Friday, October 31, 2014

Spaghetti and Mice - Caity

I love Halloween! This year we are renting a house (rather than an apartment) and were really looking forward to having some trick-or-treaters. We bought candy, we got mildly dressed up (even our dog, Nigel, had his Killer Whale costume on!) and we turned on all our Halloween lights aaaaaannnnd...... we had two trick-or-treaters. Just two! The night was still a good one though! We watched "Young Frankenstein" while we made ourselves a spooky dinner. 

I like to make a creepy themed foods for Halloween night. Last year, I made meatloaf in the shape of a hand. This year my inspiration came from Pinterest and was a picture of a meatball shaped as a cute little mouse! The recipe wasn't included with the picture, so I filled in the blanks.  The spaghetti and meatball recipe I used is one of my favorite recipes from the Barefoot Contessa's "Family Style" cookbook with a couple small adjustments. Then, once the meatballs were done cooking, I just added a couple extras and I had some adorable mice! Since everyday isn't Halloween and mice meatballs aren't entirely appropriate year round, I made a couple of mice meatballs and the rest regular meatballs so I could use them for work lunches. I hope you enjoy this creepy dinner and Happy Halloween! 

Serves 6

one year ago: Pumpkin Juice
three years ago: Tomato Focaccia

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad - Caity

The first time I had this salad, it was 3 AM and I was at work at the hospital. It was just getting to the point of the nightshift where I wanted to rip out my own eyeballs, I was so tired (lovely image isn't it?). I hadn't packed a very satisfactory lunch for myself so my friend and co-worker, Emily Aspy, was nice enough to share her homemade salad with me. It was a real game changer. I went from grumpy, zombie nurse to enthusiastic salad eater in one bite flat. This salad was crunchy and savory and the bite of the lemon vinaigrette zipped my tastebuds to another level! 

I had to have the salad again; I was hooked! I kindly asked (aka demanded) that Emily please bring me some more of that heavenly salad to work the next night which she did. A couple of days later, I kindly asked (aka demanded) that she give me the recipe. This fantastic recipe comes from the "Holiday Entertaining" magazine which includes the best recipes from Bon Appetit and Gourmet. It also has the added bonus that everything can be prepared several hours to a day ahead of time then mixed together right before serving. 

It is a perfect salad for really any meal but I thought it was really great as a Thanksgiving salad. The lemon vinaigrette cuts through the rest of the meal's rich flavors. I changed the recipe only slightly and around the holidays I like to add pomegranate seeds to make it look really festive! I hope you love it as much as I do! 

Serves 8-10

One year ago: Pumpkin Spice SyrupPumpkin Juice
Two years ago: Bacon & JalapeƱo Corn ChowderPeruvian Style Roasted Chicken
Three years ago: Caprese SaladOrzo with Parmesan and BasilTomato Focaccia 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Spinach and Fontina Soup - Erin

This is an attempt to re-create a soup from the menu of the Tin Angel Cafe in Salt Lake City.  As with virtually everything I cook, it's really easy, and really delicious!  Tin Angel (here) is a great little restaurant, and my mom has fallen in love with this soup of theirs.  She's been wanting it now that the cool weather is coming, so we tried to do it ourselves, and it turned out to be very delicious indeed! 

This is a much thinner, lighter soup than most cream soups; if you want it to be thicker you could add in a few tablespoons of flour when you add in the garlic.  I prefer to use the creamier Italian Fontina over the Dutch, but if you can't find it I'm sure it will be just fine!

One year ago: Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
Two years ago: Bacon and Corn Jalapeno Chowder, Pumpkin Spice Creamer, Hungry High Schooler Beef Sandwiches 
Three years ago: Coffeecake Muffins, Caprese Salad, Orzo with Parmesan and Basil, Tomato Focaccia

what you will need:
5 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
6 cups chicken (or veggie) stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 lb baby spinach leaves
 1/2 lb Fontina cheese, cubed
1/2 cup cream