Sauerbraten Meatballs & The Food-Lovers Cleanse

sauerbraten meatballs

I’m alive! January has been an insane month, and I’ve been running around like crazy doing what feels like twenty million things at a time. Because of that, dinners have not been very exciting lately. I do have fun recipes planned though and will post them as soon as I have the time to work out a few last details and type them up. Think soba noodles with sautéed chicken and roast mushrooms, cornmeal crusted tofu with quick ratatouille, and a buffalo chicken chili that I’ll try my hardest share before the game this weekend.

In the meantime, how do sauerbraten meatballs sound? Sauerbraten is a great dish – a little bit sweet, a little bit spicy, and extremely rich – but it takes days to make. I’ve figured out a way to replicate the flavors in a quick stovetop sauce that’s delicious served over meatballs for a delicious and easy twist on the original.

Clementine-Soy Chicken Thighs

Orange and Soy Glazed Chicken

Happy (Chinese) New Year!

For some reason, we always celebrated Chinese New Year when I was a kid. I don’t know why, but I always looked forward to it. It was so fun, and we didn’t eat Chinese nearly as often back then as we do now. Mom would take out the electric wok and cook dinner right on the table – usually a chicken stir fry. The next night, we’d wrap the leftovers in tortillas and eat them as fajitas. Yum.

I made this clementine-soy glazed chicken a few weeks ago and thought it would be the perfect Chinese New Year post. But then I started researching and apparently I had it all wrong. The holiday has all sorts of food traditions, like eating noodles to bring long life and dumplings to bring wealth. And apparently serving a chicken or duck whole represents health, but serving it cut – like these thighs – is the opposite. Oops.

Oh well. This dish is delicious any time of the year, and you should definitely make it (if you’re superstitious or prefer to celebrate the New Year more traditionally, just wait until tomorrow.)

Fettuccini with Cauliflower, Prosciutto and Peas

cauliflower pasta

Can we talk about cauliflower for a second? It’s a great vegetable with a really unique flavor. I love it and, if you haven’t tried it lately, you really should give it a second chance. But there’s a right way to do cauliflower and a wrong way. The cauliflower “steaks” that food editors seem to have decided should be all the rage this winter? NOT the right way. In fact, it’s a pretty decent way to confirm any suspicion that you may have had that cauliflower is gross.

This pasta, on the other hand, with the some of the cauliflower caramelized in the oven and the rest pureed into a creamy sauce? Even if you think you hate cauliflower, you’ll love this.

Crab and Blackberry Guacamole

crab and fruit guacamole-4

Me: Hey Shawn, remember when we went to the Taste of Hartford two years ago and we ate that guacamole with fruit and lobster in it?

Shawn: How the hell do you remember these things?

Me: Because it was awesome.

That guacamole was awesome, but the real reason that I remembered about it was because I’ve been meaning to recreate it at home. I was just waiting for an appropriate opportunity. Like, say, the Avocados from Mexico Guac Off Recipe Contest?

New England Clam Chowder

Lower Fat New England Clam Chowder-2

Like a lot of people, I re-committed myself* to eating healthier and losing a few pounds in the New Year. Unlike a lot of people, I won’t attempt to live off of cold salads and clear broths. It’s winter, people! I want comfort food – and lots of it.

This milky chowder filled with meaty bites of bacon and the subtle spice of Old Bay and peppery parsnips is what I consider the ultimate winter meal. The combination of smoke and cream reminds me of curling up in front of a fireplace while fat snowflakes fall outside. Close your eyes when you eat it and you can almost hear the bells of a horse-drawn carriage being pulled down the road.

Simply Dressed Giveaway!

simply dressed giveaway

The holidays may be over, but the gifts keep on coming!

Over the past month, I’ve had a lot of fun playing around with the  new Marzetti Simply Dressed salad dressings line. I used the Ginger-Sesame to make an Asian-inspired chicken wrap that was full of fresh flavor. The Greek Feta made quick work of turning some couscous and zucchini into a healthy side dish. Leftover orange-soy glazed chicken thighs and sautéed bok choy got new life when I served them over romaine dressed with more of the Sesame-Ginger. And I’ve eaten more than my share of baby greens tossed with Pomegranate dressing and crumbled goat cheese.
Now it’s your turn to give Simply Dressed a try!