Grilled Cheese Sandwiches with Balsamic Red Onions

Grilled Cheese with Balsamic Red Onions Recipe via @cooksmarts

A regular ol' grilled cheese is pretty darn good on its own. Butter + sandwich bread + melted cheese is always a winner. However, if you're interested in making this childhood standby into more of a sophisticated adult meal, I highly recommend adding some onions. For those who are always looking to adding extra depth and flavor to their meals, caramelized onions are always a good choice. … [Read more...]

5 Tips for the Best Homemade Pizza + Green Pepper and Mushroom Pizza

Green Pepper and Mushroom Pizza Recipe by Cook Smarts

I'm a pizza monster (my original confession here), and I know I'm not alone. We featured this green pepper and mushroom pizza as part of our meal plan service the week of September 30th, and not surprisingly I found a lot of pizza monsters in our community. Homemade pizza - even if you don't have a crazy hot oven or a pizza stone - can be just as good as a restaurant's. It's taken me many years … [Read more...]

Summer Caprese Salad with Fresh Mozzarella

Caprese Salad by Cook Smarts

While I live to cook and entertain, it's become harder to do as more and more of our friends have had kids. Dinner parties start at 5 and end at 8, so everyone can rush home to start the bedtime routine. To accommodate this new stage of life, I now find it easier just bring the cooking to them rather than having them schlep kids, toys, carseats, iPad entertainment systems, and bottles to us. Plus … [Read more...]

Basic Margherita Pizza on the Grill

How to make pizzas on a grill

Yesterday I posted on how to make pizzas on the grill. Today, I want to share the recipe for a margherita pizza, probably the most basic pizza combination out there but really one of my favorites. For pizza purists, there is nothing better than the simple margherita (not to be confused with the cocktail margarita, which also happens to be another one of my many indulgences). It's all about the … [Read more...]

Balsamic Caprese Chicken

Balsamic Caprese Chicken Recipe

Meals can be separated into two categories: those that are quick and simple that you make for weeknight dinners and those that are photogenic and have a *wow* effect that you save for company. And then there are some very special meals that fall into both of these categories. This balsamic caprese chicken is one of those chicken recipes that can be easily whipped up on a weeknight or dressed up on … [Read more...]

Shortcut Twice Baked Potatoes

Twice baked potatoes

With the low-carb, paleo, Atkins movement, potatoes are no longer the food staple they used to be, but it doesn't mean that we don't love them in moderation. After all who could say no to twice baked potatoes. They'll always be a comforting presence at any dinner. However, to get them on the table for a weeknight dinner might take more time than most of us have unless you use my little shortcut. … [Read more...]

Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu | Weeknight Recipes

Baked Chicken Cordon Bleu Recipe

In last week's "Heroes in the Kitchen" post, Carla Graves shared her story about how cooking has remained a constant through all of her life stages. Family dinners were an important part of her childhood, and Carla has made home cooked meals a priority with her 2 year old son. I asked her to give us one of her favorite weeknight recipes, and she was kind enough to share her Baked Chicken Cordon … [Read more...]

Simple, Healthy, and Tasty Sauteed Garlicky Swiss Chard

Sauteed Garlicky Chard Recipe by Cook Smarts

I consider myself a fairly healthy person, but I would never eat something just because it was healthy. It also has to taste good. Apparently, I’m just too much of a hedonist to sacrifice taste for health. I think there are a lot of people like me but they also hold the notion that healthy cannot taste good. If this were true, I’d be constantly starving or extremely overweight by now. This … [Read more...]

Swiss Chard and Sweet Potato Gratin | My Favorite Thanksgiving Sides, Part III

Swiss chard and sweet potato gratin, mmm mmm good

Please understand that my photo does not do this swiss chard and sweet potato gratin recipe justice. The original is here and does a way better job at capturing the richness of this dish. Despite my so-so photo, I still think this side dish belongs on your Thanksgiving menu and is a perfect sophisticated update to the candied or marshmallowed sweet potatoes that may have appeared in years past. I … [Read more...]

Baked Macaroni and Cheese | Recipes for Cooking Basics

Baked Macaroni and Cheese by Cook Smarts

I was out of town with friends this weekend, and we got onto one of my favorite topics of conversation: "What would you eat all the time in a consequence free world?" I eagerly shouted, "Macaroni and cheese!" While there is definitely a long list of other answers to this question, macaroni and cheese ranks high. Kraft's blue box, Annie's shells, homemade creamy stovetop or crispy baked - I've … [Read more...]