Wait, make that “Tortellini-Are-Little-Puffs-of-Heaven and Italian Sausage Stew.” Kind of a long name, though. I’ll work on it.
It’s been a very soup-y fall for me, for a couple of reasons. 1)Fall just seems to need soup. I don’t know what it is but for some reason, fall is a soup season. 2)Soup recipes make a lot and it’s great for pouring leftovers into a jar and taking it work a couple days for lunch. 3)I rarely made soup before last year because I was convinced I was a failure at it. I’m not nearly as nervous now. Clearly if I can do, any idiot can. But I repeat myself.
This week has been a massive failure, culinarily speaking. I think I ate out half the week, with the exception of last night, when Josh made Kraft Mac for us for dinner because I was too lightheaded to do anything but fall asleep after a very long day at work during which I ran around a lot and only actually ate one chocolate-banana smoothie and four homemade oreos.
These meatballs were the one gastronomical high point of my week, and that’s sad. The meatballs aren’t sad; they’re fantastic. What’s sad is that I have yet to follow them up with anything as delicious. To make it up to you, and to my poor, poor belly, I think I will make some barbecue this weekend and post all the mouth-watering photos that I can. That’s my gift to you. Or it will be. If I do it.
Anyway, I can’t really remember but I’m pretty sure I made these on Monday, before my week went completely to crap. I really love meatballs. I’m intrigued by them. Not the “Why the hell would you do that?” kind of fascination that I have with meatloaf, oddly enough, but a simple curious adoration (I’ll do anything for meatballs but I won’t do that?). In fact, if you recall, my previous iteration of this blog was chickenmeatballs.wordpress.com. It’s one of my food goals to master the art of meatball making (along with icing, pulled pork, chocolate turtles, pancakes, biscuits and a few thousand other things—luckily, I think I’ve got the chocolate chip cookie down). Well, this week I think I moved a tiny bit closer to my goal of meatball perfection. Continue reading
uh yes please
I picked out glasses yesterday afternoon. Prescription sunglasses, to be precise. I can’t really tell you what they look like though. I’m not even really sure. That’s the problem with having to try on glasses when you don’t wear contacts and are otherwise mostly blind. But hey, in about 3-4 weeks when they come in, maybe I’ll be pleasantly surprised! Or horrified. We’ll see. Ha. We’ll see. Get it? Yeah.
So after that, I walked down to Kerrytown and waited for Josh to pick me up. It’s after five at this point. Then we have to go get the dog because yes, my dog goes to doggy daycare once a week so he can run around and socialize like the wild beast that he is. Of course, to get him, we have to drive through all the construction down on Main Street by Stadium and then once we’ve got him, we have to stop at the bank. And then drive through rush-hour traffic through town because there’s no way we’re hitting I-94 at this hour and by the time we get home, settled, mail on the table, shoes off the feet, bathroom break taken care of, dog fed, etc, etc, etc, we’re looking at almost 7pm and time to make dinner and I’m starving. I also have a lot of freelance work to do—videos to edit, DVDs to burn, that sort of thing–and don’t want to be on my feet all night cooking. And then there’s that nagging little voice that says, “Screw cooking; order a pizza from Aubree’s. With breadsticks. Don’t forget my breadsticks.” Continue reading
The first time I had a pasta carbonara was at a cooking class at Hollanders in Kerrytown. I’ve long been interested in the whole “bacon and egg pasta” idea, but only in philosophy, because after all…I don’t eat breakfast. I know, I know, just one more of my weird culinary idiosyncrasies. Still, I wanted to try making carbonara on my own, particularly seeing how easy it was to do. I wanted something a bit lighter and healthier tonight though (something about eating crushed lentil soup from Pita Kabob Grill makes me crave healthy things…at least until someone offers me something chocolate). So I opted to throw together a healthier vegetarian version of the dish. Continue reading
My dear friend and fellow foodie/home cook and vegetarian extraordinaire Paul came over to hang out with us for a while tonight and in honor, I made a simple, tasty dinner of a mushroom and leek ragout. Mostly because I had most of the stuff for pasta and needed to fill my quota of 2 or 3 pasta dishes a week.
Like…well, every dish I make, this is a fairly flexible recipe. And by “recipe,” I mean “guideline.” And by “guideline,” I mean, “loosely affiliated series of ingredients, directions and methods.” Continue reading
So awhile ago I got another email from the POM Wonderful people asking if I’d like to try out their new line of POMx iced coffees. Um, of course I would. Not because I drink coffee. Because I don’t. Which is odd because I’m pretty sure my office is about this (–) close to digging an underground tunnel straight to Starbucks for those every-three-hour coffee urges. So I mostly took the offer for them, because they love coffee, and they’d love to try this stuff and most importantly, to see what I could make out of it.
In a brief bit of exposition (insert Morgan Freeman voiceover here), POMx iced coffee doesn’t actually taste like pomegranates (which kind of made me a little sad…I mean, how interesting would pomegranate coffee be? People drink pumpkin coffee. I suppose if you’re really interested, you can try making some pomegranate syrup and adding it to your morning latte), but does contain the very powerful antioxidants that come from pomegranates. So you get your caffeine boost and antioxidants to boost. If modern medicine journalism and my incredible powers of premonition* are correct, if you drink enough of this stuff, you will live forever. Or at least until that super volcano under Montana blows. Continue reading
You know, I tried really hard to think of a witty lead in for this blog post, but I’ve got nothing. I blame it on Monday. We’ll see how it goes tomorrow. [Edit: Thankfully, Sophia saved me with a hilarious new title that you can read above.]
But anyway, tonight we made calzones. Partly out of a want of pizza on my part, partly out of a guiltiness that I pasted a calzone recipe into my Evernote months ago and had yet to get around to making it, and partly because Busch’s has ground sirloin on sale. I figured, heck, at home we already had cheese, peppers, onions, garlic, spinach and mushrooms and tomatoes…all we had to do is pick up the beef and some pizza dough. AND we–and by “we” I mean “I”–could make enough for tonight and tomorrow’s lunch. Genius. Of course, once at the store, a few other items got added to the list, mostly due to Josh’s deep-seated love for pepperoni and pizza sauce. And then it came down to the crust.
What to use?
I mean, at this point, I’m feeling too lazy to make my own pizza crust. And by “this point,” I mean “I am always too lazy to make my own pizza crust.” But Busch’s only had (that I know of) frozen pizza crusts, and we didn’t want to wait for a dough ball to thaw. Nor did we really trust the canned Pillsbury pizza crust (don’t get me wrong–I am not a food snob (much) and and I have made more than my share of Pillsbury cinnamon rolls, biscuits and donuts but pizza dough? In a can? For some reason I won’t go that far). And we didn’t want to venture to another store to get fresh pizza dough. So I did the only reasonable thing: I picked up a couple of pie crusts. Pillsbury. My reluctance to embrace pizza-in-a-can also does not extend to ready-made-roll-out-pie crusts. I’m a complex creature. There’s no point in trying to figure it out. Continue reading
Once upon a midnight dreary Wednesday evening while I pondered weak and weary over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore after walking the dog 2 miles and he was still wanting more…Ah distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December cool Septembr and each separate dying ember stomach growl wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow; vainly I had sough to borrow from my cookbooks surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore Dinner, for the rare and radiant maiden mealtime whom the angels name Lenore Dinner nameless here forevermore….
What? I have a lot of time on my hands this evening. Continue reading
I just want to state for the record that I’ve never made chicken parmesan and I didn’t actually look for a recipe for it before making this, but for the life of us, Josh and I just could not decide on what to have for dinner. I mulled over what we had in the house (a thawed chicken breast, a bunch of groceries from the farm share) and thought at first of doing a chicken paillard with a tomatillo sauce and maybe some potatoes on the side…but then I thought, well we have tomatoes too…how about a tomato sauce…and we have mozzarella…we could top it with that….and then I realized I was basically thinking of chicken parmesan but without so much parmesan…So I figured, I can just throw something together and we’ll see how it comes out!
Fake Chicken Parmesan Continue reading
I wasn’t going to blog this recipe…it’s a plain old lasagna. And it’s July. Who bakes a lasagna in July and blogs about it? Me. At Josh’s request. That Josh is a bad influence.
Anyway, here is the basic recipe: Continue reading
Today was a pasta kind of day. You know those days. It was rainy all morning and wet and even though it cleared up this afternoon, it just seemed like a day that was destined for noodles covered in sauce wearing some sort of delicious cheese. We have pasta pretty often, though, and I wanted something not quite the same as the usual linguine or rigatoni with meatballs or meat sauce with ground beef. So we went with a variation on the theme with a more traditional ragù. Sometimes ragù is known as bolognese sauce, although traditional bolognese is made somewhat differently (served with tagliatelle or green lasagna and containing beef (sometimes pork or lamb), pancetta, onions, carrots, tomato paste, broth, red wine and sometimes cream or milk) and comes from Bologna, Italy.
So what did I do?
I went shopping. I had to. We were actually almost entirely out of pasta, which is very rare for us. So on the way home from work, Josh and I headed to Busch’s and picked up a package of beef stew meat (I would have used a cheap cut of shoulder and chopped it up myself, but there were none), a can of crushed tomatoes, onions, a bag of shell pasta (conchiglie) and a small block of parmesan. Including the cost of the pizza dough from yesterday to make garlic bread with, the entire dinner worked out to about $10 not including spices. Woot!
Now, generally I can make a pasta dinner for the two of us in a half hour. Tonight it was an hour and a half, and most of that was simmering the sauce to cook the stew meat long enough to let it start to melt into the sauce. I’m a big fan of packaged beef stew meat for slowcooked meals. It’s cheap, it’s delicious when properly seasoned, it responds well to long cooking times and hey, who doesn’t love the iron and the protein? Vegetarians, that’s who. Continue reading
So…I like semifreddo. I like the word “semifreddo.” It’s Italian for basically, “semi frozen.” There’s many varieties of this dish but what originally got me hooked on it was a cookies and cream semifreddo from Tyler Florence, which I made Josh for Valentine’s Day.
So tonight I felt like making a variation on that one, with oreo cookies and chocolate whipped cream. It’s a first iteration–it needs some work, so I’ll be trying it again and again and adjusting the recipe as I go along.
Two things came into play this evening. No, three. 1) I had leftover pepperoni in the fridge from making toast pizza. 2) It’s summer and I prefer to grill food whenever and wherever possible in the summer–I mean, I have grilled breakfast before. I won’t turn on the stove if I don’t have too. 3) I really, really, really did not want to eat another burger. Instead, I thought to myself, “Hey, self! Let’s grill pizza for dinner instead.” I figured I could pile it with veggies and low-moisture part skim mozzarella since, after all, we did have lunch at Bill’s and wanted something healthier but just as tasty as chili dogs for dessert. So pizza! Josh was all about it. I mean, we are married for a reason.
So on the way home from Bill’s, we stopped at the store and stocked up on a few things–pizza sauce (Delallo’s was on sale), baby spinach, frozen pepper mix (Josh’s favorite) and a ball of frozen pizza dough. While Josh and I do enjoy making our own pizza on a fairly regular basis, this would be the first time for either of us to really grill a pizza. After leaving the dough ball on the counter to thaw for a few hours, and giving our appetites time to return, the moment was at hand. Continue reading
Rigatoni and meatballs, to be specific. Mmm meatballs. You may have guessed that I enjoy meatballs. Or perhaps not. There may have been no clues at all…Anyway, below is a pictoral history of what went down:
+ + Continue reading
So this was tonight’s meal. It was sort of a riff off a couple meals I’ve made before, a combination of my “pasta with sausage and kale,” which was inspired by this recipe, and my chicken meatballs, which I love. Normally my chicken meatballs are made with ground chicken breast, and sometimes with a bit of spicy pork sausage thrown in; this time, I used ground chicken thigh and hot Italian chicken sausage. I wasn’t as big a fan of the meatballs, but Josh liked them.