Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Winning People Over

What do you do when you're sick?  

Lay out on couch?  Watch movies?  Read?

I create a kind of quarantined nest of sorts.  I've got my blanket, my remotes, my books and my water.  Oh... and tissues.  

But I can only sit on my butt for so long, ya know?  It's too much sitting after awhile.  I have to move around.  Get things done.  Idle hands.  You understand.

So on Sunday, when I couldn't watch one more episode of Misfits, and the crazy brain idea that might legs my fall off due to lack of use, I decided to do the one thing that always cheers me up but requires minimal effort.  

Sunday, September 25, 2011

A Little Birthday Cupcake-age

Dear Starbucks Girl:

I may not know your name.  I may not know your (exact) birthday.  My bad.

But I did remember these cupcakes were for you.

Want to know the best part?  You thought I'd forgotten until I walked in with a tray of them for you.  Like a boss.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Sick Day

So this sickness is taking over my body with a quickness.  I was going to bake today...  but I'm finding I'd rather just wallow.

(I'll bake... don't listen to me when I complain/whine)

For the past half hour I've been researching how to use photoshop to my advantage when it comes to food photography.  Would you like to see?  Of course you would.

Exhibit A:  Raw food (hah!) photo of some taters.  Kinda dark.  Cold.  It was a gray day, and you can totally tell.

Can You Feel It?



Yeah... I'm talkin' to you.  You squirrelly little virus in my throat/nasal passage.  This is not cool.

No one invited you here, and you are certainly not welcome to stay.  So... get your stuff and go.  

Mmmkay?  Yeah.  Thanks.  BUH BYE.

(I'm annoyed that I'm getting sick... can you tell?)

Potato and Onion Breakfast Hash
Inspired by Joy the Baker

4 medium red potatoes, cut into bite sized chunks
Olive Oil (I used chipotle-flavored olive oil for the potatoes, and regular for the rest)
Salt and Pepper
1 medium red onion
1/2 pint baby bella mushrooms
3 cloves garlic, finely minced
1/4 lb veggie crumbles, cooked
1 tablespoon rosemary, finely minced
eggs, fried (one per person is good, but two might be even better!)

*preheat the oven to 400 degrees and prep a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper)

1. Place the potato chunks on the prepped rimmed baking sheet.  Drizzle about two tablespoons of the flavored olive oil over the potatoes, and then salt and pepper them.  Roast for about 25-30 minutes, or until they are fork-tender.  Remove from the oven and set aside.

2. Meanwhile, in a large sautee pan over medium heat, warm up 2 tablespoons regular olive oil.  Add the onions and mushrooms and sautee until caramelized, about 6 minutes.  Add the cooked veggie crumbles and garlic and cook for 1 minute more.  Remove from heat and place in a bowl, setting this aside for a moment.  

3. Once your potatoes are done, place them in the same pan the onion and mushrooms were in, and bring back to medium heat.  Pan fry until the potatoes become crispy on the outside, about 5 minutes or so.  Add the onion, mushroom, and veggie crumbles to the mixture, folding to combine.  Add in the rosemary, stir, and place hash into a serving bowl.  Return the pan to medium heat and wipe out with a paper towel.

4. Using the same pan one last time, drizzle in 1 tablespoon olive oil and fry your eggs the way you like them.  Once done, top the hash with the fried eggs and serve immediately.  Best eaten with a side of Airborne.  

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Passing the Time

People around me are getting sick.
*washes hands*

Dropping like flies, they are.
*takes a multi-vitamin*

And I am in close proximity to one of them.
*snuggles up to the plague on the other end of the couch*

Yes... the weather is changing.  I have no doubt this has something to do with the strange epidemic floating through the air.  But you know what?  It's all good.  Because she's eating my dessert as her main meal, even though I know she can't taste a thing.

Guess who she reminds me of...  just guess.

Yes.  Meg Ryan, for this very reason.

On to the dessert, yes?

Friday, September 16, 2011

Crowd Pleaser

Sometimes when I get a microphone...  I get quirky.

Is that the right word?

Yes.  It is.

Do you know why?  I love talking.  Conversing.  Inspiring giggles and interest.  I love people.

Buuuuut I get nervous.  I shake.  I roll over what I need to say in my head over and over and OVER before I feel it's worthy of... presenting.

I put so much pressure on myself to "get it right" and put that WOW factor in there.

What I don't need to do is put any more WOW into this dish.  Each of the few ingredients are showing up and representin', and I feel like they shine all on their own.  *awww*

It starts with amazing, crusty-outside, soft-inside bread.  I chose an Italian farmer's bread.  Nice thick slices, kids.

You can use ciabatta, or a flavored bread.  Oh man... that actually sounds good too.

The bread is crisped up in a pan with olive oil.  Rubbed with a clove of garlic.

I know.  Yum.

(I stood by and waited for it to toast while dipping the bread end in extra olive oil and pepper...  I was hungry, and toasting bread smells amaaaazing)

Cheese.  What a glorious addition to any meal, right?

Well normally I make this with goat cheese, but I decided to try something a bit different.

I may have just found my new favorite.

It's the Spicy Fromage cheese from Traders Point Creamery here in Indy.  Well... Zionsville, if you're feeling technical.

Soft, smooth, spicy cheese.  Once I stopped eating it straight out of the classy glass container, I put it on the toasted bread.  Back into the oven for warmth.

More olive oil.  Sliced tomatoes.

Salt them, and pepper them, and wait until they char a little.

Place the slices on top of the cheese and...?  You guessed it.  Back into the oven.  (you're good!)

You know what this is?  It's a perfectly fried egg.  With salt and pepper.

Can I get a high five?

Place the fried egg straight on top of the tomatoes and serve straight away to your audience friends.

* applause*

Egg, Tomato and Spicy Cheese Toasts

Italian Farmer's Bread, thickly sliced (one slice per person)
extra virgin olive oil
1 Garlic clove, peeled and cut in half
Fromage Blanc Spicy
Medium tomatoes, sliced (1-2 slices per person, depending on the size of the bread and the tomato)
salt and pepper
eggs (one per person)

*preheat the oven to 250 degrees, and line a baking sheet with parchment paper*

1. In a large skillet on medium heat, drizzle 1 tablespoon olive oil.  Place bread slices in the pan and let crisp up and get brown on both sides, about 5 minutes.  Place on the parchment-lined baking sheet and rub with the clove of garlic.  Spread the bread thickly with the fromage and place in the oven to keep warm.

2. Add another tablespoon of olive oil to the same pan, and saute the tomato slices until they begin to char on both sides, about 6-8 minutes.  Salt and pepper them, then place on top of the cheese and bread.  Again, place the toasts back into the oven.  Wipe out the skillet.

3. Add a final tablespoon of olive oil to the same skillet.  Crack each egg into the pan, taking care they do not touch, and cover to cook.  Fry until desired doneness (I feel sunny side up and runny is quite excellent for this dish).  Lightly salt and pepper the eggs.  Place on top of the toast stacks and serve immediately.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Up Before The Rooster

Um... it's dark.

Like, really dark.

I'm sitting upright in bed, computer on my lap, no other lights on, and it's... very dark.

It would be, right?  It's 6:03am.  It should be dark.  It is.

You know those mornings when you have to wake up super early?  Maybe you're a baker somewhere. Maybe you work at a coffee shop.  Maybe you're a glutton for punishment and like it.  Judge not.

Even though you've been waking up early like that for a long time, eeeevery once in a while you wake up before the alarm goes off.  Not really understanding what the actual time is, you are thrown into a panic, sheets flinging, compromises being made as to just how *ready* you'll get before  tearing our the door with your keys in your hand.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Over The River...

Fact:  Fish don't eat cheese.

At least, not the cheddar variety.

Have you ever tried to fish with cheese?  I could have SWORN this worked before... but these Brown County fish don't want my curds, do they?  No.  They acted liked they wanted the gummy fish, though.

(I'll get you next time, my pretty!)

Photoshop attempt numero uno.  I added the frame, too.  Yeah... I'm cool like that.

Cabin life isn't all fish and games.  No.  It's cooking with an oven the size of your suitcase duffle bag.  It's movies on VHS from 1995, and home videos featuring yours truly in a onesie (circa 1983).  It's building a fire and watching the embers burn down to nothin' (safety first).

Yes.  It is all of these things and so much more.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Let's Get Tarty

I've got my sliding glass door open to let in all that glorious fall air.

There's hot coffee in my cup.

It's promising to rain this weekend.

I. Love. It.

I know it's weird to like the "gloomy" weather... but seriously?  What do you have against fall?  You aren't sweating through your pants when you sit on leather seats.  You don't have to worry about your hair bleaching out in the sun.  You save moola by not using any air conditioning (can I get an amen?).  IT SMELLS GOOD.


And tomatoes are in season.  Like... WAY in season.  As in they are eh-vuhr-ee-ware.  I'm not mad at it.

With all the things to do with tomatoes, I am starting out with a tart recipe.  All that comfort food you eat in fall kind of comes together in one dish.  I mean... corn crust, cheese, caramelized onion, heirloom tomatoes... do I have you yet?

Pulsing the dry ingredients, I day-dreamed of running through leaves...

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

My Betty

This morning I ran out.  Out of everything.

(except coffee... I learned from last time to never let that happen again)

I made scrambled eggs... mostly because they were the only things that made sense to eat for breakfast.

Broccoli?  No.

Frozen corn?  Ew.

Strawberry margarita mix?  Uh...

It was dismal.  But the eggs worked for the time being, I suppose.  Sometimes this happens.  Sometimes, all we eat are eggs and nothing else.  Not trying to lose weight.  Just... trying to find something edible in my fridge to pair with coffee.  

You know what I'm sayin'.

So what on earth is going on here?  Why that's a Peach Brown Betty, friend.  That there is something I WISH I had right now.  I'd be in ecstasy.

This was a delicious offering I brought to Cori's moms house on a day where everything on hand went together to make something that made sense.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Guest Blog: Cori Lennox

Kasey’s been asking me to write a “guest blog” for some time so since she’s at work all day and I have the kitchen to myself, today’s the day! 

For dinner tonight, I’ve decided to make one of my favorite recipes. I picked this one up in New Zealand though apparently it really originated here in the US. 


Traditionally, cioppino is made with the catch of the day, but seeing how we’re here in land-locked Indiana the options are somewhat limited.  The only seafood that looked “fresh” was the shrimp, but any shellfish or white fish will work. In fact, the more the merrier.