Kitchen Bitch

Cooking in the Kitchen with Sass & Class

Italian Mash-Up: Eggplant, Mozzarella, and Saffron Rice Bake January 8, 2013

Eggplant Mozzarella and Saffron Bake

Happy New Year, dear readers! Like many of you, I’ve been plotting and planning for this coming year, trying to come up with ways to not only improve my business, but also myself, my marriage, my home (which looked like a tornado had gone through it just a few days ago while I was reorganizing just about everything), and this little blog.

I wanted my first dish of the year to reflect the way I’m feeling at the present—a little unsure about which way to go, but ready to grab life by the reigns and let it take me wherever the path may lead. And so I offer you this Eggplant, Mozzarella, and Saffron Rice Bake, which is in fact a combination of two classic Italian dishes, eggplant parmigiana and saffron risotto, although it’s a bit more healthful as the eggplant is baked instead of fried.

(more…)

Advertisements
 

Sopa Seca (Mexican Noodle Casserole) October 4, 2012

As the first months of our marriage go by, Doug and I seem to be eating more and more classic Mexican food each week. And it’s not just because Doug has developed what seems to be an endless affinity for the stuff (when we first met 4 years ago, Doug hated Mexican food because he had never had the real deal; now he requests tacos at least once a week). It’s also because I never grow tired of cooking it and sharing it with folks who have never experienced the pleasures of simple, traditional dishes made in homes around Mexico. And recently I got to cook this homey Mexican dish for my longtime friend and neighbor, Matt. (Thanks for stopping by, boy!)

Sopa seca, aka dry soup aka Mexican Noodle Casserole, is something that I’ve mentioned on this blog before. I made it in culinary school once, but this was the first time I’ve had a chance to make it at home, and WOW! I love this version from Saveur. Sopa seca is like the (spicy) Mexican version of noodle soup—it’s filling, comforting, and good for the soul. There’s no meat in it, but you won’t miss it—at least I know we didn’t, and that’s saying something. (more…)

 

My Biggest Event Yet + Watermelon, Tomato, and Feta Salad September 7, 2012

Hello Dear Readers! Wow these past few weeks have been crazy and crazy fun! Last weekend I catered the biggest event of my career, a 150-person after-wedding party at Neon’s Unplugged in downtown Cincinnati, for my very dear friend Carmen and her now-husband Ben. I love these two so much, it was awesome to be able to feed them and their families the day after their big day! (more…)

 

Weeknight Delight: Thai Red Curry August 2, 2012

Summer has been keeping me busy. Between all my personal chef and catering gigs, my editing work, and my sister’s wedding coming up in about 40 days (bachelorette party this weekend!), life has been nuts—which means easy but flavorful weeknight meals for Doug and I.

I’ve actually made this particular recipe with both chicken and tofu, and I really enjoy both versions. The tofu version comes together even easier because you don’t have to cook the tofu before you add it to the pot, but alas my meat-loving hubby is opposed to tofu (“opposed” being somewhat of an understatement), so chicken it is!

Curry paste is one of those amazing things that you can pick up at the Asian mart in a small can, and it lasts forever! In fact, I opened the can a few months ago, transferred it to a small Tupperware container, and kept it in the back of my fridge until I’m ready to use it. I think I’ll get about three curries out of one baby-sized can—that’s $1 well spent! (more…)

 

Grill It! Bell Pepper and Quinoa Salad July 10, 2012

Things are (sort of) back to normal around here now that we’ve made it through the holiday and four surprise birthday parties in one week! Yes, you read that correctly: four. surprise. parties. How we managed for them all to actually be surprises is beyond me, but the important thing is that everyone is happy and feels well-celebrated.

This, my friends, is what summer is all about: enjoying (or avoiding) the summer sun together, eating and drinking until our hearts are content, and spending time with the ones we love. Since we returned from our honeymoon, I’ve actually had more time to do just that, and it makes me so happy that life is finally coming to a more relaxed juncture, one where I can actually enjoy my day, rather than just rush through it to make it to the next one because I have so many things that need to be done. (more…)

 

Classics, Updated: Broccoli-Quinoa Casserole March 27, 2012

In a house with four children (me + my triplet brother and sisters), my mom was always looking for new ways to 1) feed her children to satiety quickly (we all tend to get VERY grumpy when we need to eat. My sister Paige calls it hangry. Hungry + Angry = Hangry.), and 2) get us all the nutrients we needed to get through our mad rush of daily activities, from swimming to baseball to student council.

As a classic Southern woman in the vein of Paula Deen—minus the Southern drawl—my mom often turned to hearty one-pot casseroles to feed our family of 6. To this day, I still wax nostalgic about my mom’s casseroles, in particular her Broccoli-Cheese Casserole and her Chicken Tetrazzini, which I already updated here. So when I saw a post on Broccoli-Quinoa Casserole on my gal Jessica’s blog, Dishin’ About Nutrition, I knew I had to make my own version!

Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) has gotten very popular in the past few years, and Doug and I have most definitely jumped on the bandwagon. Quinoa looks like a grain, but it’s actually an ancient tiny seed that the Incas used to eat as a primary form of nutrition. Quinoa, unlike wheat or rice, is a COMPLETE protein, which means not only does it have a lot of protein, but it’s also a balanced source of essential amino acids. And, it’s gluten free! You cook quinoa in the exact same way as rice (2 parts water to 1 part quinoa), except you give it a little rinse first.

Quinoa tastes like a nuttier, more delicious version of rice, at least in my opinion. I like to buy it in bulk bags at Sam’s Club or Costco, but you can most definitely find it in well-stocked supermarkets and specialty markets. I like to substitute it for rice in many recipes, this one included. As a nutritional powerhouse, quinoa supplies many of our needed vitamins and minerals, so it’s great for vegetarians and meat eaters alike. (more…)