Pasta with broccoli rabe & goat cheese brightens gloomy winter days


Life has thrown me a few curve balls in recent days.  One of the most inconvenient was the loss of power, water and access to the files on my desktop computer for nearly a week.

I do have an appetizing food photo to go with this post, truly I do.  Sadly, it’s still locked up on the other computer, though. So I’m going to beg your indulgence and offer this shot of the culprit in all this–the 200-year-old fir tree that decided to depart this life during a blustery storm last week.  It uprooted and fell with a tremendous thud, crushing our water tank, blocking the road and taking down power and cable lines.

Thankfully, I had already worked out this recipe for oricchette with broccoli rabe.   Just thinking about this dish brightens my day.

It’s a variation on the Italian classic and one of the best ways I know to use that leafy vegetable also known as rapini.  The name of the pasta translates to “little ears” and the wilted greens of the sauce cling nicely to the small, cupped shapes.  Penne, ziti or rotelle will do the job nearly as well, however, if you can’t find oricchete at your market. Continue reading Pasta with broccoli rabe & goat cheese brightens gloomy winter days

iPhone in the kitchen


I confess I’m a gadget junkie.  I come by it honestly.  My dad has always been fascinated by the newest technological wonder and he’s built an impressive collection of toys over the years.  I’ll never catch up, try as I might.

I work to keep my addiction under control, though, now that I no longer get a regular paycheck.  That’s what makes the iPhone apps so much fun.  (I know, I know.  You have to buy the phone first but I’ve done a good job of rationalizing that purchase.)  The apps are cheap–as long as you don’t go overboard and download everything that looks remotely useful.

In the six months since I got my phone, I’ve been checking out and playing around with apps.  Some didn’t make the cut.  Others were one-trick ponies.  But I’ve come to rely on a handful, especially when I’m away from home and working in an unfamiliar kitchen without my collection of trusted cookbooks. Here are some of my favorites: Continue reading iPhone in the kitchen

Butternut squash for a winter risotto


The pickings were pretty slim at the farmers market yesterday – a few greens, some root vegetables, Brussels sprouts, several varieties of apples and butternut squash.

It’s a good thing I like the mildly sweet, fruity flavor and velvet texture of the buff-colored winter squash with the long neck and bulbous bottom.  I have a feeling butternut squash going to be a fixture on my winter menus this year.

That won’t be such a hardship.  This squash is immensely versatile.  It’s great roasted, pureed in soups, or even just steamed with butter.  Continue reading Butternut squash for a winter risotto