June 23, 2010

Warm Berries and Cinnamon Dumplings

Warm Berries and Cinnamon Dumplings

Next Monday, this blog will be 2 years old and since I didn’t really do anything to celebrate the anniversary last year I decided to go all out this year. So welcome to the completely redesigned Back to the Cutting Board! If you’re reading in the comfort of your feed reader, I’d love it if you’d click on through and take a look. Plus there is a reason you will want to visit, which I’ll get to soon…

Since I’ve posted quite a few recipes over the last two years, I wanted to make the site easier to browse. I cleaned up the Recipe Index and I added a new Ingredients Index if you want to search for recipes with specific ingredients. I also made an effort to simplify things. I loved my previous design, but I wanted something cleaner and simpler this time. I think the home page and sidebar were too busy before so I made an effort to pare everything down to the essentials (well, mostly anyway, minimalism is kind of against my nature, so this is as pared down …

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November 11, 2008

Pineapple Stuff

Scalloped Pineapple with ham

Okay, “Pineapple Stuff” is not the actual name of this recipe, it’s technically called Scalloped Pineapple (think scalloped potatoes, not seafood). But I, in my infinite wisdom as a child dubbed this dish Pineapple Stuff and as thus it will be known forever. I guess you can call this Pineapple Casserole as I think that’s a bit more descriptive. This is probably my favorite recipe in the whole wide world and has been since I was a kid. It was my mom’s signature dish, which she served at all the dinner parties and all the pot lucks and which everyone raved about. I’ve made it a million times at this point, but I don’t think mine has ever tasted as good as when she made it. I guess that’s just how it goes, but that certainly doesn’t stop me from making it.

This is not a dessert, it’s a side dish. My mom always served it with ham because it’s the perfect compliment. Since we had turkey for Thanksgiving, we always had ham for Christmas, so besides being my favorite dish, it also reminds …

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February 29, 2012

Spicy Garlic Roasted Shrimp on Lemon-Parmesan Orzo

Spicy Garlic Roasted Shrimp on Lemon-Parmesan Orzo

I enjoy cooking but since I only taught myself to cook through sheer force of will, a bookshelf full of cookbooks and lots of food blogs some of my technical cooking skills are pretty lacking. Baking comes to me pretty naturally but I still struggle a lot with cooking. I think it’s because baking is mostly linear: you mix all the dry ingredients, then you mix all the wet ingredients, then you mix them all together, etc. Cooking seems to have a lot more multitasking: cook this in a pot and while you’re doing that saute this other stuff in the skillet and while you’re doing that chop this stuff up and on and on. I cannot tell you how much that stresses me out! That’s why I’m a much more adventurous baker than cook. My favorite dinner recipes are the ones that are as simple as possible. But just because something is simple doesn’t mean it can’t be great. That’s definitely the case for this roasted shrimp recipe.

I’ve made several different versions of this recipe in the past — always cooking the shrimp in a skillet — …

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February 22, 2011

Ultimate Chocolate Cake with Chocolate-Orange Buttercream (And Cake Balls!)

Chocolate Cake with Chocolate-Orange Buttercream

To celebrate Valentine’s Day and my birthday, Brandon and I spent a wonderful weekend in a little cottage I rented in the mountains a few hours away. It was such a fun getaway: we did some hiking, we drove around and got lost and we spent a lot of time soaking in the hot tub. When we got back home on Sunday afternoon, I wanted to make myself a birthday cake but after such a relaxing weekend I didn’t want to deal with complicated recipes or put time into making something that didn’t turn out great. That’s why I love the internet and recipe sites with reviews like Epicurious. I mean, if you can find a cake that has 1,400+ mostly raving reviews, that has to be a good cake, right?

I am very glad to have found this recipe because those reviewers were right: I now have my ultimate chocolate cake. I honestly can’t imagine another cake being able to surpass it. It’s made with coffee and oil which result in an extremely moist and soft, but dense cake. I’m pretty picky about my …

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November 21, 2012

Spiced Caramel Apple Cider

Caramel Apple Cider

November has passed in a flash and here we are, it’s almost Thanksgiving! I’m freaking out about this because I just got back from vacation and I’m having a hard time adjusting to normal life again. We spent half the week in a secluded cabin in the Smokey mountains and the other half in Asheville, NC, which is a pretty little town with lots of wonderful restaurants. I had such a good time that I’m already mentally planning a trip back to the same area next year!

I didn’t mean to take such a long break from posting but between work deadlines and vacation it didn’t leave much time for cooking this month. But thanks to how easy this recipe is, I did have a chance to whip up this delicious drink in my spare time. I wanted to post it before Thanksgiving because it’s easy to make ahead of time and would be an excellent addition to any holiday get-together, particularly if you serve a nice piece of pie along with it.

July 3, 2008

Garlicky Red Beans and Sausage

Garlicky Red Beans and Sausage

This is my favorite new recipe. What’s really surprising about that is: (1) it’s dead simple (or at least I made it that way) and (2) it’s from the Weight Watchers cookbook. You wouldn’t think something like that would be so good, but I swear I could eat it every single night.

The main thing to note is that this my version of the recipe. I took some shortcuts and also switched the meat (but I’ve had it with the original meat and it was good that way, too). I’ll make notes where the changes are, though.

June 30, 2011

Cherry-Peach Yogurt Parfaits with Maple Granola Brittle

Cherry-Peach Yogurt Parfaits

I have a confession: I don’t really like yogurt. I’ve tried so many times over the years to make myself like it, but it always ends with me having to throw out a bunch of expired yogurt containers. But then I made that Cherry-Rhubarb Fool last month and I realized that yogurt can be good as long as it’s the base for something else. So yogurt by itself = meh, but yogurt + fruit + whipped cream = yum.

Last week I got some absolutely gorgeous peaches and cherries from my CSA and I had big container of yogurt that was close to expiring, so I decided combining them would be a great way to use everything up. But instead of mixing it all together like I did with the fool I made it a yogurt parfait. Because what’s more fun than a parfait? It just feels so much more decadent than a simple bowl of yogurt topped with fruit. Sometimes I have to trick myself into eating things that are better for me and this is a trick that worked really well.

September 27, 2012

Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake with Dulce De Leche

Mexican Chocolate Pound Cake

I know last week I was all about being healthy, but this week…well, sometimes you just need chocolate! This is my go-to recipe for such times. This is my “It’s Saturday night and I need something sweet and chocolatey or I’m gonna lose it” cake. Since time is of the essence in these situations, this recipe is perfect because it’s so easy. It only takes about 15 minutes to whip up and 30 minutes to bake. Plus there’s none of that “let it cool completely” nonsense. It tastes just as good warm from the oven than it does at room temperature the next day.

A little cinnamon and coffee are added to this chocolate pound cake to give it a nice kick. Since it’s so moist and flavorful on it’s own you don’t really need frosting. That said, if you wanted to slather a slice with some Dulce de Leche, Caramel Sauce or Nutella you would not be wrong. I’ve tried this cake with all three and It. Is. Awesome. Nutella is my usual choice since I can just pull it out …

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