• steamed mussels
    Dinner

    Classic Steamed Mussels

    This recipe was the first time I had every cooked mussels. I had tried them once before at a work happy hour event and liked them, to my surprise. Rob grew up eating them, but typically doesn’t order them if we are out for dinner. I had never gotten around to making them though. Rob and I decided that we would give it a shot and they came out perfectly. So a few a few basics and tips first. If a mussel is open and you try to press it shut but it won’t close, throw it out! That mussel is dead and shouldn’t be eaten. Also, Ina’s trick of…

  • french skillet steak
    Dinner

    French Skillet Steak

    Its been a little while since we made a steak and we felt like having a bit of a special dinner in. Rob has been prepping steaks with a lot of reduction sauces and we wanted to mix it up. This time around, Rob went back to the classic butter basting technique and an multi-herb aoli for topping. While grilling steak can be fun, I have really grown to love the skillet. The crust that you form with this method really adds a nice texture. Even more than the texture, if really helps to lock in the juices. The butter basting adds a nice little bit of flavor at the…

  • french onion chicken
    Dinner

    French Onion Chicken

    I love French Onion Soup or just about anything with caramelized onions in it. What is not to love about the sweetness they provide to a recipe? Rob and I were throwing around some dinner ideas when we came up with this recipe. Our brainstorming started with pork chops. I remembered our caramelized onion pork chop from my technique post a while back. Rob then threw out the idea of a variation of a chicken pan sauce (think piccata but French). We both immediately decided that was the meal. The best part of this is that you need to make the onions first, which means that flavor stays in the…

  • lemon ricotta basil pasta
    Dinner

    Lemon-Basil-Ricotta Pasta

    I have been looking for ways to come up with some new warm weather pastas. I wanted to get away from cream sauces; however, I really like the flavors I often use in them. This recipe was my first attempt of this year on this. While I made this one with chicken, it was actually a bit of a test bed for what will eventually become a shrimp-based recipe. I really wanted a light flavor but with a little bit of some richness. I loosely based this recipe on one of my favorite cream sauce pastas using similar flavors. For the base flavors, lemon and basil were the natural choices…

  • provencal lamb rack
    Dinner

    Provencal Crusted Rack of Lamb

    When I asked Rob what he wanted for his birthday dinner, he immediately gravitated toward some kind of red meat. We were watching Ina Garten on TV that morning and saw her make a rack of lamb. Rob almost immediately said “let’s do that.” So off to the butcher we went to get the meat. Rob almost called an audible and went with some boar chops, but in the end we stuck with lamb. Lamb can be a bit of a heavy meat; it’s naturally fatty and has a bit of a gamey taste. Rob really wanted to aimed for a lighter flavor, so he aimed for Southern French. He…

  • spinach artichoke pasta
    Dinner

    Spinach & Artichoke Pasta

    The idea for this pasta started at a desire to figure out how to take spinach and artichoke dip, one of my favorite dips, and make a pasta out of it. I will admit that this is clearly not an original idea, just look at Pinterest. I wanted to make the recipe my own though so I didn’t consult any of those other ideas. My challenge was trying to keep the whole thing feeling light. Traditionally, spinach and artichoke dip is a heavy, hot, cheesy dip. While delicious, I didn’t want a super heavy pasta and I wanted a flavor that felt appropriate for spring. So to make sure that…

  • Chicken Pot Pie
    Dinner

    Easy Chicken Pot Pie

    Pot Pies are one of my favorite comfort food meals. There is even a food truck that sometimes comes by my office that specializes in pot pies!! Thankfully, I have converted Rob into a big fan. Not that he wasn’t before, but now he actually requested this one. I was working on how to make this easier since having to cook chicken on top of everything else would have been a lot. I decided to go with a rotisserie chicken which takes care of the cooking and adds some base flavor. A basic herb-roasted chicken was perfect and thankfully you can find them for cheap at most grocery stores. The…

  • moroccan roast chicken
    Dinner

    Moroccan Roasted Chicken

    If you can’t tell from my recipes on here, I really love a roast chicken. I guess Ina Garten and I have that in common. To me, a roast chicken is the ultimate canvas for experimentation. For this one, I decided to go with a Moroccan-inspired spice mix. I really wanted to go with a different flavor than I had made up to this point. And this definitely delivered! For my spice blend, I went with a lot of warm spices like cumin, turmeric, paprika, coriander, and cinnamon. I loved the flavor and the aroma, it was very unique. It had the slightest hint of spiciness but by no means…

  • veal marsala
    Dinner

    Veal Marsala

    Veal Marsala is a pretty classic Italian meal and makes for an excellent date night dinner. Its reasonably light, but can be very flavorful and filling. It’s also one of Rob’s all time favorite dinners; which is really funny considering how much heat hates mushrooms. I definitely can’t blame him though; the sauce is always super flavorful and its pretty easy to make. The interesting thing about Marsala is that its basically the only wine that you likely wouldn’t drink by itself but still cook with. Almost everyone says, if you wouldn’t drink with it, don’t cook with it. Marsala, on the other hand, has a really great flavor for…

  • pastitsio
    Dinner

    Pastitsio

    Pastitsio is one of Rob’s all-time favorite recipes. It is essentially a Greek lasagna/baked ziti dish. Pastitsio is a layer of pasta topped with a spiced meat layer followed by a bechamel layer. It is definitely a bit labor intensive but it is so delicious. I definitely see why Rob loves it so much. I love this too as it makes for a good make-ahead or leftovers dinner. We did break from tradition a little bit with this version. For this version, we used a ground beef and veal combo instead of traditional lamb. We made it with lamb once; however, lamb has a very strong flavor and competes a…