• 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…

  • fried fish taco
    Dinner,  Lunch

    Beer-Battered Fried Fish Tacos

    Maybe its the Irish girl in me or just that frying makes a lot of things pretty awesome. Either way, Fried Fish Tacos are pretty great. My first exposure to good fish tacos wash a few years ago when we went to San Diego. We went to this taco place in La Jolla called Puesto. They served a wide variety of smaller tacos but they all came on freshly made blue corn tortillas. Ultimately, these tacos draw inspiration from those tacos. I decided to go for beer battered cod (might not be Guinness, but still a good Irish tradition). We used a hazy IPA since it brings a good effervescence…

  • basil pesto pasta
    Lunch

    Classic Basil Pesto

    I have probably posted 2 or 3 different kinds of pesto on the blog now, but I have yet to post about simple classic Basil Pesto. Basil is pretty much the standard and produces a fresh, bright flavored pesto that is perfect for a summer day. Its light, pretty healthy and tasty, so what’s not to love? Our AeroGarden basil plants had started getting a little out of control; so Rob basically harvested every decent basil leaf from them to make the pesto. We ended up with a pretty big pile of leaves (which in reality isn’t all that much). The nice thing was we new the basil was fresh…

  • 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…