This arancini recipe (fried risotto balls) is an updated version of the classic Italian appetizer, using Panko crumbs for extra crunch!
“I think I lost track of how many I’ve eaten.” said AJ when I asked him if he liked the arancinis I had made for the dinner party. That’s a solid sign that he really liked them. Our dinner guest Kevin interjected “I ate five of them!” in a statement that I couldn’t tell was shame or pride. I didn’t question further because I knew I had to get dinner on the table or they would fill up on fried risotto balls. Apparently my arancini recipe was a winner. (Jump directly to the recipe.)
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This ribs in the oven recipe means you can have deep flavorful barbecue ribs year round with minimal work and effort!
“I hope ribs are OK for dinner” I said to AJ as I had picked some up on sale at the grocery store. His eyes widen in excitement and that was all the answer I needed from him. I had been making a version of David Lebovitz’ caramel ribs ever since I got his book My Paris Kitchen last year. But I have yet to blog about it mostly because each time I make it, I tweak the recipe more to my personal liking. Also because we usually end up eating the ribs immediately, which means I never get around to actually photographing them! But this time I was determined to take at least one or two photos of them before we ate them. This ribs in the oven recipe is pretty darn fabulous. (Jump directly to the recipe.)
I’ll tell you that I’m a sucker for good ribs. I grew up in St. Louis where pork ribs are king. In fact, there’s a cut of ribs called St. Louis ribs that I tend to buy. Sometimes called spare ribs, the St. Louis cut ribs are meatier with a higher fat ratio. The baby back ribs (sometimes called Loin Back ribs) are smaller, less meaty but more tender and often slightly more expensive. I love both styles, but being from St. Louis my loyalties (and wallet) are with the St. Louis style.
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Deep in slumber, I dreamed about a boring conference I was attending. Trapped in the middle of the 2nd row of black chairs, the person next to me was spilling his papers all over the place. I impatiently reached for my cell phone for the millionth time, anxiously awaiting the SCOTUS ruling on legalizing same-sex marriage. Then my partner AJ gently woke me up.
The crack in his voice was all I needed to know how the verdict came down. He said to me “They…”
And I started to cry.
“…ruled in our favor. Gay Marriage is legal.”
I held him and couldn’t stop crying. We laid in bed for an hour, just holding each other.
I’ll be back on Monday with a recipe. For now I’m going to celebrate.
This fresh and easy composed asparagus salad had steamed crisp tender asparagus with thinly sliced radishes, peas and fresh mint.
“So they’re not REALLY vegetarian. Just sort of vegetarian.” said AJ when I asked about what I should make for dinner. Our friends Alic and Kevin were coming over and it was just this sort of middling description that made me wary of what I should serve. I don’t have an issue if someone tells me they are pescatarian, vegetarian, or even vegan. Gluten free? No problems. Paleo? Easy breezy. But the vague “sort of vegetarian” just kind of baffles me. It turns out that they are cutting back on their meat, but still eat it every now and then? I guess I can work within those parameters. I opted to go with a vegetarian friendly salad to begin with, just in case they decided they didn’t want to eat the main course meat dish. I probably should have just made a completely vegetarian meal but AJ assured me that meat really was fine. Turns out the asparagus salad with radishes, peas and fresh mint was a winner for everyone. Even my partner devoured it completely. (Jump directly to the recipe.)
Impromptu dinner parties are kind of my favorite thing, even though our apartment isn’t really designed for them. We set up a folding card table in the middle of our living room, cover it up with a tablecloth. Maybe one of these days maybe we’ll be grownups and get an apartment with a dining room, or at the very least a room that is big enough for a dining table. But thankfully our guests rarely complain. My strategy is to dazzle them with food and hope they don’t notice my pile of cookbooks towering over my computer on my work desk and the stack of boxes we have in the corner that I need to break down and recycle.
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The Forest Negroni is a modern outdoorsy inspired version of the classic negroni cocktail.
About a week and a half ago I had a chance to head down to Menlo Park to visit the campus of Sunset Magazine to get a sneak peak preview of their Sunset Celebration Weekend. A weekend of demos, seminars, music, food and drinks I knew I wouldn’t be able to attend the celebration itself but I wanted to bid farewell to their campus. This will be the last year Sunset Magazine headquarters will be there. Next year they will move to Oakland and to Napa. You can tell that they were gearing up for their biggest celebration weekend ever, with people coming from all over the area to say goodbye to the campus they’ve been at since 1951. There seemed to be equal parts sadness and excitement at the idea of closing a major chapter in Sunset’s life, as well as what potential for what was to come with the new move.
From touring their “Backyard Cottage and Garden” a modernist 400 square foot guesthouse to seeing their wine cellar and visiting their test kitchen built with both electric and gas stoves so that all their recipes can be properly tested on home equipment to their expansive gardens completely with a mini greenhouse full of succulents as well as their exploration of drought friendly gardening, I was impressed and sad I couldn’t come back down during the weekend to celebrate along with everyone else. But since I was heading down to LA to pick up AJ from his ride on the AIDS Lifecycle, it just wasn’t feasible. So I knocked back a sample of their Forest Negroni (recipe at the end of this post) which was demoed as the perfect camping cocktail, knowing that Sunset was giving their all for their last hurrah at the campus. I can’t wait to see what they do at their new campus!
Special thanks to Sunset Magazine for bringing me down to check out their campus right before Sunset Celebration Weekend. Though they did bring me down to tour their campus as well as treat us to lunch and samples, I was not monetarily compensated for this post and all opinions are my own.
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