Where have I been, you ask? No, I haven’t fallen off a cliff and, no, I haven’t given up on blogging. The last couple weeks have been a whirlwind of work, school, and play and I’m only just now catching my breath. I was hoping to make some lemon lime basil cookies to take on my trip to Philadelphia last weekend, but at 11:00 pm the night before we were leaving, I discovered that the huge tub of basil we had in the fridge had gone bad. Since it was so late and I was so tired, I just gave up and went to bed instead.
We made the trip down to Philly for my niece’s dedication, and it was a great excuse to get out of Boston and spend time with family. Sophie, my youngest niece, was adorable and her older sister, Amelia, was giddy with excitement with all the family there. Not only did we get to catch up with family and meet my sister-in-law’s newest nephew, but we got to do it over an amazing dinner at Yang Ming, considered by some to be the best Chinese restaurant in the country. The appetizers were outstanding and practically a meal unto themselves, and my jumbo shrimp with honey walnuts was even better than what I got in San Francisco. Who knew Bryn Mawr, PA had such good Chinese food?
If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I should listen when my sister makes a food recommendation. So when she called me up nearly two weeks ago after the NFL conference championships to tell me about this fantastic layer dip, I was all ears. It seemed so perfect for the Super Bowl that I just had to whip it up so I could see for myself and share it with you!
Ok, with that streak of six straight cookie/bar recipes interrupted only by a cocktail recipe still weighing on my conscience, I figured maybe it was about time for something, I don’t know, with a little less butter and sugar. First up was the wild mushroom, zucchini and goat cheese frittata, and now, broccoli cheddar soup. Broccoli cheddar soup, you ask? How can that be healthy? Well, rest assured, it’s not by using 75% reduced fat cheese, because I would never allow such a thing in my kitchen. Nope, this recipe uses good ol’ fashioned delicious and very real cheese. It just uses a litte less than some recipes and uses low fat milk instead of heavy cream.
I adore broccoli cheddar soup, but I never make it or order it out because it just seems so decadent and I’d kind of rather save room for some chocolate cake. So I’m thrilled to have found a recipe that tastes good and doesn’t make me have to stay at the gym an extra hour to work off the calories. The recipe comes from Ellie Krieger, dietician and Food Network star, and creator of many other recipes that I love (such as mac ‘n squash, penne with roasted tomatoes, garlic, and white beans, and Chinese chicken salad). While her show isn’t my favorite (I’m sure she’s a lovely person, but she doesn’t have the best TV personality), I love her recipes. They’re healthy, tasty, and don’t rely on weird diet food products.
I woke up this morning with a mission: make a frittata. Even though I’ve eaten many a frittata ordered at a restaurant, I’ve never actually made one at home before. And what with all the cookies, holiday parties (you’d think those would be over by now, but my office just got around to our party last Thursday…), and even more cookies lately, I wanted the frittata to be a little on the healthier side. And even though I’ve never made a frittata before, I know enough to know that they’re well loved by cooks as a way to get use up what they’ve got in the fridge, so I figured I could merge a couple of recipes to get what I wanted.
So, that thing I just said about cooks using frittatas to get rid of what’s in their fridge? Yeah, well not us. We did a pretty good job of clearing out the fridge on our own last week, so we had to go to the store first. Luckily this frittata comes together pretty easily and quickly, thanks to a fantastic tip from America’s Test Kitchen. (Yes, here I go again spouting off the wonders of America’s Test Kitchen.) They start the frittata on the stovetop and then throw it in the broiler for just 3-4 minutes. It then sets at room temp for another 1-3 minutes and it’s ready to go. Better than the 15-20 minutes in the oven that other recipes call for, right? And not only is it quicker, but according to America’s Test Kitchen, it yields a perfectly puffed, golden brown frittata. Our frittata certainly lived up to their claim, so no argument here, especially since it means I got to dig in sooner! Continue reading