Sunday, February 27, 2011

pizza pizza

i'm beginning to think
we eat too much pizza around here
especially since
it isn't my favorite food
to eat 
or make

more importantly
hubster and i 
cannot agree
on what constitutes a great pizza

paper thin crust
almost burnt
loads of  cheese
lots of meat

crunchy outside
chewy inside
dash of cheese
lots of veggies

we both can agree
homemade is better than store bought
it doesn't need a side dish

roasted beets and garlic, goat cheese and bacon with dressed arugula

 pizza margherita
also his
bacon, egg and cheese

perhaps i need to readjust my thinking
hand formed
and loaded with  fresh goodies

quick smiles
broad mmms

to steal from martha is a good thing

Friday, February 25, 2011

chocolate malted risotto

about last night...

hubster and i returned from our stay at a farm
watching lambs being born
bottle feeding those yet able to get their fill
eating glorious fresh food
a small taste of what we hope our lives will be
not the lamb part
a reason to be tethered
to our home

as we rolled in
to our lives in the city
i felt a yearning
for something warm and satisfying
to comfort me
in my passage from
what will be
what is
warm, creamy and malted
was like a warm woolly blanket
for my heart
chocolate malted risotto
1 Tbs unsalted butter
1 cup arborio rice
3 1/2 cups milk--warmed on the stove
pinch kosher salt
2 Tbs granulated sugar
1/2 cup bittersweet chocolate--cut into bits
1/4 cup + 2 Tbs malted milk powder
1 tsp vanilla
heavy cream for garnish
cocoa nibs for garnish
additional malted powder for garnish
melt the butter over low heat in a sided pan large enough to hold the rice in a thin layer.  once the butter is melted, toss in the rice and stir to evenly coat the rice.  allow the rice to cook for just a couple of minutes before you begin to add the milk. increase the heat to low-medium.  add 1/2 cup of milk at first and stir until the milk is almost completely absorbed.  now begin to add the milk, just until it covers the top layer of rice but not more than a cup at a time.  allow the rice to absorb the milk, but come in to stir quite frequently. when the milk has almost completely absorbed, add the next amount.  after you have done the second addition, stir in the sugar and salt, then add the third addition.  cook until the rice is soft, but with just a little hint of a bite, you do not want it to be crunchy or chewy.  remove from heat and add the chocolate and vanilla. stir until the chocolate is completely melted and incorporated.  serve warm with a bit of heavy cream and dusted with malted milk powder and cocoa nibs. serves 4.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

how i celebrate

today is my birthday
kind of a big one
but not a milestone
if i live a nice long healthy life
is the day i hit

not too long ago
i heard someone say
mid-life is not for a crisis
but for
i like the idea
look back
see what worked well
what didn't
maneuver the next half of my life
applying what i've learned

this year in celebration
hubster and i slipped away

we are spending a few days
on a sheep farm
is in full swing

the bleat of new babies
is the only song
i wish to hear
newly born
hubster with his new bff

Sunday, February 20, 2011

winter harvest salad

these past few days
hubster has been ill
with the flu
which means
i get to eat what i like
and i like
butternut squash
winter harvest salad
roasted butternut squash--roasted with olive oil and sea salt
cooked puy lentils (i buy mine at trader joes)
goat cheese
roasted and salted almonds--chopped
yogurt date dressing
2 pitted dates soaked in boiling water-just to cover
2 Tbs plain non-fat greek yogurt
1 Tbs cider vinegar
splash balsamic vinegar
2-3 Tbs olive oil
4 roasted garlic cloves
 (i roast a head of garlic along with the butternut squash)
1 tsp or more of lemon juice
for the dressing:  place all ingredients, including water from dates, in a blender and whirl until smooth.  you may need more or less olive oil...depending on your specific taste. add salt and pepper to taste.  serve over salad.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

spa party cupcakes

my niece julia
turns 12 this month
her party was last week

she asked if i would make cupcakes
with lots of fondant
(apparently, she loves it)
in a spa-sleepover theme

she chose blue and pink as her colors

i made the fondant toppers the day before baking the cupcakes, and let them sit at room temperature overnight.

*note, i used duff goldman black fondant and it worked well--i liked the texture a lot. it is important to warm it in the microwave a bit before working with it.  i didn't use dg white, as it is "buttercream" flavored, not the flavor my niece loves. for the white and colored pieces i used satin ice brand tinted with gel food color.
(i am not compensated for endorsing or mentioning either brand)

i am linking these up to

Bubbly Nature
tatertots and jello weekend wrap up

and the tattered tag

Wednesday, February 16, 2011


after dinner
hubster leaned in real tight
and whispered
you make a great

this is delicious
lasagna it is not

(adapted from mario batali)
fresh pasta sheets--boiled and shocked in ice water
for filling:
olive oil
1/2 lb ground pork
1/2 lb lean ground beef
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 generous Tablespoon flour
1 cup milk
1 egg--lightly beaten
pinch freshly grated nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
glug enough olive oil to just cover the bottom of  skillet. add pork and beef and cook until no longer pink.drain off excess fat. stir in flour.  add milk and parmesan cheese. cook on low for about 10-15 minutes until thickened..  remove from heat, let cool a bit, then add egg, nutmeg salt and pepper. let cool completely while you boil pasta.

for tomato sauce:
use your favorite recipe or even a bottle sauce…you need only a little for this recipe
for besciamella:
3 Tbs unsalted butter
3 Tbs flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/4 tsp nutmeg
pinch salt
melt the butter in a saucepan. whisk in the flour and cook for just a minute or two. do not brown.  whisk in milk and bring to a simmer.  as it begins to thicken, add the parmesan, nutmeg and salt.  the sauce is to be thickened, but not gooey. it is a sauce.
  to assemble:
place a bit of tomato sauce in the bottom of an oven safe dish
use a very generous tablespoon of meat for each cannelloni.  place meat in the center of the pasta sheet and spread evenly.  roll the pasta into a tube, leaving the ends open.  place in the prepared dish.  repeat with remaining meat and pasta.  once completed, cover in beciamella, swirl in a bit more tomato sauce.  sprinkle with parmesan cheese.  bake at 350 until heated through and the beciamella begins to bubble.

i am linking this up to

presto pasta nights
hosted at
debbie does dinner healthy

Monday, February 14, 2011

happy valentine's day!

nothing says 
i love you
chocolate dipped oreos
except maybe
chocolate dipped oreos
in bed

Saturday, February 12, 2011

pb and o so early cookies

i'm that person
the one that is rarely late
the one that calls restaurants
to say i'm running behind schedule
i'm that person
leisurely sauntering through the airport
doesn't huff and puff when someone has 7 layers of clothes to remove
along with lace up knee high boots
at security
i am neurotic

i always have time to spare

i missed a plane 
in the 90s
because of an accident on a country road
traffic was stopped dead
no fighting it
it was 3 days before my sister's wedding
i was maid of honor
 i hadn't had my dress fitting
it took me more than a day of travel
 which meant
a last minute dress fitting
resulting in
a poorly made dress
which meant
when my dance partner accidentally stepped on the bottom of my dress
most of it (the dress)
ended up lying in a heap
on the dance floor
and i stood
in my very classy
maroon stockings
a slip
3 inch heels
and crop top

i am neurotic
about airline travel

2 hours before flight time
i like to be sitting at the gate
at the check in

which brings me to today's recipe
while enjoying the sights and sounds of milwaukee international airport
for hours on end
i purchased a peanut butter oatmeal cookie as big as my head

hubster and i both thought it was genius
peanut butter and oatmeal
genius it was not
great idea
poor execution

i knew i could make something that tastes better
and i did

peanut butter and oatmeal cookies
1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 cup dark brown sugar
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 egg
2 tsp vanilla
1 1/4 cup crunchy peanut butter
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 cups old fashioned oatmeal
mix the salt,baking soda, flour, graham cracker crumbs and oatmeal in a large bowl.  in a mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat together the butter, dark brown sugar and granulated sugar, until fluffy.  add the egg and vanilla..and beat until fully incorporated.  beat in the peanut butter and beat for 1 minute.  add the dry ingredients all at once and stir until fully mixed. form into balls and flatten with the tines of a fork.  bake at 350 for about 10 minutes.

these are delicious right out of the cookie jar, but also wonderful with a scoop of peanut butter chocolate ice cream sandwiched between.

linking these up to
sweet as sugar cookies

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

chocolate love {home-made twix bars}

a few years ago
a friend of a friend said to me
regarding chocolate
if you could come up with something
that has
and a
i would totally go for that
and i said
you mean
like a twix?
and she replied
exactly like a twix
and i gave her
25 cents
and walked away

fast forward a few years...
i was digging through the freezer
and came across 
shortbread cookie dough
and figured
why not
i could take a twix
and make it just a wee bit better
fine chocolate
homemade caramel
a smattering of shaved sea salt


this is 
this is
valentine good
this is
write 100 times on the chalkboard
"i love you more than chocolate"
"twix" bars
1/2 recipe shortbread dough--rolled out, cut into batons and baked
1 recipe caramel--cooled and cut into batons equal to the cookies
tempered bittersweet (62% or higher) chocolate
flaked sea salt
let the cookie base cool, then place the caramel on top.  allow it to sit for at least 5 minutes so the caramel will begin to stick to the cookie base.  dip in tempered chocolate and place on a parchment lined cookie sheet.  sprinkle with sea salt, then place in the refrigerator to finish setting.  remove from fridge after about 10 minutes or so. serve at room temperature.

i am linking to 

Sunday, February 6, 2011

go pack go

today is a big day
a Really Big Day
we are big time football fans

hubster is from wisconsin
enough said

i am decked out in green and gold
dusted off the cheese head
practiced keeping calm
prepared snacks
like these
and these
 green and gold bars
all that remains
is to 
hoist a glass to
make a little room
for another one of 

Thursday, February 3, 2011

rock candy

my kitchen has been looking like a science lab lately
not because 
it is pristinely clean
clutterless counter tops
nerdies wandering around
but because
i have been making
rock candy
several attempts
i might add

it all started out innocently enough
but then
i got sassy

like i am debeers or something

i thought it would be
fun and cheeky
to make
rock candy jewels
for a
big night out

i settled on 
 drop earrings
simple, right?

here is the rub
the fun flew faster 
than a spy plane
out this nerdies door
obsessive took its place

in the end
i got the perfect pair
i'm not sure
if i should
 wear or eat 
rock candy
(printable recipe)
2 cups water
4 cups sugar
food coloring (optional)
up to 1 tsp flavoring (optional)
baker's twine 
granulated sugar
cut the baker's twine to desired length. tie the twine off to a wooden skewer or pencil.  this will allow you to suspend it in the syrup. Dip the twine in water, then roll in a bit of granulated sugar to coat.  allow to dry while you make the syrup.
bring water and 1 cup of sugar to a simmer in a saucepan.  while the water is still simmering, add sugar, 1 cup at a time, stirring and ensuring the sugar has completely dissolved before adding the next cup.  once all sugar is incorporated, remove from heat and add coloring and flavoring.  allow the syrup to cool slightly, then pour into a clean and sterilized glass jar or tall glass.  you will need a separate glass for each rock candy you want to make.
suspend the twine in the syrup being careful that it does not touch the bottom or sides of glass.  crystals should begin to form in about 4 hours.  if there is no activity within 24 hours remove the twine, pour the syrup back into a pot and heat to a simmer.  return to the clean and sterilized jar and start again.  if you see excessive crystallization on the sides of the jar or glass, remove the twine and perform the above steps, otherwise you will have a glass full of hard sugar crystals.  
check your twine daily. when you have the rock candy of your desire, remove from the syrup and allow to hang dry for a few hours.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

duck fried rice

several weeks ago
i tried my hand at crispy duck
and boy was that somethin'

do you remember cartoon eating
where after eating a big meal
they would use the bones of whatever they ate
to pick their teeth

after all the work that went into that duck
that was me
i wasn't going to let a single bit of it 
go to waste

it became several meals
(but i did draw the line at picking my teeth with it) 
one of which
is this easy and simple
duck fried rice

it might not be authentic
but it is G double O

try it
see what you think
duck fried rice
1 Tbs or so peanut or vegetable oil
1 cup cooked duck--chopped or shredded with skin
(if you are looking for a recipe, i have one here)
2 cups cooked rice
1/2 tsp finely chopped garlic
handful of fresh cilantro--stemmed
1 egg--lightly whisked
2 Tbs hoisin sauce
2 tsp light soy sauce
1 tsp mirin
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1/4 tsp (more or less if you like/dislike heat) hot chili sauce
dash sesame oil

in a small bowl, mix together the hoisin, soy, mirin, ginger, chili sauce and sesame oil.  set aside. place wok on high heat and once heated, add the peanut or vegetable oil.  immediately toss in the duck to crisp up a bit.  add the garlic. do not let the garlic brown. add the egg and stir so it doesn't cook in a lump...push it up the sides of the wok, then toss in the rice and the scallions. stir to break up the rice, but also to incorporate the egg and the other bits into the rice. add the hoisin mixture and cook until it is absorbed. at last minute, toss in the cilantro.  this should all take less than 10-15 minutes to throw together. for the most part, you can increase or decrease the amount of everything in this recipe. it is a matter of taste.  if you want more duck, toss it in problem.  this is a simple dish that is really about what you have on hand, and what you like.  enjoy!

i am linking to



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