Do you have those go-to recipes in your head that you can just make with your eyes closed? You know that pinch of this and a dash of that are the perfect measurements, no need for measuring cups or recipe cards. That’s my chili recipe — honed over the years to be both classic and at the same time totally unique to me. For example, I alway do half beef, half ground turkey — you still get the flavor of the beef but it cuts down on fat; I also feel strongly that all chili should be made with tasty golden kernels of corn (fire roasted is the way to go!) and simmered for hours in a sturdy cast iron dutch oven (I love our Martha Stewart one.). And my secret ingredient — a trick my dad taught me as a kid — is to add a can of baked beans into the mixture for a little punch of sweetness to balance out the spice.  A  few weeks back my sister pointed out that even though I make this 2x a month all winter long, I never posted about it before on the blog. So here it is, finally written in stone for her to use (and hopefully you too!). Processed with VSCOcam with f2 preset read more

I love my apartment, and I love summer, but gosh is it hot in my home right now. Once the weather gets warm, our place heats up and just never seems to cool down again until summer is over (the perks of living on the top floor, right?).  The idea of turning on the oven can just about send me into a fit of tears, so we’ve been eating a lot of quick, simple summer salads for dinner around here. My new favorite combination is can barely count as a recipe, it’s  just a few quick ingredients tossed together: baby arugula, cubed cantaloupe, chopped up prosciutto, crumbled blue cheese, salt and pepper, and a drizzle of olive oil, good balsamic, and lemon juice. Need a few more summer salad ideas? I included a list of some of my favorites below: 

 

I feel like I claim a lot on here that my recipes are pretty easy — which makes sense because while I love to cook, I’m not the most patient person (and hate following a complicated recipe step by step!). But this recipes? I mean you almost don’t even have to look at the instructions below. All you need it some fresh white fish, a few pieces of butter, and chopped up tomatoes, shallots, corn and chorizo — wrap it all up in parchment paper and pop it in the oven while you have a glass of wine and scroll through instagram for 20 minutes (you know that’s what I do when I’m waiting for dinner to cook — no shame here!), what’s better than that?






Ingredients

  • 1 lb Cod or haddock loin
  • 2 tbsp butter, 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1-2 ears of corn
  • 1 cup of cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small chorizo link, chopped
  • 2-3 small shallots, chopped
  • Fresh lemon and chives for garnishing

Instructions 

  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees. 
  • Place cod loin, divided into 2-3 portions, in a pan lined with parchment paper. Salt and pepper cod, drizzle with olive oil, and disperse cubed butter over fish. 
  • Combine corn, tomatoes, shallots and chopped chorizo, spread out over fish. 
  • Pull parchment paper up over fish and fold edges to seal. Bake in oven for 20 minutes or until fish is cooked though.
  • Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon and chopped chives. Serve over rice. 

This weekend I was in major need of some comfort after a long string of holiday parties and maybe a few too many glasses of champagne (shh!).  My usual go-to comfort food is a bowl of pasta, but I decided to mix it up this time and try a savory chicken dish with a creamy sun-dried tomato sauce, lots of sautéed mushrooms and shallots, and a little crispy bacon and goat cheese just to amp up the richness. Full recipe below if you’re in need of comfort food too!
Cream Sun Dried Skillet Chicken Creamy Sun Dried Skillet Chicken 1 Creamy Sun Dried Skillet Chicken 2 Creamy Sun Dried Skillet Chicken 4 Creamy Sun Dried Skillet Chicken 3

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 large chicken breasts
  • 2 large Portobello mushroom caps
  • 2 small shallots
  • 2-3 slices of thick cut bacon
  • 6 sun-dried tomatoes in oil (reserve oil)
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 3/4 cup of light cream
  • 1 tbsp of goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan, plus extra for garnishing
  • 2 sprigs of fresh tarragon
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

  • Heat a large cast iron skillet on high and drizzle with olive oil.
  • Season chicken breasts with salt and pepper and brown in the hot pan on both sides.
  • While the chicken is browning, roughly chop mushrooms, shallots, bacon and sun-dried tomatoes; mince garlic.
  • Remove chicken from pan when cooked through,  add 1/2 tbsp of the sun-dried tomato oils  and 1 tbsp of butter to the pan, then toss mushrooms, shallots, bacon, garlic and sun-dried tomatoes and sauté mixture. (Scrape the pan to loosen any browned bits from the pan).
  • Lower heat to medium and stir in 3/4 cup of light cream, 1 tbsp of goat cheese, and 1/4 cup of freshly grated parmesan cheese; stir continously to break down the cheese and incorporate the tomatoes flavors with the cream.
  • Add the chicken back to the pan while the sauce cooks and thickens.
  • Remove from heat, garnish with fresh parmesan cheese and torn tarragon leaves.
  • Try serving over pasta or a bed of spinach.

Last night I had one of my girlfriends over for some dinner and drinks on our porch — I’m determined to soak up the warm(ish) weather as long as possible — and truthfully, I didn’t have a dinner planned until about an hour before her arrival. But leftover fig spread and some tasty goat cheese caught my eye in the fridge and I went with it. A quick spin through the grocery store and I had the makings of a fig, goat cheese, prosciutto pizza — I jazzed up with some fresh chives when it came out of the oven, and had rolled some special rosemary infused sea salt into the crust. Sometimes simple is just better, and this was certainly the case — my last-minute meal was a hit, and it paired perfectly with one of the iced tea infused honey wines I picked up from last weekend in Maine!

Pizza Night 1 Pizza Night 3Pizza Night 5Pizza Night 4Pizza Night 2

I’m making the use of my week off and tackling a mile long to do list — that’s just the kind of  vacationer I am. One thing I wanted to do this week was finally dive into some of the cookbooks I got for Christmas, but haven’t had the chance to use yet. Last night I poured over the Smitten Kitchen cookbook and decided to make her Harvest Roast Chicken with Olives and Grapes; holy moly was this delicious — and so simple too! You can find an adapted version of the recipe here.

Smitten Kitchen

On Friday night we tried a new neighborhood restaurant and I fell in love with it before we even ordered when I saw how fun their cocktail menu was! I played along and settled on a greyhound — it was delicious! Then on Saturday one of my girlfriends hosted a blind wine tasting party — everyone brought a bottle they’d never had before and we got to work sipping and rating our favorites! Aren’t the little cards she designed the cutest? All in all, it was a pretty fine weekend!