Tag Archives: dinner

Spring Spinach and Tomato Soup

Cupcakes for Breakfast: spring spinach and tomato soup

It’s will be almost 90 degrees in DC today, so my timing for posting this soup recipe might be a little off. But I’ve been sick for the past couple of days so I think it’s still works and well, my schedule is just a little off recently. So deal with it? No doubt we’ll have a few cooler days this spring, and you’ll want to make this light spinach and tomato soup for a simple weeknight dinner soon.

This is one of those things you can throw together so easily, with whatever you have in the fridge and pantry. Making this really made me excited for the CSA I joined – it would be great to throw in even more fresh veggies in there. I can’t wait until I start getting my CSA produce…hopefully with my new schedule it will force me to get in the kitchen when I can and be a little more creative too. Looking forward to sharing those meals with you – I have a fun series planned!

Cupcakes for Breakfast: spring spinach and tomato soupOk let’s get to this recipe, which really is an anti-recipe, because 1. I don’t totally remember it and 2. this is my chance to teach you to be a little more free in the kitchen…realize that you can just throw together a bunch of ingredients and with some repetition and confidence, you too will think something like this is so so easy to make. Without planning, I whipped this up in about 30 minutes and had leftovers for days. Go ahead, try it…

Spring Spinach and Tomato Soup

In a large pot, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil and butter. Sautée chopped garlic, onion, and carrot until they start to soften over medium heat (I had shredded carrot from a salad a made a few weeks ago). Add in a few cans of crushed or whole peeled (then chopped) tomatoes plus some chicken stock (I used 2 15-oz cans of each and always keep these things stocked in my kitchen). Got some good white wine you’re going to drink later? Pour a little of that in too. (1/2 cup or so?) Bring to a boil. Ok, I’m lazy and don’t want to wash another dish, so I cook my pasta right here in my soup. It totally works but when you do this you might need some more liquid because when the pasta cooks, it soaks it up. So if you’re doing this, have some extra chicken stock (and wine!) on hand that you can add in after if needed. You can also leave out the pasta, but really why would you do that? Once boiling, add in angel hair pasta. Once cooked through (only about 3 minutes, longer with other pastas) add in a can of cannellini beans and a whole bag of fresh spinach leaves. Stir well. You can season with salt, pepper, bay leaf (don’t forget to take it out when you’re done), and some Italian seasoning mix as you go or at the end. After all the spinach as wilted a bit, you’re all set. Grate some good Parmesan on top. Serve with crusty bread and more of that wine if you aren’t sick.

Haha ok, hate me? You can do it. Bon appétit!

Cupcakes for Breakfast: spring spinach and tomato soup

Be My Valentine {One Bite At A Time}

I hope everyone is having a happy heart day! So, I had to include a little DC food blogger love in this series. After all, it’s where this blog got it’s start. So I’m happy to welcome Alejandra from One Bite at a Time. She’s always inspiring me with her kitchen concoctions, fabulous dining experiences, and social media expertise. She definitely deserves a follow on Twitter!

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A Guide For Two Cooks In The Kitchen

When Nikki originally asked me to do a Valentine’s day guest post I was excited, but at a loss as to what to write about. Then I recalled a conversation I had with a chef friend of mine.

Food is so many things, but most importantly food is all about love. And on special days, it’s quite sexy too! My chef friend asked me if I’d ever cooked with someone before and imagine his surprise when I said no, no I had not. For loving food as much as I do and cooking or baking all the time, I’d never cooked with someone!

Valentine's Kitchen Frjolita One bite at a time

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Whether you cook with friends, a new love, or a time-tested love cooking with someone can be so special! So here’s what I’ve learned so far:

Keep it simple. One pot dishes like basic braised short ribs or a beef stew are easy and double down on taste. Pair that with a creamy polenta and dinner is set!

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We all know reading the recipe is so important before we set off to cook a dish, but especially so when cooking with someone. This is the time to divide up the tasks! This way everyone stays out of each other’s way.

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Chop, stir, and sip your way to dinner! Maybe mix a cocktail, or pour a glass of delicious wine but let’s not forget we’re having a little bit of fun here!

BHLDN glasses rosy-cheeked coupes Valentine's Day

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For heaven’s sake, turn off the tv and turn on the iTunes (or the Pandora, or the Spotify…whatever you are using)! I’ve always loved cooking to music – while I’m more apt to put on Shakira or Madeleine Peyroux depending on my mood, maybe it’s Lil Wayne or Carrie Underwood that suits your evening? Either way, a dance party in the kitchen and some spontaneous singing into your wooden spoon is just what an evening makes!

If your cooking partner is of the more romantic variety, a dish that needs to sit a bit – like a braise or a soup – gives you plenty of time for a cuddle and maybe a kiss or two. That’s where the wine or cocktail might also play a role? Of course, then there’s roast chicken and we know what Ruhlman thinks of that!

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I’m having fun cooking with people lately – you certainly learn there’s a rhythm to how you operate in your kitchen – but mixing it up with a laugh, a dance, or something sweeter only makes a meal that much better! Do you like to share cooking responsibilities? What are your favorite things to make with someone?

Butternut Squash Lasagna

It’s Sunday, so that means Farmer’s Market day for me in DC. Probably my favorite thing about where I live is my proximity to the Dupont Circle Farmer’s Market. I can roll out of bed and right into all the greatness of the market…fresh produce, flowers, croissants, happy people and happy vendors. The thing about the market is that through the winter it gets a little dull. I’m sure I could be more creative there. But really, there’s only so much squash you can buy.

I’m not in DC right now, so I didn’t go over to the market this morning. But I would like to share a fantastic winter recipe featuring my favorite winter market pick: butternut squash.

I found this butternut squash lasagna recipe in one of my favorite cookbooks: Giada’s Family Dinner. All of the recipes in the book represent everything I love about food: comfort, family, tradition. Anyway, I love this creamy lasagna recipe and I definitely recommend it while it’s still cold outside. The best part about making a lasagna (especially when you live alone) is that you get to enjoy it all week long. It holds up great in the fridge and freezer and makes an excellent work lunch.

You can find the recipe here. I add ricotta cheese, because really I don’t feel like lasagna is complete without it.

While we’re on the topic of lasagna….I made a wonderful meatball lasagna a few weeks ago for Valentine’s Day. Unfortunately I got deathly ill with the flu that night so I didn’t get the chance to photograph it. You can find that recipe here. I highly suggest this lasagna too….my only regret is that I didn’t get to spend the whole week eating the leftovers! Just perfect winter comfort food.

(Un)forgettable Braised Short Ribs

here’s the thing about blogging… you have do regularly and you have to do it immediately after cooking something because otherwise, you’re not going to remember your recipe…

I made these amazing short ribs a few weeks ago. In my beautiful new blue Le Cruset dutch oven.

They were, to die for. But, and I can’t believe it, I don’t remember how I made them. I know that I followed this recipe a little and I also followed this recipe a little, I put them in the oven for 3 hours, and somehow ended up with something fab. Served with some garlic mashed potatoes and creamed spinach, it was a perfect hearty winter Sunday meal.

All I have left to remind me are these step-by-step photos… let’s see if I remember anything…

Guess I need to make them again. And write it all down!

Ps. What do you think of my new camera? I think it’s doing a pretty good job.

Holiday Feasting

a few food memories from Christmas dinner…

Antipasti made from meats, cheeses and veggies from Claudios in Philly.

Red and golden beet, orange, blood orange and fennel salad.

Roasted cauliflower.

Fresh pasta with the best sauce ever.

Meatballs in the best sauce ever.

Christmas cookie tray...the pignolies were our favorite this year. YUM.

Here’s to food this good in 2011!