Archive for the 'Cooking' Category

Fall

November 18, 2010

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What says ‘fall’ better than risotto? Oh yea, butternut squash risotto. Mmmm.

Veggies galore

November 8, 2010

On Saturday, we had a late, huge lunch courtesy of a friend’s daughter’s dol. The rest of the day was spent running around town and taking care of errands. When dinner time rolled around, I was not feeling so great, and wanted something somewhat healthy to offset the Chinese feast we’d had earlier. I remembered Hana’s post about broccoli soup, and thought it sounded like the perfect light, yet comforting meal — and it was, served with some toasted bread, and a dollop of sour cream.

Initially, James was not so thrilled when I told him what I’d be making — and it showed. I don’t think I’ve ever seen him so unenthused upon hearing what was for dinner. He was so relieved when he sat down to eat and it wasn’t the bland mush he’d been imagining. He is now a believer in the almighty broccoli soup!

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Sunday, I got the chance to make these tomato and goat cheese tarts that I’ve had bookmarked for the longest time. They seemed like the perfect accompaniment to go with the leftover soup. What’s not to like: puff pastry, caramelized onions, goat cheese, tomato, parmesan, basil…oh yea, did I mention puff pastry? Seriously — all good things!

For a while, I’ve been considering trying to prepare a vegetarian meal at least once a week (à la Meatless Monday). With food like this, maybe we won’t miss meat as much as I thought we would!

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Last night’s dinner: Penne with Sausage

September 10, 2010

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When I was doing my meal plan at the beginning of the week, I asked James what he wanted to eat, and he asked for this pasta again. I had actually planned to make it Wednesday night, and have the leftovers for dinner on Thursday. BUT!! Early Wednesday evening, right in the middle of my Fantasy Football (why do I always want to write Final Fantasy instead?) draft, I heard a loud explosion outside, and all of a sudden – a deafening silence. All of our power went out, and first things first, I had to call my brother and beg him to log onto the draft and act as my proxy. Actually, my team is probably ten times better than it would have been otherwise.

As 7pm and impending darkness crept up, James and I quickly realized that we have no flashlights or candles in the house (!!!), but remembered we did buy an LED lantern for a camping trip. Of course, we had to dig through our entire storage closet to actually find it, but it was a relief that we wouldn’t have to rely on our rapidly dying cell phones for light all night long!

Thankfully, power was restored at some point in the wee hours, and I woke up on Thursday to blinking clocks and random lights on all over the house. I hemmed and hawed all day over whether the sausage in the fridge would still be ok, but decided it just wasn’t worth the risk and ended up making a trip to the grocery store to pick up some more. On the bright side, I bought everything we’ll need to get us through Tuesday…and then we’re off to Baltimore on Wednesday!

Labor Day

September 6, 2010

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I love the pumpkin-colored mums I picked up at the farmers’ market on Saturday – I am ready for fall! I also bought a 3 lb. bag of white nectarines that were so sweet, but really ripe and needed to be used ASAP. I woke up early today (I’m happy to work the holidays as long as I can do it from home) and had the brilliant idea of making some crumb bars. I could have done a better job combining the butter with the flour mixture so that the top would be more crumbly and less powdery, but my arm was getting tired, and they still ended up tasting great, especially with my morning coffee! Really not looking forward to going back to the grind tomorrow, after what has essentially been a 4.5-day weekend.

Last night’s dinner: Chicken with Mustard Mascarpone Marsala Sauce

August 26, 2010

From last Wednesday…

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Giada’s chicken with mustard mascarpone marsala sauce made its way back into my radar again because Hana emailed me recently to say that she had tried a dish that she just knew would be right up my alley. She obviously knows me so well – it was actually already one of my favorite recipes! After I read her email, I instantly started craving that delicious combination of mustard, mascarpone, and marsala (seriously – perfection!) and couldn’t wait to whip this up again. Believe me when I say I could have easily licked the plate clean!

Last night’s dinner: smoked salmon pasta

August 25, 2010

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James’s parents recently came back from a trip to Alaska with lots of salmon (smoked and fresh) in tow. I used some of the former to make this easy smoked salmon pasta. It turned out great, although I was expecting the sauce to be a bit thicker. I may add a little more cream next time, or maybe some cream cheese!

Last night’s dinner: oyakodon

August 20, 2010

From Tuesday…

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My first taste of this dish was during college, when I was visiting a Japanese friend’s home. His mom cooked us a wonderful lunch, and introduced me to the comforting goodness that is oyakodon. Since then, I’ve had it many times, and only recently realized how easy it would be to prepare at home. The only thing that I had to go a little out of my way to pick up was Hon Dashi (soup stock).

This is the second time I’ve made it in the past couple weeks, which should say something about how simple and delicious it is! I didn’t have any spring onions in the fridge, which I would’ve loved to throw in the mix, so I used some shredded nori for garnish this time around instead.

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Yum.

Last night’s dinner: herb-roasted onions

August 17, 2010

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I made Ina’s wonderful herb-roasted onions again! Seriously, so delicious – we just can’t get enough!

Last night’s dinner

August 10, 2010

I stumbled across the recipe for this green bean, corn, tomato salad when I was browsing through Martha’s Seasonal Produce Recipe Guide last week. I can’t believe it’s already August! I’m trying to hold onto summer for as long as I can (even though it has been uncharacteristically gloomy in LA lately), and what better way than with a few ears of fresh, sweet corn?

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I love that you can cook the corn and green beans ahead of time and set them aside with the garlic and olive oil (I killed two birds with one stone and used this) for the flavors to settle in. Then when the time comes to serve, just chop a few more vegetables (red onion and assorted colorful tomatoes), add some red wine vinegar, toss the whole thing together, season with salt if needed, and voilà – done! I also made chicken cutlets with herb butter to round out the meal, and everything came together quite nicely!

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Chicken salad

August 8, 2010

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Chicken salad sandwiches for lunch; baby spinach, sliced heirloom tomatoes, and a spoonful of chicken salad for dinner. Yum! Of course I sabotaged this somewhat healthy eating with one of the “chewy, fudgy triple chocolate brownies” I made earlier today for dessert. Oops!