Good clean flavors!
Betsy and I love a good pasta dish and our weekly meal plan usually involves at least one straight-up pasta dish. Usually it’s something simple like a quick spaghetti with a side salad.
Lately though, I’ve been turning to soba instead of traditional pastas to fill this meal. It’s a nice change from spaghetti and is also excellent warm, at room temperature, or even cold. Leftovers can be eaten straight out of the container.
The other thing I like about the thin buckwheat noodles is how versatile they are. You can pair them with a ton of different flavor combos. This happens to be one that I focused on last week that I thought worked really well. The shrimp have a simple, but flavorful, marinade and the whole bowl can be on the table in under thirty minutes.
That’s always a win in my book!
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You want this.
This post and recipe falls squarely into the “damn near unbelievable” category. That’s not a real category, but I’m thinking about making it.
This is an unbelievable plate of food because it takes about five minutes to make, has almost 20 grams of protein in it (per serving), and is seriously good.
You could put cheese in it or on it if you wanted to take it to another level, but for me, a healthy sprinkle of scallions and hot sauce is all I need to feel really good about eating this.
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I’m in DC this week and weekend for some work. It’s always interesting to come back to a place where you used to live. Some streets and stores are the exact same while other areas are unrecognizable.
Most impressively, it seems as if the craft beer scene has really taken off here in the last few years. There are all of the sudden more breweries than I’ll be able to try out in a weekend.
Not as many as Colorado, but I’ll make due!
I snapped this picture on a long morning run around the National Mall yesterday. This is a great city and sometimes I do miss living here!
Dark Chocolate Marshmallow Cake - I’m not much of a sweet tooth but this cake just reminded me of my childhood. It looks rich and decadent and damn near perfect. (@ Eat the Love)
Savory Cornbread Waffles - Chicken and waffles is one of my favorite brunches, but the savory waffle combinations don’t need to stop there. Here are some other great ideas plus win a waffle maker! (@ Love and Olive Oil)
Power Green Salad - Not a hard recipe, but one that’s packed with delicious vegetables. I swear, just looking at this salad will make you healthier. Ok. It won’t. But you get the idea. (@ Sprouted Kitchen)
Ward off Garlic Breath - I’m a garlic fiend and typically use more than I should in dishes. Having a quick list of natural ways to cut down on the garlic breath is probably a good idea. (@ Eating Well in annoying slideshow format)
What’s the Difference: Bacon, Pancetta, and Prosciutto? - If you’re a curious person, you maybe noticed that these three things are all very similar to each other. They are actually different though and it helps to know the difference if you want to use them correctly. Hint: Don’t eat raw bacon. (@ The Kitchn)
Have a great weekend everybody! If you need me, I’ll be grilling chicken thighs.
Grilled Cheese Squared.
Admin Note: This is an update on a post I first wrote over five years ago.
This is part two in an ongoing search for the absolute perfect Grilled Cheese. You can check out round one here. That sandwich was pretty good, but I was ready to kick these trials up a notch. For that I look for help from the French. Allow me to introduce you to the Croque Monsieur, translated to Mr. Crunchy.
Only the French could think of this amazingly rich creation: A grilled ham and cheese topped with a rich buttery sauce and broiled. In fact there is even a version called the Croque Madame which has a fried egg on top. I’m sure that is yummy but it seemed like overkill to me. A 1,000 calorie sandwich – excellent. A 1,200 calorie sandwich – CRAZY.
So let’s get started. I adapted a version I saw on Ina Garten’s site. The problem is that Ina’s recipe makes enough for like 8 sandwiches. Maybe Ina can eat more than one of these, but I definitely can’t. (Joke Ina. You know I love you.)
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It’s like eggplant parm, but easier.
Here’s an interesting factoid: In over five years of blogging, I’ve never made a straight up eggplant parmesan dish. I’ve stacked it, rolled it, and even stuffed it, but never just made a classic version.
As far as I’m concerned, there’s no reason to start today! This baked casserole comes as close, flavor wise, to the traditional dish though. It skips a lot of the work though and is a lot easier to serve.
The final dish has chunks of slightly charred eggplant and pockets of mozzarella that make it a super-addictive dinner and one that will keep you warm on these cold nights.
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Best bagel you’ll have outside of New York.
Anybody who makes French toast regularly will tell you that the trick to great french toast is using great bread. You want something sturdy that won’t fall apart in the custard mixture or on the griddle.
Flimsy loaves like Wonder bread are a joke when it comes to French toast. In fact, some of the best French toast I’ve had didn’t use sandwich bread at all. Thick pieces of challah bread or rustic sourdoughs are a good start.
I thought I would crank that theory to 11 and use the sturdiest bread I could find to make my French toast: BAGELS.
There is a lot of awesomeness about this recipe and it becomes extremely flexible because you can use any bagel you like. My favorite part though? Vanilla whipped cream cheese.
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Betsy and I have been casually (by casually I mean obsessively) looking at houses on Trulia and Zillow for the last four months or so. We really love the area of downtown Denver that we live in and we slowly realized that it’s where we want to put down some roots.
After seeing three or four houses that we really loved come and go, there was one house that stayed in our search results for months. It seemed nice, but it was strange that it had been on the market for more than a month or so. The Denver real estate market is booming right now so properties just don’t sit that long unless there is something wrong.
Betsy and I figured it was worth a look though because it was in the perfect area for us. We got an agent recommendation from a friend and he took us by the house.
It was perfect… or at least… perfect enough. Turns out it was on the market so long because two deals fell through on it for silly reasons.
And that’s the story of how we bought the first house we looked at. Our agent actually felt like it was a bad idea to put in an offer without at least looking at other houses so we did a whirlwind tour one day and looked at half a dozen other options – none as good a fit for us.
And the rest is history! We close on the sucker in two weeks and then we have a month to do some painting and small projects before we move in!
Don’t worry. Once we get all setup and everything I’ll give you guys a more thorough tour of the new digs!
No poll this week because I’m going to be traveling a bit next week.
Also, Happy Valentine’s Day, lovers!
The Myth of Sushi Grade - This is a great read and why I’ve never tried to make sushi at home besides veggie sushi. It’s a huge pain to source excellent seafood. Even if it’s labeled “Sushi grade” that doesn’t mean it’s safe to eat raw. (@ PBS Food)
A Red Salad - If you’re looking for a last minute Valentine’s Day salad, this is beautiful and perfect. It has some of my favorite flavors tossed together and is a stunning color. (@ Sippity Sup)
Coconut Rice Pudding - Ok. The rice pudding is over the top delicious as-is, but the blood orange syrup is just another level. If I made this, I’m not sure I would share with others. (@ Delicious Days)
After-Dinner Tea - Tea is essentially just a combination of herbs and spices and there’s no reason you can’t make your own combo. This recipe is specifically made to sooth the tummy after a big meal. I love it. (@ The Kitchn)
This Week’s Meal Plan
This week’s meal plan shows off some of my favorite, fast Italian dishes. Many classic Italian dishes are actually very quick to prepare and also happen to be very warming and delicious on a cold, winter day.
You can sign up now for Macheesmo Meals and get a free week to try out this plan and the others (there are now around 25 total) and see if you like them!