Baked Tomato Risotto

I didn’t think I would enjoy making this as much as I did. When it comes to cooking, I’m really into the “under 30 minutes and less than 5 steps” category. Once you start adding in multiple processes and using scary words like “bechamel,” I begin slowly backing away. I mean, do you realize that multiple sauces and mixtures means more dishes to clean? Haven’t you people heard of one pot wonders? Why can’t every recipe read, “Add all ingredients to bowl. Stir. Bake at 350 for 15 minutes.”*

*note to self – great idea for a cookbook

However, when I saw this dish on Giada’s show, it seemed too delicious to pass up. But I was shocked at how easy this was to prepare. And it included a lot of stirring, which if you’ve had a stressful week can be very relaxing, in a hippie, zen-like sort of way. Let’s break it down. Continue Reading →

Savory Baked Pumpkin Ravioli with Caramelized Onion Dip

I’m currently writing from my parents’ home in North Carolina where I’m spending the week visiting with family before Chase and I head to a wedding. It’s been nice to be reminded of how fall is actually supposed to feel like: brisk during the day with a chill at night with falling leaves covering our yard and driveway.  Los Angeles apparently hasn’t gotten the memo, since it insists on maintaining temperatures of 100 degrees or more, which ultimately led to a clothing strike in which I stated that I would only be wearing yoga pants and loose tank tops until the weather decided to change her tune. I have never in the past been a girl who looked forward to cool weather, which is one of the main reasons I moved to LA in the first place, but for the first time I find myself gazing longingly at my jeans and scarves each morning and wishing I could wear either without melting away in pool of sweat and iced coffee.

To try a different approach with the weather, as a food blogger I feel the need to offer up a recipe to the pumpkin spice gods that come around each year and pepper the internet with everything imaginable you can do with pumpkin. Admittedly this looks awfully similar to what I made last year, but I really wanted to try and find something savory to add to my recipe list; something to serve before a meal instead of after it. I realized that this was a winner after I ate so many raviolis that I had a stomach ache for an entire afternoon. Next time I’ll be sure to have friends and family around to help me clean the plate.

Alright, there’s something with pumpkin on my blog. Can you hear me, weather? It’s time to ditch those 100 degree heat waves for some chilly nights that require jackets. I hope we’ve come to an agreement on this one.

Continue Reading →

Fudge Brownies with White Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting

Ohh. Emm. Gee. As I write this sentence,  I am currently winning my office’s NCAA bracket pool. And I know NOTHING about basketball. Except that UNC Chapel Hill is the BEST, am I right?

What? You’re a Duke fan? GET OF MY INTERNET.

(not really – please stay!)

(Go UNC!)

Winning something when you’re the underdog is so much more satisfying than when everyone expects it. It’s like when you go to a five-star restaurant and are a little underwhelmed by the satisfying plate in front of you. I mean, yeah, this tastes good but I just paid you $100 for a piece of fish and glass of wine so it should be damn amazing. But if you go to a hole-in-the-wall and fork over $5 for some sandwich that blows your mind you will rave about that place like you found the Leprechaun’s pot of gold in the bathroom.

BTW – you like my St. Patrick’s day tie-in?? You better – that’s all I got…

Sorry…it’s totally lame and I apologize. You all deserve better. Please go here or here for proper St. Patrick’s day recognition.

Let’s just say that these are the underdog in brownies. Most of you will probably have these ingredients on hand – there’s no call for special flours or almond extract or high quality dark chocolate chips.  There’s also almost zero technical knowledge required – if you can melt chocolate and stir stuff in a bowl you’ll do just fine. And yet, despite their humble means they have ruined me on brownies forever. They are, in a word, perfection. Moist, but not gooey. Chewy sides without being dry. Chocolatey without being super rich.

Perfect. Brownies.

Oh yeah, and then I added some white chocolate cream cheese frosting. That. Happened.

Continue Reading →