Spring risotto

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The past couple of weeks have been pretty busy for me, and the following few weeks will be, too. Not too busy time-wise, but event/plans wise. Work, volunteering, going to the beach, normal stuff, and now classes, which also have homework. Yes, my cooking classes have begun! I guess I’m officially a student again, but I don’t feel like a student, so I’m not identifying as it. I’m still up for any and all student discounts, though, and my community college ID has no expiration date, so I suppose that I can use it forever. Hooray for a perpetual JCrew discount. Continue reading “Spring risotto”

Rhubarb compote

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I recently discovered rhubarb. I knew what it was, and I had some ideas about what it tasted like, but I’d never actually eaten it. I remember when I was little there was a patch of rhubarb in my parents’ backyard, but my mom cut it down because my dad and I wouldn’t eat anything that she made with it. Tasting it now, I understand why I didn’t want it as a child– I wanted all things sweet, and rhubarb, although it can be a little sweet if you dump sugar in it, is really tart.

Also, rhubarb is funny looking. Who expects something that looks like this to taste good? I see chard when I look at that picture, not something that will turn into a delectable spring treat. But when you simply chop up the pretty pink stalks, toss them with some sugar and a spoonful of water, and let it all boil down for several minutes until everything falls apart, it becomes something that you don’t want to stop eating. Continue reading “Rhubarb compote”

Warm asparagus- leek salad

asparagus4Woohoo for spring! You can now sit outside, put away the winter coats and extra layers, and enjoy the pleasure of pulling inchworms off of your clothes when you come in from outside and then watching them inch along on your finger.

You can also find ways to slide asparagus into at least one meal every day, as I’ve been attempting to do as soon as I realized that not freezing weather=asparagus season. Sometimes, I even eat asparagus more than once a day. Continue reading “Warm asparagus- leek salad”

Pear and hazelnut frangipane tart

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There is a huge container of Nutella sitting in my pantry. It’s bigger than the biggest one in the store. In fact, it is this. Can you believe it? Is that enough Nutella? Well, I don’t want to be the person to say “Of course that is enough Nutella” because that’d bite me in the butt someday. I actually just found a giant 11 kilo (almost 25 pound) jar of Nutella online, so the huge amount in the pantry has been one-upped. But it’s still a lot.

I’m talking about Nutella because I think it’s the most common way that a lot of us have eaten hazelnuts. I can’t even think of a time I’ve eaten something that’s just hazelnut, not chocolate and hazelnut. Maybe hazelnuts aren’t a southern thing? Pecans definitely are a southern baker’s go-to nut, but they’re also sort of everyone’s go-to baking nut. Maybe I should try to help change this, though, because hazelnuts are awesome. Continue reading “Pear and hazelnut frangipane tart”

Spinach and ricotta pasta

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I completely botched a recipe. I guess that “completely” might be a bit of an overstatement, but it certainly felt that that way when I was trying to mix raw spinach into a pound of cooked pasta in a 3 quart saucepan. It seemed like a novel idea– the piping hot pasta would surely steam the spinach; my pot was just smaller than what I was supposed to use. I was wrong though. The test cooks at America’s Test Kitchen did not say to use the residual pasta steam to cook spinach. They really did plan you to make the pasta dish in a pretty easy manner. Continue reading “Spinach and ricotta pasta”

Strawberry Shortcake

strawberry-panier

I love food. I love cooking. I love baking. I even sometimes love grocery shopping. I love learning about new foods, and I’m game to try anything once. I often try new recipes, and sometimes they turn out great, but sometimes I don’t do something quite right. Sometimes, though, the recipe is just disappointing– it isn’t worth my time, effort or the money spent on the ingredients.

Not only do I plan to share my cooking and baking adventures here, but I’m going to share my honest, not so sugar-coated opinion of the results. Is this food worth it? We’re busy people, and making something lackluster that was supposed to be great is one of the biggest letdowns in life. Sometimes you know when a meal you make just isn’t going to be so good, but I hope to help you avoid the letdowns and find the successes in your kitchen.

This recipe is a success: I don’t think there is any way it could ever fail. It’s a summer staple in my family; no one can resist my grandmother’s strawberry shortcakes. A lightly sweetened biscuit, syrupy strawberries and ice cream. I don’t think there’s anything better than sitting on a porch, eating those three things piled on top of each other.

Continue reading “Strawberry Shortcake”