Friday, October 30, 2009

Rigatoni with Cauliflower: A Traditional Sicilian Dish with a Touch of Moroccan Influence

I've written here before about my unfortunate lack of culinary heritage or familial culture of food, and how I love to find and create meals that could have been cooked for me by my fantasy grandmother or imaginary mom.

Well, my friend Salvatore de Simone never had to worry about any of that.  He grew up eating this rich and comforting Sicilian pasta and cauliflower dish, a meal his grandmother used to make and one that his mother, Luisa, still cooks for him - with just a few additions of her own.  Yes, I am a bit jealous! 

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Awards Season ... and Introducing the Tasties!

When I started Tasty Trix a mere 4 months ago, I had no idea there would be prizes involved.  But I suddenly find myself the shocked and humbled recipient of not one, but four awards from fellow bloggers. Apparently we are in the middle of awards season, kids, and I have caught the fever! (I've even created my own award, The Tasty, as you'll see below.)

Friday, October 23, 2009

A Spicy Bloody Mary ... Because I'm Sure It's 5 O'Clock Somewhere

It's Friday afternoon,  and I keep daydreaming about cocktails. Not such a strange occurrence, I assure you!  But perhaps it's the rain and the sudden chill in the air that has me already looking forward to my Sunday brunch drink.  I love  the warm kitchen, the smell of onions and frying potatoes and eggs and toast ... but most of all, I love kicking back with a good brunch cocktail.

In the spring and summer, I gravitate towards light, fizzy cooling drinks. Think pomegranate juice and Prosecco, mimosas,  or a Bellini.  But come fall I want the hearty heat of a spicy Bloody Mary.  The thick vegetable juice, the celery stick, the tangy pepperoncini - it's practically a meal in a glass!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Kaddo Borawni ... Kind Of

What do you do when one of your favorite go-to restaurants lets customer service go right down the drain and the staff starts treating the clientele like cattle? Simple: You figure out how to recreate your favorite dishes at home.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Nabeyaki Udon ... Aaah, That's Better

The other weekend, Poppa Trix and I felt like total garbage: sore throats, dizzy, achy, sleepy, runny noses - the works.  Fortunately, we had made a trip to Asian supermarket extraordinaire H-Mart before we got too sick to go anywhere, and so we had all the makings for a blissfully soothing nabeyaki udon soup. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Beer Batter Quick Bread with White Bean & Tomato Soup

It was 6 pm on a weeknight. I am (almost) ashamed to admit that I had already changed into my comfy pajamas.  In contemplating dinner, I realized that all I really wanted in the entire world was some home baked bread and a hot bowl of soup.  Running to a bakery was out of the question, and I was too hungry to wait. What to do?

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Who Wants Banh Mi? Me! Me! Me!

Calling a banh mi a Vietnamese sandwich and leaving it at that is a bit like saying a po'boy is just a New Orleans sub. It's not wrong, but it doesn't exactly convey the full splendour  of the thing.  

Like a po'boy, a banh mi is made with a light, airy baguette that's soft on the inside and crunchy on the outside.  Fillings and proteins can vary, but some of the flavor combinations that make a banh mi so distinctive and addictive include preserved daikon radish and carrot, mayonnaise, jalapeno, cucumber, and fresh cilantro.

Sunday, October 4, 2009

Olive & Herb Focaccia

People who know me well tell me that I'm dramatic. That's a nice way of saying that I can get worked up over just about anything. I don't just like things, I adore! them. If something isn't quite right, I despise! it. The nuns tried to beat the crazy out of me for many years, but (partly just to spite them) I have learned to embrace the fact that I am a bit of a spaz.

I have found ways to harness and temper my spazziness - yoga, boxing, and cooking are all good outlets for my obsessive compulsive tendencies. But I was never really drawn to baking.  For one thing,  I'm just not into making sweets. On the savory side of things, even though I love fresh baked breads, the whole notion of working with dough seemed incredibly intimidating. I think the degree of necessary precision is what made me so wary. It just didn't seem like someone with my level of nervous energy and lack of patience would take to it. In other words, I was certain I would make a huge mess.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Creamy Potato and Leek Soup

I have a confession to make: I don't really care for autumn. While everyone around me is celebrating the advent of crisp weather and cozy evenings by the fire, I am mourning the passing of summer. I am too busy dreading the impending short days and bitter cold to sing the praises of some colorful leaves that are  just going to blow away with the first stiff wind.

Someday (soon I hope) I'll move somewhere where I'll never have to think about about socks,  sweaters, or  long underwear again.  But until then,  I'll  make due with the only bright side of the dark half of the year: the food.