Category Archives: Cooking

Slow Cooker Chipotle Pork Tacos


I love any meal I can throw in one pot in the middle of the day and serve with pride 6 hours later after 15 minutes of prep. Some cooks might dispute this claim, but I’m gonna go ahead and say it’s hard to mess up a pork shoulder, so this is also a dish that takes zero skill to master. If you don’t have a slow cooker, just throw this in a roasting pan in your oven at 250 degrees for the same amount of time. You might want to baste it mid-cook so it doesn’t dry out, though.

On the menu:
Slow Cooker Chipotle Pork Tacos
Serves 2

3 lb pork shoulder, bone out
3 roasted chipotles*
3 large cloves of garlic, peeled and halved
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp paprika
1 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
6 oz. beer (I used Miller High Life because I had a leftover in the fridge, but a dark beer will work best for this)

6 – 8 corn tortillas
6 sprigs cilantro, chopped
1/4 cup red onion, roughly chopped
1/2 lime, cut into wedges

Add pork shoulder, chipotles, garlic, spices and beer to the slow cooker. Cook on low for 2 – 3 hours or until the meat is easily pulled apart with two forks. (NOTE: If cooking in the oven, baste at 1 and 2 hours).

Heat up tortillas between 2 damp paper towels in the microwave for a minute or two. Top with pulled pork, cilantro, onion, and a squeeze of lime. Plate alongside another wedge of lime.

*NOTE: I like these to have just a tiny hint of spiciness so I throw the chipotle peppers into the slow cooker whole and just let the flavor seep into the pork, and then fish the whole peppers out before serving. If you like these spicier, you can dice up the peppers and throw them into the slow cooker. That way you can serve them up along with the pork for a real kick in the pants.

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Sweet Potato, Sausage and Onion Hash with Eggs

It wouldn’t be right to post at all about anything this week without mentioning last week’s East Coast hurricane. The BF and I were incredibly lucky to get through it completely unscathed but I know we’re in the minority. Don’t forget, if you haven’t already, to donate money, supplies, or your time in any way you can. Find out how here.

In happier news, this hash is DELICIOUS. It’s from The Kitchn and the recipe has been sitting in my “To Make” list for over a year now. It seems like there’s always someone I’m cooking for who doesn’t like meat, or sweet potatoes, or onions. But this past weekend I had some dear friends in town and they eat anything (my favorite kind of friends, mind you) so it seemed like the perfect time to finally try it out.

On the menu:
Sweet potato, sausage, and onion hash
Adapted from The Kitchn’s recipe here
Serves 6 – 7

2 large onions
4 medium sized sweet potatoes, skins on and diced to 1/2 inch cubes
1 pound sweet Italian sausage
6 large cloves of garlic, minced
4 long stalks of rosemary, minced
3 Tbsp olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste
6 – 7 large eggs (1 per person)

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cover a large baking sheet with foil.

Cut onions in half and then slice each half into thin half moons. Heat a medium sized frying pan over medium heat and add onions, stirring occasionally until the onions cook down and start to brown, about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, in another frying pan, cook the sausage over medium/high heat for around 15 minutes, breaking the sausage apart so it’s in small, crumbly pieces.

Once the onions and sausage are cooked, in one large bowl add sweet potato chunks, sausage, onions, minced rosemary, minced garlic, and olive oil and toss until everything is coated in olive oil. Spread on the covered baking sheet (don’t worry if it’s not in a single layer, it doesn’t really matter). Roast in the preheated oven for 4o minutes, or until sweet potatoes are easily pierced with a fork.

In a large frying pan, fry the eggs just until the outside is cooked and the center is still runny. Top each serving of hash with a fried egg.

NOTE: The Kitchn‘s recipe has a lengthy second step where you cook the eggs over the hash in a skillet for 20 minutes, but to me that just meant a lot of extra time and another dirty dish. It looks lovely, but ultimately felt unnecessary.

And lastly… that photo above is missing the egg. I was last to eat (the cook eats last!), and I was too lazy to crack another egg. But the hash looked nice so, voila.

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Easy Biscuits


Sometimes I get a craving and I absolutely have to make something. I got it in my head to make biscuits and gosh darn it BAKE BISCUITS I WILL.

I Googled “easy biscuit recipe” and a beauty came up. Not only did these take 30 minutes from start to finish, but they tasted absolutely delicious and were perfectly moist and flaky. Now there’s no excuse for Pillsbury.

On the menu:
Easy biscuits
Makes 12 biscuits

2 cups flour plus more for kneading
4 tsp baking powder
3 Tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortening
1 egg
2/3 cup 2% milk

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a medium sized bowl, whisk together 2 cups flour, baking powder, sugar, and salt. Add shortening and cut into the flour mixture until the dough resembles small pebbles (use a pastry cutter or a fork). Whisk in egg and milk until mixture is combined.

Dump the dough out onto a heavily floured surface and knead it 20 times. Roll the dough out to 3/4 of an inch thick and use a 2 1/2 inch round cookie cutter (or the open end of a drinking glass) to cut out the biscuits. Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Bake for 8 – 10 minutes or until the biscuits are browned on the bottom. Serve warm.

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Roasted Cauliflower Salad


This is a salad that I tasted for the first time at one of my favorite restaurants in New York, Otto. My only hang up is that the original calls for olives, which I loathe. When I made this I left the olives out but you could easily chop up and add 16 Kalamata olives during the last step to make it a truly authentic Mediterranean dish.

On the menu:
Roasted cauliflower salad
Serves 4 as a side

1 large head of cauliflower (around 3 lbs)
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp capers
1 1/2 Tbsp fresh squeezed lemon juice
1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
Salt

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large baking sheet with foil.

Clean stem and leaves off of the head of cauliflower. Chop cauliflower into bite sized pieces with flat sides (this just makes roasting and caramelizing easier). Rinse in a colander and shake off as much excess water as possible.

Toss cauliflower in a large bowl with olive oil and black pepper. Spread in one layer on the baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes. Flip cauliflower with tongs and roast for another 10 – 20 minutes until your pieces are golden brown and softened.

Spread cauliflower on a plate in one layer so that it cools down a bit.

In a large bowl, add capers, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and a healthy pinch of salt. Add cauliflower and toss to coat. (This is where you would add your chopped olives if you wanted)

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Pumpkin Ginger Soup

‘Tis the season to cook with pumpkin. You’ve been bombarded by orange at the farmer’s market, inundated with pumpkin recipes from your daily email recipe newsletters, and overwhelmed by Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts commercials featuring pumpkin flavored everything. I would say it’s cliche, but really… it’s just delicious. Below is an incredibly easy recipe that yields a flavorful soup that would serve as a lovely first course to any fall meal, or as a hearty lunch with crusty bread on the side. Don’t hold back, friends… give in to the power of pumpkin.

On the menu:
Pumpkin Ginger Soup
Serves 4
Adapted from this recipe at Yumm.com

2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 white onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 1/2 Tbsp ginger, finely grated (or use 1 Tbsp ginger powder)
2 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 15-oz. cans of pumpkin puree
3 1/2 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tsp Sriracha (or similar hot sauce)

Heat olive oil in a large stock pot over medium heat. Add onions and cook until translucent, about 8 – 10 minutes. Add garlic and ginger, cook for another 2 minutes. Add salt, pepper, pumpkin, stock, cream, and hot sauce. Stir until combined and turn down heat until the soup is simmering. Simmer for 25 minutes, occasionally stirring. Use an immersion blender to blend* in the pot, or pour soup into a standing blender and blend until completely pureed. Replace soup in the pot and heat until hot and ready to serve. Top with crunchy pumpkin seeds if desired.

*Note: you don’t necessarily have to blend this soup, but I found the crunchy onions distracting so I ended up blending the entire pot after I ate one bowl. It was much creamier and much more flavorful after all. If you don’t want to go through the hassle of dirtying your blender, though, it’ll still be delicious without the blending.

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PB&J Oatmeal Breakfast Bars


I don’t know too many people who like preparing elaborate breakfasts on weekday mornings, including me who is sans day job at the moment. I prefer cereal and the occasional bagel if I have an extra minute. But The BF grabs whatever is handy and races out the door, eating later at his desk while checking email. He’s not a big fan of hot oatmeal and one can only eat bananas for so many meals, so I decided to try and come up with something that he’d look forward to eating but that also didn’t start his day off with a total calorie fest. I found these incredible and surprisingly healthy breakfast bars on “Oh She Glows” (don’t worry, guys, men can eat these, too) and added a few things to make them BF-friendly.

On the menu:
PB&J Oatmeal Breakfast Bars
Makes 9 large squares (you can cut them smaller if you like)

2 1/2 cups rolled oats (not instant), divided
3 Tbsp chia seed
1/2 cup plus 1 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups milk (use soy milk or almond milk to make these vegan)
1 Tbsp honey
1/2 cup peanut butter
1 ripe banana, chopped into 1/2 inch chunks
1 Tbsp vanilla extract
1 Tbsp orange juice
1/4 cup raspberry jam

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line an 8 x 8 inch pan with parchment paper.

Blend 1 cup of rolled oats in a blender or food processor until it forms a fine flour (you can skip this by buying oat flour and just using 1 cup of it). Add oat flour, remaining 1 1/2 cups of rolled oats, chia seed, flax seed, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt to a large bowl and whisk until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together milk, honey, peanut butter, banana, and vanilla until combined (obviously the chunkier ingredients won’t fully combine but do the best you can). Add this bowl to the dry ingredients and mix until combined. Pour into the prepared pan and smooth over so the batter is even.

In a small saucepan, combine orange juice and jam. Over low/medium heat, cook until the mixture becomes smooth with no lumps. Pour the hot jam over the batter in the pan until the bars are completely covered.

Bake for 35 – 40 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes and remove from the pan. Let fully cool before cutting into squares.

Note: You could do virtually anything you want with these bars. I was thinking a pumpkin pie oatmeal bar would be to die for, with the addition of a cup of pumpkin puree, 1 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp all spice, and maybe a crumble of brown sugar on top (removing the jam and PB and banana, of course). Still just as healthy as the above recipe and a completely different taste.

Last note!: Read all about the health benefits of chia seeds and flax seed by clicking the links. It’s pretty incredible!

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Asian Steak


If I was forced to cook only one cuisine for the rest of my life, it would hands down be French food. It’s rich, it can be deceptively simple, and to me it’s the most comforting. The BF would heartily disagree. Whenever I make anything even remotely Asian-inspired he’s over the moon about it, but it happens to be my least favorite type of food. It’s a CONSTANT source of arguments between us, and the one hurdle we must face in our relationship.

Ha. Ha.

So this one’s for him! On this, our two year anniversary. Thanks for willingly putting up with me for 730 days.

On the menu:
Asian Steak
Serves 2

2 1-lb. steaks, 1 inch thick (any cut that fits those size perameters will do)
2 Tbsp ground coriander
2 Tbsp honey
6 Tbsp soy sauce
3 Tbsp olive oil plus 2 Tbsp, divided
3 cloves of garlic, halved

In a large bowl, whisk together the coriander, honey, soy sauce, and 3 Tbsp of olive oil. Rub the steaks all over with the halved garlic and then add the garlic to the bowl with honey mixture. Put steaks in the bowl and cover with honey mixture. Refrigerate for at least an hour, or let sit out at room temperature for around 45 minutes before cooking.

Once marinated, heat 2 Tbsp of olive oil over medium/high heat in a large skillet. Sear steaks on either side for 3 minutes. Lower the heat and finish cooking over medium heat for 10 minutes on each side.

Let rest for at least 15 minutes before serving alongside white rice with a splash of soy sauce if you like.

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