Blog Tour!

Hello!! I’d like to apologize to all of you for my brief blogging hiatus (that may continue for another week or so after this post)! I had to do some traveling for work, and we’re moving this weekend so my apartment is in all sorts of pre-moving disarray. When we’re all set up in our new place and I can find my pans and dishes again I promise there will be plenty of great posts coming your way.

In the meantime, I’d like to say a much overdue thank you to my friend Anita at Kitchen Getaway for featuring me in her blog tour. Anita is always posting mouthwatering recipes, and she even raises her own chickens!! I’m super impressed with her and honored that she chose to include me in her tour. I’m finally catching up and posting my blog tour. I’m also incredibly¬†excited to be joining the party at Fiesta Friday again today – I’ve certainly missed this group!

What am I working on? Well, packing and preparing to move has consumed most of time lately but I have a goal to master macaroons, or at least make some that are pretty enough to photograph. After seeing them pop up all over the place lately I made a batch, and they were good, but not quite right. So I’ll definitely be making a second attempt at those soon.

How does my work differ from others of its genre? This is a tough one. I tend not to focus on being different but on sharing what speaks to me and what I enjoy. I haven’t met much food that I don’t like, and I’m willing to try to re-create just about anything (with varying degrees of success). I’m kind of an eclectic mix of traditional family recipes and figuring out how to work new ingredients I discover into things I’m already familiar with.

How does my writing process work? Well I keep a running list of recipes I want to try or create and then write about, but I find that most of what I end up posting is more of just our day to day food. If I make something for dinner and it turns out especially good, I’ll probably make it again the next night so I take pictures of it!

My Featured Blogs
As part of passing on the blog tour traditions I’ve selected three blogs to feature that I highly encourage you to check out!

Mezze and Dolce
The first time I stumbled upon this blog I couldn’t stop going through the recipes. The name says it all, Mezze (savory) and Dolce (sweet) always make a great combination! They’re always posting very intriguing recipes, take theseZa’atar Buttermilk Biscuits for instance. Or, if you’re looking for something sweet, these Rose-Scented Almond Cookies are beautiful and special.

Bourbon and Brown Sugar
MB is always pushing the limits with her creative concoctions. I’m constantly impressed with her vast food knowledge and compelling story telling. Her Tiny Alfajores are a perfect example of this. She always has a great story to go along with her recipes and can make anything from empanadas to beef bourguignon!

I’ll Cook You Wash
What first caught my eye about Indira’s blog was her title – sounds like the plan in my house! I’m always happy to make dinner, but not so keen on cleaning up after. She can also make a dessert out of avocados – yes avocados! Check out her Avocado cream pie and tell me you’re not impressed!

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Pasta Puttanesca

photo(4)Here you go, another pasta recipe! I hope you’re not getting sick of these yet. Leave it to me to make be making all these pastas in the summer while everyone else is gearing up for warm weather and swim suit season. Oh well, that’s who I am.

This week I bring you pasta puttanesca, politely translated to the “working girl’s pasta.” Traditional puttanesca has capers and anchovies, but per usual I didn’t have all the right ingredients in my kitchen so I doubled up on the olives to make up for it. Since the olives are pretty salty I don’t add much salt to the sauce, but feel free to adjust that to your tastes.

Pasta Puttanesca

1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 onion, cut into thin slices
14 oz crushed tomatoes
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 1/2 cups pitted kalamata olives
3 cloves garlic
1 lb spaghetti or bucatini
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
4 fresh basil leaves
grated cheese for topping

1. Place the olive oil and onions in a pan on low heat. Cook until the onions are soft and translucent, about 7-8 minutes.

2. Add the crushed tomatoes, red pepper flakes and salt to the pan with the onions and stir to combine. Continue cooking on low heat, stirring often until the sauce starts to bubble.

3. Combine the olives and garlic in a food processor and pulse for just a few seconds until they’re chopped but not too small. Add the olives and garlic to the sauce and cook for about 20 minutes, stirring often.

4. While the sauce is cooking, cook and drain your pasta in a bowl of salted water.

5. Once the sauce is done, turn off the heat and add the cherry tomatoes. Then add the pasta and toss. Finish with chopped basil and cheese and enjoy!