This week seems to have gone by very quickly! But maybe that’s what happens when I post a Friday Favorites on a Sunday. Or maybe because I’ve been really busy in the kitchen this week. Sunday supper was beef stew and I can’t say how much I love this recipe. All the veggies make for a healthy dinner and particularly the butternut squash is a delicious addition. Finishing the stew with fresh lemon juice may sound weird but it really brightens the stew. Yum! And bonus the leftovers are so good. Stew is always better the next day right?! Last weekend my butcher had his delicious guanciale available, which meant my favorite pasta made it on to the meal plan. This recipe from Food & Wine for Spaghetti with Garlic, Onion and Guanciale is incredibly easy and so so good!! Like have to eat a salad pre-dinner so you don’t eat all of it good. I only make it when I can get fresh guanciale, anything else is just not as good.
Aside from my usual cooking I’ve actually baked quite a bit this week – two loaves of bread. One of which was my first attempt at my own baking recipe (that didn’t take long right?!). I made a bourbon banana loaf with a cream cheese bourbon glaze. Bourbon makes everything better and banana bread is no exception. Needless to say it didn’t last very long. Second I made a loaf of Irish soda bread. It was my second and only successful attempt at soda bread just in time for St. Patrick’s Day. Two breads in one week not bad for self confessed non-baker!
As for the weekend food plans the weather has been unseasonably warm here and I am seriously considering reuniting with my one true love my BBQ… But on second thought I will probably wait for T. to do the first uncovering after Winter just in case a mouse or two made a cozy home. Maybe I will just make that seafood chowder I’ve been dreaming of…
A one pot pasta recipe from Spoon Fork Bacon caught my eye this week. One pot sausage and zucchini pasta. How good does that sound?!? One can never have enough easy pasta recipes favorited for a quick dinner.
Favorite Cooking Tip.
Serious Eats has some seriously good cooking tips! Their food lab is fantastic. This week I came across and instantly loved their article on how to make creamy soups without a recipe. They walk you through the basics of making soup, such as how to start with a base by choosing your aromatics, adding the liquids, and finishing off with seasoning and acid. After reading this you will be able to play around with the leftover veggies in your fridge to create a delicious and healthy soup in less than an hour. I used their tips in making my cream of asparagus and carrot soup that I will share with you all on Sunday.
As I food blogger, or perhaps more importantly as a food lover, food is all around. My social media feeds are filled with it, my life revolves around meal planning and experimenting with new food. But it shouldn’t go amiss that it just isn’t for food blogger or food lovers, food has invaded popular culture and this article from Bon Appetit reminds us just how much. Go ahead tell you don’t own at least one foodie t-shirt?? Or is that just the dear husband who is obsessed with them??
Favorite Wine Tip.
Trying to decipher the differences between the various types of sparkling wine is a challenge. To take some of the mystery out of the two most common varieties Wine Folly broke down what are the real differences between Champagne and Prosecco. And they really break down all the important points from grapes, production methods and price points to flavor profiles and food pairings. Oh and that pesky issue of Champagne costing so much more. It is a great crash course into these sparkling wines. Which do you prefer?
Spring fever has definitely hit the fur children. It has been so nice here, prime dog walking weather with one little exception the massive puddles or more accurately the rivers that have taken over the sidewalks. It’s like the fur children can sense that they should be back to their normal walks and I’m not taking them. Till the sidewalks are a little more walker friendly I’m not above bribery. This week I picked up a new treat for them a Himalayan Yaky Stick. It is a cheese flavored chew wrapped around a bully stick that kept them happily entertained for a while. The older fur baby had a bit of an issue with the chew – she’s down a tooth or two – but her sister helped her out to finish the scraps.
My favorite sip hands down was the 2011 COS Azienda Agricola Cerasuolo Di Vittoria I enjoyed last weekend. The Cerasuolo is 60% Nero d’Avola and 40% Frappato aged in French oak. To share some praise Robert Parker gave it 90 points. Visually it is a standout in the short wide bottle. Generally I am a huge fan of Sicilian wine and this wine was no exception. Light to medium body, bright with red cherries, forest floor, and savory meaty notes. Give it time to breathe and you will be well rewarded.