Cooking

Cooking for One (Take Two)

by Koko on April 9, 2014 · 6 comments

in Cooking

Guys, I’ve been doing this living alone thing now for close to 3 months and I haven’t had a mental breakdown yet! But seriously, living in a new house without Q is tough. Since Q’s been gone, I’ve had to deal with things that I never even thought I wanted to know about: clogged sinks and drain pipes, overflowing gutters, and a knocked over trash can full of trash. Oh ya and I built this whole kitchen cabinet thing on my own…the things deployments make you do.

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On the food front, I’ve tried to keep my meals simple, yet delicious. Since Q eats SO much meat when he is around, I’ve been much heavier on the veggies with him gone.

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Here are a few of my recent favorites (some old favorites are here):

Mushroom Tartines: toasted bread rubbed with garlic and topped with roasted mushrooms, pepper jack and truffle salt. Recipe to come!

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Stuffed Sweet Potatoes: Roasted sweet potatoes stuffed with black beans, salsa, cheese and lettuce.

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Veggie Bowls: So many different varieties of bowls to make! I use a grain as a base topped with roasted veggies (how I roast is here) and tofu and a sauce of some sort (teriyaki or lemon tahini are two good options).

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Or top with an egg for some added protein:

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And for a very last minute meal, I boil some pasta, add some homemade sauce, fresh mozzarella and roasted cherry tomatoes to make the dish a little bit special. Roasted cherry tomatoes are SO easy (toaster oven set at 350, sprinkle with olive oil, salt and pepper and cook until soft, about 12-15 minutes).

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What sort of things do you cook for one?

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Easy Weeknight Frittata

by Koko on March 31, 2014 · 0 comments

in Breakfast, Cooking, Recipe

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I’m a sucker for a 20-minute meal. After a long day at work, sometimes the last thing I want to do is cook (and honestly sometimes all I want to do is cook). On those I-have-no-inspiration-and-may-just-make-pasta nights, I came up with a solution: the weeknight frittata.

The weeknight frittata is basically a mix of all of the veggies in your fridge (zucchini, asparagus, broccoli, mushrooms, tomatoes) + eggs + cheese. Super easy. Super delicious. Especially served with some good crusty bread. What I love most about this recipe is that it really works for whatever you have in your fridge- if you only have tomatoes and asparagus, that works! If you have mushrooms and truffle salt- that works!

Quick tip: You want to cook your crunchier veggies first (asparagus, broccoli) and then add your softer veggies a few minutes later, so nothing overcooks. I always add my tomatoes after I add my eggs so they don’t get mushy.

Oh and PS- this obviously works well as a breakfast food too!

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Let’s be honest here – most weeknights I am all about the easy dinner. This cheesy  polenta is the easiest side dish EVER. Seriously. You mix all the ingredients in a baking dish, pop it in the oven and voila!

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I love serving polenta with earthy veggies especially mushrooms or topped with some warm marinara sauce. It’s also a great side to chicken or pork. This is a great weeknight side dish that isn’t brown rice or pasta!

For my mushrooms, I top them with some olive oil, salt and pepper and use my toaster oven. Bake them for 350 degrees for about 15 minutes and top with a little truffle salt to be truly sinful!

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Chicago Part 2

by Koko on March 17, 2014 · 0 comments

in Cooking, Travel, WCR

Over the weekend I realized I never finished recapping how much fun I had in Chicago during the rest of the Women’s Chefs conference. With a conference consisting of incredible women chefs, you have to know the food is going to be knock out. Each meal was unreal, mostly created with ingredients supplied by the sponsors (think Wisconsin Dairy (cheese), Gallo Winery (wine), In Harvest (grains), and Tabasco. This cute ramekin was filled with spicy hash and topped with a fried egg – to die for. Oh and that was only one out of maybe ten freshly made breakfast items available.

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For the big gala on Monday night, there were Kitchenaid centerpieces (my mom and I both were plotting to take one home) and more food than you could even imagine (check out that cheese plate, there were two of those per table!)).  photo 3

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On Tuesday, I took a few breakout classes. The first was about pairing beer and cheese. Apparently beer pairs better with cheese than wine does because of all the bubbles (clears your palette better between tastings). I learned about different craft beers and cheeses from smaller producers. Most importantly, I learned how to put an ideal tasting together (start with light cheeses and lagers and move towards blues and stout beers). I can’t wait for Q to get home so I can show off my new skills!

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My mom took a class on butchery where they butchered the whole lamb and talked about the different cuts and how to use them. I stepped in at the end trying to learn something to bring back for Q, but all I took away is that he is a far better butcher than I am.
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I met an amazing pizzeria chef, Ruth Gresser and bought her pizza book to give Q and my Friday night pizza tradition more excitement. Those of you in the DC area may know her for Pizzeria Paradiso IMG_1322

And then sadly, I had to fly home. My mom and I were both originally on mid-morning flights out, but with the storm that was hitting Chicago, we raced to the airport and got on earlier flights. Our earlier flights ended up being delayed until past our original flights, which ended up getting canceled. We were just glad to have gotten out of there. And this guy was very happy to have me home.

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