Perfect Pasta Puttanesca, Put Together from the Pantry

January 31, 2012 § 3 Comments

I’m trying to master the skill of  creating a delicious meal composed entirely from what is on hand.  Not an ‘odds and ends’ dinner, but one that seems intentional and well-considered.  The folks at my dinner table might think I went to the store and carefully selected each ingredient to craft this special meal, just for them.

In an effort to waste less and flex my cooking muscles, I’ve been challenging myself to use up stuff. I’m sure this experiment will come to a grinding halt at the first sign of Spring, when fresh food will be plentiful and irresistible.  But yesterday, I knew just what to do with the giant jar of olives that I uncovered in my cupboard.  And the capers. And the canned tomatoes.

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Winter Bread Salad with Prosciutto and Kale

January 18, 2012 § Leave a comment

I’ve been trying to get on board the kale salad trend, with little success.  On paper, kale salad sounds like a spectacular proposition.  Local? Yes! Seasonal? Absolutely! Beautiful specimens of all types of kale are available from local farms in the dreariest, coldest months.  Nutritious? Sure – dark, leafy greens prevent all sorts of nasty conditions.  Delicious?…. awkward silence…

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Pork Chops with Mustard Sauce, Smashed Potatoes, and Romaine Salad w/ Garlicky Vinaigrette

January 7, 2012 § 4 Comments

Recently a friend and I were having a conversation about the challenge of conceiving, planning and preparing 21 meals a week (plus snacks).  Spelled out like that, the enormity of this job sunk in.  In addition to being nourishing, our family meals are also supposed to be varied and delicious.  Give me a break.  So, when I hit one out of the ballpark, I want to share it with you (and when you hit one out of the ballpark I want you to share it with me – that’s what Facebook is for!).  Last night our dinner was delicious and easy to put together.  It was also devoured before I had a chance to photograph a single pork chop, so I’ll do my best to paint a picture for you with words.

The name of the game: mustard.  I am a latecomer to the mustard party, but now that I have arrived I am living it up.  Let me count the mustards in my refrigerator….1, 2, 3, 4, 5… « Read the rest of this entry »

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