• caesar salad
    Basics,  Lunch,  Side Dish

    Tangy Tarragon Caesar

    Caesar dressing is one of those recipes that can take a little bit of trial and error to get right. I have made my own at least two times before this for the blog (recipes here and here). Both of those, came out okay but I always thought I could do better. Well, turns out practice does make perfect and third time is the charm!! I was start from scratch, and use egg yolks for my dressing. You can use mayo as a simplification, but to me that defeats a bit of the point. The nice thing with the egg approach is I can have a better control of the…

  • beurre blanc salmon
    Basics,  Dinner

    Rob’s Date Night: Beurre Blanc Sauce

    Something with a fancy French name, like Beurre Blanc, tends to be pretty intimidating to many people. I don’t really blame those people; the French for all of their contributions to the culinary world were not simple. Their flavors tend to be complex and their techniques to get those flavors are similarly involved (all of which I love). Amy routinely has to reign in some of my ingredient selections though and finds my love of tackling of some of these recipes funny, given my inability to multi-task in the kitchen. But, I figured I would take a run at teaching myself something new for a date night. Beurre Blanc sounds…

  • Vinaigrette
    Basics,  Recipes

    Technique: Vinaigrette

    For this post, I wanted to focus much more on the technique than any particular recipe. In all honesty, vinaigrette may be one of the most versatile things you can make and focusing on a single recipe is too narrow. Vinaigrettes are a great way to experiment with flavors and do it in a way that doesn’t weigh down a dish. The term “vinaigrette” also seems to be used a lot to describe any kind of light sauce or dressing. While a good way to get that point across, its not really accurate and I want to highlight the true vinaigrette with this post. Don’t get me wrong, many “vinaigrettes”…

  • caesar salad
    Basics,  Lunch

    Caesar Salad

    Caesar Salads are easily Rob’s favorite salad. If we are having a nice dinner at an Italian place, there is a good chance he will order one as a starter. That said he is VERY picky about the dressing. I have probably heard his rant on in several times now. According to Rob, Caesar dressing should be thick and creamy. If it’s thin or runny, he holds it’s wrong. His preference is that is that it should coat and cling to the greens. While he mostly cares about texture, his other assertion is that is should be tangy with a bit of a bite. The anchovy paste is a must…

  • gnocchi bolognese
    Basics,  Dinner,  Instant Pot

    Homemade Gnocchi with Bolognese

    Making Gnocchi was pretty intimidating, almost more than pasta. Part of the problem with it is that you effectively need to start by making mashed potatoes. Once you get through all of that its actually pretty straight forward just a bit labor intensive. Now that we have done it once, it will go a lot smoother and I may even consider some tools to make the process easier. I used my Instant Pot to cook the potatoes since it was pretty straight forward to steam them that way. Steaming has become my default potato cooking method if they aren’t roasted/baked. I find that boiling them makes them too soggy. So…

  • Classic Pepperoni Pizza
    Basics,  Dinner

    Classic Pepperoni Pizza

    This Pepperoni Pizza is in theory really simple; however, it represents the culmination of a lot of research on how to make my pizza dough better.  I had been pretty dissatisfied with the recent performance of my old dough recipe.  I can’t say I was really doing anything differently.  However, I found it difficult to work with and was getting almost exclusive cracker thin crust.  So, I did a lot of searching to try and find a solution.  Thankfully, I did!!  The basic technique is one from Bobby Flay. The key is to use bread flour.  Bread flour is different than all-purpose or my traditional 00 (double zero) flour.  It has…

  • caramelized onion roast pork
    Basics,  Dinner

    Technique: Caramelized Onions with Roasted Pork Chop

    Let me just start by saying that Caramelized Onions are absolutely awesome!! Rob, who is a self-proclaimed onion hater, actually loves these and will eat them out of the pan by themselves! If that doesn’t say something I don’t know what does. Caramelized onions were definitely a bit daunting and they do require a little bit of trial and error to get them right. I practiced a few times to get the technique down with my particular stove and cookware. That being said they never turned out bad, they tasted awesome but just weren’t 100%. These also do take a little bit of time to make so be prepared to…

  • Pizza Dough

    Skill Lesson: Pizza Dough

    I will preface this post by saying pizza dough is one of the most intimidating foods I have ever made.  Not only does the outcome rely on the ingredients and the process, but also the surrounding environment.  You could follow the steps in the recipe exactly the same twice and have two different outcomes depending on the temperature or humidity, which can drive a semi- control freak like me insane sometimes.  I often spend a weekend afternoon making pizza dough to keep in the freezer to avoid scrambling for new dinner plans if the dough doesn’t turn out as expected.    There are so many uses for pizza dough.  Not…