• 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…

  • BBQ Chicken Pizza
    Dinner,  Lunch

    BBQ Chicken Pizza

    This BBQ Chicken Pizza was pretty new for us. Rob is typically not a big fan of what you might call “adventurous” pizza, but he loved this one. Overall, I love the way this one came out, it didn’t really feel that different than a traditional pizza thanks to the tomato-based BBQ sauce. I used my new standard bread flour-based pizza dough for this pizza. Rolled out nice and thin, it made for a nice crispy crust that held up well. This is definitely a pizza that is perfect for a party situation when cut into smaller pieces. It doesn’t flop around and combines a lot of classic party flavors…

  • Souvlaki Bowl
    Dinner,  Lunch

    Chicken Souvlaki Rice Plate

    Chicken Souvlaki is one of Rob’s favorite lunch options. Rob is of Greek decent so souvlaki is something he grew up eating and has a simple, healthy recipe for making it. This is a make-at-home version of the rice plates that you can get at many of the quick service restaurants that have popped up recently. These also make for a great get together meal since they are DIY! We made this rice plate with a cucumber-radicchio slaw and tzatziki. If you wanted to make it dairy free you could easily use a hummus topping as well. This also pretty closely mirrors Rob’s usual order when eating out. For the…

  • 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…

  • French Onion Soup
    Dinner,  Lunch

    French Onion Soup

    So if you have seen my previous post, you know my love of caramelized onion. I ended up making a huge batch of caramelized onions and French Onion Soup was the natural next step. Rob was initially hesitant but in the end was slurping up the remaining broth at the bottom of his bowl. For perspective, Rob rarely likes to just eat the leftover soup broth. I stuck very classic with this one: caramelized onions in a beef broth topped with baguette and gruyere cheese. To cook, I stuck in in the oven under the broiler to allow cheese to melt and brown. The result, a perfectly sweet and gooey…