Every one who’s eaten italian with me knows one thing: I LOVE PASTA! Especially baked pasta. lasagna and baked ziti are my two favorite things in the world. (Del Posto’s 100 layer lasagna, any one?!) So with my new “lifestyle” (going to the gym 6 days a week, eating a pretty- lenient but still hard for me because I love dessert If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) diet– I really wanted to find a way to make a leaner baked ziti that wouldn’t feel like a cheat, but still have the cheesy goodness we all love so much- especially in below 0 weather that we get to enjoy here in Ithaca for months on end!
Here’s my easy recipe for 6, with the macros attached to it- & yes, it really is just 341 calories per serving!!!
Preheat Oven to 350 degrees
Brown meat in pan (do not add fat, the 5% fat is enough!) and boil pasta.
Add spinach to the meat, to wilt the spinach slightly
Stir all ingredients together (use only 1/2 cup mozarella!)
Put mixture in 9×9 square (or similar) oven pan
Top mixture with the remaining 1/2 cup mozzarella
Bake for 25 minutes, and allow to cool before cutting!
I made this very simple and delicious meal for my mom, and while I wont be divulging my risotto recipe just yet, Chicken Francese is a perfect dish whether for date night or for a tuesday night pick me up. It can be served over pasta, and modifying the quantity is easy.
Flour (season with salt & pepper!)
Chicken Cutlets, Boneless, Skinless and Thin
Lemons: 1 lemon sliced, 2 juiced
Pinot Grigio or other white wine (optional)
Salt & (white) Pepper
Oil (canola is fine)
Heat oil in a sauté pan
Dredge the Chicken Cutlets in seasoned flower, and then dip in eggs
reduce heat to medium, and cook chicken until golden, about 5 minutes on each side
remove chicken, and hold in aluminum foil while you make the sauce
In the remaining oil, place slices on sauté pan, and cook until fragrant, hold on top of chicken cutlets in aluminum foil
deglaze with wine and/or chicken stock (3/4 cup white wine & 1 3/4 cup stock, for 2 1/2 cups of liquid total), bring to a simmer and reduce by 3/4
Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 a stick of butter, and lemon juice
Serve sauce over chicken, and sprinkle chopped parsley on top.
*Recommended wine pairings: Pinot Grigio, Pouilly-Fuisse, Sauvignon Blanc, or Champagne*
On Friday Night, I hosted an event for 12 of some of the most amazing influencers in the game right now. Instead of just doing a simple three course meal, we designed a tasting menu with summer flare. It was such a pleasure meeting and working with such amazing people who are changing the world.
The Summer Tasting Menu
Strawberry Crostini topped with chèvre Cheese, port wine marinated strawberry, topped with walnut
Grilled Peach topped with arugula, walnuts, and a balsamic vinaigrette
Summer Melon wrapped in prosciutto with a mint garnish
Crab Cake with Red Pepper Aioli
Roast Chicken Panini with brie, granny smith apples, and micro greens
Braised Short Rib Taco topped with a corn salsa and mexican crema
Grilled Pineapple brazilian-style with cinnamon sugar
Creme Brûlée Duo classic vanilla bean or chocolate hazelnut creme Brûlées, served with whipped cream and sliced strawberries
key in season ingredients: melon, peach, red pepper, corn, apple, arugula, mint
Short Rib Tacos with grilled corn salsa
prosciutto wrapped melon with mint, photo courtesy of @_alexestevez on instagram
photo courtesy of @sdpallday on instagram
It’s time to go and enjoy the rest of the summer, and start prepping for what is to come next! -B
This will be the first year that I live OFF campus- in my very own apartment. I went out of my way to make sure that my apartment had two things:
Allowance to have a dog. I am so excited to bring Sherlock to Ithaca and have him here with me! He’s big enough now to run/jog with me, so it will be nice to have an exercise buddy. 🙂
A decent kitchen. I lucked out though, and found an eat in kitchen with a gas stove, as well as full size Stainless Steel appliances, ample counter and storage space, and good ventilation.
I am so excited to move in (August 1st!) and begin to decorate. Luckily, my mom is extremely talented at this sort of thing, and will be coming up to help me. I have, however, tried to figure out what I will need- regardless of color, etc. My kitchenaid mixer is a pale pink, so I think nudes, taupes, and beige will be prevalent, basically the colors of my blog, especially in the kitchen. My mom’s boyfriend got me an amazon gift card for my birthday, knowing that I’d go through it relatively quickly with all the shopping I need to do for the apartment.
Some of my favorite kitchen items so far [click on the photos to browse on amazon]:
I love that this cutting board is raised, has key conversions at the top right, and hold measuring bowls. I’ve also been looking for a better base to take photos of my food on, and this grained bamboo might be exactly what I’m looking for.
I love these rosebud pink measuring cups! They are shaped like tea cups, and have a really fun vibe to them. I also love that the line is where items should be filled to, instead of the top like most measuring cups.
Another version of the measuring cups in the same color would be this beautiful measuring jug. BlissHome by Nigella Lawson has so many amazing creme and rosebud pink accessories for the kitchen. The sleek lines and minimalist style drew me to them. If you aren’t familiar with Nigella Lawson and her culinary empire, definitely look into her!
What are your favorite items to have in the kitchen?
I’ve been so busy, I haven’t left any time for myself. For the last two weeks, and for one week, I have began my extended studies program at the Culinary Institute of America. In addition to the hotel school, I’ll be spending a semester and change at the CIA getting an Associates in Culinary Arts. I am so excited, and cannot wait to get more familiar with classic cooking techniques. While I’ve always focused on pastry, it is so beneficial to work on knife skills, and prepare savory foods.
Friday was my twenty-first birthday. While birthdays have been difficult for me, after my grandmother passed away, I feel good this year. I’m finally starting to build an idea of what the rest of my life looks like, and in that I take great comfort.
Also, since I’ve been living on my own in an apartment here in Ithaca while doing the culinary program, I’ve discovered the most amazing new product to come to Wegmans for those with a sweet tooth: Gü Puds. They are a line of delectable desserts, in individual sized portions, from chocolate soufflé to cheesecake, and fruit slices. The branding is amazing, the chic packaging and decadent flavors is so refreshing to see in the chilled section of the grocery store. Some of the desserts come in these beautiful, reusable glass ramekins. They’re not artificial and use real ingredients- perfect for me to have around when I want to take a break from the kitchen!