Thursday, July 19, 2018
Cooking

From the food editor: Shout out to my husband, the world’s least picky eater, with this bowl of pappardelle

Oh, hello, end of October. When the heck did you get here?

It seems to happen faster every year, the arrival of the busy, wonderful, food-filled holiday season. My deskmate was appalled recently to hear talk of Thanksgiving and Christmas issues. I had to remind her ó and myself ó that the latter holiday is just two months away.

Another big celebratory event heading my way? My one-year wedding anniversary. As my husband and I prepare for a trip to New England to celebrate, I am relying on quick and easy dinners that can appeal to both of us.

That isnít difficult. My husband is perhaps the worldís least picky eater, something I am thankful for every time I set a plate of food down in front of him. Heís also a good cook ó he doesnít cook often, but when he does, he knows what heís doing. Over the years weíve both honed our foodie sensibilities, and grown to respect a well-executed meal. And he has an innate ability to identify what ingredients make up a dish just by tasting it. Bottom line: I can trust his suggestions and critiques.

I have learned to decode his (mostly positive) reactions, something I think has helped make me a more confident home cook:

"That was pretty good." Content silence through most of the meal followed by this sentence usually means that is was fine, thank you for cooking it, but it may be slightly too healthy or bland for his taste. We usually end up adding more salt or, his favorite, hot sauce.

"Mmmm!" Another winner!" This means he would eat this particular dish again, and itís a good one to keep in the rotation. Most meals get this praise.

"Wow, this is ... really good." This is the highest honor of all, delivered with wide eyes and an air of almost disbelief. It has been judiciously administered to a couple of select meals: chicken and dumplings, a recent quinoa carbonara, an old standby chicken and Brie pizza, an egg-avocado creation we call "egg toast." This weekís recipe got that most prized reaction, so I had to share it with you.

I bought fresh pasta at a specialty grocery store to cut down the majority of my cooking time. I had a major craving for the fresh stuff, but you could easily substitute regular dry pasta in this recipe. Opt for a shape you donít normally go for to mix things up; I chose pappardelle, a wide, thick noodle, instead of thinner spaghetti or fettuccine.

Now, the cream sauce. This is where you work your magic. Because I must be true to myself, I Googled "healthy cream sauce" to get some ideas for how to make what I envisioned: a thick, creamy, cheesy pasta coater that wasnít pure fat. The grand revelation was that you donít always need butter to make a decent sauce, and chicken broth and nonfat milk can help take the place of cream. Though I did add a splash, because, come on.

A few forkfuls in, my husband got that look in his eye.

"Wow ..."

Comments
Tampa Bay is a perfect place to make your own food tour. Here are our suggestions.

Tampa Bay is a perfect place to make your own food tour. Here are our suggestions.

There are many good reasons to eat at four or five places in one night. A near overwhelming number of new restaurants in the Tampa Bay area can provoke anxiety in a certain kind of diner, the one who wants to try everything but doesn’t have th...
Published: 07/18/18
Food tours offer an informative, and delicious, look at different areas of Tampa Bay

Food tours offer an informative, and delicious, look at different areas of Tampa Bay

There is a running list on my phone of restaurants to try. A romantic evening at St. Petersburg’s Reading Room. The Safety Harbor double date night, so we can finally take our friends to Pizzeria Gregario. Splurging on the chef’s tasting ...
Published: 07/18/18
This simple shrimp dish lets summer vegetables shine

This simple shrimp dish lets summer vegetables shine

o the Washington PostThis meal of crisp vegetables and plump shrimp is light, fresh, flavorful and fast. It is just the thing to whip up when you need to reset from a weekend of typical summer party fare, heavy on the grilled meats and mayonnaise-y s...
Published: 07/17/18
Taste test: New snacks from Klondike, Quaker, Planters and Layís

Taste test: New snacks from Klondike, Quaker, Planters and Layís

Every parent knows the need to stock up the snack cupboard when their children are around for the summer. I am not sure whether they get hungrier in the hot weather or just bored. But judges said their children always want something to eat when they ...
Published: 07/16/18
Recipe for Roasted Peach and Chicken Salad With Bacon Vinaigrette

Recipe for Roasted Peach and Chicken Salad With Bacon Vinaigrette

I adore a hearty salad for summer, and this one came about as a result of having to use some leftovers in my fridge. Roasted peaches are a staple this time of year: slowly roasted in the oven for about 30 minutes on 350 degrees, drizzled with honey, ...
Published: 07/16/18
Here's what we learned about buying and cooking beef after spending time with Niman Ranch

Here's what we learned about buying and cooking beef after spending time with Niman Ranch

We started off our education at a Niman Ranch family ranch, where the Edelman family raises Angus beef, birth to finish, in the Flint Hills of Sabetha.
Published: 07/09/18
Nine recipes for ice pops you can make at home

Nine recipes for ice pops you can make at home

By Daniel Neman Itís summer, and the sun is relentless, merciless, heartless. The air hangs heavy. Your shirt sticks to your back. Beads of sweat threaten to drip into your eyes.Air conditioning wonít help, and neither will a dip in a pool. Those c...
Published: 07/09/18
Give vegetables a starring role in grilled kebabs

Give vegetables a starring role in grilled kebabs

Americaís Test KitchenWhen it comes to grilled kebabs, vegetables are often an afterthought, typically used as a filler on meat-heavy skewers. But this treatment often leads to mushy, burnt vegetables with no flavor of their own. We wanted to create ...
Published: 07/06/18
Quench your thirst with a Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie

Quench your thirst with a Watermelon Strawberry Smoothie

By Katie WorkmanHoly mother of summer, itís gotten hot. My dog is sleeping in our shower because the tiles are cool. Iím testing recipes in the morning because I donít want my oven cranking all afternoon. And (this is how I know itís really hot), I m...
Published: 07/06/18
Recipe for pork tenderloin, my favorite cut for a weeknight dinner, with cherry relish

Recipe for pork tenderloin, my favorite cut for a weeknight dinner, with cherry relish

Pork tenderloin has become my dinnertime champion. I love it for its low fat content, its relatively low price point and the way it will cook perfectly with little to no supervision. The tenderloin, as you might expect, comes from the loin of the pig...
Published: 07/05/18
Updated: 07/10/18