Say “Birthday Cheese!”

all cheese from murray's cheese shop. meats from murray's cheese and brooklyn kitchen.

all cheese from murray’s cheese shop. meats from murray’s cheese and brooklyn kitchen.

Dang, it’s been a busy couple of weeks. As soon as everyone came out of hibernation, social schedules across the city exploded. So, I fell off the face of the internet and into the real world full of birthday parties, spring cleaning, and Mother’s Day. I’ve taken pictures of more humans than food lately and most of what has come out of my kitchen has been vegetable salads because, ya know, health, and summer is coming. (Hahaha, do you get it? Game of Thrones joke! Do you get it now? Ok, good.)

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A Pinch of Leftovers: Bacon, Brussels, & Pea Quiche

Bacon, Brussels, & Pea Quiche

This right here is a perfect leftover dish. You can use almost any leftovers you have in a quiche, and quiche itself makes for great, no-fuss leftovers. I went so far as to use a leftover store-bought, pre-made pie crust (we’re not getting super fancy here – we’re cooking with what we have on a weeknight). Or, at least, I tried to use a leftover pre-made crust. It was from a year and a half ago (from that French week of cooking that I somehow keep talking about) and when I unrolled it, it crumbled everywhere. UGH. What I had hoped would be an easy evening was, like the pie crust, crumbling around me.

Let me begin at the beginning.

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Pasta Alla Carbonara

Pasta Alla Carbonara

What feels like a month ago forever ago, I took a cooking class with my dad, good ole Chris, at the Brooklyn Kitchen (otherwise known as that place that takes all my money every time I go in). I took him there as a Christmas present, so the class choice was all his to make. Brooklyn Kitchen has so many different classes to choose from and they’re constantly changing. Some stay the same due to popularity, like the Roberta’s pizza making class. Chris didn’t feel the need to attend that one because the recipe is online and he’s already mastered it, so he doesn’t need anyone to teach it to him. (I’ll back him up – my dad makes mad good pizzas, y’all.) If you’ve ever met him, you’ll probably know that he loves Rome from that one time he visited. And you’ll probably also know that on that visit, he had the best pasta alla carbonara ever at this small, hole-in-the-wall, local place. So when we saw there was a February Taste of Rome class in which we would make carbonara (as well as amatriciana* and cacio e pepe), my dad was sold. We were going.

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Arugula & Pistachio Pesto

Arugula & Pistachio Pesto

I love pesto. I think it belongs on everything. It’s a spread, a sauce, a dip, a dressing. Pesto is an essential condiment in my book, and something I think everyone should have in their freezer, ready to be defrosted at a moment’s notice. It’ll save you in a pinch, whether you have last minute dinner guests or you just get a massive craving for pesto pasta, pesto chicken, or pesto on a darn Wheat Thin. If you have pesto in your freezer, you’re set.

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Hangover Chilaquiles

Hangover Chilaquiles

Last week a few pals and I went out to a Mexican restaurant and did what everyone does at a Mexican restaurant – drank entirely too many margaritas. It was fun while it was happening…not so much the next morning. So I did what every sensible person does to cure a common hangover; I had hair of the dog that bit me. And, no, I’m actually not talking about margaritas (although, that would have been a welcome addition). I made a nice, hearty, totally americanized version of a Mexican brunch!

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Sausage and Egg Potato Bowl

Sausage and Egg Potato Bowl

Much like Ron Swanson and Leslie Knope (and the rest of the world, I think), I love breakfast food. How could anyone not like breakfast food? There’s something for everyone. You can have savory eggs, sweet pancakes, or even healthful oats. You can have meat almost anyway you want it – smoky, chewy, crispy, juicy. In some places, you can even get all of these things together at once, for one low price. What do I miss most about my time in Tennessee, you ask? Was it the beautiful landscape of the Cumberland Plateau or the southern hospitality I encountered everywhere I went? No. Those are wonderful and everything, but damn do I miss the All-Star Breakfast at Waffle House. If you don’t order two eggs, grits or hashbrowns, your choice of breakfast meat, toast, a waffle, and a coffee for somewhere in the range of $6-$8, you’re doing it wrong. While this dish isn’t quite as hedonistic as all that, it’s a pretty satisfying brunch to get down with this weekend.

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