Monday, October 31, 2011


We had some friends over for dinner during the snowstorm the other day... the weather was so foul that it was a perfect day to cook. Since some of it turned out so well, it will be recorded here for posterity (which is coming soon!). The day after was beautiful at least...

Lemon Sage Squash Crostini
- inspired by a cottage cheese the night before that had been mistaken for ricotta by a friend who had us over... whipped up some ricotta with lemon zest and pepper, roasted and then scooped out an acorn squash, quick fried some leftover sage leaves and put it all together: french bread crostini with a smear of ricotta, then a dollop of squash and a fried sage leaf to top.

Roasted Acorn Squash with Carrot-Apple Puree - this was a real hit apparently. The squash I just cut in half and roasted for 20-30 mins. The carrots were cooking as I was preparing the potatoes... just cut up some carrots along with apples, roasted in the oven for 40 minutes and then pureed them together with some fresh rosemary... slice the squash thinly with a garnish of the carrot-apple puree... easy and done!

Burgers and Panko-fried mashed - the main was burgers, grilled after marinating for at least 1-2hrs... oh so good with grilled onions and blue cheese... and the other side we had was this version of mashed potatoes that I don't think I will try again: boil potatoes, mix with cheddar, sour cream, green onion and then make into 1-inch diameter rolls which you chill... then slice into 1 inch circumference-ish balls to then dip into flour, egg, panko and fry them up. Others liked them as a handy way to eat mashed potatoes that had a crunchy outside... I was less of a fan.

I'm working nights all week so less dinner and probably lots of weird food for me... I'm sure Erin and baby will be eating splendidly though.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Instead of the pumpkin and cashew curry, we're substituting the Moroccan carrot soup + tilapia.

And... another late edition:
we'll be having an arugula and roasted pear salad along with the tagliatelle

6 weeks and counting!

I'm officially 33 weeks pregnant today, which means 6 weeks till I stop working, and 5-8 till I deliver this little one. Alex and I went to the Bronx Zoo today and walked around and talked, and especially cherished that we didn't have a child with us. Lots of parents and their children, in wonderful Halloween costumes, but definitely not the peaceful, romantic experience for them that we had. So I've been thinking about all the things we should do before our baby arrives: plays, concerts, going out to movies or dinner, sleeping normal hours... It's definitely time to cherish the moments we have now.

None of the above relates to dinner this week- just what I've been thinking about today.
Here's the menu (check Epicurious for the recipes):

0. (Homemade pizza tonight, with mozzarella and Italian sausage from Arthur Avenue in the Bronx, the real little Italy).

1. Tagliatelle with prosciutto and orange
Side salad of arugula

2. Chicken Gabriella with roasted potatoes
Broccoli with lemon

3. Nan's shepherd pie
(Can you tell I'm craving lots of protein and potatoes lately? The green vegetables are all an afterthought...)
Sauteed spinach with garlic

4. Creamy pumpkin and cashew curry

I think that's plenty for the week. I just need to check and make sure that Alex likes all of these options.
Hmm, I probably should have added fish somewhere...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Fall is here- Erin's choice week

Alex has been working long hours lately, and he is currently in the middle of a 14 day stretch without a day off. I promised him I would try my best to make his life easier this month, and in that vein, AND because it's fun to choose the recipes for the week, here is what we will be eating. All recipes are from the "Quick and Easy" section of Epicurious - since I'll be the one cooking :)
Lots of warm, comforting foods, to start combating the chill that's arrived this week with the changing season...

1. Whole Branzino with Ladolemono = basically a lemon and olive oil marinade originally from Greece that changes the ratio of acid to oil.
Garlic stir fried brussels sprouts = trying to continue to get vegetables into my diet, since I really don't feel like eating them most days. Alex eats them all with pleasure, the twerp.
Garlic couscous.

2. Green Chile Pozole = with chicken instead of pork, since FreshDirect didn't have any reasonably priced pork loin.
Maybe an avocado salad on the side?

3. Hanger steak with mushrooms and red wine sauce.
I'm excited about this one, since the chanterelles and criminis were on sale for fall. I'm just going to saute them in butter and throw some salt and pepper on them. Mmmmm.
I think we need a vegetable here, but I didn't order one-- will pick something up from Pioneer.

4. French onion soup, with baguette and raclette cheese.
Spinach, goat cheese and beet salad (probably no beets for Alex).

He's on call Wednesday, and we're both away from home Sunday and Monday evenings, so this should be plenty to tide us over.
I'm so glad it's Saturday. I'm headed to Brooklyn today to see Mom and Dad before he goes home, and hopefully May and Phineas and their parents!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Carbonara, vermont and scallped potatoes

After a bit of a whirlwind week, we headed up to Vermont this past weekend for some relaxation and foliage exploring. The foliage was just getting started and it was a rainy weekend for the most part, but we were able to get out and hike (yes, Erin is still hiking despite her growing size and could probably match the best of them on the AT - oh yes, I'm hip enough to call it the AT despite only having ever hiked very small parts).

The food in Vermont was pretty good - nothing spectacular for dinner though. The Perfect Wife was good but didn't blow me away (it won Chef of the year for New England a few years back). Erin had an interesting rabbit and mushroom dish though that I may try to replicate one day. Breakfast was something to speak of however - made with love too which counts for something. We ate at the bed and breakfast - Bromley View Inn - they made pumpkin pancakes one day, pretty good eggs with sausage another and a pecan french toast another day.

Here's a couple of meals from home in the last week:
Spaghetti carbonara
- got some good bacon delivered this week which always helps; I think the best version of this I ever made was with fresh parmigiano in Italy... but it's usually good with local stuff too.
- cook the bacon with some garlic while pasta water boils (please don't add olive oil to pasta water!)
- beat two eggs
- grate about 1 cup of parmigiano
- after the pasta is done cooking and drained, I like to add the bacon with a little of the grease and garlic still in it to the pasta first so it doesn't stick together at all when you add the egg and quickly toss while quickly adding parmigiano

Scalloped potatoes with blue cheese, grilled steak and sesame broccoli
- Little Will is probably the main reason for this meal - Erin was craving steak and potatoes
- grilled the steak after just some time with salt and pepper and lime on it (about 1 hr)
- the scalloped potatoes are a la my dad... I'm sure there's a recipe out there but I just try to make it like he does:
- slice some potatoes fairly thin and make layers of potato, then cheese and onion (I used cheddar mainly), topped with flour and salt/pepper and occasional pats of butter before repeating beginning with potatoes and lots of cheese on top, pour milk in until you can see it just barely and then bake at 400 with foil on top for 3omins then with foil off for 30mins
- sesame broccoli is the art of getting oil so hot that water forms a nice bubble on top of the pan and then adding oil, broccoli after 2 mins and letting it cook on that hot heat for a couple of minutes before finishing with sesame seeds and soy sauce