italian white beans

like most cooks - and those of you who make dinner (almost) every night but still don't quite consider yourselves cooks - i am always on the lookout for both good sides and something different. bonus if the dish has five ingredients or less and takes less than thirty minutes to put together. these beans fit the bill perfectly. nothing fancy, or fussy, white beans dressed simply with tomatoes, onion, garlic, and rosemary. they went well with our pizza and i don't doubt they'll make an appearance again some night when jason's out of town and i'm on my own for dinner.


baked's buckeyes

this year for my easter treat, i decided it was finally time to tackle cake pops. if you hadn't already figured it out, it did not end well. oh it started great. i had a boxed white cake mix shoved in the back of my pantry that i baked monday night. tuesday i tackled this blackberry buttercream, substituting raspberry for blackberry (which was amazing and will hopefully make another appearance in my kitchen soon). wednesday, when it was time to put it all together, i added too much buttercream. way too much. inedible. mush. so in the trash it went.

now it's thursday, 8:00pm, and i'm looking for a quick treat i can bring in to work. and if you remember last easter, something chocolate - preferably with peanut butter - that i can bring to my parents' for the weekend too. last weekend, while flipping through baked explorations, waiting for my monkey bread to cool down from hot-caramel-lava so that i could eat it, i stumbled upon these beauties.


baked's monkey bubble bread

monkey bread has been on my to make list for a while now, but it somehow got shifted down the list as waffles and baked donuts and other good eats have taken over my saturday mornings. a quick breeze through baked explorations for something else (i have no idea what i was originally looking for) led me to this bread. the perfect way to wake up saturday morning.


spaetzle and an austrian dinner party

last saturday, while i was feeling nostalgic for a few minutes, i daydreamed about germany. and since it was a good two hours past when i should have been eating lunch, i was mostly thinking about the food. it was a fleeting moment, as conversation quickly moved to dinner plans - what are we doing? where are we going? who's going with us? yes, i'll cook here, we haven't done that in a while. what to make? after considering a dozen or so options in about five minutes, we came up with what i soon figured out was a perfect dinner party menu: wienerschnitzel, spaetzle, and raspberry jam tart. and it didn't hurt that our good friend susie has been looking for a reason to make us her sauerkraut for months!


pizza with prosciutto and arugula

on the very last day of our honeymoon a year and a half ago, we had pizza for lunch at danieli in vienna, austria. i'm not sure if it was the crust, the cheese, the prosciutto, the rainy day, the city, or the thought of finally going home - or a combination of it all - but it was the best pizza i've ever had outside of italy. i first recreated it three weeks after we came back (with a few other czech and german recipes that were such dismal failures that they aren't even worth mentioning), and about every six months or so it reappears for an easy weeknight dinner.


meyer lemon tart

i have been scouring supermarket produce sections around here for at least a year in search of meyer lemons. i had pretty much given up my search, filed the thought somewhere in the depths of my brain, when i was on the search for a large bag of plain old lemons, when i picked up a bag of meyers by mistake. i literally jumped when i realized it. and after all that hunting, they weren't automatically put in the cart. shocking, i know. i had too many ideas in my head and couldn't decide. at least now i know where to get them.

fast forward one week. wine, cheese, & salad night with friends + a birthday + new tart pan that begged to be used = perfect excuse for a perfect lemon tart.


portobello stirfry with udon

almost every week we have stirfry for dinner. so why isn't the stirfry category overloaded with recipes? the formula is too easy, too foolproof to post - a little meat + a lot of vegetables + sauce over rice (jason) or noodles (me). it's really easy, really fast, and you can throw in whatever meat and vegetables you have lying around (it's a great way to use up the last of the carrots/snow peas/mushrooms). and if you make double, it reheats really well for lunch the next day.


mini bacon scallion corn muffins with cheddar cheese

whenever i get invited to a party, i always ask if i can bring something, hoping the response is something simple like "how about dessert? cookies or something would be great!" is that how most people respond? nope. instead, i get "i don't care, bring whatever you'd like." whatever you'd like. sounds simple enough, and for most people, it most likely brings relief.


linguine alfredo with pancetta & peas

one of jason's restaurant favorites is 'penne di casa' from a now defunct local italian restaurant. it was essentially penne with peas and some kind of ham in a buttery, garlicy sauce. here's jason's simple homemade replica, whipped up in under 30 minutes!


orange clementine pudding

i am a magazine addict. there, i said it. i average about two magazines a week - real simple, cooking light, cook's illustrated, fine cooking, bon apetit, popular photography, national geographic traveler - which is funny, since at one point in time kiplinger, rolling stone (they suckered me into a life time subscription, but i haven't gotten it in five years), self, and health were also thrown into the mix. it's a lot of information to sort through. which means i'm usually a month (or three) behind on my reading. 

not so with cooking light. it's one of the few that gets ripped to shreds within days of getting it. "ripped to shreds" sounds a bit harsh - maybe i should say "i rip out all the recipes that look good and toss out the rest." otherwise my book shelves would be full of magazines instead of unread books.

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