• chocolate vanilla swirl cheesecake
    Baked Good

    Black & White Cheesecake

    Cheesecake was the only request Rob’s sister had when her and her fiance over for dinner before they move cross country. They have been the taste testers for all of our cheesecakes so far and this time would be no different. In order to mix it up, I decided to do a chocolate/plain swirl. We had intended to give this a try on our last cheesecake, but we ended up just doing a layered thing. The swirl worked out really well, we may have accidentally made a little too much chocolate. We were also happy to find that there was not any impact of the cooking (if anything it cooked…

  • summer turkey chili
    Dinner

    Summer Turkey Chili

    It has been a while since I last made chili and now that it’s getting warmer I wanted to make it a little lighter. The answer was a brighter Turkey-based chili that maintained that key heartiness but feels a lot lighter. The turkey was a really great meat for chili. Its on the leaner side and brings some light flavor. We did a mix of ground white and dark meat to keep it lean overall but also get some of that great dark meat flavor. For flavors, I used a pretty classic spice mix, but instead of going for smoky like my normal beef chili and went bright. We went…

  • cauliflower gratin
    Side Dish

    Sheet Pan Cauliflower Gratin

    This is such an easy to throw together side dish. I call it a gratin because its topped with cheese but its basically a sheet pan roast with some cheese on top. Roasted cauliflower has become one of my favorite sides because of the simplicity, but also the taste and texture. Cauliflower crisps so nicely when you roast it, giving it a nice slightly crunchy note. It also serves as a really nice flavor canvas since it doesn’t have a strong natural flavor. For this we went pretty basic, I did a simple olive oil and garlic. The cauliflower got the perfect browning and a nice subtle flavor. Topped it…

  • zakarian greek yogurt pasta
    Dinner,  Lunch

    Zakarian’s Yogurt and Herb Pasta

    So, this may be the first time I got a real inspiration from watching the Kitchen on the Food Network. The best part of the show though is definitely Geoffrey Zakarian (just gonna call him GZ going forward). When he makes something on the show, its more often than involves proper technique and flavor pairings. This one actually caught my eye and made me go oooh! I would describe it as basically a Tzaziki Pasta, which just sounded awesome. What’s really great is that the only thing that you need to cook is the pasta. We did cook up some chicken pieces to provide protein but its not required. The…

  • french skillet steak
    Dinner

    French Skillet Steak

    Its been a little while since we made a steak and we felt like having a bit of a special dinner in. Rob has been prepping steaks with a lot of reduction sauces and we wanted to mix it up. This time around, Rob went back to the classic butter basting technique and an multi-herb aoli for topping. While grilling steak can be fun, I have really grown to love the skillet. The crust that you form with this method really adds a nice texture. Even more than the texture, if really helps to lock in the juices. The butter basting adds a nice little bit of flavor at the…

  • spicy pepperoni sausage pizza
    Dinner

    Spicy Pepperoni-Sausage Pizza

    This pizza is a homemade homage to a few of our favorite eat out pizza options. If you ever find yourself in the DC area, there are two really good local pizza favorites: Matchbox and All Purpose. They are in many ways similar in there pizza styles; generally thinner crust, wood-fired, and using high quality toppings in great combinations. Definitely check them out if you visit, you can’t go wrong and each have a few locations. Our go to pizza tends to be a a sausage and pepperoni combo. Matchbox has a fairly standard one that meats this with spicy Italian Sausage (actually pretty mild to me). All Purpose adds…

  • italian wedding soup
    Dinner,  Soup

    Italian Wedding Soup

    Italian Wedding Soup is easily one of Rob’s favorites. He isn’t a big soup person and often says that he doesn’t always view soup as a meal by itself. That said, when he wasn’t feeling great the other day, he happily agreed to a big bowl of Italian Wedding. So, Italian Wedding is a generally pretty simple soup. It’s some pasta, meatballs, and a leafy green (traditionally escarole) in broth. Now that said, Rob is very particular about his Italian Wedding Soup. He has a pretty long list of do’s and don’ts. It covers almost every aspect of the soup, from the pasta to the meatballs. First off is the…

  • oven roasted potato
    Side Dish

    Oven Roasted Potatoes

    These Oven Roasted Potatoes are a tradition for Rob. They were a big dinner staple growing up and he routinely makes them now for special occasions. The recipe is fairly simple; however, the daunting thing about them is the timing and the fact that they take up the oven. At its core, this recipe is actually probably about as basic as you can get. Chop some potatoes into smallish pieces, coat them in olive oil, toss in some garlic and herbs, and roast. As I mentioned, the hardest aspect is the timing. This recipe can take between 30-50 minutes to complete depending on size, pan, and oven temp which makes…

  • french onion chicken
    Dinner

    French Onion Chicken

    I love French Onion Soup or just about anything with caramelized onions in it. What is not to love about the sweetness they provide to a recipe? Rob and I were throwing around some dinner ideas when we came up with this recipe. Our brainstorming started with pork chops. I remembered our caramelized onion pork chop from my technique post a while back. Rob then threw out the idea of a variation of a chicken pan sauce (think piccata but French). We both immediately decided that was the meal. The best part of this is that you need to make the onions first, which means that flavor stays in the…

  • taco dip
    Appetizer

    Taco Dip

    Taco Dip is the quintessential McKeown family party staple. I think this has made an appearance at almost every party regardless of the season or event. Engagement party? Yep. Thanksgiving? Yep. Christmas? Definitely. The best part is that Rob loves it too; he almost immediately took to this dip. It is dangerous at parties since its so easy to eat; people can pretty easily forget that its so filling. The best part of this dip is how simple it is. It has three ingredients: cream cheese, salsa, and taco cheese. Once you have those three you simply layer them in that order. Its best to microwave the cream cheese for…