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Daydreams

Don’t mind me if I am a bit distracted, but it is hard to concentrate when know that just a few hours are separating me from my MegaMillions!

I’m generally not a lotto gal, but at $540 million, the $5 quick picks are worth it for the day dreams alone…

Do you have a ticket in hand?  What visions is it stirring up for you?

Pizza, Pizza!

I have a long standing love affair with pizza — good pizzeria style, thin and blistery but a bit chewy being my favorite, with a close second coming to those made at home.  Now, without a wood burning oven, mine don’t always match the perfection of the professionals, but the fun of it all makes them seem almost better.

So it seemed obvious that we would have a little pizza party while at the beach.  Always on the look out for a good at-home crust, I have finally settled on one that I keep coming back to – the crust from Mozza as featured in Saveur.  They did a great write up, with tips as well as the recipe.  Bonus that you get 4 pies out of one recipe, which is perfect for a group!

Although, I have been reading quite a bit about Jim Lahey’s no-knead pizza crust which I may have to sample, but it does require a 18 hour lead time. So basically, there is a good chance of more pizza posts in the future…

Burrata Pizza

pizza toppings

As for toppings, I think it is fun to mix it up.  Here is what we did:

  • Fresh tomato sauce {San Marzano, of course} with Burrata and Basil
  • Brussels Sprouts (shaved and whole leaves) with Lardons and Mozzarella (no sauce, just garlic and chili infused olive oil as a base)
  • Spicy Sausage with Sautéed Mushrooms and Mozzarella and Pecorino
  • Pepperoni with  Roasted Tomatoes and Mozzarella

We bypassed my usual favorite of broccoli rabe with oil-cured olives and I must say, I LOVED the brussels sprout and lardon combo.  So good!

Pizza party

Cheers

What are your favorites for pizza night?

Sunset on the Bay

This past weekend, in a attempt to get some warmth and sunshine, we had plans to head south to the beach with some friends.  However the rain that poured down on all of California derailed the sunshine bit, so we were ‘forced’ to stay inside and cook.  And boy did we ever!

It was a weekend with lots of leisurely time in the kitchen, and long stretches at the table — engrossed in good conversation with plenty of food and wine.  It was such a treat that I can now (3 days later) face the fact that it is over and download a few pictures.  I was planning to put them all together, but there is so much goodness, I may space it out a bit, if you don’t mind…

Martinis upon arrival

And for the good part, Friday night’s menu:

Pimento Cheese (with homemade mayo) with radishes and celery
Panko Crusted Sole with lemon and tartar sauce
Roasted Potato Wedges
Coleslaw with a bit of blue cheese
Roasted Carrots

and, of course

Vanilla and Banana Ice Cream with Salted Caramel and Peanuts

FishFry

Pimento Cheese

Fish Fry

And the decadence just continued from there …

weeknight dinner

I am infinitely curious about what people eat and make for dinner at home.  Not “magazine” weeknight dinners, or even blogs that showcase only one component or require endless time, but real dinners.  To be honest, if I make dinner 3-4 nights a week, I consider that a HUGE success.  I know there will be a dinner or two out, plus perhaps take-out and a ‘single gals’ dinner of popcorn or wine and cheese.  

So once a week, I thought it would be fun to showcase a real weeknight dinner.  Some of course will be more fun than others, but that’s life, right?

As you can see here, these really aren’t turkey burgers, but the term ‘patties’ wasn’t all too appealing.

But, thankfully they tasted great.  Super simple turkey burgers – grilled with just salt, pepper, worcestershire & garlic powder – and topped with a big dollop of caramelized onions.  On the side was sautéed kale with garlic and chili (standard prep around here) and spinach salad with pears and gorgonzola.  Often times when I make turkey burgers, I add garlic, parsley, etc. – more like oversized meatballs – but here the theme was speed and ease.

What are your weeknight dinners?  Do you have a routine or mix it up?


Rain out my window

Two straight days of rain (and more on the horizon) coupled with the time change, phew, it’s no wonder that I am ready for the weekend.  And arguably the biggest baby about both those things right now.  Thankfully we have dinner tonight at a favorite neighborhood spot with some dear friends (and wine) and 7:00 couldn’t come soon enough!

What do you do when the weather’s got you down?

date-spice-cookies

These are without a doubt my new favorite cookies.  Those of you who are devotees of basic chocolate-chip may call them blasphemous, and I get it. But since obvious sweets are not my thing, these chewy-nutty little guys are my heaven. And they even do include chocolate chips, so there is that.

With a base of dates, walnuts and chocolate chips, they are naturally vegan and gluten-free.  Which is not why we stumbled across the recipe in the first place, but it’s good to have a recipe or two that fits those bills in your back pocket.  Catie and I made these originally for a dinner {party} with chai ice cream for dessert, and the fact that these couldn’t be easier was the real thrill.

They have since shown up numerous times since they are so well loved, and I’ll let you in on a little secret . . . they aren’t too bad for breakfast either!

ingredients for date & walnut cookies

Making-Date-Cookies

DateWalnutCookies

For the recipe,  Read the rest of this entry »

new views

I am not the best with routine, wanting to change things up more than is probably good for me.  But I know that routines are in fact good and even necessary, and some I even become rather fond of.

Take my morning walks with a friend – we meet in the early hours and manage to clock in some decent mileage, all the while chatting feverishly and drowning out our steps.  And the views aren’t too bad either…

But even routines can use some spice, so when serious winds caused us to take a different route the other morning, it was so exciting to see the city in new light. I forgot what  a fresh perspective could do for my psyche.

So perhaps this weekend, let’s all look at something in a new way!

Have a great weekend!
xx

View on reg morning walk

Top photo from the new route, looking down at the city.  Most mornings offer the Golden Gate and the beach, which is pretty awesome too!
(both taken via instagram)

Shaved Radicchio + Arugula Salad

I don’t know where to begin – recreating a restaurant salad?  A salad so good that the veg-averse husband has seconds?  How ’bout both.  This salad is a favorite amongst my friends at a great little spot in Venice, AXE (ă • shay), and they list as:

SHAVED RADICCHIO + ARUGULA 
• Crispy Onions • Parmesean • Balsamic Dressing •

So that is exactly what we have here.

Shaved Radicchio + Arugula Salad

Shaved Radicchio

Few tips to get it just right:
Read the rest of this entry »

Camellias

I am embarrassed to admit that I often only think of buying flowers, never picking them.  Years of city living will do that to you – mentally train you to forget about things in their natural state.

But our current apartment has a cute little backyard with a few camellia bushes, that have been blooming in full force lately.  So I am happy to say that I have flowers all over the house from our.own.yard.  This, for me, is quite a treat!

Anything fun growing in your yard? Street?  Neighborhood?  Anything is fair game!

Camellias

Camellias - pink and red

Anchovies don’t get much love – many people do not like them, or more accurately, think they don’t like them.

It’s true, some may not want them whole on salads or pizzas, but chopped or even cooked, they lend depth to many otherwise easy things.  I always have them on hand particularly for salad dressings and pasta, like the bagna càuda or Amateur Gourmet’s Heaven & Hell Cauliflower Pasta.  Or most often I just chop up a few filets and add them to my basic shallot vinaigrette.  Once you get used to using them, you will find more things you want to sneak them into!

Quick tip on anchovies:

Tinned (in oil):  these are often the least expensive and most readily available, but I find I never need a whole tin and don’t want to keep the open one on hand for too long.

Jarred (in oil):  these can be a bit more expensive, but I prefer this style, as you can easily just use what you need and save the rest for later.  So, you end up with less waste and the jar lasts me quite a while.

Jarred (in salt):  these are usually the best quality, but need to be rinsed and filleted.  The rinsing is easy, but truthfully, the extra step of filleting generally hold me back.

ABOUT

Martha Stewart I am not -
I have no intention of
whittling my own table
and can handle a martini
like nobody's business -
but I do have lots of
great ideas on cooking,
entertaining, and living
that I want to share with you.

Together, perhaps we can find
ways to have a bit more fun!

Contact:
info{at}caitlindentino{dot}com

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