• tri tip ragu
    Dinner,  Instant Pot

    InstantPot Tri-Tip Ragu

    It feels like work for both Rob and I has been keeping us pretty busy since we got back from vacation. As a result, I have been looking for simple recipes to make when we get home. We have made a lot of our go-tos and remade a few others that we haven’t made in a while. But the other night, we tried something new that was inspired by our trip to California: Instant Pot Tri-Tip Ragu. Tri-tip is effectively the official cut of meat for California that is rare on the east coast. Its a cut out of the bottom sirloin of the cow, which means its pretty lean…

  • Travel & Culture

    Sonoma, CA Travel Guide

    After Disneyworld, Sonoma is my favorite vacation spot. What’s not to love about wine and relaxation! Rob and I have ben a few times now and honestly have never had the same experience twice. We have stayed at several hotels now, tried a lot of wineries, and found some great food options. Now, I get share some of those with all of you. First, let me start by saying that Sonoma is a pretty big county. It can take several hours to drive all over it and in that time you can see mountains, beaches, wine country, and as many different temperatures/weather patterns. So, keep that in mind if you…

  • chicken dijon sauce
    Dinner

    Chicken with Dijon Pan Sauce

    I learned the basic technique of this recipe very early in my cooking experience. I ended up taking a Sur la Table cooking class with my sister and the basic recipe was the primary focus of the class. Pan sauces might just be one of the simplest but most versatile techniques out there. You really just need some good brown bit in your pan, an acidic liquid, and some basic flavor elements. The technique really does require those first two elements though. The brown bits from your meat (usually chicken, often dusted with flour) is basically pure flavor and are a cook’s best friend. The acid helps to grab all…

  • moroccan chicken
    Dinner

    Moroccan Roast Chicken Thighs

    Roasted chicken thighs are probably one of my favorite recipes. The reason I love them is just how versatile the concept is. If you can master the technique you can literally do almost any flavor style you can imagine. My recommendation is start French (like these) and then experiment from there. This time around I decided to take this in the direction of Moroccan. Rob actually suggested the concept based on a dish I had last time we were in Sonoma. We went to Glen Ellen Star, which is an awesome little restaurant in Glen Ellen (shocking, I know) that is one of our all-time favorites. Anyway, I had ordered…

  • NY Strip Fajita
    Dinner

    New York Strip “Fajitas”

    These are not what you’d call traditional fajitas, but we were looking to mix up our Mexican-inspired menu a bit. We have done plenty of taco/enchilada variants so it was time for something along the vein of Taco Tuesday, just elevated. Enter this awesome New York Strip recipe. Rob really took the lead for the steak, as usual. It’s something he really enjoys cooking and experimenting with, so I am going to let him keep going with it. The steak cooking technique is old-school European in style. Rob took the traditional French butter basting technique but added a lot of Mexican inspired flavor. First was the spice rub for the…

  • summer bolognese
    Dinner

    Summer Bolognese 2.0

    One of the few downsides to summer is that cooking hearty meals isn’t usually something you want. When its hot and gross out, do you really want a heavy meat dish? So, I have been continuing to experiment with making bolognese a good summer meal. I really wanted to make something like the Rabbit Bolognese (yes, Rob made a pasta sauce with a rabbit sausage) we made back in April; however, just a little lighter. To really get that lighter flavor, I started with the veggies base. This time around I went with leek. If you aren’t familiar with leek, think really big green onion. It’s got a great light…

  • cucumber tom collins
    Cocktails

    Cucumber Tom Collins

    After a weekend off, Rob is back with a new cocktail creation perfect for these hot summer days. Nothing says light and easy like this Cucumber Tom Collins. I love when Rob makes these because they are just so refreshing and with pretty much no sugar or anything. The Tom Collins is the quintessential mid-century American backyard cocktail. I’m sure you can picture it: a citrusy, fizzy cocktail in a tall glass. Think back to any movie involving that time period and they probably are drinking them in it. Its given way to beer in many ways as the cookout drink of choice, but I still love it. It was…

  • drop biscuit
    Breakfast

    Drop Biscuits

    Drop Biscuits are not a new recipe for me; however, I took advantage of the long weekend to make breakfast and try a few new things. The last time I made drop biscuits they ended up coming out pretty dense and dry. It was almost like a scone, which is not at all what I wanted. So let the research begin. I prefer drop biscuits to traditional biscuits really because of the simplicity. Having to do a bunch of rolling and needing to get the layers needed to make a traditional flaky biscuit is too much. The drop biscuit eliminated most of the work. The last time I made drop…

  • baked bbq chicken
    Dinner

    Baked BBQ Chicken

    I really like cookout or BBQ food; unfortunately, living in an apartment can make that really tough. Between a limited number of grills and not really being able to let things cook for long times, I have to find other ways. Baking makes for a pretty sure-fire bet when you are limited by equipment. Chicken definitely bakes well so the only thing you maybe loose is some char or smokiness. I tried a few new techniques for this baked BBQ chicken to experiment. Thankfully everything worked out great. So if you have the time and want to try something new, I highly recommend these. First, we ended up breaking down…

  • blackberry whiskey sour
    Cocktails

    Blackberry Ward 8

    Rob’s got a new variation on my favorite cocktail of all time: the Whiskey Sour. The whiskey sour is a super versatile cocktail base and there are some classic variations that have become their own classics. The Ward 8 is one such off-shoot that has stood the test of time. It traces its history back to turn-of-the-century Boston, where it takes its name from one of the voting divisions of the city. Its one of those old cocktails that have a number of origin stories surrounding it. Rob loves that kind of cocktail, they are well established, but don’t necessarily have a “right/wrong” recipe. Traditionally, the mixers for the Ward…

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