Category Archives: TWSM Foodie Review

TWSM Spaghetti Carbonara Review

We’ve all been there, haven’t we? Days we have to work late. The kid has a scout meeting. You forgot a key ingredient for dinner. You need a comfort meal for dinner on your own. Or you want a fancy, but simple dish to fix with friends. Enter this easy spaghetti carbonara from SkinnyTaste. This quick and easy dish is perfect for those meals when you want food on the table fast and with little fuss.

I love how Gina at SkinnyTaste describes this dish, “creamy egg, diced bacon, grated cheese, and copious amounts of black pepper–a Roman dish reminiscent of an American breakfast.” It’s all there. The creaminess of the egg, pungent spiciness of the black pepper, saltiness from the cheese, the smokiness of the bacon. The egg poached and mixed in at the end rather than combined with the cheese to finish is a special touch that elevates this dish. It also gives more opportunity for the egg yolk to shine. And come on, egg yolk is one of the best sauces out there. Sometimes I fry or poach an egg simply for the runny silkiness the yolk adds to a dish.

In making this recipe, I failed to pick up parsley at the grocery store, so I did without. (It’s not a favorite in my house anyway). I did, however, make sure to use high quality Parmigiano Reggiano and Pecorino Romano cheeses, and because I’m all about cheese, I also added a quarter cup extra. Be sure to save a little pasta water in case you reduce the chicken broth a touch too much. Some reserved pasta water helps loosen up leftovers while reheating. And speaking of leftovers, adding the poached egg on top instead of mixing it in does help the sauce not thicken too much while you’re waiting for the kiddos to find their Scout handbook they will need three minutes after supper is finished. The addition of the egg at the last minute also means your sauce won’t be overly thick hanging out in the fridge for a couple days. If you struggle to poach an egg, soft frying one would be an acceptable substitute. What you’re looking for is lots of runny yolk.

Serve this simple spaghetti carbonara with some extra arugula, spinach, and romaine combined in a nice crisp salad with a light white wine vinaigrette. If you’re hosting your mom friends, this dish pairs well with a good pinot grigio.

~Laura

TWSM Pork Chili Verde Review

Pork Chili Verde

Sharing 50/50 custody on a 7/7 schedule with my 15 year old son’s father allows me the opportunity to spend quality and valuable time with close friends. On a rainy night too long ago, my friend Kathleen and I made plans to catch up at a local taproom known for their burgers and wood fired pizzas. However as we skimmed the menu over gossip and news of our children, Kathleen mentioned the pork chili verde. Always anxious to try a new menu item and mindful of the weather, I took a chance on a bowl. Topped with sour cream and served with tortilla chips, the chili verde was a lovely bite. Enough so I had to try to recreate it at home.

A few days later, armed with a free afternoon and my good friend Google, I went in search of a good recipe. Elise at Simply Recipes delivered. I trust her recipes to be tested thoroughly. Her pork chili verde was no exception, and all of the ingredients are readily available.

Tomatillos sound exotic and difficult to find, but they are merely a tomato relative. They often hang out near the avocados, garlic, shallots, or tomatoes in the produce section of your local grocery store. If you can’t find them there, try a natural foods store. Peeling the husks of tomatillos is an interesting experience as well. Those little suckers are sticky under the husks!

I was so excited about trying a bowl of chili verde with my dear friend River who is also a foodie, that once completed, I froze two servings until we saw each other later in the week. Freezing the chili worked wonderfully. No texture was lost. We both agreed that the soup was a perfect early after a day of exploring the winter farmer’s market and attending a craft show.

Sour cream on top of the chili verde is a must. The dairy helps cut the slight acid of the tomatillos and the heat of jalapenos and poblano peppers. Tortilla chips add a nice crunch. River and I both felt some added cumin for some smokiness would be a nice touch. We also would have preferred more heat, but there is opportunity to control that by including another jalapeno in the verde sauce.  I feel the pork could also be substituted with chicken.

All in all this is a solid recipe for pork chili verde by Simply Recipes and excellent alternative to to a red chili or beef stew on a cold winter evening when you’re craving comfort food.

~Laura