Category Archives: dinner

Kale Pizza

Kale + pizza = best thing ever.

Kelly over at Just a Taste knows how to get my attention.  She posted this recipe last month and I about jumped out of my seat when I saw it.  I’ve been thinking about kale and how to use it other than just making chips.  My first chip experience was a disaster and haven’t tried it since.  But this?  This I had to have.

I like to use my cast iron pan for pizzas.  Whether it’s a pre-made or homemade crust, using the cast iron pan is the way I roll.


Slap some mozz on that crust.


Cook up some bacon and reserve the fat.  Toss in some chopped up kale with the bacon and it’s fat and coat it well.


Dump that on top of the mozz, add some sliced red onion and anything else you fancy.


Bake and enjoy.  I drizzled some balsamic glaze on top as soon as I pulled this out of the oven.  This might be one of the best ways to sneak kale into your food.  Man was this AMAZING.  If you’re not the kale type, I think spinach will sub well here.

Go check out the full recipe over at Just a Taste. I’ve made a few things from Kelly’s blog and they’ve all turned out delicious.  You can’t go wrong with her blog! And make some kale pizza!

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Fried “Rice”

I finally bought a wok.

This is pretty exciting and intimidating at the same time.

I’ve never owned any fancy kind of cookware.  Granted, I bought it at Marshall’s for $10, but I still bought a wok.

I let it sit on the kitchen counter for a few days, price sticker still on it.  I’d look at it and think, “Do I really this?” I mean, it was only $10 but … do I need ANOTHER cooking vessel?  (Brad’s answer – No) But it’s a wok! Shouldn’t every kitchen have one? Sure!  After a couple of days I finally took the sticker off and threw the receipt away.  No turning back now!

I let it sit for a few more days.  I’d stare at it and think, “What am I going to make?”

Yes. I seriously asked that.

I’ve never made fried rice.  I love ordering it.  But I’ve NEVER made it.  So fried rice is the first thing up in the wok.  But not just any fried rice.  I’ve had my eye on this recipe from Rosie the Londoner.  She has a guilt free egg fried “rice” recipe that sounds amazing. And since it’s a new year, might as well be healthy (just to start eating delicious trash later).

Bust out that wok I know you all have tucked behind all of your pots and pans and preheat that sucker.  No oil just yet.

The “rice” is not just rice, though.  Cauliflower, friends.  Cauliflower.  You take that cauliflower and zip it through your food processor with the grate attachment.  Chop up some onions and garlic as well (but don’t mix them together).


Once the wok is hot, drizzle some oil (not olive oil, something with a higher smoking point so you don’t fill your kitchen with burn) down the sides of the wok and toss in your onions and garlic.  Cook for a few minutes or until they start smelling delish.

Toss in your shrimp if they’re raw.  If they’re cooked, skip this step and add them in last to warm them up.  Cook your shrimpies until just cooked – they’ll stay in the pan so you don’t want to over cook them.

Dump in your “rice” and stir, stir, stir! After a few minutes, drizzle in some soy sauce and continue to stir.


I also added in a little bit of rice vinegar. Once everything is incorporated, make a little well in the center of your wok and crack an egg.


Let the egg cook a little bit until the white starts to set and then break the yolk.  Stir that around a little bit and then stir the whole thing again. Once the egg is cooked, remove from heat and serve.  That’s it! So simple!


It doesn’t look glamorous but man is it tasty.  And not bad for you at all.  Serve it with some sweet chili sauce or sriracha, depending on how you like your heat.  Don’t forget the cilantro! Because that makes anything delicious.  Experiment with your proteins.  Chicken, steak, tofu.  Add more veggies – snow peas, shredded carrots, peppers.  You really can’t go wrong with this basic fried “rice” recipe.

Now I want to stir fry EVERYTHING.  This wok is fun!

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FFwD Dressy Pasta “Risotto”

AKA Fancy mac and cheese!   I enjoy risotto and was slightly disappointed when I read through the recipe to find out it’s everything but.  But man do I LOVE mac and cheese.  Like LOVE.  It is just the definition of comfort food.  This fancier version might now be my go to for mac and cheese.  I normally make a roux, dump some cream in, melt the cheese and add the pasta.  This was SO much easier.  Dorie calls for chicken stock – lucky for me I made chicken stock earlier in the day.  I had chicken parts in the freezer and was looking to free up some space.  It’s getting colder here at the beach thanks to snow storm Hercules, so homemade soup will be happening later this week.  The local fish market is having a HUGE sale on clams so I’m also thinking clam chowder is going to happen in the very near future.  The perks of living at the beach!

Back to that risotto … Onions, butter, chicken stock, pasta, cream, fresh grated parmesan and mascarpone.  MMM. Dorie.  It’s like you wrote this recipe just for me.  Taking one of my favorite things to eat, making it fancy AND it’s a one pot wonder.  Gah! I served mine up with some pork chops (thanks for the chops, Mom!) and greens.


This was a hit all around.  I will make this again that is for sure.  Check out what the other Doriesters are doing with their dressy pasta risotto here.

Now I will stay indoors all day.  It’s cold here!


So pretty!

Update — Beach snow photos! 🙂

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Butternut Sage Pasta with Pine Nuts in Brown Butter

Tis the season of the gourd! I love all things pumpkin, butternut, sweater, crisp air, pumpkin soaps, boots, vampy nail polish colors, etc.  This season is just my absolute favorite.  I’m also a fan of leggings as pants. I know, some people hate it, but sometimes I just want to toss on some leggings, a tunic sweater and my boots.  And a puffer vest from the Gap.  Maybe a hat, maybe a scarf.  But come on! How can you hate that? OK.  Back to the pasta.

I saw this recipe on thekitchn.com and ooohed and ahhhed when I came across it.  I always have a few butternut squashes on hand (because I can’t help myself when I visit Trader Joe’s in the fall – SO CHEAP) and I love everything else that was involved.  After reading the recipe over a few times, I put my own spin on it.  Instead of using oil, we’re going to use brown butter.  Why not amp up that flavor just a smidge?

It’s a few steps but totally worth it. I feel like Ina when I say that …

Roasted butternut squash. DELICIOUS.

Roasted butternut squash. DELICIOUS.

Butternut Sage Pasta with Pine Nuts in Brown Butter
adapted from thekitchn.com

  • 1 medium butternut squash
  • 1 small sweet onion, peeled and diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3-4 tablespoons of butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh sage leaves
  • 1 pound farfalle pasta
  • 3/4 cup pine nuts, toasted
  • 4 ounces high quality Parmesan, shredded or shaved (about a cup total)

Heat the oven to 375°. Peel, cut in half, scoop out the seeds and strings and cut the squash into 1-inch cubes. Toss with the onion, garlic, a drizzle of olive oil and salt and pepper. Mince about half of the fresh sage leaves and also toss with the squash.

Spread the squash mixture in a thin layer on a large baking sheet and roast for about 40 minutes or until the squash is soft.

Bring water to a boil and cook the farfalle until al dente. Drain and set aside. As the squash finishes roasting, start to brown your butter in a large saute pan. (We will talk about brown butter and ghee soon). Drop in the rest of the sage leaves and fry for about a minute, or until they begin to just shrivel up.

Remove with a slotted spoon and salt lightly. Crush with the back of a spoon.

Add the pasta to the pan, along with the roasted squash mixture. Crumble in the sage. Cook, stirring frequently, for five minutes or until the pasta is heated through and getting crispy on some of the edges. Add the pine nuts and cook for another minute. Stir in the cheese and serve. (This is why you use a large saute pan 🙂 )  If you feel like doing it, toast your pine nuts before as well.  Yuuummmmm.

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Doesn’t this look amazing and don’t you want to just toss your face in it?  OK.  I need to calm down.  Happy fall cooking!

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Scallops and Oysters, oh my!

The eastern seaboard is my home away from home.

Morning sunrise.

I’ll give you a few minutes to take that in and hate me. 🙂

Thinking about this place just brings back such amazing memories.  I would come here as a kid with my mom, dad and sister.  We’d stay at the Dunes Manor Hotel and have tea and crumpets at 4 p.m. while sitting on the rocking chairs on the beach-front deck. When it was time for my parents to have their adult beverages in the bar, Jes and I would enjoy our Shirley Temples and think we’re hot stuff.  It wasn’t a trip to the beach without a few rounds of mini golf and loads and loads and loads of crab legs that my sassy self would demand someone else crack them for me.  And THEY DID! Ha! What a life!  I thought myself as “classy” since I loved eating clams but I always scoffed at oysters and scallops.

Baby steps? This is where we transition to the present time.

I live here now.  While I still love crab legs (no one cracks them for me now), I love, love, love oysters and scallops.  I love anything that comes from the ocean, or now, my back yard.


Brad and I took a Sunday drive down to Martin Fish Co in West Ocean City where the boats dock and unload their catches of the day.  I must say this is going to be my spot for all things seafood.  Friendliest staff, clean and prices can’t be beat.

However, it would be my luck when we got there.  I wanted a whole fish but the guy in front of me bought $300 worth of whole fish and practically wiped them out! All that was left were croaker and spot.  Not what I wanted! So I opted for local scallops and oysters from Virginia.

Mmm oysters.  I shucked them myself too.  SUPER EASY.  Got an oyster shucking knife and worked it into the “hinge” side of the sucker and just twist.  Don’t forget to hold it with a thick dish towel or even an oven mitt.  These guys aren’t soft as a baby’s bottom.

On to the scallops.

Pat them dry, salt and pepper ’em, add them to pan with oil and sear! Simple. Make sure you use non-stick.  I didn’t and they don’t look as pretty as they should.  Once seared and they are no longer translucent, remove the scallops and toss in some white wine.  Reduce the wine and add in some garlic and butter.  Let this go for a minute or so and remove from heat.  Nestle the scallops over pasta, pour the sauce over top and garnish with some green onions.

The sea is mighty tasty and easy to cook! Don’t let it intimidate you like it did me.  It really is terribly simple.  I plan on whipping up a few whole fish soon and you will be the first to hear about it.

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flank steak and wedge salad

Have I ever mentioned that I love grilling?  I love grilling.  So much.  I wish I could bottle the smell of ‘grill’ and wear it as my perfume.  I’m that weird.

Anyway.  I saw this recipe somewhere on the internet for flank steak pinwheels.  It looked super cool and I HAD to try it.  (Google it – you’ll find a million recipes on it.)

But the pinwheel prep part?  Meh.  OK.  It looked KIND OF AWESOME.  Many recipes say to butterfly it, stuff it, roll it, and then shove some bamboo skewers in it for lollipop pinwheels.  But when I started to butterfly the flank steak, things went wrong.  I couldn’t butterfly it.  It was just bad.  I ended up carving holes in my flank steak.  So before i had a swiss cheese-esque  flank steak, I took matters into my own hands and just pounded it thin.  Problem solved.


I slathered that bad boy with olive oil, green onions, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper.


Now comes the prosciutto and provolone. Yep.  Meat stuffed with meat.


Roll’er’up and tie’er’up.  Season’er’up with salt and pepper.


I hope you pre-heated your grill.  Get that hot, oil up the grates, and gently place your flank steak on the grill.  It took me about 15 minutes to cook the whole flank with one flip.  My idea of pounding it thin really paid off.


Once the steak is done, pull it off the grill and let it rest for about 10 minutes or so so everything settles.


Cut into your pinwheels (discard the string- blegh) and serve.  I made a wedge salad to serve with my steak. Refreshing and SO DELICIOUS.

The lovely part of this meal is that you can really stuff your steak with anything you want.  The steak is a blank, but delicious, canvas.  Go wild, kids.  Let me know what you stuff it with.

Can we call this my comeback post?  I guess it isn’t a come back, I’ve been here … just busy.  OK. COME BACK KID FOODING WITH EMILY IT IS.  OK. This post needs to end. I love you all! So much! I’ve missed you and I’m happy I have more time to blog more! Blame my full time job for lack of time 😉  I have so many fun things to post about I can’t WAIT to post about them!!! 🙂 What are these things? Oh, just macarons, my trip to the TACO TRUCK (omgiknow), butternut sage pasta, a dogfish dinner (ok that one is WAY OVER DUE), and a magazine mention.  yes.  amazing.

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Fooding with Chef Chuck! Grilled Swordfish with Thai Peanut Sauce

This week’s post comes from Chef Chuck Kerber of Pittsburgh Hot Plate, and is part of a special day of shenanigans from other Pittsburgh Bloggers. You can see my post over on lil’ Burgers, where I talk about my hate for diets and love of delicious food.

I don’t make much fish (I wish I did – I’m just scurred!) but I have such a soft spot for Thai things. Take it away, Chef Chuck!

Grilled Swordfish with Thai Peanut Sauce

Swordfish is a substantial, meaty fish. The flesh is slightly sweet, yet robust. Thai Peanut Sauce goes perfectly with this particular seafood dish.

Prep time: 40 minutes

Pre-heat grill to 350-375 degrees

Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4 swordfish steaks, 6 oz. each- skin off
  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cracked black pepper

Directions:

Massage each fillet with the extra virgin olive oil, and season with salt and pepper. Grill the fish for 3-4 minutes a side on a 350-375 degree grill- remove from the grill and place on a platter.

For the Thai Peanut Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup creamy peanut butter
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup sesame oil
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • ¼ cup pineapple juice
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1/3 cup coconut milk
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cracked clack pepper

Directions:

Place all of the ingredients in a food processor or blender- mix until smooth.

Place a few tablespoons of the sauce over the swordfish- garnish with chopped scallions or chives, lime and lemon wedges, toasted sesame seeds, and crushed peanuts.

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Enjoy!

Chef Chuck Kerber

Boy does this look amazing.  I might have to take Chef Chuck’s lead and just make this.  Happy April Fool’s day, everyone!

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