Beef Korma

Posted by Megan | Beef, Dinner, Global, Indian

Has anyone noticed anything different on the blog lately? Recipes keep coming, writing remains about the same, but what about…the pictures? I hope you all have noticed an improvement because Will did something amazing for me for Christmas this year. He built me a special photo light, found here. I found this light on one of my favorite blogs, Pinch of Yum, in their food photography section. But instead of spending some buckaroo’s on a light, we went the DIY option instead. And because of this little light powerhouse, you may have noticed the posts about mussels, tagine, miso-tahini noodles with tofu might have looked a bit improved! After taking some time to edit photos last weekend, I’m super stoked about the improved quality we can share with you in how our food looks! Now, the only flaw in this is now our older photos look less good and we need to remake about 440 recipes. Riiiiiiiiiight. We’ll get on that ASAP.

Vanilla Hot Toddy

Posted by Megan | Drinks

Well wasn’t today just the perfect little snow day! Despite the cats’ best efforts, we got to sleep in, drink peppermint hot cocoa mochas while watching the snow fall, bid farewell to Pawnee, install new curtains in the bedroom, tromp around (and clear out) some snow, bake cookies and we are now relaxing after taking a hot shower after all of our shoveling! Of course the perfect addition to our evening has been a new twist on one of Will’s favorite drinks, the hot toddy. Warm, spicy and sweet, this beverage will put you right to sleep if you aren’t careful! A traditional winter beverage, this is often what Will makes us in the evenings, after dinner, so of course today could be no exception. So put on your fuzzy slippers and mix up one of these to significantly improve your snowed-in evening!

Currently, I am playing in the pit orchestra of a production of Into the Woods. Not being a huge musical theatre person myself, the experience of being in a pit orchestra is always fascinating. You play the same music over and over again, recur the same melodies for characters, yet you constantly have no idea what is going on up on stage. Your hear snippets of dialogue and lyrics coming through the feedback, but otherwise you have no idea how productive the cast is being above your head. It’s an odd sensation to be that disconnected from something that you are intricately participating in. Sometimes it can be a metaphor for life, amirite? I won’t get to heady here, but it’s just an interesting situation to be in. That being said, if you’re local to me at the moment, we have three more shows on Wed/Thurs/Fri of this week so you should come check it out! I’ve heard it’s pretty well done (not that I would really know).

Well, after a brief Facebook poll, the Moroccan dish was the winner for the first recipe back on the blog in a few weeks! Bet you wouldn’t have guess it involved prunes, would ya? These little guys get a bad rap for being for old people who need to drink their prune juice, but honestly, they are super similar to figs and added a really nice, sweet touch to this tagine recipe! This was a great new recipe to try, as it involved different veggies than we typically involve in tagine recipes. This was the perfect recipe to try for winter, since it involved sweet potatoes and carrots, which are both plentiful and hearty in the colder season. We highly recommend you give this recipe a shot (even if you’re nervous about the prunes) because it is sustaining, flavorful and makes wonderful leftovers. If you don’t have a tagine, then a Dutch oven or any other casserole dish with a lid, will work just fine!

What a busy week it has been, since the last time I wrote! Between then and now, I had a major event weekend for the young alumni of the College, so I am still recovering! It’s hard to believe we’re already in the second week of February – it feels like it’s still January, in my mind. Either way, we’re about to embark on a very fully scheduled few weeks here; or rather, I am about to embark on that full schedule. In addition to normal everyday work and lessons, I will also be rehearsing and performing in a musical theatre production at a college down the road, as well as squeezing in a conference in Florida. Is that not enough to keep a girl busy? If it isn’t, I don’t know what is. I’m particularly looking forward to the days that look like this: regular work (8am-5pm), lessons (usually until 6:30/7), rehearsal (8-11). Whoopee! But if you aren’t occupying your time with fun stuff after work, then why bother?

I think it may be a well-established fact that we are not football people. However, that did not detract from us being able to enjoy the Super Bowl on Sunday, primarily for the food and friends. Being the Cooking with Willis team, we of course had to bring something new and exciting to the party and this dip was it! We could’ve made our Chili con Queso, Cranberry Salsa and Cream Cheese, Seven-Layer Dip, or really anything else we’ve done before. But when you’ve got a reputation to keep up, bringing something new and exciting to a party is essentially a requirement! This recipe was one that Will saw on Buzzfeed a couple weeks ago, in preparation for the Super Bowl. It fit in perfectly with the traditional seven-layer dip, buffalo chicken dip, chili dip and various other Super Bowl foods. Cotija is quite possibly the most magic cheese that ever existed, so this is sure to please any crowd for any occasion. Most all of it was gobbled up and we only had a little leftover to enjoy the next night (and take pictures of). Try this with blue corn tortilla chips and you should be in dip heaven!

So we’ve been having a love affair with tofu recently, if you haven’t noticed. It has entered into our kitchen and our hearts, more than we had initially imagined. When Chipotle offered its Sofritas BOGO deal the other week, we got really excited; that is, until the guy in front of me got the last helping of Sofritas in Williamsburg. Then we were sad. But we have the GO part of the deal, so we will try it then! But more increasingly, I’m finding that depending on the occasion and restaurant, I have become more inclined to go for the tofu option, over any sort of meat. Sometimes for the principle of it, sometimes for what the dish is. I still haven’t decided my meat/no meat preference, but since Will isn’t willing to give up meat yet, I guess we’re going to keep cooking it! I think we all know that the menu selections aren’t up to me, which is why I can present you with this dish today. Based off of many other recipes Will has tried, he came up with this one on his own using a few of my favorite things: tofu, soba noodles and miso. And folks, I speak the truth when I tell you it was heaven. I attribute it mostly to the soba noodles because they are hands-down one of my top five favorite things to eat. But seriously – this little recipe is genius. I’d say this will be the one that gets us a million bucks, but after looking at last weeks stats, I think that may be either Maple Bacon Doughnuts or Chili con Queso. Hilarious, considering that the healthy recipes on this blog far outweigh the unhealthy!

As I sit here sipping on my favorite coffee, Red Rooster from Floyd, VA, I think about how perfectly tranquil Sunday mornings are. They are most often the only time of the week where we can enjoy peace and quiet, before the world starts again on Monday. In our house, Sundays are reserved for sleeping in, drinking specially prepared coffee, doing laundry, grocery shopping and then spending the evening in the kitchen preparing our food for the week. Throw in a piano lesson, rehearsal and yoga class, and you’ve got the full scope. With how busy and varied our lives can be (particularly due to the all the events, lessons and gigs I have “after hours”), Sundays are kept as our time to unwind, decompress and prepare to keep chugging along. They are probably my favorite day of the week because they mean the only sliver of relaxation that we’ve built into our busy lives.