Snoop Around

Welcome to my kitchen. I may not be here right now but please, feel free to snoop.

Curious about what my must have tools are? Maybe you want to know, just how many food storage containers does he really have and does he actually have all the matching lids?

You could be wondering what kind of vanilla extract I use or whats in my fridge that I need to use. You may be looking for my go to recipes. Some I have written and devised and some I reviewed and tested but they are the ones I use regularly.

I will be developing this page to allow you the reader to feel like you can get a peek inside even if I am not here. Have fun!

These Are A Few of My Favorite Things… The Holiday Gift List December 11, 2017 - Are you still needing gift ideas? With the Chanukah just around the corner and Christmas right after that getting that perfect gift can feel daunting. Well, if you have a loved one who cooks or bakes this is the post that is going to help take some stress of this holiday season. 
My Cookbook Gift List December 8, 2017 - This is the time of year for gift lists of all kinds. Right now my social media feeds seem over run with cookbook gift list but this got me thinking, what books would I recommend. Not all of my recommendations were not published this year. That’s not what I am going for. I wanted to … Continue reading My Cookbook Gift List
Decorating for the Holidays Requires a Plan and a Strategy… December 7, 2017 - Decorating your house for the holidays is something that many of us do. Those who it falls to can often feel like this is a massive undertaking and, well, it is. Year after year it goes up. Most likely we add to it and then it comes down. The following year it’s even more work … Continue reading Decorating for the Holidays Requires a Plan and a Strategy…
Ditch the PSL and Have Pumpkin Cheesecake Instead! December 5, 2017 - If you read my final post in the Week of Thanksgiving Series about this cheesecake then you already know that Bravetart is a wealth of baked treats that don’t disappoint. I didn’t think there could be something to surprise and delight me when it came to cheesecake but boy was I wrong. Other than passing … Continue reading Ditch the PSL and Have Pumpkin Cheesecake Instead!
Triple Ginger Cookies, Great for Holidays but Good Enough for Anytime of Year. December 5, 2017 - The starting point for this recipe came from Alice Medrich. I played around with the recipe until I got a consistency I enjoyed and worked for the purposes I needed them for. These originally started as a weekend treat for my husband. He used to buy ginger snaps from the Whole Foods bakery that was … Continue reading Triple Ginger Cookies, Great for Holidays but Good Enough for Anytime of Year.
A Light Fluffy Dinner Roll December 4, 2017 - This pillowy white dinner rolls are both visually appealing and delicious. These even work really well for petite sandwiches but for that matter you could probably make them larger in which case they could make for really great hamburger buns! However you choose to use these they are delicious. 
Triple Berry Cranberry Sauce. A Family Favorite. December 4, 2017 - This is one of those recipes that is quick and easy to throw together. It’s always been a crowd pleaser. In my recipe I used raspberry and blackberry but I have used blueberries in stead of the blackberries. Just use whatever you feel like. I also call for specific amounts but this recipe is really … Continue reading Triple Berry Cranberry Sauce. A Family Favorite.
A Week of Thanksgiving: A Mountain of Cranberries Where do They Belong? December 4, 2017 - The cranberry is my nemesis. It’s beautiful, it’s vibrant, and it’s quite possibly the only “winter” fruit here in the midwest. But what do you do with it? I have a confession. I have never understood cranberry sauce and in the few places I have tried to make it work in my mind, it never … Continue reading A Week of Thanksgiving: A Mountain of Cranberries Where do They Belong?
Butternut Squash Soup December 3, 2017 - In today’s post about being thankful for the bounty of my garden I go into detail about how this current recipe came to be. Here is the recipe I used to create a brighter and lighter take on a soup I have been doing for years. 
As If Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Weren’t Indulgent Enough… December 2, 2017 - I could try to make arguments that there’s nutrition in mashed potatoes and even gravy for that matter but even I’ll admit that they aren’t necessarily the most nutritious thing to put on a plate. That said go the route of Pomme Purée and Giblet Gravy and it’s taking it to a level of indulgence … Continue reading As If Mashed Potatoes and Gravy Weren’t Indulgent Enough…
Not Your Typical Green Bean “Casserole” December 2, 2017 - Although this was originally a dish meant to be a casserole of canned green beans and cream of mushroom soup I longed for something different. I wanted something fresh, bright, creamy, crunchy, and more visually appealing. In my post about deconstructing the original and addressing the issues I felt it had this was the dish … Continue reading Not Your Typical Green Bean “Casserole”
Homemade Sourdough, a Labor of Love November 30, 2017 - Anyone who’s had truly great sourdough bread knows it’s a thing of beauty. The flavor is truly unique. So much so that the starter or levain that you’re going to make or use is maybe the most hyper terroir thing there is. This is due to the fact that no matter where you get your starter … Continue reading Homemade Sourdough, a Labor of Love
Celeriac, Chestnut, and Sourdough Stuffing November 30, 2017 - Stuffing, dressing, or whatever you want to call it, I fancy get it. In my post about being thankful for stuffing I explain my journey to get to this point. The recipe itself isn’t that complicated so take solace in that it can all go horribly wrong for all of us. That said with a … Continue reading Celeriac, Chestnut, and Sourdough Stuffing
The Techniques That Saved Turkey November 29, 2017 - Whew! Thanksgiving is over and now it’s time to talk about all the wins, missed, and everything I learned. Of all the things that I couldn’t wait to blog about the turkey was the biggest. Today I blogged about finding the Ferndale Turkey but this post is about what I did with it. I wish … Continue reading The Techniques That Saved Turkey
A Week of Thanksgiving: The Ferndale Turkey November 29, 2017 - Recently I was reading a book In Winters Kitchen. In it the author talks about key foods, her relation to them and the journey she took in finding them locally in Minnesota. The book also goes into a lot of major farming issues but we won’t get into that. The irony is I have been … Continue reading A Week of Thanksgiving: The Ferndale Turkey
Homemade Butter Makes Everything Better November 28, 2017 - Most of us put butter on the Thanksgiving table without much thought. It’s just butter right? I mean how much thought do you put into it? Most of the time it’s something we just pull out of the fridge and from many it’s not even butter. What if I told you that instead, you could … Continue reading Homemade Butter Makes Everything Better
So Much More Than “Just Another Dinner Roll” November 28, 2017 - I frist discovered these rolls when I purchased The Gefilte Manifesto over a year ago. Since then I have been smitten with the book, the recipes, and these rolls. I enjoy them so much that I have made them many times just to have as a snack during the week. Each time I make them … Continue reading So Much More Than “Just Another Dinner Roll”
A Week of Thanksgiving: Portion Control November 28, 2017 - Forget the stretchy pants, focus on portion control. If you’re on social media at all during the holidays it’s inevitable that someone will joke “it’s time to break out the stretchy pants” do to all the over the top holiday food. This doesn’t have to be the case. Now, before you get all “but…” hear … Continue reading A Week of Thanksgiving: Portion Control
A Week of Thanksgiving November 27, 2017 - Today begins a Special Series I am doing not only on my Thanksgiving recipes but also my new approach to the holiday. As many of us home cooks know this is both the best and worst holiday. We spend hours planning and cooking to have it all gobbled up in minutes and then it’s over. … Continue reading A Week of Thanksgiving
The Spumoni Cake November 12, 2017 - Spumoni cake? What on earth is that? Is this an ice-cream cake? No. In fact this is a cake inspired by the Italian gelato dessert called Spumoni. The original is Cherry, Pistachio, and Chocolate gelato layered together. It was actually what was the origin for Neapolitan that we here in the US are familiar with. … Continue reading The Spumoni Cake
Discovering a New Way to Use Cookbooks and Recipes November 9, 2017 - Two years ago I delved into Tyler Florences’ Inside the Test Kitchen. In it, he had a recipe for Seared Pork Chops with Creamed Kale and Fennel Apricot Salad. This was a tasty dish but left me wanting. One of my issues with this dish was the creamed kale. There was nothing wrong with the … Continue reading Discovering a New Way to Use Cookbooks and Recipes
The Villain in the Ocean is The Star in the Kitchen. It’s All About Octopus… September 22, 2017 - Don’t skip past this post. I know, the idea of cooking an octopus is something straight out of a comedy or in some cases a horror movie, but done correctly this sea creature goes from villain to shear deliciousness to the point it could can compete with more favored sea treats like shrimp and lobster. … Continue reading The Villain in the Ocean is The Star in the Kitchen. It’s All About Octopus…
Homemade Tomato Paste, The True Gold of Summer Gardens September 13, 2017 - I had grown up all my life thinking I knew what a tomato tasted like. You know, those red things in grocery stores. You slice into them, which is tricky in and of its self, and they are kinda light in color and even at times a bit mealy. Maybe they are the smaller oval … Continue reading Homemade Tomato Paste, The True Gold of Summer Gardens
The “Peanut Butter Cup” Cake September 12, 2017 - I make a lot of cake. My obsession with cake started over twenty years ago when I was in my early teens. Quite honestly I think cake has always been a fascination to me. Even before I got into it my mom made cakes for special occasions all the time and I can still remember … Continue reading The “Peanut Butter Cup” Cake
Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts September 8, 2017 - Anyone who knows me knows I love to bake. My obsession started with cake decorating, then quickly shifted focus to chocolate chip cookies and now knows no limits… OK, well I still don’t sculpt sugar or chocolate. So when a new cookbook comes out about baking I think “been there, done that”. There never seems … Continue reading Bravetart: Iconic American Desserts
Good Pickles Come to Those Who Wait… September 7, 2017 - I absolutely love a great sour dill pickle. I have tried and failed to make them myself many times. Each time I pick a new recipe that looks promising and then somewhere from when the fermentation begins and the pickle is bitten into it looses everything I love in a good pickle… The crunch. If … Continue reading Good Pickles Come to Those Who Wait…
Broccoli and Beef, a Great Combination August 28, 2017 - I can remember whenever my family when to the local Chinese Restaraunt my dad would always order Broccoli Beef as one of the dishes to share. This worked well as I would eat all the beef and my sister would eat all the broccoli. This dish for me is quite nostalgic. So when I saw … Continue reading Broccoli and Beef, a Great Combination
Cauliflower I Would Eat Every Day August 24, 2017 - A while back I got a cookbook called Six Seasons: A New Way with Vegetables. Part of what had prompted getting this book was my husbands loving but repetitive “we need to eat more vegetables”. What you need to know was that I was cooking with lots of vegetables but they often weren’t the star … Continue reading Cauliflower I Would Eat Every Day
Shrimp and Tofu Thai Green Curry August 16, 2017 - My husband and I love Thai. Being that we live in rural Iowa good Thai means making it at home, so for the last 3 years I have been working on my Thai Green Curry dish and I think I have finally found my perfect recipe and technique. Before I get into that I need … Continue reading Shrimp and Tofu Thai Green Curry
Mediterranean Chicken with Zucchini and Mushrooms August 10, 2017 - Expanding your skills can lead to new and more interesting dishes and meals for the family. Three years ago I thought of myself as an OK cook and a pretty decent baker. Recipes didn’t scare me off and I was willing to try anything. So when I saw a recipe in Fine Cooking Magazine (issue … Continue reading Mediterranean Chicken with Zucchini and Mushrooms
Sous Vide Cod with Beluga Lentils, Squid Ink, and a Seared Side Salad August 4, 2017 - I should warn you now you are going to be reading a lot of future posts about sous vide. This may seem like some many modernist cuisine technique that you’re not interested in but you’d be surprised to learn that this cooking technique will not only wow everyone you cook for but ensures perfect results … Continue reading Sous Vide Cod with Beluga Lentils, Squid Ink, and a Seared Side Salad
Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cake August 3, 2017 - When we think of cake we think of the classics. There’s plain or vanilla cake, there’s chocolate, there’s spice cakes, there’s carrot cake, there’s even red velvet cake but why stop there. Once you find a good cake recipe why not flavor it with whatever tickles your fancy? Well I am doing just that. To … Continue reading Peaches ‘n’ Cream Cake
Capturing the Essence of Spring June 29, 2017 - I spend a lot of time thinking about food. More specifically ingredients. I want the best. Who doesn’t? On problem is the cost. High quality ingredients cost more. One way to help with this is knowing when they are in season and where they are grown. If you can buy produce in season from a … Continue reading Capturing the Essence of Spring
Learning to Love Vegetables All Over Again… June 22, 2017 - In an effort to eat healthier without “dieting” my husband and I have been talking a lot about vegetables. Now, anyone who knows me will tell you I don’t like vegetables. Well, here’s the funny thing, I have learned and I continue to learn it’s not that I don’t like them it’s that I don’t … Continue reading Learning to Love Vegetables All Over Again…
Quite Possibly the Perfect Gym Smoothie June 21, 2017 - So this post is going to be a bit different. I need to start with some background and personal information but to keep you reading I need to tell you this smoothie is dairy-free and sugar-free! Curious? Then please keep reading. I should also add that a high-power blender is beneficial for this recipe but … Continue reading Quite Possibly the Perfect Gym Smoothie
Tropical Hummingbird Layer Cake June 19, 2017 - Thumbing through “Bake from Scratch” Magazine I came across a recipe for a Tropical Hummingbird Cake. This grabbed my attention right away. The original “Humming Bird Cake” was something the made a big splash in the 70’s. The actual origins are a bit of an unknown as there are a few different sources that claim … Continue reading Tropical Hummingbird Layer Cake
Fool Proof Poached Eggs, but There’s a Catch… It’s All About Sous Vide. June 8, 2017 - So back in October when I started blogging I wrote a post: There’s more than one way to poach and egg. It was yet another hack and trick which used the microwave. This worked somewhat OK but was inconsistent at best and left a lot to be desired. At that point I was happy enough … Continue reading Fool Proof Poached Eggs, but There’s a Catch… It’s All About Sous Vide.
Mediterranean Salad with Squid, Feta, and Olives June 7, 2017 - Before we even begin I need to give a HUGE disclaimer… this is done “sous vide” using a Joule by Chef Steps. You can cook the squid other ways for this salad if you don’t have the ability to sous vide it but the recipe was written using this particular technique.
Bali Inspired, Tropical Fruit Bowls with Homemade Granola June 6, 2017 - Breakfast was never anything I was big on. Well, let me clarify… first thing in the morning trying to come up with anything interesting to eat was the furthest thing from my mind. If we happened to be on vacation or out and about early sure eating always sounded great and I do love many … Continue reading Bali Inspired, Tropical Fruit Bowls with Homemade Granola
I Have Been Cooking Lobster Wrong All This Time… June 1, 2017 - This week I set out to make Braised Rabbit, Shrimp, and Lobster Rice Stew out of Jose Garces’ cookbook The Latin Road home. This is a recipe that has many parts. One of the pieces to it was to cook lobster tails and/or claws according to his recipe Poached and Seared Main Lobster. This recipe … Continue reading I Have Been Cooking Lobster Wrong All This Time…
Chicken Pho May 31, 2017 - My husband absolutely loves Pho. So when I heard Andrea Nguyen interviewed on Splendid Table about her cookbook, The Pho Cookbook: Easy to Adventurous Recipes for Vietnam’s Favorite Soup and Noodles, I knew this was a must buy cookbook. Although it’s not the most well written cookbook I have ever seen it gives you huge … Continue reading Chicken Pho
A Month of Little to No Blogging… May 30, 2017 - Wow, what a month. For those who follow my blog you inevitably noticed that I have been unusually quite for nearly a month, but what a month it has been. Rest assured there has been some cooking to share there hasn’t been anywhere near the volume I normally do. Add to a lighter cooking load … Continue reading A Month of Little to No Blogging…
The Best Things Come to Those Who Wait… May 26, 2017 - So I have had this image in my head for a while now of a perfect fried chicken dinner. One with juicy well seasoned pieces of chicken, a nice creamy coleslaw, and tender biscuits. The problem was I have never made fried chicken before. I have seen it done a few times but the results … Continue reading The Best Things Come to Those Who Wait…
Herby, Creamy Dressing May 17, 2017 - Learning to make your own condiments is a big part of eating healthier. Most commercial products are packed full of chemicals, preservative, artificial flavoring, and sugars. One that has become a American staple is “Ranch Dressing”. Americans will eat this on just about anything but making a homemade version is tricky. There are tons of … Continue reading Herby, Creamy Dressing
Beginning of my Summer Menu Planning May 17, 2017 - With summer only being weeks away it’s time to think about what are the flavors and influences of the season. Summer and Fall are probably my favorite seasons to cook. There is so much bounty it can be a daunting task to try to focus in on the flavors that showcase the season best but … Continue reading Beginning of my Summer Menu Planning
A Boozey Blondie. Adding Depth to this Perfect Treat. May 16, 2017 - My favorite sweet treat is a chewy chocolate chip cookie. A close second? The blondie. This is essentially a cookie in bar form. However, as easy of an idea it might sound it is far from easy. The issue is getting it fully cooked without over cooking the sides. 
Red Cooked Chicken with Chestnuts April 29, 2017 - This dish caught my eye early on in the spring season. Yet again Phoenix Claws and Jade Trees offered another unique flavor combination that I couldn’t pass up. With having been using chestnuts through the holiday season I became fascinated on how to use these both in sweet and savory applications. So when I encountered … Continue reading Red Cooked Chicken with Chestnuts
Lunch, a Delightful Balance Between Jewish and Chinese Flavors in Schnitzel Bao! April 28, 2017 - When looking for a lunch for this week I was drawn to another Molly Yeh recipe. It was for Schnitzel Bao with Sriracha Mayo and Sesame Pickles. In her recipe she shaped her bao into something that resembled more of a taco but being short on time and not having much luck with the shaping … Continue reading Lunch, a Delightful Balance Between Jewish and Chinese Flavors in Schnitzel Bao!
Tart, Sweet, and a Little Unexpected… The Perfect Spring Cake April 26, 2017 - As any follower of my blog knows, we eat a lot of cake here at our house. To keep it interesting I am always looking for a seasonal slant on cake. This means I am always keeping my eyes open for any new and or interesting cakes in all of the food blogs and cookbooks … Continue reading Tart, Sweet, and a Little Unexpected… The Perfect Spring Cake
Not Your Average Matzo Ball Soup… April 25, 2017 - Becoming a good cook is all about the basics. I would say if you’re wanting to work on your cooking skills start with chicken stock. Learning to make a good chicken stock will change so many of your dishes and will give you a depth of flavor that no store bought version can offer. If … Continue reading Not Your Average Matzo Ball Soup…
Flash-Fried Lamb with Leeks and Sichuan Crisp Fried Mushrooms April 24, 2017 - Breaking out the deep-fryer… This weekends Asian inspired dinner showcases some great reasons why everyone should have a deep-fryer in their kitchen arsenal. When most people think of deep-fried foods they think it’s drenched in oil, super fatty, and bad for you. Though there are good reasons for this the concept of cooking submerged in … Continue reading Flash-Fried Lamb with Leeks and Sichuan Crisp Fried Mushrooms
Quick and Easy, Coconut Macaroons April 21, 2017 - A favorite tradition of mine during Passover is coconut macaroons. This are not the fiddly Parisian almond treats but instead this mountain of coconut. The tradition is one that my grandfather started, well, at least to the best of my recollection. When he started attending our family Seder he would always come with a can … Continue reading Quick and Easy, Coconut Macaroons
Chicken Caesar Salad April 20, 2017 - Last week was so busy with Passover I never got to posting about my go-to lunch for the week of Passover. This lunch is quick and easy and the only special equipment you need is a good blender. Word to the wise: If you are going to be spending time around people after eating it … Continue reading Chicken Caesar Salad
Busted Braided Bread No More! Troubleshooting a Recipe with Tremendous Success! April 17, 2017 - The idea seemed simple enough. Make a enriched dough add some amazing flavors. Complete the loaf with braiding and baking. What could go wrong? Well how about everything. It started with the best of intensions. I was going to make a special bread for easter. Time kept getting away from me but I was confident … Continue reading Busted Braided Bread No More! Troubleshooting a Recipe with Tremendous Success!
Rustic and Elegant: My Passover Salad April 14, 2017 - When looking for a new Passover salad I quickly discovered a huge gap in cookbooks. Where are all the salads to compliment a dinner. There are tons of recipes for salads that are meant to be a meal but where are the ones meant to be a side salad or the salad corse of a … Continue reading Rustic and Elegant: My Passover Salad
Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Beitzah with Karpas April 12, 2017 - On the Seder plate there are two items. The romaine lettuce or “Karpas” and the roasted hard-boiled egg or “Beitzah” of the two typically you only eat the Karpas. This is actually the first thing you eat during the Seder. It is dipped into a bowl of salt water. The salt water dripping off the … Continue reading Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Beitzah with Karpas
Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Zeroa April 12, 2017 - On the Seder plate this would be the shank bone. I grew up in one the the families that treated it as something not eaten or handled. However in Jewish culture that was not always the case. The shank bone came from the time of the lamb being offered to the Jewish Temple as the … Continue reading Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Zeroa
Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Chazeret with Matzo April 11, 2017 - The horseradish sandwich. This strikes strong memories for anyone in my family and/or anyone who has attended our families Seder. Here’s the idea if you’re not familiar… The leader of the Seder will take a piece of matzo from the three stacked on the table. Then they will break it up in to bite sized … Continue reading Seder Plate Amuse Bouche: Chazeret with Matzo
Tzibbele Vegetable Kugel with Spice Blends April 11, 2017 - Kugel. What is it? It seems like there’s every flavor of kugel imaginable. There are sweet kugels and there are savory kugels. For all account farfel was introduced about 800 years ago to the mix by the Germans; then eventually eggs were added. From there it continued to grow and evolve. Essentially kugel is an … Continue reading Tzibbele Vegetable Kugel with Spice Blends
To Buy or Not To Buy Matzo, That is the Question… April 10, 2017 - When thinking about todays post I was thinking about all the things I have been prepping for days. Sauces, fillings, stocks, schmaltz are just a few things I have been working on. However, those of us who grew up with the tradition of Passover and/or a full on Seder all have one thing in common, … Continue reading To Buy or Not To Buy Matzo, That is the Question…
Falafel Fattoush: The Perfect Spring Salad April 5, 2017 - Salads are a tricky business. The idea should be… hmm, could be… how about, ought to be… healthy. Yet once you load them up with all the toppings the “healthy” aspect has kinda gone out the window. I should interject here that if you’re not wanting a healthy salad then go for the good stuff! … Continue reading Falafel Fattoush: The Perfect Spring Salad
Shepherd’s Pie: A Complex Recipe That Offers Exquisite Taste and Texture April 4, 2017 - You can not have a spring dinner that features lamb without at some point having shepherd’s pie. So this week dinner was just that but this is no quick 30 minute meal. This is time consuming, this is painstaking patience, this is indulgence. However in my opinion it’s worth every bit of it and who … Continue reading Shepherd’s Pie: A Complex Recipe That Offers Exquisite Taste and Texture
Lemon Debutante Cake April 3, 2017 - I am on a journey to learn more cakes, to learn new techniques, and to end up with at least a dozen different cakes that all taste equally amazing but where do you start? For years I had been doing a white cake that included white chocolate in the batter. I enjoy this cake but … Continue reading Lemon Debutante Cake
Miso Lime Chicken Salad March 31, 2017 - A couple years ago I a renewed inspiration in my passion of cooking and baking. With this renewed focus I started purchasing cookbooks in heaps. One of the first books I got was one called Keepers by Kathy Brennan & Caroline Campion. The concept is quite clever it’s recipes are all “keepers” ones that as … Continue reading Miso Lime Chicken Salad
Kurdish Fried Chicken with Black Rice and Kerchief Flatbreads from Kurdistan March 30, 2017 - Dinner this week I again turned to Taste of Persia. It was made of three main components chicken, rice and bread. Sounds simple enough but it wasn’t without it’s challenges. There was some scratching of the head and even a bit of harsh language directed at the recipes but in the end it was another … Continue reading Kurdish Fried Chicken with Black Rice and Kerchief Flatbreads from Kurdistan
Aronofsky Creations 2017 Passover Menu March 29, 2017 - I have been running behind on my post of what I have been cooking this week. Fear not, I will get caught up. I have some fun dishes to write about. What’s been keeping me too busy to post is finalizing my Passover menu. This meal of all the ones I do throughout the year … Continue reading Aronofsky Creations 2017 Passover Menu
Next to NO Waste, Menu Planning and Time Management are Key. March 28, 2017 - If the saying goes “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime”, then I would posit “give a home cook all the ingredients in a box to make a single meal and you feed him for the night; teach … Continue reading Next to NO Waste, Menu Planning and Time Management are Key.
The Secret of Blueberry Muffins is All in The Topping March 27, 2017 - Blueberry muffins are a sensory memory for me that go quite aways back. When I was a kid and we would go visit my maternal grandparents.The first morning we were there my grandmother always made a batch of blueberry muffins. It was something right out of a Norman Rockwell painting to wake up to the … Continue reading The Secret of Blueberry Muffins is All in The Topping
My Tips for Eliminating Food Waste. March 24, 2017 - So this morning I woke to a post on thekitchn.com titled “This is how much you should really be spending on food and groceries”. Then in my Facebook feed there was “4 reasons why Martha & Marley Spoon is America’s best meal kit”. These both play into a growing trend I am seeing on social … Continue reading My Tips for Eliminating Food Waste.
Moroccan Lamb Burgers with Quinoa Tabbouleh March 23, 2017 - I discovered this recipe in Williams Sonoma’s cookbook Two in the Kitchen. In it they have a whole section on “Supper for Two”. This is an invaluable section of any cookbook. Being that it’s just my husband and myself I am always grateful for recipes that are tailored for two but these recipes are also … Continue reading Moroccan Lamb Burgers with Quinoa Tabbouleh
Roasted Chicken with Barley and Vegetables March 22, 2017 - If you have read my blog you know I am a huge fan of The Gefilte Manifesto. Not many cookbooks can have hit after hit. I am usually happy with a cookbook if I get 3-4 successful recipes. With this book though I have yet to have a miss. I am up to eight amazing … Continue reading Roasted Chicken with Barley and Vegetables
Braised Lamb with Jujubes… No, Not the Candy… March 21, 2017 - Anyone who wants to know why I cook so many regions just needs to look in my pantry and in my spice drawer. Being able to go from Ashkenazi to Persian, then Chinese, to German, and on and on keeps the meals as well as the preparation interesting and exciting. So when I came across … Continue reading Braised Lamb with Jujubes… No, Not the Candy…
Tips and a New(ish) Recipe For a Better Waffle March 20, 2017 - Getting from point A to point B is never a straight line. There’s a journey. Being able to look back on that journey and see all the turning points can be fun and interesting to see how small things lead to big changes. This waffle recipe was one of those things. 
This Weeks Lunch? Chicken Tacos with Kale and Salsa Verde! March 15, 2017 - Last week for much we I made Lamb Barbacoa. The dish was complex and delicious so this week I opted for a different direction. Chicken Tacos. These were simple and took minimal work but what they lacked for in complexity in technique in making them they made up for in taste. 
Hands Down the Best Mac ‘n’ Cheese I Have Ever Had… March 15, 2017 - It seems like everyone has some twist on homemade mac and cheese. It wasn’t until I stumbled across this recipe in Heston Blumenthal at Home that I knew I was going to have to try my hand at making one. What got me was the name. Cauliflower Mac ‘n’ Cheese. This did NOT sound good … Continue reading Hands Down the Best Mac ‘n’ Cheese I Have Ever Had…
Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies March 13, 2017 - I love cookies. Well, I should be fair. I love a nice soft chewy chocolate chip cookie. It’s actually to blame for me getting into cooking. Sure watching my mom meticulously decorate cakes and then later trying it myself satisfied the artist in me, but cookies were the “gateway drug” into the world of cooking. … Continue reading Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Cookies
Good Design is All in the Details March 10, 2017 - In 2014 my husband and I decided to leave the fast paced life of the California bay area and move somewhere slower, quieter, and allow us to focus on quality of life. After finding a house on Zillow we flew out to Iowa to see it in person. Once at the location we new we … Continue reading Good Design is All in the Details
Cumin Beef with Sweet & Sour Zucchini March 9, 2017 - When trying to figure out a realistic menu plan I was constantly stumped with the weekends. Saturday’s we spend the day shopping for the coming week and are gone a good chunk of the day. Then Sunday’s were doing most of the food prep for the coming weeks lunches and dinners. So cooking even more … Continue reading Cumin Beef with Sweet & Sour Zucchini
Lamb Like You’ve Never Had It Before March 8, 2017 - Growing up with Jewish traditions, the Passover Seder was like our Thanksgiving. It was always a big to-do and the meal was always the same. Lamb. Lamb roasted over hot coals through the entire seder so you had this waft of amazing meat cooking, charring, and smoking making you eager for dinner. Lamb was always … Continue reading Lamb Like You’ve Never Had It Before
Kamut Oatmeal with Rose Mallow & Strawberry March 7, 2017 - In my husbands efforts for a healthier living and digestion started looking to whole grains for breakfast. Since breakfast wasn’t something I normally ate he just made it “functional food” meaning he would cook a big pot of grains with some nuts and dried fruit along with some chia and flax meal. He would package … Continue reading Kamut Oatmeal with Rose Mallow & Strawberry
The One Pot Dinner You Have To Try. March 7, 2017 - Chicken, prunes, and carrots doesn’t sound particularly interesting or appetizing but let me stop you right there. This is maybe one of the best dishes I have ever had. What is amazing is that it’s super simple but there’s a trick to this being stunning. Trick number one, the best ingredients you can source. Trick … Continue reading The One Pot Dinner You Have To Try.
Miette: Recipes From San Francisco’s Most Charming Pastry Shop March 3, 2017 - Miette is not a huge well known bakery but for those who know it I am sure they love it just as much as I do. It’s a tiny shop with a fun story. It’s based in San Francisco, was created Meg Ray, and is everything you would want in as pastry shop. The store … Continue reading Miette: Recipes From San Francisco’s Most Charming Pastry Shop
Pastrami on Rye! March 2, 2017 - You can almost hear it being shouted in a Jewish deli. You can make this as a traditional sandwich or an open faced sandwich but it’s as simple as a thick slice of rye bread some spicy mustard and then layer after layer of pastrami. I mean really, does it get any better? When I … Continue reading Pastrami on Rye!
Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking March 2, 2017 - When learning a new cuisine I find it important to get different perspectives. It’s pretty much my rule in life. I don’t trust easily. I don’t take things at face value easily. I question. Then I question some more but the reward of being this way is the journey, the discovery, and learning for myself. … Continue reading Every Grain of Rice: Simple Chinese Home Cooking
English Muffins, It’s All About Technique. February 28, 2017 - English muffins, this breakfast bun dates back to the turn of the 20th century and was brought over to the US by a immigrant from the UK. Over the years it has evolved to what we buy in the stores today but if you’re feeling empowered, willing to get a little messy, and can put … Continue reading English Muffins, It’s All About Technique.
Chocolate Cake, Raspberry Icing, Does It Get Any Better Than That? February 27, 2017 - “I eat cake every single morning. I go into the bakery, I pour a cup of coffee, and I have a piece of cake… and I don’t ever want to wake up any other way.” – Chef Owner Meg Ray or Miette Bakery in San Francisco. 
Crab Cakes… Brunch, Lunch, or Appetizer… They Don’t Disappoint! February 26, 2017 - I love a good crab cake. The problem is in finding one. Most often crab cakes come out dry, dense, and or disappointing. It seems like all too often they end up resembling something more like a hockey puck of over processed ingredients rather than the treat they really are. For me the perfect crab … Continue reading Crab Cakes… Brunch, Lunch, or Appetizer… They Don’t Disappoint!
Why Breville? Quality and Customer Service! February 25, 2017 - Over the years I have shopped a lot of brands when it comes to equipping my kitchen. It started with what was affordable at the time and piece by piece certain things evolved as I began shopping for quality. Don’t get me wrong. There is quality at every price point but for the rigor I … Continue reading Why Breville? Quality and Customer Service!
Why Rye? Depth of Flavor! February 24, 2017 - Rye Bread. Is there anything more Jewish? OK, maybe Matzo Ball Soup, but rye bread is right up there with it. At the turn of the 20th century Jews were immigrating to America in large numbers. They were looking for a fresh start and many found that in the boom of the delicatessen. With them … Continue reading Why Rye? Depth of Flavor!
The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices February 22, 2017 - Spices. What was the first thing that came to mind? Was it heat? Zing? A jolt? Was it curry or other middle eastern dishes doused in heavy colorful sauces? Maybe it was as simple as the word spicy. Maybe your mind went to chili and South American and Mexican dishes. Don’t feel bad this is … Continue reading The Spice Companion: A Guide to the World of Spices
French Toast February 21, 2017 - You may have seen my post about homemade challah this morning. In it I mentioned making fresh toast out of it. If you’re interested in how I do that this is my recipe slightly altered from Alton Brown. 
Kamut & Millet Challah February 21, 2017 - Growing up in a Jewish household was interesting. Although my dad was not a practicing Jew at the time the traditions and foods were always part of our life for as long as I can remember. Maybe the most memorable was challah. This braided egg bread is packed full of flavor.
Homemade Cracker Jacks?! February 20, 2017 - So over the weekend I happened to stumble across a recipe on Food52.com for homemade cracker jacks. This to me is about as American as apple pie and hot dogs. Whether you grew up with actual cracker jacks, knock offs or things like Fiddle Faddle this treat is easy to make and just as delicious. 
Reinventing a Recipe. An Update to Surf and Turf. February 17, 2017 - A couple years ago I came across a recipe in Cuisine at Home for Stuffed Filet Mignon Oscar with Crabmeat Filling. I made this recipe as my alternative Thanksgiving. I had been looking for something that would be “special” enough to take the place of the classic dinner. The meal was fantastic but was too … Continue reading Reinventing a Recipe. An Update to Surf and Turf.
Slow-Cooked or Stir-Fried, This Meal was a Perfect Weekend Treat February 15, 2017 - Have you ever heard of tofu “bamboo”? How about dried shrimp? I hadn’t either. This is one of the many aspects I love about cooking asian dishes. I put together my grocery list from the recipes I selected and then head off the the Asian Food Store. There I wonder through the isles looking at … Continue reading Slow-Cooked or Stir-Fried, This Meal was a Perfect Weekend Treat
Cranberry Nut Muffins February 14, 2017 - Muffins are difficult to make exciting. Even more so they are difficult to make new and interesting but One thing I have learned in the kitchen is that mistakes can yield amazing results and this muffin is the prefect proof of concept. 
Beef and Turnip Stew with Red Russian Kale February 14, 2017 - I first made this beef stew last year. This simple and delicious stew is very forgiving and flexible. The original recipe came form Williams Sonoma Soup of the Day cookbook. It was featured as their October 14th recipe. I say this recipe is forgiving because it specifically calls for “1 bunch of turnips with their … Continue reading Beef and Turnip Stew with Red Russian Kale
How to Put Away Your Groceries, Menu Planning (Part 3) February 13, 2017 - A lot goes in to getting dinner on the table. The first step is creating the plan. What are you going to make every night? Then there’s putting together the grocery list. Next, you have to do all the shopping but when you come home with the groceries what do you do? Putting away your … Continue reading How to Put Away Your Groceries, Menu Planning (Part 3)
Quick Asian Stir-Fry, The Prefect Weekend Dinner February 10, 2017 - When it comes to quick and easy there’s nothing quite like a great stir-fry. I first featured this meal in my post about weekend dinners and meal planning. The key to a great stir-fry is flavor and for that you need a solid understanding of Asian cooking or great recipes and cookbooks. 
The Farm February 10, 2017 - Do you like uncomplicated, simple, straight forward recipes with fewer ingredients? If so The Farm is a great cookbook. However, if you like fresh, seasonal recipes that showcase the essence of an ingredient this too is your cookbook. The Farm is a non intimidating cookbook that takes you through the life cycle of a true … Continue reading The Farm

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