Clams with Bucatini

Sometimes, you just need a bowl of pasta that screams comfort and Summer all in one. This pasta is close to my heart for a number of reasons, one being it lets me taste the ocean without physically being there. Chris and I decided not to do any trips this Summer, since we are saving for a nice Fall trip. It sounds fine, at first, but as the mid-July slump took over, I found myself desperately needing to be by a large body of water, soaking in the sun, and eating the fruit of the sea. It’s a Summer tradition for most folks who grew up on the East Coast. I felt something missing all Summer and I realized that was why. What are some of your favorite Summer vacations? (more…)

So back to the pasta. I have never, ever cooked anything that was considered alive. In fact, I had cooked my best friend a lobster dish a few weeks back. Instead of paying for the cheap whole lobster, that I would have to kill myself, I opted for the much more expensive lobster tail option. I just couldn’t bring myself to do the deed. I saw this recipe for clams and pasta in the July issue of Food Network’s magazine. It had everything I wanted out of Summer: briney, lemony, buttery pasta with tender, sweet clams mixed throughout. I cooked a lot of garlic, then added the wine, then gently placed the clams on top, covered the pot and walked away for 7 minutes. Opening that pot was the most beautiful surprise. All of the clams were widely open, soaking it the wine and garlic they had just been cooked in. See my notes on caring for the clams at the bottom! This recipe is too easy and too delicious not to make. I made it again this weekend and was equally satisfied! Be sure to serve this with tons of napkins! A lot of slurpin’ with happen! Happy pasta making!

Chipotle Cranberry Sauce

You know how you always have an opened can of chipotle peppers in adobo hanging out in your fridge and you don’t know what to do with them? Oh you aren’t addicted to them like I am? Got it. Well, how about we throw them peppers into our cranberry sauce this holiday? Crazy. I might be. Lost my mind. A little. But when you are munching on that after Thanksgiving turkey sandwich with all the fixins’ and this chipotle cranberry sauce is the perfect condiment, you’ll be thanking my craziness. (more…)

There’s something magical about making your own cranberry sauce. It’s super festive and comforting. Your house smells like Christmas and you have control over what you want out of your cranberry sauce. Do you like it tart? Or sweeter than sweet? Maybe a little citrus boost? I opted for a little smokey with a little sweet. This cranberry sauce isn’t spicy by any means but has a little smokey kick to it. Perfect!

I think this is my favorite color scheme ever.

We got fresh cranberries (what beauties!), water, orange and lemon zest, sugar (I like mine sweet!), fresh orange juice, and the black sheep of the recipe: a chipotle pepper.

Everything is thrown into a pot and cooked down. The cranberries will pop creating the thick jelly-like sauce we all know and love (but not my husband). I like my cranberry sauce best cold and slathered on a croissant with butter. Or I wouldn’t judge you for adding a smidge of mayo for the best turkey sandwich condiment. This cranberry sauce would be perfect atop a brie wheel covered in puff pastry and baked to ooey gooey goodness. OR if you want to take a walk on the wild side, bake up your favorite batch of brownies and swirl this sauce in before they bake. Instead of a turkey sandwich, you could make enchiladas instead with the same ingredients and this cranberry sauce would be the perfect accompaniment. Whatever you choose to do with it, I hope you enjoy it. Have a Happy Thanksgiving loves!