recipe // shaved brussels sprouts salad with a prosciutto vinaigrette & pretzel croutons

So…this salad. It’s amazing. A wonderful combination of brussels sprouts, cherry tomatoes, goat cheese, a sweet and spicy vinaigrette with diced prosciutto, and the pi├Ęce de r├ęsistance: pretzel croutons. Continue reading

recipe // roasted eggplant with buttermilk sauce & pomegranate seeds

My latest cookbook obsession is Yotam Ottolenghi’s Plenty. I received it as a gift and let it sit on the shelf unused for a while, wrongly assuming that the recipes were too labor intensive for everyday meals. Living with someone who loves anything made with eggplant though, I couldn’t avoid making the cover dish for long. Continue reading

recipe // wild rice gratin with kale, caramelized onions and baby swiss

Knowing that I have a bit of an obsession with the Smitten Kitchen blog, my wonderful boyfriend bought me the new Smitten Kitchen cookbook for our anniversary a few months ago. I’ve cooked a handful of the recipes, some of them multiple times, and stickynoted almost all the rest for future occasions (my real world version of pinning). Everything I’ve made so far has been awesome – I honestly can’t recommend this cookbook enough.

The wild rice gratin with kale, caramelized onions, and baby swiss is one of the recipes I’ve made on multiple occasions. It’s kind of like hearty comfort food, packed with rice, veggies and just the right amount of cheese, and coated with a crisp bread crumb crust. It’s gotten rave reviews from vegetarians and meat eaters alike, and is a relatively easy dish for a midweek meal. Continue reading

recipe // butternut squash soup with pumpkin seed-mint pesto

This is a great fall recipe from Sunset. They suggest serving it in mini pumpkins, and using fresh pumpkin instead of squash, but I was not feeling that ambitious for a post-work meal. Instead, I used the pre-cut butternut squash from Trader Joe’s (2 bags of it, to be exact), an immersion blender to puree the soup, and a food processor to make the pesto, and in under an hour was serving it up in perfectly acceptable ceramic bowls with a side of olive bread. Continue reading

recipe // pan-roasted chicken with garlic-lemon green beans and potatoes

I found this recipe on Repinly where it’s #20 on the all-time most popular pin list. It was originally pinned by Alexandria Harrison, but the recipe is from Real Simple and it seemed like an easy option for a midweek meal. With just about 20 minutes of prep time, minimal dishes to wash, and the result being a complete meal for four people (or in our case, a meal for two people plus leftovers for lunch the next day), I want to find 10 more recipes just like this and make them in a rotation during the workweek.

As I said, the amount of prep time was actually not that much more than the 15 minutes the recipe claimed. Generally, I assume that anything that says 15 minutes of prep time really is more like 15 minutes of assembly after I spend upwards of a half hour chopping things. In this case, even with all the washing, chopping, and mixing included I went from nothing to having the pan in the oven in under 20 minutes. As a disclaimer, I did use green beans that were already trimmed and washed by Trader Joe’s, so I didn’t have to do much to those, which made things that much faster. Continue reading

recipe // vodka-spiked “no cook” tomato sauce

This is an old standby from my favorite cookbook: Joie Warner’s No Cook Pasta Sauces. All the recipes in this cookbook use a method where the fresh ingredients for the “sauce” warm in a serving bowl placed on top of the pot of boiling water while the pasta. is cooking. Just make sure your serving bowl is ceramic or metal so you don’t get any melted plastic in your pasta. This recipe in particular is great for a last minute meal because I usually have all the ingredients on hand, so there’s no need for a trip to the store. Joie Warner describes the dish as being inspired by a Bloody Caesar cocktail, but being more of a Bloody Mary girl myself, I can’t really vouch for this. In this instance, I had fresh basil on hand so I decided to try using that instead of dried basil as the recipe suggests. It turns out that this may have been one of those few cases where dried herbs taste better than fresh herbs, because the dish was lacking in its usual flavor. This could also have been because I didn’t have a lime so there wasn’t any lime zest, which always adds a nice freshness to it. Still good, but when it is made according to the recipe, it’s definitely better. Continue reading

recipe // spicy mango shrimp

This is a recipe from the “Fast & Fresh” section of Sunset, which is the first section I flip to whenever the new issue arrives. The photo looked amazing, as did the claim that it could be made in 30 minutes or less. I had to make a few variations to the recipe due to a lack of ingredients… as overwhelming as the selection is at Safeway, they did not have unsweetened or toasted coconut, so I used the sweetened variety and toasted it myself. I also used jarred instead of fresh mango, mainly because it was already 8pm and I was hungry. Overall, the dish was really good – just the right amount of sweet and spicy, and a good mix of flavors. And it actually only took 30 minutes to make, including peeling the shrimp. Even though it called for unsweetened coconut, it was unanimous that the toasted sweetened coconut was the best part. Although the recipe said it was for 4 servings, as a main course it served 2 with about a half serving left over, so next time I’ll definitely be doubling the recipe. Continue reading