Posts tagged ‘cooking’

February 26, 2013

A Ch-Ch-Ch-Chia Breakfast Treat!

Chia seedsI have a new favorite breakfast that is healthy and doesn’t have a Mc in front of it!  God, I love the Egg McMuffin.  This one is made from Chia seeds.  I always want to eat chia seeds, but they are kind of gross and slimy.  Especially when they bloat.  And yep, they are the very same seeds from Chia pets.  Ch-ch-ch-chia!

I stumbled across this yogurt type recipe on Pinterest.  Successful recipes on Pinterest…who knew that was even possible?!   I made a few adjustments to the original recipe to tailor it to my own taste.  It also originally called for almond milk, but that is not a staple in our house.  The last time it made an appearance, the husband looked at me like I was trying to poison him.


Chia Seed Breakfast Bowl

  • 1 mashed banana
  • 2 tbsp of Chia seeds
  • ½ – ¾  cup of milk
  • 1 cap full of vanilla
  • Juice of half an orange
  • Tiny squirt of honey
  • Few dashes of cinnamon

Mash the banana first and then mix in all the other good stuff.  Cover and refrigerate overnight.  It will be ready and delicious in the morning.  Sometimes I get a little crazy and add sliced almonds or raisins just before serving.




December 18, 2012

Savory Bread Pudding – Christmas Menu Must Have

It just hit me today that Christmas starts this weekend.  Wow.  How did that happen?  And how is it a surprise every year?  I have to say that I am super excited.  All of my shopping is done and the menu is planned.  Now I just have to impatiently wait.

We got the opportunity to test a couple new recipes last weekend when we had a small, intimate Christmas dinner with some friends.  It was similar to Friendsgiving but with glitter and the scent of pine!  Of course I forgot to take photos of the food.  We were too excited about consuming one of the best holiday meals we have ever had.  Photos of the dinner décor will have to do.

My favorite dish was a savory bread pudding.   I wanted a twist on the traditional stuffing.  I was a little nervous the texture would be strange, but oohhh girl.  It was so good that I am blogging about it without a photo just because you need to put it on your menu immediately.   I have eaten it every day since Saturday, and I am making it again on Christmas day.  Just writing about it makes me want to go grab a bite.

I adapted a recipe I found on West Elm’s site.  Yeah, they occasionally post recipes.  Who knew?  This should be easier to follow than my usual recipe posts since they provide actual measurements!

Leek and Prosciutto Bread Pudding

  • 4 tbsp butter
  • 4 cups leeks, sliced 1/4” thick (white and light green only)
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • fresh pepper
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2.5 cups whole milk
  • 2.5 cups heavy cream
  • nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 2/3 cup gruyere, shredded
  • 6 slices of prosciutto, cut into thin strips
  • 2 loaves of brioche or challah, cubed
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • .5 cup roasted shiitake mushrooms (toss with olive oil and salt and roast at 400 until crispy)

Preheat oven to 350.  Melt butter over medium heat and add leeks.  Season with salt and cover.  Stir as needed.  Cook until leeks are soft, about 15 minutes.  Now season again with S&P to taste.

In a large bowl mix together the eggs, milk, cream, large pinch of salt, pepper, nutmeg, and  cheese.  Add the leeks to the bowl and toss to combine.

In a buttered baking dish, line the dish with the bread.  Pour the mixture over the bread.  Let soak for 15 minutes.

Bake for 30-45 minutes or until pudding is set and the top is brown and bubbly.

Scatter with the mushrooms, chives, and a bit of truffle oil before serving.


Christmas Table Christmas GarlandChristmas Ornaments

September 28, 2012

Comfort Food Recipe – Sweet Potato Souffle

Hello, Fall.  I have been anxiously waiting for you.  Now that you are here (sort of), I can make all my favorite comfort foods.  The first dish I made in your honor was sweet potato soufflé.  It was a smashing hit with the husband.  Now don’t let me down by bringing back temps in the 90s.





Sweet Potato Souffle

  • 3 lbs sweet potatoes
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, softened
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ½ cup shredded gruyere
  • 2 tbps light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped (I probably used more)
  • 3 large eggs
  • S&P

This serves 12, so I made a much smaller portion.

Preheat the oven to 350.  Poke the potatoes with a fork and bake for 45 minutes or until soft.  Raise the oven temp to 425.

Peel the potatoes once they are cool enough to handle.  Beat the potatoes with the butter until smooth.  Now beat in the cream, cheese, brown sugar, thyme, and S&P (to taste).  Beat in the eggs one at a time.

Transfer the puree to buttered baking dishes.  I used individual ramekins for a pretty presentation.  Bake for 15 minutes.  Reduce the oven temp to 400 and bake for another 30 minutes or until the sweet potatoes are lightly puffed and browned.  Let the soufflé rest for 10 minutes before serving.

September 26, 2012

Tomato and Fennel Gratin Recipe

Monday night dinner was delayed a day this week.   We made plans to have a bottle of wine and large bag of popcorn while watching 2016.  It was a perfect date night. Tuesday night was filled with food and the usual Monday night traditions.  The husband did his thing, and I had the kitchen to myself to try out new recipes and make something special.

What was on the menu?  Roasted chicken thighs, tomato and fennel gratin, and sweet potato soufflé.  It was so good that it was decided that the dishes are now fall staples.

I don’t think I need to tell you how to roast chicken thighs.  It is also really boring, and you have google.  So let’s just get to the good stuff, the gratin. It sort of reminded us of a heavenly pasta dish, because the fennel is such a great substitution.  Next time I will double the fennel portion of the recipe.  My mouth is watering just thinking about the leftovers in the fridge!

Tomato and Fennel Gratin

  • 5 small roma tomatoes, sliced in ¼” thick slices
  • 1 large fennel bulb, stalk removed and thinly sliced
  • 2 oz (56 grams) crème fraiche (we make our own)
  • 2 tbsp black olive tapenade (see notes below, I deviated)
  • ½ cup finely grated parmesan cheese (I probably used more)
  • Handful of fresh thyme leaves
  • S&P to taste

Notes prior to cooking:
If your tomatoes are super juicy, you can place them in a colander and sprinkle them with a little salt.  Let them hangout for about 20 minutes and this will remove the excess water.  Also note that the better the tomatoes, the better the gratin will taste.

I did not have all the traditional tapenade ingredients on hand, so I made my own version.  Finely chopped black olives and garlic with a little olive oil and lemon juice.  It was wonderful and might be making appearances in other recipes.  I also don’t love capers, so this was a good solution.

Preheat oven to 375

Steam the fennel for 8-10 minutes or until it is tender.  In a bowl, toss the fennel, crème fraiche, olive tapenade, half of the thyme and parmesan, and season with S&P.

Butter the bottom of a small baking dish.  Place the fennel mixture at the bottom of the dish.  Arrange the tomato slices over the fennel in overlapping rows.  Season with S&P and sprinkle with the remaining parmesan and thyme leaves.

Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until the cheese starts to brown and the gratin is bubbly.  Let is rest for 5 minutes before serving and then enjoy!

The sweet potato soufflé recipe will be posted tomorrow.

August 15, 2012

The Next Julia Child: ME!

Today would have been Julia Child’s 100th birthday.  I kind of adore her.  And I can honestly say I enjoyed her before the Julie and Julia movie.  Speaking of the movie, I am hoping someone will hire me to have my own real life Julie and Julia experience.  Anyone want to pay me to make all her recipes and blog about it?  People tell me I am pretty funny, so it could be entertaining and maybe make a better movie.  I’ll even write in a Julia accent and refrain from using 4 letter words.  I read that she doesn’t like that in the kitchen.  I should disclose now that I’m terrible at following directions, so they might have to be Julia inspired recipes.

What do you think?  Any takers?  I am ready and willing to start tonight.  I even have pork chops thawed and a bowl of onions ready to chop.  You know how to reach me.  I will leave it up to you.

Oh heck, forget paying me.  Just pay for my groceries.  Did you see that…I am already substituting 4 letter words.  Mom would be so proud.

August 14, 2012

Monday Night Dinner

Last night was our usual Monday night dinner when I cook for the husband.  I got fancy this week and brought out the decanter and candles!  I’ll post recipes soon.  The photos will have to do for now.

July 23, 2012

Monday Night Dinners

I was briefly feeling fancy and smug last week.  I thought I found the secret to happy Mondays, and I was going to be the one to share it with the world.  What’s the secret?  Cooking, vino, and Otis.  Otis Redding that is.

While I was giving myself a congratulatory toast with another sip of wine, I had a moment of pure genius in the kitchen.  I turned on the wrong burner and proceeded to warm a pyrex dish on high.  I was far too caught up in posting a pic of my beautiful artichokes to notice the glowing red.

Do you know what happens to pyrex when you leave it on a burner?  It explodes!  How in the world is it even safe for an oven?  Oh and it doesn’t just explode into pieces that are easy to clean up.  It explodes into teeny, tiny shards that go everywhere.

Thankfully most of the food was covered and could be saved.  What kind of wife would I be if the husband came home to takeout when I always go on about loving to make a special Monday night dinner for just the two of us.

After the incident, I did what any woman would, I had another sip of wine and continued cooking and instagraming without any mention of my oversight.

I haven’t decided what I am cooking tonight, but I know what I am not doing.  Not putting a pyrex on a hot burner.  What are you cooking tonight?


July 21, 2012

Please Don’t Lose a Finger

Do you know how dangerous onion chopping can be?  I learned that this week when a very sweet friend made us dinner.  I almost dropped my wine glass when I saw her dive into the wrong side of an onion with a wobbly knife and very determined look in her eye.  The girl could have lost a finger.  Not really.  The knife was barely sharper than a butter knife, but it was still a pretty dramatic moment.

I decided to immediately take over.  First thing we did was get rid of the knife.  Then we had a lesson.  I felt like I was in the scene from the Julia Childs movie.  Rather than describe to you how to properly cut an onion, you can just watch Jamie Oliver do it in this youtube video.  Unfortunately the video doesn’t show his handsome face.

July 2, 2012

No Fry or Slime

I used to think there were 2 ways to prepare okra.  Fried or slimed.  Disgusting.  Then we got a ton of it in our produce co-op.  Never wanting anything to go to waste, I had to figure out what the heck to do with it.  That’s where Pinterest came in to save the day.  Well, Pinterest and one of my girlfriends that pinned an okra recipe that served as the inspiration.

If you happen to have a bunch of okra in your kitchen, very much dislike slime, and only indulge in fried foods that are worth the calories, you might want to give this recipe a try.  It is baked and delish.

Roasted Okra

  • Fresh okra, sliced into 1/3” thick pieces (very important so that you dry out the slime!)
  • Olive oil
  • 1/2 sweet onion, sliced
  • Kosher salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.  Toss all the ingredients in a large bowl.  It might take more olive oil than you think.  Now arrange it on a foil lined baking sheet and bake for 10-15 minutes.   AND voila!  No slime!

How did I know this recipe was a winner?  The husband told me it was going to be awful.  He ended up eating his words and all the okra!

May 14, 2012

Homemade Marshmallows

I decided I wanted to make homemade marshmallows for our stache bash.  The husband asked me what I was going to do with them.  My reply was, “Eat them.”  He was confused…no graham crackers and no chocolate?  Nope.  Just eat them.

They are so delicious that they don’t need an accompaniment, but I will admit to all of you that I did not know that at the time.  I got excited and I didn’t consider our lack of a fire source.  And I am way too grown up now to make microwave s’mores like I did when I was a kid.  At least when there are guests in our home.  Turns out I was right though.  They are soooo delicious that you can simply eat them.

Once you make them at home, you will never buy store bought marshmallows again.  They are so easy.  There is just a little bit of a wait before they are ready to nosh on.

Vanilla Mint Marshmallows


  • Vegetable oil for brushing pan
  • 1 cup of water
  • 3 (1/4 oz) envelopes of unflavored gelatin
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup light corn syrup
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tsp mint extract
  • About 1 cup powdered sugar
  • Metal baking pan.  You choose the size based on how deep you want your marshmallows

Brush the bottom and sides of the metal pan with vegetable oil.  I also used parchment paper and oiled that as well.  This stuff is sticky!

Put 1/2 cup water in your stand mixer and sprinkle the gelatin over it.  Stir it to make sure the gelatin is in contact with the water.  Now let it sit and soften.

Heat sugar, corn syrup, salt, and 1/2 cup water in a small saucepan over low heat.  Stir until the sugar dissolves and then bring it to a boil over medium heat.  Stop stirring.

Put a candy thermometer in the syrup and continue boiling without stirring.  Bring it to 240 or soft ball stage.  Remove from heat and let stand until the bubbles dissipate.

With the mixer at low speed, pour hot syrup into gelatin in a thin stream down the side of the bowl.  Increase speed to high and beat until very thick and the mixtures forms a thick ribbon.  About 5 minutes.  Beat in vanilla and mint.

Scrape marshmallows into pan and spread evenly with dampened fingers.  It will be super sticky.  Let stand uncovered at room temp until surface is no longer sticky.  About 3 hours, but it could be longer if it is a humid day.

Dust a cutting board with powdered sugar.  Use a spatula to pull the sides of the marshmallow from the pan then invert it onto the board.  Dust the top with sugar.  Now cut into strips and then squares.  I found that a pizza cutter worked best.

Coat marshmallows one at a time in powdered sugar.

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