(I had to fork-and-knife it.)

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welcome back, blog

October 2, 2011

Sorry.  I have been missing in action for the past couple of months.  It simply became too hot in my studio kitchen to warrant any additional heat.  I had to move the chocolate from the cupboard into my fridge because everything was melting.

i'm melting

Including myself.  And so I went out, where I enjoyed things that I can finally share because I can now comfortably concentrate at a heat-emitting device in my own home.

mocha sundae

I ate a lot of ice cream this summer.  Like this amazing mocha sundae, cappuccino ice cream with chocolate sauce and topped with chocolate covered espresso beans.  It was a good way to keep my internal temperature down, or so I told myself.

bloody mary friend

I made sure to stay hydrated.  I met friends for drinks and made friends in drinks, like this friend I found at the bottom of my Bloody Mary.

mason jar mojito

And this mason jar Mojito at Moonshine.

gin and tonic

And this gin and tonic at Archies.

raspberry crown

After late nights out, there is nothing so wonderful as a big brunch by the light of day featuring seasonal fruit.  Peach and raspberry pancakes with almonds and house made amaretto churned butter at Nookies Too.

burger

There was plenty of room for backyard barbeques, including the amazing discovery that basil becomes a fantastic lettuce replacement on a burger when the herb is so rich and leafy in the summertime.

blueberries

I could not get enough blueberries this summer.

handy helpers

I even went on an adventure to Michigan and enlisted the help of my three-year-old twin niece and nephew to pick wild blueberries that are infinity times better than anything I’ve ever found in a grocery store.  While my nephew found the bucket an interfering step from branch to mouth, my niece successfully picked a half pound of the good “purple” blueberries and none of the yucky pink or green blueberries.

blueberry margarita

And that very evening, with a couple of fine ladies, we turned a couple pounds of those teeny blueberries into totally healthful margaritas.  Cheers!

Thanks for sticking around in my absence!  I am back from this break with my kitchen and excited to get to work baking, shooting and writing about the fun and delicious things I come across!

bacon and egg cupcakes

July 22, 2011

Although not technically a cupcake in the traditional sense, these bacon wrapped eggs from Recipe Cards are a cute and impressive addition to any brunch spread – not to mention a total breeze to make using minimal ingredients and taking less than 20 minutes to whip together!

So many wonderful recipes are written to make enormous batches, leaving a lot of lonely leftovers.  These fantastic little “cupcakes” are made individually so you only have to make exactly how many you want right now; for your family, your breakfast-for-dinner party, or just you.

Bacon and Egg Cupcakes Ingredients

  • eggs (one per cupcake)
  • bacon (approximately 1 1/2 strips per cupcake)
  • cheese (shredded or crumbled – use your favorite, mine is cheddar jack)
  • chopped herbs (thyme, chives, rosemary, dill – anything you like, I like basil)
  • salt and pepper (pinches each, per cupcake)
Preheat oven to 400°.

Cook bacon until browned, but not crispy.

In a greased muffin tin, line a muffin cup with a full strip of bacon.  In this “cupcake” the bacon acts as the liner – holding the delicious goods all together with no need to peel off and discard, just eat it right up!

Tear about half a strip of bacon into little bits and fill the bottom of the muffin tin.

Crack an egg into each tasty bacon cup.

Season with salt and pepper.  While you’re at it, take a moment to appreciate the song styling of Salt-N-Pepa.

Fill each cup with cheese and sprinkle with herbs.

Cook for 10-15 minutes (mine were good around the 12 minute mark).

Remove from oven and allow to cool for a minute or two.  Two of these self-contained breakfast vessels make for one sturdy serving.

Serve with sliced tomato, fresh fruit, home fries, Bloody Marys and you’ve got another delightful reason to get out of bed on a Sunday!

And if this wasn’t easy enough to follow, check out this beautiful video from Recipe Cards:

black russian

July 21, 2011

Black Russian.  Green Mill.  4208 N Broadway Ave.

 

 

Nothing is more than the harmonious coupling of two contrasts.  In this edition, we’re going with spicy and cool.

I know there are wimps out there when it comes to the really hot stuff, but  jalapeño peppers rate comparatively low on the Scoville scale (a fraction of a percent of law enforcement grade pepper spray!), and who doesn’t need to keep themselves hydrated anyways?

For some reason, I’ve had a heart on for cucumbers this year.  Have you ever craved a cucumber?  It’s a delightful alternative to a potato chip when you’re yearning for something crunchy.  Also, cucumber slices are fantastic drink garnishes for your vodka lemonades and gin & tonics.

Add a Ritz cracker and a schmear of whipped cream cheese and you’ve got a crunchy, creamy, spicy, cool treat!

(And for the wimps, it doesn’t hurt to have a couple blanks on hand for those jalapeño slices with a few too many seeds!)

pita pizza

April 27, 2011

You know what’s great?  Late night pub grub.  You know what’s even better?  Not having to go to a bar to eat like it.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I introduce, the Pita Pizza.  Next to my best friends – The Sandwich and Bowl of Cereal – Pita Pizza is the most enjoyable single-serving meal you can find (…ingredients for in my fridge at all times).

For double duty purposes, pasta sauce becomes pizza sauce!  Sprinkle all the cheese available in your fridge, and whatever herbs you can get your hands on.  You can even use real things, like meats and veggies for toppings!  (I find this is a fantastic way to make use of starting-to-wilt spinach, just sauté with butter or bacon fat and now you don’t have piss off Popeye by throwing that great spinach in the garbage!)  Cook in a 350 oven for 10 minutes and biggity-bam! you’ve got yourself a meal that you don’t have to share!

For foodie’s sake, here’s the breakdown of the goods I used:

  • whole wheat pita
  • Trader Joe’s Vodka Sauce (that’d be the pasta sauce, and it’s delish fore it comes with big ol’ wads of tomato in it – but really, any sauce you like will do) with several splashings of Frank’s Red Hot sauce (because I really do put that shit on everything)
  • shredded cheddar jack, mozzarella, and parmesan cheeses
  • and a couple pinches of basil leaves (for tastiness, but really to get that stop-light look)

NOM!