Kitty Yum Yum’s Dumpling Emporium
I admit that I’m a bit of a fussy pants about collecting the best version of a recipe possible, to the point of years of trial and error to get things just right. I believe in a specific set of credos of the kitchen, and won’t accept any substitutions for particular dishes that my palette is craving a certain way. Was it Anthony Bourdain that said that people that refuse to peel garlic (by way of pre-chopped jarred garlic) don’t deserve to eat it? I watch Sandra Lee cook out of seasoning packets and processed piles of ingredients, and it reminds me of why I enjoy spending a little extra time in the kitchen getting things just right. It’s so worth it when the stars align and the recipe you’re working from just works. Continue reading Jiao Zi (Boiled Pork Dumplings)
Some Like it Red Hot
For those that know her, it goes without saying that my sister, Lexi, is an inspired baker. Not only does she wield myriad tricks of the trade with prowess and might (think “Gastronomical She-Ra, Princess of Baking”), her time as a vegetarian and vegan have given her a unique perspective on the science and nutrition of baking. She knows her stuff.
Alas, I didn’t get that gene – I absolutely adore cooking, but baking – not ma’ thang. I’m pretty sure that I’ve set a cake on fire before. And yet, this recipe is the one that has proven to be my solitary ace in the hole. I have a crush on this one. A big time crush. Continue reading Red Velvet Cake
Phoning It In Can Be Sexy
I seem to collect bolognese recipes like a bad habit – many are more complicated than this one and involve grinding your own meat and tomatoes, slow simmering for days, and babysitting the whole operation until it comes to a savory finish. “The Big Sauce” as my Vo calls it. And yet, this recipe manages to conjure up the same “cooked for days” taste with a whole lot less work.
The recipe calls for a few funny things – like baking the bolognese in the oven, simmering the sauce with parmesan rinds and then finishing the pasta off in the pan. All of these steps will help turn your sauce into something extraordinary. Continue reading Rigatoni Bolognese
“Pass the Southern Comfort, baby. It’s been a long day.”
And by that I mean spend some time getting a little déclassé and whip up some potatoes and veg for this super light and moist meatloaf. I know, I know. You want elegance and style. You want strings and harps, and saucers of champagne. But occasionally, you have to trailer-park-trash it up a bit and enjoy some straight up comfort food. I know what you are thinking – Angela, aren’t you the self-proclaimed ingredient snob? Truthfully, my deal is that everything be as tasty as possible, which is absolutely not elitist. There’s room for truffles and tater tots alike in my mind. Though maybe not in the same dish. Anyways, the whole point is to put aside your preconceived TV dinner notions and tuck into Mama Angelina’s Bomb Meatloaf…yes, that’s literally what it’s called. And it’s “bomb” for “it’s the bomb”. Continue reading Classic Meatloaf
An Ode to Waking Your Ass Up
If ever you feel like it’s a “boo-hoo eat salad at home like a dieting loser” kind of night, I strongly advise you to make this dressing. The recipe originally came from my mom – a bold mixture of lemon, garlic and olive oil packing a serious punch on whatever greens she dressed them with. It woke your ass up. Continue reading French Lemon Tarragon Vinaigrette
Love is Bacon and Eggs for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
I come from a long line of women who cook with such confidence, it borders on defiance in following a recipe. I can’t say that I don’t follow recipes, as I most certainly do. But I have to admit that my favorite times in the kitchen are those when I am cooking the dishes that I know so intrinsically, using the recipe would only cause me to second guess myself. This dish, a comforting amalgamation of fatty bacon and oozy eggs and cheese, is one I always love the best when made without a recipe. I just know it’s going to be good by the feel of working with the ingredients that are in front of me.
Carbonara, for me, isn’t determined by the standard laundry list of ingredients (pasta, eggs, pancetta, parmasean, and a healthy dose of black pepper) so much as the proportions. I like mine as gloriously lux as possible – comfort food at its finest – which means that I’ll be a bit of an ingredient snob in order to get it just right. Ironically enough, this dish still manages to be one that I seem to be able to make at any time – I always have the ingredients lying around the fridge. Maybe that’s the appeal – so easy to make, but insanely full of panache and class. All cooking should have results such as these. Continue reading Pasta Carbonara