Tag Archives: dinner

Remember that one time we forgot to blog for almost a year?

So, it turns out that grad school, part-time employment and composition for J and full-time employment, tutoring, and applying for grad school for myself means that we forget to blog. Oops. So, rather than say “let’s make a goal to blog once a week” as a New Year’s Resolution, let’s start now!

This week is a big week full of concerts, work, and cleaning the house for weekend guests. Sundays have traditionally been cooking days for me, where I try and get lunches prepared for the week (portioned out for J and I to reheat at work/grad school), as well as make ahead breakfasts and maybe even dinner for Sunday night. Today is no different. Today I spent time making a “lasagna” soup. It includes sweet sausage, tomatoes, bow tie pasta, and heaps of ricotta and parmesan at the end. It transports well in lunches, warms you up in the cool of early December, and is souper delicious. Yep, I went there.

We made this soup back in 2012, but never posted the full recipe for it. I also changed the recipe a bit because the first time I made it we made buckets full since I wasn’t paying too close attention to how much we were putting in the pot… so here it goes:


  • 12 oz. pasta (I like to use bowtie pasta because they are cute)
  • olive oil (I never measure this…not gonna lie)
  • about a pound of sweet Italian sausage ( I usually buy bulk, but I accidentally bought links, so I had to take the casings off. Ew.)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • some oregano (again, I never measure)
  • pinch of crushed red pepper flakes
  • 2 big spoonfuls of tomato paste
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 28 oz. diced tomatoes
  • Salz und Pfeffer
  • 2 cups shredded mozzarella (divided into 1 cup amounts)
  • dried basil
  • 15 oz. whole milk ricotta (indulge a little)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parm
  • frozen peas (optional)

What to do:

  1. Cook the pasta to al dente, as it may cook a little more once it hits the soup and you don’t want mush. While this is cooking, brown the sausage in a big soup pot.


2. Once the sausage is browned, add the onions, garlic, oregano, basil and red pepper flakes. Sauté for a couple of minutes until onions are soft. Stir  in tomato paste and combine everything together.


3. Stir in the chicken stock and tomatoes. I like to use a whisk to stir this in to make sure all of the tomato paste gets evenly distributed- no one wants chunks of tomato paste in their soup.


4. Add a little s and p, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and bring to simmer without lid for about 30 minutes (stir every once and a while to make sure nothing sticks to the bottom).

5. While the soup is simmering, I like to mix together the ricotta, 1 cup of mozzarella, the Parm, salt and pepper, and a little more basil.

6. Right at the end I like to put in some frozen peas for a little veg, but it is up to you. I also add the other cup of mozzarella directly to the soup at this point.


  1. To serve (or in our case, to prep for lunches), I put a scoop of pasta (you decide how much), a ladle or two of the soup, and a healthy dollop of the ricotta stuff.








*Note: You can also make this in the crockpot, as we have done as well. All you do is brown the sausage, dump everything else into the crockpot (cheese stuff not included) and cook on high for 2-3 hours. The pasta I usually put in after an hour, and the peas typically go in with about 30 minutes to go).



I hope you enjoy this reconstructed lasagna soup as much as we do- I probably make it a couple of times each winter.


-L (and Bingley who stayed nearby throughout the cooking process)

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This… is maybe… the best… chicken thing… I… have ever… had.





Chicken Pesto Tomato Thing


  • 4 or 5 thinly sliced chicken cutlets (I didn’t know how “cutlets” differed from “all of the other kinds of pieces of chicken”, and am still not entirely convinced. It all looks LITERALLY THE SAME TO ME in the grocery store.)
  • 2 tomatoes
  • 3 ounces of goat cheese (usually 1 tube)
  • 2 separate handfuls of shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup of basil pesto
  • a li’l splash of half and half (opt.)
  • Healthy dose of olive oil
  • S und P



  1. Preheat oven to 425°F
  2. Salt and pepper the chicken, and place on a rimmed baking sheet (or else the olive oil goes everwhichaway)
  3. In a small bowl, mix together the pesto, goat cheese, and 1 handful of parmesan cheese. (If it seems kind of dry, you can add a splash of half and half to it.)
  4. Spread that mixed-up goodness on each of the chicken cutlets.
  5. Slice the tomatoes, and put two slices on top of each piece of chicken (as pictured)
  6. Drizzle everything with olive oil, and sprinkle the rest of the parmesan cheese on top of each piece.
  7. Bake for 20-25 minutes.


You can bake these at the same time as the chicken if you heat the baking sheet in the oven first.


  • About a pound of fingerling potatoes (which sounded kind of creepy to me, though L assures me they’re not)
  • Half a teaspoonish of minced garlic
  • Couple shakes each of thyme, rosemary, and sage (or 2 to 3 sprigs of them if you want to be super fancy. With sprigs.)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Yet more olive oil


  • Preheat the oven to 500°F and place the baking sheet inside to heat it.
  • Put the potatoes in a biggish bowl with the herbs and spices, and splorp some olive oil on it.
  • Roll it all around with a big spoon.
  • Remove the baking sheet and drizzle it with olive oil, and dump the potatoes on it and spread them out a little bit.
  • Turn down the heat to 425° and roast for 20 minutes.
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Not only has the song of this same name been stuck in our heads all summer (causing hours of singing the song around the apartment), but it is how I feel about tonight’s dinner. Although J wasn’t here to enjoy it with me (he gets the leftovers tomorrow), I felt very fancy cooking and eating this delicious concoction.



Fancy Food for this Most Regular of Tuesdays? Strawberry Balsamic Glazed Chicken over Lemon Arugula Risotto.



You’ll Need:

For Lemon Risotto:

*1 cup of arborio rice

*1/2 cup dry white wine

*zest and juice of 1/2 lemon

*handful of arugula (didn’t measure, just threw it in)

*salt to taste

*2 cups  chicken stock

*2 cups water

*1 onion, finely diced

*2 cloves garlic, finely minced

*olive oil

For Chicken:

*2 lbs chicken (this ended up being about 3 chicken breasts, as I used a little under 2 lbs.)

*1/3 cup strawberry jam

*1/4 cup balsamic vinegar

*1/2 cup water

*2 scallions, finely chopped

*poultry seasoning

*handful of fresh basil (I used 5 or 6 leaves from my delicious Greek basil plant), julienned

*salt and pepper

*olive oil



1. Season chicken with salt, pepper and poultry seasoning on both sides. Heat oil in large skillet, and drop chicken in when ready. Cook 5 minutes per side, browning the chicken on both sides.

2. Whisk strawberry jam, basil, balsamic, and water; pour over chicken and let simmer for 3-5 minutes, just to thicken the glaze. Flip chicken to make sure both sides get glaze.

3. Add scallions in at last minute. You can slice the chicken before serving or serve whole (I left mine whole).




Now, I attempted to make these two items at once. I started with the chicken because risotto needs your attention. I repeat,RISOTTO NEEDS YOUR ATTENTION. Look away and it can scorch. And that would make sad risotto.

Back to Cooking!

4. Heat chicken stock and water in a saucepan. In a large pot, saute garlic and onion in olive oil. Once softened, toss in rice and lemon zest, toasting the rice and letting it absorb the fat in the olive oil.

5. Pour in the lemon juice and wine and let the liquid evaporate. Once evaporated, add one ladle of cooking liquid until the risotto is cooked and smooth. As already stated, keep stirring and pay attention. Also, if you don’t use all of the cooking liquid, that is fine- cook it until it is done! You don’t want to turn your risotto into soup- too far! Season if necessary (depends on how salty your chicken stock is).

6. Once cooked, add arugula and stir until wilted. Serve right away!


*Sorry for the poor picture quality. The pot was very steamy!

I hope you enjoy your fancy meal when you make this too.

-L (&J and Bingley).


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New Twist on Pizza

So, it’s not technically a pizza. But we still think it was pretty awesome.



Chicken, Arugula, Hummus, Pepper “Pizza”

You’ll Need:

*Parchment paper- not completely necessary, but made for a REALLY easy clean-up

*1 boneless chicken breast, cooked and chopped into bite size pieces

*2 sheets of phyllo dough


*hummus, we used garlic lovers because it it my favorite

*Sweet peppers, chopped

*Cheese: You could really use any cheese you like. We used freshly grated mozzarella, but I would have also been happy with feta or pepper jack cheese (extra kick)


1. Follow instructions on the box to pre-bake the phyllo dough

2. While the dough is baking, mix together some arugula with the garlic lovers hummus

3. Once the dough is baked and cool, spread the hummus mixture onto the dough as your sauce layer

4. Evenly spread the chicken and peppers across, then top with the cheese you chose

5. Pop back in the oven just to melt the cheese

6. Top with remaining arugula



-L (& J &  Bingley)


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We Planted a Garden.


We have been wishing and hoping for a garden since we moved in together (remember our first attempt at plants? Poor parsley…)

We have successfully planted a garden! Now that we have some outdoor space, and the approval of our leasing office staff, we have planted flowers and herbs.






Hydrangeas- always remind us of our honeymoon to Nantucket, as well as our favorite vacation spot of Chautauqua, NY 🙂


Purple petunia and some fuzzy purple martian plant. We don’t remember what they are called. So we have renamed it “fuzzy purple martian plant.”


Pink begonias!


Our herb box (minus the cilantro awaiting its own herb receptacle). Planted in alphabetical order, due to my crazy organizational needs: basil, Greek; basil, sweet; dill; mint; and parsley, flat. This photo upgraded to hipster status by J’s bike.

We have been making so many great food dishes with all of our herbs the past two weeks! Omelets with fresh parsley, dill and Greek basil, and looking forward to fresh mint in our sun tea.

One of our favorite dishes from the week? Coq au Vin. I can never pronounce this correctly, so we call it “Fancy French Chicken and Wine Stew.”



In a Crockpot, layer:

1. Diced onion (I think I used 2)

2. Pint of button mushrooms, sliced

3. Diced crispy bacon (I used about 6 slices…totally used turkey bacon, no judgment)

4. 3 boneless chicken breasts, whole

5. About a box of chicken stock (low sodium)

6. Some red wine. Don’t even know how much I put in…just kinda poured it all over. And drank some. Also not sure of the quantity I consumed there.

7. A little S&P.

*Cook on low for about 8 hours. It will make your house/apartment/yurt smell amazing. We served it over egg noodles. I added some fresh parsley at the end, but forgot to take a picture of that…just know that it was delicious.

Now that summer has begun for me, hoping to get back into this blogging thing more often. Stay tuned for tomorrow’s blog post: chicken arugula hummus tarts.

-L (& J and Bingley)

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Our Grandmas both used to make this casserole. We ate it and it tasted like home.

Not literally, like we were eating bits of our house or something.

Just tasted homey, my homies.

Bingley always sits on the counter and supervises when we cook.
Bingley always sits on the counter and supervises when we cook.





  • 1 big onion (or 2 little ones)
  • 1 pound of ground turkey (because sky turkey is harder to find.)
  • 1 can of cream of mushroom soup
  • 1 Tbs. ketchup
  • 1 Tbs. Whooshshooshshter sauce
  • 1 bag of frozen tater tots
  • about 8 slices of american (or cheddar) cheese
  • Olive oil


  1. Preheat oven to 425° F.
  2. Cut the onion in half, then slice into half-rings, and punch them out.
  3. Sauté onions in a pan with olive oil until they are translucent.
  4. Put them in a bowl and set them aside.
  5. Sauté the turkey in the same pan until browned.
  6. In a large bowl, mix together the mushroom soup, ketchup, and wooshywoosh sauce.
  7. Dump the browned meat into the large bowl, and stir it all around until the meat is coated.
  8. Grease a glass baking dish (9×13) and spread the meat mixture around in the dish. (This will be the bottom layer of the casserole.)
  9. (Next layer): Spread the onions around on top of the meat.
  10. Layer the cheese slices on top of the onions.
  11. Layer the frozen tater tots in rows (doesn’t have to be perfect) on top.
  12. Bake for 25 mins.



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Ridiculously Easy Beef Stuff

Hi, YPHers!

J here, to tell you how to make beef stroganoff, but more importantly:






Ok. That’s done.

Now on to stroganoff!


  • a crock pot
  • 3 cans of condensed cream-of-mushroom soup
  • 1 cup of sour cream
  • 1/2 cup of water
  • a packet of dry onion soup mix (1 ounce)
  • 1 package of stew meat (2 lbs.) (bleh. bleh. bleh.)
  • 1 package of egg noodles


  1. Mix together everything except the meat and noodles in the crock pot.
  2. Take on the inevitable task of opening the meat package and dumping it into the crock pot. (L managed to find some that came pre-cut into cubes, saving me from having to touch the stuff too much. Is this an irrational dislike? Maybe.)
  3. Mix all o’ that together with a wooden spoon.

Put ’em together and whaddya got?



Tasty, right?




Cook it on HIGH for 3 hours, put it over some cooked egg noodles, and you get:



See? It was all worth it.


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Fall foods!

We decided to spend what turned into a rather rainy day as a fall feast day. As our first full weekend home in about 2 months, we had missed cooking together, and decided it was time to break out the fall foods.

First thing made? Pumpkin Nutella poke cake.

Recipe found at Something Swanky, a great blog to find tasty desserts. This morning we had decided to go ahead and make the pumpkin poke cake, but happened across her pumpkin Nutella poke cake and fell in love.


*yellow boxed cake mix

*pumpkin puree

*sweetened condensed milk

*whipped topping

*Nutella spread

*heath bits (hers called for chocolate hazelnut candies, but we decided to go with the toffee bits-yum!)

*chocolate syrup

1. Mix pumpkin and cake mix (we added some cinnamon and ginger, because we never follow the instructions anyway…)

2. Bake the cake at 375 for 35 minutes.

3. After cooling, poke it a whole lot with the end of a wooden spoon.

4.  Pour the milk over the cake, letting it soak in.

5. Mix whipped topping and Nutella, and spread on top.

6. Top with chocolate syrup and heath bits.

7. Refrigerate for at least 4 hours (or, if you are like us and are in a time crunch for someone’s birthday tonight, freeze for two!)

Currently, we don’t have pictures of the cake, as it is cooling. However, we cannot wait until we share it tonight! Our first friend to join the quarter century life club- so exciting!

Dinner was also fall themed.

Photo on 10-5-13 at 5.48 PM

I have thoroughly impressed myself, as well as J, with my lack of instruction reading (say, for how much pasta this recipe was going to make- more on that in a minute), but also with my skill for making things after I see it done on TV multiple times.

Today, we give you: sweet potato-ricotta gnocchi with brown butter-sage sauce.


If this dinner doesn’t scream fall, I am not sure what does.

*5 sweet potatoes

*container of ricotta

*salt and pepper

*sage (needed twice)

*5 tablespoons butter

*3 cups of flour

*pinch of red pepper flakes

*some ginger

*some garlic

*lemon juice

1. Boil sweet potatoes (bringing cold water to a boil) until soft.

2. Mash together with salt, ginger, sage and ricotta.

3. Mix in flour, one cup at a time.

4. Roll out on floured surface and realize how much pasta you have just made…six pounds to be exact. We ended up freezing them in pound increments to auction off to family members later.

5. Cut into bite size pieces and roll over the tines of a fork.

6. Boil in water in batches, until they float (about 4-5 minutes).

7. While J cooked the pasta, I made the brown butter sauce: In a small saucepan, melt butter with sage, lemon juice, garlic and red pepper flakes. Whisk over medium heat until golden brown.

8. Toss gnocchi in the brown butter sauce.

9. Eat.

-L and J

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Yeah… this dish was kind of hard. I found the recipe in a certain cookbook-which-shall-remain-unnamed-out-of-due-respect-for-the-chef, but as is our custom here on YPH, I have chosen to present it the way I saw and experienced it in my mind. I got lost somewhere around step 2, and pretty much had to improvise from that point on- so here’s my version. It looks nothing like the picture in the book. But hey, it’s pretty good. Buckle up…

Creamy Pasta with Corn and Bacon and Stuff in it, Suitable to Cook for the Pope or Somebody

(most ingredients optional)


  • 1 pound of fettuccine pasta
  • 6 ears of corn
  • The Lost Ark of the Covenant
  • a couple of small peppers (I used 3 bell peppers- I think that’s what they were, anyway, I don’t know, man)
  • Garlands of fresh herbs and spices (1 handful each of fresh thyme, basil, and parsley, chopped)
  • The Nobel Peace Prize
  • Chicken stock OR beef stock OR dry white wine
  • 6 strips of bacon
  • Half and half
  • Hot sauce
  • The Crown Jewels of the British Empire
  • Olive oil
  • Parmesan cheese
  1. Boil a pot of water for the pasta.
  2. Then do that. Boil that pasta.
  3. While that’s happening, remove the leafy bits and those little bleeping string thingies from the corn. Cut the kernels of corn off the ears into a large bowl. This takes several millennia.
  4. Toss in the peppers with the corn.
  5. Take about a fourth of the corn mixture and set it aside. (Got all this so far?)
  6. Drizzle the olive oil in a skillet and cook the bacon in it.
  7. Once the bacon is crispy, pour in 1/2 a cup of the stock/stock/wine and most of the corn (the bigger amount, not the smaller one. Confused yet? Me too.)
  8. Forget to put int the salt and pepper.
  9. Check on the pasta. Trust me, it’s a good idea at this point- just drain it whenever it’s done…
  10. Toss the small amount of corn with 1/2 a cup of half and half into the blender and liquify it.
  11. Pour the creamy stuff you just made into the skillet with the bacon and all that other stuff.
  12. Stir the skillet mixture together, and also stir in a dash of the hot sauce.
  13. Simmer all of that for about 5 minutes. Remember the salt and pepper sometime around minute 4.
  14. Toss the herbs together with the pasta, and flop it into the skillet.
  15. Serve topped with Parmesan cheese. Feeds several hundred.

L probably told me something important that would make this whole thing a lot easier, and I probably totally missed it. I think I’ll double check next time, and ask her for some help.


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Tikka of redemption

Well, it looks like I’m forgiven for the Great Chicken Taco Scare of 2013. In fact, L and I made enchiladas out of the end result, which were pretty good. I got up this morning and made this:

Vegetarian Tikka Masala


a crock pot

3 small potatoes

an onion

half a bag or so of frozen peas

couple of shakes of coriander (weird little spherical spice, which are actually cilantro seeds)

1/2 a teaspoon of curry (spicy spice)

1 teaspoon of minced garlic

rice (optional)


Chop up the potatoes, skins and all. Peel and chop the onion. Toss them deftly into the crock pot, then put in everything else. Cook on low heat for 6-7 hours. If it gets a bit dry, you can add a little water to it. If you like, you can put the rice in at about hour 4. This can be served with naan, if you’ve got some handy.



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