Flounder en Papillote with Fennel, Olives, & Lemon

Writer and trained chef, Amanda Darrach Filippone guest writes this week’s PixieTips. She offers a Smart Freedom take on meal planning, which is perfect for Funs, Organic Freedoms and Smart Freedoms.

Cooking en papillote is way simpler and less precious than it sounds, and it’s one of the best ways I know to enhance the flavor of fresh fish. Steamed in parchment, all the juices and flavors permeate the fish, leaving it beautifully moist and melding into a light, delicate sauce. I’ve never known a dinner guest who didn’t enjoy the flourish of opening their own parchment bag. And of course the possibilities for flavor variations are endless.

Pork Tenderloin Roasted in Mustard & Thyme with Roast Carrots & Brussel Sprouts

Writer and trained chef, Amanda Darrach Filippone guest writes this week’s PixieTips. She offers a Smart Freedom take on meal planning, which is perfect for Funs, Organic Freedoms and Smart Freedoms.

There is something about having a roast in the oven that makes me feel all is right with the world. There’s real victory in that moment when you close the oven door and realize that your work is done and all that’s left to do is wait for the delicious aroma of Sunday Lunches Past to fill the house.

Moules Marinières & a Simple Salad

Writer and trained chef, Amanda Darrach Filippone guest writes this week’s PixieTips. She offers a Smart Freedom take on meal planning, which is perfect for Funs, Organic Freedoms and Smart Freedoms.

Why don’t we all cook mussels more? They’re so easy to make delicious and so incredibly fast to prepare. I think in this country we all get a little jumpy around shellfish. Maybe we tend to think of them as restaurant food. I suppose we’ve all heard horror stories of food poisoning from one not-so-fresh mollusk, or perhaps we once were sold a batch of spectacularly dirty shellfish that took hours of scrubbing to clean and were filled with grit.  But these days none of the nightmare scenarios should be a factor as long as you source your shellfish from a reputable supplier. I’ve had consistently good experiences here in New York at Whole Foods and Citarella.

Orecchiette with Sausage, Broccoli Rabe & Tomato

Writer and trained chef, Amanda Darrach Filippone guest writes this week’s PixieTips. She offers a Smart Freedom take on meal planning, which is perfect for Funs, Organic Freedoms and Smart Freedoms.

In the States, we tend to think of broccoli rabe and sausage with orecchiette as a dry or “unsauced” dish, but this version binds the ingredients together in a hearty tomato sauce, and I much prefer it this way. There’s something about the combination of sausage meat and broccoli rabe thrown against pasta that often falls flat for me. Here though, there is a deep savor and twang that I absolutely crave.

Poached Eggs with Winter Greens & Pancetta

Writer and trained chef, Amanda Darrach Filippone guest writes this week’s PixieTips. She offers a Smart Freedom take on meal planning, which is perfect for Funs, Organic Freedoms and Smart Freedoms.

We all need a repertoire of reliable, quick and easy meals we can throw together at the end of a long day. Of course for most everyone that means something that requires minimal chopping and time-consuming prep work. But for me, the easiest thing to cook is also what’s most familiar. That dish I’ve known for so long that I can cook it without much thought at all. Maybe you have a few of those in your bag of tricks. Perhaps something your mother made when you were young, or maybe a recipe you were taught when you were first learning to cook on your own and your learning curve was at its highest.

The Pixies Have Gone to the North Pole

Or maybe it’s just Cleveland. We’re having a hard time seeing the difference with all this snow. Regardless, we have to help Santa get ready for Christmas and Winter Solstice this week and will be back on the 27th with incredible recipes and meal planning tips from Smart Freedom chef and writer, Amanda Darrach Filippone. While last week’s tips rocked for Classics, Organic Structures and Smart Structures, next week’s will be perfect for Organic Freedoms, Smart Freedoms and Funs. 

Merry Christmas!

Smoked Salmon Pizza & Double Mushroom and Marsala Cream Fettuccine

Classic Structure, Wendy Pflaum, guest writes this week’s PixieTips. A  week’s worth of ideas for home cooked meals, perfect for Classics,  Smart Structures and Organic Structures.

By now, everything is now set in your kitchen. If you selected and planned right, all that is left now is to cook. When you clean up from the night before, pick your next night’s meal, and give a quick double check that you have everything you need. There is nothing worse than being halfway into cooking a realizing you are missing something.

Veally Good Burgers

Classic Structure, Wendy Pflaum, guest writes this week’s PixieTips. A  week’s worth of ideas for home cooked meals, perfect for Classics,  Smart Structures and Organic Structures.

Now that your shopping is done, the next important thing to do is package your food accordingly. This is especially helpful for the meat you freeze. If you are making pork chops and you are a family of four, package only four together when you freeze. I wrap everything in wax paper and seal them in Ziploc freezer bags in a one meal portion. I recommend marking the outside of the package and date it, so you can make sure you don’t let things get too old.

Crunchy Parmesan Chicken with Spinach Orzo

Classic Structure, Wendy Pflaum, guest writes this week’s PixieTips. A  week’s worth of ideas for home cooked meals, perfect for Classics,  Smart Structures and Organic Structures.

Once your kitchen is stocked and your recipes are selected, it’s time for a routine shopping trip. Review your recipes and make a list of all the items you need. Try to plan your meals so you use the most perishable ingredients early. You should be able to purchase two weeks of food at a time.

Italian Sausage Supper Stuffing

Classic Structure, Wendy Pflaum, guest writes this week’s PixieTips. A week’s worth of ideas for home cooked meals, perfect for Classics, Smart Structures and Organic Structures.

This tip is all in the planning, as they say. If you plan for 14 meals at a time and cook 7 days a week, you can get through 2 full weeks. Of course when you are selecting recipes, consider the sources of your recipes and their contents. Look for recipes that are not labor intensive, and most importantly, do not require too much cooking time. Dinner should not take much more than 30 minutes to prepare.