Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Microwave Sea Salted Caramels

My mind has been completely blown.

First, I found out about sea salted caramels.  I bought some and they ended up being pure amazing-ness in each bite.  Wow.  And now you're telling me that I can make these in a microwave?!?! Don't tease.

Here are the main reasons you don't see many candy- or caramel-related recipes on my blog:
1) I don't own a candy thermometer so I'm pretty much guessing how things are going when I'm standing over a pile of burning sugar.  I do not suggest this approach.
2) I'm terrified of completely burning my face off (or any body part, really).  See Reason #1.

But with this recipe, I thought I might actually have a chance at pulling it off.  I decided to take one for the team, so to speak, and check out if this microwave-caramel-making claim is truly possible.  And it is!  It was so simple and easy that I almost couldn't believe it, even though the caramel was staring me in the face.  Don't worry, I took several sample bites to make sure it was real.  You know you should always taste test before providing treats, right?

Friday, January 20, 2012

Pasta with Curry Spinach Sauce

I didn't set out to make this dish.  What I really set out to do was make use of some wonderful curry and red onion pasta I had laying around the kitchen.  When I started trying to figure out what sauce I wanted to pair with the pasta, I came across a wonderful spinach sauce recipe from Giada.  Let me tell you why it's so wonderful.  It has goat cheese and cream cheese.

I love cheese.  I will eat it just about anytime and anyplace.  Let's just say that I'm always ready.  So when I saw the ingredient list, I was hooked.  However, in my past experience with flavored pastas, I didn't think the curry was going to shine as much as I wanted it to.  In the interest of punching up the volume, so to speak, I added some garam masala to give the pasta a smoky, spicy flavor.  This pasta dish definitely reminded me of Saag Paneer.  If you're a fan of that Indian dish then this will be right up your alley.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Pea and Goat Cheese Risotto


If you don't mind, I'd like to continue along my current theme of comfort foods.  That's allowed, right?  Regardless of the fact that it's only been arctic cold for about 5 days out of the past 30 or so, I am always ready to whip up rich and creamy dishes at the drop of a hat.
This particular recipe was initially born out of my love of goat cheese and my discovery of a package of frozen peas.  This is the truth.  However, my desire to bathe my face in warm goat cheese and risotto is really what lit a fire under my "you know what".

As I strongly suspected, this risotto was fabulous.  It was creamy. It was goat-cheesy. It was good for you (hello, peas are vegetables). It was warm and satisfying in my belly.

My work here is done.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Cranberry Turkey Meatloaf

Say what?  The holidays are over?

First they snuck up on me, and then they whizzed on by.  Let's hit pause for a second.  Because I'd still like to bring you a semi-holiday dish. (Do you like the word "semi-holiday"?  I just made it up, in case you couldn't tell.) I like to think of this recipe as a way to grab one last turkey and cranberry fix before the New Year completely engulfs us.

And this dish has the added bonus of helping me clean out the pantry.  Seriously, you don't even want to know what's in our cupboards and how long it may or may not have been there.

So let's get to it.  Most families end up having turkey with cranberry sauce for the holidays, whether it's Thanksgiving or Christmas.  Since I hold no grand illusions of roasting an entire turkey for myself and my roommate, I decided that maybe I could recreate these flavors on a smaller scale.  Perhaps with a cranberry and turkey meatloaf?  Oooh, shut it.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Potato Leek Soup

Happy New Year!

The days are getting colder. (Although it actually warmed up for the new year here in New York. What??)  This means that it's time for some soup.  Let's break out the immersion blenders and the chicken broth and step up to our next challenge: Potato Leek Soup.

Now I love soup, potatoes, and leeks separately.  So of course it makes perfect sense to throw them all together into a beautiful dish.  This soup can be chunky or creamy, depending on how you like it.  Some people like to chew their food.  Some people like to slurp their food.  I personally like a little bit of both textures.  But any way you look at it, this soup has got you covered.