Sometimes you have plans to make a fancy-shmancy appetizer. Sometimes that fancy-shmancy appetizer completely fails 20 minutes before you are supposed to be somewhere. So you scramble and use what you have to whip something up. Sometimes, you end up with something pretty great! That's what happened here. These bites are sweet, spicy, creamy, and crunchy all in one bite. They come together in a matter of minutes and are perfect for a party. You can easily swap out the chutney flavor or the cheese you use to change up the flavor profile.
Am I the only one who felt like this week should have ended two days ago? Winter in New England has finally settled in. It's cold, it's dark at 4:30 pm, and the magical snow from last weekend is now streaked with dirt and mud.
I've been craving bolognese this week, I'm not sure why. There's a restaurant down the street from my house that makes a great one. It's hearty and flavorful and really warms the soul. Every day I plan on trying to convince bf to go for dinner, but by the time I get home from work, I don't want to go out and face the world again. So as I was leaving work yesterday, I made the decision to make bolognese instead. I know what you're thinking- how can you make bolognese after work? Isn't that like an all day, can't leave the stove, Sunday kinda thing? The short answer is...yes...normally. This one however comes together in 45 minutes, and it's just as good as if you spent all day. So here it is, Ina Garten's Weeknight Bolognese.
I feel like American kids hate Brussels Sprouts because they're suppose to. No one really knows why, but you are just not supposed to like them. The big joke here is that when you become an adult you're supposed to LOVE them. I'm serious, all of my friends absolutely love Brussels sprouts. Therefore, I have to reveal my dirty little secret...I really don't like them. I mean, I'll eat them, but if you notice, I'm probably just pushing them around on my plate. The thing though is, I want to like them. I really do. So, I decided to try Sarah Leah Chase's Maple Glazed Brussels Sprouts and Chestnuts, it has maple syrup and bacon...so what could be bad about that? Plus it's the holiday season so the whole chestnuts roasting on an open fire thing was definitely playing in my head.
Sometimes I have big food plans. Roasted Turkey Roulade with Maple Chestnut Brussle sprouts? That was on the menu yesterday. You'll notice however, that's not what I made. Sometimes I have big food plans, but then sometimes it snows and I lock myself out of my car. Sometimes I just want a big bowl of comfort food. We've all been there, right?
Ah New England, the region of the country where you go from the sweet sun of summer to the golden leaves of fall. Soft snow falls on Christmas Eve and crisp rains and green plants welcome the Spring. I am so fortunate to live in a place where we get all four seasons.....(insert record screech sound).....yeah right. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE that we get all four seasons, but it's not like they are all given equal dispersement across the months. The reality is that we have winter for about half the year, and then the other three seasons split the remaining half. What this means is that most of my existence is spent in colder weather. It's fine when you get crisp fall nights to roast marshmallows on the fire pit, but it's not so great when it's pitch black at 4:30 pm every night. The desire to eat comfort foods increases significantly. I am always on the hunt for good, hearty, yet modern recipes for the cold weather, you can only eat so much meatloaf and beef stew.
I've been on a cookbook binge lately. A few months ago, Ina Garten posted a list of her favorite cookbooks. You can bet I made note of that and have been working to collect them ever since. So far her recommendations have not disappointed. I have been cooking out of her cookbooks for some time and have come to trust her recipes emphatically. You gotta mix it up though, right? So I decided to try a new recipe from Danny Meyer's Union Square Cafe Cookbook. This is the second recipe I've tried from the book (I made the Pumpkin Risotto on Halloween and it was phenomenal). I've never cooked a rib eye before, but I have to say this did not disappoint. The fresh rosemary was fragrant and the whole dish was perfect for the holidays (or a random Tuesday night). I paired it with Ina Garten's Rosemary Hassleback Roasted Potatoes, because...how bad could that be?
Recipe: Seared Rib Steak With Rosemary and Arugula
Book: Union Square Cafe Cookbook