Culinary Cousins: Mushroom Bolognese

I’ve just posted a new recipe over at Culinary Cousins.

I’m happy to report that I’m still living the vegetable-centric life, and it’s going pretty well. Recipes like this mushroom bolognese make it especially easy. It’s rib-sticking enough to satisfy but also pretty healthy. Plus, when I make it from scratch, I know exactly what I put into it. 

Read all about it: Mushroom Bolognese

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A culinary tour of NYC, Part III.

Believe it or not, I saved the best for last. Don’t miss Part I and Part II.

Shake Shack — Madison Square Park/Flatiron (multiple locations)

There used to be only one Shake Shack location. I think it was also only open for certain months, and it was so popular that you could easily wait an hour or more in line for its legendary burgers, fries and milkshakes. I attempted that line once or twice, but I just never made it through. Now, there’s a Shake Shake on every corner in NYC. I’ve even heard they’re expanding to locations in London.

At the close of another full day of eating, we ended up at the original Shake Shack in Madison Square Park. The line was short, and there were tables aplenty. Perfect. Except that it was slightly north of freezing — a bit chilly for eating outside. I was quite happy, though, to tuck into a classic cheeseburger with ShackSauce and crinkle-cut french fries doused in this light, creamy cheese sauce. None of that neon-orange, gloopy, chain/stadium-style stuff here. Shake Shack’s selling point is quality — and you can taste it in the freshly ground meat and homemade sauces. My only regret is that it was too cold outside and I didn’t fell well enough to order a milkshake. So, guess I’ll have to go back. Poor me.

After so many years of waiting, I’m glad to report that Shake Shack lived up to the hype. It was dee-licious.

shakeshack

burger

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Guess who’s coming to dinner.

Sometimes I wish I was Italian. Maybe it’s because I want to be Giada de Laurentiis when I grow up, or that I love wine and food, that the countryside seems breathtakingly beautiful, or that I think they’ve got the right idea of living and celebrating “la dolce vita.” Or maybe it’s because I haven’t yet found an Italian dish that I don’t love.

Pasta, garlic, tomatoes, olives … all right up my alley.

That’s why I was so excited for the cooking marathon this past weekend. A few weeks ago, my stepmother went to visit her Italian aunt in upstate New York and brought back an old-world Italian recipe for tomato sauce (“gravy”) with a variety of meats. She did a dry run-through last weekend, and my dad requested that she make tons of sauce to freeze for later. The idea was to prepare and cook all day so there would be leftovers … until my stepmother invited everyone she knew to dinner. Keep reading »

Enjoying nature’s bounty.

I’m sure some of you are surprised that I have yet to talk about cooking on this blog. It’s always been my refuge — I’m one of those strange people who finds total relaxation in chopping vegetables or baking bread. It’s also a creative exercise to put ingredients together, to experiment and to coordinate many dishes all at once. Like conducting an orchestra.

I don’t spend a lot of time in my house — or sit down much, for that matter — so I haven’t been cooking recently outside of what’s required for general daily sustenance. In the last week, though, it’s been little sweeties galore as they’ve ripened in the garden, so I’ve had to be decently creative.

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