Friday, April 10, 2015

Getting Creative in the Kitchen

Spring break gave me and my kitchen the opportunity to spend some quality time together and reconnect. During this time I realized several things about cooking, my eating habits and trying to blog about food. First, like my clothing, I tend to be visual when it comes to food; just like my wardrobe, I prefer colorful food. My second revelation is that the reason I don't blog about food that much isn't because I don't cook often, but rather because it's a colossal pain to take good pictures of food while cooking or preparing to eat.

Below you will see some of the recipes that I created in my kitchen over the last week. Instead of providing the step by step instructions I am providing links to the recipes I used with a few quips about my experiences and the modifications I made to these recipes.

My first dish is a roasted pepper pasta salad. For whatever reason, I had a craving for pasta salad last week. I thought the dish would make the perfect lunch for my week at home. So I basically went through about 20 recipes and selected this one here with roasted bell peppers, mozzarella and basil. I added artichokes and cherry tomatoes into the mix. I also substituted pinenuts for the almonds it recommends in the recipe.

So it turns out that this recipe makes a lot of pasta salad! (Demonstrated by the big bowl below.) I have been eating this salad all week and although it's scrumptious, I am a little bit sick of it. It's perfect for a larger party, picnic, or for people that have households with more than two people and a dog.

The next recipe is bruschetta with caramelized peppers and Gorgonzola. I was watching Ina Garten's show The Barefoot Contessa and saw this recipe that not only looked delicious, but was a great way to use up the leftover bell peppers from my pasta salad. I followed this recipe here to the letter and it came out just perfect. Plus, it gave me an excuse to visit my local cheesemonger. The cheese I used is actually Mycella blue cheese. It's yummy! I enjoyed tasting several variates of blue cheese before deciding on this one.

My last recipe is also from Ina Garten. (In case you didn't know, I love watching cooking shows, especially when I am on vacation.) We had a bunch of leftover ham from Easter so I was looking for some unique sides to pair with the leftovers. The one below is for Snap Peas and Pancetta and it has it all: Parmesan cheese, red onion, and more pork product to go along with the ham. I actually substituted bacon for the pancetta because it's what I had in my fridge. (As you can see, I am trying to be economical with my food shopping so that I can spend more on fashion!)

Well, I hope you enjoyed my cooking odyssey. I highly endorse these three recipes. I love blogging about the recipes I use because sometimes I forget them and the blog provides a handy resource to go back and find them. Hopefully you will find them to be useful too!

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