Taste of Iowa Flatbread Pizza

There are two foods Iowa is most known for: pork and corn. Put the two together and you have an Iowa meal. Put them on a super thin pizza crust with a few other ingredients and you have an Iowa-St. Louis hybrid–a blend of the two places that are most important to me. There’s a…

Pan Seared Tuna Steak with Toasted Coconut and Honey-Lime Glaze

Creativity thrives in an open mind. It’s easy to attach yourself to a plan, insisting to yourself that you must have this one dish and you must make it the way you always do, but sometimes the world begs you to do something different. I was in such a situation at the grocery store yesterday….

Summer Vegetable Flatbread Pizza

I’m not a vegetarian–I love fish and chicken and even pork if it’s cooked right–but sometimes I just don’t want meat. And sometimes a dish doesn’t want meat either. Flatbread pizzas are a good example. I often find myself debating whether or not I need to add a few pieces of chicken to a flatbread…

How to Fluff Up a Sandwich

All restaurants like to save money. It doesn’t matter how big, how successful, how generous the establishment is–every place has its tricks. Ever wonder why sandwiches look so tall and luscious? A lot of it comes down to how you stack the ingredients. If you lie something flat, it will look flat. Fluff it up…

Mushroom Pasta with Lemon Herb Broth

Sometimes simple is better. Especially at the end of the week, when you’re tired and not that hungry and sort of want to just lie on the floor and drink too much wine. I was there today–just back from a run, hot, tired, not really in the mood for cooking. I was craving lemon and…

Pappardelle All’ Amatriciana with Lobster

I wanted pappardelle with tomato sauce tonight, but didn’t have the pork shoulder I would use to make my usual pappardelle dish and the only seafood I had was imitation lobster, so I decided to work with what I had. I made an amatriciana sauce and added the imitation lobster to give it some sweet…

Baked Cornmeal-Crusted Catfish

It’s that time of year when fish is on sale, including what I recently decided is one of my favorites: catfish. It’s great breaded and fried, but since my stove top is horribly unreliable, I decided to prepare my fish as I would if I were frying it, but I put it in the oven…

Lobster Mac and Cheese on a Budget

Macaroni and cheese is one of those dishes that can be as cheap or as expensive as you want it to be. You can opt for the boxed stuff, make it plain and homemade, order it from a fancy restaurant, or make it homemade with a touch of sophistication. I prefer the last option. Some…

Pretzel-Crusted Cod with Creamy Orange Sauce

Butter can do amazing things. And I’m not talking about those fake butter spreads, which I admit I do use regularly, but real butter, that stuff articles on the internet love to tell you to avoid eating because it’s “fat” and fat is bad. Actually, we need fat in our diets. Fat just gets a…

Gnocchi Al Pesto with Chicken

Tonight I wanted gnocchi, but I didn’t have tomato sauce and thought, why not try pesto? Pesto is a classic sauce to put on gnocchi and happens to be one of my favorite sauces. A good pesto will be rich with sweet basil flavor and plenty of garlic, not watered down with too much olive…

Tangy Clam Pasta

Clams in a lemon-wine broth served over noodles from the spaghetti family is a common combination on Italian menus. It’s a simple dish, is easy to make, and if you use canned clams (which I do; I’m not picky about seafood), it’s fairly inexpensive. As far as ingredients, this dish has a lot of flexibility….

Mexican Chicken Risotto with Goat Cheese

I’m too exhausted to go into great detail about this dish, but here’s a recipe. The ingredients are fairly flexible. What’s important is that they play on both Mexican and Italian flavors, a fusion of cuisines. A note about risotto: DO stir it often. It’s unnecessary to stir it “constantly” for the full twenty minutes…