Posts Tagged '#recipes'

Spicy Pulled Pork

Before summer is a distant memory and I have to go digging through my disorganized piles of notes, I need to do a catch-all for a few favorite recipes.

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Pulled pork so good you eat it cold standing at the refrigerator when you think no one is looking. This recipe always reminds me of my friend Glory and the delicious dinner she brought us years ago when our kitchen was down to the studs. Her sweet and spicy pork inspired this dish and remains to this day one of my favorite meals.

Full recipe HERE.

Which that reminds me, July marked one full year writing my Kitchen Captivated column for Yakima Magazine. It’s one of my favorite projects, I get such a kick out of people telling me they made a recipe and actually liked it.

Here are a few other recipes from the last couple months:

Spring Green Salad inspired by Shauna Niequist’s Green Well Salad

Pasta with Bacon and Brussel Sprouts

The Consummate Chocolate Chip Cookie: a recipe I’ve posted on the blog before

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This and That

I wake up on Mondays and think ‘this is the week I’m going to get organized…slow down…set time aside to read, cook, finally build that marble run for Jack…’

HA.

Even though none of that is happening, other really good things ARE.

Game after game of Spot it. Bike riding in the driveway (because we’ve had exactly one skif of snow this year). Chocolate chip cookies. Trying out hot yoga. Attempting to pitch crap from the garage, my closet, the ridiculous amount of toys in the basement.

Just regular life stuff.

I have a regular column in our local magazine and before the archives get so old I can’t reference the recipes anymore, I thought I would link to a few of them:

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Balsamic Roast Beef

Cinnamon Rolls

Cheese Tortellini Soup (which I think is posted somewhere on the blog already…)

 

I’m also reading a really good book. Actually, I guess technically I’m re-reading it. It’s called Bread and Wine by Shauna Niequist. I loaned it to a friend and she ended up ordering me a new copy because she splattered so much stuff in her kitchen cooking recipes out of it. The pages are dog eared and starting to stick together. A small group of my girlfriends started a book club/dinner club based on the book and it has been SO fun. We cook the recipes from the book, drink wine, talk late into the evening and even though we are as different from each other on paper as can be, we are finding so many lovely connections.

 

We had our first lazy weekend in months and I actually woke up this morning refreshed. We went to Lowes and Costco as a family, watched football (go Seahawks!), the boys skied a half day on Sunday and Scarlet and I vacuumed out the car and went to the library. Seriously, it was awesome. We need more of that margin in our life. I know we do and I know I am responsible for creating that space in our family, but it just doesn’t come easily.

If I had any new year’s resolutions this year, it would be to create margin. To learn to say no. To be ok with home and the occasional bout of boredom. To turn off the TV, Instagram, Facebook more often and open a book, the window, my own brain on a regular basis.

So that’s what I’m thinking about these days…more food (duh), more books, more time as a family. Less other (even the good other).

How about you?

 

 

Egg Nog French Toast

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This was a rogue experiment that turned out delightfully delicious. I know not everyone fall into the pro-eggnog camp, but if you do, this is a yummy breakfast to indulge in.

Eggnog French Toast:

  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 1/2 cups light eggnog
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 9-10 slices hearty multi-grain bread

Heat griddle to 325 degrees or a pan to medium heat. Whisk eggs and eggnog together along with 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice. Soak bread in egg mixture and then place each slice on griddle. Flip after a minute or two until both sides are golden brown. After cooking one side, lightly sprinkle toast with pumpkin pie spice.

Top with butter and (real) maple syrup.

*to be honest, I didn’t measure the eggnog at all, the 1.5 cups is my best guesstimate. Just slowly pour in the milk, whisking until your egg mixture is light yellow.

Homemade Mac and Cheese

This dish is some wicked good comfort food and the perfect antidote to the dark cold fall nights upon us. While this dish certainly falls under the umbrella of ‘every once in a while,’ when it’s served alongside a spinach salad with pears and feta and a big glass of red, you just can’t go wrong.

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Over the summer while vacationing in Ketchum, Idaho, I stumbled into the cutest little shop. I immediately honed in on the cookbook, Blue Eggs and Yellow Tomatoes by Jeanne Kelly. I had some birthday money burning a hole in my pocket, so the cookbook came home with me. It’s the first cookbook I’ve literally read cover to cover.

Kelly’s recipe for baked ziti with cauliflower and cheese caught my eye the very first time I opened the book, but it wasn’t until just this week that I finally made the dish. I altered a few things based on what was in my kitchen, but seriously, make this dish. It is the perfect fall comfort dinner.

Baked Pasta and Cauliflower with Cheese

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 cups cold milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 ounces shredded parmesan cheese (plus more for sprinkling at the end)
  • 8 ounces Dubliner extra sharp white cheddar, grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg
  • Pepper
  • Salt
  • 1 pound pasta (ziti/rigatoni/shells…whatever you like or have on hand)
  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into florets, florets sliced into bite size pieces
  • 4 slices center cut bacon, cooked, cooled and crumbled
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and butter a 13 x 9 inch baking dish.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and sauté until translucent. Stir in garlic. Add the flour and continue stirring for one minute. Add the milk all at once along with the bay leaf. Cook, whisking the mixture until it comes to a boil and thickens, about 5-8 minutes. Add the cheeses, turn the heat to low and simmer until melted. Stir in salt, cayenne, pepper and nutmeg. Remove the bay leaf and season with pepper to taste.

Boil pasta in a heavily salted pot of rapidly boiling water until almost tender. Add the cauliflower to the pasta and cook until cauliflower is barely tender, about 4 minutes. Drain very well and stir drained pasta and cauliflower into the cheese sauce.

Transfer the pasta mixture to the baking dish. Sprinkle with crumbled bacon, fresh parsley and a handful of parmesan cheese. Sprinkle with salt. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Uncover the last five minutes to let the edges brown slightly and make sure the cheese is boiling.

 

Scarlet gave this meal a hearty two thumbs up. She has subsequently been eating it now for three days straight. Aaron and I both stood at the stove and ate second helpings straight from the pan. The boys ate it but didn’t rave. I’m choosing to ignore their neutrality.

 

 

Coffee Cake

I have a recipe that will knock your socks off. Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake.

It is a decadent but light loaf cake. It has a crunchy almond streusel topping and sweet tangy raspberries stirred into the batter. This is an excellent weekend brunch item, hostess gift or a random Tuesday morning treat.

I made this for my in-laws a couple weeks back and I’m still thinking about it. I might have to make a few mini loaves for the freezer so I always have some on hand.

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Raspberry Almond Coffee Cake
Adapted from Joy of Cooking / stumbled on at A Cup of Jo

You’ll need:
For the streusel topping:
1/3 cup chopped almonds
1/3 cup packed brown sugar
3 tbsp. butter

For the cake:
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
5 tbsp. cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg
1/2 cup buttermilk
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup frozen raspberries (I still had raspberries growing on my bushes, so I used fresh. I think you can use whatever you have on hand)

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan.

To make the streusel topping: In a small bowl, combine almonds, brown sugar and 3 tablespoons butter. Using your fingers, work the butter into the sugar and almonds until blended.

To make the cake: Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl. Add the 5 tablespoons of butter. Using either your fingers, a pastry blender or two knives, work the butter into the flour mixture until it resembles coarse crumbs. Don’t allow the butter to melt or form a blended paste with the flour.

In another bowl, whisk together the egg, buttermilk and almond extract. Pour over the flour mixture, and stir until just barely combined. Add the frozen berries, and fold in until just mixed through.

Spoon batter into prepared loaf pan. Top with the streusel topping, distributing evenly. Bake for about 55 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool on a rack for ten minutes.

Blueberry Hand Pies

I started this post out with a very whiny tirade on sick kids who don’t sleep. But nobody wants to hear about that and quite honestly, anybody who’s been in a ten foot radius of me in the last month has heard all about it.

So…time for a topic change and hopefully with that, an attitude change! Hurray!

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I am in love with hand pies. I love pie, but often my crust to fruit ratio is off. Most of the time the filling is runny and the bottom crust is soggy. For me, it’s just tricky.

But the hand pie is different. The smaller scale somehow makes everything work a little better. No soggy crust, no runny filling. Just sweet, tart, amazing blueberry filling wrapped in a buttery, flaky decadent crust. I’ve made these a couple of times now and while they may not LOOK amazing, they taste incredible. (Also hello portion control. You can make them as big or small as you like.)

Recipe is HERE. I highly recommend making this dessert with whatever fruit you have on hand. I happened upon some blackberry bushes yesterday and I think I might have some hand pies in my future this weekend.

Kitchen Captivated

I think I’ve professed my love for cooking and eating enough times on this blog that you all know that I like to…well…cook and eat. All that cooking and eating opened a fun little door and I’m now writing a regular column for a local magazine in my hometown. It’s small potatoes for sure, but it’s a fun project for me that I’m really excited about.

My first column was published a couple of weeks ago and I wrote about my newish obsession with grilling pizza. Seriously, it’s the best.

So, if you have a minute, check out my column here and the next time you’re in the mood for pizza, try this recipe:

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Pizza Dough

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 ½ tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoons salt
  • 2 2/3 cup bread flour
  • ½ cup whole wheat pastry flour (can be swapped for bread flour)
  • 2 teaspoons dry active yeast (or one packet of yeast)

Combine flour and salt in a small bowl. In a separate bowl, dissolve yeast in water. Let stand for a few minutes while the yeast activates. The yeast is ready when it gets frothy and bubbly. Add dry ingredients, oil and honey. Stir the dough until ingredients combine, then knead on lightly floured board until smooth and elastic (about 8-10 minutes). Form the dough into a ball and place in a greased bowl. Cover the bowl and let rise until doubled in size (about an hour).  Divide the dough in half and using a rolling-pin, form the dough into two 12-inch circles.

My most favorite toppings are simply garden tomatoes, fresh basil, a little garlic and mozzarella. Nothing beats that combination and on the grill, the tomatoes soften and roast perfectly.

To cook your pizza, heat your barbecue to 500 degrees. Use a pizza stone or pizza pan to cook your pizza. You can use a cookie sheet, but it doesn’t work as well. You can also cook your pizza directly on the grill. Simply place your rolled-out dough directly on the grill, cook on one side for about 2 to 3 minutes, flip, add your toppings and finish cooking for an additional 5 to 8 minutes. Most pizzas will cook on the grill in about 10 minutes.

When your pizza comes off the grill, top with freshly chopped basil (doesn’t matter what kind of pizza you’re making, the basil will up its wow factor by 100 percent). Every spring, I buy a couple of basil plants at the grocery store and plant them in a pot on my back patio. All summer long, I’ve got lots of basil on hand for pizza, salads, pesto or whatever I’m making.

I’m a little bit in shock that August is just a few days away. It doesn’t seem possible July has come and gone so quickly. I think a few more pizzas on the grill are in order.


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