Food, Travel

Mambo Italiano, and Tuscan Pici Cacio e Pepe Style

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Oh, baby. We are BACK.

And by “BACK,” I mean that I have been completely incapable of doing anything for the past 5 days due to a nasty, nasty bout of the flu. My mom referred to this as being retribution for taking a long, amazing vacation, and I’ll admit that it feels that way a bit.

Where was I?

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Oh yes. The #dreamtrip. We were lucky enough to spend two and a half weeks exploring a ton of different parts of Italy, which is something I’ve dreamed about for what feels like ever. I’m keenly aware that the origin of this yearning may in fact have been related to the very first time that I read Eat, Pray, Love – call me basic, but that shit was inspiring. Who doesn’t want to take four months off (ideally, with the bill footed by your publishers) to eat tagliatelle and stare at the David all day? I do. I want that.

I’m going to attempt to split our trip up into separate posts, but first, I wanted to share with you our very favorite culinary adventure from that trip: Pici.  Continue reading “Mambo Italiano, and Tuscan Pici Cacio e Pepe Style”

Food

Mind-Melting Chocolate Babka / ARRIVEDERCI!

DSC_0116Well…there’s this. I’ve been drafting this post since the day after Easter (whoops), and that’s mostly because so far, it has been a whirlwind of life and then horrible illness. (Cheery start here, eh??)

Let’s try again. Hi!!!!

The picture above is unusually bad, because if we’re all being honest here, I was taking these pictures in front of a room full of people who were waiting to descend upon the babka. So what you get, as a very direct result of said vultures friends, are sub-par pictures. My B! DSC_0101 Real talk: babka takes TIME, y’all. Serious commitment. My girlfriend Rachel and I agreed that this would be our project for Easter weekend. We got together the night before and made the dough (look at the flecks of orange zest!), and then rolled and baked it on Easter morning. But I’ll be honest with you. When it came out of the oven? I felt like the world’s greatest magician. I know that all we did was follow the directions, but it makes no sense that you can make something shaped like this out of raw ingredients. It is really crazy.  Continue reading “Mind-Melting Chocolate Babka / ARRIVEDERCI!”

Food

Croissant French Toast with Browned Butter Maple Syrup

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Oops.

This is kind of the ultimate definition of #sorrynotsorry.

This past Sunday marked a most momentous event, wherein my husband offered to make me french toast without demanding exercise in return. (We took a long walk with the dog afterwards, but that doesn’t really count.)

While it felt too good to be true, it was very real. And MAN, was this french toast delicious. Let me paint you a picture: french toast. Also, croissants. Are you there yet?  Continue reading “Croissant French Toast with Browned Butter Maple Syrup”

Food

Pimped-out Grilled Cheese

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Well.

You’d never know that I’ve been eating pretty clean recently, huh?

I have a confession. While I lead an unbelievably full and wonderful life in almost every way, I have a very real issue with wanting every meal to be either pizza or grilled cheese. #thestruggleisreal, y’all.

Bread? Bread is my absolute complete and total BFF. GOOD bread, mind you – none of that airy-fairy nonsense or good bread that’s now several days old and frankly, just not that good anymore.

But truly amazing bread? With a thick, crunchy crust and a soft, pillowy inside? Oh, my goodness gracious. I really, honestly, truly CANNOT EVEN. If it’s fresh out of the oven? Stop it. Stop it right now. Shut up and get out of here.  Mmmmmm.

Food

Philly Fluff Pound Cake: Because it’s Tuesday.

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My friends! My little friendy friends.

I need to come clean here: I don’t bake.

Allow me to be more precise: I find baking to be totally, completely, utterly, horrifyingly terrifying. Was that too vague for you? Fine. I shall expand further: When I’m cooking, I’m in control. I can taste what I’m cooking, add a little something, try it again, let it simmer, try it again, tweak it further, and finally deliver something to my mouth – and, god forbid, someone else’s mouth – that I already know is delicious. I know, because I tasted it. And it tasted effing great. Continue reading “Philly Fluff Pound Cake: Because it’s Tuesday.”

Food

Dark Chocolate Salted Peanut Butter Cups (Gasp)

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Well, I’ve really gone and done it now.

Here’s something that I want to know: why don’t regular Reese’s peanut butter cups have the same peanut-butter-to-chocolate ratio as the Easter Reese’s peanut butter cups? The regular ones seem totally fine until you buy the Easter egg-shaped versions that are available approximately 3 weeks per year, wherein you realize that you have been completely HOODWINKED by Reese’s and they’ve been holding back this whole time.

I hope that the fact that I have already spent this much time harping on about peanut butter cup equality will drive home why I bothered making these myself.

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These peanut butter cups make me want to lock myself inside my house and not let anyone else in until they’re gone. Including my husband, who happens to really like them. Is that wrong of me? Damaged? Don’t answer that. I’m just keeping it real.

Not to change the subject, but we spent this past weekend in Colorado, and it was just the best, best thing. My husband and I are both so lucky to have families that easily fall into the “best ever” category, and spending time just hanging out with the people we love was pretty freaking rad. And (I’m bringing it back around) when I love people, I want to make them dark chocolate salted peanut butter cups.*

*I think we already touched on the fact that ACTUALLY, I do not want to share these. If I share them with you, you know I really love you. And here I am, sharing it with all of you! So I must really love you. (I do.)  More peanut butter, please.

Family, Food

Ballin’ Chicken Tetrazzini

DSC_0496Are you a casserole person?

I can’t say that I identify as one. We weren’t really a casserole family, so to speak – I’ve never had anything against them, but they just didn’t serve as a big part of my eating experience growing up. When I think of enormous one-dish meals, I think of lasagna and mac and cheese (both of which my mom can seriously make the heck out of).

Here’s what happened: I was sick, and at the grocery store, and I wanted to buy a rotisserie chicken to make homemade chicken stock. But I also realized that in order to get to the chicken carcass (sorry), I would first need to pull off all the chicken and do something with it.  I am dying of suspense.