• picnic pasta salad
    Dinner,  Lunch

    Picnic Pasta Salad

    This recipe is probably at the top of the list of favorite recipes for me and Rob. Its got good flavor, is light, and best of all packs well! That last one is really important because, for years now, this has been our go to picnic food. I am not even sure how many times we have made this recipe, but it makes for a great weekend lunch, picnic main, or packable workday lunch! For Memorial Day weekend, we went to a place in the DC area called Wolf Trap. It’s a national park that focuses on performing arts and every year the Marine Corps Band does a free concert.…

  • cacio pepe milanese
    Dinner

    Brown Butter Cacio e Pepe

    Cacio e Pepe is a pretty classic, easy pasta recipe which is what I love about it. The problem I have with it is, for a dinner, it can almost be TOO simple. I wanted to find a way to make it a little more interesting and also incorporate a protein source with the recipe. The answer is this Brown Butter Cacio e Pepe with Parmesan-Milanese Chicken. This chicken breasts are pretty straight forward. I started with some thin pieces, gave them a quick egg coating, and then into a breadcrumb/parmesan mixture. Then its just a simple pan fry in an oil/butter mixture. See, pretty simple! Now is the fun…

  • lemon mustard chicken
    Dinner

    Mustard-Lemon Braised Chicken

    Now that Memorial Day Weekend is in the past its time to start getting back to more of my classic cooking (don’t worry though, I will have more weekend/potluck/cookout recipes coming soon). I’m kicking off this return to normalcy with these Mustard-Lemon Braised Chicken Thighs. They were on the heartier side without being heavy really bringing some great summary flavors to one of my favorite winter dishes. The flavors in this one were a bit of a hodgepodge of ideas. Mustard and lemon form the backbone obviously and are pretty traditional flavors for us. I had actually gotten to the point where I stopped using mustard in recipes because it…

  • burger
    Dinner,  Lunch

    Caramelized Onion & Bleu Cheese Burger

    When it comes to Memorial Day, cookouts are probably king and burgers are probably the ultimate in cookout food. A juicy burger piled high with toppings is a great thing and my favorite is this bleu cheese and caramelized onion burger. I did a whole post on how to make perfect soft and sweet caramelized onions a while ago. On a burger with something like a tangy bleu cheese, they are awesome. For the burgers themselves, I actually used home ground beef for this. It was a mix of brisket, sirloin, and chuck. To that I added, some salt, pepper, dijon, and Worcestershire sauce. The burgers are soft, juicy, and,…

  • Dinner,  Instant Pot

    Instant Pot Pork Carnitas Tacos

    Memorial Day is this weekend and that often means big get togethers. A popular get together option for my family is always the taco spread. You get bowls of all the toppings and let people do what they want with it. My slow cooker Pork Carnitas are on of my favorite taco meat options. They taste awesome and in reality are pretty simple. That said, trying to get the slow cooker ready in the morning on top of my workout and getting ready for work is a struggle. Enter the Instant Pot!!!! The Instant Pot take what would otherwise be a 8+ hour cook time and all the headache in…

  • chicken bolognese
    Dinner

    Summery Chicken Bolognese

    Now that it basically feels like summer here in DC, its seemed like the right time to look at lightening up some of my favorite recipes. A prime target is one of my favorite pasta sauces: bolognese. When you think of bolognese typically a heavy, hearty meat sauce comes to mind, so I wanted to go after that. So, I started with the meat selection. Normally, I go for pork, beef, or lamb which all tend to be a bit heavier. This time I went with chicken; chicken sausage to be specific. I like cooking with sausage since it helps give a good base flavor to the sauce since its…

  • 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…

  • 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…