the huge joy of small victories

After an abstemious period of trying to cut back on my cookbook buying, I went on a real tear in the last year and a half-ish. All told, I think we’ve added ten new friends to our already not exactly small cookbook library. Baking books and chef-y books and pasta books and books that Instagram made me have to have and at least two books to magically make weeknight dinners easier. I’ve loved looking at absolutely every one of these, but have only really cooked from one: Julia Turshen’s Small Victories.

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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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butter poached bon: pineapple pork chops

When we first saw the February issue of Bon Appétit, we both assumed we’d end up making a pasta dish. Our shared love of pasta is well documented, and this month’s cover story just looked so dang good. After some narrowing down, tho, we settled on a possible three dishes: the ricotta gnudi for its potential in both the realms of deliciousness and epic kitchen fails, the rosti with fried potatoes because it seemed like a total tasty gimmie, and the pineapple pork chops. We decided to go with the pork chops, since neither of us cooks with pork very often (excepting other Bon experiments, of course) and we’d both never cooked chops—well, never bone–in for Laura, and any kind for Jessica. Turns out, we couldn’t have picked a better recipe to advance our pork savvy.

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