Hilar Dog Meme

I’m not one to look at memes for hours on end but every once in a while a friend sends me something worth mentioning.  This one, ladies and gentlemen, is hilarious, adorable AND TRUE.

hilar dog meme

Das cute.  This picture accurately depicts how I feel every day in the kitchen.  Wtf is happening!?  How could I roast perfect eggplant the first 2 times I ever tried but now I always get burnt shlop?  The universe is a mystery.  But at least we have dogs, and memes, and my mom’s fool proof banana bread recipe… coming your way!

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Harry & David You Have My Heart

pears

My Grammi sends us a box of Harry & David pears every once in a while for the holidays. Way to go Grammi!! These things are SO soft and juicy, I kid you not, I “Mmmm” after every single bite. And in a rare moment of craving salad this afternoon, I turned to the pears! What we have here is a classic and absurdly delicious holiday salad: mixed greens, toasted walnuts, succulent as $&:@ pears, pomegranate, goat cheese aaaaaand homemade honey mustard dressing. YUM

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I usually reserve salad eating for warmer weather but this was delish! Side of potato leak soup by mom? Couldn’t get any better. Stay tuned for my honey mustard dressing in a later post.

Banana Coffee Cake with Heath Streusel FAIL #1

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Ok so I know what you’re thinking… this looks amaaaazing. Well, that’s because it was… 5 months ago when I made it! Look at that perfect crumbly streusel topping. Uggghh, I am drooling just thinking about it. And lets recap, whyyy can’t I have it again? Because I lost the sacred recipe!

#$%*S)(#*$!

What I got the next time I tried…

fail

Dont get me wrong, this tasted good. Real good. But it just wasn’t the same. The streusel turned into some sort of molten hot lava disastrophe, and the cake (although moist and flavorful) was just not that same fluffy-dream-treat-texture.  😦

The good news is, I wrote this recipe down.  So with any luck, I can bring it back to the epic heights of my first try, uhmmm, 14 more tries later?

New Years Resolution

Ok, so after an almost year long hiatus, I’ve decided to make some real life moves.  Back to the blog she goes!  Today I considered making my (world famous) banana coffee cake with heath streusel topping… and then I couldn’t find the recipe I used online.  Nooooooooo! Noooooo… ooooo!!  

Lesson learned.  17 Lessons ago.

“Why not just write things down?” you ask.  No answer.  And so on the 18th day, there was a new years resolution.

My mom returned from Geneva this summer with a beautiful hand bound book for me that I have deigned Kathryn’s Kreative Kook Book… or something like that.  And I have resolved to write every recipe that means anything to anyone (or maybe just me) in it!  Woohoo!  And just to be sure I don’t lose THAT book and cry for years and years to come, all the best recipes will go up here.  At last.  Where they belong.  So stay tuned, and please don’t be discouraged by my absence.  I always keep my New Years Resolutions.  Starting now.  

French Coffee Lace w/ Caramelized Pears, Raisins and Nuts Oh My!

This recipe was SO FUN to make but the anticipation was killer.  You had better have activities planned for in between each rising time or it is paaaiinful.  My roommate Mary Thorn and I both stumbled upon this recipe separately and each vowed to make it.  So it was fate.  We got the recipe from a really great Betty Crocker cook book that organizes recipes clearly in a hierarchy of steps and pictures.  So here it is:

For the dough

  • 1/2 cup lukewarm milk
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • dash of salt
  • 1 Tbs yeast
  • 1 egg
  • 1/4 cup soft shortening
  • 2-2 1/2 cups flour

Mix milk, sugar and yeast together and let sit till foamy.  Mix together egg and shortening, then add to yeast mixture.  Add 2 cups of four in two additions, add more flour as necessary.  Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface until smooth and elastic.  Place the dough in a greased bowl and let sit for 2 hours in a warm spot.  Once doubled in size, press down the dough and let rise another 30 minutes.  In the meantime…

For the filling

  • 2 cups finely chopped pears
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped raisins
  • 3/4 cup fined chopped almonds
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • dash salt
  • dash cinnamon

Combine all ingredients and boil for 1 minute.  Set aside.

Now comes the fun part.  Once the dough has doubled in size yet again, roll it out into a long rectangle shape.  Spread the filling in a thin line down the center of the dough and cut the leftover sides of dough into strips for braiding.  Betty Crocker does a great job of illustrating this step here:

Great success!  Mary Thorn and I had way too much fun braiding this baby.  Now you’re not gonna believe this but… its time to let the whole shebang rise for ANOTHER 30 minutes.  Once it has doubled in size, pop it in the oven for 30-35 minutes on 375 and you’re almost there. Only one last step now- the icing- and you NEEEEED the icing.  It’s pretty simple:

For the icing

  • 1/4 cup confectioners sugar
  • 2 Tb cream
  • dash vanila
  • lemon zest

Mix together, brush on and VOILA!  You’re masterpiece is done.

Creamy Cabbage and Bacon Soup… WOW.

Yummy, yummy, yum!!  I adapted this recipe from one of my new favorite food blogs, http://www.closetcooking.com/.

It’s taken me a while to post this one up, but we had this soup the same night we had the red pepper dip my dog loved so much.  One of the girls wants to make it for her family so I had better hurry up and post!

What you’ll need:

  • 6-8 slices thick cut bacon
  • 1 med. onion, diced
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, diced
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, roasted
  • 1 can cannellini beans
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 small head cabbage
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1 handful chopped parsley
Instruction: 

Cook bacon until crisp, reserving some of the fat.   Sautee onion, carrots, mushrooms and celery until browned.  Meanwhile, puree half the can of Cannelli beans and roasted garlic with some of the chicken stock and bring entire broth to a boil.  Add onion, carrot, mushrooms, celery, oregano, bay leaf and bacon bits (leaving a few pieces for garnish).  Bring to a boil.  Sautee the cabbage briefly in a thin layer of bacon grease and add to the pot. Cook about 20-25 minuts until cabbage is tender. Stir in cream and serve garnished with parsley and bacon… delish! My brother ate the whole batch before I ever could try seconds. Careful not to overcook the cabbage 🙂

Muhammara: Roasted Red Pepper & Walnut Dip [[homemade pitas too!]]

Looks good huh? Yeah, my dog thought so too. A group of girls and I were sitting around this [amazing] bowl of dip, drinkin wine and relaxing when something in the room over caught our attention. Without thinking about it, we left a buffet of Muhammara + Black Bean Hummus + Fresh made Pitas for my miniature dachshund’s taking. Once we settled back into our usual seats, it took about 5 minutes before one of us proclaimed, “Hey! What happened to this dip!?”

This, this is what happened to that dip. My 14 pound dog ate it in about 30 seconds flat! Oh, and all the homemade pitas too. Glad to be of service.

So here’s the recipe I used, it truly is a-maaaazing.

  • 2 red peppers, roasted (or 1 medium jar)
  • 3 plump garlic cloves, roasted
  • 1/3 cup toasted walnuts
  • 1/2 cup fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 tbs fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1 tsp dried chili flakes
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt & black pepper
  • a handful of fresh parsley
  • sesame seeds

Cut peppers in half and broil them on high [skin up] for 5 minutes, or until the skin blackens. You can go ahead and put the garlic in the oven too, squeezing out their gooey insides once they’ve browned lightly.

Roasted peppers + garlic, breadcrumbs, walnuts, lemon juice, honey, parsley, spices, s&p go into a food processor and until blended smooth. Drizzle the olive oil in slowly and keep blending until you get a consistency you are happy with.

Taste and adjust salt/honey/lemon juice to your liking. Garnish with parsley and sesame seeds.

Here are the pitas I made, I’ll save the recipe for when I manage to perfect them.

As you can see, the pita is starting to puff up on the left side, but I had difficulty getting them to puff completely. I later read that because I had used half whole wheat flour, I should have supplemented the dough with a bit more water. Next time!

Tomatillo Chicken Tacos with Strawberry Salsa

Alright so these tacos were about 75% there.  The strawberry in the salsa added a really interesting sweetness to the mix but I don’t think there was enough spicy going on.  I think what was really missing is my (famous) refried beans and perhaps a little Sriracha.

Here’s what we got:

  • slow cooked chicken in a tomatillo lime sauce, shredded
  • sauteed portabellas
  • feta
  • strawberry-avocado salsa: with red onion, green pepper, lime, garlic, s&p, evoo

For the final:

I also added the option for a greek yogurt sauce and shredded lettuce for the final final.  Just imagine what it would have been like with a little beans ‘n spice!  Opinions?

Breakfast of Champions.

Every once in a while in a woman’s life, once every month to be exact, she wakes up with the need to satisfy… her appetite.  This morning I felt no guilt biting into this double decked delight.  Double egg, double cheese, double bacon & ham.  That’s right ladies, indulge.

Now, I would be lying to say that I ever really stifle the urge to go all out on breakfast, but this double or nothin’ goodie is definitely held out for special occasion.   I am a breakfast type of gal.  All the way through high school I would wake up to my Dad asking, “What’ll it be today?”  Bacon, eggs, waffles, pancakes, fruit, you name it- breakfast of champions made to order.  Pretty lucky huh?  This queen’s treatment has instilled in me not only a love for breakfast but also a need to eat breakfast.  Without it, well, just pray you don’t get in my way.

…aaaand we’re off!

I’ve been talking about doing this blog thing for over a year now (procrastination nation).  Every project, everything I’ve ever done has to wait til the last minute, but when it comes to food I somehow find ambition. Reading recipes & experiementing with different flavors is just so damn fun and rewarding!  well sometimes…

Lets see what we can make!