Tag Archives: vegetables

Ragú National Pasta Day event

17 Oct

Happy National Pasta Day!

Now this is a day I can get behind.

This past week, Ragú was kind enough to extend an offer for me to come to a cooking event in honor of National Pasta Day.


We went to a lovely cooking space, My Cooking Party Loft


There was a twist, however, as all the recipes we would be cooking were IMPASTAS. (AKA… dishes made WITHOUT pasta and using veggies in their place).

First dish we were learning was a (super simple) cauliflower “mac” and cheese.


We also learned about spaghetti squash with Chunky Tomato, Garlic, and Onion Ragú and veggies.


And eggplant “lasagna” made with the classic sauce.


First we had a quick demo of how to cut onions and garlic before learning how to prep the dishes by our enthusiastic and knowledgeable Chef Joanne Kohlhepp.




Then we were to find our assigned partner and start to cook!  Making our own spin on the dishes.


We each received a tray of some items that were precooked and the ingredients we would need, making it nice and easy.


Then a table of ingredients to choose from to bump up our recipes and make them our own.DSCF3549

Of course, my selected addition to our dish was MEAT.  We grabbed some Pat LaFrieda ground beef and browned it up with onions, then added it to our eggplant lasagna.


And the photographer even got an action shot as I layered and sauced.


We also made the cauliflower “mac” and chee.  This was so easy.  Parboiled cauliflower, cheese sauce, topped with breadcrumbs toasted in butter.  We followed the recipe for this one and really enjoyed.


I was partnered up with the lovely Pam from Triple Threat Mommy and Food Editor of The Shopping Mama.


We had a great time preparing our dishes together, though you will notice that I have a homemade name tag below.  Why? You might ask… Well… smart me accidentally put the baking dish on top of my original name tag and I guess it stuck. So a few minutes later when we smelled something burning. Someone luckily checked on our dish and found my little name tag, hanging from the bottom of the casserole dish, about to go on fire.  Go me.


All the bloggers did a great job at preparing our various dishes.DSCF3562

And we proudly gathered around our creations…


Before sitting down to devour our meals together.


It was a great event and the food really came out delicious.  We all enjoyed our meals and left very full.  I was impressed at how easy these recipes were (though having some things prepped and someone to clean everything up sure was nice) and all of these could be a very healthy, gluten-less weekday meal.  And I hardly missed the pasta!  (I really didn’t miss it too much… but come on… I LOVE pasta)

Ragú will be holding a Twitter Party later today if you want to join in on the fun and have a chance to win some prizes:

When: Friday, October 17, 2014 at 1PM EST
Where: #NationalPastaDay on Twitter

Follow: @Crowdtappers & @RaguSauce
Prizes: $725 in Visa gift cards
Questions: Ask @Crowdtappers

 Thanks, Ragú, for the invite!  While this was a sponsored event, all opinions are solely my own.

Stinkin’ Up the Joint

17 Jul

Mike and I decided to endeavor on grilling fish in my apartment.  One of my favorite kitchen tools is a stove top grill (I bought mine on sale for $50 from Williams Sonoma a few years ago but it does not appear they have it any more).  It fits across two burners and makes mean pancakes on the flat side and great chicken on the ridged side.  Fish was a new undertaking, however.

Now I have a large kitchen by NYC standards, however, it is poorly ventilated and the smoke alarm is in a tiny hallway right outside the room.  The tragedy of this event involved me standing below the smoke alarm for upwards of 20 minutes waving a magazine.  This paled in comparison, however, to the even greater tragedy of making my entire apartment smell of fish for the next four days.

I will sidenote here for a second to talk about the request that went out to all of my friends on Facebook for advice on how to get the smell of fish out of ones apartment when opening all the windows, lighting candles, febreezing, spraying air freshener, and putting out baking soda didn’t work.  I got some very interesting responses.  Lavender oil, scrubbing everything down with lemons, oil reeds, and roasting coffee beans in a skillet came up.  The most creative response, however, came from Mike’s Aunt Helene who gave us his Aunt Meggie’s trick: Boil water in a pot and then cover it and put cinnamon on the lid.  Wouldn’t you know it? It worked!  The smell was hardly detectable after about 30 minutes of boiling.  Good to know!

As for the food itself, it turned out pretty well.  I have come to the conclusion though that I need to accept that I just don’t like salmon.  Smoked is fine, but when it’s cooked I’m just not a fan.  Mike made salmon for himself and a tuna steak for me.  He also prepared an awesome, off the cuff soy, garlic, and ginger sauce for us to dip the fish in.  We paired it with some boxed butternut squash risotto and threw tomatoes and zuccini on the grill pan when the fish was done.  We then enjoyed our labors on the balcony, which was lovely.