Homemade Spinach Ricotta Gnocchi
I picked up the book Eat, Pray, Love again the other day and dived into it again. Julia Roberts did a great job, but the book itself is just so damn good! I am reading the part where she is in Italy right now, and man when I hear this lady talk about food, I feel like she understands my wild, intrigued passion for food! I know, she is a fictional character, but still! Anyways, while reading about all of the pasta, wine, bread and pizza I was getting this craving for something Italian. Something fluffy. Something dense and delicious. I put down the book and contemplated for a while. And then, plain as day, I knew. I want gnocchi!
Ok, so I have to admit: I got the idea to try out this recipe from Facebook’s Food List Challenge. The application presents a list of 100 delicacies and daring dishes from all over the world. Upon first taking it I had tried 49/100; I am now up to 51! I was inspired to try the remaining 100, starting with the less “questionable” dishes. Among those included Jerk Chicken, something I have always wanted to try, yet never considered making. So a couple days later, I ventured online to find a recipe for #51: Jerk Chicken.
Chicken Pot Pie
So, it’s been a while since I posted. I would say I’m sorry, but I am not quite sure if there is anyone out there reading this anymore lol. It’s been a busy couple of months, but here I am, eating left over Chicken pot pie, listening to the rain fall on the roof and letting the heat spread through my body inside the warmth of a thick wool sweater. It’s one of those rainy days at the office, but I’m so lost in the soft, gooey, flaky layers of pie that I feel as if I’m sitting in the comfort of my own home. Pie does that. Sweet or savory, layered crust with a savory filling does the body way too much good! It’s soul food :)
There are few things better in this world than a good burger. The traditional American food sounds so simple, yet there are so many tasty ways to do this classic dish. You can dress it up or dress it down, fry it, slather it with sauce or make it extra lean. To be honest I thought I had seen everything that could be done with a burger [Food Network, the internet and cook books had made sure of that], but I was wrong. The other day I was watching one of my favorite foodie shows: Iron Chef America. The battle: Hamburger! I was excited to see just how creative they could be with this ingredient, and was slightly stunned when I realized that the guest Chef was making a burger in Kitchen Stadium!.. A BURGER! However, as he proceeded to make his dish, stun turned into admiration and hunger. SO much hunger! Chef Kerry Simon made what they apparently call a Squealer burger in the South, a jaw-dropping dish that incorporates bacon into the hamburger meat! It was love at first sight! I knew I had to try this Southern delight! A few twist of my own and patient cooking led to one of the best burgers I have ever tasted! I want to marry this burger, have one every holiday and eat one before I die. Hahaha ok, that’s a little dramatic, but this concept seriously belongs in the Hall of Fame! Here is my version of a Squealer burger~
Mama Nucci’s Snickerdoodles
It’s officially Christmas time! The lights are hung over the main streets, the malls are filled with eager shoppers, Christmas trees are being sold on the corner and every Costa Rican is fervently waiting for the Festival De La Luz to begin. I know, not your typical white Christmas! But despite a few whacky traditions here in Costa Rica, there is one unwritten law that I will always follow when it comes to the Holidays: Christmas cookies MUST be made! Prior to my new-found affair with baking, store-bought sugar cookies and gingersnaps sufficed, but there is some unwinding satisfaction that comes with the sweet smell of Christmas cookies enveloping every room in your house..
Bobby’s Chipotle Hummus
Why some people have a slightly insane affinity towards food that sets their mouths on fire, I will never understand. That being said… I am totally one of them. There is something about the way a perfectly spicy dish amplifies certain tastes on your tongue that takes that dish to an addictive level. My favorite fiery foods up until recently were definitely Hot Buffalo Wings and various makes of Vindaloo Curry. However, there is a new recipe that might just take the belt: Chipotle Hummus.
Cinnamon Pull-Apart Bread
Cinnamon pull-apart bread. I know. How ridiculously delicious does that sound?! I can honestly say hands down that this is the most delicious thing I’ve ever baked! And I bake A LOT!
Alan and I celebrated Thanksgiving at our friend Bobby’s house, and were asked to bring a few things. The broccoli with Pancetta and Parmesan was great, the cornbread casserole made me proud, but this little loaf of heaven was absolutely divine! If you don’t believe me, the fact that I’ve made three loaves of it over the last five days is a good testament. It’s that good! It is like a beautiful, over-sized cinnamon bun that flakes apart. A small, but expanding group of people including myself, my sister, Alan, Bobby and a few co-workers have fallen captive to this bread. What a sugary affair it has been. So, in the spirit of Holiday Cheer, I would like to share this recipe with you. Everyone needs to try cinnamon pull-apart bread at least once in their lives. Here is your chance! Go For It~
Chocolate Cupcakes with Citrus Cream Cheese Frosting
I won’t be the first, or the last to say it, but there is something magical about the last couple months of the year. The weather turns colder, scarves come out of their drawers, holiday decorations adorn houses, and before you know it, the time to put on a costume, make a turkey and sing Christmas carols has arrived! Now of course, the first holiday to come around is always Halloween. Sadly, Halloween is not celebrated much here in Costa Rica. There are a few clubs you can go to for drink and dance, but there is no trick-or-treating or dressing up at work what-so-ever! So, determined to bring a bit of Halloween spirit to those around me, I threw on a pink afro with a mint-green, hot pink and cheetah dress and whipped out my best cupcake recipe.
Homemade Tomato Soup
One of my all-time favorite food combinations is grilled cheese and tomato soup. Whether it’s cold tomato soup on a hot summer day or warm, soothing soup on a cold September night, fresh tomato soup and a grilled cheese sandwhich fit right into the scene! I have no grudge towards canned food, so I will go as far as to say that there are a few tasty canned soups out there. However, I always end up adding things to them: more pepper, olive oil, hot sauce etc. I add things because I am trying to make the ideal tomato soup. And so the quest to make the perfect tomato soup began.
The one flavor that reigns supreme when it comes to desserts is definitely the taste of lemon.. at least in my kitchen! The fresh, sweet acidity smoothly mixed into any crust, bar or cake rockets the final product from good to sublime. I love all things lemon, but my long-time guilty pleasure happens to be lemon bars…
Filetti di Corvina in Mantello di Patate
Yes… this dish is just as delicious as it’s name. Warm, bacon filled, potato crusted seafood. Can a dish really get any better? In plain english, this dish is potato covered ocean Corvina. [Call me a romantic, but I am a firm believer that everything sounds better in Italian!] Like the finer things in life, this recipe came from an Italian cookbook…
I will say this much: there are few things more comforting than Chinese food when it is pouring outside [and I can vouch for that from personal experience]. After all, it’s rainy season again here in Costa Rica. The days are beautiful and sunny in the morning, then around 1PM, we lose all sight of the sun. By the time dinner rolls around, all you want to do is throw on a pair of warm socks, eat a delicious meal and bask in the warmth of your home. However, not just any meal would suffice.
Father’s Day at the Feria
As fate would have it, both my father and little sister happened to be in town this weekend for Father’s Day. I’m not sure if they planned it like that, but it was a treat to have them around. My dad is not one of those materialistic guys; he’s more of a “love the little things” type. His attitude towards life always makes for a fun Father’s Day. We didn’t really hav a plan when he came over on Sunday, so when he walked in and suggested we go to the Feria I was surprised and thrilled! For those who are not familiar, the Feria is like a Farmer’s Market. Blossoming flowers, lots of hand-made knick knacks, and the best part, all fresh produce! So, venturing into the beautiful, sunny morning of late June, we headed to the Feria.
Andouille Sausage Creole
There is something historical and almost mystical about Cajun/Southern food. Sure, that view might have something to do with the fact that I am from the West Coast and have little to no experience with Southern cusine, but I can’t help but find it enticing! My experience with this type of food has consisted mostly of drooling over the TV or a book as I am read through a recipe and am showed the final product. One day while visually saitsfying my tastebuds, I ran across this recipe on Food Network. I don’t rememeber exactly what led me to it, but the title alone made my mouth water. The recipe didnt sound too complex, so I thought I would try my hand at a little Southern cusine. Thank God I did!
World’s Best Banana Muffins
To say that I LOVE muffins would probably be an understatement. Ever since I crossed paths with the Crushcakes Cupcakery in Santa Barbara, California I have fallen in love with all sorts of tiny cakes. It took a couple years of buying $4.00 muffins and moving to a country with no known Cupcakeries to realize that I could probably make something just as delicious on my own. Although I still consider it a crime that Costa Rica is unfamiliar with the idea of a cupcake/muffin shop, their absencse is one of the best things that could have happened to me.