Browsing Tag


Brown Butter Angel Hair Pasta

March 15, 2011

Note: In light of the recent tragedies in Japan, I am thinking of putting together a virtual bake sale with the proceeds going to disaster relief. If this is something you would be interested in participating in, please send me an e-mail ( so I can gauge interest. 

Daylight savings time and a hectic week are really cramping my photo schedule. So instead of bathing my recipes in morning light, I’m photographing my recipe under artificial light in my pajamas at 5:45 in the morning. It’s a glamorous life, indeed.

But if you can manage to look past the bad lighting, this recipe is a true gem. Ever since reader Colleen said her favorite comfort food was spaghetti with Parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, I had the idea for this pasta on my mind. Pasta, dressed with a delicate, savory browned butter sauce. Peppered with notes of sage and salty Parmesan cheese.

Health food? No. A divine indulgence? You better believe it.

Brown Butter Angel Hair Pasta
Be careful not to over brown the butter. A couple more minutes after the butter is melted should be enough to give you the flavor and color you’re looking for. 

*2 oz (1 serving) angel hair pasta
*3 Tbsp. salted butter
*Kosher salt
*1/8 tsp. rubbed sage
*Grated Parmesan cheese

*Prepare pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
*In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Once melted, continue to cook, swirling frequently, until butter begins to brown and turns a light amber color, about 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in salt to taste, the sage and 1/2 tsp. Parmesan cheese. Stir to combine.
*Pour butter sauce over pasta and sprinkle with additional Parmesan cheese and kosher salt, if desired.

Happy cooking!


A Day In The Life: Tuesday’s Eats

March 9, 2011

It’s been a while since I’ve shared a little look into what my daily eats look like. Between my six mile run yesterday, lifting and my five mile run today, I’ve been one hungry girl! Mornings start pretty early in my apartment (I’m usually up and making breakfast between 5 and 5:30) and I find myself needing to snack on something every couple of hours to prevent a total blood sugar crash.

*16 oz. water
*Cup of coffee with 2% milk and a tablespoon of International Delight Breve Creme
*2 slices whole wheat toast with butter
*Fage 2% Greek Yogurt with 1/2 cup of fresh raspberries (so expensive right now!)

*2/3 cup Kellogg’s All Bran cereal (new favorite) with a cup of 2% milk
*Dannon Light & Fit yogurt with 1/2 cup fresh raspberries
*8 oz. water
*Cup of Trader Joe’s Peppermint Tea 

Afternoon Snack
*Small apple
*Medium latte from Caribou Coffee (a treat from my awesome co-worker!)

*Ran by Jimmy John’s (which I rarely do during the week) and grabbed a #6 (vegetarian) sub without mayo and triple Dijon
*6 oz. Dannon Light & Fit yogurt with 1/4 cup chopped walnuts and a tablespoon of ground flax seed
*Small apple with a tablespoon of peanut butter
*16 oz. water

Post-Workout Snack
*Smoothie made with vanilla whey protein powder, 2% milk, peanut butter and ice

Happy eating!


Freezer Lasagna for Two

January 20, 2011

Tonight I’m posting something unlike anything I’ve posted in the last 10 months. You see, as most of you know I have been a vegetarian for almost a year, meaning the recipes containing meat on Espresso and Cream have all but disappeared. What hasn’t changed during this time is Joey’s love for beef, chicken, pork and the like.

Most of the time when we’re together, we find some sort of compromise. When we eat out, the places we frequent are those with options that are both friendly to my diet and appealing to him. Ethnic restaurants are great for that very reason. And when I cook for us, meat is usually a side-dish to whatever meal we are having. A few grilled chicken breasts here, some meat sauce there, a veggie burger for me – a real burger for him.

Fact: During our marriage counseling, when asked what type of food we would be eating as a married couple Joey responded (on his own prompting) “flexitarian.” I was so proud.

So even though I may not be eating meat, it is most certainly being consumed by the man I love. That said, I thought that for my upcoming trip I’d fix him something special to keep in the freezer on the nights I’m not around. So, my friends, I give you Freezer Lasagna for Two (aka: Lasagna for Bachelors, Fiancées, and Helpless Husbands).

Freezer Lasagna for Two
(Printable Recipe)

*1 tablespoon olive oil 
*2 shallots, chopped
*2 cloves garlic, minced
*1 lb. ground pork or beef
*1 tsp. Italian seasoning
*Salt and ground black pepper 
*6 no-boil lasagna noodles
*1 (15-oz.) container whole milk ricotta cheese
*1 large egg, lightly beaten
*1 medium zucchini, thinly sliced
*1 1/2 to 2 cups marinara sauce

*2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
*Chopped fresh tomatoes (optional) 

*In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add in the shallots and garlic. Cook 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add in ground pork or beef and cook until browned, stirring frequently and breaking into small pieces. Remove from heat and stir in the Italian seasoning. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.
*Lightly grease three miniature disposable loaf pans. Place 1 no-boil lasagna noodle in the bottom of each pan.
*In a small bowl, stir together the ricotta cheese and egg until well combined. Spread some of the ricotta mixture atop each of the noodles in a thin even layer, followed by some of the zucchini, marinara sauce, pork mixture and cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients one more time.
*At this point, you can either cover the lasagnas with aluminum foil and freeze until ready to use. Or, preheat the oven to 375°F and bake for 30 minutes, or until cheese is bubbly and lasagna noodles are soft. Top with fresh tomatoes, if desired.
*If you do decide to freeze the lasagnas, thaw them in the refrigerator before use and cook as instructed above.

Happy Cooking!


Asian-Sesame Fried Rice

January 7, 2011

THIS crazy kid is coming to visit me in less than 12 hours. And although I can’t wait until the days that we no longer have to visit one another, there is something exciting about the anticipation of the weekend. Cleaning the house, putting makeup on and getting ready for him to arrive makes each and every weekend feel special. I love dating my fiancé, and I’m looking forward to dating my husband, too.

And until he arrives, I’ll be eating fried rice. Sort of. Except way healthier than anything you might find at a restaurant. But before I get ahead of myself, I need to give some serious props and credit to my inspiration for this dish, Emily over at Daily Garnish. I’ve talked about Emily before, when her blog was still called The Front Burner. Now it has a pretty new name and design that’s definitely worth checking out.

So when Emily posted a recipe a while back for fried rice, my taste buds started watering and I new I needed to come up with a version of my own. Since I am big on hearty, veggie-dense portions, I boosted the veggies in my fried rice with a combination of peas and edamame, and used a little bit of Trader Joe’s Asian-Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette. The whole process was so super easy, it had me wondering why I hadn’t tried something similar before.

Have a happy weekend, everyone!

Asian Sesame Fried Rice
(Printable Recipe)
Note: The recipe calls for edamame and peas, which I ended up adding in the second time I made this dish. Hence, the photo has no peas and edamame but the recipe does. Since the weather in the mornings around here has been dreadful and cloudy, getting a second shot at taking a photo worth sharing wasn’t going to happen!

 *2 large eggs 
*2 Tbsp. light margarine (I used “I can’t Believe It’s Not Butter Light”)
*2 cups brown rice, cooked
*1/2 cup shelled edamame
*1 cup sweet peas
*2 Tbsp. Asian-sesame sauce or teriyaki sauce (I like Trader Joe’s Asian Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette)
*Drizzle of soy sauce

*In a small bowl, beat the two eggs until well-combined. Set aside. 
*In a large nonstick skillet, heat butter until melted, about 1 minute. Add in the brown rice, edamame, sweet peas and Asian-sesame sauce. Continue cooking for 1 to 2 minutes more, until edamame and peas are heated through. 
*Slowly pour the eggs over the rice. Stir with a rubber spatula and continue to cook for 2 minutes more.
*Transfer the rice to two bowls and drizzle with soy sauce, if desired.

Happy Cooking!


Zucchini Spaghetti and a Winner

December 20, 2010
Happy Monday, everyone! First things first, let me say how much I loved hearing you all talk about what you’re thankful for. Each and every time I read one of your comments it brought a smile to my face and made me think a little more about being thankful in my own life. I really do have the world’s best readers. 
Secondly, a big congrats is due to Courtney Hughes, the winner of the Trader Joe’s Peanut Flour giveaway! Courtney, I’ll be getting you your gift over the holidays! 🙂
After last week’s confession about how very little cooking I had been doing, I decided to get back in the kitchen and make myself something worth eating – and sharing. This meal actually graces my table quite often, when I am craving pasta but know I need to eat a few more servings of veggies. 
The key to making this dish is to have a julienne peeler. If you don’t have one, it’s pretty much the best $9 investment you could make and a great gift idea for the hard-to-shop-for cook in your life. And the zucchini? Pretty much the best veggie to put it to use on. In both taste and texture, it’s amazing how similar the zucchini tastes to al dente pasta. 
Another bonus is the speed at which this dish comes together. For people like me, who are ravenous at the end of the day and can’t wait for dinner, it’s the perfect solution all around. Monday night dinner dilemma solved. 
Zucchini Spaghetti 
(Printable Recipe)
*2 medium zucchini, peeled into strips with a julienne peeler
*1/2 to 1 Tbsp. olive oil
*1/4 tsp. salt 
*1/4 tsp. black pepper
*1/2 cup marinara sauce 
*2 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese or shredded cheese of choice 
*In a medium skillet, heat oil over medium high heat. Add the zucchini to pan along with the salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cook, stirring frequently, 3 to 4 minutes, until zucchini is soft but still has a bit of crunch. 
*Add in the marinara sauce and cook 1 minute more, until marinara sauce is heated through. 
*Transfer to bowl and top with cheese. Serve immediately. Serves 1 as a main dish serving or 2 as a side dish. 
Happy Cooking!