The centerpiece of tonight’s meal is a simple penne pasta with sauce. We build on that by adding ricotta salata to the pasta because it tastes good. A little sauteed chard on the side also helps to dress up the meal. Fried eggplant completes the meal, but is more than just another delicious side. It’s a replacement for both meat and bread.
The house smelled of Nanny’s cooking tonight. We had meant to have this meal last night, but just had too much going on. The anticipation was that much keener tonight, but Robin did not disappoint, especially considering that this was the first time that she had ever tried to prepare the garlic eye round. Baked penne was served on the side (and as a main course for the kids). Broccoli and bread rounded out this exceptional meal.
When asked why she used asiago cheese in tonight’s pasta, Robin replied simply, “Because that’s what I bought”. While there may not have been a grand plan behind tonight’s meal, that doesn’t diminish the fact that it is great (and healthy) comfort food.
You really can’t go wrong serving brunch to a crowd. Sarah and Grammy don’t exactly qualify as a crowd, they still double our usual number of guests. Besides, we don’t require much in the way of an excuse to enjoy a good brunch for dinner.
Every now and then we need some (very) red meat. Tonight was just such an occasion. We like peppercorn steaks because they’re relatively easy to make, and yet fit right into an elegant meal. We have some smashed parsley potatoes on the side tonight.
We assure you that this is a quick meal. It doesn’t look simple. It certainly doesn’t taste simple.
We welcome Sarah back with a multi-course asian-themed meal. We introduce two new recipes in this meal, but we do so in a meal centered around one of our old favorites – gingered curry salmon. We also serve two other family favorites – edamame and white rice – both of which the kids absolutely devour.
We really enjoyed this little meal. The preparation was more than is typical for us, but it was well worth it. The saffron rice was almost paella-like, although we don’t include the usual fish and pork. Still it had a wonderfully rich flavor and was neither too thick nor too watery. We had some farmer’s market radishes, so we figured, “What the hey” and served them on italian bread (also from the farmer’s market). Very, very good stuff.
We were surprised by a care package direct from Brooklyn today. In addition to assorted cookies and black & whites, we also found fresh Caputo’s Italian bread. Inspired, we enjoy pasta e fagioli (pronounced, of course, pasta faZOOL).
We welcome Chris and Erica tonight with a traditional (especially in Robin’s family) italian meal. By now, mafalde is a well established part of our cookbook, which is one of the reasons we serve it to welcome friends. Tonight’s new recipe is fried mozzarella, which is just fabulous.
As is custom in our household, our guests get the opportunity to introduce us to one of their favorite dishes. We really like this custom because we’re often introduced to meals that we haven’t enjoyed before. That we don’t have to cook has nothing to do with it. Nothing at all.
Thanksgiving was at Sarah and Eric’s this year. We certainly didn’t mind in the least since we didn’t have to clean up afterwards (though we did help, of course). We did our fair share of cooking including two new recipes in our cookbook – cranberry sauce and sweet potatoes.
It’s the day after Turkey Day. That means turkey-related leftovers, which are more than welcome in our little house! We made off from Aunt Sarah’s and Uncle Eric’s with the turkey carcass, which we use for turkey soup, of course. Robin prepared mashed potatoes for our daughter’s school Thanksgiving celebration, the leftovers of which become potato croquettes tonight.