dinnertime sizzle: brussels sprouts and steak stir-fry

I’ve posted a number of stir-fries (a couple of chicken dishes and pepper steak), but I try out way more stir-fries than I share. I’m particular about the flavors (they’d better be big) and the textures (crisp veggies, small pieces of meat, and a thick sauce), leaving many lackluster dishes to fall into the recipe compost bin of not-quite-good-enough. This spicy stir-fry featuring a ton of veggies and satisfying steak has been on repeat for over a year in our house, so I figured it was time to share.

brussels steak stirfry
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thankful for corn and cheese

I finally found a Thanksgiving dish that has Ed looking forward to turkey day. I’ve written before about how Ed’s chief Thanksgiving complaint is that the food doesn’t have enough crunch or heat. This dish, an easy-breezy, decadently cheesy corn casserole, has crunch and spice to spare. It’s one of the simplest, but most satisfying holiday sides I’ve made and I have a feeling it’s going to be in the rotation for years.

spicy corn casserole

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uh oh, spaghettiOs!

As I’ve said before, I’m not eager to make traditional Italian meatballs for my husband. Traditional-ish, though. I can get eager about. Especially if the traditional-ish is an updated version of a weirdo food I loved as a child–canned SpaghettiOs (and yes, the O really is capitalized–I checked the official SpaghettiOs website). As soon as I saw the Bon Appétit recipe for Adult “SpaghettiOs” I wanted to make it. It looked homey and fun and tasty and I Ioved the description: “extra saucy and a little sweet.” Sign me up.

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salad of the summer 

It was beyond fun to have Jessica in town a couple of weeks ago. Even though I wish she were still here, we did an excellent job making the most of our time together (as she so perfectly described in her cobbler post). Cooking on Saturday night was a definite highlight and even planning the meal was fun. Jessica, ever generous, offered to let me post the recipe for the grilled corn and halloumi salad we made, even though she gets all the credit for finding it.

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parfait roasted strawberry trifles

As I’ve written before, I love strawberry desserts. Years of birthday strawberry shortcake in mid-April has made me hard-wired to want berries in early spring. Unfortunately, strawberries aren’t at their best for another few weeks. That leaves me with fierce cravings and nothing but a pint of dull Driscoll’s to fill the void. I learned from my mom that a quick cure for bland strawberries is to toss them in sugar and let them rest. I’ve also had good luck cooking them with sugar to make a compote, and now, thanks to Bon Appétit, I’m also a fan of roasting them with sugar and salt.

roasted strawberry trifle

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weeknight porchetta 

Sometimes there’s nothing more fun than taking a whole day (in the middle of a huge snow storm, for example?) to make a spiffy and time consuming recipe. I do it almost every time we have a Saturday dinner party, half wondering why in the heck it takes me a whole day to make dinner and half absolutely loving it. But sometimes you want something that feels really special and doesn’t crowd everything else off of your to-do list. For those times, this weeknight porchetta–a pork loin wrapped in bacon and seasoned with fresh rosemary and garlic–has got you perfectly covered.

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leaving new england: strawberry-basil shortcakes

I’m quitting my job, retiring from urban life, and setting my watch to Central Standard Time. In just a few weeks, my husband and I are leaving Boston for Springfield, Illinois. Most people are temporarily dumbfounded when I tell them about the move. I don’t blame them. It’s a radical change and my head has been whirling with random thoughts about the transition. In between choosing movers and memorizing a new zip code, I wonder how it will feel to see for miles across the open plains. I worry about living even farther from my East Coast relatives and friends. I dream of front-row spaces in sprawling grocery store parking lots. I contemplate what New England sights we’ll see in our remaining weeks.

strawberry basil shortcakes / butterpoached.wordpress.com

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