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Showing posts from April, 2014

#BrunchWeek 2014 Shout-Outs: Chelsea, Lori, & Stephie

A few more 2014 #BrunchWeek blogger intros for today... Chelsea at Chelsea's Messy Apron   loves watermelon, peanut butter, fajitas, and mango...just not all together. Her Skinny Double Chocolate & Peanut Butter Muffins look amazing...and they are made without butter, oil, and flour. And they have very little sugar. Sounds like a winner to me. Another winner: her Tropical Quinoa Salad with Tangy Citrus Dressing . On Twitter: @ChelseaLords Lori of Foxes Loves Lemons   left the advertising world and went to culinary school. Her #1 rule in the kitchen: anything is better with a poached egg on top. I'll buy that...well, maybe not everything. But most things! I noticed many intriguing recipes on her blog, but this one is stuck in my mind - Bacon & Brussels Pizza . How cool is that? I love roasted Brussels with bacon bits, but would never have thought to turn it into a main dish by putting on top of pizza dough. I've also bookmarked her Perfect Pear Strud

Luscious Lemon Squares

Riley needed a dessert for a class party and yellow is his favorite color. So, we decided on lemon squares. It's akin to picking a wine for its label; I'm guilty of that, too. But, unlike picking a wine just for its label, I know that this will be good - a tangy lemon topping over a crisp cookie crust make this a luscious treat! And sliced into small squares, this treat is portable. makes two 9"x13" pans Vodka Crust Ingredients 4 C white whole wheat flour 1 C powdered sugar 1-1/2 C butter (3 sticks) 2 T cold water 1 T vodka (or another T of water if you don't want to use alcohol) Topping Ingredients 8 eggs 3 C organic granulated sugar 1/2 C white whole wheat flour 1 t baking powder zest from 2 lemons 3/4 C freshly squeezed lemon juice Procedure Preheat oven to 350. Place flour, powdered sugar, and salt into a mixing bowl. Rub in butter till the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Stir in water until the mixture forms a ball. Pres

#BrunchWeek 2014 Shout-Outs for Liz, Anita, & Lanie

A few more 2014 #BrunchWeek blogger intros for today... Liz at That Skinny Chick Can Bake   is not joking. She can bake. I can't wait to try her French Silk Pie with Frangelico . So many words in that title that make me happy! On the savory side of things her Gorgonzola Mushroom Stuffed Beef Tenderloin could easily become a tradition in my household, too. On Twitter:  @ThatSkinnyChick Anita is the voice behind The Hungry Couple . She, and Brian, also run A Cocktail Life , a new-to-me blog where I spent an obscene amount of time browsing this afternoon. Over on her kitchen blog, I was enamored by her Grilled Cheese Croutons . I mean, really, why didn't I think of that?! She also has a recipe for which I have been looking - buckeyes. Only hers are boozy buckeyes . Yep, I'm a fan. On Twitter: @hungrycouplenyc Lanie runs The Vintage Cook  and has some truly delectable sounding recipes in her hopper for #BrunchWeek. I just adore the word 'Chantilly.'

#BrunchWeek 2014 Bloggers: Our Hostesses

#BrunchWeek take a lot of coordination and effort - from courting sponsors to wrangling the bloggers - and these two lovely ladies are doing it with panache. I just wanted to shine a spotlight on them and their drool-worthy blogs. Terri is the force behind Love and Confections   and jointly spearheaded #BrunchWeek 2013 with Christine of Cook the Story . While my family and I go olallieberry picking every summer, we've never had the opportunity to go blueberry picking. Terri has a great post about picking blueberries and shares a recipe for blueberry jam and one for crumb-top blueberry muffins. And, if that weren't enough to make you jealous, she toured and tasted at Lake Catherine Bluberries last Spring. Here are a few of her recipes that I have marked to try: Overnight Chia Seed Pudding , Blood Orange Sangria , and Individual Chicken Pot Pies . You can find Terri on facebook and on twitter @Lovenconfection . Terri's co-host for #BrunchWeek 2014 is Su

Babaloo at La Balena {Pop-Up}

La Balena Carmel , in their first dinner with guest chefs, welcomed Gladys Parada of Babaloo and Sarah LaCasse of Earthbound Farm tonight for a Cuban feast. Sold out. What a great, and tasty, evening! It was the perfect, albeit slightly belated, dinner to celebrate Jake's birthday.  Start That Conga Line! Berry Mojito, Crispy Plantain Chips Fred & Ethel Fish Slider, Tropical Slaw, Lemon Creme Fraiche Where's My Fruit Hat? Crisp Greens, Avocado, Papaya, Guava Vinaigrette Ricky & Lucy Do the Mambo! Lime-Cilantro Braised Pork and Grilled Sea Bass, White Rice, Black Beans, Sweet Plantains Sweet 'Little Ricky' Guava, Mango, Cream Cheese Terrine A Little Cha-Cha Cookies and Cuban Coffee Shots Happy birthday, My Love. Hope you enjoyed this as much as the boys and I did!

#SundaySupper: Kale-Had-a-Hard-Day Salad {5-Ingredients or Less}

Funny story about this recipe. It's really a massaged kale salad, but I wanted to incorporate what my kitchen elf asked about it. And it's perfect for the 5-ingredients or less #SundaySupper event. Remember - water, salt, pepper and oil are freebies and don't count towards the total! Raw kale is tough, so you need break down the fibers somehow. In the past I have blanched it, softening it before using it in a recipe. Massaging it accomplishes the same thing. The first time my littlest kitchen elf helped me, this was our conversation: D, can you help Mommy with dinner? "Sure, what can I do?" Can you please massage the kale in that bowl? "What?" Massage the kale, please. "Did it have a hard day?" Yes. "Okay." Now he's our resident Kale Master. And he calls it our Kale-Had-a-Hard-Day Salad. Ingredients 1 bunch kale, larger ribs removed and chopped into 1" pieces 2 T olive oil juice and zest from 1 lem

Pass the Cookbook: Chard & Green Garlic-Stuffed French Toast

This month the  Pass the Cookbook  crew - under the leadership of Kita, the culinary force behind  Pass the Sushi  - is cooking from Erin's pick. Erin blogs at The Spiffy Cookie  and chose a cookbook I've actually reviewed for the publisher:  Breakfast for Dinner  by Lindsay Landis and Taylor Hackbarth, the authors of the Love & Olive Oil blog . Here's my review with three dishes , including Grapefruit-Barley Risotto, Grapefruit-Rosemary Risotto, and Earl Grey Panna Cotta. I was tickled that Erin picked three dishes for Pass the Cookbook that I didn't make earlier. Awesome. We could choose from: Breakfast Sausage Ravioli, Italian-Style Stuffed French Toast, and Lemon Poppy Seed Thumbprints. I opted for the savory French toast as a starting point. I subbed in feta cheese and used greens from our High Ground Organics CSA. This was a delicious dinner! makes 6-8 slices Ingredients For the filling splash of olive oil 2 green garlic, thinly sliced

Leek-Asparagus-Oyster Mushroom Risotto

Tonight I made a seasonal risotto topped with leeks, asparagus, and oyster mushrooms. I love the meatiness of the  mushrooms, the silkiness of the leeks, and the sweet grassiness of the asparagus. Apologies in advance for the lack of measurements. I really, really do not measure when I make this. Here's a link to Jamie Oliver's Basic Risotto . That will get you on the right path with the measurements.  The secret to risotto, as Maria told me, is stirring:  usa il cucchiao...sempre.  Use your spoon...always; keep stirring. Maria was the cook for the Nuzzo family who was ordered to teach me all her recipes. Then she was fired and I was tasked with cooking for the family six days a week. Thankfully she didn't blame me for the impossible situation and we stayed close throughout the year that I was there. And sometimes when I cook, I hear her instructions in my head. Make risotto with whatever you have on hand!  I used leeks from High Ground Organics  in Watsonville alon

Ricotta-Gorgonzola Gnocchi

Sometimes you put flavors together that aren't a favorite with everyone at the table. I have to admit that these were not a hit with the boys. While they really like  regular ricotta gnocchi , they objected to the gorgonzola part of these. Oh, well. I just wanted to try it. Ingredients 2 C whole-milk ricotta (I wished we had some of  Riley's Homemade Ricotta !) 2 large eggs, lightly beaten 1 1/4 C white whole wheat flour 1/2 C grated Parmigiano-Reggiano 2 T crumbled gorgonzola dash of grated nutmeg freshly ground sea salt freshly ground pepper Procedure Stir together ricotta, eggs, cheeses, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Add flour, stirring with a silicone spatula to form a soft, wet dough. Shape dough on a parchment-lined surface with lightly floured hands. Roll into 1" ropes and cut crosswise into 1" pieces with a lightly floured knife to form pillow dumplings. Place gnocchi on parchment-lined surface until you're ready to cook them.

Dyn's Spicy Carrot Cake {Easter}

The Enthusiastic Kitchen Elf loves to bake...adores spices and loves mustard. So, this spicy carrot cake was the perfect Easter dessert for him to make. We started with this recipe and made some tweaks. This made one 9" layer and one 11" layer - I don't have matching sized pans. Ingredients For the Cake 3-1/2 C grated organic carrots (some from our High Ground Organics CSA box) 1-1/2 C ground almonds 1-1/3 C white whole wheat flour 2 C organic coconut sugar 1-1/2 C softened butter 8 eggs 2 T prepared yellow mustard 2 T spicy mustard 3-1/2 T baking powder 3 T hazelnuts, raw (I would have chopped them, but D just dumped them in there whole) 2 T pistachios, raw 2 T chopped dark chocolate 1 T pure vanilla extract 1 T ground cinnamon  1/2 t ground nutmeg 1/2 t ground ginger dash of ground coriander seeds from 3 cardamom pods, crushed For the Cream Cheese Frosting 16 ounces of cream cheese 16 T softened butter 2 C organic

Pan-Seared Padròns {Easter}

Padròns are another one of those deliciously seasonal treats. They have a subtle heat...usually! The smaller ones are less hot with a grassy sweetness. We love 'em! Whenever I get them, I cook them the same way. Why fix what is amazing, right? But when I served them for Easter, they were ridiculously hot. Uncomfortably hot. So, it became a dare sorta thing. Great! Ingredients padròn peppers olive oil fleur de sel  Procedure Rinse and dry your peppers. Heat a splash of oil in a skillet. Add the peppers and sear until they begin to blister. Remove from heat and season with a sprinkling of salt. Enjoy! Maybe just have a glass of milk case you get a hot batch like we did this weekend.