Wednesday, December 28, 2011

A Twist on the Ol' Bolegnese

One of my favorite meals in the world on a cold winter night (particularly when I'm under the weather like right now), is pasta with meat sauce.  Home goodness.  But I decided to take a twist on the normal bolegnese.  I will also admit that we still are without many fresh products in the house, so most of this is from a can or a jar.  And I'm alright with that.

My Favorite Sites

You know what I love about the internet?  That it has everything.  Okay, so that may be a bit of stretch, but in terms of recipes and cooking techniques, the internet is a goldmine.  So I thought I'd do a post on what my favorite cooking sites are, and when to best use them.
This website is by far my favorite website to use.  It has a wealth of information, and great pictures.  Yes, I'm a sucker for pictures.  This is the site that I pull a lot of inspiration from for a lot of my recipes.  I really like that it is a site that shows how to make dishes healthier, but still taste amazing.  I would recommend looking through their slide shows like their 100 chicken recipes, or their soup recipes.  They tend to show different options that optimize what is in season.  And that's a good thing.
Epicurious is a fantastic site, particularly when you're looking to make a more challenging dish.  It is where I go when I am cooking for a dinner party.  However, the site does often include many recipes that have many ingredients and can get a bit pricey.  Also, some of the recipes are quite lengthy.  So as an every day site?  No, not really.  But for the most amazing dishes, like the greek braised lamb shanks that I make (promise I will make it some time soon and post on here), Epicurious is tough to beat.  Plus, they have a handy little iPhone app that lets me bring my phone into the kitchen to pull up some recipes.
When my sister lived in DC, I used to struggle with what to make her.  My sister has a gluten allergy, and is also a vegan.  So that usually knocks out 90% of my normal cooking repertoire.  But, in my struggle to find recipes, I stumbled upon this amazing website.  Karina, the blogger, takes stunning pictures and always lays out the best ways to make her recipes.  They're pretty ingenious, and even though sadly my sister has moved away, I still find myself pulling recipes from this website to make healthy and delicious food.  For anyone cooking for a vegan, or someone with a gluten allergy, this is the best site to go to for delicious, allergen-friendly food.
When I've been asked about what my "dream job" would be (not that I don't love mine), it would be to be Ina Garten, aka Barefoot Contessa.  While I own several of her cookbooks, I also use to look up additional recipes.  I find her cooking to be simple, straightforward, capitalize on flavors, and generally really good.  Her vegetable side dishes are always amazing.  Plus I love her show.  And her house.  And random fact of the day, a couple years ago I worked for her husband....though sadly, not in any cooking form.  In addition to Ina's recipes, Food Network has some other great chefs, and they have a wealth of recipes.  Sometimes, they're a bit heavy on the butter (not usually how I cook), but they have great recipes for party foods.
All Recipes has, well, all recipes.  And actually, many of the recipes from are housed on this site, which is kind of funny.  While it's not my first go-to, has some great slideshows as well, which helps build some ideas.

So those are my favorite sites!  Although if these fail, google is always a good thing.  Just make sure that if you do google, and come up on a recipe, that there are some reviews.  That will help give you some extra ideas for how to tweak a recipe, and let you know whether or not it is worth your time!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Marinated Chicken Thighs and Succotash

One of my favorite things to do is to cook up chicken thighs.  And I'm also a big fan of squash, in really all forms.  However, my husband isn't always the biggest fan.  But this one proved to be a hit, and he actually enjoyed the succotash.  So...that's a score for squash!


For the past few years, I have been cooking for my husband and me.  Taught mostly by my mom, I've grown to try new techniques in the last few years, and put touches on my own recipes.  But people have often asked me for recipes, and I never quite document all of them.

So I decided to start a blog, documenting the food I make - the mishaps and the successes.  I'll pull from cookbooks and my own made up recipes, and will always give credit to the authors of other recipes.  And I'll also review and post on different places where I get my recipes from, and some of my favorites as I go along.

I hope you find my blog useful, but if not, that's cool, I'll always have my little buddy with me to keep me company with my cooking.