• caesar pasta salad
    Lunch

    Chicken Caesar Pasta Salad

    Caesar Salad is probably one of the most universal salads out there. The problem is there is really only so much to do with it. That’s where this idea for the pasta salad came from. I love a good pasta salad for lunch so this recipe was born. I made caesar salad dressing a little while back and was definitely looking to give it a try again. I went with the traditional method (basically making mayo from scratch). The proportions this time around worked out even better. I also kept it a little simpler leaving out extra vinegar and capers, but added a little grainy mustard. The great thing about…

  • 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.…

  • 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,…

  • 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…

  • spinach mint pesto
    Dinner,  Lunch

    Spinach-Mint Pesto

    Who doesn’t like pesto? Its super flavorful and easy, but the real benefit: you can make so many different variations to give different flavors. This version was made for a weekend lunch and the goal was a light clean flavor. We went with a slight variation to our normal green mix to get that flavor. Traditionally, pesto is basil-based; basil is a very bold flavor and it has a tendency to change color quickly. Sometimes I like the basil flavor, but I wanted something a little more neutral. One of my other common greens is arugula. It provides a natural spiciness that gives pesto a great flavor. For a light…

  • spicy sausage pizza
    Dinner,  Lunch

    Spicy Sausage Pizza

    This pizza is an amalgamation of different ideas we got when watching the Food Network. I can’t say that I really watch Food Network to directly make the recipes. But, you can learn a lot about new ingredients or techniques. This is primarily based on two very different hosts: Ina Garten and Giada De Laurentiis. Ina is honestly where I get some of my best recipe inspiration from. I love many of her recipes which have been a great jumping off point. Giada is an interesting cooking show host. She is actually a pretty good cook and has been a good way to find some ingredients. Generally though, her recipes…

  • ina garten pasta
    Dinner,  Lunch

    Ina Garten’s Pancetta and Broccoli Rabe Pasta

    Right upfront, I am not posting a recipe for this one since it seems to be a cookbook only recipe from Ina Garten. We decided to make this Ina Garten recipe as an experiment on how to use broccoli rabe properly. We were looking through Ina’s Cook Like a Pro book for something to make for lunch. This recipe really caught my eye since it looked great and sounded simple. Thats the exact kind of pasta recipe I look for as a lunch. This is one of those super simple dishes that is really flavorful. This will be a great addition to our summer pasta rotation since its really light…

  • orzo pasta salad
    Lunch

    Blue Cheese & Brussels Pasta Salad

    Orzo pasta salad is one of my favorite light summery lunch options. You can do a lot with it and its a really light option for a hot day. Rob and I make cold orzo salads a lot in the summer for weekend lunches and then for work lunches with the leftovers. There is an awesome outdoor concert venue near DC called Wolftrap. Wolftrap allows you to bring a picnic (with alcohol!!!) to enjoy a concert. Our first summer in DC after getting married we went almost every weekend for date nights and orzo pasta salad featured heavily on our picnic menu. The version we brought was actually based on…

  • French Dip
    Dinner,  Instant Pot,  Lunch

    Instant Pot French Dip Sandwich

    The French Dip is easily one of my favorite sandwiches. Unfortunately, they had always been pretty labor intensive and took a long time to make properly. As a result, I had never made them before and they were generally something I would get if we ate lunch out. On one of the recent snow days here in DC, Rob was home so we decided to try it out with the Instant Pot. Have I said how much I love that I keep fining new ways to use the Instant Pot? I definitely do not miss the slow cooker, which got less use in a year than our instant pot has…

  • 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…