Monthly Archives: July 2011

Sausage and Harissa Pinwheels

It’s clean out the cupboard time, folks. After almost 7 years in the same apartment, we’re getting set to move in just about 4 weeks. It is in times like these that my food obsession/hoarding really comes to light, and not in a cute way. More like a how-the-hell-am-i-going-to-pack-all-of-this-stuff way. For example, I’ve had an unopened tube of harissa in my pantry for, oh, about 4 years, just waiting for that delicious tagine or some other Moroccan feast worthy of breaking it out for. I tend to pick up random food stuffs for “special” meals or dishes, all the while semi-afraid to use them because then they’ll be gone! The horror, really, the stuff is 2 bucks on amazon… What this leaves me with, of course, is an overstuffed pantry full of too-specific items that will, in fact, never get used. I also had a package of puff pastry in the freezer “just in case”. And obviously tons of italian sausages — I mean, everyone buys 8 pounds at a time at Costco, right?

Anyway, a simple google search for “what the hell do i do with these random ingredients” and I was on my way to one of the yummiest appetizers ever.

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Logan County Cheeseburgers

Holy comfort food. This is essentially a patty melt, and it’s awesome. This recipe comes from Katie Lee, Billy Joel’s ex. This means nothing to me, outside of the fact that I first learned about her earlier this week while watching RR’s talk show (no judgment). I loved her calm, warm personality, and was actually thinking about picking up her cook book, The Comfort Table. Unknowingly, I had printed this recipe of hers back over the winter, and it was delicious! Pretty much a grilled cheese with a burger inside, and there is nothing wrong with that.

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Healthier Buffalo Chicken

This dish was inspired by a recipe I yanked out of Brian’s Men’s Health mag (i love this mag, too). It was written as a sandwich, but we decided to cut out the roll. I have to say, this was so good and so easy! It’s nice to not over-complicate dinner every once in a while. 🙂

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Grilled Pizza with Sausage, Figs, and Goat Cheese

I am a pizza grilling covert. My biggest complaint about homemade pizza is that crust never seems to get crispy enough for my liking. Grilling is the answer! I used an indoor grill/grill pan, but an outdoor grill would be perfect too.

This pizza was overwhelmingly awesome. Fig season is finally here and they are so perfect with salty meats and stinky cheeses. YUM.

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Chicken Korma (finally)

You’ve seen one or two korma recipes on this blog here, and that’s because I keep trying and trying (and trying) to mimic the smooth, creamy kormas I have in indian restaurants (and seemingly never at home –until now!). Keep in mind, this is one of my favorite dishes of all time and I have very high standards with it.

Well, people, I’ve got the best homemade chicken korma to date here. Absolutely restaurant quality and amazingly delicious. Yay!

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Vegetarian Samosas with Mint-Cilantro Sauce

These are my new obsession!! I love love love samosas but anything deep-fried always comes with a side of guilt. These, my friends, are BAKED. And AWESOME. I kind of want to put this sauce on everything (cats beware).

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Whole Wheat Lemon Thyme Strawberry Shortcakes

I’m clearly on a bit of a baking kick.

If two desserts in a month constitute a ‘kick’, that is.

I’ve been wanting to make strawberry shortcake for a while, and I was so happy to find a recipe that uses whole wheat flour, to boot. This was so yummy — loved the thyme and the lemon flavors with the strawberries and cream.

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New England Lobster Rolls

I’m new to the world of lobster. Growing up, I never really cared for it, but now, I’m starting to see what all the fuss is about. I still don’t think I could ever cook a live lobster myself though — too brutal. I bought two lobsters at the grocery store and they kindly steamed them for me. It’s a little disheartening to learn that most of the meat on a lobster lives in only a couple of small places — the claws, knuckles, and, my favorite part, the tail. Go at those areas with a hammer or a nutcracker and get your money’s worth.

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Spicy Pork and Chorizo Burgers with Green Chile Mayo

Giant delicious burger. That’s all you need to know.

Oh, and the mayo is the best part so don’t skip that!

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Curried Wheat Berry Salad

I’m feeling a little under the weather today, so I wanted to make a nutrient-dense lunch to hopefully perk myself up a bit. Also, I received a big bag of wheat berries from my CSA this week and had no idea what to do with it. Eventually, I’d love to sprout them to make sprouted grain flour/bread, but alas, today is not the day for such strenuous efforts.

This salad is so good! Chewy wheat berries are a nice change up from couscous or other grains, and pack a nice nutritional punch, too.

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Mac & Cheese Muffins

Do I even have to say anything about these little genius muffins? Legit, mac & cheese in muffin form. Handy. Convenient. Delicious. Versatile. And I can’t wait to try them in a mini-muffin tin for parties. Yum.

Truth time: I blatantly failed at following this recipe. I put the butternut squash in the microwave to defrost and promptly found it still sitting in there hours after we were done eating. Oops. And I also forgot the cream cheese, which I think would make almost anything better. Truth be told, as I made them, these were a teensy bit on the bland side — but still amazeballs good because it’s handheld pasta and melted cheese.  Try making the recipe as it was originally written, though – I know I will (try)!

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Eggplant and Zucchini Fritters

Before we left for the Cape last week, I had some eggplant and zucchini from our CSA to use up in a hurry. Perfect time for fritters! These have the consistency of crab cakes — yummy. Would be great with a marinara or an aioli sauce, too.

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Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish with Collards and Creole Mustard Vinaigrette

This recipe is from one of my all-time favorite restaurants in the Boston area — Hungry Mother. After eating and loving their catfish dish more than once, I was over the moon to find that the recipe was shared online! I actually found this recipe about a year ago and ever since have been looking for Creole mustard. Literally, every.single.grocery trip I stopped to survey the mustard selections and could never find it. Well, folks, this weekend I found it. Waaaay too excited to find mustard, let me just tell you. On the way to a friend’s house, we stopped for espresso and stumbled upon a fantastic gourmet food store called The Cook Shop. Along with the Creole mustard (yay), I grabbed some whole wheat cavatappi (also an impossible find), a rockin’ Microplane pizza wheel, and a few other fun kitchen gadgets and food stuffs.

I’m so glad I finally found this mustard. I’m sure I could have easily substituted another mustard, but because I was trying to replicate a restaurant dish, I really wanted to try to make it as authentic as possible. This dish was amazing, and well worth the search.

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Blueberry and Cream Pie

Happy 4th of July! I’m happy to be writing this from one of my favorite places in the world: Cape Cod. It’s the very best thing about Massachusetts, in my opinion. We drive 90 minutes from Boston, sit on a lovely private beach, swim in the sea, eat 1,000 clams from the bay per person, watch the zillions of little bunnies frolic in the street and yards, and soak in the salty air. And then eat pie. Fabulous.

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