The past year has been kind of nuts. One year ago Chad and I were married, we went on a honeymoon to Africa, attended EIGHT (of nine) weddings, we found a new apt and moved, all while trying to figure out what our new married-normal would be. On top of that Chad and I both underwent stressful job searches and both recently started new jobs. Also, since there’s no rest for the weary, we decided to buy an apartment. SO, today I’m going to take a pause (the week after wedding #8) to write this post in celebration of the big news that we are first time homeowners! Now I know your wondering why Sausage and Pepper Bites are relevant to my new homeownership. Well, the fact is, Forage and the Feast is making a big move. One that I have very mixed feelings about and I’m saddened to announce that I will no longer be a NYC resident. That’s right – we are jumping the river and making the move to Hoboken. Ok ok, Hoboken is the NJ borough of NYC and my commute to work will MAYBE be five minutes longer and we have parking, a 1,000 sqft private backyard (grilling!!!), and a fairly large kitchen, but it’s just not NYC. So in order to get myself mentally ready for the move I made these Sausage and Pepper Bites. Hoboken is/was an Italian immigrant town, home of Frank Sinatra, it’s in NJ (Sopranos, Jersey Shore, etc), and when I think of classic New Jersey Italian food I think of sausage and peppers.
I find it really shocking that this is the first time I’ve made a Kale recipe for you. A lot of people ask me after reading my posts “do you cook like that every night?” Well the answer is, I cook “like that” at least 3 times a week. Mon-Wed I usually cook, Thursdays are reserved for post-work happy hour that usually turns in to late night pizza, Friday and Saturday – being the weekend – are always toss ups, and Sunday, when I’m in the city I cook, or Chad and I will grab sushi on our way home from our weekend travels. So the answer is – I eat well. But I better eat well considering the amount of time per day that I devote to thinking about eating (like every second). Chad often asks on a night I make a “regular” meal why I didn’t choose to photograph it for the blog. Well I can’t photograph everything and sometimes the meals I make I consider to be run of the mill and not particularly special. So what do I cook on my off nights from blogging? Well most often, whatever it is, it involves Kale. That’s why I’m so shocked that a Kale recipe has yet to grace the pages of this blog. And there could be no other recipe to introduce my kale-loving self to you than this recipe for Kale Caesar Salad with Crunchy Croutons.
When I first moved into the city right after college I got a job working for a big ad agency. I worked on their largest account and thought I was going to be living in the world of modern Mad Men. We were constantly taken out to lunches and dinners at the best restaurants in the city and we were invited to big corporate parties with lots of celebrities and TV personalities. It sounds like the greatest job ever except the actual work was monotonous, I often worked late into the night, and I was completely broke. The entry level compensation was crap and I had New York City rent to pay. When I look back on it now I don’t know how I survived. But the fact that I did survive is something I am really proud of. It’s one of those things that I can pull from in years to come and think – “If I survived back then, I can survive anything!” Even though my funding was nil, I was still an enthusiastic foodie with a big appetite. I hardly had the funds to feed myself let alone make elaborate meals, so I needed to get creative. It turns out, with a small budget and little creativity you can eat quite well. My favorite meal and weeknight go-to from that time is something I call Bird’s Nest Spaghetti. A nest of pasta and spinach with one perfect, runny, fried egg all snow capped with parmesan cheese. It’s so delicious and homey and is one of my favorite meals to this day!
You don’t often think of broccoli and maple as two things that go together. But maple syrup, pancetta, pecans, and goat cheese – oh my! In this recipe broccoli is a mere vehicle for everything delicious. What’s great about broccoli is that it soaks in any flavor that you want to add to it. Don’t you love the broccoli that comes in your Chinese take out? Well it’s because it soaks in all that Chinese-soy-garlic-y-goodness.