• Entrees,  Recipes

    Risotto with peas and pancetta

    People are always impressed when I cook risotto. Dave knows better: Delicious it is; a culinary achievement it is not. Not to say that I don’t appreciate artfully crafted restaurant risotto. Or that the inventor of the dish isn’t a genius. That person deserves a Nobel Peace Prize. But I digress. Risotto is perhaps one of the easiest, no-brainer, no-measurement-needed, no-recipe-needed meals you can make. So much so that I hesitate to even give an actual recipe. Here’s the thing: In my opinion, many of the things that go wrong with risotto come from using a recipe in the first place. Make risotto the way I do, and this dish it utterly…

  • Cooking Tips,  Entrees

    Pasta procrastination

    Does your kitchen equipment taunt you? Maybe it’s a stand mixer, gathering dust on your countertop. A cast iron skillet peering out from behind those lower-maintenance pots and pans. An immersion blender that hasn’t seen any action since 2003. For me, it was three gleaming KitchenAid pasta attachments and a still-packaged pasta drying rack—staring me in the face every time I reached to grab their more popular cousin, the pizza stone. Then finally, a year after I got them as wedding gifts, it was their turn. Fresh pasta (Adapted from Mario Batali’s fresh pasta recipe) You’ll need: 3 1/2 cups of flour  5 medium eggs Water to moisten as needed…

  • Entrees,  Recipes,  Sandwiches

    Veggie burgers for the carnivore in your life

    No offense, Morningstar, but your veggie burgers don’t hold a candle to these babies. While I can’t say they’ll satisfy cravings for a big, juicy hunk of ground beef (but let’s be honest, what veggie burger will?), they’re a ridiculously addictive, filling and flavorful meal option that anyone—even the most meat-and-potato midwesterners in your life—will thoroughly enjoy. Chockfull of fiber and veggies, they’re healthy to boot. I first encountered these at Atwood Cafe in downtown Chicago—and since spent a few random afternoons reminiscing and searching Google for the recipe. Recently, when the food memory popped into my consciousness, a search yielded the recipe. FINALLY. They’re as delicious as I remember…

  • Entrees,  Recipes

    Living on the edge with slow-cooker carnitas

    When it comes to activities that could cause bodily harm or physical destruction, I ALWAYS err on the side of caution. Meaning, I don’t partake. That’s so dangerous! is a big phrase for me. Leaving a slow-cooker unattended for a moderate stretch of time is on my list of no-nos. But alas, left with no dinner options and package of pork that would be unusable in a few days, I took a walk on the wild side. I know what you’re thinking: That’s what a slow cooker is for. In fact, upon some investigation, I discovered evidence that debunked my fears in Crock-Pot’s own tagline: Cooks all day—while the cooks away!…

  • Cooking Tips,  Entrees,  Holidays,  Uncategorized

    Food Buzz 24×24: Talking Turkey—3 Turkeys, 3 ways

    Hope you all are slowly coming out of a nice Thanksgiving food coma (and just in time to enjoy the last of the leftovers!). Obviously, this post is too late for this year, but be sure to flag it for next year if your turkey-cooking skills could use a little work. As some of you may know, we have crowded, rowdy Thanksgiving every year at my parents’ house in Tucson—complete with tequila shots and sports gambling. The food is always amazing, but the birds don’t get as much love as they should. The 50 or so lbs of turkey are my dad’s job, and suffice to say he’s more of…

  • Appetizers,  Beverages,  Cooking Tips,  Dessert,  Entrees,  Holidays,  Recipes,  Side Dishes

    The one day a year when bingeing is socially acceptable …

    … is nearly upon us!! Hip-hip-hooray!!! As far as food goes, holidays don’t get much better than Thanksgiving. Last year’s Thanksgiving post pretty much covers things so I’m posting the link again (hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it). There’s also my Southwest Thanksgiving post and the Paula Deen post to give you a little turkey-day inspiration. Also keep an eye out for a special Thanksgiving Day post. Happy gorging!

  • Entrees,  Recipes,  Uncategorized

    Backblogged

    I won’t be one of those bloggers that pretends to have thousands of clamoring fans that didn’t know what to do with themselves when their favorite blogger went on hiatus. That being said, for the three of you out there who actually care, sorry for depriving you of dry humor and french toast recipes. It’s been an insanely busy summer, but I’ll spare you the excuses and get straight to the good stuff … Portobello, red pepper and goat cheese flatbread/pizza You’ll need: 1 red bell pepper, chopped 1-2 portobello mushrooms, chopped 8 oz. goat cheese 3-5 cloves garlic, minced Crushed red pepper  and salt to taste 1 bag of…

  • Entrees,  Recipes

    Squash Soup

    If one is good, three is great. Case in point: Butternut, acorn and zucchini squash soup. Next time you consider whipping up a batch of that old fall go-to, butternut squash soup, consider this delightful remix. Roasted three-squash soup You’ll need: 1 acorn squash 1 large butternut squash 1 zucchini 1/2 of yellow or white onion 4 cloves garlic, roasted 1/2 teaspoon curry 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg 1 teaspoon white pepper salt to taste olive oil and butter for roasting 1-2 cups chicken or vegetable stock Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut up your squash in slices and scoop out the seeds, but don’t peel them. Drizzle…

  • Beverages,  Entrees

    Pulled pork, Baklavian treats and aptly named cocktails

    Advertising folk and the people who love them are pretty damn fun to hang out with. On the eve of the first day of my new full-time copywriting job, I hung out with some of my favorite people from my old full-time copywriting job. Marc—marketing guru, general jack-of-all trades, and personal copywriting mentor—was gracious enough to have us all over for a Sunday, North-Carolina-style BBQ. The air was crisp, the hickory chips were fragrant, the baklava was, errr, “baklavian” (thanks Dana), and the drinks were … uhh … hot tranny messes? Michael snatched my camera and took some action shots as I, sadly, was more interested in capturing the pork than…

  • Appetizers,  Entrees,  Recipes,  Side Dishes

    Redemption and bear-shaped tostadas

    Last week, I made some delicious game-day food for the return of Sunday Football at Jim’s place. Unfortunately, as a result of Cutler’s awful debut performance, I was too dejected to actually post about it. Since I went to great lengths to make bear-shaped food, and the Bears redeemed themselves tonight in an exhilarating win, I think I’ll get around to posting about that meal now. Plus, this tortilla soup is way too good not to share. Black Bean Bear Tostadas and Tortilla Soup For the Tortilla Soup you’ll need: 3 chicken breasts 1 cup chicken stock 1 zucchini finely chopped 1 onion finely chopped 1-2 jalapenos (depending on how spicy…