Spinach Pesto Pasta Bake

Lately I have been trying to be more health conscious. To be honest I’m enjoying it a lot more than I thought I would. However there are times I just don’t want to force myself to eat a spinach salad with dinner. That’s where spinach pesto comes in.

You add one part spinach to three parts basil to your pesto and you would never know it’s there. Consider this an ultimate weapon against extra picky eaters. Toss it with mozzarella pearls for a huge cheesy hit, sundried tomatoes, and grilled chicken and you’ll have a meal no one can resist. In all honesty I could eat like this everyday.

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Black Magic Risotto

There’s something so magical about Halloween. From watching Hocus Pocus, to gorging on sweets it really is one of my favorite times of year. For this Halloween I wanted to come up with a dark and spooky dish to fit the season.

One ingredient came to mind, squid ink. Squid ink has become a really exciting ingredient for me. I’ve had it in nicer restaurants and enjoyed it. And of course we can’t forget my pasta for goths recipe that stars squid ink pasta. Squid ink gives a beautiful briny, ocean-like flavor to whatever you add it to. Squid ink used to be a hard to find luxury ingredient, but we live in the age of the internet and you can easily find it online.

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Cheesy Baked Bacon and Cauliflower

Anyone who has attempted to be halfway healthy has learned that cauliflower is a miracle vegetable. Floating around the internet you can find recipes for cauliflower pizza crust, cauliflower bread, and other types of witchcraft. But did you know that you can use cauliflower as a thickening agent in sauces and gravys instead of a roux? Because you totally can!

That’s the magic to this recipe. You get all the warmth and gooiness of a bacon mac and cheese (cooking the cauliflower in bacon grease doesn’t hurt), but you’re also doubling down on the veggie goodness. Is it the healthiest thing on the planet? Not quite. But can you feel relatively guilt free about this? Of course! It makes an awesome side or main dish.

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Pumpkin Gnocchi with Pancetta and Sage Brown Butter

The month of October, like the Walmart seasonal aisle, has two sides. First you have the spooky Halloween side with all the fake blood and skeleton decor your heart could desire. Then you have the warm, autumnal items. Think burlap wreathes and pillows with stitching that reads “thankful” or “blessed.” I made it a goal this month on fancy redneck to capture the duality of October with my recipes. After all, it is Libra season and balance is critical.

First up to capture warmth and fall flavors I have pumpkin gnocchi. Usually when I make gnocchi at home I use sweet potato, but really wanted to stretch myself with an ingredient I never use, pumpkin. The combination of the fried sage, pancetta, brown butter, and pumpkin together really create a symphony on the tongue with the only component missing being the crunch of leaves on the ground.

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Mom’s Spaghetti

All Eminem refrences and memes aside, my mom’s spaghetti was always the pinnacle of comfort food. What beats a warm, hearty bowl of spaghetti? As an added bonus my mom’s recipe is simple, cheap, and jumbo-sized enough to feed a family of four for days. For a recipe that will keep you feeling warm and fuzzy and won’t fail you even when your palms are sweaty look no further.

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Everything Bagel Roasted Potatoes

This week’s Rosh Hashannah celebration kicked off the Jewish High Holidays season. For a long time I have been wanting to post a Jewish recipe. I mean it is my culture after all. The main problem was that all the Jewish recipes I know are secret family recipes, see the brisket in the above photo. This year I wanted to stretch myself to come up with my own Jewish inspired recipe so I could finally share. I landed on everything bagel roasted potatoes.

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Togarashi Fried Chicken, Ginger Scallion Waffles, and Miso Butter

I feel like anyone who’s followed me for a while had to have known that a chicken and waffles recipe was coming eventually. How could it not? I consider chicken and waffles to be the ultimate not only brunch, but possibly southern dish as well. You have your salty, sweet, crispy, soft, and juicy all in one plate.

For my recipe I took inspiration from Michelin starred Dusek’s in Chicago

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