Food Cravings

I love food.  I love eating food.  I love cooking food.  I love talking about food.

The best thing about cooking is the freedom to experiment and try new things.  When a friend tells me about a food craving, I can not only picture it in my head, but I’m thinking about the thousands of possibilities on how to create the perfect dish that they are craving.

My little sister, Tiffany, is home for spring break, which means enjoying mom’s home cooked meals for seven days straight.  Honestly, dining hall food at her school is not THAT bad, but c’mon, at the end of the day, it’s dining hall food… chewy bacon, rubbery chicken breast, and sad attempts at stir fry and Asian cuisine.

One of the dishes that Tiff was craving was a hearty pasta dish with a creamy tomato sauce.  I’ve never made a creamy tomato sauce before, so I was excited to try something new!  I tried to keep it on the lighter side, which meant that the sauce didn’t come out as creamy and cheesy as she wanted, but she was still satisfied (or maybe she was just hungry?).  I think next time, I’ll use cream cheese instead of half and half.

Pasta with “Pink” Sauce

Serves 6

Ingredients

  • 16 oz. package of pasta, cooked (I used Colavita Mezzi Rigatoni)
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 strips of uncured bacon, chopped
  • 28 oz. can of peeled plum shaped tomatoes, dice the tomatoes and keep the juice
  • Fresh parsley and basil, chopped
  • 1/2 cup, half and half
  • 1/4 cup, freshly grated parmesan cheese, plus more for garnish
  • Sea salt
  • Black pepper
  1. Follow instructions to cook pasta, drain, and set aside.
  2. In a large pot, over medium high heat, add bacon.  Saute for a few minutes, until edges turn crispy.  Add onion and garlic and saute for an additional 4-5 minutes.
  3. Add canned tomatoes and fresh herbs.  Turn heat down to low and let simmer for 10 minutes.
  4. Add half and half and freshly grated parmesan cheese.  Continue to stir until sauce becomes a nice pink color.  Season with sea salt and black pepper.
  5. Toss in cooked pasta and mix well.  Serve with freshly grated parmesan cheese and garnish with fresh parsley.

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Herb Garden Dreamin’

I love fresh herbs.  One of my goals this summer is to start a small herb and vegetable garden.  It’s going to be a learning experience for sure… I can work it in the kitchen, but not so much in the garden.  I can’t even keep my bamboo plants alive and those do not even require watering.  Surprisingly, Bjorn has the green thumb.  A few summers ago, he planted basil, tomatoes, and green peppers! It was wonderful.

The key to keeping rosemary nice and fresh is to wash it, wrap it in a damp paper towel, and store in an airtight bag.  The rosemary that I bought two weeks ago is still amazingly green and vibrant!

This meal took me about 45 minutes to prepare (including the mashed cauliflower), but less than 5 minutes to consume.  Yes, it was really that good.

Honey and Rosemary Glazed Pork Chops

Serves 4

  • 4 pork chops
  • 2 tablespoons of honey
  • 2 rosemary sprigs, coarsely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  1. Mix honey, rosemary, and olive oil in a bowl.  Brush generously onto pork chops.
  2. In a large skillet, over medium to high heat, cook each pork chop for 5-6 minutes on each side.
  3. Serve with your favorite side dish (obviously mine is mashed cauliflower).

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