out the second half along with the other five peppers I made. Even my husband, who usually manages to eat even the so-so meals, admitted they were terrible. So, yes, I definitely have some moments I am not proud of in the kitchen but, most of the time, I manage to turn out pretty decent meals. I feel like I have to defend myself and say that the Indian pepper catastrophe was fairly early on in my cooking “journey” and also let you all know that only the good stuff makes it onto this blog. I don’t post the bad recipes, or even the so-so ones. Maybe that goes without saying, but I’m feeling slightly self conscious after admitting that not everything I make turns out delicious, in case any of you were under that impression.
This is all to say, that even though I’ve had some kitchen mishaps, I’ve also had “wow” moments in the kitchen and creating this pasta with heirloom tomatoes and feta (and basil and pancetta) was definitely a wow moment for me. This is a recipe I’m really, really proud of. Sometimes after I make something, I think of all the things that could be improved upon for next time. Additional ingredients I would add, or ingredients I’d omit the next time I make the dish. I wouldn’t change a thing about this recipe. I’ve been thinking about it all day and I can’t wait to eat the leftovers for dinner tonight. That’s how good it is. I felt that way about my brunch casserole with eggs, potatoes and bacon as well. There’s something extraordinarily satisfying about creating a dish that tastes this good. I’m proud of all my recipes on this blog, and they’re all special in their own right, but this one has to be one of my favorites. (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…)
I’ve been in Manhattan a lot lately. It’s been great. I love the city and I like to venture in as often as possible. My brother and his girlfriend, who is from Cambodia, are visiting from Asia for the Holidays and my family wanted to take them into the city to see Rockefeller Center and the famous Christmas tree. I generally avoid midtown because it’s always so packed with tourists but since we were there doing touristy things and it was impossible to take any sort of transportation (I will never take the train into the city the weekend between Christmas and New Years ever again) it seemed easiest to just pick a restaurant near Rockefeller Center for dinner. We settled on <a href=””>Michael’s Restaurant on West 55th Street between 5th and 6th. (more…)
Mmm…Quesadillas. These quesadillas are my go to quick, easy and satisfying dinner. What’s not to love about a warm, crispy tortilla oozing with melted cheese and meat or vegetables? The awesome thing about quesadillas is that they are incredibly versatile. You can stuff them with just about anything as long as you start with a tortilla and cheese. You could leave out the cheese but why on earth would anyone want to do that? Plus its the glue that holds the quesadilla all together. So, scratch that. You cannot make a quesadilla without cheese BUT you can make them vegetarian or use chicken, shrimp, beef or any other kind of filling you prefer. (more…)
This year I’ve really been enjoying the flavors of fall. Typically I find fall a little depressing probably because I love summer so much but this year I’ve actually enjoyed it. Not the cold weather, but definitely the food. Trader Joe’s pumpkin ice cream may have something to do with that. Seriously though I’ve recently realized just how delicious all the seasonal fall flavors can be, like the different kinds of squash that emerge, including my new favorite, delicata squash.
This dish is hearty, comforting and is definitely perfect for fall because of the butternut squash. The squash becomes the sauce in this recipe and is tossed with pasta shells and lots of sharp cheddar cheese. Then it’s topped with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs and baked off in the oven. Quintessential comfort food. There are lots of variations on butternut squash mac and cheese but this is the way I make it. (more…)
In my family we like to try out new dishes and we often create unique twists on traditional recipes for Holiday meals. However, we are also suckers for the classics and one classic we ALWAYS, always have at the dinner table every Holiday, no matter what, is my grandmother’s green bean casserole (pictured on the right in between the mac and cheese and brussels sprout salad). However, there are no crunchy onions in this version. It’s also by no means healthy and it’s old fashioned because, yes, it does call for one of those Campbell’s cream of whatever soups (no judgement please), but if you can get past that I promise you this casserole is delicious and is always the first thing to go at any of our Holiday parties. I live by the motto, “everything in moderation” and so I treat myself to this delicious casserole on Holidays. (more…)
Last night was the first night that really felt like winter to me. I was craving something comforting for dinner and pasta is the quintessential comfort food for me. This recipe combines many comforting flavors, especially for the fall and winter seasons. Butternut squash, Tuscan kale, and spicy sausage make up the backbone of this dish and the flavors go perfectly together.
What I love most about this dish is that the butternut squash actually becomes the sauce for the pasta. It’s pureed with chicken stock, mixed with some half and half and parmesan cheese and simmered until it becomes thick and creamy. I saw this idea on one of Rachael Ray’s shows and thought it was genious. I love butternut squash but I’ve never thought to turn it into a sauce for pasta. I bet you could also use canned pumpkin puree as a substitute if you didn’t have butternut squash on hand. This recipe has many different components and does require a number of steps and ingredients but it is really quite simple to follow and it’s so worth it! I’ve broken down the ingredients and recipe into two parts – making the squash sauce, and assembling the rest of the dish (the pasta, kale & sausage). (more…)
One of my favorite local restaurants is Blue Point Grill in Princeton. It’s on the pricey side but you can’t beat the fresh seafood. In fact, the menu changes daily depending upon what is caught that day. The menu is also extensive and offers all kinds of fish and seafood. One thing I love about Blue Point is that many of their fish entrees come prepared very simply with just a light lemon butter sauce. I love this because it really allows the flavor and the freshness of the fish to stand out. Food doesn’t always need tons of ingredients to make it taste good. Sometimes simpler is better and in this case it definitely is. (more…)
I was a little nervous to make this dish. Cooking with dried beans is kind of intimidating for me. I’m not sure why except that I guess it’s because I don’t do it all that often so I’m not sure how long to let them soak or how much liquid to cook them in. But that’s what google is for right? Turns out, it’s really not that difficult to cook with dried beans! There are also a variety of ways to cook them and although the process does take some time, this recipe is simple and the results are delicious. One of the most important steps in cooking with dried beans is to soak them overnight. It cuts down on the cooking time and helps to soften the beans.
This dish combines dried white cannellini beans, veggies like onions, carrots, and celery, chicken broth, fresh thyme and grated parmesan cheese. It’s topped with crumbled bacon and fresh parsley. It’s warm, creamy and comforting and a perfect dinner for a cold, rainy day. I actually make a similar recipe that I found in a cooking light magazine years ago with brown lentils but I think I like this version even better. Serve it with a piece of warm, crusty bread and it’s the perfect comforting meal for any night of the week. (more…)
If I’m being honest I generally hate ordering salads when I’m out to eat. It always seems like such a waste. There are usually so many other things on the menu I would rather be eating than a boring old salad. Don’t get me wrong, there are definitely moments when I crave salad and when made with fresh, good quality ingredients salads can be really yummy. But for the most part when I’m out to eat I always want to try other things on the menu. It’s pretty easy to skip over the salad section. (more…)