• 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…

  • 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.…

  • chicken milanese
    Dinner

    Chicken Milanese

    Milanese is in theory a super simple way to prepare chicken or veal. In practice, Milanese can take many forms or techniques. Unfortunately, not all of those work as well as some others. Thankfully for all of you reading this, I have picked up a few tricks that work pretty well with a little trial and error. So, first the basics: Milanese is basically pan-fried breaded cutlets. Its effectively the Italian form of schnitzel. Typically, you will see Milanese as either chicken or veal and it tends to be served with a lighter side like the salad I paired this with. I dressed the salad with a mustard and champagne…

  • 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…

  • Provencal Roast Branzino
    Dinner

    Provencal Roast Branzino

    This Roast Branzino was Rob’s other fish experiment when I was on work travel last week. He was looking for a new flavor profile and preparation to try out since he knows that I do actually like Branzino. I actually ordered it once when we were in New York and I loved it, so Rob has been wanting to make it again for me. For this roasted recipe, he was looking to mix things up with a French flavor profile. He had done a pretty standard Mediterranean-style before; plus with Branzino being a very Italian fish, he wanted to make it different. When he texted me with how he was…

  • Vinaigrette
    Basics,  Recipes

    Technique: Vinaigrette

    For this post, I wanted to focus much more on the technique than any particular recipe. In all honesty, vinaigrette may be one of the most versatile things you can make and focusing on a single recipe is too narrow. Vinaigrettes are a great way to experiment with flavors and do it in a way that doesn’t weigh down a dish. The term “vinaigrette” also seems to be used a lot to describe any kind of light sauce or dressing. While a good way to get that point across, its not really accurate and I want to highlight the true vinaigrette with this post. Don’t get me wrong, many “vinaigrettes”…

  • 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…