Yesterday I asked the question: “What’s your favorite Winter meal?” The answers have been so fun to read through and I’ve gotten so many new ideas as to what to cook for the remainder of this season.
This plate of awesomeness you see pictured is my favorite Winter meal. It’s filling, rich and so so good. Bolognese will forever be my favorite thing to eat on a cold night. It never isn’t satisfying to me. This rendition highlights cremini mushrooms, which give it a nice earthiness and meatiness.
For the recipe and other stuff, head over to The Mushroom Channel’s blog. (Throughout the year I’ll be sharing some other recipes I created for them featuring our favorite ingredient…mushrooms!)
Happy Monday, friends! How was your weekend? I spent Saturday in Laguna and yesterday I was testing some recipes while House of Cards played in the background and OMGooodness. That season premiere was INSANE!
In other news, today we have a La Creuset Giveaway. Do you have a French Oven? It’s one of my most-used kitchen items. I literally use it at least a few times a week. I use this for everything from making soups to braising meats to making bolognese–it’s so versatile!!
I’m listening to Aaliyah, planning something fun for Joshua for Valentine’s Day. Doughnuts are involved. I’m excited. If all turns out well I might remake it and share it next week.
Now, this cocktail. I was gonna call this a Tangelo French 75 because an old school French 75 was the inspiration but it wouldn’t be completely accurate. French 75s have champagne and since I’m not a big champagne-drinker, I swapped in a rosé and added a splash of sparkling water for a little fizz.
Every year Valentine’s Day approaches and I’m like, oh please make it stop. The other day I was reading Anne’s post, which reminded me how much I loved Valentine’s Day as a kid. All those school parties! All the treats, candies and glittery, handmade valentines I’d send my friends—why am I so meh about it now?! Oh yeh…there was that one time…
I was in third grade and had convinced my mom that it was very necessary to go to the grocery store and buy a few dozen of those shitty cupcakes with tons of sprinkles and stuff on ‘em. I was pumped. So stoked. I went to class, I had my cute outfit on, had my Valentine’s day pocket-thingys…you know, the big heart with the front pocket so friends could put V-Day cards in ‘em.
Right before the party we had recess so the adults could set up and get everything ready. This is when things took a turn for the worst.
I remember walking past the swing set, not paying attention at all because my mind was on the party, and then boom! Seemingly out of nowhere a gigantic foot hit my face. I fell to the ground and all I could hear is one kid yelling, “Ew! Gross! She’s bleeding.” I remember saying, “No I’m noooot!” Because, if I was bleeding I knew what that meant; it meant no party. And that was totally unacceptable.
Soon enough an adult headed over and I was carried to the school doctor. I remember looking in the mirror, as the nurse attempted to console me, taking note of my gigantic lip and bloody shirt. Pretty sure I still asked if I could go to the party. I knew the answer but I had to give it one last shot. My dad came rushing from work and took me Chili’s. We sat at the bar area and I drank a milkshake and had the fajitas. It was my favorite, but nothing could top the party.
My dad was in town for a few days and even though he bosses me around, wakes up way too early and always tells me my car needs to be cleaned, I had the best time ever. Living across the country from my parents is hard. When I see them, I see them differently, and after they leave I always tend to think a lot about my childhood.
My dad and I have always baked together. It’s the thing we share. My dad isn’t a pro-baker or anything like that—he does it strictly as a hobby, and for many years it was his favorite hobby. A few years ago, over a holiday break, my dad and I spent two days baking gougeres. We had no idea what we were doing, but we followed a bunch of recipes, tweaked a bunch of stuff and after two days we finally ended up with a batch we deemed totally perfect.
After my dad left town all I wanted to do was make something that felt familiar and something that reminded me of the man who taught me to how to change a tire and the man who taught me the value of never quitting.
Gougeres are made from pate a choux. If you’ve never made it before you may think it’s a weird and wrong.
The recipe begins by cooking butter with water, flour, and in this case, beer. And then you mix in eggs–even though they might not feel like they can actually be incorporated into the dough. They eventually do.
How 80s is the word “stroganoff”? True story: I was raised in a household where my mom didn’t really make many American-style dinners. There were maybe two on the roaster. One was broccoli cheese casserole, which my mom learned how to make from the side of a soup can, and still ’til this day holds a very tender spot in my heart. The second American-style dish was beef stroganoff. Oh man, we didn’t have it all the time but whenever we did I was soooo pumped that I barely wanted to eat lunch just to be sure I’d have enough room to eat a lot of it.
Beef stroganoff is not something I’d normally make at home, if I’m being honest. It’s a bit too heavy for me, but this mushroom iteration—with crème fraîche, a splash of balsamic vinegar served over egg noodles—is perfect for when you want a bowl of warm awesomeness to hug you, but you want to skimp on the beef. It’s also the ideal dinner you can make in 16 minutes or less.
For the full recipe and more pictures, jump over to PBS!
Next week is Valentine’s Day. Will I make more pink food? Will I make dinner for one?
Who knows! Check in next week to find out. I’m excited.
If you know me, you know that I’m not Valentine’s Day’s biggest fan. It’s not that I hate relationships or love or love or any of that—if anything it’s the complete opposite. I’m pretty sure my disdain for all things Valentine’s Day has to do with how the internet celebrates. Everything immediately turns red and pink and pizzas on Pinterest are topped with heart-shapped pepperoni. WHY?!
Also, I’m convinced that we shouldn’t be consuming that much food coloring in our lives. It’s a very rare occasion where I’m like, let’s turn this whole dish RED! PINK! Like, no. If it’s not meant to be pink then let it live in its original color and chill. Let’s all walk away from the food coloring, ok? (Red velvet cake on occasion is fine.)
Today the internet beat me. I made something festive…sorta. It was on my long list of to-makes so I figured it might be a good time, but this is naturally pink, so I’m defending it.
Here it is, internetz: (Resentfully) presenting pink hummus…
Yesterday I ate 1/2 of gigantic big bowl of guacamole, pet a bird, ate 1/4 of this spinach dip and then had a gigantic plate of Feijoada. (The Feijoada was beyond epic and it’s now my goal to make it for this here space.)
Basically what I’m saying is that I overate. Probably more than Thanksgiving. A dinner of just appetizers is like a dream for me. It reminds me of My-So-Called-Life when Rayenne complains about always having frozen appetizers for dinner and her mother has no idea what she’s talking about.
Eating just appetizers reminds me of afterschool snacks and tapas in Spain and my favorite television series of all time.
When things are going well, in the direction you want them to, do you ever worry that something bad must be on the horizon? 2013 was the year when I was constantly expecting something bad was on its way, because for the first time, pieces of my life were falling into place.
I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m totally down with Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday. I need it, man. And Brene Brown (I love this woman) spoke about this very same issue I’ve been dealing with. So this year, 2014, isn’t necessarily about these tangible goals that I can put on a to-do list and dutifully check off, but rather a year that’s all about leaning into joy. Being comfortable when things are going well and dealing with the hardship as it comes, rather than preparing for it.
My nails usually look a wreck from cooking, so please let’s enjoy the fact that my nails are actually looking civil. I only paint my nails on my days off because polish lasts a total of five hours for me. And please don’t sing the praises of gel nails. They do last a long time, but the time it takes to have them put on and the effort to get them properly removed is too much for me. I can’t deal. I’m way too impatient.
This weekend is the weekend when all of our healthy eating goals of 2014 just go to hell. Kale salads and broths are replaced with piles and piles of chips with melted cheese on ‘em. I’m not mad at this. I plan on making chicken wings, per Wednesday’s recipe. And maybe I might even make some with traditional buffalo wing sauce. I love Frank’s hot sauce, though the wing competitions at buffalo wing places freak me out. I definitely won’t be eating 50 wings that make my face wanna explode, but I might have like 4.
This Spinach Arichoke Dip will also definitely be present. It’s sort of a classic, but I like this version. It’s a tad bit spicy, warm and a little tangy (thanks to the creme fraiche). It’s soooo good.
For the full recipe and pics, go over to PBS Food.