OHHHHHHH, my goodness. You guys. I have been trying to tell you about these grilled cheese sandwiches ALL. WEEK. But some updates with some things I do on le blog here got all twisty and I ended up having to wait patiently (NOT my strong suit) for a bunch of OTHER updates to be available before I could post another recipe. BAH! It was terrible. Mostly because I’m kind of a brat and I hate waiting for things. So I just sulked around my apartment and baked cookies and lamented my internet life.
But now it’s fixed! Which means YAY. It also means I get to show you these grilled cheese sandwiches. And, um, I love them. I mean, I love ALL grilled cheeses. But these grilled cheeses? I. LOVE. THEM. Mostly because mushrooms and goat cheese rank very, very high on my list of favorite things. So does bread. And these grilled cheese sandwiches have ALL OF THOSE THINGS.
Which is why I feel zero guilt about eating three of them.
Right in a row.
Plus a handful of those cookies I mentioned earlier.
I used some amazing Miche Bread from Wegman’s (my new favorite) along with all of the cheeses I had in the fridge (it was only three…highly unusual for me. I’ll be fixing that straightaway) and a few giant portobellos that were just begging to be smothered in cheese and shoved into my face.
Also, I think that thyme is so wonderful. I could eat it in everything. I love it on these mushrooms, and you get just enough thyme flavor in the finished sandwich to make you go “aahh! There’s some thyme-y deliciousness in here!” but not so much that you lose the flavor of the mushrooms. Or the cheeses. Or the bread. BAH. I can’t even. It’s all just too perfect. GRILLED CHEESE FOR THE WIN!
I am so super into these smashed potatoes. Like, to the point of obsession. Not that that surprises anyone here, I’m sure. Since an (unhealthy? nahhhh) obsession with food is kind of my thing. No big deal.
But seriously. These potatoes combine all of my favorite things. Goat cheese? Check. Pesto? Check. Balsamic vinegar? Checkity check. POTATOES? You betcha. It took everything I had not to eat them all by myself à la this chicken pesto orzo soup and save a few for Kyle.
These are a nice, somewhat healthy-er-ish version of everyday mashed potatoes. Potatoes! Carbs! Cheese! But none of that finicky butter or cream that makes the regular stuff oh-so-delicious. So it’s BASICALLY like we just made mashed potatoes into health food.
Also, did I mention there’s a balsamic reduction? Because there’s a balsamic reduction. Skip that step if you aren’t as into balsamic vinegar as I am, but if you ARE into balsamic vinegar as much as I am, you should DEFINITELY, DEFINITELY pour some o’ that balsamic-y goodness right there over the top of these taters. BAH. DELICIOUSNESS.
But my favorite, FAVORITE part of these potatoes is the way the skin crisps up when they bake. It’s like mixing soft, tangy-goat-cheese-y mashed potatoes with salty, crispy, amazing potato chips. Which, okay, I would probably never just stir a bag of potato chips into my mashed potatoes. I’ But here? It works. It totally works.
Ahhhh, spring. That special time of year when the calendar tricks you into believing that sunshine is headed your way, only for you to find yourself in April, FREEZING, with a side of snow and misery. And wishing you could remember what it felt like to leave the house without a jacket or to wear sandals instead of boots and two pairs of socks. You get my drift.
My coping mechanism is to trick myself into thinking it’s warm outside by cooking a bunch of bright, beautiful spring vegetables and wrapping myself burrito-style in a comforter. And, of course, refuse to leave the house unless it is absolutely 100% necessary. Like if the house is on fire. Or if I have a midterm that I’d get kicked out of grad school for missing. Or if we run out of beer. [read more...]
Confession: this is a copycat recipe from Noodles and Co. You probably know it as Pesto Cavatappi – but they trademarked that ish, which means my title is forced to a bit more creative. We didn’t get Noodles and Co. unless we went up to Chicagoland when we lived in Illinois, and there isn’t one here, either. But I was craving some good ol’ pesto-y cavatappi-y goodness the other day. So I figured, who needs Noodles and Co.? Have pesto, will eat. Or something like that.
I actually didn’t even Google a recipe before I threw this together to make sure I was getting it “right.” Only after I’d eaten it all did I think to check my accuracy with the great collective knowledge of the interwebs. Turns out, a lot of copycat recipes out there use cream and butter, but I think they’re totally unnecessary. If you want a creamier sauce, go for it – but I think pesto is pretty perfect all by itself. I made my own pesto by swapping basil for the arugula in my favorite arugula pesto and adding a handful of toasted pine nuts to the mix. I actually stock up on basil during the summer when I can, either basil I’ve grown myself or (far more likely, because I kill plants) from farmers in the area who are drowning in the stuff at the end of the season. Then I go on a pesto-making spree and keep it in the freezer in small containers (about 1/4 to 1/2 cup per container) so I can pull some out whenever I want pesto macaroni and cheese or this amazing chicken pesto pizza.
I am so over winter.
I know that’s bad, because there’s still plenty more winter to go. But there’s SNOW and ICE and then there’s that whole VORTEX thing and YOU GUYS. I am OVER it.
So to combat the “I AM FREEZING ALL THE TIME” trend, I’ve been on somewhat of a hot food binge. Soup and tea and more soup and zero salad ever, because salad is (usually) cold and cold things suck. Totally logical, right? Right. I knew you’d understand.