Tag Archives: food

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:

Ingredients:

  • 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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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  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.

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*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.

Enjoy!

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

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UH. MUH. GUH. YOU GUYS.

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

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HERE IS HOW YOU MAKE IT

 

Chicken Pesto Tomato Thing

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 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

 

DO THIS STUFF:

  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.

ALSO IF YOU WANT YOU CAN MAKE THESE POTATOES WITH IT

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

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 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

WHAT TO DO:

  • 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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Haute-meal

Hi all- 2 posts in 2 days! L was making a fancy breakfast today, so I decided to blog it. I have never said the sentence “Can I stage your breakfast for a quick shoot?” before, but there’s a first time for everything.

Fancy Herb-y Scrambled Eggs

SO FANCY

SO FANCY

2 eggs, parsley, cipotle chili powder, and a sploosh of milk. Whisk it up!

2 eggs, parsley, chipotle chili powder, and a sploosh of milk. Whisk it up!

Pour mixture into a small frying pan, and flop it around while it cooks.

Pour mixture into a small frying pan, and flop it around while it cooks.

 Toast!

Toast!

Oatmeal with freshly picked blueberries

Oatmeal with freshly picked blueberries

 

 

-j

 

 

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Fancy.

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.

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

Fancy.

 

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

 

Directions:

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).

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PAUSE.

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!

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*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.

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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

*arugula

*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)

Directions:

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

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Enjoy!

-L (& J &  Bingley)

 

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In case there aren’t enough posts with the word “noodly” in them, here’s another one.

Asian Noodly-Type Stuff

TA DAAAAAAAAA

TA DAAAAAAAAA

L made this tasty dish from a leftover veggie tray from a party. It feeds several hundred.

Or two people for a few days.

Or one REALLY HUNGRY PERSON.

Anyway,

YOU WILL NEED:

  • Veggie tray stuff (we used 1 handful each of diced green, red, and yellow peppers, carrots, celery, and cherry tomatoes.)
  • 1 onion, also diced.
  • 3 cloves of minced garlic (in fact, just dump in a spoonful or so of the jarred stuff.)
  • Whatever leftover spaghetti you have. If you have a new box, guess, or use one of these amazing things.
  • Chicken breast(s) (2 works fine, we only had one.)
  • olive oil or veg. oil
  • salt and pepper
  • ginger powder
  • bottled teriyaki sauce

WHAT TO DO:

  1. Boil a big ol’ pot of water, then boil the pasta.
  2. Sauté onion, garlic, and oil in a large skillet until soft.
  3. Toss in the rest of the veggies, then let them get soft. WHILE THAT’S HAPPENING:
  4. Season the chicken with salt and pepper and a bit of oil, and pan-sear. (Cook until brown on the outside and cooked through. Basically until it looks like chicken.)
  5. Slice chicken into bite-size pieces.
  6. Pour the teriyaki sauce (1/2 to 3/4 cup) in with the vegetables, mix it on up.
  7. Add the drained spaghetti and mix.
WOOO SO FANCY

WOOO SO FANCY

Enjoy!

-J

 

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Ridiculously Easy Beef Stuff

Hi, YPHers!

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

THAT RAW MEAT IS AWFUL AND DISGUSTING

AND

HATE IT

I HATE IT

I HATE IT.

Ok. That’s done.

Now on to stroganoff!

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 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

WHAT TO DO:

  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?

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UNSPEAKABLE BLOODY DEMON-SLURRY OF DEATH!

Tasty, right?

Wrong.

Bleh.

BUT:

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

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TASTY DELISCIOUSNESS

See? It was all worth it.

-J

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Butter and Chocolate and Mysteries

L is making something in the kitchen.

And she won’t tell me what it is.

There’s chocolate, and butter.

WHAT IS SHE MAKING.

I’m sneaking in and taking pictures when she’s not looking, and narrating the whole thing in film-noir-type voices. I’ve been kicked out of the kitchen three times so far. I’m sure she’ll tell me what it is when she’s done, but this way is way more fun.

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The butter has been melted and mixed with some cocoa. It just went into the microwave.

Apparently it takes 13 minutes to bake.

Apparently it takes 13 minutes to bake.

No recent activity to report. In the meantime, I'm having a Shiner Holiday Cheer brew- it's fantastic. Highly recommended. Nice spicy/caramely/Christmasy beer.

No recent activity to report. In the meantime, I’m having a Shiner Holiday Cheer brew- it’s fantastic. Highly recommended. Nice spicy/caramely/Christmasy beer.

Here are the adorable stockings she made for us earlier, plus a li'l one for Bingley.

Here are the adorable stockings she made for us earlier, plus a li’l one for Bingley.

 

This is Bingley, not caring.

This is Bingley, not caring.

Here she is, not caring under the Christmas tree.

Here she is, not caring under the Christmas tree.

Here she is not caring IN the Christmas tree.

Here she is, still not caring, IN the Christmas tree.

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STOP TAKING PICTURES OF ME, HUMAN
STOP TAKING PICTURES OF ME, HUMAN
I AM BUSY TRYING TO DESTROY YOUR STUFF

SOMETHING IS COMING OUT OF THE OVEN.

It’s a chocolate cake.

Now she’s frosting it.

And having some issues.

There’s a lot of frosting.

TOO MUCH FROSTING

She is apologetic.

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Also, she’s…Sony?

Oh. Sorry.

Isn’t she the greatest? All is forgiven, honeybabe. You didn’t have to bake me a cake!

But let’s eat some, since we have it.

Happy Christmahannukwanzikkagiving, everybody!

-J

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GAH.

GAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHH.

GAAAAHH.

GGGGGAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH SO…

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)

YOU WILL NEED:

  • 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.

-J

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DONUT TIME

So my wife and I (hehe- she’s my wife now) discovered something very important today.

There is ABSOLUTELY NO WAY to carry a GIANT KNIFE across a kitchen, and not look like a deranged murderer.

We tested this.

With SCIENCE.

We also used science to do something much more preferable- DONUTS.

baking-is-science

Shirt available at www.topatoco.com

Click here for the whole recipe, from the Motherload. We used 4 Tablespoons of butter instead of teaspoons, and everything turned out pretty good:

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Donutsdonutsdonutsdonuts

IN OTHER NEWS:

We’ve decided to get a cat.

We’re relatively web-savvy millennial hipsters,

so it’s surprising it even took us this long.

Pics to follow.

-J

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