Dinner 911: Easy Peanut Sauce Recipe Beats Takeout

In a pinch, there’s always peanut sauce for building a meal everyone loves every time.
noodles with vegetables and peanut sauce

I don’t know about your family, but in mine, everyone’s happiest with a build-it-yourself meal. When there are choices and everyone gets to “create” their own dinner composition.

And no one is forced to eat cooked carrots, heaven forbid!

All I have to do is provide the building blocks. That’s just one of the reasons this easy peanut sauce recipe is in my emergency dinner bag of tricks. (more…)

Baby Meatballs in Roasted Tomato Sauce

Don’t bother baking these. Improve the sauce and your meatballs in one easy step.spagehtti with meatballs on a platter.

When she’s expecting a house full of people (her kids and grand kids mostly), my Mom makes up a giant pot of her fabulous meatballs in tomato sauce. That way, no matter what time anyone shows up, she can ask her favorite question, “Would you like something to eat?”

I usually go for a meatball on a plate–tapas style, but everyone loves meatball subs (grinders, hoagies). Or, if we’re feeling patient, we can boil up some pasta and serve it the classic way as a spaghetti and meatball dinner. (more…)

Make Hearty Winter Salads You’ll Crave

Hearty winter salads like this Asian carrot quinoa salad deliver freshness, crunch and goodness.ginger carrot salad served and plated

As in many places in the country, we’re having a killer winter. (I mean that in the best sense of the word because I love snow and skiing.)

But the snow and cold doesn’t do much for locally grown produce. Even that protected within greenhouses (unheated) have succumb to weeks of single digits, like these beautiful bibb lettuces I was eating only a short while ago. (more…)

Mix Up Your Mashed Potato Routine

This super-smooth celery root purée is just one of many unsung root vegetable side dishes.celery root puree

My daughter Molly believes there’s no better food in the world than mashed potatoes. Pillowy, buttery and easy to eat, it’s true that mashed potatoes play well with meals featuring the big roasts we’re all eating right now and the wintery, comfort food meals we’ll be relying on until spring. (more…)

3 Ways to Cook Roast Beef in the Oven

You’ve got a beautiful roast beef ready to cook and think to yourself, “Now what?” Read on.roast beef

Cooking meat is daunting to many. But the truth is, it’s the easiest part of the meal.

That may sound crazy, but in my experience cooking meat–and especially a roast–is practically a cooking no-brainer.

All I do is follow three key steps:

  1. source the beef well, which for me means grassfed beef purchased directly from a rancher
  2. cook it to the correct temperature using the Thermapen, an indispensable instant-read thermometer
  3. rest it for at least 20 minutes, but generally longer, especially for roasts 3 pounds and over

In a this previous roast beef post, I present the cut options other than tenderloin suitable for holiday meals. In this post, I’ll walk you through three cooking options with some extra resources and tips for roasting with confidence.

Plus, there’s an all-purpose gravy recipe at the end. (more…)