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Posts Tagged ‘recipes’

I tend to use orzo often when making pasta dishes because it’s just so versatile–it works well in soups, pasta salads and even in faux-risotto dishes–and it also doesn’t necessarily need the giant pasta pot that long noodles require if you’re only making pasta for one or two people.  The original recipe that this is an adaptation of calls for spaghetti, but when we substituted orzo the lemony sauce coated the pasta much more evenly and the parsley added a bit more of a bite than the basil does, especially for this time of year.

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I know I’ve been away from the blog for a while–my mind is very much in job-hunting mode and that, along with the holidays, have zapped me of inspiration.  But tomorrow is New Year’s Eve, and the husband and I are going to celebrate as we usually do–making lots of food, drinking wine, watching movies and playing board games–and we’re going to add a new player to the lineup:  a homemade focaccia loaf.

With the exception of two cookie baking episodes, our Artisan stand mixer has laid primarily dormant, mostly because I hate baking sweets (because then we have to eat them).  But our journey to Italy opened me up to the wonders of a simple focaccia, and since we’ve been back I’ve made well over five loaves, including one we brought to a Christmas party a few weeks ago.  It’s an insanely easy recipe that I’ve adapted from an Emeril recipe, and the results are fabulous:

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Almost a year ago I picked up a copy of Food & Wine magazine that touted “Italy’s Best Recipies.”  touting some of each main “food” region’s best specialties.  This led to us making Piadina with Ricotta, Proscuitto and Arugula, which is freaking delicious, but it also left us with a tub of ricotta cheese that we somehow had to use up.

Being one who hates wasting food if she can helps it (especially when it comes to cheeses), I took inspiration from the original recipe and started with a lump of ricotta that was lightly seasoned with salt and pepper, and then I added a dash of Herbs de Provence for good measure.  Adding some warm pasta and Parmesan, I ended up with a delicious, super-easy-comfort dish that is perfect for those nights when you’re cooking for yourself and you don’t want to dirty a lot of dishes in order to make a meal:

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The sudden turn for the chilly has made me want to seek out comfort food in a serious way.  Saturday marked the first day since we’ve been back in the States that wasn’t lovely and temperate, and prompted me to lobby for a warm, rich sauced pasta for dinner that night in lieu of one of our normal lighter dishes.  A few minutes of Google searching yielded a lovely recipe for a ragu that originally called for venison, but that we turned into a lamb version:

 

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The Project Runway marathon leading up to the finale is on as background noise for me today as I do some chores (I just threw out a ton of old school papers and other assorted junk that I really didn’t need anymore), and I was beyond excited to see the annoucement of Top Chef‘s return time and date:  November 12th!  So in honor of Tom Colicchio’s admonishment that any cook worth his salt (pardon the pun) can cook an egg well, I’ve done a little spin on the traditional egg salad sandwich:

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