Monday, February 22, 2010

Too busy cooking

I know ... I know. Shame on me for neglecting my blog. I've been busy cooking up a storm, and writing articles at There are tons of fantastic, and seasonal recipes posted in my articles. Please visit and enjoy!

I'm ramping up for another cooking class this weekend. I really love teaching people what I can about Italian cooking, and it absolutely feeds the extrovert in me. My kitchen smells gorgeous, and we always have a blast.

Okay confession time. Please don't think any less of me for what I am about to say. Truth is important, so I hope the following statement is not too shocking. Please sit down before you read any further.......

I sometimes dine at Olive Garden.

It's true. I really love their salad, and some of the dishes are not extremely bad. I'm not going to say that it is authentic by any means, but sometimes their soup and salad for lunch really hits the spot. So, on Saturday, I made a pot of their Zuppa Toscana. It consisted of the following:

1 pound hot italian sausage
2 russet potatoes, cut in half and sliced thin
2 cups of kale
4 cups chicken broth
2 cups water
2 cups heavy whipping cream

Served with crusty bread, it made a mightly fine lunch, and I will have the leftovers tonight!

So again, sorry for not posting, but you can always find me over at Examiner!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Pan Magic

This weekend it snowed, and boy did it snow! We got approximately 4 inches of snow. That is pretty much a blizzard in Nashville. It started just as I got to work on Friday, and then 2 hours later, my firm closed for the day, as did many businesses in Nashville.

This was a very good thing. My usual 25 minute commute took an hour. Once I got home that day, the car did not leave our driveway for a couple of days.

So, since I was home-bound, and itchy to do something that would result in a fabulous smelling house, I went to my kitchen.

I found a completely yummy recipe for a blueberry, walnut, orange zest bread in an old school cookbook that my mother gave me. So, since I had all of those ingredients, I made a loaf.

I have had a slice for breakfast every morning. It is divine.

That night, I made beef involtini. I always like to have a practice run on recipes that I will make with my class, even if I have made them many times before, just in case I get inspired to edit the recipe to make it more wonderful. Alas editing the recipe was completely unnecessary, but it inspired me to tell you about Pan Magic.

Pan Magic is what happens when you discover something delicious that can only be made when one ingredient melds with another, making something indescribably weak-in-the-knees fantastic.

I discovered this to be the case with my beef involtini. The beef bundles, once seared, simmer in tomato sauce (home made of course). One of the completely gorgeous ingredients in the beef bundles is a thin slice of mozzarella cheese. The cheese got a bit melty, and oozed out the sides, into the tomato sauce.

Y'all, it was the bits of mozzarella that hit the tomato sauce on the corners of the beef bundles that was the most scrumptious bite.

So that got me to thinking of other dishes that lovingly simmer in sauce....lasagna, manicotti, chicken parmesan.....I am making myself hungry.

March is going to be pasta pasta pasta for my cooking classes, but for April I'm thinking we need to do an old school, smack-me-with-a-cannoli-good, classic chicken parmesan. I think this is necessary because one must pay its respects to the classics, and people just need to know the love that is Pan Magic.