Monday, June 28, 2010

Under the Kitchen Sink

Under the sink makeover! The left white thing is the can/glass/plastic recycle bin. The right half was chaos of cleaning products, paper bags, plastic bags, paper towels.
Behind the recycle bin, more scary stuff! An old dish drying rack full of crap like gloves, candles and ant poison.
I took everything out, bought some nice storage and got rid of crap.
The metal bucket that holds all my cleaning supplies slides out! How handy is that? From the Container Store. Behind the recycle bin is a plastic bag holder. The metal bucket was too tall to go on the right side because of the garbage disposal. I should have measured. There were shorter sizes. John actually had to cut a small chunk out of the metal bucket to make it get fit on the left side even. But it works, and you can't really tell.
Paper towels got upgraded to an under the upper cabinets storage.

Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup regular sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup peanut butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Cream together sugars and soften butter, takes about 3 minutes. Add egg and peanut butter, mix it more. In separate bowl whisk together the remaining dry ingredients. Add gradually to the sugar mixture. Make small balls, I used the 2 teaspoons cookie scoop. Take a fork, make cross hatches on it. My mother would use a potato masher to smush hers down. That is easy for kids to do, I prefer the look of the fork marks though.

Back at 300 degrees for nearly 15 minutes. The low temperature with a longer cooking time makes the cookies come out chewy, and I like my cookies medium-rare chewy.

Sunday, June 27, 2010


This is the most lovely children's apron I have ever scene, and just needed to share. Truly a fabulous thing, made by my friend's mother. I am so in love with it, I want to make one in my size.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Olive Focaccia

I totally lifted this from Pioneer Woman. I love it.
  • 1-½ teaspoon Active Dry Yeast
  • 1-½ cup Warm Water
  • 4 cups All-purpose Flour
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • ⅓ cups Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Olives (any Variety Or Combination), Roughly Chopped
  • Olive Oil, For Drizzling
  • Kosher Salt, For Sprinkling
Preparation Instructions

Sprinkle yeast over 1 1/2 cups warm (not lukewarm) water. Let stand for a few minutes.

In a mixer, combine flour and salt. With the mixer running on low speed (with paddle attachment), drizzle in olive oil until combined with flour. Next, pour in yeast/water mixture and mix until just combined, and the dough comes together in a sticky mass.

Warm a non-metal mixing bowl in the microwave until warm. Coat it with a light drizzle of olive oil, and form the dough into a ball. Toss to coat dough in olive oil, then cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set it aside for 1 to 2 hours, or store in the fridge until you need it.

To make focaccia, blot olives with a paper towel to remove excess moisture.

Remove dough from bowl and place on a lightly floured surface. Place chopped olives on top of the dough, then very gently knead the olives into the dough. (Don’t overknead!) Divide dough in half and roll each half into a large, thin oval/rectangle. Place on separate sheet pans (or cookie sheets) drizzled with olive oil. Drizzle more olive oil on top of the ovals, then cover each one with plastic wrap. Put in a draft-free/warm place for one hour.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Remove the plastic wrap (dough will be puffy) and use your fingertips to press dimples all over the surface of the dough. Drizzle surface with olive oil and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until focaccia is golden brown.

Cut into pieces with a pizza wheel or sharp knife. Serve immediately.

Stuffed French Toast, part 2, Raspberry Style

Same as the Strawberry, just mixed it up with Raspberries instead. Happy Father's Day to J-Biz.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Jalapeño Fries

I adapted this from a Rachael Ray show I recently saw. I wasn't measuring, so bare with me. Again. Really, I rarely measure, John laughs at me as he watches me constantly sniffing food, to see if it's properly mixed.

6 Big Jalapeños
1/2 cup flour
2 eggs
squirt of spicy brown mustard
bread crumbs from 4 heels of standard bread
1/4 cup parm cheese

Cut the jalapeños in half, then scoop out the seeds and ribs. Then slice each half into 4 long strips. Set up, a bowl of flour, bowl of eggs mixed with the mustard + touch of flour, bowl of bread crumbs + cheese. Dip the strips of peppers into flour, then egg, then bread crumbs. Lay onto a baking sheet prepped with a Silpat. Don't have one? What? Really? Bake at 400 for 15 minutes. Dip into Ranch or Bleu Cheese dressing.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shiitake Mushroom and Garlic Scape

Just pretty. Shiitakes are grown in Gilmore Valley, just up the road. The Garlic Scape is from across the river. Lovely, aren't they?

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Wilted Bok Choy and Cashews

This was a pretty hardy and very spicy dish. A whole teaspoon of red pepper flakes for such little veggies was a lot. It's not really our style, but it wasn't bad.

  • 1 tablespoon sesame oil
  • minced garlic scape
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried ginger
  • several small-medium bok choy, sliced crosswise into 1/2-inch thick slices, flowers are edible as well.
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup cashews


Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add bok choy and garlic and saute 3 minutes. Add soy sauce, ginger and red pepper flakes and cook 2 more minutes, until bok choy stalks are tender-crisp and leaves are wilted. Season, to taste, with salt and black pepper. Arrange bok choy on plates and top with cashews just before serving.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Soba Noodle Salad with Mizuna

  • 2 cups Mizuna leaves, washed, stemmed, and chopped
  • 2 cups of cooked Soba noodles
  • 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tsp fresh ginger
  • 1 garlic scape
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp sesame seeds


Combine Mizuna nd noodles in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, combine garlic, ginger, oil, and soy sauce. Whisk together and pour over noodles.

Top with sesame seeds and enjoy!!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

TGIFriday's June Bug

  • 1 ounce melon liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce coconut rum
  • 3/4 ounce banana liqueur
  • 1 ounce sweet and sour mix
  • 1 ounce pinapple juice
Mix together in a shaker, server over ice.

I wrote this post forever ago (6/8/8) and never published it. It is so good. MY FAVORITE for summer time drinks. I am out of all the liquors, but maybe I need to do a Wisconsin run now.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Chicken Cordon Bleu

This is a completley different way than I normally make it, and I was completely winging it as I went. So, measurements are shaky.

  • 2 chicken breasts
  • 2 slices of ham
  • 2 slices of swiss cheese
  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoons of flour
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 4 ounces of mushrooms
Take the chicken, and trim off any extra junk. Slice a "pocket" into it from the thickest side. This takes some skill, be careful to keep it centered, not poking through the other side and cutting your palm. Stuff the "pocket" with the slice of ham and cheese. Close the pocket with tooth picks.

In a medium heat skillet, add a tablespoon of olive oil, and place the chicken, ugliest side down. Cook for 3 minutes, flip it over, cook another 3 minutes. Don't despair, there will still be rawness to the chicken. Remove the chicken from the pan, and add the butter. Melt the butter, push it around to pick up the chickeny bits. Add the flour, stir together, cook down till it's not pasty (roux style). Then slowly add the cup of wine, stir with a whisk. Do this slowly, to avoid lumps. Cook it for a minute or so, let it thicken it up. Stir in the mushrooms, then put the chicken back in. Put a lid on it, turn the heat down to near low. Cook at a covered simmer for about 20 minutes.

I served this with my lovely CSA asparagus. (tossed with olive oil, kosher salt and pepper, roasted at 425 for 10 minutes.)

Monday, June 7, 2010

Rhubarb Muffins

From the CSA newsletter:

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup buttermilk

2/3 cup vegetable oil

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 cups finely chopped rhubarb


1/2 cup sugar

2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon



In a large bowl, combine the first five ingredients. Combine egg, buttermilk, oil and vanilla; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in rhubarb. Fill greased or paper-lined muffins cups about half full. Combine topping ingredients; sprinkle over each muffin. Bake at 375 degrees F for 16-18 minutes or until muffins test done

In the future, I would do it with whole wheat flour and add something else, like criasins or raisins. Something was missing.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Radish Sandwich

So simple, yet wonderful.

Wash up your radish, stick it back in the fridge in a thing of water and ice, let it get real cold. Maybe an hour. Then toast up some bread, spread a nice amount of butter (the real stuff), top with thinly sliced radish, about 2 to 3 radish per sandwich. Sprinkle with kosher salt. Served with beautiful greens from my CSA share.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chicken & Mizuna Stir Fry

  • 3/4 lb chicken breast
  • 1 Tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/4 tsp pepper
  • large bunch mizuna
  • Salt to taste

Chop the chicken into bite sized strips. I find it's easier to chop if it's slightly frozen. The original recipe said to mince it in the food processor, that sounded un-pleasant to me. I don't like mushy chicken paste. Mix chicken with soy sauce, wine, cornstarch, sugar, pepper and set it aside to marinate.

Meanwhile, rinse mizuna and chop the stems and leaves.

Heat 2 tsp of oil in a wok or skillet over medium high heat. Add the chicken and stir fry until it is fully cooked through. When the chicken is fully cooked and add the mizuna. Toss the mizuna in the hot pan with the chicken and it will start to wilt and cook down, season to taste with salt.

Serve with rice. I use brown rice. John added additional soy sauce and kosher salt to his. Connor ate 3 pieces of the chicken and at least a teaspoon of rice.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Espresso Steam Cleaner?

The steamer function on my espresso maker still works, so I can still make steamers (steamed milk + flavoring - caffeine). I put too much water in, so I had lot of extra steam to come out. Put the espresso maker over the sink, and let the steam go into the sink. It totally cleaned out the sink. Normally, I take a Magic Clean Eraser to it to remove any staining, but the steamer did it without elbow grease. Funny, right?