new url

hi readers! i really appreciate you checking in with my blog.

i've upgraded to a brand new website, powered through wordpress - all new content will be posted there. my old recipes, posts, images and comments have all been transferred over, and photos will now be available through flickr. i will keep this site up for a month or so, and then will remove it so that someone else can use the website if they choose.

please check out my new site, and enjoy! i would really appreciate any feedback you have to offer, since i'm still learning my way around the new formats and system.


thanks again!


apologizing with pork chops

so it has been quite awhile since my last post (in october!), and for that i'm truly sorry. as final papers crept up on me and the holiday season began, my work caught up with me and i developed bronchitis. there wasn't a lot of cooking, and i didn't have much time, hence the complete lack of posts. some friends offered serious complaints, so i put together a little dinner in your honor - pork chops stuffed with blue cheese and crisp bread. i served mine with sauteed collard greens and grilled corn and peppers, but this dish would go well with a number of items.

 this dish is incredibly easy, and full of rich flavor and lots of texture. this stuffing could also work in chicken breasts, but the pork chops give a firmer texture that contrasts nicely with the crunchy french bread and creamy, tangy cheese. gorgonzola, roquefort, or feta cheese could be substituted if you aren't a big fan of blue cheese, but anyone that knows you will say that i'll put blue cheese on just about anything - this is my kind of dish.

you will need:
3-4 boneless center cut pork chops
3 tablespoons butter
1 cup french bread (i used rolls for easier measuring)
1/2 cup mushrooms
1/2 cup white onion
1 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried mustard
salt and pepper to taste
1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese

to begin, break the french bread into small pieces with your fingers.

place a skillet over medium heat, and cut the butter into three separate tablespoons. pop one into the pan and let melt completely.

drop the bread pieces into the butter and saute the bread for about ten minutes, until crisp and golden brown.

remove from heat and place into a small bowl to the side.

next, chop the onion and mushrooms into small pieces, and place another tablespoon of butter into the same skillet.

throw the mushrooms and onions into the buttered skillet, sauteing for a few minutes until the onions are translucent and the mushrooms have a nice golden color. add the rosemary, salt and pepper while they're browning.

remove from heat and add to the bread, stirring well.

pop this bowl into the refrigerator to cool until you're ready to cook the pork chops, at least 15 minutes but up to several hours in advance.

when you're ready to eat, add the blue cheese to the bowl. use your fingers to stir well, breaking the bread into smaller pieces - this will make it easier to stuff into the pork chops.

preheat the oven to 350 degrees. use a sharp knife to each pork chop down the middle, taking care to create a pocket and not just cut all the way through the chop. you can also wiggle the knife and cut across the sides of the first slit to create a bigger pocket. use your hands to get the stuffing into the chops. 

once you've gotten each chop stuffed, warm up the same skillet and melt the last tablespoon of butter. pop each chop into the warm skillet for a couple of minutes to brown.

i intentionally overstuffed my pork chops, so i was really only able to brown one side. you can stuff them less, or use toothpicks to hold the sides together if you want to brown both sides.

one they've browned, pop your pork chops into a baking dish and place into the oven for 18-22 minutes, until they're cooked through. remove from dish and serve immediately.

as i said, i served with sauteed vegetables and a cabernet sauvignon that my brother gave me for my birthday (thanks eric!). really yummy, and doesn't take long to prepare at all.


pomegranate and almond pound cake

the other day i was wandering through the grocery store, trying to decide what i wanted for lunch after getting goodies for my pantry. the pomegranates were on sale, and i absolutely love pomegranates, so i threw one into my cart. i began the process of getting the seeds out, which is always a little more work than i remember...and by the time i'd gotten everything out, i decided that i needed to use the seeds for something more exciting than my lunch.

this cake is super easy to make, and has a great combination of flavors. plus, using yogurt instead of milk gives the cake a great texture.

you will need:
1 fresh pomegranate
1 stick butter, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 egg white
3/4 cup yogurt (i used greek vanilla yogurt, but regular is fine too)
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup almonds, crushed or sliced
1 cup confectioner's sugar
2 tbsp milk

preheat your oven to 350 degrees. change into a shirt you don't care about, then seed the pomegranate. i didn't take pictures of this process since i decided to make a cake about halfway through it, but here are some great instructions on how to do it. wash the seeds well and make sure you don't have any pith.

use cooking spray or butter to thoroughly grease your bundt pan, then gently flour it. set this aside.

in a medium bowl, combine the butter and sugar with an electric mixer until well combined.

add the two eggs and the white to this mixture one at a time, still using the electric mixer. whip it all together so that it has a nice, fluffy texture.

in a larger bowl, combine the yogurt, lemon juice, vanilla extra and baking soda. 

slowly add the flour and the salt. it's a bit hard to stir, but combine as well as you can with a spatula.

add the butter mixture to the flour mixture and stir well, then add the pomegranate seeds.

stir until the seeds are well distributed throughout the dough, then put the whole thing into the greased and floured bundt pan. (you can also use a loaf pan.)

sprinkle the almonds on top. i just crushed mine in a food processor, but sliced almonds would look beautiful. be sure to press them into the cake so that they won't fall off once baked.

bake. i left mine in for an hour, and i think it was a bit overdone - try for 40-45 minutes and evaluate. you want a toothpick to come out clean.

let the cake cool in the pan for 10-15 minutes, then flip out gently and let cool completely on a cooling rack.

combine the confectioner's sugar and milk in a small bowl. i also added a splash of vanilla extract, but you could also add a little pomegranate juice or almond extract if you prefer. make sure the icing is nice and thick, and drizzle over the cake. serve to your adoring public.

(i brought this cake to a halloween party, so unfortunately i don't have any shots of the cake once it's sliced - but the pomegranate seeds look gorgeous in this cake. great with ice cream, especially topped with some fresh pomegranate seeds. delicious!)


double chocolate almond cookies

i'm really not a baker, but i wanted to make these cookies after seeing the recipe made on tv for a class in my gastronomy program. they're not hard to make and are super delicious, especially with vanilla ice cream.

kathleen king is the creator of this recipe, and it's one that she uses at her southampton bake shop. i barely altered this since i'm always scared to mess with baking recipes too much, but there were recommendations in the comments and things that i've incorporated into this version.

you will need:
3/4 cup cocoa
2 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
3 sticks salted butter, room temperature
1 cup refined sugar
1 cup dark brown sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 tsp bourbon vanilla extract
1 cup white chocolate chips
1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks
1 cup almonds, chopped

preheat your oven to 350 degrees. grab a medium bowl and combine the flour, cocoa, salt and baking soda.

use a whisk or a fork to combine the ingredients, making sure that there are no lumps in the mixture.

in a smaller bowl, unwrap the butter and make sure it's at room temperature. (i cheated and microwaved it for a few seconds.)

add both types of sugar and use an electric mixer to whip them together.

add the vanilla and the egg, and gently combine with a spatula. then slowly combine with the dry ingredients until it's just mixed together.

then, add the chocolate and the almonds. if you can't find chopped almonds, you can always pop them in the food processor like i did.

combine until the chunks are all well distributed within the batter.

use a spoon or a little ice cream scoop to form the cookies. arrange them on baking pans that you've covered in parchment paper.

pop these into the oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on your oven - i had to keep taking these in and out to get them right. they have a tendency to fall apart when you first take them out of the oven, but after they've sat for a minute they'll get firmer, so wait a few moments before using a spatula to remove them from the baking sheets and place on a cooling rack.

let them cool, and devour promptly. 


look like you spent two days in the kitchen: one-pan coq au vin

i think it's fairly clear from the cooking/writing/photographs on this blog, but in case you haven't yet picked up the subtle nuances: i have no actual culinary training. i didn't go to culinary school, i don't come from a family of professionals, and i've never been paid to make anything fancier than a latte and a sandwich. i'm just a girl who loves to cook (and really loves to eat), and i happen to have a gigantic kitchen and a crappy digital camera. unless i directly credit them, my recipes are my own bizarre creations - although i often get inspiration from television, films, and reading blogs and recipes online.

to that end: i wanted to make my husband a delicious celebratory meal, since he's leaving his past job and beginning a new and exciting one. however, as dearly as i love him, i didn't want to spend two days slaving over a coq au van when he'd never heard of the classic french dish before. i'd seen a quick-and-dirty version on bon appetit, and i knew i had my answer. what follows is my slightly adapted version, but here's my inspiration if you want a professional's opinion.

using one pan to cook all of the ingredients in allows the drippings from each ingredients to blend, so by the time things are done you've got tons of flavors. it also helps to keep the chicken really moist, and gives the sauce a lot of depth.

you will need:
3-4 large chicken breasts
4 slices bacon
4 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped - i used flat leaf italian
5 oz fresh mushrooms
1 small onion - you can also use shallots
about 8 cherry or plum tomatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 1/2 cups dry red wine
1 1/4 cups chicken stock
1/3 cup all purpose flour
salt and pepper to taste

begin by preheating the oven to a low setting - 275 or 300 degrees is fine. heat a large skillet over medium heat, and chop the bacon into small pieces. saute the bacon until it's nice and crispy.

once the bacon is browned and crisp, use a slotted spoon to remove from the pan and set aside until a bit later.

rinse the chicken breasts in cold water, and pat dry. save 4 tablespoons of the flour in a small bowl for later, and put the rest into another bowl. cover the chicken well with the flour so that it sticks to both sides, then sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper, and add the chicken to the skillet with the bacon fat. top with about half of the chopped parsley.

continue to cook the chicken breasts until they're golden brown and cooked through, about 6-7 minutes on each side.

remove the breasts from the pan and place them into a pie pan or pyrex dish.

cover these guys with aluminum foil and pop them into the preheated oven - just to keep them warm while you're preparing the rest of the sauce.

grab your mushrooms and onion and chop everything up into small pieces.

throw these into the same pan, and top with a bit more salt and pepper. saute them together for about 5 minutes, until they're a golden brown color.

press or finely chop the garlic, then add to the pan. let sautee for one minute, then add the wine, 1 cup of the chicken stock, the bacon, and the rest of the parsley.

let everything continue to heat up in the pan. dice the tomatoes and add them to the pan.

turn the heat up and let the sauce come to a boil, and keep it boiling for 10 minutes.

in a bowl, combine the flour and the last 1/4 cup of chicken stock. make sure they're well mixed together, then add to the sauce.

continue to cook the sauce, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thickened - another 5 minutes or so.

remove the chicken from the oven, and arrange on your plates or on a platter. stir any extra drippings from the pyrex baking dish into the sauce, then spoon over the chicken.

this is delicious with buttered vegetables, which is how i served it for us.


scrambled eggs with spinach and garlic

i love eggs. i love eating them any way, with just about anything. i generally just throw whatever i feel like in them, but i wasn't sure how many readers actually experiment with their eggs, so here's a quick recipe i made this morning for breakfast.

for this recipe (experiment!), you will need:
2-3 eggs - i used 2
about 1/2 cup fresh spinach
1/4 cup grated parmesan
1/2 clove garlic
1 tbsp butter
salt and pepper to taste

heat up a small frying pan. chop up garlic and spinach.

melt butter in the pan, then add the garlic and spinach. saute for several minutes.

in a small bowl, combine eggs, cheese, salt and pepper.

i was out when i made this, but i love to add sun-dried tomatoes to the mix at this point too.

use a fork and whisk the eggs well, until they're nice and foamy.

add the eggs to the garlic and spinach in the pan.

use a wooden spoon to break up the eggs and move them while cooking - this lets them cook evenly. i like my scrambled eggs pretty well done.

serve with toasted ciabatta and enjoy!