Salad art

I'm thrilled by the inherent beauty in freshly picked herbs, shimmering with dew; cracked pomegranates with glowing crimson seeds; rustic french bread, steam billowing from an airy interior; and the list goes on---I could wax poetic about edible inspirations (did I borrow that from a fruit bouquet company tagline?) for hours. And capturing this beauty in a photo is almost as satisfying as devouring the finished product. So imagine my delight ...

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Smuggling pumpkins

It's an impossibly beautiful, crisp and sunny Chicago fall, my uterus is now the size of a pumpkin (how festive!), and the cooking strike in Casa DiCosola continues. Dinners these days consist of cinnamon toast crunch, apples and peanut butter, fun-size snickers, english muffins and string cheese (yes, all in one night; no, not necessarily in that order). Good thing I have this little fall-themed gem of a post in my ...

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Pickled pink (or blue?)

Hello my wonderful readers, are you still there? I've been MIA for a couple months, but I think I have the best excuse of them all: I've got a bun in the oven ... and it ain't sourdough : ) We're over the moon! But the nausea, food aversions and fatigue wreaked havoc on my blog activity---not to mention Dave's dinner. In the first trimester, most of the time I could barely ...

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moody lighting tutorial

Getting in the mood

One of my biggest blog goals for 2013 was to step up my photography. It's one of my absolute favorite parts of food blogging---sometimes even more than the actual cooking---so it's been a fun, exciting and inspiring journey. I've also been insatiable when it comes to finding new resources that can help me take my blog to the next level, and I love that there are so many great bloggers out ...

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Tortilla soup and tostadas, part dos

It's the end of the month and I'm falling off the paleo wagon. Still committed to a healthier diet, but God help me, I'm having some damn grains already. Corn and flour specifically. So here we go ... The best kinds of recipes are highly adaptable. Take my tortilla soup. It's a thick, blended, stew-style concoction that's not for traditionalists, but delicious all the same. Beans, tortilla chips, vegetables, spices and ...

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Beef at its best

A couple of Saturdays ago, I dragged my cooking club ladies down the paleo rabbit hole---with quite astonishing results. We gorged ourselves on shepherd's pie, shrimp cakes, lettuce wraps, bacon-wrapped dates, meatballs, key lime pie, chocolate banana pie and last but not least, insanely rich, beef short ribs---bursting with flavor and piled high atop rosemary and bacon-studded sweet potatoes. Dave eyed the feast from afar, then dove in for the kill as the ...

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A little nutty

This diet that is. And how I begin to feel after a day of forcing down handfuls of baby carrots, hard-boiled eggs, oranges and boatloads of bacon. OK, so that last one isn't so bad. Still, it's nice to come home and grab for a handful of these sweet little nut clusters. It seems to put a band-aid on almost every Paleo-induced side effect. Carb cravings. Candy cravings. That unpleasant, heartburn-y, ...

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Paleo perfection: chicken curry with cauliflower rice

This paleo stuff isn't for the weak-willed. Carb cravings sneak up on you when you least expect them. To survive, you need some serious substitutes---dishes that make you forget the fact that bagels, cheese, candy, crackers and every other guilty pleasure you can imagine are no where in your near future. For me, one of those dishes is this paleo curry. I was highly skeptical of the "rice." Dave, true to form, ...

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Hot, spicy and a little bit sweet

Where's your mind going? I'm talking about the soup, people. While sweet potato fries usually get all the love, this soup deserves a little attention. Velvety, rich, sweet, savory---and with a sneaking heat that will warm on even the coldest days---you'll want to keep a batch of this stuff on hand all winter long. Sweet potato chorizo soup You'll need: 2 large sweet potatoes 3 tablespoons butter 1/2 yellow onion chopped 1 cup chicken stock 1/4 tsp ...

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“Stuffing” our faces

As always, Thanksgiving in Tucson was full of friends, family, fun and food comas---lots of them. While I'm the last person to let dietary restrictions rain on my pig-out parade, I felt inclined to make a gluten-free dish for my dear nana (A thinly veiled attempt to become the favorite grandchild? Maybe). The resulting creation was a sweet potato "stuffing" inspired by a work potluck dish a la creative director ...

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