Tag Archives: Sausage

Brunching: Lavagna

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Brunch Buddies

You’d be hard-pressed to find people who love brunch as much as my friends and I do. My love of brunch fits perfectly with my love of almost all breakfast foods and bubbly drinks. So when my friend Jocelyn and I were trying to come up with a time to meet up, brunch seemed like a natural solution. We invited my friends Amanda and Christina along for the ride and wound up at Lavagna over by Eastern Market.

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Revamped Thanksgiving Staples

Recently, I’ve had a few people ask me, “Megan, do you have any good Thanksgiving recipes?”  Well, boy do I.  I have lots of terrific, tried, tested, and approved recipes for Thanksgiving, and I would love to share them with you.

Now, years back, when we used to live in DC, we would drive to Ohio for Thanksgiving and spend it with our families.  As guests, we usually didn’t do much cooking, but one year, I asked if I could try my hand at preparing the turkey.  My mother-in-law was kind enough to allow me to do so, and I was able to test Martha Stewart’s recipe for a brined turkey that I had been dying to try.  It was my first time fixing a turkey, and I was nervous—especially since generations of family members were doubting my techniques—but in the end, it was a total success.  The bird was moist and flavorful with a crispy skin.  What more could you ask for?

Once we moved to New York, however, Thanksgiving changed.  Instead of returning to Ohio to be with our families, we fix a feast here and invite friends over.  It has been a lot of fun, and it has allowed me to be as OCD about Thanksgiving dinner as I want to.  You see, I grew up not loving Thanksgiving.  I mean, I loved the family togetherness, but I’m not a mashed-potato-lover, and yams covered in marshmallows don’t get me excited.  In fact, the only food I really looked forward to on Turkey Day was the pie.

But once I got full control of the menu, I was able to revamp it and reinvent the “perfect Thanksgiving dinner.”  I stay true to the basics—turkey, stuffing, gravy, cranberries, etc.—but prepare them in a more modern, if you will, fashion.

Below is a list of links to my favorite recipes.  These are recipes that will, no doubt, be on my Thanksgiving table this year.  I hope they make it on yours as well!

Brandon's lovely "tablescape"

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Cheater’s Italian Sausage Meatballs

Sorry for being MIA for a week. My body got a little annoyed with me last week and decided not to cooperate. The result was an appetite for only the blandest of foods. That being said, I’m finally back in the kitchen and have been in desperate need of something flavorful to eat. So, case in point, I’ve been craving meatballs. I have no clue why, but that, my friends, is the only thing that I wanted when I felt better.

Traditionally, these are simmered for hours, seasoned with fresh herbs and, in some cases, have a nice handful of pine nuts sprinkled into the mix. Now, I normally make meatballs using ground chicken. This, while leaner, can be a time consuming process as I prefer to bake them and make them with a balsamic glaze (I’ll post that recipe next time I whip some up). But, on the average weeknight, time consuming recipes are just not going to cut it.

Late last week, my mom and I picked up some ground Italian sausage, and, last night, I finally put it to use. These are quick and easy, and, since the meat came pre-seasoned, half the work was done for me. All I had to do was add in some aromatics, and these were good to go.

I opted not to add mine to a sauce, but, if you want to cook these only part of the way through and finish cooking them in a rich tomato sauce, I’m sure that would taste great. I wound up having mine in a pasta dish with mushrooms, broccoli, and grape tomatoes. Cleaning out the fridge? I think yes.

So, not the healthiest dish today, but it sure is satisfying in a pinch. Happy eating!

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Lentils with Chorizo and Honey

On a dreary Monday a few weeks ago, Rosemary and I, consumed with fear over the impending release of our LSAT score, had reached a ridiculous state of near- hysteria. We were all-but convinced that we had both failed the test and had no chance of getting into law schools. We had reached a point of no return, a point where even Disney movies and cuddling with Rosemary’s kitten could not save us.  We needed comfort food fast, so we ran to our reliable Safeway, gathered up some ingredients and escaped into the worry-free confines of Rosemary’s kitchen where we tried to de-stress the best way we know how: one spoonful of sanity at a time.

Now, Rosemary, being the good South-Asian that she is, suggested we cook with lentils, but I have always associated comfort with spice, so we compromised, finally settling on a dish that combined lentils with chorizo into a wonderful bowl of spicy-flavorful goodness that more than satisfied us both.

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