thehousekitchen 2.0

I’ve been neglectful of this blog the past week and for that I apologize. thehousekitchen is officially in full effect at its new locale and I’ve already become acquainted with the new digs, preparing phenomenal dishes, but I haven’t been writing. So let’s see what thehousekitchen did last week: Spinach & Romaine Salad w/ Prosciutto and Homemade Croutons: The tale of this salad begins with an urge to make Ellen think I’m into eating vegetables, so what better way to throw in a combination of vegetables than to make what scientists fondly call a “salad.” I grabbed some celery, carrots, romaine, and spinach at OP and felt very pleased with myself, especially since, thanks to Dave Calvin’s easy salad dressing recipe, I was equipped with a great go-to salad dressing I could make. The first round of saladry was as a side for a pan pizza, which I won’t  go on about because I think at this point 25% of thehousekitchen posts are about pan pizza. The dressing was great, 1 tablespoon each of olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey mustard with salt & pep.  The salad was lacking though. What else to add? Onion maybe? A little tired don’t you think? Hmm maybe apple or dried cranberry? What do I look like I’m eating dessert? Okay, okay. Well you know what they say, everything’s better with bacon. That’s great, but I’ll do you one better. How about prosciutto. The next day I prepared salad again but as it was more of the main course that night I fried up some prosciutto in minced garlic, chopped it up and through it on the salad. The previous night had also given me practice in the science of croutonics. I cubed a couple pieces of whole grain bread and toasted them in the oven with olive oil and seasoning. They’re super easy and are softer than store-bought ‘tons so they don’t explode when you try to pick them up with a fork.  All together the salad was amazing. The prosciutto was strong enough to disperse flavs throughout the whole salad without making it taste like I poured an entire package of bacon-bits on it.

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  Pumpkin Cake (w/ Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting): Starbucks officially announced the beginning of autumn by beginning the seasonal sale of their pumpkin spice line of coffee beverages. I took this signal to heart and decided it was time to use the canned pumpkin I’ve had for a minute. As loyal readers may remember, last year I made a pumpkin cake with cinnamon cream cheese frosting and it was quite the local favorite. What started as an experiment with my mom’s pumpkin recipe developed into this cult classic that has forever changed lives.  This time around I utilized a 3-layer cake pan set instead of a 2-layer set. I’m now partial to the 3-layer set because it allows more frosting to lie within the depths of the cake and also it makes for a more elegant slice. Obviously the cake is freakin’ delicious but I’d like to take the time to discuss an important topic. Cake Tops are something near and dear to my heart. They are born from needing the bottom two layers of cake to be flat. With a serrated knife the cake tops can be acquired and put aside. Surely they shan’t be wasted. Cake Tops are seldom in the spot light and I don’t understand why. Sure they’re not the prettiest one in the office but hey they make up for it in the taste department. I’ve received multiple letters from HR saying they “work well with others.” Slap some extra frosting in betwixt two cake tops and you’ve got yourself a funky lookin’ cake sandwich thing. Don’t be mad at it. Put it in some vanilla froyo or enjoy it a la carte, you won’t regret it.

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Chicken Noodle Soup: The slightest whiff of celery gets me thinking of chicken noodle soup. I may be some sort of chicken noodle soup heathen for preferring celery in my soup and not carrots but I was born this way. My classic chicken noodle (turkey is a great substitute for the chicken) contains white onions, celery, green onion, and garlic with spices and sriracha. It has a full, rich heat to it and a hearty base. I decided store bought noodles are OUT and using my pasta press is IN. I dusted the ol’ warlock off and spent most of Sunday rolling out some tagliatelle. When the noodles were laid out and dried I started simmering some chicken in water for 45 mins, added the veggies for another 30 mins or so and turned the heat up to cook the noodles. A couple minutes later the soup was ready and I was sated like nobody’s bizz.   peace ‘n luv willie

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