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Duck Risotto

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Duck…duck…sausage! Wait, that’s not right. No wonder kids don’t let me hang out with them.

While this dish may not have goose in it, it does have 2x the duck, and includes andouille sausage, prosciutto, and risotto cooked in the duck fat drippings. So all in all, it’s pretty freaking amazing. Because if there’s one thing that’s better than duck, it’s duck fat. Mmm….

Oh, and if you somehow weren’t already drooling over this dish, the recipe comes from Ree over at the Pioneer Woman!!! Continue reading

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Happy anniversary, Dash and a Pinch!!! (Part 1 of 3)

Holy crap!!!

It’s been an entire year since I started this blog as a way to document my attempts at learning how to cook. It’s been an amazing year, and I doubt I would have come this far if I didn’t have the motivation of this blog to keep me pushing forward.

At this point I’d like to clarify that I have never been to a cooking school, class, seminar, what have you. I am a self-taught cook, who picked up everything she knows from the internet, cookbooks, and trial and error.

This means that I have had some fun disasters in the past year, but as a whole, I am proud of how far I’ve come in just 365 days. To celebrate my 1 year anniversary (let’s be honest here, who thought I would keep this up this long?!), I am “recreating” my original disaster meal. My first posted recipes were of an unappetizing looking grilled cajun salmon, inedible grilled corn that caught on fire, and a good salad. Taking the main ingredients, I decided to put everything I’ve learned in one year into this meal. So enjoy the before and after!!!

Salmon:

Oh god. I shudder when I look at this picture.

I was having issues with my old grill that day. Mainly, the heating was SO uneven that my fish came out burned and undercooked simultaneously.  And then I chose to take an overhead picture, with flash (double shudder), on these horrific plates from the 1970’s. If I had any dignity I would take this picture down from the internet, burn all copies onto a CD, shatter that CD with a hammer, and throw the pieces in the microwave. And then bury it, just to make sure it’s really dead.

But, I like to look at it every once in awhile, so that when I look at my more recent, and much sexier food pictures, I swell up with pride.

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Now, I know that corn and salmon do not really go well together. But, as I made them together 1 year ago, so I had to pair them again. This made the food styling particularly difficult, but I’m fairly certain the salmon stands out enough on it’s own. Continue reading

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Grilled lamb chops with tangerine-rosemary rub and grilled vegetables

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As weird as it is, Spring seems to be upon us in western NY. With temperatures in the 60’s and 70’s this past week and daylight savings time giving us an extra hour of light at the end of the day, I’ve spent most of my evenings outside with my grill.

My grill and I have a special relationship. Without it, I may never have begun cooking! It has inspired more creativity and healthy meals than any other cooking method combined, and there’s nothing better than throwing some food on the grill and hoping for the best. It is also a million years old, tiny, and rusting through. This amounts to the most uneven cooking surface I’ve ever worked with. Food must constantly be rotated from the middle (surface of the sun hot) to the outer edges (untouched by heat), to facilitate even cooking. It’s a dance of love, and if I neglect it and walk away for a few minutes, I’ve scorched another meal.

That first taste of grilled meat after a long winter cooped up indoors is like manna from heaven. It doesn’t matter what kind of meat it is, or even how well-cooked it is. As long as it has that delicious smoky flavor that only comes from being cooked over an open flame, nothing tastes better. I broke my winter fast with some pork chops last week, but if you haven’t uncovered your grill yet this season, might I recommend some delicious lamb chops?

Lambs represents springtime, and when perfectly seared on the grill and rubbed with a citrusy herb mixture, you feel like you’re biting into the end of winter. So hang up those heavy coats, put away your ugg boots, and dust off your grill! Let’s enjoy the weather while we can, before it snows again.  Continue reading

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