Buffalo Chicken Calzones

Forgive me, foodies, for I have slacked off. It has been 26 days since I last posted a new recipe. I’m not Catholic, so that’s as far as I’m willing to take the confession metaphor.

All kidding aside, I’ve just been really overwhelmed by life outside the kitchen lately. Between my job, writing a new show, and keeping Handsome Greg and Professor Meowington happy, I’m swamped. The thought of creating a unique recipe accompanied by a clever tale makes me want to cry into my apron.

And so, in the interest of keeping my blog alive (while exerting the VERY least amount of effort) I’m sharing an entirely unoriginal and frankly lazy-ass recipe. It’s easy, tasty, and a little bit embarrassing.

I am sorry for these and all the sins of my kitchen.


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Top Ten Recipes of 2012

Happy Holidays, imaginary internet friends! And congratulations on surviving the end of the world. Now I’m off to Barnes and Noble to demand a refund for my Mayan wall calendar. Wish me luck!

In the meantime, I hope you’ll take another look at the 10 most popular recipes I shared this year.

S’mores Fried Ice Cream with Chipotle Chocolate Sauce

 

Asparagus Lasagna Slice

Asparagus Lasagna with Pancetta, Goat Cheese, and Lemon

 

Baked Churros with Cinnamon Ice Cream and Dulce de Leche

 

Loaded Baked Potato Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 

Cinnamon Roll Grilled Cheese Sandwich

 

Oatmeal Cream Pies

Homemade Oatmeal Cream Pies

 

Cookies and Milk

Toffee Cashew Cookies

 

pie crust crackers

Chicken Pot Pie Soup with Pie Crust Crackers

 

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese Sandwich

And the most popular recipe of 2012:

Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken

Pepperoni Stuffed Chicken Breasts

Here’s to a delicious (and gooey) new year!

Lemon Pesto Pasta with Shrimp

Most of the year, I really appreciate the giant, south-facing windows in each room of my apartment. Particularly in wintertime as the sun rises and paints my buttery yellow walls with a gentle glow, I’m thankful that my odd-numbered apartment placed me on the south side of the building.

In July, however, those same windows with tightly sealed blinds conceal an indoor climate of roughly 8 berzillion degrees with a dew point of oh-my-god-my-hair-is-still-wet-three-hours-after-washing-it. I can’t believe I’m talking about the weather, but what the fork? It’s hot.

So hot. Only my lemon understands.

And that’s not just my garbage-crap excuse for failing to post a new recipe for nearly a month. It’s also my garbage-crap excuse for failing to cook anything blog-worthy for nearly a month. I’m smack-dab in the center of my annual mid-summer meal slump. I don’t really feel like cooking and nothing sounds good to me except salads and sandwiches.

So I was shocked—shocked—when I found myself craving pasta. In JULY. One steamy afternoon, I imagined twirling my fork in a mess of spaghetti, and I just had to make a light, sunshiny, quick and easy, pasta dinner. This lemon pesto capellini with shrimp is the perfect combination of bright, summer flavors, tender-toothsome textures, and crave-busting carbs.

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S’mores Fried Ice Cream with Chipotle Chocolate Sauce

It was a dark and stormy summer night. The rain beat against the windows and a vulgar blaze of lightening tore open the night sky. Full of green chile enchiladas and cocktails, Mom, Handsome Greg, Professor Meowington, and I gathered in a circle on the living room floor, passing the flashlight and sharing ghost stories (like that one about the young couple whose car breaks down during a storm when there’s a serial killer on the loose.)

Another chorus of baritone thunder sang through the quiet, and I returned to the kitchen for my 2nd (OK, 4th) vodka lemonade. A blood-curdling scream escaped my throat as my eyes fixed on a most horrifying sight: my toasted marshmallow ice cream balls, carefully coated in two layers of graham cracker crumbs had been left on top of the refrigerator to melt in the summer heat. Nnnnooooooooooo!

The flaccid, lifeless ice cream balls squished under my finger. I threw them back in the freezer, and wondered, who could’ve done such a thing? Who’d been in my kitchen? Oh, my god! The ice cream killer was inside the house.

As it turns out, Handsome Greg left our dessert on top of the fridge when he got out the ice for the last round of drinks. Actually, he was a dead giveaway; Handsome Greg is the only one of us tall enough to reach something above the refrigerator. And the ice cream balls were saved in the nick of time. They hardened up in the freezer as the oil was heating and the chocolate was softening and the thunder was thundering.

Handsome Greg was forgiven, and we all enjoyed a ridiculous and delicious dessert.

In light of my happy ending, I suggest you host a slumber party, tell ghost stores, and fry up some ice cream of your own. You’ll break through the crispy graham cracker coating and toasted marshmallow ice cream will ooze out. Then drag it through the smoky chocolate sauce, and you will have constructed a perfect homage to s’mores in a single, hot-and-cold, campfire-smoky, crunchy-creamy bite.

And all without anyone getting killed and left hanging from a tree branch making thumping noises on the roof of your ‘87 Acura.

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Crab and Artichoke Dip


On a Saturday evening every other month, Mom and Handsome Greg come to my place for a leisurely, candlelit dinner. I spend weeks preparing the menu, and developing and testing recipes. But despite my careful, down-to-the-minute scheduling of the shopping, cleaning, and food prep, when Mom and Greg arrive at Chez Galley Kitchen, I am generally rushing around in a mad panic to get the food done on time. Handsome Greg (who incidentally towers over me at nearly 6’4”) kindly offers to help, and is subsequently banished from my wee kitchen to open the wine and set the table.

One day I will learn my lesson. I will plan menus that aren’t needlessly complicated with too many dishes that require last-minute, pre-dinner devotion. I will have food on the table when my guests arrive, and I will feel like a grown-up or a superhero or Katie Couric. And when that day comes, the meal will begin with an easy, make-ahead appetizer, like a hearty, palette-pleasing spread.

This creamy, crabby, cheesy dip gets the party started with a nostalgic nod to 70s swank. I’d never had canned crab before and wasn’t sure what to expect (foodies talk some serious smack about canned crab), but it was delicious! It didn’t taste “canned” at all. With all the creamy, cheesy, mayo-y ingredients, I was a little nervous the dip would come out of the oven with an oil slick on top, so I used the light versions of the dairy and mayo, and the consistency was plenty decadent without being greasy.

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Homemade Cheez-Its

I’m pretty sure that everyone has a goldfish food. Y’know, that one tasty treat that you’ll eat until you explode? My goldfish food is buttery, salty popcorn topped with M&Ms. Toss the candies on top while the popcorn and the butter are still hot, so the M&Ms get a little melty and slippery from the butter and I totally forgot what I was talking about.

Oh. Yes. Goldfish food. For Handsome Greg, that tasty, eat-until-you-explode treat is Cheez-Its.

If there is a box of Cheez-Its within his reach, he will plow through the entire box, no matter how small his appetite at the moment. It’s a compulsion.

When I thought about what in the world to make him for his birthday dinner this year, I considered truffle salt and imported cheeses and lobster and organic balsamic vinegar and duck fat and caviar.

Happy Birthday, Uncle Grogg!

And then I thought about what HE would like, and took a stab at making homemade Cheez-Its. I started with a recipe for cheese straws at Smitten Kitchen (I really, really love Smitten Kitchen), made one small substitution in the recipe (below), and cut them in squares, rather than straws. They’re just as addictive as the original Cheez-Its, but flaky and tender. They start with sharp cheddar cheese and truly come to life with a pinch of red pepper flakes.

I’ve made them for nearly every gathering at my place since Handsome Greg’s birthday, and they’re always scarfed up in record time.

Edited to add: I tried this recipe with orange cheddar, and I cut the crackers in one-inch circles with a biscuit cutter, and they were drop dead adorable:

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