Catching Up…

28 Oct

This week has been really busy. Lots of work and writing and studying and attending multiple open houses for potential doctoral programs, etc. etc. Because of this and the fact that Blogger was down last weekend (?!?), I am a little behind on posts. But, don’t worry! There has definitely been a lot of cookin’ going on in my kitchen. Here are some highlights…

Friday night out with the boys

On Friday night, I was treated to dinner out with Andrew and the hubby. Mike made reservations at Pensiero which none of us had ever been to before. It’s in the basement of a really neat European style bed and breakfast in Evanston.

*Warning: Lots of orange-y photos ahead. I refuse to be that person taking flash photos of their food in a nice restaurant where people are wearing their fancy clothes so deal.*

We split this for an appetizer. It involved goat cheese and spinach rolled up with some really tasty tomato based sauce. It was insanely good.

Sorry ladies, he’s taken.

I don’t normally order drinks at restaurants (alcohol is expensive) but they had a whole list of signature cocktails named after women for Breast Cancer Awareness. I tried this one called a Gloria Swanson. Champagne, bitters, and something else. It was good.

For my entree, I decided I had to go with the Alaskan Halibut. Every choice on the menu made the best of seasonal offerings which I love.

Andrew went with the duck and hubby ordered homemade fettuccine with prosciutto.

Desserts shared among the three of us. Lemon tart with berries and a chocolate torte that oozed out chocolate when you cut into it.

Afterward, we went back to our place and sang showtunes and got caught up on each others lives.

Beef Tacos

For our next dinner, Mike wanted tacos so I made some open faced tacos (tostadas?) with corn tortillas, beans, lean ground beef, guacamole, and freshly grated queso fresco.

His

Hers

Chicken and Pasta with Broccoli

I made a basic sauce of tomatoes, garlic, herbs (the usual suspects) and added some chicken breast.

Cracked open a bottle of a Spanish red I picked up from Trader Joe’s. It was okay. I would like to use it in a Riolja style chorizo stew.

Very excited about these linguine noodles. They have spinach in them.

Grated some stinky cheese on top.

Clams with Linguine

Inspired by Eat Live Run

1 can baby clams, chopped, with juice
juice of 1 lemon
1 small onion (or shallots)
EVOO
1 tablespoon butter
2 cloves garlic
red pepper flakes
Grated Parmesan or your stinky cheese of choice (mine was Asiago)
salt and pepper

Saute up onion and garlic in EVOO and butter. Add chopped clams, lemon, red pepper flakes and clam juice. Pour over linguine and add grated cheese.

Indian Naan Pizza

For tonight’s dinner I made an Indian version of pizza using naan (Indian flat bread) as a crust. You can find Naan at Whole Foods and some grocery stores. This version was whole wheat.

Add chopped eggplant, onion, garlic to skillet and saute in EVOO.

Add large can of tomato paste and a little water. Then add the spices, curry and garam masala.

Be on the lookout for naan monsters.

Spread out the tomato/eggplant mixture and add cheese. I used some grated queso fresco leftover from taco night. It is a mild, soft cheese that went really well with the sauce. Put it in the oven for about 10 minutes.

A package from my mother in law was waiting for me in the mail basket when I got home from the work the other day. When I opened it, my initial thought was “oh, my mother in law sent me a bag of pot, how interesting and…unexpected?” Then, I turned it over and saw that it was a refill of her dried herbs from the farm. I have been using these herbs in everything lately. Love ’em! Thanks Karen!

I’m hoping Blogger is back online for good and that I won’t have anymore problems uploading photos. I hope to have some time for cooking this weekend although I have no idea what to make! Ideas?

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