Tag Archives: oh my goodness

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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Cake.

Ummm. I made this.

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Dark Chocolate Cake with Homemade Raspberry Sauce and Whipped Cream/Raspberry garnish

What you’ll need:

*1 pint of fresh red raspberries

*1 box of devil’s food chocolate cake

*vegetable oil (1/3 cup?)

*3 eggs

*water

*vodka (eye-balled it)

*cornstarch (1/4 tsp.)

*2 tablespoons sugar

*juice of 1/2 a lemon

*1 tub of reduced fat whipped cream

 

1. Make the cake as directed with eggs, oil, water and dry ingredients. Bake as directed as well.

2. While this is baking, make the raspberry sauce: Pour all but 8 of the raspberries into a saucepan with cornstarch, vodka, sugar, and lemon juice. Cook on low until raspberries have fallen apart and is thick. Let this sit for about 15 minutes to really thicken.

3. Even cakes out after they have cooled. Put one layer down on cake plate, and then top with 3/4 of the raspberry sauce. Make sure it is spread evenly. Then top with the other cake.

4. Spread the rest of the raspberry mixture on top of the cake (toward the center in a circle).

5. Next, I put all of the whipped cream into a plastic zip-top bag, cut the corner off one end, and piped the whipped cream onto the cake. I also used a butter knife to smooth it out. Lastly, I placed the 8 raspberries around the top to make the 8 pieces in the cake.

6. This step isn’t necessary (but it was for me as my kitchen was about 90000000 degrees), however you can put the cake in the fridge to let it set before serving. I let is sit for about 10 minutes before serving it.

 

YUM.

 

-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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We Planted a Garden.

PLANTS!

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.

 

 

 

 

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

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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.”

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Pink begonias!

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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.”

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MMMmmmm.

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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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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MAWWIAGE

We decided it was high time we did a post regarding wedding stuff- details, photos, the works. Off we go!

Big thanks to La Scala for a fantastic reception and AMAZING food. The room looked wonderful, and best of all, they had a full crew of people to set everything up! (Included in the room rental price)

Thanks as well to DeSantis florists for bouquets, boutonnieres, and centerpieces! They were even able to incorporate the peacock feathers, ribbons, and baskets that we wanted to supply.

We would definitely recommend Todd Seimer photography if you’re in the Columbus area. He did a fantastic job!

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Left: Thai Orchids suspended upside-down in water
Right: White Tulips and Hydrangeas

This was a really sweet moment. Our photographer had me stand at the end of a field, and L walked up behind me for our "first look".

This was a really sweet moment. Our photographer had me stand at the end of a field, and L walked up behind me for our “first look”.

The suit- grey herringbone, with a nice shine. Bow ties from Macy's.

The suit (Kohl’s): grey herringbone, with a nice shine. Bow ties from Macy’s.

The dress-

The dress: A-line, from David’s Bridal

And this adorable picture of L.

And this adorable picture of L.

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J+L

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Tacos, Schrödinger’s Cat style

So.

Here we are.

And I may have messed up dinner.

And L isn’t home yet.

Anyway, here’s what happened:

L sent me a recipe to make, for Mexican shredded chicken, to put in the crock pot to make tacos with later tonight. I scrolled too far down on the link she sent me, and instead followed a recipe for something else. Something else which is not meant to be put in a crock pot. I did this anyway, without realizing my mistake until later. Here’s what I put in:

-A shredded chicken breast (shredding chicken breasts, by the way, is DISGUSTING when they aren’t cooked.)

-1/2 an onion, diced and cooked in olive oil (I’ve recently learned how to cook onions, so I put them in EVERYTHING. Here’s a tip: don’t put onions in everything. Just most things.)

-2 cans of diced tomatoes

-half a bag or so of frozen corn I found in the freezer

-a little thing of what appears to be leftover black beans

-a tiny can of tomato paste

-various spices: cumin, onion powder, onion onion (which you actually CAN put in everything), garlic powder, chili powder, and pepper.

It’s been a couple hours. I haven’t opened the pot yet. According to Schrödinger (and some sketchy associative logic), the food is, as of this moment, SIMULTANEOUSLY TERRIBLE AND AWESOME. I got a job recently, and today I decluttered the apartment and vacuumed- presumably, L will still want to marry me after tonight. I’ll keep y’all updated.

-J

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Oh my goodness how have we gone this long without a microwave OH MY GOODNESS.

We helped some friends move this weekend, and their new unit had a built-in microwave in the kitchen, so we got their previous one! It heats up food and everything! In other news,

CAAAAAAAAAKKKKKKE.

Cake.

We ate lots of it today in our consultation with this lady. Very tasty.

The cake, not the lady.

Anyhooz, we think she’s our cake lady. She gave us a number of samples, and let us pair together different flavors, fillings, and icings, AND WE GOT TO TAKE THE REST OF IT HOME.

SO WE DID.

SO MUCH CAKE.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also, L got about two weeks worth of groceries for $25 by shopping at Aldi. She grew up on Aldi foods, and it’s really good for the ol’ pocketbook.

Other cool thing: The Columbus Jazz and Ribs Festival (though not a fan of the $10 parking fee.) Great music, free admission, buy whomever’s ribs/sides you want. We picked the people with the most absurdly tall banners proclaiming the group’s porcine accolades (hey, that’s a good band name.)

J&L

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