As I mentioned yesterday, Brendan and I have been drowning a bit in fresh produce this week thanks to our CSA. Not that I’m complaining. There is no such thing as too much produce to use; it just means I have to get a bit creative with how I use it. Because let’s be real. We live in a small apartment, with one average-sized fridge. And with a huge bag full of broccoli rabe taking up one of our shelves, the rest of our fridge was getting sort of cramped. To top it off, this is the week that we’ve barely been home for dinner. Thanks to end-of-the-school-year madness, we’ve been running around to awards ceremonies and graduations. On the bright side, we’ve been fed at each of these events! On the down side, I haven’t had the opportunity to cook and was starting to fear the longevity of our vegetables. So I decided to do something different and use up the broccoli rabe in a way that I knew it would stay for a while: pesto! Continue reading
Cauliflower mac and cheese is definitely a favorite in our house. Seriously, every time I say that I’m going to make it Brendan gets a little bit giddy. We scarf it down at dinner time, and fight over the leftovers for lunches throughout the week. From what I gather, this is one of the dishes he brags about when he’s eating it in front of his coworkers and/or students. Hey, I’m not going to complain. I like that my cooking is appreciated.
Lately, I’ve been posting a lot of healthy recipes. Most days of the week, that is absolutely fine. However, as the weather turns colder and the days get shorter, I definitely start to crave comfort food. For some reason, comfort food to me almost always includes pasta. Because of this, my mac and cheese and carbonara are both pretty good for feel good food. But this buffalo chicken pasta bake? Yeah, this beats those two, hands down.
When I first met my husband, he was a picky eater. Seriously. At the dining hall, he would eat burgers, fries, and pizza. And cookies and ice cream, of course. Every once in a while he would get crazy and throw shredded cheese on some chips, put it in the microwave, and call it nachos. But other than that, he was strictly on the plain-foods diet. Slowly, his tastes started to expand. He’d come to my apartment and I’d force him to eat vegetables as a side dish even when I cooked with peppers and onions in the main dish. I forced my heat-wuss start to acclimate to flavors like buffalo sauce and jalapenos. It was a tough job, but somebody had to do it.
I’m an American girl. Born and raised in Jersey, I love the beach and refuse to pump my own gas. But I’m of French heritage. While my lineage says I’m just as (if not more) Irish, Italian, and German, the French part of me is pretty deeply ingrained. One of my Grandma’s favorite stories about me occurred when I was under three. Along with my mom, she took me to my pediatrician for a well check. When the doctor asked if I could say my ABC’s, I quipped back, “In English or in French?” He was apparently taken aback for a moment, then quickly regained his composure and responded “Both.” I proceeded to recite the alphabet in both languages, quite pleased with myself.
As if that weren’t enough, my great grandmother had me cursing in French before my fourth birthday. I vividly remember a family dinner around my grandparents’ dining room table. My uncle tried to pull something over on me, I thwarted his attempts, and when he said “Hey” I loudly retorted “Tant pis!” As the room erupted in laughter (much to my confusion), my Grandma asked if I knew what that meant. “Yeah,” I replied, “too bad.” She nodded through her laughing, and everyone was impressed by my proper use of the French and my far less vulgar English translation. Quite frankly, I think everyone at that dinner (with the possible exception of my parents) thought my French swearing was the most adorable thing ever.
When I pulled the Dominican Republic for the letter D, I was pretty excited. Finally, we were at least swapping hemispheres! It would be like a mini Caribbean vacation in my kitchen (sans the gorgeous beaches, girly boat drinks, and bikinis)! Ok, so it wouldn’t be exactly like a Caribbean vacation, but c’est la vie.
Anyway, Google searches yielded a ton of information about Dominican cuisine. With African, Spanish, and indigenous influences, Dominican food tends to feature hearty, inexpensive dishes. And with cold weather slowly creeping into our region and my budget refusing to expand, these are attributes I can certainly get behind.