Category Archives: Cooking

Three Cheese Fettuccine


The weather in New York suddenly turned cool which immediately puts me into comfort food mode. What’s better than a chilly Sunday tucked inside with football on TV and a plate of creamy, cheesy pasta in your lap? As much as I love summer fruit, fall is definitely my favorite season for food. Bring on the winter weight!

*Note: this recipe can be made with any spaghetti/fettuccine/linguine type pasta, but it would be best with tagliatelle. I made this first with tagliatelle and a second time, as pictured, with fettuccine. If you can find tagliatelle, use that but most standard grocery stores don’t carry it.

On the menu:
Three Cheese Fettuccine
Serves 2

4 oz pancetta, finely chopped
1 shallot, finely chopped
1/2 pound fettuccine
3 Tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper, plus more to taste
1/2 cup mascarpone
1 1/2 cups Parmigiano Reggiano, freshly grated
1/2 cup Pecorino Romano, freshly grated
2 eggs
2 Tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped (optional garnish)

Set a large pot of water to boil. In another large pot set over medium heat, add the pancetta. Cook,
stirring frequently, until the pancetta is crisp and golden, about 10 minutes. While the pancetta is cooking, add pasta to the pot of boiling water and cook according the instructions on the box.

Remove the pancetta from the pan once it’s crisped up and add the shallots. Cook until the shallots are tender, about 5 minutes. Drain off any excess fat.

Once the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta through a colander, reserving 1½ cups of the pasta cooking water.

Add 2 Tbsp of the butter and black pepper to the shallots and pancetta. Stir constantly and cook for 1 minute. Add 3/4 cup of the reserved pasta water and bring to a simmer. Add the mascarpone and whisk until incorporated. Add the Parmesan and Pecorino cheeses, stirring until the cheese is melted. Add the pasta and heat until the pasta is cooked through, adding more pasta water if necessary. Season with additional pepper and set aside.
Make the eggs: In a medium skillet set over medium heat, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter. Carefully add the eggs and fry until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny, about 4 minutes.

Divide the pasta between two bowls and top each with a fried egg. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

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Vegan Chickpea Chili Over Rice


I have a new project that I’m working on that I’m SO excited about but can’t talk about quite yet (don’t worry, mom, I told you already). In the meantime, I can tell you it involves this: delicious food. And that’s all you really care about anyway, isn’t it?

This chili should come with a warning: contains colon cleansers. Get my drift? Don’t eat more than one heaping bowl if you’re like, going on a date or something and you prefer not to asphyxiate said date with vicious flatulence.

Do you guys read other food blogs that talk about flatulence? No? Well then I win!

On the menu:
Vegan chickpea chili over rice
Serves 5

2 cups jasmine rice
4 cups water
Salt
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
1 red bell pepper, seeded and roughly chopped
1 28-oz. can crushed tomatoes
1 tsp chili powder (chipotle chili powder if you can find it)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
Fresh ground black pepper
1 15-oz. can chickpeas, drained
1 15-oz. can kidney beans, drained

In a medium pot over medium heat, add the olive oil, the chopped onion, and the red pepper and sautee until the vegetables soften, around 10 – 15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, the cumin, and the chili powder and stir to combine. Let simmer over low heat for 20 minutes.

While the tomatoes are simmering, make the rice according to the package.

Season tomatoes with salt and pepper. Add chickpeas and kidney beans and cook over low/medium heat until beans are heated through, around 15 – 18 minutes. Put rice in bowls and serve chili over the top.

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Citrus Cream Cheese Pound Cake

One problem with being home all the time now is that I want to bake all. the. time. On my kitchen counter right now I have M&M cookies, unfrosted cupcakes in anticipation of a ladies’ lunch tomorrow, and a citrus cream cheese loaf that The BF asked me to make last week. I should invest in some sort of healthy eating cookbook or something.

In any case, this cake is not healthy by any means but for some reason it screams “brunch!” to me. How much less healthy could it be than cinnamon French toast or something? That’s my rationale and I’m sticking to it.

Note: this makes an awkward amount of batter, and you’ll have enough batter for one loaf cake and 8 cupcakes. Just go with it.

On the menu:
Citrus Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Makes 1 9x3x4 sized loaf

8 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup butter, room temperature
1 3/4 sugar
5 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 Tbsp lemon zest
1 Tbsp lime zest

Glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
1/2 lime, juiced
1/2 lemon juiced
2 Tbsp orange juice

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease and flour a 9 x 3 x 4 pan. Put 8 cupcake liners in a cupcake tin.

Cream together cream cheese and butter with an electric mixer. Add sugar and blend to combine. Add eggs one at a time, blending after each egg is added. Blend in vanilla until combined.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the flour and baking powder and salt. Add zest and whisk in. Slowly add dry mixture to wet mixture and stir by hand just until combined. Do NOT overmix.

Pour 2/3 of the batter into the loaf pan. Divide rest among the cupcake cups. Bake cupcakes for 25 minutes; bake loaf cake for 60 minutes. Tip: set the timer for 25 minutes and put cupcakes and loaf in together. Once the timer goes off, take out the cupcakes and set the timer for 35 minutes to finish off the loaf.

Let the cakes cool and then make the glaze. Stir together the powdered sugar and the citrus juices. Remove the cakes from their respective pans and put the loaf on a plate, the cupcakes on parchment paper to catch the drips. Pour 3/4 over the cake and dip the cupcakes in the remaining glaze. Let the glaze harden and enjoy.

NOTE: This recipe originated here and here and the first one calls it a Philly Fluff. Does that name tug at your heart strings? Tell me why! I’m from upstate New York and have no idea.

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Banana Muffins with Brown Sugar Glaze


I found this recipe on a great food blog called That’s So Yummy and they call for brown sugar cream cheese frosting. But you all know how I feel about waiting for baked goods to cool before I frost them. So I combined this recipe with my donut muffin topping and VOILA. When The BF tasted one he said, “Is there BUTTER on these?! You’re gonna give me a coronary…” And then he happily ate 2 more. We call that success.

On the menu:
Banana muffins with brown sugar glaze
Makes 14 muffins
Adapted from this recipe at That’s So Yummy

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 egg
3 very ripe bananas, mashed
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and line a cupcake tin with muffin papers.

In a large bowl, combine butter and sugar with an electric mixer. Blend in the egg. Add mashed bananas and stir with a spoon until incorporated. Add flour, then baking soda, then baking powder, then cinnamon, then nutmeg, then salt. Mix all ingredients together by hand with a large spoon. Add milk and vanilla and stir until combined.

Fill each muffin cup to almost full (5/6 full). Bake for around 37 – 40 minutes or until tops are light brown in color. Remove muffins from tin and let cool for 5 minutes before glazing.

Glaze:
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1/4 cup butter
1/2 tsp cinnamon

In a small saucepan, melt butter and brown sugar together over low heat. Pour into a shallow bowl and whisk in cinnamon. Note: this mixture will probably separate, so you might have to whisk it back together every 3 – 4 muffins.

Dip the top of the muffin in the butter/sugar mixture and let cool on a wire rack. Or, eat every single muffin before they cool. I won’t blame you.

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Butter Cookies


If you know me at all, you know I hate crispy cookies. Sure, they have their place and time (a thin wafer tucked in a scoop of ice cream or a biscotti alongside a cup of coffee on a Sunday, for example) but in general I love me a giant, soft, chewy cookie. It’s a running source of debate in my family whether the chocolate chip cookies should be baked soft or crispy – dad likes them crispy, I like them soft. We’re like the Hatfields and the McCoys over here.

So needless to say when The BF requested cookies that resembled “the cookies that come in the blue tin!” I rolled my eyes. CRISPY COOKIES?! IN MY HOUSE?! But I kinda like him so I caved. Here’s my secret: I under-baked them so they’re still a TINY bit soft on the inside. He still loves them because they taste kinda like Danish butter cookies, and I love them because they’re still the tiniest bit soft. Win win.

On the menu:
Butter cookies
Makes 24 cookies

1 cup butter, softened to room temperature
1 cup white sugar
1 egg
2 2/3 cups flour
1/4 tsp salt
2 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a large bowl, beat together the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until combined. Add the egg and blend for around 3 minutes until the mixture is lighter in color and texture. By hand, stir in the flour and salt, then the vanilla.

If you are going to use a cookie press: you can use the dough now and skip to the next step. If you’re going to cut these cookies into rounds like I did, you’ll need to form a log with the dough and chill it for about an hour in the refrigerator. After the dough is chilled, cut 1/4 inch thick slices* with a sharp knife. Place on cookie sheet. Press M&Ms into the dough if desired.

Bake cookies for 8 – 10 minutes or until the edges are brown. Remove and let cool on wire racks.

*These cookies would be completely crispy if you sliced them just a bit thinner. Just adjust your bake time accordingly so they don’t burn.

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Balsamic Chicken Sandwich with Goat Cheese and Sundried Tomatoes

In an effort to keep my spending low, pending my upcoming lack of paychecks and whatnot, I took a quick survey of my cupboard and tried to plan the week’s meals while also using up odds and ends that I already have in the house. This meal is the result of that, and if I do say so myself, it turned out quite nicely. Added bonus: I kept half my sandwich for today’s lunch. #TwoBirdsOneStone

On the menu:
Balsamic chicken sandwich with goat cheese and sundried tomatoes
Serves 2

1 large chicken breast, cut in half length wise, cut in half width wise
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp rosemary (fresh or dried)
2 garlic cloves, peeled and halved

2 Portuguese rolls
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, chopped
2 Tbsp goat cheese
1 cup spring mixed greens

In a large bowl, mix together olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and rosemary. Rub chicken breasts with garlic cloves and then add chicken and garlic to the olive oil/vinegar mixture. Toss chicken to coat. Let sit at least one hour or overnight.

Cook chicken any way you like: if you have a grill, these are perfect grilled. If you’re a city dweller and are grill-less, you can cook these in a frying pan over medium heat with a little olive oil until the outside is barely crispy (the balsamic will glaze the chicken and keep it super moist).

Halve the rolls and toast them. Spread one half with goat cheese and the other half with sundried tomatoes. Layer greens and then chicken. Serve hot.

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Roasted sausage with garlic and cherry tomatoes


This meal requires such little preparation, I will probably make it every week from now until I start to smell like sausage. Remember, I’m trying to find a job so I don’t want to smell like a sausage factory when I walk into interviews…

… do I?

In any case, this takes an hour to roast but about 5 minutes to prepare. All you need is a roasting pan or an ovenproof skillet and you’re good to go.

On the menu:
Sausage with garlic and cherry tomatoes
Serves 2 – 3

1 lb sweet Italian sausage
2 cups cherry or grape tomatoes, washed
1 head of garlic, cloves separated and unpeeled
1/4 cup olive oil
3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tsp dried basil
2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 cup small pasta (such as orzo) or white beans or wilted greens to serve the dish over, cooked according to box directions

Preheat oven to 425. Prick each sauce a few times on each side with a sharp knife or toothpick.

Add sausage, cherry tomatoes, garlic cloves, and spices to a roasting pan or ovensafe skillet. Pour over olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Using your hands*, toss until the herbs are distributed and everything is coated in olive and vinegar. Make sure everything is in one solid layer in your pan or skillet. Bake for 30 minutes. Flip sausage and roast for another 30 minutes. Serve over small pasta or beans or wilted greens. Splash a tiny bit more balsamic if desired.

*Do not use a spoon and deprive yourself of the slippery, crazy-cool feeling of tossing all this together with your hands. You’re giggling thinking about tossing slippery sausage with oil (hardy har har) but sexual undertones aside, it just feels so dang cool! Seriously. Okay, you’re still laughing. Fine fine, the cheese stands alone.

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