Tag Archives: Pasta

Kasha Varnishkes

This is one of those recipes from the old-country, dating back – literally – over a thousand years.  But that doesn’t make it a relic, some phonograph gathering dust in the attic, that’s brought down once a year so that grandchildren can marvel at the sound-machines of yesteryear.  This recipe is nothing more than last year’s iPod, ready to figure into the regular rotation of modern life.

This recipe has all the attributes of a modern meal.  Continue reading


Garlic Free Pesto

Garlic can be — to put it mildly — a little strong.  There’s a reason that it’s used to ward off vampires.

And if you ask Caitlin, garlic seems to have a particular staying power with me.  I can come home around 9:00, some eight hours after having eaten lunch, and Caitlin will come up to me, and draw back, before demanding, “What did you eat that had garlic in it?”

To avoid those moments of recoil, Continue reading

Baked Macaroni and Cheese with a Kick

The other day, I noticed that there were three unopened boxes of elbow macaroni, sitting peacefully in my cabinet.  And I know what happened.  Every trip to the Kroger leads me through the pasta section.  And I think, “Hmmm.  I wonder if I have any macaroni at home?”  Better safe than sorry, I pick up a box and add it to the cart.

Tired of pushing those boxes out of the way Continue reading

Lentil and Penne Soup

Some days you feel like a home-cooked meal.  But most often, that time is after a long day at work, when you least feel like spending the remaining hours of the evening waiting in a checkout line.

That was me the other day.

Walking to my car, lips chapped and cheeks red, I just wanted to head home, where I could kick my feet up and turn on the television.  I was in no mood to bundle up, break out a grocery list, and trudge through the aisles.  After all, Jon Stewart and a warm apartment were waiting.

So when I got home, I flipped on the DVR, and checked Continue reading

Broiled Salmon with Orzo Salad

When I read the instructions for preparing orzo, I was a little taken aback.

Orzo is sometimes referred to as “Italian rice.”  And rice, I know, absorbs the liquid it’s cooked in.  So, when the instructions called for 2 quarts of water to cook 1 cup of orzo, I was a little confused.  With a water to orzo ratio of 8:1, thoughts of football-size orzo grains popped into my head.

Fortunately, I read the rest of the directions, and noticed Continue reading

Spaghetti and Meatballs

Meatballs and Spaghetti

In August 2002 (back in the early days of blogging), Julie Powell began an interesting project on her blog.  Frustrated with her job, her marriage, and her living arrangements in one of the “outer boroughs,” she vowed to master the art of french cooking.  That is, Powell decided to make every one of the 536 recipes contained in Julia Child’s Mastering the Art of French Cooking in a year’s time.  The project’s simplicity, balanced with its sheer scope, soon captured the interests of her fellow bloggers and several media outlets (and eventually earned her a book and movie deal).

On a much smaller scale, the Barefoot Bloggers make it their goal to blog roughly twenty-four of Ina Garten’s recipes every year – or two every month, which Continue reading

Seven-Layer Spinach Lasagna


Choosing a recipe is a lot like playing the Kevin Bacon game.

The Kevin Bacon game, or Six-Degrees of Kevin Bacon, centers around the small-world principle, or the idea that any two people are linked by a finite number of connections.  With Kevin Bacon, the goal is to link him to any other actor using no more than six intermediary actors.  For instance, Elvis and Kevin Bacon are separated by only one intermediary – Edward Asner, who appeared with Elvis in Change of Habit, and with Bacon in JFK. At last count, over one million actors can be linked to Bacon in fewer than six steps.


The principle can be applied to any number of disciplines or phenomena –  from linking baseball players in various decades, to demonstrating the thought process in choosing a recipe. Continue reading