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Crispy Orange- Scented Brussels Sprouts - Meatballs&Milkshakes

I created this recipe one night this week when we had only a few minutes to cook dinner but wanted some green veggies to go with some braised chicken. The lovely crispy leaves add texture and the orange zest gives it a light, citrusy aroma. It’s going to become a holiday favorite, and you can make it tonight in 20 minutes.

Crispy Orange-Scented Brussels Sprouts

1 package brussel sprouts, bottoms sliced off and mangy leaves removed

3 tablespoons olive oil

Zest of 1 orange

Slice the brussels sprouts in 1/4 inch slices, so that you have very thin slices and strips of sprouts. Some will fall apart, and that’s fine. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper. Roast on a baking sheet at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, or until the edges of some of the leaves start to brown. Sprinkle the zest on top and stir through before serving.

Crispy Orange-Scented Brussels Sprouts - Meatballs&Milkshakes

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I had a bunch of the Italian ladyfingers used for tiramisu, but no time or mascarpone to make the original. This is a pretty Americanized version, but I could just call it Lemon Pudding or Lemon Trifle and that would be fine too. No matter what you call it, it was a lovely end to the meal and I would make it again.

Lemon Tiramisu

1 box vanilla pudding, cooked to box instructions

Zest and juice of 1 lemon

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

1 cup Limoncello

1/4 cup Marsala

16 Italian ladyfingers

Combine the cooked vanilla pudding with half the lemon juice, the lemon zest, and vanilla extract. In a bowl or container big enough to fit the ladyfingers (one at a time), combine the rest of the lemon juice, Limoncello, and Marsala. Dip the ladyfingers one at a time into the mixture, long enough to absorb some liquid but not so long that they get soggy. Place in a single layer in your baking dish or cups. Spoon a light layer of the pudding mixture on top. Alternate layers until you’ve filled your dish. Refrigerate for at least an hour, but it’s best if you can wait at least a couple.

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I love a good bolognese, but sometimes I just don’t have time on a weeknight to invest in making it. That’s where this kind of pasta sauce comes in. It cooks in the time it takes to boil a big pot of water, and it uses enough veal to flavor the sauce but not enough to make it really heavy. The cherry tomatoes have a natural sweetness and don’t need to cook down too much. It’s the perfect indulgence for a weeknight treat.

Weeknight Veal Ragu

1/2 pound ground veal

1/2 onion, chopped

2 tablespoons oregano, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 can San Marzano cherry tomatoes (or other San Marzanos if you can’t find the cherry tomatoes)

1/2 cup white wine

1/4  cup grated parmesan

1/2 box or pound of long pasta (spaghetti, linguine, fettuccine, etc)

Cook your pasta in salted boiling water a minute less than the package instructions. Meanwhile, brown the veal in a wide saute pan. (Using a wide pan will help the sauce cook quickly because it maximizes the amount of sauce in contact with the pan).

Add the onion once it has developed a nice browned color. Let the onion sweat down with a little salt to season. Add the oregano and garlic and stir through. Add the tomato paste and allow it to rust for a few minutes. Add the wine and tomatoes and cook down for 5 minutes. Once the sauce has reduced a little and thickened, add the cooked pasta with a splash of the pasta cooking water. Stir to cook together for the last minute and add the cheese.

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We’ve been having corn all summer, but this was the first time I decided to put some into a pasta dish. We took some leftover grilled corn and cut it off the cob, combined it with sweet end-of-summer cherry tomatoes and anchovies, and it was a perfect weekend lunch. The sweet corn and tomatoes combined with the salty bite of anchovies made the perfect complement to a light salad.

Grilled Corn Linguine

1/2 box linguine fine or your favorite long pasta

2 ears of corn, grilled in their husks, cut off the cob

2 cups cherry tomatoes

6 anchovies

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 onion, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup white wine

1/2 cup grated parmesan

Cook the pasta in salted boiling water a minute less than the package instructions. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic in a tablespoon of olive oil with the anchovies for 2 minutes. The anchovies will start to break up and the onion will soften. Add the corn and tomatoes and stir to combine. Deglaze the pan with the wine and add a little pasta cooking water. Add the linguine and cook for the final minute together.  Add the parmesan and the olive oil and toss to combine.

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I found a recipe for avocado toast in a Bon Appetit cleanse a while ago, and it quickly became my favorite snack, breakfast, or lunch. I adjusted the recipe a little to balance the tartness of the lemon with some honey. Make sure to allow your avocados to ripen, they should be just a little pliable when you give them a squeeze.

Avocado Toast

1/2 avocado, mashed

1/2 lemon juiced

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 tasblespoon honey

1 pinch red pepper flakes

1 slice of bread, toasted

Combine the avocado, lemon, olive oil, honey and red pepper flakes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Spoon on the toast and enjoy!

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Puttanesca is a classic pantry pasta sauce, using olives and anchovies along with canned tomatoes. It makes sense that that’s the basis of one of the stories about how it got it’s name. Either way, as we are starting to clean out the pantry in preparation for moving and we didn’t have a lot of fresh ingredients in the fridge, it seemed like a perfect sauce for the leftover gnocchi in the freezer. Be careful of the saltiness of the anchovies and olives, no need to add any more salt to the sauce.

Gnocchi Puttanesca

2 cups gnocchi

1/2 can San Marzano tomatoes

1/2 onion, chopped

2 garlic cloves, minced

3 anchovies

1/2 cup Gaeta olives, pitted and chopped

1/2 cup red or white wine

2 teaspoons dried oregano

Cook the gnocchi in salted water for a few minutes, until they float. Meanwhile, saute the onion and garlic with the anchovies in a little olive oil for a minute, until softened. Add the olives and oregano and stir together. Add the tomatoes and wine, and allow to cook together for a few minutes. Add the cooked gnocchi and stir together. Serve with some grated parmesan or pecorino over the top.

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We have been having a long heat wave here in NY, and I can’t quite bring myself to heat up the kitchen again until it breaks. I’m thinking about some no-cook or quick-cooking meals, and of course, the first thing I think of is salad. I love a beautiful caprese salad with fresh tomatoes and basil. Mozzarella gives it a little substance, so you’re not left hungry.

Of course, gazpacho is a staple of no-cook menus, and I loved this one with watermelon. The shrimp skewers are optional, but if you would like to get outside and grill, go ahead. This would also make an excellent summer lunch with the caprese.

I’ve made this capellini with tomatoes and basil several times since I posted it. It’s light and refreshing, and best of all, it’s done basically in the time it takes to boil water.

If I really start wanting some protein, I might make this ginger glazed salmon. It takes a little longer to cook, but I can do the glaze in a wider pan cut the cooking time down to 15 minutes. Having people over? This looks elegant but it’s so quick.

I still have a little of this blueberry frozen yogurt left in the freezer, and I think I’m going to have to finish it up this weekend. Nothing is better to cool down than some frozen treats.

Unless it’s white wine sangria. This is staple at my apartment all summer. Actually, all year round but in the summer it’s extra perfect.

And if I make it outside to grill this weekend? I think it’s going to be lamb burgers as a change from regular burgers. The cool yogurt and mint sauce helps in the heat too.

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