One Year Anniversary!

May 18, 2010

Happy Birthday to You,

Happy Birthday to You,

Happy Birthday Dear Blog,

Happy Birthday to You!

A whole year has passed since I decided that the internet could be a fun way to share my cooking.  Well, not quite as fun as inviting friends and family over to actually EAT but you get the idea.

I began with mostly my basic, go-to dishes.  The kind of stuff I can make in my sleep.  But there’s only so much content there so coming up with new posts meant coming up with new ideas and new recipes.  Some have since become go-to staples and others were one-hit wonders. Nothing ventured, nothing gained though, and in the scheme of things, a kitchen disaster is actually pretty low on the disaster scale.  Cooking in my kitchen is hardly an exact science.  I’m far too impatient for all that precision and measuring and so forth.  I hope I’ve been able to inspire you to relax, get creative, and Just Try It, whatever It might be.

Although I’m not an uber-blogger by any stretch of the imagination, I’m still amazed at how far and wide this thing has spread. Seeing hits from all over the world is so much.   As a kid I couldn’t have imagined how the internet would create such a small world, much less that I’d have readers from all over the US and Canada, in Moscow and Spain and Germany and Hong Kong and Australia and so many other far-flung places stepping into my kitchen.

I owe a huge debt of gratitude to Ree Drummond for listing Our Life In The Kitchen as one of her Fantastic Food Sites. I am beyond honored to included.

Finally,  a BIG HUGE thank you to all of my readers and subscribers.  I hope you’re having as much fun as I am.

As a flashback, here’s the first recipe I posted, Linguine with Garlic, Tomatoes and So Forth.   And it’s what’s for dinner tonight too :)

I’ll start with this one, a dinner staple around here. It’s quick and tasty. Add a simple salad and a loaf of Italian bread for a great, easy dinner.


Get all this stuff together:
  • A pound of linguine. Ronzoni is a habit and easy to keep on hand, although I do use fresh when I think of it.
  • A handful of plum tomatoes, or any other tomatoes that look ripe and juicy.
  • The better part of a head of garlic.
  • Fresh basil. Yes, fresh. Dried just isn’t the same.
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Red Bell Pepper
  • Coarse Sea Salt. I just like this stuff but for this any old salt will do.
  • Crushed Red Pepper

Put a large pot of water on to boil. I love this All Clad pot with the pasta insert.
Pour just enough olive oil into a large saute pan to generously cover the bottom of the pan but don’t turn it on yet. (Another plug for All Clad here!)
On to the produce…

I collect produce stickers on the front of the fridge. They’re taking over.


I’ve tried a bunch of different garlic presses but I always go back to my knife and cutting board. Using the blade of a wide chef’s knife, crush the cloves.
The peel should slip off easily.
Mince.
Cut tomatoes into quarters.
Cut the red pepper in half, stem to bottom. Remove seeds and the
white stuff then slice into strips.
Heat the olive oil over medium-low heat for a minute or two or three.
Just until you can smell the fragrance. If it starts to smoke, it’s way too hot!
Add the garlic and start stirring immediately. Don’t let it turn brown! Take it off the heat for a minute or two if necessary.
Stir in tomatoes and peppers. Add crushed red pepper (I like a lot!) and salt.
Stir well and reduce heat to low.
Surely the water is boiling by now. Add linguine, stirring so it all sinks. Cook until it’s not quite as soft as you like it. I like it a little firm, or al dente.
Now, if you haven’t already done so, pour yourself a glass of wine IMMEDIATELY!
Meanwhile, crush the tomatoes a bit with the back of the spoon.
Turn off the heat. Tear basil leaves over the tomatoes. Tearing is just a lot faster and easier than snipping for this kind of thing.
By now, the pasta is probably done. Drain it well, then dump it
into the saute pan, along with the tomato mixture. Turn the heat back on to
medium-low and stir for a few minutes, just until it’s all mixed well.
Dump the whole thing into a big serving bowl and take it to the table!
Don’t forget the cheese! This just isn’t the same without good, fresh Parmesan or Asiago. That stuff that comes in a green can is NOT cheese!
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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Memoria May 19, 2010 at 12:52 am

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY TO YOUR BLOG!!! I absolutely adore your blog and discovered it via Pioneer Woman’s site many moons ago. I love your large, clear, vibrant process photos. Even if I can’t eat what you’re making, I still go to your blog just for the photos. I’m looking forward to another year!!

The tomatoes look amazing!

Reply

2 Wendi May 19, 2010 at 8:13 am

Happy ann’y Karen. Thanks for sharing your life in the kitchen with us all.

Reply

3 Lindsey May 19, 2010 at 12:17 pm

Congratulations on one year! I, too, found your blog via PW cooks…I really enjoy it! This recipe is perfect for me – I love making fresh pasta sauces! And yes, having a lovely glass of wine is mandatory :)
Keep up the good work!

Reply

4 James May 19, 2010 at 2:47 pm

Yay! Thanks for sharing all of your wonderful recipes. I love visiting your blog for recipes like this pasta one, and am always amazed at your stunning pictures.

Reply

5 Jessica May 22, 2010 at 3:38 pm

Happy birthday!!!

Love all of the great pics. The recipe looks tasty and easy too!

Reply

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