Friday, June 7, 2013

I always tell the girls...A Friendship Fairytale Dinner

My friends and I decided to all cook together last night. Usually I am horrific at letting anyone help me cook because I am quite particular about how I like things prepared. Sassy Indie in the kitchen. You don’t know how to mince like I want? Be afraid. Be very afraid.

However, “too many cooks in the kitchen” didn’t describe our night. We all divvied up the menu and everyone helped prep. I didn’t even try to hit anyone with my wooden spoon once. Promise. C’mon wine is a sedative dears. And I may have used dry minced garlic to avoid mincing massacres.

My contribution to this affair was the entrée. I determinedly decided the delicious mangos atop the crates at the store needed to marry a spiced, garlic chicken. I wanted to keep it simple, as nobody wants to be in the kitchen while the gals gossip gleefully on the patio while basking in the warm summer breeze. Glass of wine or not.

The soiree was that of a friendship fairytale. We indulged on light appetizers al fresco and soaked in the night. My friend Lauren complimented the chicken effortlessly with a mouthwatering medley of a side salad encompassing arugula and spinach melting into crisp veggies and light balsamic. Utter perfection.

**To my dear girlfriends, you are my soulmates.**

Roasted Garlic Chicken with Mango Salsa
This recipe takes very little prep time and is perfect for a night you want to catch up with the girls. Or just don’t want to fuss with a neurotic cook such as myself. The mango delightfully compliments the spice and punch of the garlic and sea salt.


  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • Dried minced garlic
  • Sea Salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 3 mangos, diced
  • 3 small vine tomatoes
  • Extra virgin olive oil


Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

Coat the chicken with olive oil, and thoroughly cover with the garlic, sea salt and pepper. Go a little more heavy handed on the garlic. Trust me.

Bake for 45 minutes to one hour. Let rest for 10 minutes.

While your chicken bakes, prepare the salsa. Dice the mangos and tomatoes and place in a bowl. Add 1 tbs olive oil, and 2 tsp sea salt. Optional: Add diced avocado or red onion. Toss and set aside.
Plate your chicken and heap the salsa on top.

Now get your bum on the patio with the girls and revel in the delightful evening!

Monday, May 6, 2013

Muy Bueno Mexican - Guest Recipe

Cinco de Mayo is always an excuse to get together with friends and have a few margs on the patio. I was fortunate enough this year to get to imbibe and indulge in mouthwatering Mexican fare without having to lift a finger in the kitchen.
I was invited to a Cinco party with promises of breakfast enchiladas, Huevos Rancheros, homemade guacamole, and of course appropriate Mexican libations. You had me at enchiladas dears.

I will be honest, I have never been a huge Huevos Rancheros fan and never order it at a restaurant. I am not quite sure why this is because I adore all the ingredients. Maybe Mexican in the morning just isn’t my cup of tea. However, my taste buds were tempted yesterday and I couldn’t seem to resist trying them for lunch. I am happy to report that I am officially a fan, at least of my friend Scott’s creation. It was too scrumptious not to share, and I will most certainly be making these in my kitchen soon. Below is his shared recipe. I tried to grasp how he made it as an onlooker so hopefully it's easy enough to follow. First time to have a guest recipe that I haven't made myself, and you can look forward to more soon!

Scott’s Huevos Rancheros
A little trick was revealed about this eggy delights: Fry the corn tortillas in a little bacon grease as well as your over easy eggs. We are Midwesterners… no judging.

  • 1-2 corn tortillas
  • 2 eggs
  • Fiesta blend cheese
  • 1/3 cup Black beans
  • Salsa of your choice
  • ½ of a green onion, chopped
  • 1/3 of a jalapeno, minced
  • 1/3 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/3 of a lime
  • 1/8 of a diced bell pepper
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Cilantro
  • Tabasco to taste
  • Guacamole
  • Fresh Lime
  • Pinch of Cajun seasoning
  • Pinch of onion powder
  • Sour cream (optional)


First lightly fry your corn tortillas in bacon grease. Set on a plate and gather the rest of your ingredients for assembly.

I like my eggs over easy, but feel free to scramble or make them sunny side up! Cook both eggs in the bacon grease with a little salt and pepper. Place on top of the tortillas. Now it's time for the sprinkling all your goodies! Start with the cheese so it melts over the eggs then add your black beans and all the other accompaniments on top.

Add a sprig of cilantro on top for presentation and enjoy!
Gracias Scott for sharing your recipe!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Muffin Top

Moving puts quite the stress on a cook, especially one that blogs. Attempting to find new lighting spots, ideal backgrounds, and well in my case… your cooking supplies that are naturally shuffled and shoved ungracefully into your new pantry. And dears, I had a detrimental casualty become known to me last night...

The winds grew cold and misted our once beautiful dreams of consistent spring weather away for the day and I was in desperate need of comfort. Which you know darling readers very well  by now that leads to baking. I wanted something hearty but soft. Morsels that melt in your mouth, texture that tingles the taste buds. Which naturally led me to oatmeal chocolate chip cookies.

Excitedly I grabbed the ingredients, desperately dripped the last of my vanilla stash in the batter and bounded for my cookie sheet to plop the dough and pop in the oven. However, somehow the little sheet grew legs and decided to move to another apartment. Potentially out of neglect. I guess I cannot blame him, I have been a horrible companion over the last couple weeks while moving. RIP loving sheet, I wish you the best in your new home.

This did not deter me though, no worries friends. C’mon, you should know by now I am bit more stubborn than that. The wheels turned and turned, and turned into a brilliant bonbon of an idea. Muffin tin. Cookie batter. Thick, gooey, muffin/cookie concoction. A cooking tool that would essentially keep them intact while they cool too. See past lava like bake messes.

Mini “Muffin” Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
I don’t know why I haven’t thought to bake cookies in trial in my muffin tin before. I probably could have avoided a lot of oven rack clean up and tears. These little perfections won’t fall apart while dunking in your ice cold glass of almond milk and cooked evenly. I see future chocolate chip “bowls” for ice cream… enjoy.

• 2 cups gluten free flour mix
• 1 tsp baking soda
• 1 ¼ cups organic brown sugar
• Pinch of salt
• 1 ½ sticks butter, melted
• ½ cup organic sugar
• 2 large eggs + 1 yolk
• 2 tbs almond milk
• 2 tsp vanilla extract
• 2 ½ cups old fashioned oats
• 1 ½ cups chocolate chips

Preheat your oven to 350 F.

In a bowl combine flour, baking soda and salt. Beat your brown sugar, butter, and white sugar in a mixing bowl until creamy. Add in eggs, milk and vanilla extract and beat well. Slowly add in your flour mix, carefully not spilling. If you add all at once you WILL decorate your kitchen.

Remove from the mixer and stir in your oats and chocolate chips.

Form golf size balls and place in greased muffin tin, gently patting down the top.

Bake for about 10 minutes, watching carefully for browning. When tops are lightly golden brown, remove and let cool for 5 minutes.

Pop out with a fork gently and serve with a cool glass of milk. Dunk without abandon.

I may not be sad next icky storm that comes through T-town…you know where I will be.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Cluckin' Amazing Cornish Hens

If you want to impress without a lot of frantic fuss, roast a couple Cornish hens. You’ll make Martha Stewart look like an amateur and your guest screaming your praises. I have never attempted roasting a whole bird before so I admit I was a bit of a chicken to try. But oh my dear readers, this was cluckin’ simple.

I have always wondered about these little birds and what on earth they were exactly. So I googled them naturally and found out that alas, despite the name, it is not a game bird but actually a type of domestic chicken. I am not a fan of gamey goods so that pleased me immensely. Fancy name for a simple animal. As I was reading I recalled the Seinfield episode where Costanza was reprimanded at an upper-class dinner for calling the Cornish game hen wrongly "a little chicken”. So make sure when you’re boasting your menu you brand the bird correctly friends. You’re welcome.

Roasted Cornish Hens

I roasted 2 hens with loads of lemon, herbs de provence, garlic and leeks. They were pretty snug in my small pyrex but cooked evenly. I also added a little chicken stock to keep them moist. Next time I will probably cook in a larger dish and add potatoes. I served this dish with sautéed asparagus and wild rice. The stock and juices I poured over the bird and rice before serving.

·         2 Cornish Hens
·         6 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
·         kosher salt, ground black pepper
·         herbs de provence
·         I large leek, chopped (white part only)
·         2 lemons, quartered
·         extra virgin olive oil


Preheat your oven to 350 F.

Place your birds in a glass pan with about an inch of chicken stock. In both birds insert 2 cloves of garlic in the cavity, as well as the leek and half of a lemon. Coat both with olive oil then liberally massage all spices, covering all of the skin. Place remainder of the lemon around and on top of the birds as well as the remainder of your garlic.

Roast for 65-75 minutes, or until juices run clear.

Let rest for 10 minutes before plating and serving.

Gloat and gleam from all the compliments.


Saturday, February 23, 2013

Blankets & Blueberries

The snow is covering the ground like thick, fluffy blankets. I sit watching it breezily dust my windowsill, curled up with a mug of tea. The fireplace’s heat licks my frosty skin and I allow myself to sink into the smells coming from the kitchen. The wait for homemade baked bread is worth it, and I try to remain patient. Finally my buzzer goes off and I sprint to remove the doughy, pillow top loaf from its warm bed. Blueberry oozes out gently from the crust. I will be lucky if it tastes half as good as it looks. 

I am one very lucky girl. It tasted as beautifully as it looked. Enjoy dear readers.

Blueberry Breakfast Bread

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
  • 1 bag gluten free bread mix (I used Bob Mills)
  • 1 yeast packet
  • 1 3/4 warm almond milk
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup apple sauce
  • 1 large egg, 3 egg whites

Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.

In a small bowl mix yeast and warm almond milk. Let stand for about 5-7 minutes until it begins to bubble.

In a mixing bowl add your flour bread mix, butter, apple sauce, yeast and almond milk mixture, and eggs. Mix on medium speed for 3-5 minutes. 

Gently fold in the blueberries and pour dough into a 9x5 bread pan. Cover with foil and multiple towels and place somewhere warm (about 80 degrees F). Let dough rise for 30-40 minutes. With a wet spatula smooth the surface.

Bake for one hour in the oven. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack.


Thursday, February 21, 2013

Dutch Oven

I’ve never met a potato I didn’t like. Well, I take that back...I wasn’t the most cordial to that one that hid itself in my pantry and grew itself a garden. But other than that one, potatoes and I are buds. I will never turn down a good french fry, adore making homemade mashed potatoes (if you ever have aggression and need a release I can help you with that recipe), and will scarf a baked potato loaded with salsa and sea salt, skin and all, in seconds. Not my most attractive moments I concede so just be polite and look away. And don’t judge. 

I have been hooked on these precious baby dutch potatoes. They are incredible for mashed potatoes and roast up perfectly. I don’t think you could honestly mess up these little guys. A little olive oil, a little salt, a little pepper, and you have perfection. Don’t feel bad if they barely make it off the pan and onto your plate before pit stopping on your palate. You may have to look away when I make and scarf these too I guess. 

Fine Herb Rubbed & Roasted Potatoes
I decided to dowse my little dutch friends in lots of fine herbs, salt, pepper, and olive oil and roast them until the skin puckered and crisped ever so slightly. They take no time to prep, but some time in the oven so make sure you prepare for that. All good things are worth the wait though right?

  • 1 lb baby dutch yellow potatoes
  • 3-4 tbs Fine Herbs (I used Williams Sonoma’s blend but you can find it in your spice section)
  • 1 tbs Salt
  • 1 tbs Pepper
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F.

Rinse the potatoes and place in a large mixing bowl. Add enough olive oil to coat and toss until all evenly covered. Add in your spices and toss. 

Bake at 350F for 40-45 minutes. They are ready when you insert a fork and feel they are very tender.

Let cool, if you can, and chow away! Don’t worry I won’t judge if you shove them into your mouth at godspeed, I will in fact be supportive. Us “scarfers” must stick together after all. 

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Eggcelent Avocado

I am a pinterest addict. I wish I could jump in and live in my boards. I pin projects, crafts, and food all in hopes to actually make and cook them one day. And I finally did. 

I adore breakfast food. I could eat it any time of the day. I am always down for an over easy egg and some toast. I decided that my love affair would push me to make a recipe from pinterest. I would at last cross the line from a pinner to a doer! As I opened my foodie board one picture popped out... a perfectly ripe avocado cupping a baked egg. And I had both on hand. 

I couldn’t believe I had never thought to do this before. It was so simple, so delicious, and super healthy! As an avocado junkie I know this will be repeated for breakfast, lunch, and dinner meals for me. 

Baked Avocado Eggs
This recipe is super filling, easy, and quick. The meaty avocado melts into a creamy delight and the eggs texture couples with it perfectly. Be careful to let the egg overflow out of the dug out spot as it will burn in the pan. Recipe serves one to two people. I took it down solo.

  • 1 avocado, halved and pitted
  • 2 medium organic eggs
  • salt and pepper

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees F.

Scoop out a small space in the middle of the avocado large enough to fit the egg. Place avocado halves in a shallow baking dish. Break an egg into the scopped out area in both halves. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. 

Bake for 15-20 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs. I like mine runnier so I backed for 15 minutes. Remove and enjoy! I made them again today and enjoyed them topped with fresh salsa. Addicted.