recipe-share: white chocolate chip pecan cookies

Thanks to the holidays and my love of anything with white chocolate in it, I've made this recipe twice in one week. It can be whipped up in less than 30 minutes and great for a Christmas party.

White Chocolate Chunk Pecan Cookies

Don't worry about breaking up a bar of white chocolate. A small bag of chips works just great. Get the recipe here at All Recipes.



recipe-ish: homemade pizza

I've been wanting to make this for a while. My own pizza. Totally from scratch. Make the dough. Make the sauce. Practically milk the cow and make the cheese. Last night, I had my chance. I found a random packet of pizza dough yeast and considered it my calling to make homemade pizza. Here's how it went.

I go into this with a vague idea how to make everything and just a handful of ingredients.


what's good: potato bacon soup

Your winter just got warmer.

When you have a surplus of potatoes, bacon and a spare Saturday afternoon, I implore you to make this soup. It's hearty, it's rich, and it lends itself to well to improvising.

Thick and Creamy Potato Bacon Soup from Cooking by the Seat of My Pants.


recipe-share: macaroni and cheese with butternut squash

I bought another butternut squash from the farmer's market. It's winter; 'tis the season.

I'm continually amazed at all the things that this vegetable is good for. Last night, I discovered it has good chemistry with cheese. I made Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash from Martha Stewart. It's like your classic baked macaroni and cheese, but with some soul. Here's how it went down.

We start with a pound of squash. They are notorious for being nearly impossible to peel. And you can see why. Awkwardly shaped, even when halved.


pretty pasta

Since learning now to make pasta about a week ago, I can't stop. It's an obsession.

You remember my first few tries.

I called this "ugly pasta".

Then, I hung it from a suspended wire rack, which resulted in the "folded pasta".


recipe: gingerspice bread pudding

This is an adaptation inspired by a recipe I received from Martha's Place owner and chef Martha Hawkins. The twist is that the only bread I had in the house was gingerspice bread. Here we go.


what's good: glorious dippable bread

My friends are my culinary inspirations. It's through these beautiful people that I learned the ways of sushi, gluten-free and that the chimichunga is not real Mexican food.

From my dear friend Kellie, I was introduced many years ago to glorious, dippable bread. She was the first person I ever saw make a meal out of artisan bread and olive oil. Ever since, I've been hooked.

It sounds overly simple. It is and it's delicious. I have all kinds of combinations. A French baguette. Rosemary loaf. Italian round. I experiment with the oils. Garlic olive oil. Olive oil and Parmesan cheese. Olive oil and balsamic vinegar. I've branched out and started making my own marinara. Below is roasted pepper tomato sauce.


what's good: pasta alla carbonara

I promised you at least a picture of pasta alla carbonara. I make good on my promise.

It all starts with a great cookbook, Complete Italian Cooking.

This is like breakfast pasta. You cook bacon and mix egg, cream and grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese to make the sauce. So delicious. So simple. And made with the fresh pasta, well that just sets it off.



recipe-share: make your own granola

Part of running is consuming a lot of granola. For me, it's the easy thing to eat before a race or a long run. It breaks down well, doesn't sit in my stomach like a brick and can be eaten mindlessly at 5 a.m. when I'm half awake.

So fellow runner, author and slow food activist Mark Bittman is a good source for granola recipes. I made his version this weekend.


merry christmas from the boss

If Bruce says Santa Claus is comin' to town, you best believe...



recipe-ish: pasta with chili sauce

Just so we're clear, this is not chili like you're thinking chili.

I'm still cooking from Complete Italian Cooking, the one I mentioned a few days ago (remember the gnocci?). The library will eventually make me buy this cookbook.

I am also still making my own pasta. So it was a good time to move on to the next recipe, Pasta with Chili Sauce.


ugly pasta

All week long, I've been making my own pasta. I haven't had this much fun since I learned what pop rocks and soda do together.

A friend of mine lent me his weathered copy of Pasta Tecnica by the bearded Pasquale Bruno, Jr., and I used the black and white culinary tutorial to make pasta. A few eggs and a lot of flour was sacrificed, but I think I've got the hang of it now.

It sounds simple. 3/4 cup of flour. 1 extra large egg. A few tablespoons of water. Mix. Roll out. Cut. Boil. Eat. I said, it sounds simple, but the technique and the equipment to which one has access makes all the difference.


recipe-ish: potato gnocchi

I was inspired to make gnocchi from an episode of Tyler's Ultimate on The Cooking Channel. He made it look super easy, so I had to try it and my copy of Complete Italian Cooking had a recipe. Lucky me.

We start with the essentials of gnocchi: one egg yolk, 12 ounces of potatoes, 3/4 cup of flour, and nutmeg. Alongside are 2 to 3 tablespoons of butter, white pepper, kosher salt, and my faithful kitchen staple parmesiano-reggiano.


memories, mitch albom and making gnocchi

I left my audio copy of Have a Little Faith by Mitch Albom at my parents' house months ago, and I waited eagerly until Thanksgiving when they would bring it with them. I got it back on Thursday. I finished it by Sunday. It's a really good book.

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