Thursday, July 21, 2011


Lately I have been feeling just that, scattered.  As I prepare to move back to small town USA on the other side of the world, okay 2,300 miles away, to finish my last semester of school I have been getting an overwhelming feeling of being scattered or stretched thin.  I am going back "home" to live with my family and am super happy about that but in pieces for having to leave this home and all the projects I would like to do:  remodel bookcases, create a stencil wall panel, find the perfect buffet cabinet, and possibly make a faux fireplace!.  On top of having to put all these ideas on the back-burner I have to leave my hubby and I's perfectly stocked kitchen!  Love you mom but living with five other people makes it difficult to keep up!

Anyway, in an effort to rid our house of all things perishable by using them I made a really yummy all but the kitchen sink risotto, sorry no pics, and an amazingly refreshing vanilla sugar infused lemonade!  

Vanilla Sugar Lemonade 
4 lemons juiced
3 cups of water
1/2 cup vanilla sugar

Works best if the water is room temperature.  Mix all ingredients, take your booty outside, and enjoy.

Enjoying this lemonade helped brighten my day and get me back into manic packing and cleaning for the next 4 months mode!  

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Curry, Wok, Love

Open to argument there is not much that can top an amazing enchilada night... that being said, curry night makes a pretty even playing field!  The aroma of curry toasting in a wok is enough to make anyone swoon adding coconut milk, veggies, and rice noodles creates a wonderful dish!  Sadly, I have not played with curries much due to the fact that my dad is the curry chief but now that I am queen of the kitchen it is my duty to crack out or - new - wok for curry!  So I pulled out my Encyclopedia of Cooking that my sister gave me for a wedding gift and began searching for the perfect beginners curry dish.

Rice Noodles in Red Curry Sauce with Cilantro

10 1/2 oz cooked rice noodles
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tbsp red curry paste
2 tbsp soy sauce
1 3/4 cups coconut milk (one can)
3 1/2 oz cherry tomatoes
1/2 head of Broccoli thinly cut
1/2 bunch fresh cilantro

  1. Follow rice noodle package directions.  Heat the vegatable oil in a pan and lightly toast the curry paste until it melts.
  2. Add the soy sauce and let it cook off. 
  3. Pour in 3 tbsp coconut milk and simmer a few minutes.
  4. Pour in the remaining coconut milk.  Add the broccoli and the cherry tomatoes whole and simmer another 5 to 10 minutes (depending on tomato size and how soft you would like your broccoli).  
  5. Heat the cooked rice noodles in the pan and add the coarsely chopped cilantro.

Because my wok is new and unseasoned I had to take the time and season with oil over low heat for 10 minutes, I did that twice and it was ready..

Hubby's plate with marinated chicky

My veggie plate

So yummy and easy!  Can not wait for the next curry night..  One thing I would add to the recipe is either water or vegetable stock to the curry liquid to cut down some of the creaminess.  This would be amazing with snap peas as well!  

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Enchilada Night!

Being from a small town in Florida that has it's share of Mexican immigrants it is fair to say that I LOVE Mexican food and have a bit of knowledge on authenticity..  That being said, moving to a big city where Hawaiian food seems to have a big influence there is few good Mexican joints.  The only good thing about that is I get to play with cooking Mexican food at home!  It used to be when we would make enchiladas my hubby and I would do it simple as possible with a can of enchilada sauce, rotisserie chicken, and lots of cheese...  but now that good, authentic Mexican food is scarce it becomes obvious we must be authentic Mexican chefs at home, or at least try!  Finding this recipe from Tyler Florence for Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa with homemade tomatillo sauce has been a dream come true to satisfy my Mexican itch!

Ingredients for roasted tomatillo salsa

Roasted Tomatillo Chile Salsa, done.

hubby's chicken filling

my veggie mix 

A little tomatillo salsa and spinach to the chicken

filling the first enchilada

love this part

mound of monterey jack cheese

enchiladas smothered with verde salsa and cheese

topped enchiladas with cilantro and green olives

finished product!  

We couldn't wait to get a picture on the plates, it smelt so good and was so yummy!

Can't wait for these leftovers!   

Thursday, July 14, 2011

First Timers!

I absolutely love artichokes and adore using them in dishes but I have always used frozen artichokes, the fresh ones are- were - so scary!  That is until last night when my cooking girlfriend told me that since a young age artichokes had been a frequent delicacy for her and her family, like popcorn!  That just seriously blew my mind!  So at the store we picked up a couple fresh artichokes that looked extremely intimidating, pretty but intimidating, with their spear shape and sharp edge leaves...

 Scary artichoke with leaves..

Becoming not so scary..

Lots to discard..

After Steaming for 20 to 30 minutes, filling with a parsley, tomato, bread crumb mix, and starting to look scrumptious!  

Filled and popped in the oven for 10 minutes, yum! 

Served as an appetizer alongside an arugula and sweet pea salad with quick caesar dressing.  Moving on to the main course, a galette.  Honestly I had never heard of a galette until the past week when my friend Jess was talking about them and I pretended to know what they were...  Now that I really know what they are and have experienced their amazing flaky, tangy pastry type dough with a savory filling, I must say, galettes will be making many more appearances in my kitchen.  

Goat Cheese Caramelized Onion and Zucchini Galette

Zucchini ready to go!  

Lots of onions..

Pre-caramelized, takes forever..

Goat cheese, sour cream, white wine, and thyme mix

Onions caramelized and ready to go -new pastry mat- 

Zucchini layered on top of the caramelized onions and goat cheese base

Voila!  Pure scrumptiousness!  

Trying new things in the kitchen can be a bit scary but sometimes with help, thanks Jess, a wonderful meal can come together and create opportunities that one never knew existed!   Off to eat some chilled galette, it's wonderful straight from the fridge!  Ciao

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Homemade, perfectly fried mini donuts complete with donut holes, chocolate glaze, and sprinkles!  Here is how my donut filled day went yesterday:  went to yoga with my friend Jess and afterwards she told me of this awesome bake club that is is apart of and twice a month they bake a recipe from the cookbook...  


Classic American Desserts Reinvented

...and that the second recipe of this month is donuts!  So being the good friend I am (and feeling the need to indulge after a crazy yoga class) I immediately agreed to come "help" or watch her work kitchen magic that resulted in these beauties!  

We ended up with about 30 of these and ate about 6 each on the spot with some strong coffee, perfect!  Cooking with Jess has opened my eyes to the fact that my kitchen and this blog are in need of a little makeover...  it's time to get serious!  Which is exactly why a trip to Williams Sonoma, duh, was made today to purchase a few necessities!  

Like all good makeovers this one will occur in stages...  the first being what good kitchen is lacking a pastry rolling mat?!  Not this anymore!  And of course a baking sheet worth mentioning!  I wouldn't dare post a picture of the lovely one lurking under the oven, with a mind of its own often popping crumbs and food off...  well, it's nice to have two now.  One majestic baking sheet and a troll.  Needless to say my kitchen, life, and soul will be seeing positive new vibrations!  Can't wait!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Banana Walnut Chocolate Chip Cookies!

Moving from savory to sweet, today was a day of baking fun!  My sister and I skype baked together, yes we set our computers in our kitchens and cooked at the same time- we are that cool!  I found a recipe for the most delicious, semi-healthy banana cookies and had to share it with her then we got the crazy idea to make it together!

Whisk 1 cup all purpose flower, 1/2 cup wheat flower, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Beat until light an fluffy 3/4 cup unsalted butter, at room temperature, 1/2 cup granulated white sugar, and 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed

Add 1 egg and 1/12 teaspoons vanilla extract and combine

Combine 1/2 cup ripe banana mashed

Finally fold in 1 cup old fashioned rolled oats, 8 ounces semisweet chocolate chips, and 1/2 cup walnuts coarsely chopped.  Bake at 375 for 12 to 14 minutes.

It was so fun to be able to share the joy of cooking these treats with my little munchkin sister, known as Buttercup thanks to the bakery she works at!   How can one go wrong with a cookie dough plump with oats, chocolate chips and walnuts!?  The extra banana flavor is the perfect touch and though the cookies have a somewhat cake like resemblance, mainly thanks to the flavor, they have the perfect cookie crunch with a little bit of gooey moisture- heavenly!

Time for a cookie and glass of soy milk, then off to bed..  goodnight!
Much love and cooking