The Best Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Hello Little Red Kitchen world!  It has certainly been a while.  What can I say?  Holidays.  Finals.  Finals.  and MORE FINALS.  Life has been something very different these past several weeks.  But it’s starting to straighten itself out!  And what better way to celebrate than posting what is most likely the best sweet potato recipe you will ever eat???? Continue reading

Foodie Gifts for the 2013 Holiday Season

Hi all!

Well, it’s that time of year again.  My FAVORITE time of year!  I love everything about the Winter holiday season–Thanksgiving, cold weather, hot tea, snuggling up under fuzzy blankets, cheesy Christmas specials on tv, cooking up big pots of hearty soups and stews, and most importantly an abundance of time with my loved ones.  And yes, I love presents.

It is a strange tradition, to show people you love them by buying them things, but I take it as an opportunity to show people not only that I love them but that I KNOW them!  I actually take a long time to think and plan and purchase for each person on my shopping list.  It’s important to me to pick things out that I know they will like, but that they might not necessarily pick out for themselves or treat themselves to, or even know about.  I like to be creative, have fun, and be thoughtful, and while it might be partly selfish, I love seeing that look on their faces when they unwrap their goodies.

All of that being said, my list of holiday gifts centers on food-related stuff.  I am almost willing to bet that all of us know somebody that is handy in the kitchen; either somebody who loves to cook, loves to bake, loves to entertain, loves to own pretty serving ware and keep their kitchen looking like something out of a catalog, or loves to EAT!  I think I have something on my list for all of them, so I hope this helps! Continue reading

English Muffin Bread

Imagine a bread that takes 5 minutes to throw together, rises for under an hour, and bakes for 25 minutes.  Now imagine that this bread has a wonderful yeasty chew, a hint of sweetness, a moist interior, and is in fact delicious.  Finally, imagine that it has a crisp cornmeal coating and little nooks and crannies inside, just waiting to be filled with butter and jam. Continue reading

Pesto Formula

My Charles Dickens thesis paper permitting, I am hoping to post another recipe later today, but I decided to do a quick blog for now on pesto! I made pesto spaghetti squash last night and instagrammed it and facebooked it and got some recipe requests, so I figured it would be silly not to share in our main forum!

Despite the fact that one of my first posts ever for Little Red Kitchen was foolproof marinara sauce, it’s actually not my favorite sauce.  While it’s a classic staple, my favorite is pesto!  Herbaceous, a little nutty, a little cheesy…when that luscious green sauce hits a pound of bowtie noodles…oh man, just hand me a fork and back away slowly. Continue reading

Roasted Butternut Squash Soup

Prior to last winter, I never pictured myself as a homemade soup kind of gal; I pictured onions and carrots floating around a pot of water with a few flecks of dried parsley on top, as if I would be making soup for a poorhouse in Victorian England.  But then I tried roasted vegetable soup, and my views were forever altered! Continue reading

Asian Pork Tenderloin

I hate always leading off with my grocery store habits, but, on the other hand, if any of you are like me, sometimes what you cook depends on what is on sale at the store!  If you allow yourself to be versatile and experimental, you can end up making some great dishes you wouldn’t normally have cooked up, all because you decided to save some buckos at the market!

That being said, pork tenderloin was BOGO at Giant last week, and I actually don’t like pork tenderloin, but the deal was great, and I knew I could doctor it to make it yummy. Continue reading

Zatarain’s Skillet Jambalaya with Sausage and Tomatoes

There are some nights when you just don’t have the pluck and energy to throw together a good meal.  That is a fact of life.  And that fact of life hit me hard on Sunday night when my husband and I drove home from a trip to Harrisburg, after having slept on an air mattress all night (“slept” is a generous term for the tossing and turning and propelling your partner into the air when you roll over on your side) and having hiked up and down a mountain earlier that day.  We were exhausted and starving when we got home close to 6:30.  It would have been all too tempting to just order Chinese food, but we had eaten out all weekend (ingredients like duck fat, bacon, and beer fondue come to find) and I was determined in my quasi-functioning state to throw together something of at least a little culinary merit.  At this point, I eyed the Zatarain’s in the pantry. Continue reading