July 12, 2013

Do you keep running to-do lists? I have ones for karaoke, restaurants, NYC, books, wine, art & photography. Any time I check something off a list, I feel a bit more productive. My Things to Learn to Make list is growing slowly and I thought I’d cross one off tonight. At my work I’m constantly asking the chefs how they’re cooking something, why they’re doing something a certain way etc. and it blows my mind that they can remember so many different techniques without constantly messing up like I do. There are so many basics and classics I feel like I should know.. so I hope to explore some here. It’s like classical music – ones you have the melody down, you can create all sorts of variations on the theme, right? 


– 1 lb Pasta (I used Bucatini)
– 2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
– 1 small Onion, chopped
– 1 clove Garlic, minced
– 2/3 cup dry White Wine
– 2 Eggs
– 3/4 cup finely grated Parmesan Cheese (brands like BelGioioso have rennet/enzyme free versions)
– 3/4 cup Peas, cooked 
– 1/4 fresh Parsley, chopped
– Salt to taste
– Fresh Cracked Pepper


In a sauce pan, heat up olive oil. Add chopped onion and minced garlic. Season with salt and saute until soft. Add white wine and simmer until it thickens slightly. Set aside. In a bowl, whisk together egg and cheese. Set aside. In a large pot, bring salted water to boil. Add pasta and cook until al dente (about 7-9 minutes). Reserve about 1/4 cup of pasta liquid and then drain pasta. Add pasta to a clean bowl and toss with onion and garlic mixture. While the pasta is still hot, add egg mixture slowly, stirring into the pasta constantly. The heat from the pasta will cook the egg mixture. Add in peas and parsley and toss together until incorporated. Salt to taste and add a generous amount of fresh cracked pepper. Serve immediately with more grated cheese on top. 

I must admit this didn’t go as smoothly for me as I hoped. When I’m researching a dish like this, I’ll usually read a bunch of different versions and then pull ideas for each one. I should have picked one and stuck with it! I will need to give this another run in the future. In the words of Aaliyah, if at first you don’t succeed, then dust yourself off and try again. 

I’m headed to WA next week (with Chris!) to see my family and meet my new nephew Killian. After these last uhhh 5 months of crazy amounts of work (btw check out these INCREDIBLE pics that Seattle-based photographer shot for a wedding I planned last month), I’m excited to have a long break and regroup. A redesign is coming soon as are hopefully more things.. Special shout out to Joan Y for your patience – sorry it’s taken so long for a new post!

May 3, 2010

It got HOT this weekend.  Like the kind of hot we only dreamed of growing up in Washington.  I spent approximately 7 hours of this weekend sweating away in McCarren park with various friends.  It was grand.  And gross. 
Earlier in the week I had invited my friend Jenn De La Vega to come by for dinner, not realizing how super warm life would be by Sunday evening.  Boy oh boy, I am glad I selected some recipes that did not require too much oven time. 
Last week I met Emma for a snack at Bakeri, where I ordered a delicious avocado sandwich with a small scoop of chickpea salad.  OMG the salad was so simple but so incredible.  I sat there chewing like some a-hole foodie trying to figure out the ingredients to recreate it.  It was worth it.  I’ve made the dish twice in the past week – for the Dinner with the Band premiere celebration and then tonight. 
I don’t have exact measurements for this, so just do whatever tastes best.
Chickpea Salad
Bakeri Chickpea Salad
1 can of garbanzo beans (or you can use fresh ones, you snob)Juice of 1 1/2 lemons1/4 cup of parsley1/4 cup of chopped red onion1 tbls of mustard seedsalt and pepper to taste
The other two things I made were from recipes I found using Tastespotting. If you have not used this site, DO IT!  Lovely pictures + great recipes.  It’s the Hypemachine of food.
Orange and Fennel Salad
Orange and Fennel Salad (from Cate’s World)
makes 3 small servings
1 medium fennel bulb , thinly sliced (slice the celery-looking stalks too) 1 medium navel orange, cut into sections 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion 3 tbsp freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp lemon juice 3 tbsp chopped walnuts
Toss the fennel, oranges, and red onion in a medium bowl. Sprinkle with a pinch or two of salt and pepper.
Whisk together the orange juice, olive oil, and lemon juice. Pour over the fennel mixture and toss well.
Chill for about 20 minutes, covered, then sprinkle with walnuts to serve.
(I made this with 2 big fennel bulbs and it made about 5 servings. Toast the walnuts.  Makes a big difference. Also, I have no idea how to cut oranges properly.  Totally embarrassing.)
Maple Sesame Tofu (adapted from andthenidontdothedishes)
I saw this recipe and was jealous that I didn’t eat salmon… I remember something similar to this that my mom used to make with cod – one of the only fish dishes I liked as a kid (except salmon mashed with a ton of mayonnaise.)  I figured that the marinade would be just as tasty with a firm tofu, so I went-a-marinating. Toasted sesame seeds are key. 
Salmon or trout fillets (enough for 4 to 6 people) Tofu Steak* 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 1/3 cup maple syrup 1/4 cup soy sauce (I use reduced sodium) 2 tsp rice vinegar 1 tsp sesame oil 1/2 tsp Sriracha sauce (or hot sauce of your choice) Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish
Pour over the tofu and let it marinate.
I have a convection oven, so this sort of dish required a bit more attention.. but if you go by the recipe directions, you should run things under a broiler for 10 mins.
The final product:
Sunday Dinner
Jenn is a big fan of all things meat, so she was pleased with the tofu marinade (and was thinking of meats to apply it to) and even liked the fennel well (it can be a bit licoricey but the citrus juice mellows it out a ton.)  Also joining us for dinner was her friend Paul who  is in town with his company 2 Player covering their friends at Penny Arcade being honored as one of Time Magazine’s Top 100.  COOL!
* Jenn told me that if you freeze any style of tofu and then cook it, it changed the molecularblahblahblah and it basically easier/firmer to eat/cook