March 19, 2017

Pumpkin Lasagna Rolls


Pumpkin in March? That's right. But tomorrow is the first day of spring; winter is over. I said, THAT'S RIGHT.

Poor punkin gets a bad rap due to the "pumpkin spice" mania each fall. But true pumpkin sans spice is really delicious and won't remind you of a jar candle. Its flesh tastes similar to a sweet potato and can should be eaten all year long. Even in March. Plus, it's good for you.

This is one of my favorite dishes lately. The recipe makes six lasagna rolls, which is perfect for my dinner one night (with a mixed green salad) and lunch the next day. Multiple as needed and enjoy pumpkin. Especially in March.

Pumpkin Lasagna Rolls


March 5, 2017

Gruyère-Pancetta Quiche with Hashbrown Crust


In my last post, I mentioned that I retired from teaching cooking classes at the end of December. As I'm cleaning up my computer files, I'm finding lots of pictures from the past 8 or so years of classes...of my fun students, of my awesome coworkers, and of all the great food we made.

I'll miss Kitchen Conservatory, but Nick's older daughter Jordan will be carrying on my legacy there. ;-) More on that soon...

This recipe was the showstopper during my Mother's Day brunch last year. The class was skeptical that the grated potato crust would work...but when we removed the sides of the springform pan, there were audible oohs and aahs. I mean LOOK AT IT.

And it was delicious to boot.

Gruyère-Pancetta Quiche with Hashbrown Crust
recipe from Sassy Radish

February 26, 2017

Weeknight Porchetta


Hey there. I can't believe I haven't posted since last July! To be honest, I'm still not cooking all that much...and when I do cook, I just make simple favorites. Lots of pasta, potstickers, and roasted chicken around here.

So, what have I been doing with my time? Well, I'm knitting A LOT. Since Christmas I've made 50 pink hats for the Pussyhat Project. I sent a few to Washington DC for the women's march, I sold some (and used the money to buy more yarn), and gave many away to friends. 

I dismantled my guest bedroom (since I haven't had houseguests in like seven years) and turned it into my knitting room. I redecorated with new curtains, artwork & a desk, filled two dressers with yarn, and organized all my needles and notions. I love it in there.

In December, I retired from teaching cooking classes. After 8 years, it was time; I wanted my weekends back. I still think about food all the time, though. I still pin numerous recipes to try and continuously watch cooking shows like Chef's Table and The Mind of a Chef.

I did make a nice dinner not long ago, a bacon-wrapped pork loin roasted with garlic and rosemary...and it was pretty tasty. Why don't I do that more often? ;-)

 Weeknight Porchetta
recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appetit



July 11, 2016

Triple Cherry Pie

Updated: This is damn near the best pie I've ever made. Seriously perfect.


Last week, I thawed out the remaining sour cherries from last summer's harvest. I had a couple bags of fresh cherries in the fridge, and I wanted to make a quick pie with all three varieties.

Yes, it's near 100-degree temps in St. Louis right now...I know it's crazy to turn on the oven in my 115-year-old house that only has central AC upstairs.

But...but...pie-baking always makes me feel better (and with the world as it is now, we could all use something to feel better about...if even it's something small for just a few moments). #peacebypiece

Besides, I can fit a full-sized pie plate in my toaster oven. ;-)

So, I said this was the best pie I've ever made. It's true. The filling was the perfect consistency, thick and "gooey" (for lack of a better word). The cherry pies I've made in the past were always too liquidy inside. This time, however, I used quick tapioca instead of flour or cornstarch. It thickens the juice better and doesn't taste so pasty. If you haven't tried this ingredient before, I highly recommend it. I will do this from now on in all my berry pies.

Triple Cherry Pie
adapted from Art of the Pie



July 7, 2016

Spaghetti with Lobster


When we ate at Joe Beef in Montreal earlier this year, one of the best dishes we tried was the Spaghetti Homard-Lobster (pictured above). In their cookbook, the Joe Beef guys explain, "We take this name from an old Iron Chef episode when the host declared 'Battle Homard Lobster!' Yes, homard and lobster mean the same thing (like 'minestrone soup'). Among other things that don't make any sense: this is probably the most popular Joe Beef dish."

I'd been ogling the recipe before our trip and was excited to try it. However, by the time the TWO pasta dishes arrived--after FIVE other courses--we were so full that we could only take a few bites. Almost immediately, we talked about recreating the dish at home.

That finally happened last week.

I used 3 medium-sized lobster tails instead of a live lobster. I cooked the tails, pulled the meat out, then used the shells to make the sauce in the same water that I boiled them in. I think I used too much cream, though, as my dish was a bit too saucy. No worries, though, because it was still pretty delicious. And I kept the extra sauce to eat with more pasta later.


Spaghetti with Lobster
recipe from The Art of Living According to Joe Beef