Creamy Garlic & Mushroom Alfredo

So I’m back marooned on my island with Brad Pitt in tattered clothes, near nude, and we have exhausted our potato supply. What to do? Get the next best thing, of course, noodles!

Ok so I don’t love noodles as much as I love potatoes but man do I love a good noodle. Whether it’s a buckwheat soba, Asian ramen, whole wheat spaghetti or a simple egg noodle…I will eat it with gusto!

garlic and mushroom alfredo recipe

Despite this recipe today, I’m not one of those pasta lovers who can’t go without sauce. Sure I love Alfredo, Bolognese, ratatouille or plain old tomato sauce, but I love a nice lemon and olive oil as much. In fact I absolutely adore a nice scampi—with or without shrimp but ALWAYS with anchovies. YUM! Continue reading Creamy Garlic & Mushroom Alfredo

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Pan-Fried Rainbow Trout & Sweet Corn

One of the things I miss most about being near my grandmothers and my home in Chicago is a good fish fry. Of course you can find them just about everywhere, but everyone does food their own way and when I have a craving for fried fish—which isn’t often—I want it the way my taste buds remember it.

So I decided to make use of some whole rainbow trout I came by at the supermarket to make my own fish fry, complete with farm fresh corn on the cob.

classic fish fry

The key to any good fish fry is the seasoning and breading ingredients. Fish breading isn’t the same as chicken breading; it is a far different creature and makes all the difference in the world. The main ingredient to breading fish is cornmeal. In the U.S. you can find cornmeal in different grain sizes (small, medium or large and coarse vs. smooth) but here in Germany you can only find superfine cornmeal, which works GREAT for creamy polenta. It actually worked better than I would’ve thought for the breading too, which is awesome since I didn’t have much choice in the matter. Continue reading Pan-Fried Rainbow Trout & Sweet Corn

Banana & Apple Walnut Bread

I have a problem. I can follow a cake, bread or pie recipe with the best of’em. I can even create my own sweet concoctions—bacon and maple cupcakes, anyone?—but my problem is, I just can’t make them attractive.

sweet bread recipes
This tastes WAY better than it looks!

I guess it’s something I’ve learned to live with since I’ve eaten many a meal or dessert that looks scrumptious but tastes like turtle dung. So even though my deserts might not please your eyes, they will certainly please your palate, unless you’re still waiting for your taste buds to come back due to years of cigarettes.

My goal wasn’t to make this a vegan bread but I had some unsweetened applesauce so I decided to use it instead of eggs. I actually hadn’t planned on making it at all but there was a Golden Delicious apple on its last legs and a few overripe bananas—it was hotter and more humid than normal this week—so I knew a tasty bread would be perfect. Continue reading Banana & Apple Walnut Bread

Buttery Whipped Rosemary Potatoes

If I were marooned on an island with Brad Pitt, okay the Brad Pitt part isn’t necessary but it’s my island fantasy and why not have my childhood (fine! adult crush too) crush there with me?

Anyway…alone on an island with Brad Pitt. The only thing I’d need other than his masculine goodness is…potatoes. It doesn’t really matter the form: hashbrowns, home fries, mashed, chips (with malt vinegar), wedges (with ketchup), baked or twice baked. I love them and I could eat them every day if they weren’t so starchy.

potato recipes

So it was that time again, for me to get my potato fix and I decided to go with some delicious whipped potatoes. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE mashed potatoes but there’s something about adding butter and lactose free milk to potatoes and whipping them up with a mixer. They get so fluffy and creamy that when I’m done I feel like my father-in-law who’s compliment after a good meal is “there’s not enough!”  Continue reading Buttery Whipped Rosemary Potatoes

Chunky Tomato Shell-sagna

One of things I dislike about traditional lasagna is that all the ingredients sink to the middle when you cut into it, so generally I avoid it. I don’t mind the time it takes to chop and assemble all the ingredients, but I do mind not getting every ingredient in one bite.

So I decided to make lasagna…with a twist. I admit that I was going to brave another attempt until I got to the store and could only find the pre-cooked lasagna noodles. I don’t really care for those flat sheets, which is all they had, so the decision was made for me. But what I did find was whole wheat medium shells that were tri-color. Mmmmmm.

easy pasta recipes

Since I already had ALL the lasagna ingredients in my shopping cart I decided I would make Shell-sagna and keep my fingers crossed that it was slightly more than edible. Continue reading Chunky Tomato Shell-sagna

Wild Shitake Risotto

Whenever I’m in the mood for something that is quick to make but tastes like it took hours, I turn to risotto. Ever since I watched Rachel Ray make it on 30-Minute Meals years ago and saw how easy it was to make, I’ve been hooked.

The best thing about risotto is that you can make it with tons of different things—for herbivores and carnivores—for meal variety. Add shrimp or chicken for meat eaters, or cheese and herbs or even peas for an easy vegetarian meal.

mushroom risotto

I got a good deal on a wedge of Parmigiano Reggiano and my plan was to just make some creamy risotto until I spotted a nice batch of shitake mushrooms. It would’ve been nice to find Portobello mushrooms or even crimini, but I do love shitake and I was happy to snap up a few hundred grams. Continue reading Wild Shitake Risotto