A Four-Step Guide To Shopping at The Farmers Market

Pardon us! We’ve interrupted your usual weekly farmers market roundup to discuss a very important issue: shopping at the farmers market… effectively. As someone who rarely shops with a grocery list (if I’m lucky, I’ll think about what I want … Continue reading

Be My Valentine {One Bite At A Time}

Nikki of Cupcakes For Breakfast asked me to guest post in her week long series for a bloggers’ Valentine’s Day! Hope you guys like it – and thank you so much Nikki!

A Guide For Two Cooks In The Kitchen

When Nikki originally asked me to do a Valentine’s day guest post I was excited, but at a loss as to what to write about. Then I recalled a conversation I had with a chef friend of mine.

Food is so many things, but most importantly food is all about love. And on special days, it’s quite sexy too! My chef friend asked me if I’d ever cooked with someone before and imagine his surprise when I said no, no I had not. For loving food as much as I do and cooking or baking all the time, I’d never cooked with someone!

Click through to check out my tips for cooking with a (special?) friend :) 

This Weekend: Chocolate Crisps & Fuzzy Socks

via Martha Stewart

This week kicked my ass. Not that things were particularly busy, or any task remarkably difficult, but it was one of those weeks where my skin was a little too thin to be dealing with some of the people that came my way. Difficult people will always be difficult, and haters are always gonna hate, so this weekend I’m focusing on rebuilding some of that skin.

via Pinterest

My to do list for the weekend includes:

  1. Make these dark chocolate cookie crisps.
  2. Make something with blood oranges – it’s citrus season and I want to take full advantage of it!
  3. Wear leggings, fuzzy socks and lay on the couch with some bourbon. Guilt free.
  4. Clean my apartment. Because I’m incapable of enjoying or doing anything unless my space is completely clean.
  5. Order Valentine’s day cards/flowers/gifts for all the special ladies in my life – single or coupled, I’m taking this opportunity to remind them of how much I love them.

What are you guys cooking and doing this weekend? If you have a blood orange recipe that you love, please share in the comments! I’m on the hunt!

via Design Sponge

 

Orecchiette with Balsamic Roasted Brussel Sprouts

Let’s talk about weeknight dinners. A Monday dinner no less. Could there be a less appealing night to get in the kitchen and dirty up a ton of dishes?

Last night, after hiking up the hill to my apartment, peeling off layer after layer of cold weather gear, slipping off my boots and putting on pajamas, I plopped down on the couch and just stared at my kitchen. I was starving. I needed to eat. But all I wanted in that moment was my make-believe cabana boy (who doubles as a chef) to come cook me dinner.

Alas. My cabana boy seemed to have the night off. So I reminded myself how therapeutic cooking can be, even when your body and mind are tired, and got to it.

The brussel sprouts were two days shy of being thrown out. The orecchiette hadn’t been opened despite taking up valuable real estate in my cupboard for over a month now. The butter and the cheese, well, that was my reward to myself for getting off the couch.

I cooked in silence for once. Usually I jam some music or have MSNBC on in the background, but the sounds of the knife thunking on the cutting board, the hissss of gas when I turned on the oven and even the crinkle and tear of the parchment paper I used for roasting the sprouts was a soothing back drop. And there it was, I found my zen.

It was a nice little moment, and something I need to remind myself I can have every day if I like. I have a tendency to stop before I even start when it comes to weeknight cooking, don’t you? I have these big ideas for, let’s get real, ambitious meals, and once I get home the idea of cooking for more than 15 minutes sounds completely overwhelming. (Not to mention the dishes. Oy! The dishes!) But these meals can, and should, be simple but special in some way. So here are my weeknight cooking tips:

  1. Start with a pantry staple (in this case, pasta)
  2. Add an ingredient you don’t normally use (brussel sprouts)
  3. Boost flavor (balsamic here, but think spices and herbs too)
  4. Indulge a bit (butter and cheese)
  5. BONUS TIP: add an appetizer

Regarding that last one – start keeping some good bread/crackers and cheese in your house. You’re not going to eat the whole loaf or inhale the entire wedge of cheese, but a couple slices of each with a glass of wine while you wait for dinner to finish can be really nice. I probably have more cheese in my house than I know what to do with, and am perpetually freezing my favorite loaf of bread.  These odd habits have served me well for both the average weeknight and for entertaining unexpected guests.

But let’s get to it – here’s what you’ll be making for dinner tonight! Continue reading