Sunday, March 11, 2012

No Surprises

Today I'm going to show you one of my favorite recipes, with a surprise ingredient:

Don't click away at the thought of anchovies! I promise you will never know they are in this dish. Plus notice that there is some garlicky goodness behind the can. You put some oil in your pan and heat it up and them dump them in and saute them down until you can't even tell they are anchovies anymore. See:

Anchovies? What anchovies? None here! ;) Today we are making Pasta Puttanesca, a recipe my parents used to make all the time. There are lots of variations on ingredients that you can include. Usually I make mine with shrimp and artichokes, but we went with mushrooms and asparagus because that's what we had in our fridge. I love recipes where you can swap out ingredients like this, especially when it saves me a trip to the store!

1 lb of pasta of your choice (I used penne)
3oz can of anchovies
6 cloves of garlic sliced
1/4 to 1/3 cup olive oil
1 pint of grape tomatoes
1 pint of sliced portabella mushrooms
3 oz jar of capers
6 oz can of sliced black olives
1/2 bunch of asparagus, sliced
1/4 cup white wine
Grated Romano for garnish

Fill a pot with water and a splash or two of olive oil and bring to a boil for pasta. In a large sauce pan heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium heat. Add the whole can of anchovies (and oil) to your sauce pan and saute until your anchovies cook down to look like picture above. Throw in your garlic and saute. Add olives and juice, mushrooms, asparagus, tomatoes and wine. Cook covered at a low simmer until vegetables have softened (I like my tomatoes to burst open just a bit). Add capers and pasta to the sauce and mix. Let it sit for a few minutes before serving so flavors can blend, and garnish with cheese.

Yum! This is one of Kraut's favorite dishes, and if you can get past our little surprise ingredient it will soon be one of yours! In honor of today's unexpected ingredient today's song on the soundtrack of life is Radiohead's No Surprises.

Saturday, March 10, 2012


Here is my gumbo I made a couple weeks ago. What do you think? Better than my pic last time in Gumbo Season? I know, I didn't make the potato salad this time, but it still tasted delicious. Or maybe this pic looks more appetizing....

You can see that I used okra in it this time. I don't always do that, but was in the mood for it that day.

A lot has been going on since I wrote to you about Mardi Gras. Lent started and I gave up bread and desserts. Dessert really isn't hard for me because I don't keep a lot of sweets in the house, so its only really tempting when someone brings them in the office. Bread on the other hand has been a challenge! Think about it. No sandwiches, bagels, muffins, biscuits, rolls, or PIZZA! Pizza is my comfort food and will probably be the first bread I eat once Easter gets here. Although, breakfast is the first meal of the day so maybe I'll have a bagel first, or maybe I'll hold out for a big piece of garlic buttered french bread....mmmm. Sorry, I've been deprived!

Enough of my inner dialogue about food. I went wedding dress shopping with my younger sister recently. I took several pictures while we were there. I learned that shooting pictures of white dresses in fluorescent lighting is difficult. I had a hard time getting my white balance just right. Here are some pics I took (none of these dresses were the "one", I can't post those, duh!).

Ok so in this one I'm sure you can see what I meant about bad lighting. The store had huge windows and that icky artificial lighting battling it out, so its kind of turning part of the dress a little blue. Anyway, thats not the point....when I see this picture I think Baby Got Back! "Oh my God Becky...." yeah you know you are singing along in your head now! My soundtrack of life is rubbing off!

I spy a photographer in the picture above! Oops! The next few were taken at a different shop and I had a little bit easier time with the lighting:

I thought it would be fun to try a couple black and white photos and play with the contrast for a little different effect:

She looked so pretty in all the dresses, and it was fun to go watch her play dress up. It made me reminisce a little about my wedding.

Speaking of reminiscing....

My mom's birthday was this week. In her honor, I thought I'd share this sweet photo of her and me. Also, since she is such a big Beatles fan I think its appropriate that the song of day should be Yesterday.