• orzo pasta salad

    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…

  • Creamy Tomato Soup
    Lunch,  Soup

    Creamy Tomato Soup

    Tomato soup is probably my favorite rainy day lunch.  Its light but somehow perfectly hearty all at the same time.  I personally prefer mine to be pretty smooth with the slightest hint of spice.  If I end up having a chunkier can of tomato I will use a stick blender to smooth it out.  My recommendation though is to use canned tomato puree over crushed, diced, or whole.  It just saves you a lot of work to smooth it out. The other thing that HAS to go with tomato soup is a grilled cheese sandwich.  Ina swears by it, so it has to be good right?  I like mine to…

  • Chorizo Pizza
    Dinner,  Lunch

    Chorizo and Corn Pizza

    I love playing around with pizza flavors (check out another option here).  This Chorizo and Corn Pizza was the result of a brainstorming session with Rob on how to combine Mexican flavors in a new way.  Honestly, I love this kind of cooking when you can merge two very different culinary styles into one awesome meal! We both quickly settled on Chorizo as the meat base for this pizza and then thought about the cheese combo.  We wanted to use a melty cheese that wasn’t mozzarella, as it just didn’t quite fit.  In the end, jack and cotija came to our minds, the jack filling in the melty role while…

  • Cali Club Sandwich

    California Club Sandwich

    Who doesn’t love a good classic club sandwich?  While not the most exciting culinary topic, a good sandwich is sometimes just what is needed and you can do so much with a sandwiches.  Personally, Clubs are my favorite sandwich, they are easy and simply flavored.  That simple flavor is why they are so much fun, it makes them great for experimenting.  Want to make them more fun?  Make it a California Club Sandwich!  I had some extra avocado and this sandwich just called to me. This time, I decided to create a bit of new flavor as well with some sun-dried tomatoes.  To give the sandwich that flavor, I created…