Wednesday, October 17, 2018

S is for: Sacchetti with Ricotta & Pears in a Brown Butter Fig Sauce

This was possibly one of my more ambitious blog posts.

Not only did I made homemade pasta sheets for the sacchetti (more on these little guys in a minute), but I also made homemade ricotta for the filling.

And then I also made a sauce.

And crispy prosciutto for a topping.

I was so tired by the time we got to the beauty shot, that I just threw everything onto the cutting board and told Justin to snap a few overheads and be done with it.

Turns out... I sort of love it. And speaking of love... this pasta was all sorts of heart-eye-emoji feels.

Speaking of which... Happy National Pasta Day!

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

R is for: Ricotta with Rosemary & Lemon Zest {Homemade!}

Say "CHEESE"!!

This was my genuine reaction when I successfully made ricotta cheese on my own at home for the first time. I had learned to make it previously during a cheese making class at Brooklyn Kitchen, and I came home that night telling Justin how easy it was to make cheese, specifically ricotta, and that I couldn't wait to make it all the time.

Fast forward about 6 months and I still had not made the ricotta.

So while Justin and I were brainstorming what to make for "S"... we decided on a stuffed pasta called sacchetti (more on that in the next post.) When I mentioned I planned to stuff it with a mixture of pears and ricotta, Justin suggested I make the ricotta from scratch.

And so began our all-day cheese-and-pasta-making-affair.

Monday, October 8, 2018

R is for: Risotto with Squash & Gorgonzola {a tribute to Kasey}

I first met Kasey Passen in January of 2002 while studying abroad in Barcelona my senior year in college. We were randomly paired as roommates with our host mom. She would confide to me later that she initially thought I was going to be an annoying sorority girl who she had nothing in common with.

She admitted that she couldn't have been more wrong.

We bonded over our shared experiences, travels, our moms' names (Wendy/Wendi) and perhaps most importantly, food. Our favorite way to see a new European city was always to sample the local flavors. As soon as our meal would arrive, we would immediately declare "you win" or "I win," referencing who had succeeded in ordering the better dish. It didn't matter though. We always shared everything.

Throughout the years, we didn't always stay in the best of touch, but we would always find our way back to each other. Whether it was during our overlap of living in San Francisco, or trips to see each other in our respective cities, it was the kind of friendship where you would pick up exactly where you left off before, as if no time had passed, laughing and landing ourselves in ridiculous adventures. And of course, eating and sharing amazing food along the way.

Tuesday, September 11, 2018

R is for: Redwoods {California Coast}

As many of you know, I previously lived in San Francisco for five years, yet somehow, I never made it far enough north to see the towering Redwoods of Northern California. Last fall’s Great Northwest Road Trip with Justin provided the perfect opportunity to check it off my bucket list.

As I detailed in previous posts, we started our trip in Montana, spent a few nights in Canada’s Lake Louise area, and continued down through Seattle and the Oregon Coast, where we stayed in an eclectic bed and breakfast called the Mermaid’s Muse, complete with a saltwater hot tub overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Justin and I continued along our Great Northwest Road Trip with a drive through one of California’s Redwood forests. During our adventure, I learned there are three species of Redwoods, but the Coastal Redwoods are the tallest living things on our planet. The highest one ever recorded stood 360 feet in the air, which is the height of a 36-story building just to give some perspective. But they aren’t just tall, they are true giants, measuring up to 18 and sometimes even 20 feet wide. The oldest ones have been around for thousands of years.

Sunday, September 9, 2018

Q is for: Quahogs {Grilled Mexican-style Clams}

I really despise how everyone talks about Labor Day being "the end of summer." Quite simply, it's not. The last day of summer is actually September 22.

I get that it marks the return of football season and back to school for many, but I'm just not ready to let go. Winter is so cold and long (especially on the east coast), that I don't want to rush getting to it. Not to mention the fact we had a couple of 90 degree days last week, so it's certainly still feeling like summer outside. And while I do really love fall, I'm determined to hold onto summer for at least a few more weeks.

Part of the reason for that is my love for grilling on the rooftop of our apartment building. I will most definitely hold onto that as long as humanely possible. It's truly one of my favorite things about our location.

Thursday, August 9, 2018

P is for: Pistachio & Peach Ice Cream

When Justin and I made the big move to NYC last fall, we had to do quite a bit of downsizing. Like, A LOTTTTTTT. There was a Craig's List sale, a yard sale, and multiple trips to Goodwill.

One of the things I decided to part with was my Cuisinart ice cream maker (a Costco impulse buy back in 2012.) It's served me well over the years, including concoctions like Strawberry Balsamic Rosemary ice cream, Fernet Branca Ice Cream (with a ginger syrup back of course) and a Maple Bourbon Candied BACON & Pecan Ice Cream, just to name a few.

My reasoning was that it takes up quite a bit of room in the cupboard as a stand alone appliance. BUT... if you simply get the attachment for your Kitchenaid Stand Mixer, it doesn't take up any extra cupboard space as long as you store the bowl in the freezer. So my sister got me one for Christmas. Annnnnd that bowl has sat unused in the freezer ever since. Until now...

Wednesday, June 6, 2018

O is for: Oregon Coast & where to stop on Highway 101

When Justin and I began mapping out our route for our Great Northwest Roadtrip, he had two simple requests (well, technically a third that wasn’t as simple.) Two of them I will reveal in later posts, and the other was simply “to visit Goonie Beach.” For those of you who are familiar with the Oregon Coast, this means Cannon Beach in Astoria, Oregon.

Since we had planned to stay a night in Portland with my high school friend Dustin and his family, Astoria wasn’t exactly on the way to our next destination (the Redwoods), but it wasn’t too far out of the way either. And being that he only had a few specific bucket list items for the road trip, I felt it was worth the extra effort.

That also sparked the idea to take Highway 101 all the way down the Oregon coast. And while that would generally be a gorgeous idea, we spent most of the day driving in the rain. We still saw some beautiful sights and made a few stops along the way, so I figured I would still share them with you! Hopefully if you ever attempt it, you will have better weather and more time to explore (we did this all in one day, but I would suggest splitting it into at least two days.) Moving North to South, here’s where we stopped:
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