Pesto Potato Rolls with a Salt Crust

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Here in the Capital Region of New York, we were lucky to have been spared most of the wrath of Hurricane Irene. While our friends to the south had to scramble around preparing for the worst, all we really did was make sure that we had batteries for the flashlight. Shawn brought my basil plant inside to protect it from the wind, and I noticed that it was huge! I mean, comically large — practically a basil tree. It was clearly time to make pesto.

Since I knew I would be stuck home in the rain all day, I thought it might be nice to bake. I pulled out my copy of Healthy Breads in Five Minutes a Day, thinking I might find a recipe for garlic knots that I could use the pesto in. As I flipped through the pages, a recipe for 100% whole grain rosemary dinner rolls with a salt crust caught my eye. They weren’t like any other potato roll recipes that I’ve seen, which usually call for mashed potatoes to be worked into the dough. Instead, these called for raw potatoes, which soften as they bake but give the rolls a little bit of texture. I knew I had to try them!

Salmon en Manchamanteles {a.k.a. The Tablecloth Stainer}

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When I go out to eat and see something on the menu that’s a little off the beaten path, I have a hard time not ordering it. It doesn’t matter if we picked the restaurant based on the fact that I was craving a burger or a big plate of vegetables or some other unexciting dish — if they have something that I’ve never heard of before, chances are I’ll order it. If it’s bad, that just means I get to have dessert!

Rabbit? Check.

Alligator? Double Check.

Salmon en Manchamanteles? I may not be able to pronounce it, but it was fabulous.

Grilled Vegetable and Goat Cheese Pitas

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As the days get shorter and the evenings start to get that fall chill to them, I’m making an effort to squeeze in every last little bit of grilling that I want to do. These grilled vegetable sandwiches are an old favorite that I had forgotten about until recently. I’m really happy that I remembered them though, because they’re super simple to make and are full of fresh summertime flavors.

These sandwiches were inspired by a lunch that I had years ago at Old Ebbitt Grill in Washington, DC. It was before I really started to get interested in cooking (between work and grad school and planning my wedding I had enough to concentrate on), but I remember making the sandwich for dinner just a few nights later in my tiny little apartment kitchen — it might actually have been the first time I ever tried to recreate a restaurant meal at home! The sandwiches have evolved over the years and my memory of the original has gotten fuzzy – I only remember the portobello, pita, and fresh basil — but they are every bit as delicious as I remember them being.

Zero Calorie “Nooodles” with Spicy Peanut Sauce… For One

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Shawn got a new job earlier this year. Its great, but his schedule kind of stinks and I’m on my own for dinner a few nights each week. At first it was kind of nice. Those nights give me the chance to make all of my favorites that he doesn’t really like. But it can also get kind of old. Cooking just isn’t as much fun when there’s no one to share the completed meal with, and a lot of nights I end up eating something fast and simple like pasta or eggs.

In an effort to motivate myself to cook real meals even on nights where I’m alone, I’m going to try something new: a “Cooking for One” series here on Healthy. Delicious. featuring the meals that I cook for myself. These pared-down recipes will be super simple, quick to make, and full of the bold flavors that you expect to find in my recipes. Some of the recipes might make enough for leftovers, but none will be more than a single person can eat in a 24 hour period. (Of course, you can always double or triple these recipes if you want to feed a larger group with minimal effort!) For now, I’m planning on dedicating the first Sunday of each month to this series. We’ll see how it goes!   

{For Jennie & Mikey} Chocolate Peanut Butter Pie

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I remember the first time I met Jennifer Perillo. It was at BlogHer last summer, and a group of us had snuck down to the bar to enjoy a glass of wine where it was quieter and generally less crazy. We shared stories, talking about this and that, and I remember her telling us how her husband Mikey was her rock. How he talked her down when her temper started to flare and how he made sure she always stayed professional.

She spoke of him with such love and admiration, and it was clear to everyone that they were true partners. A marriage to model their own after. I’ve met Jennie a few times since then, and Mikey frequently ended up in the stories she would share. Just a few weeks ago at the Big Summer Potluck, she traded the blender that she had won for a sassy little apron. “I’m going to leave the kids with the sitter and have this on when Mikey comes home from work,” she said with a wink and a laugh (after 16 years, if that’s not love I don’t know what is). I don’t know if Mikey ever saw that apron.

My Seven Links & Free Yogurt

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I had every intention of posting a new recipe and launching a new series on cooking for one last night, but I got caught up in design issues that took longer than expected and left me feeling like my brain was fried.

Hopefully it was worth it though. I still have a few loose ends to tie up, but my hope is that the new layout is crisper, cleaner and (hopefully!) quicker to load. I’ll be back soon with that new recipe. In the meantime, my friend Amy tagged me in the Seven Links post that’s been going around – I thought it would be a fun way to revisit some of the older recipes I’ve posted.