Friday, December 26, 2014

Lamb, Couscous, and Broccolini

For Christmas dinner I made a combination of favorite recipes and new, improvised ideas. I had found a great persimmon salad recipe, but since there were no persimmons to be found I adapted the salad to a winter citrus salad with fennel, red onions, radishes, butter lettuce, goat cheese, and pistachios. For the main course I made Ina Garten's rack of lamb persillade, with roasted broccolini, and saffron couscous with scallions and pine nuts. Dessert was brown butter blondies with chocolate chips and vanilla ice cream. 

Herb baked eggs for breakfast 

Old fashioned

Monday, December 15, 2014

Cinnamon Sugar Almonds

If you make one thing this holiday season, it should be candied almonds. I made these cinnamon sugar candied almonds as a gift, and you should too, because they are incredibly easy and delicious. As my roommate put it, "They should make a candle that smells like that!" The recipe is so simple, and easily adaptable to any flavors you like.

Cinnamon Sugar and Allspice Candied Almonds
Makes 12 ounces

12 oz raw almonds
1/2 c sugar
1/8 c water
1/2 tbsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp allspice

1. In a pot combine water and sugar, and heat on medium-high heat until dissolved.
2. Add spices, then almonds. Stir to coat completely
3. Keep stirring until sugar crystalizes (about 5-8 minutes). Make sure to keep stirring or the almonds will get stuck.
4. Remove from heat and put almonds on parchment or wax paper to cool.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Cento, Madison

This weekend I was able to try a new restaurant in Madison. Cento is an Italian reataurant just off of State Street. The photos have poor lighting, but the food was beautiful as well as delicious. 

Burrata with toasted bread and olive oil 
Sausage stuffed and bacon wrapped dates in tomato sauce 
White wine braised lamb pasta
Prosciutto wrapped branzino with roasted vegetables

Monday, December 8, 2014

Late Summer and Fall Happenings

This fall has been a whirlwind with turning 21, starting my last year of college, taking the GRE, running my first half marathon, and applying to graduate schools.

I've been cooking less, but I've still found time to experiment and play in the kitchen. It's cold here now in Wisconsin, but there hasn't been much snow, so everything is pretty dreary. When finals are over, I'll bake some cookies to get into the holiday spirit.

Fresh peach and vanilla cake

Alex Guarnischelli at Food Network in Concert

Sausage, Spinach, Wild Rice, and Dried Cranberry Stuffed Acorn Squash

Slow Cooker Cassoulet and Salad

Butternut Squash Ravioli

Spiced Swiss Chard Gratin with Cornmeal Biscuits

Miso Creamed Kale and Roasted Root Vegetables

Tuscan White Bean Farro and Tomato Soup

Sugared Cranberry Brie Crackers

Endive with Balsamic Figs, Pomegranate, Goat Cheese, and Walnuts

Asian Marinated Skirt Steak and Ginger Garlic Butternut Squash Stir Fry