Some of my latest cooking adventures
There is nothing that tastes better over pasta than a fresh homemade sauce made with fresh tomatoes. It takes a bit of extra time, but the end result is a sauce that tastes like a hot summer breeze. It’s creamy, sweet, and a great companion to pasta, bread, meatballs.. or a spoon.
My homemade sauce recipe was created in conjunction with Lipman Produce and my lovely nonna. Nonna taught me how to make her sauce, and then I made mine based on her tips. You can check out the full recipe here.
I am so happy to be back in the kitchen, creating meals and trying new recipes. The dinner challenge I’m hosting on Babycenter has helped tremendously with that. Each week I force myself to make one new dish, and the kitchen is fun again. So far I’ve made:
Cooking Light’s crab cakes (originally found on Yogurt & Berries): I used a yellow pepper instead and didn’t make a sauce. They were incredible, but since I bought jumbo lump crab meat the dish really hurt our weekly grocery budget. It will have to be saved for special nights.
Mashed potatoes: Believe it or not I’ve never made them. I boiled red bliss potatoes and then peeled them while hot and mashed them with a bit of 1% milk and some salted butter. They were really good.
Giada’s orzo with smokey vinaigrette: I made this with some of the Lipman cherry berries (similar to a grape tomato). It came together so fast and had such a distinct smoky flavor. We loved it, and in fact Raffi did too.
Breaded cashew chicken: This was inspired by a photo of Jessica’s pecan crusted chicken. I just crushed some cashews and mixed them with bread crumbs and salt and tossed them in a big Ziploc bag with the chicken. Then I baked them until done. I can’t wait to make this again, and it was a great use of leftover roasted cashews. They added a really fun crunch.
Giada’s mini meatballs: I used no oil, homemade bread crumbs instead of cereal, added 1 garlic clove and used 1 lb of beef. I made the meatballs really small, like swedish meatball size, and used shredded parmigiano instead of romano. I have made these 3 or 4 times already. They freeze really well and are great to have for a last minute dinner over pasta and sauce.
I can’t wait until Raffi is old enough to “help”. For now he just crawls over to me and tugs on my socks or opens the bottom drawer to take out the potato masher and eat it. He’s such a silly boy. Tomorrow I’m sharing all of the incredible things he’s done over the last two months.
What dishes have you made lately? I’m so excited that nicer weather is here so we can use our grill more often. Any favorite grill recipes?