A few of my favorite things

I’ve gotten a few comments in passing recently that have tugged at my blogger conscience, and even though my life is not showing any signs of slowing down, we did cut our ties with cable television and I have been freed from the horrifying grasp of reality television. So, I’m hoping to take a little of that time to get back into this blogging thing in earnest.

Instead of trying to remember all of the things I’ve cooked while I’ve been on blogcation, I’ll just hit a few of the highlights.

late summer gumbo with lentils. they're french. so, automatically gourmet.

late summer gumbo with lentils. they're french. so, automatically gourmet.

the greatest pasta of all time.

the greatest pasta of all time.

Literally. The best pasta ever. And I mean literally in the literal sense. Not the American sense.

Dayna tipped me off to this recipe and I think I may be a Giada De Laurentiis convert. Until now, I’ve never really considered her someone to whom I should be paying a huge amount of attention, though she certainly has very pretty hair. Now I would like her to come cook for me.

And while we’re talking pasta, let me introduce another new favorite:


pasta with arugula and walnuts

I came up with this one after reading Giulia Melucci’s I Loved, I Lost, I Made Spaghetti. At one point she talks about making pasta with arugula and pine nuts and I became completely obsessed with the idea of arugula. I usually feel kind of “eh” about arugula but for some reason I wanted to try it with pasta so much that I ran around like a crazy person at the farmer’s market begging for spicy lettuce. The dish above was made with a plastic container of baby arugula that I broke down and bought to get my fix. I thought walnuts sounded better than pine nuts and what do you know? We also had some. So they count as free. I toasted the walnuts, added some olive oil, threw in some garlic and crushed red pepper, added a little dry white whine, and then wilted the arugula. We had it again last week with grown-up arugula and I thought it was even better.

summer squash gratin

summer squash gratin

This is totally amazing. I followed the recipe fairly closely, just subbing in a green pepper for a red one, and using short grain brown rice instead of considerably more expensive arborio or carnoli rice. It tasted extra delicious because I ate it while watching that episode from the first season of Beverly Hills, 90210 during which Brenda and Brandon have a party! And Brandon succumbs to peer pressure! And Jim and Cindy make some new ‘friends’ in Palm Springs! And Brandon gets arrested for drunk driving and he doesn’t even get in real trouble because they’re just so glad he’s okay!

I’m so glad I picked these up from the library. Who needs cable when you watch the original 9er

And that brings us up to date because here’s tonight’s meal:

end of summer risotto

end of summer barley risotto

I even tried to sort of plate it. Like they do in restaurants when it comes out all formed. And do you see the top bit of the plate there? Yes, you do. That is the greatest thing that has happened to me recently: roasted okra. I saw this post the other day and saw some good looking okra at the farmer’s market this morning and I like okra so I thought I’d give it a shot.

Y’all. I feel confident saying that I could seriously eat this every single day. The okra was crispy outside and soft inside and I’m not ashamed to say that I ate a whole container in this manner because Matt didn’t seem to be as excited about it as I was. And I wasn’t about to let him experience its greatness without appropriate enthusiasm.


One Response to A few of my favorite things

  1. littlesparrowknits says:

    Yay, I’m glad you liked the pasta! I love that recipe so much.

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