(A food photographer I am not.)
Another snow day here in Boston. Yep, just pure craziness mixed with an epic amount of cabin fever in these parts. When I’m stuck inside during storms like these I like to bake and cook a lot (providing I’ve actually had time to food shop beforehand). Last night I made a big pot of really yummy chili chock full of veggies. Since I’ve been doing a whole lot of NOT working out lately, eating well is important, and this dish is super healthy and nutritious while also being really good.
(a food photographer I am not- plates from Kate Spade)
I have long wanted to add more meat-free meals to my life. I’ve been cutting out red meat and pork from my diet most of the time (for personal “I love animals” reasons, not for a diet). However we eat a lot of chicken. SO MUCH CHICKEN. And when I dine out I love to order fish because others cook it so much better than I do. And yes, I know these are also animals but I have less warm fuzzy feelings for chickens and fish then I do for larger mammals. So while I will continue to eat these things, I really want to have some yummy meals I can prepare that do not include any meat at all. There is one problem though…. I have a very hungry husband who likes to eat ALL the animals. Tricky.
So the other night I persuaded him to let me prepare a recipe I saw in last month’s Martha Stewart magazine that happened to be meat-free but I thought looked really filling and delicious- “One Pan Orecchiette with Chickpeas and Olives”. Holy hell you guys, it was DELICIOUS and guess who loved it? Andrew! (Granted he did say “this would be awesome with some spicy sausage in it…”) But still, he was full and happy with it as is! I loved it so much I saved the extra and ate it the next day for lunch. And the best part- it’s beyond easy and affordable to make. Just throw everything into the skillet and wait 15 minutes! I’m no chef and I have little free time so meals like these are gold to me!
Here’s the recipe:
- 12 ounces orecchiette
- 1 can (15.5 ounces) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 1/2 cup Kalamata olives, pitted
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
- 1 6-inch sprig rosemary
- 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for serving
- 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes, plus more for serving
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (about 1 1/2 ounces), plus more for serving
- 2 cups baby arugula (about 2 ounces)
Combine pasta, chickpeas, olives, tomato paste, garlic, rosemary, oil, pepper flakes, and 5 cups water (** note from Erin- I’d use 4 cups water and add a little at the end if needed to thicken instead- I thought this was too much water) in a large straight-sided skillet. Season generously with salt and pepper. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until pasta is al dente and liquid is reduced to a sauce that coats pasta, 12 to 15 minutes.
Remove skillet from heat, discard rosemary, and stir in cheese. Add more water, a few tablespoons at a time, to thin sauce if necessary. Divide pasta and arugula among bowls and serve immediately, drizzled with oil and sprinkled with cheese and pepper flakes.
Well it’s Monday…again. The weekends go by SO fast (which is ok since whatever we can do to get closer to spring is fine by me). I’ve posted pics of my various morning smoothies on Instagram and people always ask what’s in them. So here is what I put in my very favorite morning smoothie, perfect to get going on Monday (plus then you feel like you at least did ONE good thing for your body for the day should you end up snarfing down grilled cheese for lunch!)
Monday Morning Smoothie
1/2 a ripe banana
1 big handful baby spinach
4-5 chunks of fresh pineapple (not frozen or canned!)
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
1-2 tbs. of vanilla whey protein powder
3/4 c-1 c. vanilla coconut milk ( add as you blend to right consistency, may be less, may be more)
1 tbs. flaxseed
*Blend at a high speed in a blender until very smooth. Enjoy. (P.S. I still am dying for a Vitamix!)
Once you’ve powered up with your smoothie please take a second to quickly answer this question for me- I have the ability to sell a select number of copies of the book (signed) through the blog and want to get a general idea of how many I should try to get to do so! Thanks SO much!
I have long enjoyed perusing a little southern magazine called Garden & Gun after seeing it years ago in a trip down south of the Mason Dixon line. While the title may cause guffaws from visitors to your home who see it on your coffee table, it’s not only for those entrenched in forsythia and firepower. They have done many home stories that have knocked my socks off, as well as some of the best photography I’ve seen to date. For example, this feature on a modern farmhouse in South Carolina.
I spent my weekend weeding, mulching and doing all sorts of sweaty outdoor yard activities as we prep our small patch of land for a fun re-do in August! I can’t help but feel after a long day outside with my hands in the dirt that I could, someday, move to a place like this. Nothing feels better than kicking back after some serious manual labor and the satisfaction that comes with doing something physical and beneficial with your time. Now, let’s not get CRAZY, I live far from the actual country- and I love being able to still walk to dinner and coffee from my house- but I have to say, leaving the city was the best decision I ever made. I don’t think I’ve ever been happier in a home.
So back to this house (I must be delirious from all the mulch and weed killer). The country vibe can be polarizing but so happy and calming, is it not? And this modern take on it I find really lovely.
I think we need to pause a moment to discuss the coolness of these stairs. I mean, really.
Love the kitchen colors (looks like my color scheme!) and the super rustic old wood doors!
There are those stairs again!!
Chickens and a relaxing little spot to sit. Looks lovely, doesn’t it?
After our big day of yard work, we cooked an awesome summer dinner and I wanted to share the recipes with you! It was THAT good. :) No styling here- just our actual meal seconds before Andrew ate every last bite.
Mojo Chicken Marinade (via Weber Grilling Cookbook)
1/2 c. orange juice
2 tbs fresh lime juice
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tbs extra virgin olive oil
1 tbs minced garlic
1/2 tsp Tabasco sauce
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
Whisk together in a bowl and place 2-4 chicken breasts in a large plastic resealable bag and pour marinade in. Place in fridge for 6-8 hours turning the bag once or twice. Grill. Yummers.
Deconstructed Street Corn (via Wall Street Journal Weekend)
6 ears fresh corn (or 4- we used 4 for the 2 of us)
1 jalapeno, finely chopped
2 tbs olive oil
1/3 cup freshly grated parmesean
2 tbs balsamic vinegar
if desired, finely chopped mint or cilantro
Pinch of salt
Boil corn and cut off the cob. In a saute pan heat up the oil and cook the jalapeno for 2 minutes, add the corn and saute for another 5 minutes. Pour into a large bowl and add the vinegar, salt, Parmesan and herbs and stir. Serve warm or cold!
** Note- I sent Andrew to the grocery store which means I got a JAR of sliced jalepenos and grated Kraft parmesan, not fresh. Also, our herb plants died int he heat. This ain’t no food blog, but it was still great! :)