Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, was the first blogger that I actually followed. I mean, my first love was Apartment Therapy, but I’m not even sure that I knew it was a blog. This was before I knew anything about feed readers or bloggers or, frankly, cooking. I loved Ree’s voice. I loved how she told stories about her food and talked about ingredients. I loved her photos. I loved that she made cooking look easy.Read More
Does absence make the heart grow fonder with blogging too? I sure hope so. I realize that it seems like I’ve been a bit out of touch, but really, I’ve been right here in my very kitchen processing fruit. Lots and lots of fruit. I will be posting about the fruit shortly, but for now, can we talk about one of my favorite subjects? That’s right, pasta.Read More
Last night’s dinner was good. It wasn’t great, but it was good. It was so easy to prepare that the preparation more than made up for the less than mind blowing final product. Like any grilled steak, this one needed just the right amount of seasoning before grilling and I may have under-seasoned it a bit. But it was grilled perfectly (thank you, Rob) and the combination of the heirloom tomatoes and toasted spice vinaigrette made for an excellent summer meal.Read More
Cacio e Pepe is a traditional Roman pasta dish. It is more than just a fancy way to say spaghetti with cheese. It is the best dish on the planet when done right. If you are in New York, go to Lupa in the Village and try their Cacio e Pepe (as a bonus, the last time we ate at Lupa, we sat two tables away from Alan Rickman). If you are in Rome, you can order it anywhere. Do yourself a favor and try this dish at a café (aptly) called Cacio e Pepe. There is no menu and no English and it is (or at least was) cash only. But go anyway. This is where I first fell in love with the simplicity and amazingness of cacio e pepe. It is also where an amazing Italian couple sitting at the table next to us held our six month old twins while we ate so that we could enjoy the meal. And it is where my husband and I both forgot our wallets (traveling with twins, people), resulting in his high tailing it across Rome to get said wallet while I sat at the table with both babies and hoped he would make it back before dinner was served. Did I mention that neither of us speak Italian?Read More
Remember how I said this week’s theme was going to be simple? Well I should have said that this week’s theme was going to be distracted.
If you haven’t checked out the recipe for flank steak tacos, it is pretty simple but does involve a series of distinct steps. First step is to marinate the meat for six hours or overnight. There is also a cilantro pesto (made in the food processer) and a grilled fruit salsa that goes on top of the meat. These can be prepped in advance. If you have the ingredients. Finally, you grill the steak, slice it up and top it with the goodies. Pretty straight-forward.
I had such good intentions of marinating the flank steak overnight. I finally got to it at 1 pm day of. That’s pretty good, right? I may have not read the fine print on the recipe and did not have lemon pepper. I substituted dried lemon peel and cracked pepper. (Side note: if you live anywhere near a Penzey’s and haven’t gone there, do yourself a favor and go. While you are there getting lemon peel, get some hot chocolate, cinnamon, and greek seasoning. Hokey website, great store. Trust me.)
Next, I started to make the cilantro pesto while I still had light in my kitchen so that I could get a good photos. This was at about 1:15. Let’s just say I finally got back to it at 5 pm. No light. I intended to grill my fruit (mango, avocado, pineapple) for the salsa next, but ended up bringing my mango and avocado over to my mom’s where we were eating dinner and decorating her tree. The plan was to pick up pineapple on the way to Mom’s. No pineapple at the store. When we got to Mom’s, the mango was bad and I forgot the red onion and cilantro. Scrapped the salsa. If you do make this, let me know if the fruit salsa was tasty.
I also forgot my grill pan, and since it was 5° outside, that wasn’t really an option. Enter the George Foreman! My mom actually has one of these and uses it. Welcome back to 2006. (Sorry, Mom.) It was quick and easy. We served the steak with corn and avocado for the kids and over mixed greens for the adults. We also added some Newman’s Own Lime Dressing to replace the missing salsa. Overall, and considering how flighty a cook I was, dinner was pretty good. The dressing helped. I wish I had made the salsa because I could see how the meat would have been better in combination with the grilled fruit.
In case you can’t tell, I also forgot my camera. Geesh. Better luck tonight.