Now Trending: Look Ma, No Arms

You may never win this argument with a man, but the coolest, most nonchalant thing you can do this winter, aside from carrying an I-don’t-care clutch, is to wear your jacket/coat/what-have-you… sans arms.

Don’t believe me?

stockhom streetstyle

These are only a few divas who decided to break the conformity that are the sleeves of a jacket.  To see more, well, I don’t know, go outside?

So the next time your boyfriend tells you to “put your damn arms in your sleeves”, shrug it off because you’ve got this.

Nom Nom: Ricotta & Parmesan Penne Pasta

This has been a favorite [lost] recipe of mine that I love cooking around this time of year.  I recently found a version of it, via food gal, that is wonderful.  The original recipe can be found in Mark Bittman’s book “How to Cook Everything”.


Penne with Ricotta, Parmesan, and Peas
(makes about 4 servings)

  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 1 pound penne, ziti, or other cut pasta
  • About 1 cup fresh ricotta, available in Italain and specialty food markets
  • 1 tablespoon softened butter (optional)
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste ( very important )
  • Cooked bacon, cut into small pieces – ( or prosciutto ) ( mushrooms optional )

Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Salt the boiling water and cook the pasta. While it is cooking, mix together ricotta, butter, and half of the Parmesan in the bottom of a heat-proof bowl (heat proof bowl is important) that’s large enough to sit on top of the pasta pot without falling in. Stick the bowl on top of the pot for a few minutes, while stirring the cheese-butter mixture until it is warm and smooth. Remove bowl and set aside.

When the pasta is just about done, remove about a cup and a half of pasta cooking water. Mix about 3/4 cup of it into your cheese sauce to thin it a little.

Drain pasta. Toss with ricotta mixture, add additional pasta cooking water if necessary. Season with salt and pepper. Stir in bacon, and other toppings if using any of them. Serve, passing remaining Parmesan at the table.

Nom Nom: BBQ Chicken Pizza

Paired with a Free State – Copperhead Pale Ale, this may just be my new favorite fall recipe. The best part is you can’t go wrong.  You can add as much or as little ingredients as you like. Without further ado, here is my edited version of Martha Stewart’s BBQ Chicken Pizza:


  • Olive oil, for baking sheet
  • All-purpose flour, for dusting
  • 11oz can of store-bought (Pillsbury) pizza dough – Thin Crust (you can use original, but thin crust makes it more of a flatbread pizza)
  • 1/2 cooked chicken, (about 1 1/4 pounds), shredded (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups store-bought BBQ sauce (1 cup for chicken, 1 cup for spreading on pizza)
  • 2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
  • 1 small onion, halved and very thinly sliced ( i used a white onion, but red would work nicely)
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • (original recipe calls for thinly sliced zucchini in addition to onion)


  1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees (or 425 depending on dough recipe). Lightly oil a large baking sheet; set aside.
  2. Lightly oil a baking sheet and unroll premade pizza dough onto sheet.  Stretch dough to cover entire baking sheet (if it doesn’t already).  Bake dough for 5 minutes as instructed on can.
  3. Remove dough from oven and lightly coat with bbq sauce, leaving a small border for the “crust”
  4. In a medium bowl, combine chicken and barbecue sauce. Leaving a small border, scatter chicken mixture evenly over dough; sprinkle with cheese, then onion.
  5. Bake until crust is golden and cheese is melted, about 10 minutes or as instructed on can.
  6. Remove from oven.  Add freshly ground black pepper and italian parsley if you want it to look sexy. (yes, i just refered to a pizza as sexy)

TIP:  The best way to tell if a pizza is done (and not overcooked) is to slide a knife or flat spatula under the pizza crust while it’s in the oven.  When the bottom is slightly browned, it’s good to go.  If you have it on a baking sheet, it will continue to cook after you remove it from the oven.