About Laura

It was one of those days. Nothing seemed to be working for me. I went from one task, to the next, to the next last Saturday…yet, nothing seemed to get done. I had gone to the local orchard and picked some peaches the previous day. The peaches you pluck off a tree do not last as long as those you would buy at your local grocery store, so I knew I had to get this pie made. I followed Cooks Illustrated’s recipe, and it turned out great. However, I had issues with the lattice-top.

The recipe had me freeze strips of dough to use for the lattice before “weaving” the top together. I guess I left it in there too long, or my freezer is too cold…but the strips were just snapping and breaking at every turn. I was getting ready to throw the whole damn pie out the back door. Thankfully, my husband talked me into putting it in the oven. I’m glad I did, because it really was delicious. The prettiest pie? No. But, sometimes the best things to eat certainly aren’t the prettiest now, are they?

risotto

I have a confession: I was a risotto virgin. I know, I know… How could call myself a “foodie”, and not yet experienced a delicious masterpiece like risotto? Alas, I have now found it, and plan to keep it in my repertoire for a long time to come. It was ridiculously easy; not only to cook, but also to clean up as it is a “one dish meal”.  I can easily see it becoming a “go to” meal for those nights when I just don’t feel like cooking anything. You can pretty much throw anything in there with equally delicious results. A great way to clean out the refrigerator at the end of the week!

I was concerned that this dish would need a protein to go with it. So, I served it with seared scallops. Now, the scallops were delicious, don’t get me wrong. I made a balsamic reduction in the pan that I seared them in, and drizzled that over the whole mess. It definitely added an extra oomph, or “kicked it up a notch” if you will. But, both my husband and myself agreed that it could certainly stand on it’s own as a satisfying dinner – sans meat.

So, if you haven’t tried making risotto at home yet – do yourself a favor, and please do. I kick myself for waiting as long as I did!



sdtpasta

This was my first recipe to try with Barefoot Bloggers. I love Ina Garten. She can come off a bit pretentious. But, her recipes are always wonderful. I could look at her cookbooks all day long. The photographs of the food and table settings are always just stunning.

At any rate, we really enjoyed the pasta salad. I must admit, it isn’t something I would have picked out on my own to try. But, I’m glad this recipe was chosen this month because it truly is a keeper!

Mix in a chopped grilled chicken breast, a can of tuna, or even a bit of salami and it’s a great summer dinner. Or, it keeps well for a few days to eat for lunch through out the week.

panpizza

Pizza made at home used to scare me. Aside from a grill, it’s hard to get a hot enough temperature in your oven to get a decent, crispy crust. After a few attempts, I lost all hope and gave up. A few months later I saw an episode of The Cooking Loft with Alex Guarnaschelli. She was executing a technique for pizza that I had never thought of. Frying the dough in a cast iron skillet before topping it. Then, finishing off the baking in an oven. Genius!

This pizza is great. So great in fact, we rarely order it out anymore (not that we have a slew of great pizza shops around here anyway). This recipe makes 2 12-inch pizzas.Top it with whatever you like. Unlike many pizza crusts, this one can take a beating. So, pile the toppings on. She can handle it, I promise!