Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Chocolate Chip Gingerbread Cookies

I will post the recipe soon. As soon as NBME is over.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

Last week we had fajitas and the large carton of sour cream was on sale so I made sour cream coffee cake with the leftover sour cream. I remember making sour cream coffee cake in my home economics class in high school, although I think it was called something different like "food you can make" or something incredibly cheesy like that. Anyway, I thought it was really weird that the recipe called for sour cream because I thought it would make the cake taste funny. Our entire class did. Boy were we surprised when it came out of the oven. It was yummy and moist and you couldn't taste the sour cream at all! I was one surprised little high-schooler.

Sour Cream Coffee Cake

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/4 cup sour cream
2 1/2 cups cake flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt

For the streudel:
1/2 cup light or golden brown sugar, packed
1 cup all-purpose flour
3 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease and flour a 10-inch bundt pan.
2. Cream the butter and sugar with an electric mixer for 4 to 5 minutes, until light and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, then add the vanilla and sour cream.
3. In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour mixture to the batter until just combined.
4. For the streusel, place the brown sugar, flour, cinnamon, salt, and butter in a bowl and pinch together with your fingers until it forms a crumble.
5. Spoon half the batter into the pan and spread it out with a knife. Sprinkle with 2/3 of the streusel. Spoon the rest of the batter in the pan, spread it out, and scatter the remaining streusel on top. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Yield: 8 to 10 servings

Monday, June 21, 2010

Linguine with Shrimp Scampi

If you like shrimp scampi and pasta, you should try this recipe.

(Yes, yes I did it again. I made the food and ate the food but forgot to take a picture of the food.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Kheer, or Indian Rice Pudding

When I was little, I hated Indian food. The curry smelled funny and the food was spicy. However, I did love kheer. Oh how I loved kheer. I've always been a fan of rice pudding, whether it is the thick American version or the more liquid-y Indian version. There is only one restaurant that I know of that makes kheer perfectly (according to my taste buds at least). The problem is that it is 30 minutes from my house and being a buffet, it gets a little pricey. I looked at several different recipes for kheer, ranging from AllRecipes to food blogs, and found that people seem to like this one the best. It was also the most traditional, using only milk instead of condensed milk or coconut milk. It was surprisingly simple to make and even simpler to eat.

A note: the store I went to didn't have cardamom powder. Actually, the spice aisle had no spices whatsoever. Neither did the aisles next to the spice aisle. So my version (obviously) did not have cardamom. I also don't like raisins or nuts so I omitted those but you can always add them if you like. Hmmm I guess I really just made sweet rice pudding instead of kheer then. No matter. It was tasty.

Adapted from this recipe

1 tsp butter
1/4 cup Basmati rice
4 cups whole milk
1/4 to 1/2 cup sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom powder

1. In a saucepan, heat the butter. Add the rice and roast for 2-3 minutes over low heat.
2. Add the milk. Increase the heat to medium-high and let the milk come to a boil. Stir to make sure the milk does not stick to the bottom and burn. Add the sugar as you stir.
3. Reduce the heat to medium and continue stirring until the milk has reduced by half and the rice is cooked and soft, 30 to 40 minutes.
4. Add the cardamom. Serve warm or cold.

Yield: 4 servings

Monday, June 7, 2010

Blueberry Muffins

This post was going to be a French strawberry tart but then my mom and boyfriend ate all the strawberries. So now it's a blueberry muffin post. I'm not a fruit-in-desserts-or-pastries person but for some reason, I was craving blueberry muffins. Actually, I was craving kheer, a sweet Indian rice pudding, but I wasn't allowed to make it because it would have all been gone before my boyfriend got to taste any. So in actuality, I wanted to make a strawberry tart but couldn't so next in line was kheer but that was out so I settled on blueberry muffins.

Most of the muffins I've made in the past have been chocolate or with chocolate chips so this was a departure from my norm. It was pretty tasty considering that I don't like fruit in my desserts. Let me clarify here that a strawberry/fruit tart does not qualify as having fruit in the dessert because the fruit is not actually in the dessert. It's on top. Nevertheless, this muffin was pretty tasty and if you like muffins or baked goods with fruit in them, I recommend you try them.

Blueberry Muffins

1/4 cup butter, softened
1/8 cup white sugar
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp milk
3/4 cup blueberries

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a muffing tin with with paper muffin liners.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Stir in the egg then stir in the vanilla. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 cup flour, baking powder, and salt.
3. Stir the flour mixture into egg mixture alternately with milk. Fold in blueberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups.
4. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Yield: 6 muffins

Friday, June 4, 2010

Chocolate Scones

I've always bookmarked pages in cookbooks and online recipes for scones but have never gotten around to make them. I had planned to make banana bread with chocolate chips tonight but my bananas are not ripe enough so I made chocolate scones! I've never made scones (as I just said) so I didn't know what to expect with the dough. For this particular recipe, it was super moist and sticky and I was frightened that the scones would not turn out correctly but after 17 minutes in the oven, they were light and crumbly and scone-y. Perfection.

Chocolate Scones
Adapted from this recipe

1 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 1 Tbsp unsweetened Dutch-process cocoa powder
2 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into chunks
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 large eggs
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Drop in the butter, and using a pastry blender or two knives, cut the butter chunks into the flour until they are reduced to pearl-sized nuggets. Stir in the granulated sugar. Set aside.
3. In a small bowl, whisk together the cream, eggs, and vanilla.
4. Pour the wet mixture over the dry ingredients, add the chocolate chips, and stir to form a dough. The dough will be firm but moist, and a bit sticky to the touch. Knead the dough lightly in the bowl about ten times (be careful not to over-knead).
5. Form the dough into a 7-inch round disk on a lightly floured surface. Cut the dough into 6 or 8 wedges, and using a spatula, transfer the wedges to a baking sheet.
6. Bake the scones for 17-18 minutes, or until set.

Yield: 6 large or 8 small scones

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Strawberry Shortcakes

This is not my picture. I found it through Google. I forgot to take a picture of my shortcakes and by the time I did remember, they were all gone. This seems to be happening more and more. I'm sorry. I'll try to remember to snap before I savor.

Anyhoo, I have a secret to share with you. For years I've been making shortcakes from scratch - cutting in the butter, baking in the oven, all that wonderful baking goodness. But I recently went over to a friend's place and she made shortcakes using Bisquick. Yep, the same Bisquick that comes in the yellow box that you make pancakes and well, biscuits with. When you don't have time to make shortcakes from scratch, it's a great recipe (it's on the side of the Bisquick box). However, I will tell you that homemade shortcakes trump ones out of the box any day. But the Bisquick ones were not bad by any means, which is why I share this little secret with you. I'd mix in a little more butter than the recipe calls for (since shortcakes are buttery) and sprinkling the top with some raw sugar before putting it in the oven.

I also have another secret: I will not (ever ever ever) eat whipped cream that is not freshly made. Never. Ever. That stuff in the can? Gross. The frozen kind? Pass. Making whipped cream is so simple and a thousand times better than any non-homemade version. It's become so much easier with my stand mixer (even though making it before was about as hard as opening the refrigerator door) that I dare you not to try it.

Whipped Cream

1 cup chilled heavy cream
Scant 1/4 cup sugar

In a thoroughly chilled bowl (I stick mine in the freezer for a few minutes), whip together the heavy cream and sugar on medium-high speed until it forms soft peaks.

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Chocolate Cupcakes with Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting

I've been poring over cookbooks all morning and afternoon searching for the perfect recipe to make with my brand new KitchenAid Artisan stand mixer.

My mom got it for me as a graduation gift. Oh, I graduated, did I mention that? I graduated! But enough of graduation - my stand mixer is pink! It's all pink and all pretty and all mine! I'm convinced it makes extra tasty treats.

Chocolate Cupcakes
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 egg
3/4 cup milk

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a muffin tin with muffin liners.
2. Cream butter and sugar on medium speed until light and fluffy. Reduce the speed to low and add the vanilla extract and egg.
3. In a separate bowl, sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With the mixer on low, add the flour and milk alternately, beginning and ending with flour.
4. Pour into lined cupcake pan, filling cups 3/4 full. Bake for 20 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes almost clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Bailey's Irish Cream Frosting
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
2 Tbsp Bailey's Irish Cream
2 cups confectioners' sugar

Beat the butter until smooth and fluffy. Add the Bailey's Irish Cream and 1 cup confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth. Add the second cup of confectioners' sugar and beat until smooth.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon

Ok I don't know where the picture went for this one. All I can say is that if you like balsamic vinegar and salmon, this was very tasty and so easy to make. I had mine with garlic naan (Whole Foods sells this already made) on the side. Yummm.

Balsamic-Glazed Salmon
Adapted from this recipe

1 salmon fillet
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 tsp white wine
1/2 tsp honey
2 3/4 tsp balsamic vinegar
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
salt and pepper to taste

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. Coat a small saucepan with non-stick cooking spray. Over medium heat, cook garlic, stirring, until soft, about 2 minutes. Be careful not to burn it. Mix in white wine, honey, balsamic vinegar, mustard, salt and pepper. Simmer, uncovered, about 3 minutes until sauce is slightly thickened.
3. Arrange salmon fillet on the baking sheet and brush with the balsamic glaze.
4. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes. Brush fillet with remaining glaze and season with salt and pepper. Serve hot.

Yield: 1 serving

Monday, May 3, 2010

Tilapia Parmesan

Tilapia Parmesan

2 Tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbsp butter, softened
2 tsp low-fat mayonnaise
1 1/2 tsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp chopped garlic
1/8 tsp dried Italian herbs
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/8 tsp onion powder
2 tilapia fillets

1. Preheat the broiler. Line a sheet pan with aluminum foil and spray with non-stick cooking spray.
2. In a small bowl, mix together the first 9 ingredients. Set aside.
3. Arrange fillets in a single layer on the lined pan. Broil for 2 to 3 minutes. Flip the fillets over and broil for another 2 minutes. Remove the fillets from the oven and cover the tops with the Parmesan mixture. Return to the broiler for 2 minutes or until top is browned. Do not over cook.

Serves 1

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Texas Sweet Tea

I've been drinking tea for years but it's funny because this is the first time I've ever tried to make iced tea. In the summer I love to drink sweet tea (I am Texan after all) but some places still don't serve it and if I ever fulfill my dream of moving to New York or London, I'll need to know how to make my own sweet tea. With that said, I made a quart of passion tea yesterday and today, I'm making sweet tea. The last time I went to Whole Foods, there was a sale on the house brand's organic black tea so I bought a box. A big box filled with 80 tea bags. Now, some days I'll drink two or three cups of tea but when I add these 80 tea bags to my collection of other teas, there's no way it will all get consumed. Enter: Texas sweet tea. This is probably not the real recipe (in fact, I'm sure it's not) but it's pretty tasty and I know I'll be drinking it for a long time.

I also get to reuse my glass jars that I save from lemonade and tea and that's always a plus in my book!

Texas Sweet Tea

1 quart (4 cups) filtered water
5 black tea bags
1/2 cup white sugar

1. Bring the water to a rolling boil. Turn off the heat and add the tea bags. Let the tea bags sit for 5 to 8 minutes.
2. Remove tea bags, squeezing them as you go. Pour in the sugar and stir until dissolved. Let cool.
3. Pour into glass containers, lightly screw on lids, and place in the refrigerator until cold.

Makes about 1 quart

Friday, April 30, 2010

Peanut Butter Cookies

I've been on a binge eating with no purging marathon today. Not really but I could be. I had a really yummy, greasy burger and onion rings from Dirty Martin's for dinner and now I'm chowing down on these peanut butter cookies. I mean, I deserve a reward for doing yoga twice this week, right?!

Peanut Butter Cookies

1 cup unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups peanut butter
1 cup white sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 eggs
2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
Granulated sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Cream together butter, peanut butter, vanilla extract and sugars. Beat in eggs.
2. In a separate bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. Stir into batter.
3. Roll into 1 inch balls, dip in the granulated sugar, and put on baking sheets. Flatten each ball slightly with a fork, making a criss-cross pattern. Bake for 9 to 10 minutes or until cookies just begin to brown. Do not over bake.

Makes 4 dozen cookies

Sunday, April 25, 2010


Oy vey. Who is the worst blogger to date? That would be me. But I think a really great recipe will make up for it (at least I hope so).

Lately (in case you're wondering why I've been MIA):
- Very sick the past two weeks
- Thesis Symposium that went really well
- Mom visiting for Honors Day and the Thesis Symposium
- New M1 welcome for med school
- New candle and sweater
- Trying to sublet my apartment
- Snail mail from Sydney and Annelise
- 2 more weeks of school (of college)! Eeek!

Now on to the recipe. I've always relied on this bolognese recipe but I had a package of Italian sausage that I wanted to use and I didn't have any mushrooms so I decided to make traditional bolognese with meat - except that mine has Italian sausage in it instead of ground beef.


1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 pound mild Italian sausage, casings removed
2 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped
1 (28 oz) can crushed tomatoes
2 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
2 1/2 tsp dried Italian herbs
1 tsp white sugar
salt and freshly ground black pepper

1. In a large pot, add the olive oil. When almost smoking, add the onion and saute over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Add the celery and carrot and saute for another 5 minutes.
2. Raise the heat to high and add the sausage. Cook until meat is no longer pink. Drain.
3. Reduce heat to medium low. Add the garlic and saute for 30 seconds.
4. Stir in can crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, red wine, Italian herbs, sugar, salt, and pepper. Reduce heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30-40 minutes until sauce thickens.
5. Serve hot over pasta.

Serves 4 to 6

Wednesday, March 24, 2010


I'm a bad bad blogger. I'm sorry. It's just that my hard drive crashed and my thesis was on it and I didn't have a computer for a week and last week was spring break and I had to return the camera I bought and I was sick for a bit and...on and on. This week there won't be much posting because I'm trying really hard to finish my thesis draft by Friday for a research award (even though it doesn't seem possible) but next week - NEXT WEEK - I will resume posts. Promise.

No recipe today but a diptych of oreo truffles and chocolate-covered strawberries made last week.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Apple Puff Pancake

Sunday brunch.

Apple Puff Pancake
Adapted from ReadyMade Feb/Mar 2010

1 apple
1/4 cup butter
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk (I used soy)
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup brown sugar
2 tsp ground cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.
2. In a 10-inch oven proof skillet melt 1/4 cup butter over medium heat. Add apples, cut in wedges, and saute until golden brown, about 5 min.
3. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, flour, vanilla, and salt. Pour over apple mixture in skillet.
4. Place skillet in preheated oven and bake for 10-12 minutes or until puffed and browned. Remove from oven.
5. Combine brown sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle over the pancake. Bake 5 more minutes. Remove from oven and enjoy!

Serves 2-4

Friday, February 19, 2010

Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Basil

Salmon with Lemon, Capers, and Basil
Adapted from Everyday Italian

1 salmon fillet, skin on
1 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
pinch of salt and black pepper
1 tsp minced fresh basil
2 lemon slices
1 Tbsp lemon juice
2 Tbsp white wine
1 tsp capers

1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
2. Brush the top and bottom of the salmon fillet with olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and basil. Place the salmon piece in a piece of foil large enough to fold over and seal. Top the salmon with 2 lemon slices, lemon juice, white wine, and capers. Wrap salmon tightly in foil packet.
3. Bake the salmon for 15 minutes. It should be a little rare inside. Serve with steamed broccolini.

Serves 1

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Chicken Masala

I love chicken tikka masala. Or butter chicken. I think those terms are synonymous; are they or am I crazy? Oh and did you see the Olympics mens snowboarding halfpipe last night? THAT was crazy. Crazy good! Just like this chicken.

Chicken Masala
Adapted from Bon Appetit Feb 2010

1/2 cup plain whole milk yogurt (I used Brown Cow)
1/8 cup coarsely chopped fresh Italian parsley
1 1/2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 Tbsp garam masala
1 tsp coarse kosher salt
1 garlic clove, pressed
2 boneless skinless chicken thighs
1 small onion, cut into 1/4-inch thick slices

1. Mix yogurt, parsley, olive oil, garam masala, salt and garlic in a large plastic bag. Add chicken to marinade, close bag, and massage chicken so that the marinade covers each piece. Refrigerate at least 2 hours and up to 1 day.
2. Preheat oven to 400 F. Arrange onions in a thin layer on a large rimmed baking sheet to form a bed for the chicken. Top with chicken pieces in a single layer.
3. Roast chicken on top rack until cooked through and juices run clear, about 20 minutes. Serve chicken atop onion slices. Spoon pan juices around.

Serves 1

Mustard-Roasted Salmon and Carrots

A recipe from last week that was very yummy:

Mustard-Roasted Salmon and Carrots
1 8 oz salmon fillet, skin on
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp low fat mayo
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 anchovy fillet, minced
1/2 Tbsp minced onions
1/2 tsp drained capers

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lay the fish skin side down and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
3. Combine the mayo, mustard, minced anchovy fillet, onions, and capers in a small bowl. Spoon the sauce over the fish, making sure it is completely covered.
4. Bake for 10 minutes at 425 F then put under the broiler for 4 to 5 minutes. Serve as is or with extra sauce on top.

Adapted from Barefoot Contessa
2 carrots, peeled
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 Tbsp unsalted butter
3/4 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley

1. Cut the carrots diagonally into 1/4-inch slices. Place the carrots, scant 1/4 cup water, salt, and pepper in a large saute pan and bring to a boil. Cover the pan and cook over medium-low heat for 7 to 8 minutes or until the carrots are just cooked through. Add the butter and saute for another minute until the water evaporates and the carrots are coated with butter.
2. Off the heat, toss with the parsley. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and serve.

Serves 1

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Sole Meuniere

Today is Ash Wednesday. This is a fact. I went to church and I have a cross on my head. Another fact about Ash Wednesday: fast day. A great fact about it being both Ash Wednesday and thus fast day: I buy wayyy too much food at the grocery store. Being hungry and going to the grocery store does not bode well but what's even worse is being hungry and going to Central Market. I ended up buying so much food that I won't have to leave my apartment for a month. Seriously. I think I should share a small list of a small portion of my huge shopping excursion:
Filet Mignon
Lamb chops
Chicken thighs
Sole fillets
Bacon (What?! I don't even like bacon...)
Grapes, lemons, sugar snap peas, tomatoes, asparagus, bananas, juice, milk, yogurt etc. etc. etc.

My friends, I have a problem. I like food too much. But that's good news for this blog! A couple of posts from last week will post this week since I didn't have time to upload pictures to them and really wanted y'all to see the beauty of the food. After all, what looks like it tastes good must taste good, right?

Sole Meuniere
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 fresh sole fillets
3 Tbsp unsalted butter
1/2 tsp grated lemon zest
3 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1/2 Tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley

1. Combine the flour, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a large shallow plate. Pat the sole fillets dry with paper towels and sprinkle one side with salt.
2. Heat the butter in a large (12-inch) saute pan over medium heat until it starts to brown.
3. Dredge 2 sole fillets in the seasoned flour on both sides and place them in the hot butter. Lower the heat to medium-low and cook for 2 minutes. Turn carefully with a metal spatula and cook for 2 minutes on the other side. While the second side cooks, add the lemon zest and lemon juice to the pan. Carefully put the fish fillets on a plate and pour the sauce over them. Sprinkle with the parsley, salt, and pepper and serve immediately.

Serves 1

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Sausage-stuffed Mushrooms and Garlic Spinach

I foresee lots of mushroom and spinach dishes for the next few days. I went to Costco this weekend for most of my groceries and those bulk packages that feed families of six are going to feed a (very) large mouth of one. So today I bring you...mushrooms and spinach!

[Insert pretty picture that I took of the mushrooms and spinach here. I took one. Then I deleted it on accident. It was a good picture too.]

For the sausage-stuffed mushroom recipe, I actually made a pasta sauce with Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage, onions, and tomato vodka sauce a couple nights ago. I only ate half of it and decided to save the rest for a night when I didn't want to cook. I could just throw it over pasta and voila - a meal! But I wanted to use the mushrooms so I decided to just stuff them with this mixture. Thus the recipe below for the sausage-onion-tomato-mixture will feed you for two meals. Also, I bet the mushrooms would taste really good with mozzarella on top but I used Swiss because that's what I had. It was so good that I ended up making on e batch of 7 mushrooms for myself then proceeded to make another 4 once I had finished eating the first 7. See, I told you I have a large mouth.

Sausage-stuffed Mushrooms and Garlic Sauteed Spinach
Sausage-stuffed Mushrooms:
1/2 roll of Jimmy Dean breakfast sausage
1 small yellow onion, chopped
(1/2 Tbsp olive oil)
1 garlic clove, minced
1/2 cup tomato vodka sauce
14 Cremini mushroom caps, wiped clean
1/3 cup shredded cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Place the sausage and onions in a large saute pan. Cook until the sausage is no longer pink. Add the olive oil if the sausage doesn't provide enough drippings. Once the sausage is done cooking, add the garlic and tomato sauce and stir until heated through.
3. Stuff the mushroom caps with the sausage mixture, top with the cheese, and place in a greased baking dish. Bake for 10-12 minutes or until the cheese is melted.

Garlic Sauteed Spinach:
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves chopped garlic
3/4 pound baby spinach leaves, rinsed and patted dry
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/2 Tbsp unsalted butter

1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic for about 1 minute but not until it is browned.
2. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper, toss it with the garlic and olive oil, cover the pot and cook for 2 minutes. Uncover the pot, turn the heat to high, and cook the spinach for another minute with a wooden spoon until it is wilted.
3. Using a slotted spoon, lift the spinach to a serving bowl, top with butter and serve hot.

Serves 2

Monday, February 8, 2010

Mac and Cheese

Mac and Cheese is the ultimate comfort food. It's so good in so many forms. Out of the blue box, out of a different colored box, homemade; it's all good. Except for the Easy Mac. That's no good. Ina's mac and cheese calls for white truffle butter but 3 oz of that is a whopping $17. Plus I couldn't find it. I guess that's a good thing. Even without it though, this mac and cheese was nice and creamy and so very yummy. My roommate and I ate it last night for dinner and again tonight. I think it will make a reappearance tomorrow as well.

Mac and Cheese
Adapted from Barefoot Contessa

1 Tbsp unsalted butter
Olive oil
1/2 pound cremini mushrooms, cleaned and sliced 1/2-inch
1 1/2 Tbsp white wine
Kosher salt
1/2 pound pasta (I used Gemelli)
1 1/2 oz unsalted butter
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, scalded
2 cups Gruyere cheese, grated
1 1/2 cups sharp white Cheddar, grated
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 Tbsp salt
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 1/2 Tbsp freshly chopped flat-leaf Italian parsley leaves
3/4 cup fresh bread crumbs
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
2. Heat the butter and 1 Tbsp olive oil in a large saute pan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook for about 5 minutes until they are tender. Add the white wine and continue to saute until the wine is absorbed. Set aside.
3. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta for 6 to 8 minutes or until al dente. Drain.
4. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan melt the 1 1/2 oz butter and whisk in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes over low heat, stirring with a whisk. Slowly whisk in the scalding milk and cook for 2 more minutes, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until the sauce is thick and creamy. Remove from heat and add the Gruyere, Cheddar, pepper, nutmeg, and salt.
5. Combine the pasta, mushrooms, and sauce in the large saucepan and pour into a 9x13 baking dish.
6. Place the garlic and parsley in the bowl of a food processor fitted with a steel blade and pulse until they're minced. Add the bread crumbs and pulse to combine. Mix in the Parmesan cheese. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

Serves 4 to 6

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Tuna and Crostini

Not much to say except that it's beautiful and sunny out today.

Tuna and Crostini

2 slices white bread (like ciabatta; I used cranberry and walnut)
1 can albacore tuna, drained
1 anchovy fillet, minced
2 small garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp capers, roughly chopped
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley
Salt and pepper to taste

1. In a nonstick pan or griddle, grill the bread until toasted and crispy.
2. Mix all other ingredients in a small bowl.
3. Top the crostini with the tuna mixture and enjoy!

Serves 1

Friday, February 5, 2010

Shrimp and Asparagus Pasta

Oh the things one makes when there is no food left in the apartment. I know it seems pretty fancy to to say that I eat shrimp and asparagus when I have no food but really, I don't have any food. No chicken, beef, anything. All I have is salmon or shrimp. Which, now I don't have any shrimp. Time to hit the grocery store!

Shrimp and Asparagus Pasta

2 oz small pasta (I used Gemelli)
1 Tbsp olive oil
6 shrimp, deveined
1/4 bunch asparagus, trimmed and cut in half lengthwise
1 Tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 cup store-bought garlic alfredo sauce
1 Tbsp heavy cream
1 Tbsp white wine

1. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta until al dente, 8-10 minutes. Drain.
2. Meanwhile, toss the shrimp and asparagus together with salt and pepper until shrimp is just cooked, about 2 minutes per side. Add the garlic and turn off the heat. Stir for one minute then remove from heat.
3. In a medium pot, heat up the alfredo sauce, heavy cream, and white wine. Add the pasta, shrimp, and asparagus and toss to coat. Serve warm.

Serves 1

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Baked Pasta with Italian Sausage

I have a fairly good excuse for not posting for a week. No, it's not because I haven't been eating. On the contrary. I've been pigging out. I had restaurant and takeout food all weekend and then cooked a baked pasta Sunday night that could feed a family of six. I did end up giving one portion to my Korean teacher who proceeded to be very confused as to why I was giving her food. She thought I had made it for her daughter - I guess I'll find out tomorrow if she liked it.

The other (more legitimate) reason for why I haven't posted since last week is that I've been studying for my biochemistry test and freaking out about my thesis. Now that one of them is over, I can cook and bake a little more. At least until my next test. Unfortunately, I also don't have a photo of tonight's dish. I know, I know. The pictures on food blogs are what motivate me to make the dish too. I'm sorry. But take my word when I say that this is my absolute favorite baked pasta. I make it at least once a semester, eat it for 3 days straight afterwards, love it more than Maggiano's Italian sausage pasta, and even had a little competition for my aunt for the best baked pasta (this pasta won over her lasagna).

Baked Pasta with Italian Sausage
1 (12 oz) pkg dry pasta (I used gemelli)
1 lb mild Italian sausage
1 cup chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 to 1/2 cup red wine
2 tsp olive oil
1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (6 oz) can tomato paste
1/2 Tbsp dried Italian herbs
1 Tbsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350 F.
2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add pasta and cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until al dente; drain.
3. Meanwhile, place sausage and onion in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until sausage is evenly browned and cooked through. Add the olive oil if the sausage doesn't produce enough grease for the onions.
4. Add garlic and wine and cook for 1 minute, stirring.
5. Stir in tomato sauce, diced tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, salt and pepper. Simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
6. Toss with pasta and place in a 9x13-inch glass baking dish. Sprinkle the top with mozzarella. Bake for 20 minutes or until cheese is melted.

Serves 6-8

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Asian Salmon

School is beginning to stress me out. It's my last semester and I'm taking 15 hours and writing an honors thesis. Ugh. All I really want to do is read the books I want to read (right now I'm reading The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie) and cook and eat all day. Instead, today I will study for for my Biochemistry test, start writing my thesis, and read for my English class... after I cook and eat :)

Asian Salmon
Adapted from The Barefoot Contessa

2 salmon fillets
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce
2 1/2 Tbsp good olive oil
1/4 tsp minced garlic
1/4 tsp light brown sugar
1/4 tsp ginger powder

1. Preheat oven to 400 F. Whisk together the Dijon mustard, soy sauce, olive oil, garlic, sugar, and ginger powder in a small bowl. Drizzle half of the marinade onto the salmon and let sit for 10 minutes.
2. Make a foil packet for the salmon (discard the marinade) and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes.
3. Transfer the fish to a flat plate and spoon the reserved marinade on top. Let sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Serves 2; I served it with sauteed asparagus

While I was waiting for the salmon to bake, I decided to play with my camera and the fairy lights I strung around my bed last night. The results:

Tuesday, January 26, 2010


Spaghetti. Good and simple.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Baked Pasta with Bechamel Sauce

The beauty of making more sauce than you will eat in one sitting: leftovers. Yesterday's bechamel sauce became today's pasta sauce. This baked pasta could easily disguise itself as grown-up mac and cheese and with the bechamel sauce already made, it took less than 30 minutes to make.

Baked Pasta with Bechamel Sauce

1/4 pound dry pasta
1/2 to 2/3 cup Bechamel sauce
1 tsp onion powder
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/3 cup grated Swiss cheese
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, diced

1. Preheat oven to 425 F.
2. In a large pot, bring 5 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the pasta and cook for about 5 minutes. Drain. Return pasta to the pot and pour in the bechamel sauce. Add the onion powder and salt and pepper to taste. Mix with a wooden spoon until all the pasta is coated with sauce.
3. Pour the pasta into a greased baking dish. Smooth out the top and top with grated Swiss cheese. Dot with diced butter and bake for 20 minutes or until it is bubbling and the top is golden brown.

Serves 1

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Crepes a la Florentine (almost)

My roommate is the best. We went to watch Julie & Julia last year and she got me Julia Child's Mastering the Art of French Cooking for Christmas! We've been wanting to make beef bourgignon but the recipe is not in the Volume 1 cookbook. So instead we are having crepes! A very French dish indeed.

I warn you, this dish is time intensive and not for the beginner chef (not to be confused with an overly-ambitious-yet-still-beginner chef like myself). But if you have a good amount of time and want a (very) yummy dish, try it out. Instead of filling the crepes with a spinach filling and a mushroom filling (the cookbook says to make two separate fillings then add both to the crepe), I filled it with the spinach filling then added some mushrooms and chopped chicken. Also, unless you want to eat 10 crepes each, this recipe makes more than enough crepes for one dish. The crepes freeze well; just lay a sheet of wax paper between each crepe and freeze.

Crepes a la Florentine (almost)
Adapted from Mastering the Art of French Cooking

Crepes (25 to 30 crepes, 6 to 6 1/2 inches in diameter):
1 cup cold water
1 cup cold milk
4 eggs
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 cups flour
4 Tbsp melted butter

1. Pour the liquids, eggs, and salt into a blender jar. Add the flour, then the butter. Cover and blend at top speed for 1 minute. If bits of flour adhere to sides of jar, dislodge with a rubber scraper and blend for 2 to 3 seconds more. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
2. To make crepes, brush an iron crepe pan or skillet lightly with cooking oil. Set over moderately high heat until the pan is just beginning to smoke. Immediately remove from heat and, holding handle of pan in your right hand, pour with your left hand a scant 1/4 cup of batter into the middle of the pan. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to run the batter all over the bottom of the pan in a thin film. (Pour any batter that does not adhere to the pan back into the bowl; judge the amount for your next crepe accordingly.) Return the pan to heat for 60 to 80 seconds. Then jerk and toss pan sharply back and forth and up and down to loosen the crepe. Lift its edges with a spatula and if the underside is a nice light brown, the crepe is ready for turning. Turn the crepe by using 2 spatulas, your fingers, or toss it over by a flip of the pan. Brown lightly for about 1/2 minute on the other side.

Bechamel with cheese sauce (3 cups):
5 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp butter
2 3/4 cups boiling milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
Big pinch of nutmeg
1/4 cup whipping cream
1 cup grated Swiss cheese

1. Cook the flour and butter slowly together in a 1/2-quart saucepan for 2 minutes without coloring.
2. Off heat, beat in the boiling milk and seasonings. Boil, stirring, for 1 minute.
3. Reduce to simmer and stir in cream by tablespoons. Remove from heat. Stir in all but two tablespoons of the cheese. Film top of sauce with milk to prevent a skin from forming.

Spinach, Mushroom and Chicken Filling:
3 Tbsp minced onions
2 Tbsp butter
1 bunch blanched chopped spinach
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1 cup chopped cooked chicken

1. Cook the onions in butter for a moment in an enameled saucepan. Add spinach and salt, and stir over moderately high heat for 2 to 3 minutes to evaporate moisture. Stir in 1/2 to 2/3 cup of the bechamel sauce, mushrooms, and chopped chicken. Cover and simmer slowly for 8 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Making a filled crepe and baking:
1. Turn on the broiler.
2. Pour two spoonfuls of the filling down the center of each crepe. Fold the sides over the filling and place in a buttered baking dish. Use the remaining bechamel sauce and grated Swiss cheese for topping. Set under the broiler for 10-15 minutes or until the edges of the crepe begin to brown.

Yield: 4 filled crepes

Friday, January 22, 2010

Chicken and Asparagus

Last night I played Rockband for the first time. I play Guitar Hero pretty well and really get into "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" but Rockband is a whole different story. I don't understand how to play the drums unless the notes are on the lines and spaced out really far. The notes that are really close together? Nope. Can't do it.

But something I can do is make this chicken. I've made it several times before and like to vary the cheeses. Fontina is good. This time I used Gruyere. It's super simple to make because the oven does all the work and you can cook vegetables alongside the chicken too. Simple and yummy.

Chicken and Asparagus

4 boneless skinless chicken thighs
4 squares Gruyere cheese
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1/2 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a sheet pan with foil.
2. For each piece of chicken, place a square of gruyere cheese on one side and fold the other side over so the cheese is covered. Arrange all 4 pieces of chicken on the sheet pan. Drizzle olive oil over the chicken pieces and sprinkle with the minced garlic and 1/2 tsp black pepper.
3. Arrange the asparagus on the sheet pan next to the chicken. Drizzle olive oil over the asparagus and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
4. Bake the chicken and asparagus for 15-20 minutes, or until the chicken is cooked through and no longer pink.

Serves 2

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Filet Mignon and Lola's Broccoli

My boyfriend used to have a roommate who was a chef. A real chef. He worked at Lola's Restaurant in Dallas for a while (while it was still open) and we went there to have dinner one time.

Oh. My. Gosh. It was so good. We let the chef choose our menu so each course was a surprise but it was all so good that we didn't care. One dish in particular that surprised me was the broccoli. Just a huge plate covered in broccoli. After lots of nagging and smiles, I finally got the recipe for it. It's not exact since I'm only making enough broccoli for myself and not four people but man oh man is it good.

Filet Mignon and Lola's Broccoli

Filet Mignon (adapted from Ina's recipe):
1 (8 oz) filet mignon
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 Tbsp fleur de sel
1/2 Tbsp coarsely cracked black peppercorns
1 Tbsp unsalted butter, at room temperature

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Heat a large stainless steel skillet over high heat until very hot.
2. Meanwhile, pat the steaks dry with a paper towel and brush with vegetable oil on all sides. Coat all sides with the fleur de sel and black pepper, pressing lightly as you go.
3. Add steak to hot skillet and sear for 2 minutes on each side. Top the steak with butter and place in the oven. Cook for 6-8 minutes for medium rare.
4. Remove the steak to a serving platter, cover tightly with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot with broccoli on the side.

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 broccoli crown, trimmed
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp canola oil
2 anchovy filets, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 tsp Dijon mustard

1. In a medium skillet over medium heat, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil and cook the broccoli and onions.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the vinaigrette. Combine last six ingredients in a small bowl and stir until combined. Toss with hot broccoli and serve.

Serves 1

Monday, January 18, 2010

Salmon Fish Sticks

Yesterday I returned to Austin; my last semester of college starts tomorrow. Today I went to the grocery store because, well, I have a food blog. I've never seen so many people at a grocery store at one time. I waited in line for at least 15 minutes just to check out. And let's not get into how long it took me to find the kind of lettuce I wanted. So. Many. People.

The funny thing is, tonight I cooked what I already had in my refrigerator. I was a little skeptical when I saw Giada making this on Food Network but decided to give it a try. I thought the fish sticks would be soggy and wouldn't be able to be held but in fact, they were crisp and perfect. Here's to the Omega-3!

Salmon Fish Sticks
Adapted from Everyday Italian

1 4-6 oz salmon fillet, deskinned
2 Tbsp all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 egg white
4 Tbsp seasoned breadcrumbs
3 Tbsp Gouda, grated
Olive oil

1. Preheat the oven to 450 F. Pat the salmon fillet dry with a paper towel. Cut the fillet into 4 pieces lengthwise.
2. Place the flour in a small bowl and season with salt and pepper. Place the egg white in another bowl and beat until frothy. Combine the breadcrumbs and cheese in a third bowl.
3. Coat the fish pieces in flour, dip in the egg white, and roll in bread crumbs, gently pressing the mixture into the fish. Place the salmon pieces on a well-oiled baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Dipping Sauce:
1 Tbsp reduced fat mayonnaise
1 Tbsp plain yogurt
1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tsp chopped fresh basil

1. Mix all ingredients in a small dipping bowl and serve alongside the fish sticks.

Serves 1

Monday, January 11, 2010

New Cookbook

Today I bought the Barefoot Contessa Cookbook! I've been eyeing it for quite some time now and I finally treated myself to it. I'm excited to try the recipes soon! So this brings my cookbook count up to...four. Four little cookbooks. A small number but I love them oh-so-much.

Molten Chocolate Cakes

Have you ever been to Roy's? Have you tried their molten chocolate cake? If not, stop reading, do yourself a favor, and go eat one of their molten chocolate cakes. But before you go, I warn you that the cakes must be ordered in advance (when you order your meal) because they are made-to-order. Also, they are $9 a cake. Yes, I know, how do I afford a tiny $9 chocolate cake? Trust me, if you like chocolate molten cakes, it is well worth it.

This morning I had to go to the dentist. I hate the dentist. I'm only 21 yet I have receding gums and sensitive teeth. So I think that in reward for me sitting through the dentist's (painful) poking and prodding, I deserve a molten chocolate cake.

Molten Chocolate Cakes
Adapted from this recipe

2 (1 oz) squares Baker's semisweet baking chocolate
1/4 cup butter
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 egg
1 egg yolk
3 Tbsp flour

1. Preheat oven to 425 F. Butter 2 (3/4 cup) custard cups or souffle dishes. Place on baking pan.
2. Melt chocolate and butter in a double boiler. Remove from heat and let cool slightly. Whisk in powdered sugar until well blended. Whisk in egg and egg yolk. Stir in flour. Divide batter between the two souffle dishes.
3. Bake 10 minutes or until sides are firm but centers are soft. Invert cakes on dessert dishes.

Yield: 2 cakes

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Seared Tuna and Asparagus

Warning: college-student-unfriendly recipe ahead.

Now that I've warned you, I can tell you that I have an obsession with onions. I love them. They are my absolute favorite vegetable and I could eat them everyday. But I don't. I don't want to smell like an onion. So when I do cook with onions, I make sure to use as much as possible. I was going to order a pizza tonight since I'm home alone but decided that since I hadn't had onions in a while, tonight would be the perfect time to stink up the house with them. Also, I went to the Mavericks game last night and ate a foot-long chili cheese dog and loads of fries so I felt like I should eat something a little more healthy and a little less fried (even though pizza is not fried).

Seared Tuna with Soy-Onion Sauce and Garlic Asparagus

Tuna with Soy-Onion Sauce:
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1 tsp butter
1 Tbsp low sodium soy sauce

1 sushi-grade ahi tuna steak
1/2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp black pepper
1 Tbsp unsalted butter

1. Heat olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Cook onions until tender and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Add butter and soy sauce to pan and stir until mixed. Remove from heat and transfer to small bowl.
2. Sprinkle salt and pepper on both sides of the tuna.
3. Heat small skillet to medium-high heat. Melt butter in skillet. Place tuna in skillet and sear on one side for 2 minutes. Flip tuna steak over and sear on other side for 1-2 minutes. The middle should still be rare and very pink.
4. Remove from pan and serve with sauce.

Garlic Asparagus:
1 Tbsp butter
1/2 small onion, finely chopped
1/3 bunch asparagus, trimmed
1 garlic clove, minced
salt and black pepper, to taste

1. Melt 1 Tbsp butter over medium-high heat. Place onions and asparagus in pan and cook until asparagus is tender and onions are lightly browned, 5-10 minutes.
2. Add garlic, mix, and turn off heat. Let sit for 1 minute.
3. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

1 serving

Friday, January 8, 2010

Buttermilk Pancakes

Good morning!

I've been sleeping for 11-12 hours every night lately and waking up too late to eat breakfast so today, I decided to wake up early and change that.

Normally I make waffles because I love my waffle iron and the little nooks are great for holding lots of butter and maple syrup (I'm a true maple syrup snob. None of that artificial syrup for me). However, I left my waffle iron in Austin so I've decided to try my hand at pancakes. I'm awful with a spatula. The batter goes everywhere instead of in the pan. But I tried. At least I got to use my pink tulip-shaped Williams-Sonoma spatula. Yes, it is for kids. Yes, it is cute, Yes, it works.

The book I took this recipe from says to "avoid overmixing the batter to ensure that the pancakes will be airy." It also says to use homemade buttermilk, with an accompanying recipe. I didn't do that. I mean, I woke up early to make the pancakes - I didn't think it was necessary to wake up (or not go to bed) at 11 pm and wait 12 hours to make the buttermilk.

Buttermilk Pancakes
Adapted from The Home Creamery

1 cup all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 cup buttermilk, stirred well
1/4 cup milk
1 egg
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/8 cup butter, melted

1. Whisk together the flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a medium mixing bowl.
Whisk the buttermilk, milk, egg, and vanilla extract in another bowl. Add the buttermilk mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until just blended but still lumpy; do not overmix.
2. Spread 1/2 tablespoon melted butter on a hot griddle over medium heat. Pour the batter by 1/4 cupfuls onto the hot griddle, spacing 2 inches apart. Cook until bubbles break on the surface, about 3 minutes. Turn pancakes over. Cook until bottoms are golden, about 3 minutes. Transfer to plates. Repeat with remaining batter, adding butter to skillet as needed.

Yield: 10 pancakes

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Salmon and Broccoli Rabe

I'm excited to introduce to you the first ingredient of the monthly installment entitled "Foods I've Never Cooked Before." Yes, that is the name I chose for this project. I actually chose it just now. January's food is....(drumroll please)

broccoli rabe

Broccoli rabe is also known as Rapini or Italian broccoli. I'm sure many people have cooked broccoli rabe before and I've seen it around for several years but had no idea what to do with it. I researched a bit and found there are two camps when it comes to cooking broccoli rabe: those who boil and those who saute. Those who boil claim that boiling removes most of the bitterness associated with this vegetable. I decided to make the best of both worlds and boil and saute. Maybe next time I will try one or the other and decide which I like better. But for today, compromise it is. Also, some only eat the leafy greens while others eat leaves and stems. I didn't want to waste so I trimmed the very end of the stem but cooked the broccoli rabe with both leaves and stems.

Salmon and Broccoli Rabe

4 salmon (or steelhead) filets, deboned and skin on
lemon pepper seasoning, to taste
freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
1 tsp honey
1 tsp maple syrup
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine soy sauce, honey, maple syrup, garlic, and olive oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle salmon filets with lemon pepper seasoning and black pepper. Lay filets, skin down, in a shallow glass baking dish and pour marinade over. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 425 F. Create a foil packet for each salmon filet. Place one filet in each packet. Place packets side-by-side in a clean, shallow baking dish and bake for 12-15 minutes or until salmon flakes with a fork and is still pink in the center. Be careful not to overbake.
3. Remove salmon from packet and place on the bed of broccoli rabe. Serve and enjoy!

Broccoli Rabe:
1 pound broccoli rabe, trimmed
3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Place broccoli rabe in pot and cook until slightly tender but not mushy, 3-5 minutes. Drain.
2. In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil and saute the garlic until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add broccoli rabe and saute for 10-15 minutes or until tender. Sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper.

Serves 4

Wednesday, January 6, 2010


I love snickerdoodles. Whenever I order cookies, I always make sure to order at least some snickerdoodles and I'll choose them over chocolate chip cookies any day. I bet it's the cinnamon - I love cinnamon - that makes them so yummy. (I add lots more cinnamon to coat than others might but it's all up to you). After making several different kinds of snickerdoodle cookies, I've settled on a recipe that I've kept in heavy rotation for about three years. Everyone loves these and I hope you will too.


A few notes about this recipe:
- The cookies will look slightly undone when they are ready to take out of the oven. If your cookies are golden brown all over, they are overdone.
- If you have 2 baking sheets, take advantage of them. That way, you don't have to wait for one baking sheet to cool before placing your cookie dough balls onto it. (The cookie dough will become mushy and the sugar has a chance of sticking to the parchment instead of to the cookies).
- These will keep in an airtight container for a few days. Just be sure it is really airtight or you will have hard cookies.


1 cup butter
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 eggs
2 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp pure vanilla extract

2 Tbsp white sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon

1. Preheat oven to 375 F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs. Stir in flour, baking soda, and salt until combined. Stir in vanilla.
3. In a small bowl, mix together 2 Tbsp white sugar and 1 Tbsp cinnamon. Roll cookie dough into tablespoon-sized balls and roll in cinnamon-sugar mixture. Place on cookie sheet, 2 inches apart.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes or until edges are slightly brown.

Yield: 3 dozen

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Butternut squash cookies and muffins

A few recipes from the past to start.

This past fall, I had an obsession with butternut squash. I bought it in bulk at Costco and ate it plain, mixed with other things, as soup, and then proceeded to make cookies with them. If you like pumpkin things, I recommend you try these squash cookies. Yes, they sound weird but (pre-cubed) butternut squash becomes really soft and sweet when baked in the oven at 400 F for about 20 minutes. (Just be sure you sprinkle some water over them before baking or they will burn). I added lots of spices but you can add as much or as little as you want.

Squash Cookies and Muffins

1/2 cup butter, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
3/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups mashed, cooked butternut (or any winter) squash
1 tsp vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 Tbsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground allspice
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 375 F for cookies or 350 F for muffins. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, cream together butter and white and brown sugar. Beat in eggs and squash. Mix in vegetable oil. Stir in flour, baking soda, baking powder, spices, and salt until well blended. Roll into tablespoon-sized balls and place on cookie sheet.
3. Bake cookies for 10-12 minutes or until edges are golden. Bake muffins for 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Yield: 3 dozen

Away we go

Dear reader,

If you don't know who I am, let me introduce myself. I'm Alice and I'm in my last semester of undergraduate studies at The University of Texas at Austin. I will be entering medical school in the fall in hopes of pursuing pediatrics or oncology (or pediatric oncology!). I love photography, read a lot of fiction, obsessively check, and love winter. I've also been wishing for a Toyota Prius (that I wrote a 40-page research paper on) and a puppy for years. Sadly, neither wishes have come true.

After months and months (probably close to a year) of debating whether or not to start a food blog, here I am. Originally, I wanted to call the blog "One Month" with the idea that I would share a list of things that I loved that month: a book I read, a CD I bought, and of course, a recipe I loved. But someone else already has that blog title so here's mine.

This blog's premise is a little different. I am opening up my (tiny) kitchen to you and sharing daily recipes. In addition, I have decided to choose one ingredient each month that I've never cooked with and make a fantastic recipe with it. I've already got a list that includes quail, rhubarb, and celery root so this should be quite an adventure. If you're ready, then away we go!