Monthly Archives: April 2012

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arugula, grapefruit, salad, shallot vinaigrette, shallot dressing, grapefruit salad, summer salad, homemade dressing, homemade, delicious, arugula, spring, summer, colorful, it's all about the dressing salad, 100 recipes every woman should know, Cindi Leive

Whenever I buy lettuce and salad ingredients at Wegmans, I have every intention of making a delicious, healthy, and colorful salad to accompany my dinners. And then I typically find said lettuce and vegetables rotting at the bottom of my fridge, weeks later. I'm not sure why I feel like making salad is such a tedious activity, but I bet it's because, for the most part, just eating salad is tedious enough.

The trick is to find the right salads, and mix it up to always keep things interesting. I was a huge fan of the goat cheese and strawberry salad I made last summer, and so I thought I would make another simple salad with a few star ingredients to make it pop. In this case, it's the grapefruit, and the incredible shallot dressing. ...continue reading

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vegetable lasagna, veggie lasagna, meatless lasagna, vegetarian lasagna, pioneer woman, red bell pepper, pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, garlic, tomatoes, ricotta, eggs, lasagna noodles, spicy, delicious

One year ago, if you had offered me an ooey, gooey slice of vegetable lasagna, I would have curled my lip in disgust.

Vegetables? AND no meat? I'll pass, thanks. 

I had absolutely no idea what I was missing! My boyfriend found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman's website, and had me help him make it for his mother's birthday. We also made a typical meat lasagna using spicy sausage, and to our surprise, everyone loved the vegetable one more! Several of them had even requested that we skip the mushrooms, but ate the lasagna without knowing that the fungi were hidden among all the other veggies (sneaky, I know).

The secret to this lasagna is in the sauce. It uses a LOT of vegetables, diced very small and sautéed in olive oil and garlic, and then simmered with a can of whole tomatoes. I seasoned mine liberally with red pepper flakes, paprika, cayenne, and chili powder to give it a nice kick. The flavor is rich and incredible, and it makes perfect leftovers. I had a big piece every day for lunch this week!  ...continue reading

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bundt cake, bundt pan, wine cake, cooking with wine, baking with wine, white wine, chardonnay, Chardonay, chardonnay bundt cake, chardonnay glaze, chardonnay frosting, Chablis, impress his family chardonnay cake, 100 recipes every girl should know

It's Chardonnay week!

That's my sad attempt to make a connection between sexy wine cake and rich and flavorful vegetable lasagna, both of which I made this past weekend. And both of which are out of this world amazing.

I'll post the lasagna later this week, but first can I get a round of applause? I successfully made my first moist and delicious cake from scratch! I attribute my success to the some of the ingredients I used: cake flour, pudding, and wine (of course!).

But I'm not joking when I say this recipe blew my mind. It's a white Bundt cake that uses a half cup of chardonnay right in the mix, which gives the sweetness a little bite. Then, after you cook it, you pour a chardonnay glaze onto the pan and let it seep into the cake, infusing it with more flavor and creating a nice sheen on the outside. Yum!

The recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks, 100 Recipes Every Woman Should Know by Cindi Leive. I've posted several recipes from there already (fried chicken, peppermint bark, chocolate and beer cupcakes with irish cream frosting), and I keep being pleasantly surprised by the recipes in her book. This cake in particular was called "Impress his family chardonnay cake," and when I brought it to Kevin's house for dinner I think I succeeded in impressing them. :) ...continue reading

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stuffed chicken, goat cheese, spinach, bacon, bacon-wrapped chicken, bacon wrapped chicken, juicy chicken, easy chicken recipe, easy recipes, dinner recipe, chicken dinner, chicken breast, butterflied chicken, sausage

Some of my favorite cooking is when I get home from work, look in the fridge, and say, "what can I make with this?" It's a fun form of problem solving for me. Sometimes I look up recipes, but more often than not I just make something up, hoping I create something new and exciting.

On one particular night my sister called as I was pulling out the possible ingredients, and she asked me what I was making. I said I didn't know yet, so she asked what I had. I told her:

  • chicken breasts
  • goat cheese
  • spicy sausage
  • broccoli
  • mushrooms
  • bacon

I had been planning on chopping it all up and maybe sauteing everything, perhaps tossing it with pasta? But Leah saved the day once again and told me:

"Here's what you do. You butterfly the chicken breasts. Cook the sausage and break it up, then mix it with the goat cheese. Stuff the chicken with the goat cheese mixture, and wrap it in bacon."

She blew my mind, and dinner that night was so incredible I decided I needed to make it again and document it for the blog. This time I stuffed it with a goat cheese/spinach mixture, but feel free to throw in whatever you want! I'm thinking next time I'll add fresh basil, maybe some garlic or mushrooms? ...continue reading

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matzo ball soup, matzah ball soup, matzoh ball soup, matza ball soup, matza meal, manishevitz, kosher, pareve, chicken soup, chicken stock, homemade chicken soup, easy chicken soup, easy homemade chicken stock, matzo balls, matzo, matzah, matzah balls, matzoh balls, matzoh, passover, Passover, soup, fluffy, floaters

When I was three years old my family moved to Rochester, New York, from Pittsfield, Massachusetts, and found ourselves living next door to the most wonderful family ever. They welcomed us to the neighborhood and into their home, and 20 years later, they are as close to my family as any of my relatives.

Marilyn, Jim, and their daughter Johanna have always been my biggest fans. Every accomplishment I've ever made, they've been there, rooting me on. It's nice to have a support group that's only a few minutes away, and when my mother and I don't always see eye to eye (that only happens when Jupiter and Mercury are in alignment), it helps to have some adults take my side.

As my extended family is scattered up and down the East coast, my mother, sister and I would spend most of our holidays with Marilyn's family. I must have been very young when we spent our first Passover together because I don't remember eating matzo ball soup for the first time, but as far back as I can recall, it's always been my favorite food.

For a picky eater, one of your biggest concerns is getting enough to eat. If you're sitting at the dinner table and you don't like what's served to you, chances are you're going to be eating cereal again or going to bed hungry. I've never had that problem with matzo ball soup. Every year I eagerly anticipate stuffing my face with fluffy matzo balls until I have to unbutton my pants, and every year Marilyn has made the most incredible soup from scratch. She taught me how to make it years ago (it's easy!), and now I'm going to share it with you, so that you can make it yourselves! ...continue reading

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I've mentioned before how much of a cinephile I am, so it'll come as no surprise then that when I heard that they were rereleasing Casablanca for one night in theaters to celebrate the 70th anniversary of this classic film, I jumped onto Fandango and bought my tickets immediately.

It would be too easy for me to dive into what makes this film so amazing, but this isn't a film blog (idea for a spinoff blog maybe?), it's a cooking blog. So to tie everything together, Kevin and I decided we would whip up a delicious Moroccan meal before we went to see the movie. It would be our first successful date night, seeing as how our Valentine's day dinner plans were foiled by the sudden and violent onset of my stomach flu. :P ...continue reading