Thursday, November 12, 2009

Guest Blog

One of the most enjoyable parts of doing this blog is that we have made more of an effort (if it is possible) to enjoy and appreciate the food we eat--and the fact that we are able to eat everyday unlike so many in the world.

One of the other things we love is that our friends and family have shared many yummy recipes with us. I have always asked people to contribute and be "guest bloggers". This is my first guest blog from one of my best friends, Amy Dang. She, like me and many of my friends from college, never really cooked before especially since we had the luxury of having a cook at our sorority (special shout out to Jeremy, the best weekend chef in the world who would make us custom breakfast orders like my favorite egg mcmuffin with egg whites, cheddar cheese, peppers, onions, mushrooms and ham...hint, hint, Jeremy--you are the next guest blogger!).
She has recently moved in with her fiancé Aaron (check out the blog post on their engagement party!) and has found a new passion for cooking. I have always thought that cooking and eating dinner together has been key to Kyle and my relationship; it is a very good time to catch up on the day and make a necessity like eating something to enjoy together. Anyways, Amy has also found the secret to many good cook's success: Food Network!

Here are a couple of the new recipes she has tried and loved from her new favorite Food Network star, Giada de Laurentiis:
Lamb Ragu with Mint:
"Giada's Yummy Dish! I watched her make this on her "Everyday Italian" show and made this twice already. It's such a great hearty meal that is perfect the next day for leftovers! Aaron loves it! Hope you and Kyle enjoy it as well :)" --Amy
1 pound rigatoni pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 1/2 pounds ground lamb
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup red wine
4 cups marinara sauce, store-bought or home made
1/2 cup fresh mint leaves, torn
1/2 cup ricotta cheese

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta.
Meanwhile, in a large skillet warm the olive oil over high heat. Add the shallots and the garlic and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the ground lamb, salt, and pepper. Cook until the lamb has browned and the juices have evaporated. Add the wine, scraping up any brown bits from the bottom of the pan using a wooden spoon. Simmer until the wine has reduced by half. Add the marinara sauce and simmer over low heat until the flavors have blended, about 10 minutes. Add the mint and ricotta and stir until mixed. Add the pasta and stir to coat. Serve immediately.
Fusilli with Spinach and Asiago Cheese:
"another yummy pasta dish from Giada, except this one is a lot lighter. We added some chicken to this one for protein. Also, mushrooms and onions would be good too! Enjoy :)" --Amy

1 pound fusilli pasta
1/4 cup olive oil
1 garlic clove, minced
1 (9-ounce) bag fresh spinach, roughly chopped
8 ounces (1/2 pint) cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup (about 3 1/2-ounces) grated Asiago
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
1 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid.
Meanwhile, warm olive oil in a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach and tomatoes and cook until the spinach wilts, about 2 more minutes. Add the cooked pasta and toss. Add the cheeses, salt, pepper, and the pasta cooking liquid and stir to combine.
Transfer the pasta to a serving plate and serve.

Thanks Amy for contributing and sharing! If anyone else would like to be a guest blogger, please contact Kyle or I and send us recipes with stories on why you love them or how they are important to you or your family!
Happy Eating,

1 comment:

  1. I have always substituted the spinach for fresh basil in my fusili pasta. I also had chicken for da protein and a little onion as well. Nice work Geida and Amy!

    From Jamie your #1 Fan! ;)