Welcome to Hollywood! What’s your dream? Everybody comes here; this is Hollywood, land of dreams. Some dreams come true, some don’t; but keep on dreamin’ – this is Hollywood. Always time to dream, so keep on dreamin’. –Pretty Woman
When I post savory recipes, it’s usually on a Sunday, and because I adore alliteration, I call them Sunday Suppers. I made this easy Italian sausage pasta sauce for dinner a couple of nights ago, and it was so good that I want to share it today. We’re leaving in the morning to jet off to Los Angeles for our swanky #PeopleVIP Oscars trip from People Magazine and klout perks, and as soon as we get home, we’re jumping in the car to spend the rest of next week at The Outer Banks. I am 99% sure I won’t post next week, so consider this Italian sausage pasta sauce a gift to apologize in advance for my absence on the blog next week.
This sauce is versatile. You can use it as a “straight up” pasta sauce. You can mix it with the pasta in a casserole and bake it. You can use it for the meaty-saucy layer in lasagna. You can stuff it into shells or pour it over cheese-stuffed shells before baking. Heck, you could even add stock and creamy cannellini beans and maybe some torn kale to make your own Italian-inspired soup! As the name implies, it is very easy to make, and you probably have everything you need without having to make a special shopping trip.
Whenever I go into any sort of retail store, but specifically drug stores, I feel like I’ve been shifted forward in time by a few weeks. In September, I’m accosted by leering skulls and flashing eyed reapers, Styrofoam headstones and Bacchanalian heaps of candy. In mid-October, reindeer start making their appearance right next to the black plastic cauldrons and motion activated lights that moan when you pass.
The reindeer are joined by wrappings and trappings, by Santas and Snowmen, ornaments and tinsel, and everything turns red and green.
I feel sorry for Thanksgiving which might get a few feet of shelf space for some autumn-hued napkins and a scarecrow or two.
Yesterday was a banner day. It marked the first in what I hope will become a semi-regular series of discussions about food and culture via Google + Hangouts on Air!
Jamie Schler (Life’s a Feast and Plated Stories) and I have been talking about doing something like this on French cuisine for quite some time, It seems like Americans especially have an overly romantic view of what French food is all about, and as an American who has lived in France for thirty years, she wanted to dispel some myths. And I wanted to help her.
Then, we decided to broaden our scope, so we asked Domenica Marchetti (Domenica Cooks), prolific author of gorgeous Italian cookbooks (her sixth comes out next year) to speak about myths and misconceptions surrounding Italian food. We also approached the fabulous David Leite, master of Leite’s Culinaria, multiple nominated and award-winning food blogger and food writer extraordinaire to represent the cuisine of Portugal. David is 100% Portuguese, and he spent a year in the Azores (where his family is from) and Portugal researching the cuisine for his book, The New Portuguese Table.
When I started this website, and eventually the blog to go along with it, I didn’t know who I would reach. I didn’t know if I would reach anyone at all.
I thought there might be a need for a site that focused on ingredient function, on mixing methods and techniques and on thinking a bit outside the box when it came to baking. There were already so many blogs–many of them wonderful–that shared recipes along with a story and gorgeous, eye-popping photography. I was no photographer. I still am not, so I knew I couldn’t run in those circles. I didn’t even really want to. I wanted to teach people what they needed to know in order to make their own versions of fun, delicious and even spectacular desserts.
The best way to begin is just to begin. Take a deep breath and begin.
I was going to write a Valentine’s Day post today. I was going to take pretty pictures so that people would pin, would share, would come and read and ooh and ah over my creation. Swirls of frosting. Pink and red. What an awesome blogger. What beautiful photos.
This is my Valentine’s post. A plea for help for a child I’ve never met. Help4Harleigh. Whose uncle I have only spoken with a handful of times via social media. I ask that you pin this, that you invite people to come and read, that you share this post. To help spread the word for Mark and his family.
It is so hard to watch a child suffer. Everyone wants to do all that they can to ease the pain and will the healing begin.
Lollipops and corn dogs are pretty much the only food items I think should be on sticks. Yet here I am reviewing the new cookbook that is mostly all about shoving sticks into other foods: Easy as Pie Pops, Small in Size and Huge on Flavor and Fun by Andrea Smetona of Cakewalk Desserts.
When I first got my copy of the book from Page Street Publishing, I decided that I would be making one of the tea cakes since they don’t have to be shoved on a stick. I made Lemon Thyme Tea Cakes, and overall I was pleased with the way they turned out. More on that in a bit, though.
I hardly ever make cheesecake. Not because I don’t like it but because I like it a little too much.
I am pretty sure I have never met a cheesecake I didn’t love and eat more of than maybe I should. I have even purchased a tub of Philadelphia cheesecake filling just to eat straight like pudding. Wait, that wasn’t me…
About three weeks ago, I ordered a jar of Apple Pie Jam from Fogwood Farm as part of our order through Carolina Grown. When I ordered it, I didn’t actually have a plan for it. I just had an idea that I’d be able to use it to make something delicious at some point. When the jam arrived, I put it in the cabinet and waited for inspiration.
Let me introduce you to the Cuban Sandwich Empanada. I’m pretty sure there is really nothing else to say. I should just stand out of the way as you stampede to make the recipe. Since I’m me, though, I shall say more. Tender, juicy, garlicky-citrusy mojo pork; sweet and salty ham; mellow Swiss cheese; sour, acidic dill pickles; the bite of yellow mustard. These things should be in that song. You know the one.
Raindrops on roses. Whiskers on kittens.
Hot Cuban sammies I must get my mitts on.
I have had turtles and s’mores on the brain ever since I made Kim’s Turtle S’mores Chocolate Cake for her birthday celebration. So when I looked at my leftover butterscotch candy, ganache and pecans from the cake extravaganza, I immediately thought graham crackers. Turtle graham crackers candy.
Because, who wouldn’t, right?