Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Moving Shop

Over to, via tumblr.

All posts are over there, complete history, though you'll find the old ones got nuked on blogspot.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012


Realized it is not only the perfect time of year for soup, it's the perfect time of life for it! With Baby Ellie rocking 8 weeks of being an outside baby, dinner prep is at its best when intensely flexible. Making a pot of soup at the beginning of the week can be a real dinner saver!

Happened to catch this soup recipe last week, a "Rustic Vegetable and Polenta Soup" from Giadia De Laurentiis. She's a little intense, mostly because she gives the impression of trying to make those Nigella Lawson bedroom eyes at you through the camera. It's a great recipe, and if you do have/pick up instant polenta it's a super fast one, too. There was a bunch of regular ol' non-instant polenta in my cupboard, so I used that (which only increases the idle cook time, so no big fuss there).

Bonus: Adam swears it tastes even better reheated a couple days later!

Monday, February 13, 2012


Biscuits. I love them. The ingredients are always around, they're easy, and they give the impression that an extra bit of care has gone into, say, an easy soup dinner. You can add cheddar, use milk and butter instead of a buttermilk biscuit, sweeten them up with honey - yay, biscuits!

Basic Buttermilk Biscuits
(8 biscuits)

2 c flour
4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 tbs butter
2 tbs shortening
1 c buttermilk

Preheat oven to 450

1) With your hands, combine flour, salt and baking powder and baking soda into a crumb mixture.

2) Add the buttermilk and incorporate.

3) Turn out onto floured surface, sprinkle with flour and fold 5 times.

4) Pat down to 1" thickness, then cut with a biscuit cutter, folding over and reusing the scraps with as little reworking as possible.

5) Place on baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes - golden on top and puffed up!

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Grim Party

Crate&Barrel has a dour take on feeding guests.

Chicken Pot Pie

Since Ellie was born (6 weeks ago!!) I've been craving all the foods I hated to eat while I was pregnant (thanks, Hyperemesis Gravidarum!). That means meat, vegetables, meat, meat and vegetables. Plus some meat and vegetables. Beef pot pie sounds amazing to me, but to do a proper job takes more time than I have in a week, let alone a day right now, so here's my recipe for chicken pot pie - which not only takes less than an hour, it definitely hits the spot!!

Chicken Pot Pie
(yield: 6-8 servings)
4-5 cups vegetables*
2 tbs olive oil
4 tbs butter
1 c onion, chopped
1 c celery, chopped
handful cremini mushrooms, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 c chicken broth
1/2 cup half and half (or milk)
3 tbs flour
1 tsp dried sage
1 tsp dried thyme
2 tbs dried parsley
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground pepper
2 c shredded cooked chicken**
1 package puff pastry

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. Toss vegetables with olive oil and spread on a sheet pan. Cook in oven til golden brown.
3. In a saute pan heat 2 tbs of butter and sweat the onion and celery. Meanwhile, in a small saucepan heat the broth and milk.
4. Add mushrooms and 2 remaining tbs of butter to the onions and celery and cook until mushrooms begin to soften ( minute or so). Add garlic and cook, stirring, til fragrant. Add the flour and cook, stirring for 2 minutes.
5. Whisk in the heated milk and stock mixture until thickened. Add the parsley, sage, thyme, salt and pepper. Add the veggies and the chicken.
6. Pour it all into a large, shallow baking dish/pan and top with puff pastry***.
7. Pop in the oven and bake until the puff pastry is browned - 25-30 minutes.

*I use about 4 cups frozen mixed veggies (peas, carrots) and add a chopped potato, sometimes I add broccoli.
**Buy a whole rotisserie chicken, this gives you about 1 c dark meat, 1 c white and a chicken breast left over for salad the next day!
***You can get creative here - roll it out, cut out circles, etc. With a 6 week old baby time is of the essence so I just roll it out slightly to fit the length of my pan and lay it on top!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

9 Months Thanksgiving

Nine months pregnant and Thanksgiving, while I slather on the cocoa butter I'm grateful not to be mistaken for the bird. Weird that my role this year is essentially "Make a pumpkin pie and hold down the couch" while Adam and Mark handle the rest!

Since the pie is, per Adam's request, the "traditional" mixed cans dressed up in a homemade crust (spiced up with some grated nutmeg!) I'm going to settle for pointing you to the basics covered here and leave you with this: I can't think of a single Thanksgiving dish that isn't better with a bit more butter.*

*Maybe just exempt the gelatin products. Apple sauce? Better with more butter. Potatoes? Better with more butter. Corn? It's basically a utensil for butter. Bread? More butter on that, please!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Five Minute Gazpacho

It's been awhile, huh? Yeah, I got pregnant, which came with this rare condition called Hyperemesis Gravidarum - and if you think feeling like you have food poisoning for 7 months sounds rough, imagine what that does to the life of a foodie!

At 30 weeks, I still can't handle most eating let alone most "cooking", but I can only go so long away from the kitchen! So here's an awesome cheat, gazpacho that only requires me to be in the danger zone for minutes! Adam gives this one a thumbs up - and I think that's pretty big coming from a dude that isn't all that into cold soups! Serve it up with some cheese on toast and that's dinner around here these days. :D

The tomatoes should be nice and ripe, overripe even and you can supplement with canned if you want. Most recently I used green bell pepper because that was what was hanging out in the veggie drawer of my fridge, and I thought it worked really well.

Don't want to drive you crazy with the options, but this is a really flexible recipe. For example, you could use sherry vinegar instead of white wine - or red wine vinegar, for that matter! Have a bit of red onion hanging around? Dice some up and add as garnish. Over salt it? Add some more tomatoes.

Five Minute Gazpacho
(four servings)

2 lbs ripe tomatoes, quartered and seeded
1 cucumber, seeded and cut down to size a bit
1 bell pepper (red or green)
salt to taste (approx 1 tbs)
white wine vinegar to taste (approx 2 tsp)
optional: diced red onion

1) Blend veg and a tsp of vinegar.

2) Add seasoning and vinegar to taste.