Showing posts with label asparagus. Show all posts
Showing posts with label asparagus. Show all posts

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Spring Risotto

I know that it is supposed to be spring, but the weather in the Northeast isn't cooperating. The weatherman tells us lies that it will be in the 60's by the weekend. When the weekend comes, the temperatures barely rise above 40.

I'm trying to bring a little bit of that warm weather feeling into my life by wearing bright colors and florals, taking bundled-up evening walks and sourcing spring vegetables for dinner.

If you are still waiting for the warm spring days to visit your part of the world, try making something light and fresh for dinner. You can start with this spring risotto and hope that the temperatures rise soon!

Two Years Ago: Coconut Key Lime Bars
Three Years Ago: Lemon and Honey Chicken
Four Years Ago: Sponge Cupcakes with Swiss meringue chocolate frosting

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

CTB 2014 - The Little Paris Kitchen

I can't believe that we are already in the final days of July! Where has this summer gone? Last summer was so different from this one. I was unemployed, enjoying a summer of job hunting and severance checks. Each day was long and filled with 6-mile runs, trips to Manhattan and working on my blogs.

This summer I'm working at a new company, traveling constantly and rarely getting into the kitchen. I'm so far behind on my 2014 challenge, I'll have to make something from two cookbooks each day just to make it by the end of the year!

In an effort to make a little headway on my Cook the Books challenge, I made dinner from three different cookbooks last week.  Today, we start off with the side dish - Asperges a la Parisienne from Rachel Khoo.

I first saw Rachel Khoo, on The Cooking Channel, years ago. Her simple and elegant way in the kitchen made me want to pick up, move to Paris, and cook in a tiny kitchen too. When I saw that she had a cookbook out, I knew I just had to have it.  The pages are filled with very simple and beautiful French recipes and some of the most pretty pictures around. She has a new cookbook out - "Sweet and Savory Pates." I'm tempted to pick it up, since this first book has been so perfect. Though I'm not sure how much pate I need in my life!

If you are looking for a simple and semi-light side dish for your dinner this week, pick up some asparagus and heavy cream. You probably already have most of the ingredients in your pantry!

Thursday, April 17, 2014

CTB 2014 - La Tartine Gourmande

With all of this traveling, I definitely miss a home cooked meal. So does one other person - the boyfriend! After I returned home from my most recent trip, he complained that he was tired of trying to figure out what to have for dinner. I'm thinking of leaving him with a bunch of casseroles and freezer meals when I leave for my next trip.

Something that makes for a perfect make-ahead meal is a quiche. I'm a fan of fresh quiche, cold quiche the next day for breakfast and microwaved quiche for dinner later in the week. It's such a versatile meal too! Go meatless and add all of the vegetables from your crisper drawer. Make it manly and add sausage and hunks of cheese. The quiche is one of my favorite - Empty out the fridge - meals.

This quiche comes from La Tartine Gourmande cookbook, with a few minor changes. The recipe called for Jerusalem artichokes and I just couldn't find them at the grocery store. I'm pretty sure it was also supposed to be a frittata, but I don't have a large non-stick pan. I did however have a pie crust and no one is going to complain about a buttery pie crust.

One Year Ago: Granola Cookie Wedges
Two Years Ago: Cookie Dough Fudge
Three Years Ago: Cookie Dough Egg Rolls

Potato, spinach & asparagus Quiche with Cumin
Adapted from La Tartine Gourmande

1 pre-packaged pie crust
10 stalks of asparagus, cut into 2-inch pieces
Olive oil
1 cup packed spinach leaves
1/2 red onion, sliced thin
7 ounces Yukon gold potatoes, sliced thin
5 large eggs
1 teaspoon cumin

Preheat oven to 350°F.  Roll out pie crust into a deep-dish pie pan.  Line pie shell with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights or dried beans.  Bake pie crust for 10 minutes.  Begin preparing vegetables while the pie crust bakes.  Let it rest on a wire rack while you finish prepping the veggies.

Blanch asparagus in boiling water for 2 minutes, until they are bright green.  Drain water and rinse with cold water.  Place in a large bowl while you prepare the remaining vegetables.

Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat.  Add spinach and cook until wilted.  Remove and add to the bowl with the asparagus.  Add 1 tablespoon more oil to the pan and add red onion.  Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 5 minutes or until the onions are softened.  Add the potatoes and spread evenly over the pan.  Add 1/2 cup of water and cover with a lid.  Cook for 15 minutes, remove lid.  Cook until potatoes are tender.  Add contents of the pan to the asparagus and spinach.

Add eggs and cumin to the vegetables and stir to combine.  Pour vegetables and eggs into the pre-baked pie crust.  Place in the oven and bake for 35-45 minutes or until the center of the quiche is set and no longer eggy.  Remove from the oven and let cool for 10 minutes before cutting and serving.

Wrap the quiche tightly.  Quiche re-heats really well and will be a great meal for the rest of the week.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Boyfriend Foods

It's been almost an entire year that boyfriend and I have been cohabitating.  We went from eight years of long distance, living in several different states, to seeing each other everyday.

There are lots of positives.  1. I always have someone to talk to when I get home and I'm not left talking to my shoes.  2. There is someone there to plan weekend outings with. No more heading to the park by myself, unless I really want to go by myself.  3. There are far fewer leftovers and I don't have to eat the same thing for lunch all week long.

It isn't all sunshine and butterflies, of course.  Living with another person again took some getting used to and living with boyfriend wasn't like living with a roommate.  Some things became apparently true.

1. The laundry folding doesn't take half the time.  Why? Because there is twice as much laundry to fold and boyfriend folds his clothes weird. (I mean really, who folds their jeans like fancy pants?  I don't need a crease down the middle of my jeans)

2. Picking weekend events can be stressful!  This is coming from a girl who for seven years didn't have a real weekend (thank you grad school).  There were too many options now open to me!  I actually broke down one weekend because I couldn't choose between going to the beach or going to the park.  I just wanted someone to pick for me (take away my choices, choose for me!).

3. Boyfriend has an unusual set of food likes and dislikes.  I've been slowly figuring out what he likes by doing the following - Cook what I like... Discover what he has left behind on the dinner plate/bowl... Make mental note about what remained.  Yesterday, I found a pile of mushrooms in the pasta bowl.  Why? "They didn't taste mushroomy enough to be good, but I don't really like he taste of mushrooms either."  Huh, flavorless mushrooms = bad, flavorful mushrooms = also bad. Mental note created.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Spring Frittata, Spring Arugula Salad & Basil Panna Cotta with Strawberry gelee

Is there a time of the year that is any better than spring?  Personally, it is my favorite season and there are so many reasons why.

First, spring means that I can break out my cute dresses and strap on some adorable sandels.  I'm saying "see you later" to my winter coat and donning my favorite black satin spring jacket (seriously, it's so adorable, I'm sad I can only wear it in the in between weather times!).  Now that I'm a non-grad student type person and have all this weekend free time, I live in dresses as soon as the weather agrees with it!

Next, tulips.  Tulips are the most awesome flower, ever.  I will carry tulips down the aisle whenever I get around the getting married.  I have a vase of pink and yellow tulips sitting on the table next to me at this very moment.  Tulips are so much more amazing that roses because they have a little personality.  I think it looks like they are sighing.  When I see my first few tulips of spring, I'm a happy banana.

Finally, the farmers market.  I fell in love with the idea of a weekend market during my time in Madison, WI.  The market on the capitol square rivals all other markets I've been to, including all the ones I've stopped by in NYC.  I miss the Dane Country farmers market, you could do all of your grocery shopping there.  While our local one isn't quite so large, the produce is fresh and local.  It's also a ten minutes walk away.  While the pickings are scarce right now, soon natures bounty will start to overflow the farm stands.

To celebrate spring, Frigidaire was kind enough to sponsor a series of spring posts via Foodbuzz. In keeping with the fresh and local theme, I headed to the farmers market and picked up everything that I could from the stands (the rest was filled in by our local Whole Foods). Farm fresh eggs with crisp spring asparagus and herbs. Sweet raspberries and peppery arugula. Local cream, flavored with bright green basil and finished off with sweet-tart strawberries. This meal gets me ready for spring and looking forward to the bounty of the farmers market.

This post was sponsored by Frigidaire. When you check out Suzanne Goin's springtime recipes at, Frigidaire will donate $1 to Save the Children's U.S. programs. Plus, you'll be entered for a chance to win the new Frigidaire Range with SymmetryTM Double Ovens – featuring two large ovens (that can each fit up to a 28 pound turkey!), providing the flexibility to cook multiple dishes at the same time at different temperatures, so you can get more on the table at the same time.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Asparagus Lasagna

It's time for spring, which means it's time to go outside.  With the air turning warmer and the days getting longer, I find myself wanting to be out of the house more and more.  It's time to throw open the windows, air the winter dankness out of the house and cook up some really fresh foods.  This is also the time of year that I get a little sad, sad that I live in an apartment.

I find myself wishing that I had a backyard and a lawn and a garden.  I imagine myself getting to work in my own little garden.  Turning the soil, fertilizing the dirt, planting the seeds.  I'd love nothing more than to have fresh herbs pop up from beneath the soil, knowing that I was the one that put them there.

This all sounds like a nice idea, doens't it?  But if you're my mom, you know better.  I do not dig in the dirt.  It's a problem, because I love it when spring bulbs begin to poke their shoots through the fresh spring dirt.  I want the harvest fresh produce from my backyard.  I would love nothing more than to clip fresh herbs from just outside my window.  Maybe I'll find my green thumb when I have a house of my own?

For now, I have plans of a potted herb garden in my mind.  A little windowsill farm, providing me with bright green parsley, pungent basil and soft sage.  I know this means that I'll have to get my hands a little dirty, but I think it will be worth it.  Hey Ma!  Look at me!  I'm going to plant a garden!  Just in time for spring!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pasta a la Boyfriend

I made it home from Buffalo very early yesterday morning.  My day went as follows...

3:00 am - Wake up and take a shower

3:30 am - Wake up parents and take puppies outside (romp romp romp, bite bite bite!)

3:45 am - Head to the airport (Ooo, it's dark out.  Hey, the bars aren't even closed yet.)

4:15 am - Welcome to the Buffalo Niagara Airport!  (It's pretty quiet here, oh, I'm on the first flight out of the airport)

5:23 am - Yes, that's what it said on my ticket, 5:23 am - Take-off in the Dash-8 (Ugh, hate the Dash-8)

6:55 am - Welcome home!  Kinda, welcome to LaGuardia airport!

7:10 am - Figure out how to get to Jamaica Station...  How about a bus?

7:35 am - Well that worked, now I'll hop this subway and get to Jamaica.

7:55 am - Phew, made it to Jamaica!  Ooo, I can catch my regular train to work!  Score!

8:45 am - 5:00 pm - Chemistry chemistry chemistry

5:00 pm - Heading home (So tired....  Fall asleep on the train...)

6:30 pm - Home!  Ooo, boyfriend is making dinner!  It looks delicious (It was).  He is even using all of my Foodbuzz Tastemaker goodies! 

So, not only did he manage to make a delicious meal, he completed some work that I needed to get done! 

As a member of the Foodbuzz Tastemaker program, I was lucky enough to receive samples of Crisco's new Olive oils!  I was super excited when I received not one, but three different bottles!  For dinner last night, boyfriend used the traditional olive oil, I have big plans for the Extra Virgin (can anyone say Salad dressings?!!?). 

For someone who doesn't really cook (other than mac'n'cheese and cheesey chicken nibblers), he liked the Crisco olive oil, especially the lid.  It has a different  pour spout than I've seen in any other olive oil.  It allowed it to slowly come out of the bottle, without having to wait forever.  The flavor was light and was great to cook up the mini meatballs!

Friday, June 10, 2011

Cream of Asparagus Soup

I have some terrible news people.  Yesterday morning was going so well, until I went to dry my hair.  My favorite (only), trusty hair dryer was working its magic until it decided it had enough.  With half wet hair, my hair dryer coughed, sputtered and exhaled one final hot breath, then died.  I tried shaking it, pushing buttons, turning it on and off.  Even the tried and true electronic fix of unplugging and pluggin back in did nothing. 

I am now mourning the loss of my hair dryer.  I am also looking all sorts of crazy.  I guess the one bright side of no longer owning a functioning hair dryer (I like to call it an art piece right now) is that I leave the house twenty minutes earlier in the morning.  WIN?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Asparagus and Tortellini Salad

Can you believe that I have been the proud owner of a pasta maker for five whole months and it's only now that I've actually used it?  I kept looking at it, thinking of all of the delicious pastas that I wanted to try out, yet there it sat.  It was just crying out to be used and I ignored it.

This year has been one of the busiest times of my life.  I've hardly had time to do my laundry, nonetheless hand make pasta.  With trying to complete two projects at work, visiting boyfriend every other weekend in NJ and searching for a job, almost every minute has been spoken for.  Buying storebought pasta just seemed like the easy thing to do.

Last week I decided to ignore the calls of the pasta maker no more!  I was going to make one of my favorite pasta dinners and I would make the tortellini!  With a DVR full of shows from the past two weeks, I set out on the journey of making my tortellinis.  It was fun!  It was easy!  It was not a short process.  First I made the pasta dough (same one I used in this recipe), then I stirred together the filling, then it was time to roll.

I secured the pasta maker to the countertop.  It's a heavy little guy, but you still need to clamp it to your countertop in order to roll out the dough.  So I rolled and rolled the dough, slowly closing the wheels to get a thinner and thinner dough.

I stamped out litle circles using my trusty 2-inch biscuit cutter.

I added a 1/2 tsp of filling to the circle...

Folded it over and went pinch pinch pinch to close...

Then pinched them in the center.  Not exactly what a tortellini is supposed to look like, but I thought they looked cute this way.  Then I set them on a baking sheet and into the fridge they went.  Overnight they sat and dried out.

The next day I had adorable little tortellinis. 

See, aren't they cute! 

Then I boiled them up with some asparagus and yellow peppers, tossed them in dressing and I had dinner!  Phew, quite the process, but totally worth it.  I'm looking forward to trying out other filling recipes, fresh pasta is just the best.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Asparagus Risotto

I’ve made it home to Buffalo and I have to say, it’s cold here! When I left Connecticut it was a balmy 35 degrees and sunny. When I landed in Buffalo it was a normal day, overcast, cold and snowy. Brr, dislike. Luckily in returning to Buffalo I was coming home. Coming home to my family and friends from my childhood. It’s been over seven years since I’ve lived in Buffalo and there are still things that I miss.

Buffalo might not be known as the foodie capitol of the US, but there are things that you can only get here. Local restaurants like Andersons and Teds call to me with their hot dogs and milk shakes. Summertime hang outs like Mississippi Mudds and Old Man Rivers make me want to hop on a bike and ride down the river. Nina’s custard taunts me with their ever changing array of soft serve. Finally Wegmans, the grocery store of all grocery stores.

I know that I can go to Wegmans and get everything that I need, from breakfast to dinner. It you are a resident of the Northeast then you are privy to the secrets of this grocery chain. If you are really lucky, then you get to watch Alec Baldwin perform terribly in Wegmans commercials. Check them out on YouTube, they are hilarious. Alec knows all about Wegmans. I know that I can get everything I need to cook boyfriend dinner, all in one place (which is helpful, since he has salt and pepper at his house). (Oh yeah, and some Gatorade).

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Asparagus, Bacon and Cheese Orzo

Sometimes I have no time to cook. Okay, usually I have no time to cook. There are a lot of things going on around here that need my attention! The chemicals need to be mixed together in flasks. The Amazing Race needs to be watched, otherwise Phil will be sad. No one else is using the brand new fitness equipment in my building, so I just have to break them in. These are all very important things that must be done, and cooking sometimes falls by the wayside.

Sure, you’re looking at the posts thinking “but you must eat like a queen! Look at all these tasty dishes!” Most of these dishes are prepared between eleven and five on Sunday. After I’ve had time to break in those treadmills and before the sun sets. This is the only time of the week that my kitchen sees action. I prepare all my food for the week in six hours. I'm a multitasking machine.  It’s fantastically fulfilling. You finish cooking and baking and you are left with a fridge full of prepared meals. It’s like I’m running my own nutrisystem center, except my food tastes like food.

However, every once and a while, I make it home before eight o’clock, there are the necessary ingredients in the fridge and I worked out in the morning. On these days, I actually cook dinner. I’m not talking a five course meal, I’m talking pasta. Simple asparagus and orzo pasta. You cook the bacon in the same pot that you make the orzo. This whole dish can be finished in twenty minutes. That way you can sit down in front of your DVR and catch up on what Phil has been up to.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Chilled Asparagus Salad

Boulder, Colorado is many things. It is crazy beautiful (I have included pictures as proof). There are too many things to do. The weather is fantastic year-round. It is the gateway to the Rockies. Boulder has so much going for it.

The one thing that Boulder has going against it? Boulder is very far from Home. I can tell you exactly how far it is… Two full days in a car, driving through endless corn fields, then endless nothingness (aka Nebraska. Sorry Nebraska, you know you’re empty). Buffalo, New York to Boulder, Colorado is a twenty-four hour drive, through seven states, gaining thousands of feet in altitude. If you want to fly back home to Buffalo it takes at least five hours. Along the way you lose two hours by way of the time zone change.

It is because of this distance that I took very few trips home during my time there. And because of this, I am so glad for the friends that I made in Colorado. The people of Colorado are unbelievably friendly, kind people. My friends in the west are exactly that.

Last Christmas I found myself an orphan. Staying in Colorado for the holidays to work, dog watch and teach a ridiculous number of group X classes. My fabulous Colorado friends would not hear of me spending the holiday by myself. I cannot thank them enough for their kindness of inviting me into the fold with their family.

What a fantastic Christmas dinner! Craziness, happiness, good food and good conversation. From this dinner I learned several things. 1. I have very little in common with a republican from Montana :) 2. I betray my nerdiness by stating that I’ve seen all of the Star Trek movies. (It’s true. And I’ve had several conversations about what the titles of all of them are.) 3. Jello is still delicious and 4. Even eight-year-olds like this asparagus dish.

My many thanks and lots of love goes to my friends in Colorado. I also send you this recipe, enjoy.

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