• Cacio e Pepe
    Dinner

    Cacio e Pepe

    Cacio e Pepe (literally, cheese and pepper) is a very simple recipe in theory. To me, these are the best kind as you can do little tweaks to make them take on a whole new, personalized flavor. Cacio e Pepe is something that almost every chef seems to have a version of as you can easily throw it together and eat in when in a rush. I actually frequently make this as a lunch or when I need a personal-size dinner if Rob is on work travel. Since its so simple and the ingredients tend to already be in my pantry, it’s great when I don’t feel like going to…

  • Instant Pot Chicken Taco
    Dinner,  Instant Pot

    Instant Pot Shredded Chicken Tacos

    Time for another “the Instant Pot makes it way easier” recipes with these Shredded Chicken Tacos.  This basic recipe is based on an old slow cooker one I would make, only now it doesn’t take all day.  I love the mix of flavors that goes into this recipe.  I basically braise the chicken in beer and citrus with a few other key ingredients for flavor.  You really can’t go too wrong. There really isn’t too much to say about this recipe, its pretty straight forward.  I do have a few pieces of advice though.  For the beer, I use either a white ale (Dogfish Head Namaste in this case) or…

  • Panang chicken
    Dinner

    Panang-Braised Chicken

    This Panang-Braised Chicken definitely fits into the easy weeknight meal category. I will admit up front that I did not make Panang curry sauce from scratch. I found a good looking Panang Curry base at Williams-Sonoma that I bought on the spot since I hadn’t see anything like it elsewhere. To round out the recipe, I combined the chicken with some snap peas and roasted cauliflower and served it over a bed of coconut-lime rice that I made in the Instant Pot. Rob loves Panang curry, but honestly trying to make something like this from scratch made me a little nervous. I love Asian flavors a lot, especially the complexity…

  • Dinner

    Prosciutto & Brussels Sprout Bucatini

    Salty cured pork and Brussels sprouts are such a natural combination, I am not sure why I hadn’t combined them into a pasta sooner. Thankfully, I finally did in the Prosciutto and Brussels Sprout Bucatini. I went with a lemony wine-cream sauce combining elements of a few of my favorite recipes into one great dish. The end result is what may be one of my favorite pasta dishes yet. I combined elements from 2-3 different pasta recipes that I love for this. From my prosciutto and peas dish, I used the shallot and prosciutto. I mixed that with the wine deglaze from my alfredo and the lemon from creamy rigatoni dish. Throw…

  • carbonara
    Dinner

    Sun-Dried Tomato and Roasted Cauliflower Carbonara

    When Rob and I were making this Sun-Dried Tomato Carbonara, I commented to Rob how much I love our weeknight experimental pasta dishes. For a long time, we had a 3-4 pasta dish rotation that we would go through. While all of those recipes are good (and on the blog here and here!), the blog has really pushed us to create new recipes and look for variations. So, along came this dish! I am not sure that this is a true “carbonara”, but its pretty close. It’s a cream sauce with pancetta, wine, and garlic. For a bit of color and flavor, I added sun-dried tomatoes which really complimented the…

  • 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…

  • Chicken Platter
    Dinner,  Instant Pot,  Side Dish

    Dijon-Tarragon Roast Chicken Platter

    If there is anything I have in common with Ina Garten, its a love for roast chicken. It’s easy, tasty, and allows for near infinite variation. As a side benefit, roast chicken can be an easy weeknight meal for the family or romantic date night special. Normally, I do a pretty basic butter-herb mixture to spread over the chicken, but I wanted to mix that up a bit for this meal. I also was looking to have a complete meal where the core flavors were tied into all of the dishes. So, I ended up with a Dijon-Tarragon Roast Chicken along side Tarragon Mashed Potatoes and Charred Brussels Sprouts in…

  • Pizza
    Dinner,  Lunch

    Brussels Sprout and Caramelized Red Onion Pizza

    Now that I have found a pizza dough recipe I really like, I am starting to experiment a bit more with my toppings.  This one is a new take on an older recipe but adds in several new toppings that I haven’t used before plus a really great cheese blend.  Honestly, I couldn’t really fit all of the appropriate descriptors for this pizza in the title.  I don’t think “Four Cheese-Brussels Sprout-Caramelized Red Onion-Pancetta Pizza” is a good post title.  So, I shortened it, but the long version is really what it is. I wanted to add red onion, but Rob wasn’t a big fan of the idea of just…

  • Chorizo Skillet Nachos
    Cocktails,  Dinner

    Chorizo Skillet Nachos

    I love nachos, I mean who doesn’t, its chips with cheese and meat! I’ve found recently that I love using Chorizo sausage for the meat. It tastes awesome while having the perk of not really needing a lot of extra ingredients to add flavor. Chorizo has all the spice it needs and I typically just add a few ingredients to round out the dish. My go to add ins for chorizo nachos are yellow onion, diced tomato, charred poblano pepper, and grilled corn. The texture and flavors don’t try to compete with the chorizo but complement it perfectly. The benefit to all of these ingredients except for the poblano is…

  • 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…

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