Pecorino Roasted Cauliflower with Farro and Crispy Pancetta

Cauliflower has been a long time point of difference between me and Ryan, but I finally won him over with this one.  Golden roasted garlicky cauliflower, nutty farro, and salty pecorino with a scattering of crisp pancetta bits, fried parsley, and toasted pine nuts.  He loved it just as much as I did.  When the pecorino is sprinkled over the cauliflower during the last few minutes of roasting, don’t worry too much about keeping all of the cheese on the cauliflower.  The inevitable portion that lands on the hot pan will begin to brown and crisp, and it’s one of the best parts as it’s swept in with the rest of the dish.

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Slow Cooker Tomatillo Chili with Pork and Hominy

Ryan’s workplace recently had a chili cook-off as an effort to build community within his department.  While participation was not mandatory, it was encouraged, and Ryan ambitiously took it upon himself to make his own chili.  Always careful not to overburden me with extra tasks, he wanted this to be his project.  He’s thoughtful like that.  After a quick browse through America’s Test Kitchen Slow Cooker Revolution, he landed on this tomatillo chili. He wanted something a bit different but also wanted to stick with familiar ingredients, and this seemed to fit the bill.

The plan was to work ahead over the weekend and freeze the chili so all he’d have to do later in the week is thaw and heat.  Although it seemed to be a carefully thought out plan, when it came time for the cook-off lunch, the chili remained partially frozen and cold in spite of being heated in the slow cooker all morning.   After all of that planning, cooking, and transporting, he ended up bringing it all home and we ate it ourselves.  Unfortunate and disappointing, yes, but I have to admit I enjoyed having the extra for us.  The whole family enjoyed this one so much that I wanted to share it with you all too.

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A Chocolate and Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream Cake with Crispy Cocoa Cookies and Dark Chocolate Malted Fudge

My oldest turn ten years old this week.  Recalling very clearly those earlier years of being a new mom, I often wondered why the days seemed to crawl along so slowly.  Quite the opposite now, I find myself grasping to hold on to each moment, wanting him to grow up and at the same time not wanting him to grow up.  I’m sure those of you with kids can relate.  He gave me very specific instructions for his birthday cake this year.  An ice cream cake with chocolate and mint chocolate chip ice creams, crushed cookies and fudge sandwiched in the middle, no whipped cream.  Of all the birthday cakes I’ve made, this one was by far the easiest.  And yet, he declared it my best cake ever, reminding me that more time invested does not always mean better.

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