What’s Cookin’?

Happy Friday! Are you as happy to see the weekend as I am? I’m especially excited about today because (drumroll please)….we have our tasting this afternoon! This has been something we’ve looked forward to ever since the very, very beginning of wedding planning. Any time we’d contact or visit a venue one of the first questions we’d ask is whether we’d get to do a tasting. They don’t do very many weddings at our venue – just a few per year – so the chef allowed us to dream up our entire menu from hors d’oeuvres through dessert and late-night snacks.

At first I thought this was the coolest thing ever, but do you how overwhelming it is? We could have ANYTHING? I finally got my wits about me and we came up with super fun, clever ideas for hors d’oeuvres, a farm-to-table approach for dinner (that’s all I’m letting slip by at this point), and for dessert…well that’s been pretty hysterical, too. Since a wedding cake is something that’s been super important to Robert all along (I’ve totally gotten on board and can’t wait) he came up with the flavors and, well, let’s just say some of them aren’t very traditional. Happily, the pastry chef is really excited about them, too! I can’t wait to see how they came out. We also picked out a design for the cake that doesn’t scream WEDDING CAKE. Instead, it looks so delicious that it makes me want to put my whole face in it rather than having something that looks way too beautiful to cut into.

After the tasting we’re heading over to the Chicago Craft Beer Festival so we’ll be washing down out potential wedding dinner with some delicious Midwestern-made brews. Now that’s what I call a Friday!

But let’s get back to the point of today’s post. I’m finally back with some FOOD around here. These are two recent recipes I’ve made and we’ve totally loved.

Teriyaki Salmon via Skinnytaste (originally from the cookbook Steamy Kitchen’s Healthy Asian Favorites

DSCN2377

Teriyaki Salmon

Oh where do I ever begin? It’s hard to believe there’s so little work to be done (combine soy sauce, mirin, and honey; marinate fish; cook for about 10 minutes total) for how much flavor this piece of salmon contains. It’s so good, in fact, that I had it two Mondays in a row and you can rest assured I’ll be eating it again this Monday. (Side note: Last week on Instagram I hash-tagged #mondaynightsalmon and it was totally a thing. Anyone else eat salmon every Monday? I highly recommend it.) What I love about this recipe, too, is the cooking method: Cook salmon in a pan for about two minutes on each side, add the rest of the marinade, cover and cook for another 4-5 minutes. The fish comes out perfectly. You could follow the recipe exactly as written or make the changes I did, which include skipping the sake (I didn’t want to buy it since it’s not something we drink/use very often) and adding two chopped green onions (white and green parts) to the marinade.

Caprese pasta via How Sweet It Is 

Caprese Pasta

Caprese Pasta

Whole wheat shells that scoop up every ingredient, tiny balls of mozzarella that become melty (is that even a word? it appears that it is…), and flecks of fresh basil. In case you were wondering the answer is no–no life doesn’t get much better than this bowl of goodness right here. The only change I made that’s different from what you’ll find in that link is omitting the mini meatballs – I was feeling more of a vegetarian meal where we could let the little the fresh basil and mozzarella balls (called cieglini) shine. Mission accomplished.

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