Archive for October, 2009

Good morning sunshine!

1029091053I guess technically it’s afternoon now. Regardless, I love the early morning and I LOVE my great big mug – or bug as I shall refer to it from now on –  and I love tea with milk and honey! This morning was particularly lovely because not only did I get to enjoy a steaming bug of tea, but I also remembered I had a loaf of Whole Wheat Chocolate Zucchini Bread that I made and saved for a rainy day in my freezer. HOORAY!

So I defrosted a few pieces, sliced up an apple to enjoy with it and snuggled up on my couch to watch the Rachel Ray Show, which I do when I can in hopes of finding inspiration for an upcoming meal.

1029091052Delicious &
Nutritious

Anyway, this last week has been kind of lame for me. I’ve been working nights all week and have hardly had any time to cook anything at all. And that, my friends, makes me sad. 😦

In the upcoming weeks,however, I plan to take culinary journeys to Germany, Jamaica, England, and maybe even a brief trip to Texas. I’m also hoping to snag an interview with someone who – for the time being – shall remain nameless because I don’t know if I can get it. FINGERS CROSSED! So be on the lookout for new posts containing interviews and new, scrumptious recipes! I can’t wait to get cooking again!


October 29, 2009 at 1:33 pm Leave a comment

Oh, honey

Hey folks!

I know it’s been a few days since my last post, but I’ve been a busy bee lately.

Speaking of busy bees, I am pleased to send a big THANKS to some legitimate busy bees and an even busier beekeeper for providing me with some fresh, local honey that I have the pleasure of enjoying in my tea as we speak. Yum. 🙂

runny-honey-thumb

*image courtesy of carolinabees.com*

Honey is really one of natures wonders, don’t you think? Not only is it extremely tasty, but its health benefits are astounding.

Did you know that consuming local honey can help ease allergies and hay fever?

Now that flu season is upon us it’s also good to know that honey can help to sooth a cough or sore throat.

And I know by now we are all aware of my love of cooking – honey is a great substitute in quick breads and baked goods because of it’s ability to retain moisture.

So give it a shot!
Pick up some local honey.
You’ll be supporting
your immune system,
your local economy,
and your taste-buds!

October 28, 2009 at 11:11 pm Leave a comment

Heritage Station Winery – A Photo Essay

October 24, 2009 at 7:37 pm 1 comment

A soup stroll

Now, be honest, who doesn’t love soup?

Can you really look me in the eye and tell me,
“Jen, as a matter of fact, I hate soup!”

No. You can’t. And if you can, I’m very sorry that you are missing out on the delightfully comforting and delicious bowl of goodness that is soup. It’s so warm and tasty and absolutely PERFECT for fall. I took a look at some other blogs to see what soup’s on the stove of some other folks, here’s what I found.

And just in case you’re not hungry enough, lets end on a great big bowl of
Sausage and Shrimp Stoup a la Rachel Ray, it’s what I ended on last night!

Here's my dinner last night. A simple Sausage and Shrimp One Pot meal courtesy of Rachel Ray. Topped off with fresh basil and parsley served with a big hunk of crusty ciabatta bread!

Here’s my dinner last night.
A simple Sausage and Shrimp One Pot meal courtesy of Rachel Ray. Topped off with fresh basil and parsley served with a big hunk of crusty ciabatta bread!

October 21, 2009 at 3:34 pm 3 comments

Spanish tortilla de patatas y chorizo

So here’s a fun fact; Johnny loves The George Lopez Show. He watches it from time to time. This, of course, results in me being forced to listen to The George Lopez Show from time to time as well. Ha.

The other night, after having successfully zoned out on my computer,
I’m disrupted by my darling Johnny shouting, “SILLY! I WANT CHORIZO AND EGGS!”

Que???

“Johnny, do you even know what chorizo is?”

“Well, kinda. George Lopez likes it. It sounds tasty. Can you make it for me?”

*Shakes head* “Sure, babe. I’ll make you chorizo and eggs.”

And there, my friends, was my inspiration for breakfast…and of course, this post!

A Spanish tortilla is a traditional Spanish dish, often served as tapas. The recipe is typically quite simple, usually containing nothing more than olive oil, eggs, potatoes, onions, salt & pepper. I chose to spice mine up with some chorizo to please my man. 🙂 Here is my recipe for it!

Spanish tortilla de patas y chorizo

  • 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 eggs
  • 4 small red potatoes, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
  • 1/2 of a small red onion, sliced thin
  • 1/4 c bell pepper. diced
  • 2 links spanish chorizo, casings removed
  • Salt & pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat.
Add the potatoes and onions. Season with salt and pepper.

1018091255

In a separate pan, brown the chorizo.

1018091306

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs in a medium sized mixing bowl and set aside.

1018091311

Add the peppers and cooked chorizo to the potatoes and onions.

1018091313

Arrange ingredients in one, even layer in the pan. Add the eggs.

1018091314

Allow to cook about 10 minutes, or until the eggs are mostly set,
making sure to use your spatula around the edges to keep it loose in the pan.

(Note: Traditionally when the eggs set, you flip the tortilla onto a plate and slide it back into the pan. If you’re feeling adventurous, go for it. This morning I was not,so rather I placed the pan into a preheated oven
at 400º for 5 minutes more to set the top.)

Remove from oven and let set for about 10 minutes before serving.

1018091328

To serve, carefully flip tortilla onto a plate.

1018091334

Slice into wedges and enjoy!

1018091336


October 20, 2009 at 3:08 pm 4 comments

HEY EVERYONE!!!

Check out The Food(pro)Files! The first profile is up! Enjoy!

October 17, 2009 at 12:33 pm Leave a comment

A French Feast: Coq au Vin & Apple Tartlets

This weekend, some friends and I took a trip to France thanks,
in large part (well, in all parts), to my kitchen!

After this summer’s film Julie and Julia, based on the book of the same name, Boeuf Bourguignon was the French dish on everyone’s mind.(Both the movie and book, I must say, were quite entertaining. Obviously, the book was better. Bet let’s move on…) I could have hopped on the bandwagon and made this classic dish. But no! Surely, there must be other classic French dishes out there. My choice?? Coq au Vin!

Essentially, Coq au Vin and Boeuf Bourguignon are the same thing. Their core ingredients – bacon, mushrooms, pearl onions, and red wine – are the same. Their core techniques – sautéing in bacon fat and braising in wine – are also the same. The main difference is the protein selection. Where Boeuf Bourguignon is made with beef, Coq au Vin is made with chicken. That was my selling point. 🙂

I decided in my attempt to make Coq au Vin
to use Tyler’s Ultimate Coq au Vin recipe.

Why?

I think Tyler Florence’s Coq au Vin was a version that stayed true to the classic recipe while still being simple enough for a first time French chef.

Also, Tyler Florence is hot and I dig him. ANYWHO!

Preparing Coq au Vin really was quite simple.

Start by rendering the fat from four strips of bacon.1010091624
(Those of you close to me know how I feel about bacon. Bacon and I, well, we don’t really like each other all that much. Unamerican? Perhaps. I find the flavor  of bacon to be extremely overpowering. But I wanted to capture the true essence of this dish. So the bacon stayed.)

Once the fat is rendered, remove the crispy bacon and brown the chicken.
1010091637

Remove the chicken and set aside, add the vegetables and sauté until soft.
1010091641

Remove from heat, add 1/4c cognac, take a step back and FLAMBE!
1010091644(Look at it! Flames! How exciting is that?! This was my first time flambe-ing a dish! You should be impressed because I still have my eyebrows. 🙂 )


Once the flames subside, add the chicken back to the pot,
2c chicken broth, and a whooooooole bottle of red wine.

Add some bay leaves and fresh thyme and let simmer, covered, for one hour.

I served mine with my homemade roasted garlic mashed potatoes.

I must admit, bacon and all, this traditional french dish
was ces’t magnifique!
1010091804 (more…)

October 14, 2009 at 3:54 pm 2 comments

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