Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Pork Medallions with Lemon & Rosemary

When I'm crunched for time, pan-seared pork is often a go-to staple. Usually I just lightly season it with rosemary, salt, and pepper and call it good. But, as in all things, too much of a good thing just isn't. By the time last week rolled around and I was at a loss for what to make for dinner, Dane and I had already eaten our fair share of rosemary pork chops. I needed something we hadn't tried before, but I needed it to be fast.

Luckily my Williams-Sonoma cookbook came through for me. Flipping through the meat section I was immediately drawn to this recipe - quick and easy pork, with a twist.

Now, the pork by itself is pretty basic, but... it's the sauce that makes this dish, my friends. And though the ingredients may suggest otherwise, it's unfussy and very, very easy. The end result is a light, brothy sauce, with a slight tang from the wine and capers and a subtle whiff of lemon. And don't worry if it runs on the plate a little, wanting to play with your mashed potatoes and green beans... let it. Just a little drizzle of this sauce transforms everyday pork chops and mashed potatoes into a dinner worthy of nice company. And no one needs to know it came together in half an hour... I won't tell if you don't.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Spaghetti Carbonara

Cristina Ferrare is a woman after my own heart. As you may remember, I have a serious addiction to pasta. And apparently so does she, because there are 15 pasta recipes in her cookbook. Pasta has it's own section... like it its own food group or something. Does anyone else think it ought to be?

I also have a serious mad on for bacon. So of course I got a little excited when I saw the ingredients list for this recipe. My two favorite things in one dish... I knew it had to be good. And oh boy was it. So good the boy didn't even complain about the peas (which were actually a very nice complement to the salty bacon and tender pasta). And so good that everyone at work the next day was a little envious of my leftovers when I took them for lunch... always a good sign, right? Plus, for a creamy sauce, it was surprisingly light and didn't make me feel like I needed to throw my sweatpants on when I was done. An all around winner in my book.

So thanks, Cristina, for feeding my pasta addiction. I love you. :)

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Silent Sunday: Love in McCall

It's still going to be a few days before I have a new recipe for you, but in the meantime here's what Dane and I have been up to.

the view from our wedding night room at the Grove Hotel in Boise

champagne that was waiting for us when we arrived

room service breakfast the next morning from Emilios... best Hollandaise EVER.

newlyweds in front of Payette Lake in McCall, ID

first McCall breakfast at the famous Pancake House

Ice Cream Alley doesn't lie when they say they serve mountain-sized scoops


Payette Lake is so beautiful, especially at sunset

my favorite meal of the week - Blackbean Huevos Rancheros from the Fogglifter Cafe

lovely farmers' market on our last day
Forgive me for the hiatus, friends. I'll be back very soon. :)

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Today I marry my best friend.

Who could have ever guessed on that fateful day my freshman year of college, that the boy my room mate casually introduced me to would become the man of my dreams? Somehow I knew that day that this guy would play an important role in my life. What an understatement.

Well, after more than three years together and over a year of planning, today Dane and I will say I do. 

After a lovely ceremony and reception here in Boise, we'll be heading to McCall for the week for some fun and relaxation. So you'll forgive me if I'm on hiatus for the next week or so, right? I knew you would.

But fear not friends, there will be more deliciousness to come when I get back. And photos too, as soon as I get them. :)

See you soon!

Update: For those of you who'd like to see I have a few wedding photos up now! Just click here!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Coconut Rice

Dane and I have been eating these teriyaki chicken kebabs for a long time.

Next to Swiss Steak, Dane considers these kebabs his favorite meal, and requests them weekly as long as the weather permits grilling. But I've never posted the recipe before because it hardly seems blog-worthy... it's chunked chicken marinated in store-bought Lawry's teriyaki marinade, skewered onto bamboo with peppers, onion, and pineapple, and grilled. Don't get me wrong, they're amazingly delicious... I just have a hard time sharing something that comes out of a bottle, know what I mean?

But this post isn't about kebabs. It's about their awesome sidekick, coconut rice.

For a long time, I served plain brown rice with the kebabs. It was healthier... and it was bland. But after we tried the coconut rice at Ono Cafe alongside their teriyaki chicken, I knew I had to try it at home with these kebabs. How hard could it be? The truth is, it's one of the easiest things I've made all summer. And I pretty much nailed the flavor and texture the first time I tried it (not to brag or anything). Using jasmine rice keeps the texture nice and smooth and the addition of flaked coconut gives it the occasional slight nutty bite and a little extra coconut flavor. Ono uses untoasted coconut flakes to keep the color of the dish a nice virgin white, but I opted to toast mine a) for added coconut kick and b) to give my crappy point-and-click camera something to focus on (white rice is not easy to photograph!). But whether or not you choose to toast your coconut, just make sure to try this recipe. It's too easy and too delicious not to.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Bachelors' Peanut Butter-Chocolate Chip Cookies

I can hardly believe that my wedding is a mere 8 days away. It's been over a year in the making, and it's always seemed so far off until now... it's quite unreal to think that soon it will be over. To celebrate our last weekend as unmarried people, Dane and I are going our separate ways to celebrate with our bestest friends. While I'm renting a hotel room with my girls downtown for some bar-hopping excitement, Dane chose to spend his bachelor weekend in the mountains with his buddies at his uncle's cabin. So - being the best fiance ever - I decided to bake some peanut butter-chocolate chip cookies to send with him, in the hopes that he and the boys won't completely forget me while they're away.

This is a tried and true - and super easy - cookie recipe. Peanut butter cookies are Dane's absolute favorites, so I've made them more than a few times, but this time I thought I'd make them extra special and add chocolate chips. Nothing crazy, but a little more fun. They're soft and distinctly peanut buttery as a peanut butter cookie should be, and I added just enough chocolate chips to lend a little bit more sweetness but not enough to overpower and make you think you're eating a completely different cookie. I thought they were pretty darn delicious... and I hope the boys do too! Have a great time this weekend guys! Try not to do anything too crazy, okay?

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Penne with Roasted Tomatoes, Garlic, and White Beans

Is there anything better than roasted garlic? If there is, someone please introduce me because I need to try it. NOW.

In the meantime, I'll go on believing that if heaven exists, it must be overflowing with roasted garlic, basil, and Parmesan cheese. I simply cannot imagine a better combination of flavors.

It's no wonder I couldn't wait to try this recipe.

Now I know I said the other day that I don't really like tomatoes... but this recipe just might make me change my mind. Roasting the tomatoes under high heat completely changes them, into something velvety and very sweet. Seriously... they just about melt in your mouth. Combined with the creamy cannellini beans and the pungent roasted garlic... and the nutty pasta and the fresh, aromatic basil... it's basically heaven on a plate. Give it a try and you'll understand why this recipe just jumped into my top five favorites.
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