Tag Archives: recipes

fusilli alla vodka

26 Oct

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I’m a pasta girl. If it was appropriate to eat pasta for every meal I would happily oblige. In addition to enjoying the art of eating pasta I also enjoy preparing it. They are so easy to throw together and you can pretty much add any ingredient to them and it works…meat, veggies, spice, dairy, seafood…anything! Last night we had Brian’s parents over for dinner and we decided to make our new favorite pasta dish…spicy fusilli alla vodka. We first made this dish a few weeks ago when we had our friends Rachel & Pj (and their new baby Ben!) over for dinner. It was a big hit that night so we decided to give it another go, this time we upped the spice factor. Brian likes to sweat when he eats food. While I enjoy spicy, he takes it to another level. I gotta keep my eye on him when he’s adding the spices to our meals.

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I found the recipe on Bon Appetite’s website (they pulled it from the Italian restaurant Jon & Vinny’s in Los Angeles. I’ve been dying to try this place so we made reservations for our wedding anniversary in November. I plan to eat lots of pasta that night) The dish is incredibly easy to make, we usually make the sauce before our guests arrive and then reheat it once we are ready to eat.

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Frank is absolutely no help unless food makes it onto the floor and needs to be cleaned up. Otherwise he sleeps nearby with his beloved tennis ball.

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Voila! Dinner is ready- we served the pasta with an Italian salad & fresh bread.

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ingredients-
servings: 4
¼ cup olive oil
½ shallot, finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, finely grated
½ cup tomato paste
2 tablespoons vodka
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper
1 pound fusilli
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 ounce finely grated Parmesan, plus more for serving
¼ cup chopped fresh basil

directions-

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium. Add shallot and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add tomato paste and cook, stirring occasionally, until paste is brick-red and starts to caramelize, about 5 minutes. Add vodka and cook, stirring constantly, until liquid is mostly evaporated, about 2 minutes. Add cream and red pepper flakes and stir until well blended. Season with salt and pepper; remove from heat.
Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling salted water, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta cooking liquid. Add pasta to skillet with sauce along with butter and ½ cup pasta cooking liquid. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly and adding more pasta cooking liquid if needed, until butter has melted and a thick, glossy sauce has formed, about 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add 1 oz. Parmesan, tossing to coat. Divide pasta among bowls, then top with basil and more Parmesan.

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Sunday night dinner

29 Sep

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As I mentioned in a previous post I want to get back into kitchen this fall. We fell into a bad habit this summer of eating out or every single night. Seriously…every single night. We had four restaurants in our neighborhood on rotation…Thai, Mexican, Greek & Italian. I knew it had gone too far when the lovely lady who works at the Thai restaurant down the street knew my name and order without any direction- I guess it’s my fault for ordering spicy eggplant with chicken every single time.

Originally I wanted to make a savory fall recipe in the slow cooker this Sunday but the weather in Los Angeles has been SO hot (over it) and it just didn’t seem fitting. I would’ve had to draw all the curtains and blast the AC to make it feel cozy and fall like in our place.  So I switched gears and settled on a lighter chicken dish instead- roasted chicken with potatoes, arugula and garlic yogurt.

I forgot how much I love cooking on a lazy Sunday. The light is always so pretty that time of day in our home. We put on music…Brian cracks a cold beer and chats with me as I chop (he’s also kind enough to document the cooking session for my blog- thanks love!)…Frank plays with his toys by my feet.

It’s one of my favorite ways to spend an afternoon.

The dish was an absolute success- such an interesting mix of flavors with the sriracha, cumin & garlic yogurt!

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Roasted Chicken with Potatoes, Arugula and Garlic Yogurt. 

ingredients-

1 1/2 pounds chicken things and drumsticks

1 1/4 pounds of small Yukon gold potatoes, halved and cut into 1/2 inch slices

2 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon of black pepper

2 tablespoons of sriracha

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

4 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

2 leeks, white and green parts only, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/3 cup of plain yogurt (do not use greek)

1 garlic clove

2 ounces of baby arugula

chopped fresh dill

lemon juice

directions-

  • combine chicken and potatoes in a large bowl. Season with salt and pepper. In a small bowl, whisk together sriracha, cumin and 3 tablespoons of oil. Pour over chicken and potatoes and toss to combine. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes, or up to 8 hours in the refrigerator.
  • meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine leeks, lemon zest, a pinch of salt and the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoons of oil.
  • heat oven to 425 degrees. Arrange chicken and potatoes on a large rimmed baking sheet in a single layer. Roast 15 minutes. Toss potatoes lightly. Scatter leeks over pan. Roast until chicken and potatoes are cooked through and everything is golden, 30 minutes longer,
  • While chicken cooks, place yogurt in a small bowl. Grate garlic over yogurt and season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • To serve, spoon yogurt over chicken and vegetables. Scatter arugula and dill over mixture. Drizzle with oil and lemon juice and serve.

saturday night dinner party

15 Jun

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On Saturday night Brian and I had my best girlfriend Taline and her 11 month old son Liam over for dinner. The last time we had Liam over he was a teeny tiny little babe. He didn’t do much other than look cute. Cut to now…he’s a super mobile (he gave Frank a run for his money), giggly & fun little guy. Having him at the dinner table like one of the adults cracked me up. When planning the menu for the evening I tried to accommodate everyone. I’m new at cooking for a baby thing- what can they eat at 11 months??? I settled on a pasta dish & a peach crisp for dessert ( I figured both could be modified for Liam to eat). Definitely not the healthiest of dinners (helllllo carbs!) but it’s all fun and games until your jeans don’t fit, right?

Of course Brian helped me put the meal together. I swear no matter what I do he will always be a better cook than me. It’s ok I guess…I think I might like baking better anyway. I’ll let him be the cook in the family and I’ll handle the desserts. I mean who doesn’t want to be in charge of the desserts, right? I’ve been wanting to make a crisp/crumble type thing for a while now. They always look so damn good to me when I scroll through pinterest. I’ve also been wanting to make something with peaches because nothing says summer to me like a dessert with peaches.

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I couldn’t help but laugh at the last picture. Dinner parties sure do look different in your thirties! In the best possible way too. As I looked around the table my heart-felt incredibly full.

Below you will find the two recipes…

spaghetti all’ amatriciana 

* ingredients

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
8 ounces pancetta (thick cut), diced
1 small white onion, finely diced
3 large garlic cloves, finely minced
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 teaspoons dried red pepper flakes*
1 (28-ounce) can of crushed San Marzano tomatoes
3/4 ounce parmigiano-reggiano cheese, finely grated (plus more for serving)
salt
freshly ground black pepper
1 lb dried spaghetti pasta
1 tablespoon unsalted butter

* directions

-Heat the olive oil in a large (straight-sided, preferably) skillet over medium heat. Add the diced pancetta and cook, stirring frequently, until most of the fat has rendered into the pan and the pancetta is crispy and caramelized slightly. Using a slotted spoon, remove the crispy pancetta and place in a separate small bowl, leaving any fat behind in the pan.
-Over medium-low heat, add the diced onion and saute in the rendered fat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are soft and lightly caramelized. Add the garlic and continue to saute for an addition 2 to 3 minutes, being careful to avoid burning the garlic or onion. Deglaze the pan with a tablespoon of water, if necessary, to remove any bits of crispy pancetta or bits from the bottom of the pan.
-Add the tomato paste and red pepper flakes, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, over medium heat for an addition 1 to 2 minutes, or until the paste has thickened slightly.
-Add the pancetta, and any extra rendered fat, back into the skillet, along with the crushed tomatoes. Bring the sauce to a low simmer, and cook, stirring every few minutes, for 15 to 20 minutes. The sauce should be relatively thick. Add the grated cheese to the sauce, and season to taste with salt and pepper. Place over low heat while you cook the pasta.
-Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the pasta and cook until al dente. Reserve 1/2 to 3/4 cup of the pasta cooking water in a measuring cup, and then drain the pasta. Return the drained pasta back into the pot, toss with a tablespoon of unsalted butter, and add the sauce, thinning with pasta cooking water as necessary until the pasta is evenly coated. Serve pasta with extra grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese on the side.

pasta

peach crisp with gingersnap crumble topping 

* ingredients

Filling
6 cups sliced peaches (peeled and sliced into ½ inch pieces)
¾ cups granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
4 teaspoons cornstarch
Topping
1 cup all-purpose flour
⅓ cup granulated sugar
⅓ cup brown sugar (packed)
16 gingersnap cookies ((or 4 oz); crushed)
⅛ teaspoon ground ginger
½ cup butter (melted)

* directions

-Pre heat oven to 375 F.
-Mix peaches, ¾ cup sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch in a 9 X 9 inch pan.
-In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugars, crushed gingersnaps, ginger, and melted butter. Spread evenly over peach filling.
-Bake for 40-50 minutes, until topping is golden and filling bubbles. You may need to cover with foil at around 30 minutes to prevent topping from overcooking.

peach crisp

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Moroccan short ribs

3 Mar

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Recently, I have been obsessed with our slow cooker (I’m trying to remember who bought it for us as a wedding gift so I can send them an extra thank you card). Seriously, we are currently like, best friends. It just makes cooking so easy! Not to mention I look like a master chef when dinner is served- it’s pretty much idiot proof. You just put a bunch of ingredients in it and viola 7-8 hours later you have a tasty dinner. Although, I did make some hybrid Filipino chicken dish this past Sunday that was pretty horrible…I blame that solely on the recipe though. Moving forward I will be avoiding recipes that combine apple cider vinegar and soy sauce. Anyway, back to my recent favorite slow cooker recipe…Moroccan short ribs….it was AH-MAZING and so easy. As you can see from the photos below…even Frank wanted in on it. I guess it was rather mean of us to eat dinner on our coffee table that night.

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ingredients:

3 pounds bone-in beef short ribs

1 14.5-ounce can diced tomatoes

4 garlic cloves, sliced

1/2 cup of dried apricots, halved

1/2 cup of pitted olives

1 tablespoon chopped fresh ginger

2 teaspoons ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

kosher salt & black pepper

1 cup of couscous

fresh cilantro, for serving

directions:

-combine the short ribs, tomatoes (and their juices), garlic, apricots, olives, ginger, cumin, cinnamon, and 1 teaspoon of each salt & pepper in 4-6 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook until the beef is tender, on low for 7 to 8 hours or on high for 5 to 6 hours. Skim off and discard most of the fat

– ten minutes before serving, cook the couscous

– serve the short ribs over the couscous, topped with cilantro

Sunday night dinners at 425

6 Mar

Our weekends have been jam-packed recently. I feel like we haven’t had a moment to catch our breath. Between wedding planning, getting the new place together, family, friends and work we are booked solid every weekend until May. Is this what happens when you become an adult? I have to keep reminding myself that these are problems of abundance and not to get overwhelmed. I guess I am telling you all of this because I have to commend us for be able to put together a Sunday night dinner in 45 minutes flat. So what I did it in sweaty workout clothes! At least I took a two-minute shower and brushed my hair before my Dad and step-mama Pamela arrived!

I decided to go with a Mexican themed dinner this time around because we are a family who enjoys guacamole and margaritas. I followed a simple recipe for the meat and set up a taco bar with a bunch of different toppings- so easy! We also made fresh margaritas (translation, squeezed a million limes) because I HATE margarita mixers. They were delicious. It takes a bit of work but it’s totally worth it.

ignore my outfit

ignore my outfit

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Brian putting his roasted peppers in a bag!

Brian putting his roasted peppers in a bag!

How many limes does it take to make 4 fresh margaritas? Too many!

How many limes does it take to make 4 fresh margaritas? Too many!

my truly amazing homemade guacamole :)

my truly amazing homemade guacamole 🙂

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tacos! tacos! tacos!

my dad and pamela:)

my dad and pamela:)

goose and I:)

goose and I:)

Sunday night dinners, getting Kate back in the kitchen and bringing families together:)

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find me elsewhere:  instagram @kate365, twitterfacebook

life lately, according to my iphone

28 Feb

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1. fortune cookie / 2. working from bed / 3. hot chef / 4. my favorite girls / 5. chinese herbs/ 6. shopping for the perfect wedding dress / 7. yoga / 8. goose turns 31 / 9. ready to tackle a recipe / 10. meatballs / 11. happy birthday baby / 12. namaste sign from Nepal

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find me elsewhere:  instagram @kate365, twitterfacebook

Guest post by Ink Lemonade

10 Jul

I thought it would be fun to have some of my favorite bloggers guest post this week (don’t I deserve a tiny break after the last year? I’m exhausted!) This is the first time I have opened  up 365 til 30 to guest bloggers and I am so excited. Today’s post is from the adorable Christine of Ink Lemonade. I have a slight blog crush on her- not only is she talented, but she also happens to have the cutest baby (I think I am suffering from baby envy!). Enjoy her inventive cooking ideas!

Hi everyone!  I’m Christine from Ink Lemonade and I’m so thrilled to be guest blogging today!  The week Kate asked me to write a post, I was stuck with a fridge full of fresh herbs that were wilting by the day.  It happens all too often.  After using a few sprigs, the rest are destined for either the garbage can or a not-so-glamorous life of garnishing.  I didn’t want to freeze or dry them or hide them in other dishes either, so I searched the web for ways to save this batch from its usual demise, highlighting the herbs in all their fresh herbal glory.  There were three winning recipes and they’re so easy and fast, I should really never have an excuse for throwing out herbs again.  The beauty is that they all call for pantry staples so you can whip them up in minutes at the first sign of wilting.  And they’re totally customizable to whatever have on hand.  Don’t have dill?  Don’t like tarragon?  Just leave them out or swap for something else.  Enjoy!
Recipes:
Herb Vinaigrette
Ingredients
  • 1 tablespoon wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons very finely minced shallot
  • 1/2 teaspoon regular or light mayonnaise
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon table salt
  •   Ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh minced parsley or chives
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced fresh thyme , tarragon, marjoram, or oregano
Directions
  • 1. Combine vinegar, shallot, mayonnaise, mustard, salt, and pepper to taste in small nonreactive bowl. Whisk until mixture is milky in appearance and no lumps of mayonnaise remain.
  • 2. Place oil in small measuring cup so that it is easy to pour. Whisking constantly, very slowly drizzle oil into vinegar mixture. If pools of oil are gathering on surface as you whisk, stop addition of oil and whisk mixture well to combine, then resume whisking in oil in slow stream. Vinaigrette should be glossy and lightly thickened, with no pools of oil on its surface. Add herbs just before use.
Barley Salad with Herbs
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups pearl barley (not quick-cooking)
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped shallots (about 1 medium)
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 cup roughly chopped fresh herbs
Directions
Bring barley and 3 cups water to a boil. Add 1/2 teaspoon salt. Reduce heat, cover, and simmer until barley is tender, about 40 minutes. Drain if necessary. Meanwhile, place shallot in a large bowl, and whisk in mustard, oil, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. Stir in barley and herbs. Serve warm.
Pistachio Mixed Herb Pesto
Ingredients 
  • 1/2 to 1 clove garlic, peeled
  • 2 cups packed flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon thyme leaves
  • 2 tablespoons fresh tarragon leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves
  • 1 tablespoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • 3/4 cup roasted pistachios
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2/3 cup olive oil
Directions
Into a blender with the motor running, add the garlic and pulse until finely chopped. Add all of the herbs, cheese, pistachios, salt, and pepper to the blender, and blend until finely chopped. With the blender running, add the olive oil in a steady stream until the mixture becomes creamy and emulsified.