Minestrone Soup

minestrone | apinchofthis.nyc

The weather in suburban New Jersey today is ideal for the lazy vacation day I’m taking. It’s one of my favorite kinds of days: a grey and drizzly day in December during which I feel perfectly content to order Christmas presents from bed while snuggling with one of my loving pets. What it is, is the perfect afternoon for a bowl of soup. But all of my soup is in Brooklyn, frozen and waiting for me to have the forethought to thaw it before I want it. Where did I learn how to do that? Well, from my mother, who also has several soup varieties sitting downstairs in her freezer, perfectly frozen and hard as a rock.

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Spring Orecchiette with Asparagus, Peas, Sausage, & Ricotta

Spring Orecchiette with Asparagus, Peas, Sausage, & Ricotta

Spring, is that you? Is that you peeping past the clouds and whispering in our ears with each faint breeze? I sure as heck hope so because I am done with winter. We all are. I’m ready to spend days out of doors again, walking around Brooklyn, grazing on little nibblies from food trucks and stopping for mimosas or pitchers of beer at bars with back patios. I love my cozy apartment but I’m ready to put the oversized sweater I wear at least once a week away now. I’m ready to frolic. I’m ready for sunshine.

And I’m ready for spring vegetables.

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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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PBR Steamed Mussels

PBR Steamed Mussels

One of my favorite dishes to order in a restaurant is moules frites. Succulent little mussels in a delicious broth with really great fries and bread to sop up the sauce – heavenly. It’s a simple dish, but one I don’t often make at home. With the exception of shrimp, seafood is something I don’t really mess with. There’s the potential of sandy bites and fishy flavors. But what I’ve been realizing is that cooking is something I work at constantly, bit by bit (or should I say bite by bite?) and I look for challenges with each recipe I tackle. So why shy away from making one of my favorite bistro dishes due to some silly fear of failure? That’s why I made a big ole batch of mussels for my friends on Sunday night.

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Pasta All’Amatriciana

Photo Dec 08, 1 11 57 PM

a good hostess always keeps her guests waiting while she takes photos of the food.

I love Sunday night dinners. That’s one of the things I miss most about not living at home (let’s be honest; I’m still home for many Sunday night dinners).  So, every now and then, I like to have people over for a nice meal and a few pinches of wine on a Sunday.

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