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Rao's Lemon Chicken

7/21/17


The other day, Carson and I were watching the Food Network and we caught Frank Pellegrino show Ina Garten how to make his famous Lemon Chicken and then the following happened...

Carson only had to look over at me, and his eyes asked, "you are going to the market, aren't you, to go get all of the ingredients to make this, aren't you?"  I looked back at him, and my eyes replied, "yes, yes I am going to do that, just as soon as you get the kids away from me so I can go shop in peace."  And then my son said, out loud, "why are you guys staring at each other like that."  He doesn't understand Eye Talking, I guess.  Alas, I did go later that day and picked up a chicken (and had the butcher butterfly it and remove the spine), some fresh lemons and parsley.  I had the rest of the ingredients at home, that's how simple this dish is.

As Ina says in the episode, if you're going to call something 'Lemon Chicken' than it better taste like lemon, and THIS tastes like lemon.  The chicken is juicy, the skin is crisp, and the lemon flavor is off the charts.  For the recipe, click here.





Lemon Fusilli with Arugula

7/11/17


I have never met a pasta that I didn't like.  Honestly, I can't think of a single one.  But this pasta, this one is up there with a really good Carbonara, or a Cacio E Peppe, or a Spaghetti al Pomodoro (like this OMG).  It's made with Fusilli (but you could sub in any pasta you have on hand), a ton of fresh lemon juice and zest, cherry tomatoes, peppery arugula and a delicious cream sauce (that has 2 cups of heavy cream... just pretend you didn't read that part... FORGET IT NOW).  The recipe calls for broccoli, but I omitted that because, I don't know, I wasn't feeling it that particular night.  That's the beauty of cooking, my friends.  Do what you want!  You the boss.  

(Sorry, I've been watching too much Boss Baby.)

Recipe HERE






Some HUGE news...

7/10/17

I'm beyond thrilled to tell you that I am writing my first cookbook, titled Siriously Delicious.


I'M WRITING A COOKBOOK!

Sorry for shouting at you, but this is the type of news that requires the caps lock button, and happy dances, and celebratory handfuls of chocolate chips (which I guess are different than my regular handfuls of chocolate chips?).  Even to say it out loud, or to see the words on paper, makes me feel giddy.  I am writing my first cookbook, and I am so excited to finally share this news with you.

I am working with TimeInc Books, and the process has been incredible so far!  From recipe development, to taste testing (hard job), to our first photo shoot last week... it has been one pinch-me moment after another.  One of the most incredible was having the gloriously talented Ellen Silverman shoot our lifestyle and cover shots (the magical force behind some of my favorite cookbooks).  

Here she is at work...



Mr. Photobomb...


I can't wait to share more of the process with you as we move forward, so continue to check in here or on Instagram or Twitter.  And come back tomorrow for a perfect summer pasta dish!  Now if you'll excuse me I'm going to go eat more chocolate chips, and I think you should too.  

Homemade Acai Bowl

6/28/17


If you follow me on Instagram, you know I've been on an Acai Bowl kick as of late.  If you are what you eat, then I am a bowl of slushy, fruity goodness.  Funny thing is, I didn't even know how to pronounce the word 'acai'  a few months ago.  It was probably my hesitation in ordering one.  "Um, can I have an a-key... a-kay... a-kie... never mind."  WELL GUESS WHAT FOLKS.  It doesn't matter how you say it because it's delicious (but in case you're wondering, it's 'ah-SIGH-eee').  

Only problem with binging on these bowls?  They're expensive!  So I decided to make one at home.  

First, I found these packets at Whole Foods...  


Then, I gathered up a few more ingredients... almond milk for blending, granola, organic honey, blueberries, unsweetened coconut, sliced banana and raspberries.  


I took one and a half packets of the acai and blended it with 1/4 cup of almond milk.  I layered the bowl with granola and coconut, added the acai, then topped it all with more granola, coconut, berries, banana and drizzled everything with honey.  


Yummy.  The consistency was a bit runny (so maybe next time I'd add less almond milk or possibly some almond butter for thickness).  But I'm glad I've found a cheaper version I can make at home!

Peanut Butter Cup Ice Cream Cake

6/22/17


My dear, sweet, loving husband was born on June 22nd.  That is today, in fact!  Happy Birthday Carson!!!  (He won't read this.)  Anyway.  If you are unfamiliar with June 22nd (weird thing to say), it is the day after the first day of summer.  It is often the last day of school for many.  And, AND, it happens to be VERY close to Father's Day.  One year, the two dates were actually one day apart.  Why am I writing things that are obvious?  Because I'm trying to justify my lack of enthusiasm for baking two cakes for two great occasions in such a short (busy) period of time.  

  That's why this year, I tried to combine things that I know Carson loves (mainly ice cream and the chocolate/peanut butter combo) in a dessert that was very easy to pull off.  Enter this ice cream cake: a mouth-watering crowd pleaser that anyone can throw together, and I mean ANYONE (especially if you have kids willing to unwrap all the peanut butter cups in exchange for one or two or five).   

It begins with an Oreo crust... yes, I said that.  One whole package of Oreos, crushed together, combined with melted butter and pressed into a cake pan.  Then, the ice cream.  Best part?  You can choose your favorite flavor, brand, make your own, etc.  I decided to layer my cake with a Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup and a Vanilla Bean (this brand).  There is hot fudge and crushed peanut butter cups in between the two layers, more hot fudge on the top, and MORE crushed cups on top of that.  All that's really time consuming is letting your layers melt in between, but I think at the end of the day... we all have patience for that.  After all, ice cream cake is worth the wait.  As would my husband's birthday be if he could move it just... you know... a weeeee bit further away from Father's Day.   

Full cake recipe here.  (But again, modify it to your liking!)


Chicken Marsala

6/19/17


Oh, June.  June... you are a nutty, nutty month.  You are living la vida loca, and yes, I am still living in 1999.  I am also still living in a world where June means summer... not recitals, teacher gifts, preschool graduations and camp registrations because, oh right, I'm a mom now and not a teenager living at the turn of the century listening to Ricky Martin.  It's just that when I was a kid June used to symbolize the beginning of summer, and now it feels like the end of so much.  Perhaps that's because I'm an emotional wreck about my kids growing up and my daughter starting elementary school next year with her big bro.  Time is speeding by, and this time of year is making me nostalgic for simpler times... when a new Backstreet Boys song was all I really cared about.  

Maybe I'm feeling this way because my mom has been staying with us for a few weeks and the other night she cooked dinner.  This always causes me to feel a bit like a teenager.  (By the way, does anyone else have a child that says "a bit" all of the time because Peppa Pig is everywhere??)  As much as I love to cook, there is nothing better than someone taking over every once in awhile.  That particular night, she made us a Chicken Marsala which was delicious!  It felt like comfort food but tasted light and refreshing - like something you could eat again and again. 

She followed this recipe :)

Stay tuned later this week for an epic ice cream cake!           



Mozzarella Panzanella

6/7/17


When is a celebrity going to name their kid Panzanella?  It's about time, right?  There is a human being named Reality Winner living amongst us, after all.  We could call her 'Zanella' for short.  Or him, I'm not trying to assume Panza would be a girl.    

What am I saying.  I'm so tired I don't even use question marks when I'm supposed to anymore.  I type nonsense about children being named after bread salads.  I blog once every 17 days (but don't worry, almost every day I have that moment when I'm not sure if I put on deodorant).


Let's be serious, though, and less gross, and talk about how underrated bread salads are.  A leafy green usually takes the spotlight when it comes to salads but in this case a crusty, crunchy bread is paired with sweet, juicy tomatoes, crunchy peppers and onions and a tangy, garlicky dressing.  I added loads of creamy mozzarella and some diced avocado to mine, because I win at life.  I followed Her Highness Ina's recipe, however this is a really versatile salad that's easy to throw together with a number of things in your fridge.  You can use store-boght croutons or toast up a nice sliced bread or baguette you happen to have on hand.  My favorite part of this particular recipe are the salty capers and the fresh basil - it's really the perfect summer dish or future name for your child.         

Recipe HERE.

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