When I first heard of hamburger buddy, I was skeptical. The name doesn’t sell it very well, calling to mind boxes of prepackaged, minimal assembly required meals. Convenient, sure, but not something I usually go for at the store. Though the recipe doesn’t explicitly say so, I’m positive this is supposed to be the homemade version of Hamburger Helper.Read More
A little less than a year ago, I posted this recipe for Mac n’ Cheese. The technique of cooking the pasta in the béchamel sauce was new to me and so appealing for cutting down on dishes. It reliably gave the baked Mac n’ Cheese a wonderful texture too, something that had eluded me with other recipes. Now my Mac n’ Cheese comes out the same every time and just the way I like it. I found this recipe, and I’ve stuck with it very happily.Read More
That’s all I really want to say to introduce this recipe. I could go on about how yummy they are, but really I just want you to take my word for it and make them. They are Ottolenghi at his best - simple but totally packed with flavor.Read More
This Moroccan Chicken Pie is easily one of my favorite foods. I remember the first time I took a bite…it was an explosion of flavor and I couldn’t get enough of it. Crispy, buttery, flaky, sweet, savory, nutty, spiced, herbed…oh it’s just too good.
And the whole process of making it is nearly as satisfying as its taste.Read More
For our household, I’m often looking for easy, crowd pleasing, economical meals. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked up how to eat a potato for dinner. But happily, one of my searches brought this kugel to light. The original recipe never mentioned serving it as dinner, but that didn’t stop me. Doubling the proportions, using a large casserole dish, and adding a sprinkle of cheese on top (or not), this seemed substantial and tasty enough if served along a nice side of greens or veggie or fruit. While I make it for dinner many times, it also serves as a stupendous brunch dish. Plus, I love how it takes under a half an hour to whip up. The rest is hands off time in the oven.Read More
I came up with the idea for this recipe after making chipotle sour cream to go along with baked bean & cheese burritos. The sauce was so good, I just wanted more of it. Then I remembered beef stroganoff, which is essentially beef coated with sour cream. If I just added chipotle to the sour cream, I’d have exactly what I was hankering after, right?Read More
I’ve never made a pasty (that’s pah-stee) before—let along a Cornish pasty—so I really wasn’t sure what to expect. Obviously I turned to Paul Hollywood’s recipe for my inspiration, and then browsed a few others to get a sense of possible variations in method and technique. (I had some issues with Paul Hollywood’s GBBO recipe as it appears on BBC.com, so I had to do some research to get clarity. I think the recipe you’ll find below resolves the issues; see the note at the end if you are curious!)Read More
Tomato soup and grilled cheese: it’s an American staple. Probably because it’s fast, and it’s satisfying.
The thing is, as a grown adult cooking for my family, I discovered that many cans and cartons of tomato soup are chock full of sugars. On the other hand, a lot of homemade recipes, although fresh and delicious, take time to make, and don’t yield that ultra smooth brilliant soup you get from a can.Read More
I was inspired to make this dish after trying a recipe from this Food52 cookbook. The squash & chickpea salad/side recipe was delicious, but lacked enough “oomph” to pass for a meal on its own (at least in our house). So I added in couscous, tweaked the proportions, and discovered a few toppings that paired nicely. The result: a delicious, filling and surprisingly fresh dinner, sometimes hard to come by in the winter with no garden fresh produce.Read More
I think most of the country has a few more weeks until warm weather, so I’m offering this deep hearty soup as a small comfort in the long lingering winter. This soup was everything I wanted it to be on the cold and rainy day I made it: warm and comforting, creamy smooth, flavorful and filling. The roasted garlic and fennel give it depth and the beans give it substance so that with a slice of bread and a hearty salad you’ve got a very satisfying meal. I served it with salty crisped salami which highlighted the mellow sweetness of the fennel and garlic. I don’t think kids should always be a standard of a successful dish but when they gobble down a bowl of soup and ask for leftovers the next day I think it’s safe to say it’s a keeper.
roasted garlic fennel and white bean soup
12 cloves garlic
2 bulbs fennel, sliced 1/2 inch think, fronds cut off and reserved
olive oil and butter
1 onion, chopped
1 carrot, peeled and chopped
1 stalk celery, chopped
1 bay leaf
2 cans (about 3.5 cups) white beans (either cannellini or Great Northern)
3 1/2 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
optional garnish: crisped pancetta, bacon, or salami and fennel fronds
Preheat the oven to 400. Coat the fennel slices and unpeeled garlic cloves in a couple glugs of olive oil. Lay out on a sheet pan and roast for 30 minutes, or until soft and just beginning to brown on the edges. Remove from oven and set aside. When cool enough to handle, roughly chop up the fennel and peel the garlic cloves (you can basically just squeeze the cloves right out of the skin.)
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and 2 tbsp butter over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft, 5-8 minutes. Add the chopped fennel and garlic and cook for a minute or two more. Add the broth, beans, and bay leaf and simmer for 10-15 minutes. Remove the bay leaf and blitz the soup with an immersion blender, or in batches in a standing blender. Return to the pot and stir in the cream. Salt and pepper to taste. If desired, serve with a swirl of cream, a sprinkle of crisped bacon, pancetta, or salami and the reserved fennel fronds.
Like any casserole, this is one of those meals that doesn’t look that impressive. I wouldn’t necessarily serve it for company. But, it is easy to whip up, works with what you have, and goes over well with both children and adults. So in my books, a weekday win.Read More
I don’t know how authentic “Indonesian” this recipe is—I don’t even know where we got this recipe—but in our family it has gone by the name “Indonesian Chicken,” sometimes “Peanut Butter Chicken,” for years.Read More
I have two pork recipes I use if I have a pork shoulder or butt: carnitas or milk-braised pork. They’re both great recipes and I doubt we’ll ever get sick of them, especially as they are really versatile and the leftovers freeze great and work with a multitude of subsequent meals. But I had a bone-in pork shoulder roast sitting in my fridge this week, just asking for special treatment. If you’ve watched Salt Fat Acid Heat on Netflix (which you should!), you’ll know what I mean when I say the idea of a porchetta sandwich was driving me a little crazy. One of my Cook’s Illustrated magazines had a porchetta recipe which I had been eyeing for a while, but I wasn’t up for deboning and fussing over any meat, so I skipped all that and roasted it bone-in. I guess I can’t compare it side by side to a boneless version, but it was incredibly delicious. The fat on the outside gets crispy and all crackling like and just explodes with flavor. It was a smash hit - and pretty simple and straightforward for all that.Read More
Hello again! Yes, we have been on an almost month long hiatus. It was not intentional. In fact, the three of us discussed how we wanted to avoid the post-Christmas silence this year. Obviously that fell through.Read More
We recently moved from Florida to Colorado, where my husband is originally from. In fact, we moved back to the same city where he grew up—into the same house he lived from when he was 6 weeks old to 18 years and heading off to college.
That’s right. We’ve moved in with his parents while we work on getting a new venture off the ground.Read More
I can’t believe I’m only just getting this recipe into a blog post. I think it’s because its one of those dishes we have so often that I throw it together without even thinking. You’d think that would make an easy write up, but it ends up being really tricky to sit down and list out the precise ingredient quantities and directions for a process which has become reflexive and automatic. Nevertheless, for you, dear readers, I have made the effort.
This recipe was given to me in a simpler form. Over the years I have tweaked it here and there to our tastes. It’s simple, budget friendly, packed with flavor, feeds a crowd or makes multiple meals, … what more can you ask for? I hope you’ll take it and tweak it here and there and over time make it yours!Read More
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A friend of mine hosted a Cookbook Party this past weekend and the cookbook of choice was Nigella Lawson’s “Nigella Kitchen”. She’s such a charming personality - so effortlessly beautiful, so at ease and likeable - but I haven’t actually cooked many of her recipes so I didn’t know what to expect for this dinner. I chose the Risotto Bolognese because I never spend the time on a good bolognese or a good risotto; a recipe that killed both those birds with one stone seemed pretty ideal to me.
This is not a quick and easy recipe. It’s not difficult, but it’s definitely the kind of cooking saved for when you want to be a cook, not a mom throwing dinner on the table in the hectic early hours of evening. The bolognese sauce requires some work up front and then a low-and-slow cook in the oven; the rice gets slowly cooked in the sauce (with the addition of more broth) for a total of about 2 hours. That last bit requires constant stirring, but the resulting dish is well worth the effort. The bolognese is so rich and flavorful and the rice has the perfect texture of firm but yielding. This is comfort food at its sophisticated best.
The other meals at the party included pumpkin parmesan scones, panzanella, creamy tarragon chicken, and chicken with chorizo and potatoes, just to name a few. (I won’t even get started on the desserts … no, really, I can’t … but just let me say CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER CHEESCAKE. Ok, I’m done. But oh my gosh it was so good.) I thought all the dishes were really good (although I have to say I was puzzled by the omission of salt in many of her recipes) and definitely within the realm of practical home cooking.
Nigella’s engaging personality comes through even her simplest instructions. My adaptation of her recipe below will have neither her charm nor her abundance of other good recipes, the kind you can turn to when you need reliably good and flavorful results. I recommend purchasing a copy of her cookbook Nigella Kitchen for your cookbook collection!
feeds 6 as a main and 8-10 as a side
1 onion, chopped roughly
1 onion, peeled and chopped roughly
1 celery stalk, chopped roughly
1 clove garlic
a handful of parsley
1/2 lb bacon, chopped roughly
4 anchovy fillets or 1 tsp anchovy paste (can skip)
3 Tbsp butter (+ 1 Tbsp extra for later)
8 oz ground beef
1/3 cup dry marsala
14-oz can diced tomatoes, processed into a puree
1 Tbsp tomato paste
2 Tbsp whole milk
2 quarts veal broth, divided into 2 cups and 6 cups (I used roasted beef broth)
2 large bay leaves or 4 smaller ones
2 1/2 cups arborio rice
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
Combine the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, parsley, bacon, and anchovy (paste) in a food processor and process on low until into a chunky paste.
Preheat the oven to 300. In a large dutch oven or pot with a heavy lid, heat the 3 Tbsp butter with a splash of olive oil over medium heat. Cook the pasty onion bacon mixture until soft, stirring, about 5-8 minutes. Add the ground beef and cook, stirring and breaking up, until the meat is cooked through. Stir in the marsala. Add the pureed diced tomatoes, the milk, 2 cups broth, and the bay leaves. Stir while the mixture comes to a boil. Once boiling, cover with lid and put in the oven to cook for 1 hour.
A little before the hour is up, warm the remaining broth over low heat. Take the meat mixture out of the oven and remove the bay leaves. Keep over low heat. Add the rice in along with a ladleful of broth, stirring constantly until the broth has been absorbed and the mixture thickened. Add another ladleful of broth and repeat, always stirring. Keep repeating this process until the rice is cooked through. The rice should be yielding with the slightest bit of resistance - not mushy but not crunchy. You might not use all the broth but keep in mind that the rice will continue to absorb as it sets. You’re going for a balance between soupy and clumpy.
Remove from heat and stir in Parmesan, then the extra tablespoon of butter. Salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.
*Nigella recommends forming any cold leftovers into patties and frying them up in a well oiled griddle until hot and crispy. I did this for dinner the day after and served them topped with a fried egg on crusty bread. It was fantastic!
Simply Divine Carrot Soup is simple, and divine. Carrots, onions, garlic, a splash of white wine, broth, salt and pepper, and heavy cream combine into a silky smooth soup that lets the carrots shine.Read More
The first time I had gnocchi was during a family trip to Italy, during the girls’ trip to Florence specifically. One bite, and I wondered why these little potato dumplings of goodness had never been in my life before. Not long after returning home, I discovered a recipe in the Joy of Cooking and quickly made it. From there, I began making gnocchi more and more frequently from hosting a number of gnocchi parties throughout college to making them for my husband and now my family.Read More