Tag Archives: lunch

prosciutto, mozzarella, tomato, and spinach panini

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.

prosciutto, mozzarella, spinach, tomato

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.

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barbecue chicken pizza

barbecue chicken pizza

I love condiments.  I slather a ton of mustard on my burgers, I like lots of ketchup with my fries, but barbecue sauce has always been my favorite.  When we were kids and my parents took us out for dinner, we almost always ordered chicken tenders.  It worked out perfectly because they came with a little bowl of honey mustard sauce and a bowl of barbecue sauce and my sister, Jessica, and I would just do a trade so that I ended up with two barbecue sauces and she had two honey mustards.

crust with first layer of cheese

adding bbq chicken

Even as an adult Jessica stuck to her guns and every time I mentioned a place that did a great barbecue, she insisted that she really wasn’t into barbecue.  She’s crazy. I mean, it can be done so many ways!  And besides, how can you not love the sweet, smokey tang of good ol’ fashioned barbecue sauce? Continue reading


creamy corn soup with ham and roasted poblanos

creamy corn soup with ham and roasted poblanos

The next recipe in the lineup from our week-long celebration of Rick Bayless is a wonderful, creamy corn soup.  In the recipe, Bayless says that you can use either chicken or ham and ham just seemed like an obvious choice to me.  Of course chicken would work wonderfully, but I really liked the idea of some yummy, well-seasoned ham with the mellower corn flavor.

fire roasted poblano

My favorite part of this soup, however, is not the ham, it’s the poblano chile.  It gives the soup a lovely mild spice that hits at the back of your tongue.  You roast the chile first, giving it a smoky kick. Spice-phobes need not be afraid – it has a very mild kick.

cubed ham

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curried lentil soup

curried lentil soup

Ok, I promised you something healthy after all those cookies and here it is.  Believe me, it’s worth the wait.  I found out about this recipe from my friend, Anne, who is an incredible cook.  After every amazing meal that she cooks everyone oohs and aahs over her creations and she always, always responds by saying, “Oh, it’s so easy.”  This is generally met with wide eyes because it’s often clear that it’s certainly not easy by most people’s standards.  This soup is an exception.  It is in fact very easy and it’s very delicious and it has quickly become one of our go-to recipes for when we don’t know what else to make.  It’s easy, it’s healthy, the ingredients keep well for a while, and you can even make it ahead of time, which is just what we did the other night when my sister was coming into town.

red lentils

It’s a good thing we did, because her flight got in an hour late and we were getting pretty hungry by the time we got home from picking her up. But luckily we had made this soup the night before and Joseph had set the bread maker earlier in the day.  We came home to a house filled with the scent of fresh baked bread and all we had to do was throw the soup in a pot to heat up, slice the warm bread, and pour a nice Albariño. It is the perfect remedy to a cold Boston night! Continue reading


butternut squash and sage soup with sage breadcrumbs

Ok, so here’s another butternut squash soup that you have to try.  I think Joseph and I actually liked this one better than the last one.  The sage is a really nice flavor and the breadcrumbs give it a little texture and a lot of richness.  Possibly too much richness.  I think I won’t add as much to mine next time because it was a little too rich for me.  We used extra breadcrumbs on some delicious butternut squash tortellini we got from Whole Foods.

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spicy cauliflower soup

Like I’ve said before, I think cauliflower gets a bad rap but it can be quite deliscious when prepared well.  I was excited to see a cauliflower soup recipe in Alice Water’s The Art of Simple Food because soup weather is in full swing and how can you go wrong with Alice?

For the first few years of our relationship, Joseph wasn’t really into soups.  He was fine with it as an appetizer before dinner, but it was never really enough for him as a meal on its own.  Or so he thought.  Something has changed this fall and we’ve been making a lot of soups and Joseph’s getting pretty into it. Which makes me happy because I love a simple dinner of soup and fresh baked bread and it’s even better when they’re so easy to make, like this one. Continue reading


butternut squash soup

butternut squash soup

Ok, so I know how long it’s been since my last post.  Don’t worry, I have been eating, I’ve just been out of town a lot (including an amazing food and wine festival in Disney World!) and have been really busy.  But I do have some great things to share with you (just wait for the chicken meatballs!), including this butternut squash soup.

I don’t know if there’s a more quintessentially fall soup than butternut squash soup.  Unless maybe you make pumpkin soup….  I used to get a curried pumpkin soup with apples from the Whole Foods in DC that I loved.  It was so warm and spicy and the apples gave it a wonderful tartness that sent it over the edge.  So this fall I was hoping to find a similar recipe, but for butternut squash soup.  I didn’t quite, but I found this recipe from Emeril Legasse that was so easy, I had to try it.  It may not have the apples, but it’s really good, and like I said, very easy. Continue reading


shrimp tacos with tomato, radish, and habañero

Ok, it’s been a while since I’ve shared a recipe and here I am sharing another Rick Bayless recipe, also from Mexican Everyday.  This is the perfect summer meal — nice and light, crisp, and refreshing.

These tacos do pack a bit of heat from the habeñero, which is considerably spicier than jalepeños, but nothing too serious and the citrusy radish salad helps soften the heat level. Rick’s directions don’t specify whether you are to seed and de-rib the pepper and Joseph nearly didn’t which I believe would result in something nearly inedible for most people.  The ribs (the white part running the length of the inside of the chile) and the seeds pack the biggest punch of peppers, and like I said, habeñeros are up there on the heat charts. Check out cookthink.com for great tips on how to cut chiles.  Please also remember not to handle the seeds or ribs with your bare hands because the oils will remain long after and then you’ll go to take out your contacts and you will be very sorry. You can always use a plastic bag or something if you’re worried about it.

There’s really nothing else to say about about this dish, other than to make sure you make these before summer slips away and also make sure you check out his tips on how to reheat store-bought corn tortillas.  Failure to do so will result in lots of ripped up tortillas and that’s a promise.

Shrimp Tacos with Tomato, Radish, and Habañero
Adapted from Rick Bayless

Serves 4

1 to 1 1/4 lb medium-small shrimp, cooked and peeled*
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 small white onion, finely chopped
6 radishes, thinly sliced
1 fresh habeñero (or jalepeño), stemmed and finely chopped
2 large ripe tomatoes, cored and chopped in 1/4 inch pieces
1/2 cup (loosely packed) chopped cilantro
salt
12 warm corn tortillas (reheat using Rick’s technique if you get store-bought)

Combine the shrimp, lime juice, onion, radishes, chile, tomatoes, and cilantro in a bowl. Season to taste with salt, probably close to a teaspoon.

Serve with warm corn tortillas.

* These can also be made with fish or shellfish if you prefer