When we were little, my sister received this kid’s cookbook that we just loved. There are actually only three recipes I remember making from it, but we made them over and over again. There was the yummy, chunky apple sauce, these awesome cakes that you put in an ice cream cone and that looked like ice cream but weren’t (I pulled one out of my lunchbox at school one day to the utter amazement of my friends), and oven baked fried chicken. I loved that chicken. I’m not sure how much my sister and I actually helped, but the one thing I do remember doing is putting the cornflakes for the breading in a big ziplock and mashing it to pieces with a rolling pin. It was so much fun and I felt all grown up. And honestly, the bag and rolling pin is a useful trick I still use often (who wants to sit there chopping walnuts when you could just roll over them?).
Those of you have been following along know that I had knee surgery a little over a month ago and have been relying on Joseph for most of my meals. We also have a freezer full (well, only half full now) of amazing food my mother-in-law sent us home with right before my surgery. Joseph wins the best husband ever award in part because of how he waited on me hand and foot in the first couple weeks after my surgery and still does all the cooking and cleaning, in part because he drives me everywhere (including all my doctor’s and physical therapy appointments of which there are many) because I’m not allowed to drive for a few more weeks, but most especially because he made me this oven fried chicken last week.
Have you ever gone to dinner at someone’s house and before they serve you the food they say, “Uh, I hope you like garlic,” with just the slightest touch of hesitation? Like garlic? Are you kidding? I can’t get enough!
Now, to be fair, I have on occasion turned down an everything bagel because I was afraid of starting the day off with garlic breath, but by lunch, it’s all over. You might just want to sit on the other side of the conference room if I have a meeting with you in the afternoon.
And of course there’s garlic and then there’s roasted garlic. Don’t you just love restaurants that serve roasted garlic with thick, crusty bread to smear it on. Well, if you like that, you’ll love this pasta dish. The lemon adds a nice tang to the sweet, rich flavor from the roasted tomatoes and garlic, while the beans add both protein and a nice flavor and texture, and the basil adds a nice earthy sweetness to top it all off.
Did you know that this past Sunday was Macaron Day in NYC? I got an e-mail about it yesterday and then this afternoon a friend told me about her weekend in New York and all the macaron shops she hit up while she was there. Oh man was I jealous. If only I had known! The good news is that Anne told me that the Danish Pastry House, which I absolutely love and is just a short drive from our place (or a longer walk when my knee is up to it), has awesome macarons. Yes!
The other good news is that my own macaron making skills have improved. Dramatically. Remember my horribly failed cinnamon apple macawhoopsie pies? That were supposed to be macarons? Right, well, I was kind of afraid to try making macarons again after that. But my wonderful husband got me a class on macarons at the Cambridge School of Culinary Arts as well as a cute little book on macarons for Christmas.
Growing up, I was always very proud of my Irish heritage. Every St. Patty’s day my mom would make her version of colcannon (basically mashed potatoes with shredded cabbage, bacon pieces, and grated cheddar) and currant scones. The scones were always my favorite part. As an adult, my celebration of St. Patty’s Day has changed considerably (hello, Guinness and Irish Coffee!), although I still always make scones.
This year was my most uneventful St. Patty’s Day to date. I had class that night and hadn’t been since my knee surgery and didn’t want to miss another class. Not just that, but I haven’t been able to get in the kitchen and cook with my bum knee and didn’t want to ask Joseph to go out of his way to make an Irish meal for me when he has a lot going on himself (plus, he’s already been waiting on me hand and foot ever since the surgery). Continue reading
I don’t know about you, but I am so incredibly ready for spring. Winter in Boston was brutal with 38 inches of snow in January alone. The snow has finally (mostly) melted and they’re talking about temps in the 50s this weekend. I’d like to say that I’ll be out enjoying the weather, but I’m not particularly mobile with my post-surgery knee. I am bound and determined to make it outside for a least a little bit, even if it’s just to the back porch.
If you ask me, the only upside to all the snow was working from home and having Joseph make me panini for lunch. My office doesn’t have a whole lot of lunch options nearby, and besides, I’m generally happier saving my money to go out for a nice dinner rather than buy a mediocre sandwich because I didn’t bring anything for lunch.
I get so carried away sometimes with finding new recipes and cooking that I forget to actually blog about the things I cook! Case in point, I was on the phone with my sister yesterday and she said that as soon as I’m back on my feet she’d love to see a risotto recipe on Pixelated Crumb. As soon as she said it, I realized that we had in fact made one and had photographed it and everything, but I’d never actually gotten around to posting it. Which is a shame because it’s really good!
When I went back to find the photos, I found several other recipes that I haven’t posted yet. Recipes that are really, really good, but I just forgot that I hadn’t posted yet! The good news for all of you is that I’m laid up recovering from knee surgery, so I have plenty of time to revisit them, starting with the risotto.
Joseph and I have a handful of recipes that we always keep readily available for the weeks when we don’t have any groceries and don’t have time to sit down and actually plan before going to the store. They’re all mostly healthy, quick, easy, and good. We’ve had this fried rice recipe in our arsenal for a while. Well, not quite this recipe. We usually make this recipe vegetarian, using tofu instead of ham, and the pineapple is a new addition. But that’s the beauty of fried rice — it’s so versatile! It’s great because the key components of it are so easy to keep stocked in your kitchen and you can modify it based on what other stuff you have in your kitchen.
Like I said, up to this point we had always made the dish vegetarian. But we had recently made a Hawaiian pizza (more on that later). We had already decided that we were going to make the fried rice and Joseph remembered we still had pineapple and then I remembered that we still had ham. It was just meant to be.
Let me get straight to the point and tell you that this is one of my very favorite cake recipes. It’s chocolate (which scores it several points right off the bat) accented by a delightfully tart raspberry filling. The layers are moist and rich and the three of them piled up together give it some impressive height.
The cake is a little more complex and the ingredients are a little pricier than the average cake (especially because I always seem to accidentally buy twice as much chocolate as necessary because the original recipe calls for a ganache filling instead of raspberry), but it’s definitely worth it. Still, I currently only make it once a year for the annual February get-together for the birthday celebration of my mother-in-law and sister-in-law.
This year’s family get-together was especially fun with the addition of Jill, an old college friend of my brother-in-law and sister-in-law, and because my niece, Amelia, is now nearly 2 1/2 years old. We don’t get to see Amelia nearly often enough and each time we see her it’s like I’m looking at a whole new person! She grows and develops new skills so quickly and it’s so cool to see how much she has changed. Continue reading
The seared duck dinner we made for Valentine’s Day was a bit more involved than usual for a weeknight for us (especially after a full day at work and then going to the gym), so I wanted to make a pretty simple dessert. The good news is that there are a ton of recipes out there for indulgent, decadent chocolate cakes that are really easy to make.
I already had plans to make something along the lines of individual chocolate desserts of some kind and then when we were on the chocolate tour at the Taza chocolate factory, I snagged a card with a recipe for molten spiced chocolate cakes. It was perfect timing.