Okay guys, so I am really excited to announce that I am starting a new series on my blog today. Although actually now that I mention it, this is really my first series. Let me try this again. Okay guys, so I am really excited to announce that I am starting a series on my blog today, “In the Kitchen with Katie.”
Anyone remember the last time I posted about cooking? Yes, it was the infamous cauliflower disaster. Out of the yucky cauliflower came 2 revelations: 1. I hate cauliflower in all forms and 2. Even though I love cooking, I am a little (a lot) too impatient to take step by step photos to share with you.
So, you won’t be finding any step by step photos for how to cook in my new series. But, if you stick around, you will get some beautiful food photography, probably some kitchen mishaps, the hilarious truth behind how messy I can be in the kitchen, and the complete successes that I lovingly prepare and want to share with you! I hope that you decide to stay and follow along as I find my footing and balance between my love for cooking and how I can share it with you all and still be myself.
So, to kick off the series, let me catch you up on what I was cooking up this past weekend. I actually cooked way more than I intended, but sometimes I get in a “cooking mood,” and when it strikes, I go with it.
On Friday, I found our kitchen low on groceries, and me, low on time. So I needed to get a little creative for our meals. Luckily we had a few of our kitchen staples, so I was able to come up with some fab meals. For lunch, I made a tomato pizza. I shmeared some homemade ricotta whipped with olive oil over my rolled out dough, topped it with sliced tomatoes, dried oregano and a sprinkle of salt. Then I threw on some sliced shallots and a ball of burrata that I tore up. When it got out of the oven, I added some fresh basil, and boy was it good.
After our big pizza lunch, neither one of us was particularly hungry at dinner, but I decided to make one of our favs that works great as a meal or as a snack, Gigantes Plaki. Greek style butter beans cooked slowly in a tomato and onion sauce…yum. However, I can’t help but add a little Italian flair with some red pepper flakes and fresh basil on top. We even ate some on Saturday with a little of that homemade ricotta that I mentioned earlier, and it was so good.
On Sunday the hubs ran out for a few groceries while I did some writing, and when he got home, I was ready to get busy in the kitchen. Today’s cooking list was a tall order – homemade red sauce, vodka sauce, meatballs and shrimp stock. My goal was to make big batches of some of our favorite go-to meals to stow away in the freezer for busier days.
I’ve been using the same sauce recipe for years, and it is a winner. Plus, it’s got a secret bonus – you get 2 sauces for the work of one. You make one giant batch of red sauce (I made 2 large pots worth), you keep some as your traditional red, and then you turn some into vodka sauce!
While the sauces simmered and bubbled away, I also got on the task of making the meatballs (a family recipe that I will have to write up one of these days). Once all of the sauce was done simmering, and the meatballs fried (yes, fried is the only way to do them), my last task was shrimp stock.
A few months ago I finally bit the bullet and started making homemade stocks. In my head it sounded like a lot of extra work (does this remind you of my homemade bread complex?) Well, obviously to those of you who make homemade stock, you know that it is not a lot of work. And now I know that too. Aside from chicken stock, I have started making shrimp stock for our favorite risotto. It’s actually quite easy. I just save our shrimp shells in the freezer until I have enough to whip up some stock (you can do it with just 1 lbs. worth of shells). Trust me, if you are on the fence about making homemade stocks, just make the jump and try it once, it is so worth it.
By the time all of the cooking was done, food was packed away, and the kitchen was cleaned (I am a little messy sometimes, but I like to think it’s just my culinary creativity), we were both tired and ready for dinner. Funny thing was, after cooking all day, we both felt like takeout. So, we rented a movie, ordered some sushi and curled up on the sofa. As you follow along, you’ll find that this was truly a “Katie moment”. Cook all day in the kitchen, and then order takeout. Perhaps I should rename the series “the Indecisive Eater?”