Thursday, January 26, 2017

Braised Green Beans with Smashed Tomato Vinaigrette - Brendan

If my math is correct, I have eaten roughly 30,660 meals in my life (I'm 28 years old and am assuming 3 meals a day x 365 days a year). Out of all of those meals, only once have I ever said the words "Those green beans were the best part of that meal." Now some of you are probably thinking, "well, that math is a bit misleading because you haven't had green beans with EVERY meal, have you?". The answer of course is no (thank God). Can you imagine eating green beans for every meal? But I've never given that kind of accolade to ANY kind of vegetable, EVER. That award is usually reserved for whatever meat is being served (hopefully steak!); except for every time I eat these green beans. 

This recipe is a favorite of Caity's and mine and comes from the cookbook, "Date Night in" by Ashley Rodriguez. 

Serves 2

Two years ago: Tuscan Mashed Chickpeas
Five years ago: Egyptian Kosheri

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Moroccan Champagne Cocktail - Caity

Well here we are, New Years Eve 2016! I'll spare you my recollection of all the things that happened to me this year (Brendan and I got married! Sorry, couldn't help myself!) and instead wish everyone a happy New Year and nothing but the best in 2017! 

Brendan and I are heading out to a fancy steak dinner tonight then home for some cocktails/mocktails and Settlers of Catan (ya, we're awesome) and Panna Cotta. I'm going to make a few of these Moroccan Champagne Cocktails because 1) they're easy 2) the orange and amaretto combine to make your cocktail taste like a sparkly winters evening 3) they're really good. If you happen to have these ingredients on hand, I encourage you to try this cocktail tonight! If not, make it a must NEXT YEAR (get it!?! It's New Years Eve!). This recipe comes from one of my favorite cookbooks Melia Marden's "Modern Mediterranean". 

Happy New Years! Don't forget your Ozoni (Japanese New Year's Soup) tomorrow! 

Makes 1 Cocktail

One year ago: Boeuf Bourguignon 
Three years ago: Earl Grey Tea Cookies
Four years ago:  Panna CottaOzoni

Sunday, October 23, 2016

Sweet Corn and Poblano Chowder - Caity

Brendan and I caught Rick Bayless Fever on Brendan's first trip to Chicago nearly two years ago. We visited his restaurant Xoco for lunch and ordered the Carnitas Caldo and a Choriqueso torta. I drool, even now, as I think about that meal! Unfortunately we haven't been back to Chicago since then. But last month we did find ourselves in the Chicago O'Hare Airport where conveniently Rick Bayless does have a restaurant. I ordered this Corn and Poblano Chowder to take on the plane and it was amazing! So amazing that even the men sitting on either side of me asked what I was eating and where they could get some. I was happy to find the recipe online even before the plane took off because I knew I needed to have this soup again soon. 

This Sweet Corn and Poblano Chowder makes a light meal or a great first course or you could dress it up with a couple grilled shrimp, scallops or chicken. 

Serves 4-6

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

End of Summer Ratatouille - Caity

The end of summer seems to have happened over the last week or two. It has brought cooler temperatures (thank god) and earlier evenings. The swimming pool doesn't open til 4 PM on weekdays (pffffff) and there are about a million "back to school" photos flooding my Facebook. Part of me is always sad that summer really is over and the other part of me is so excited for the fall!

 For the last several years, I've cooked an "End of Summer Ratatouille" to celebrate the end-of-summer produce while enjoying the fact that it's not too hot to turn on the stove. This tradition began for me, three years ago in Portland when my mom came to visit Brendan and I in late August. I was working nightshift at the time and I picked my mom up at the airport after work in the morning, went home and slept while she entertained herself. I woke up that evening to go to work and my wonderful mother had cleaned our house, picked our garden and packed me a gourmet lunch of Summer Zucchini Noodle Salad and Ratatouille served over Goat Cheese and Truffle Oil Polenta. Since then it has been an August/September staple in our house! 

If you aren't familiar with Ratatouille, it is a silky French stewed vegetable dish, usually served with dinner. It can have a reputation as rather fussy to make which is why I like this particular recipe which comes from The Kitchn. It doesn't involve any vegetable peeling. The peels go into the stew with all the rest. More fiber, less effort and extra delicious!  Serve as a side dish to chicken or fish, or as a main course over cous cous or polenta (my favorite way to make the polenta is with goat cheese and truffle oil stirred in at the end). 

Makes 8 to 10 servings (this recipe can be cut in half if you don't need so many servings!)