Sunday, February 20, 2011

Marrying into Food

Dinner tonight made Kevin remark "Have I told you how glad I am to be marrying someone who knows how to cook?". I can't take all of the credit though. Nick over at Macheesmo really knows his stuff. I made two of his recipes tonight. Tapenade Grilled Cheese and Pesto Quinoa Salad.

For the cheese in the sandwich I used some smoked fontina and asiago we had hanging around. Unfortunately it didn't melt all that well, but it was still quite tasty. This was my first foray into tapenade and I was surprised at how easy it is to make. It will definitely be considered more often for appetizers and bread toppings.

The real star of the night though was definitely the pesto quinoa salad. I saw this recipe last week and thought it might be a nice change of pace from sandwiches for lunch. I forgot the parsley and didn't have any beets on hand but the salad was damn fine without it. It was filling, hearty, healthy and friggin' good. There's definitely enough left to munch on for lunch this week. Kevin has declared that it needs to be made next time we need to bring a dish somewhere. Quinoa has also redeemed itself to me. It's definitely not as boring as I thought it was the first time I cooked with it.

The downside to follow the Macheeso blog is my grocery bill is getting very high. Ingredients like sundried tomatoes, pine nuts, basil, olives, red peppers and good bread gets expensive very quickly. It's worth it though when dinner is as good as it was tonight.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Kev and I like to stay in on Valentine's Day. We don't like to fight with crowds or waits or pay a lot of money for fancy dinners so we stay in and cook up something nice. It's usually just as good as what we'd get at a restaurant and much, much cheaper (plus! leftovers!)

This year was no exception.

We had brandied mushrooms, parmasean broccoli gratin, new york strip steaks and Moroccan olive bread. Dessert was homemade white chocolate ice cream on brownies.

As you can see, Macheesmo has become one of my new favorite food blogs to follow. I've tried several of his recipes (including these nuts for the super bowl and OMG they were like crack). His blog was the first place I looked when trying to come up with sides to go along with our steak that were outside of the usual baked potato/roasted veggie box that we reside in.

My mushrooms didn't come out the same lovely brown color that his did but they were still quite delicious.

The broccoli gratin came out very nice look indeed, but just because it has broccoli in it don't let it fool you. It's not very healthy at all with whole milk and heavy cream and plenty of cheese in it.

Kevin grilled the steaks beautifully to a lovely medium rare. Seasoned simply with salt, pepper, little bit of lawrey's and some bbq sauce on mine. Just awesome!

But by far the most delicious part of the meal was the ice cream. Kevin got me the ice cream attachment for my kitchen aid mixer and this was my first spin with it. I decided on a white chocolate ice cream from the recipe book he got to go with the ice cream maker. It was simple, it was delicious and I'm convinced that my diet is just absolutely blown to pieces now.

We ate it right after it was done mixing so it was the consistency of soft serve. That was alright though, once we got a taste of it (Kevin licked the mixer blade clean!) there was no chance we would wait long enough to let it set up.  It was rich and creamy and I'm pretty sure there's no chance of me going back to store bought unless I'm just feeling exceptionally lazy.

So that was my happy Valentine's Day. I can't wait for the next special occasion so I can make more tasty ice cream!