What have you been up to in the kitchen?

Saturday, October 30, 2010

Coq au Vin

I've been thinking about it a lot lately, and decided today was the day to make it. I read a bunch of different recipes, and sorta mixed them together for what fit me best. I was skyping with Alison while I was making it, and her request, here is the recipe:

1 package chicken thighs (4-6 thighs), salt & peppered
4 slices bacon, chopped into little bits.
1 sliced carrot
1 sliced celery stalk
6-8 shallots, peeled and cut in half, long ways
1 package of small mushrooms, cleaned and half or quartered
1-2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Bay Leaf
2 Tbsp flour
2 c. Dry Red Wine

Melt 2-3 Tbsp butter in a dutch oven or cast iron skillet.
Fry up your bacon until its hella crispy. Use a slotted utensil to remove the bacon, set aside.
In two batches, to keep the chicken from getting claustrophobic, brown the thighs in the buttery bacon grease. Yummmm. 3ish minutes per side should be fine. Put chicken with bacon.
Dump the shallots, garlic, celery and carrot into the grease. Get them all nice and caramelly soft. Remove and put with chicken and bacon.
Dump flour, parsley, thyme, marjoram, salt, pepper, and bay leaf into grease. Stir vigorously for a minute or two.
Pour in the 2 c. wine. Stir to mix.
Dump the chicken, veggies and bacon back in. Cover and simmer for an hour. While simmering, cook egg noodles (if you want. Alternately, you can serve with crusty bread. Or rice).
5-10 minutes before you are ready to chomp this deliciousness, add in the mushrooms and let them soak up some of the goodness (I'm not real well versed in mushroom cooking. There is a chance they would have been better served being cooked with the veggies in the beginning and simmer for the entire hour. I'll leave this decision to you).
Serve over noodles, with bread, or rice. Whatever floats your boat. Effing bomb.

Monday, March 29, 2010

Doughnut French Toast- AKA Joy in my mouth

From Nigella......

I made it with whole wheat bread and skipped the 5 minute soaking. Came out great- and I served it with bacon. MMMMM good!


  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup full fat milk
  • 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 4 slices from a small white loaf or 2 slices from a large white loaf, each large slice cut in half
  • 1-ounce butter, plus a drop flavourless oil, for frying
  • 1/4 cup sugar


Beat the eggs with the milk and vanilla in a wide shallow bowl.
Soak the bread halves in the eggy mixture for 5 minutes a side.
Heat the butter and oil in a frying pan/skillet, fry the egg-soaked bread until golden and scorched in parts on both sides.
Put the sugar onto a plate and then dredge the cooked bread until coated like a sugared doughnut.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

So I filled them with chocolate ice cream or pudding...mmmmmmmm

Easy Schmeasy Cream Puffs

So, I had a lovely evening with my dear friend Jessica. We made rice pilaf, lemony chicken, and these wonderful cream puffs. They're soooooooooooo easy.

1 cup water
1/2 cup butter
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 cup all-purpose flour
4 eggs
3 cups whipped cream, pudding, or ice cream
Powdered sugar (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Grease a baking sheet. In a medium saucepan combine water, butter, and salt. Bring to boiling. Add flour all at once, stirring vigorously. Cook and stir until mixture forms a ball. Remove from heat. Cool for 10 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well with a wooden spoon after each addition.

2. Drop 12 heaping tablespoons of dough onto prepared baking sheet. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until golden and firm. Transfer cream puffs to a wire rack and let cool.

3. Cut tops from puffs; remove soft dough from inside. Fill with whipped cream, pudding, or ice cream. Replace tops. If desired, sift powdered sugar over tops.

4. Makes 12 cream puffs

5. ��clairs: Prepare as above, except spoon dough into a decorating bag fitted with a large plain round tip (about 1/2-inch opening). Pipe 12 strips of dough, 3 inches apart, onto a greased baking sheet, making each strip 4 inches long, 1 inch wide, and 3/4 inch high. Bake, cool, and split, as in steps 2 and 3. Fill éclairs with whipped cream or pudding. Frost with 1 recipe Chocolate Glaze (page 163). Makes 12 éclairs.
Per éclair: 361 cal., 27 g total fat (16 g sat. fat), 142 mg chol., 27 g carbo., 171 mg sodium, 1 g fiber, 5 g pro.
Daily Values: 19% vit. A, 3% calcium, 7% iron
Exchanges: 11/2 Other Carbo., 5 Fat

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins

Peanut Butter Banana Chocolate Chip Muffins
Adapted from Cooking Light Bulletin Boards
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup packed, golden brown sugar
1 Tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2-3 large, ripe bananas, mashed-enough for 1-1/4 cups banana
1 cup milk
3/4 cup smooth peanut butter
3 Tablespoons canola oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 large egg
1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
In a large bowl, put together, flour, sugar, brown sugar, baking powder, salt and the cinnamon; combine.
In another mixing vessel combine mashed bananas, milk, peanut butter, egg, oil, and vanilla; mix well. Add this to the dry mixture previously prepared; mix just enough to combine. Stir in chocolate chips.
Spray muffin tins with cooking spray and fill tins until almost full. This will make 12 nicely sized muffins. You can double the recipe if you need more. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and bake for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.

I made one main change: I swapped the all-purpose flour for Whole Wheat. Online I found a page that remarked:
•If wanting the product to be 100% whole wheat, substitute 1-cup whole-wheat flour minus 1-tablespoon for every cup of all-purpose or bread flour.
•To create a lighter whole-wheat loaf, add 1-tablespoon gluten flour and 1-tablespoon liquor for each cup of whole-wheat flour.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Breakfast on a Lazy Saturday

D worked last night, so I got up at 7 and picked him up from the fuels branch. I then came home and promptly went back to sleep. At some point, he came in and went to bed. He'll be out till 4 or 5 this afternoon. I got up around 10, took Diesel for a walk, and then came home and stared in my fridge for a while, trying to decide what to eat. I grabbed the dough with the spanish wrapper that I could only hope was puff pastry, a half empty tub of ricotta cheese, and some cherries. I unrolled the dough, cut it into squares, and let it start to come to room temp. I mixed the ricotta with some powdered sugar, lemon juice and zest and a dash of salt. I then sliced and pitted the cherries. Spooning the ricotta into the squares of pastry, and adding a couple of cherry halves, I pinched them up into little packets, and threw them in the oven at 400 for what eventually turned into something between 20 and 30 minutes. They were so much tastier than I could've hoped! I enjoyed them with a cup of coffee and some milk.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

The Pie Pear Incident

So, after some prompting and some trial-and-error situations with the neighbor, I decided to attempt again, on my own, the Baked Pear Parcel from Veggie Belly.
I had four pears.  I don't know if they were bosch, or whatever it was she called for in the recipe.  I just know they were pears.  For two of them, I decided to use leftover store-bought pie crust.  They actually turned out pretty well.  I didn't have chamomile tea, so I made the tea sauce using a cinnamon-apple tea instead.

For the next two pears, I followed her pie-crust recipe to the letter.  *sigh* The result is considerably less impressive...

I present to you:  Pear-nobyl:

note, if you will, not only the sugar-cookie-esque failure that is the forefront of the photo, but also the total and complete dough melt-down in the back that in no small way resembles pie-dough up-chuck.  Alas...homemade dough is apparently not my forte!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Mm, mm, good and hearty chicken stock

Thank you to Marina for extending the invitation to me to share some yum with everyone. I hope I can come up with some good stuff that others will want to eat!

My first recipe is some good, hearty chicken stock. This is especially good to have on hand when you're feeling not-so-great and can be used in a multitude of recipes, from the predictable chicken noodle soup to less predictable fantastic mashed potatoes - and I'll try to post that recipe sometime soon.

Day 12: I guess there's one perk of being sick

That's my Lodge pot. It's just like a Le Creuset, except cheaper and just as good. I love my Lodge pot.

3 chicken legs/thighs, bone in
2 chicken feet (really!)
the butt of a bunch of celery
a few celery stalks with the leaves on them
3-4 large carrots, washed, unpeeled, cut into large chunks
1 large onion, quartered, unpeeled
4 cloves of garlic
1T black peppercorns
1T coriander seeds
1t ginger (powdered)
salt & white pepper to taste (I used quite a bit of salt, probably at least 3T).

Cover with water, bring to a shimmer - slightly less than a simmer and let cook for about 3 hours. Remove the vegetables and chicken; discard the vegetables and de-bone and shred the chicken for later use.

The stock is a lovely deep color and the flavor is just incredible. It's a great weekend project on a cold day when you don't feel like leaving the house.

You can pour the stock into ice cube trays and freeze for small servings to drop into a variety of things (it's great to boil frozen peas in), or freeze in several individual containers.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Speeding the No Knead Bread

From my Mom, who got it from Press Democrat

Makes 1 big loaf

Time: About 1 hour, plus 4½ hours' resting

3 cups bread flour

1 packet (¼ ounce) instant yeast

1½ teaspoons salt

-- Oil as needed

1. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large bowl. Add 1½ cups water and stir until blended; dough will be shaggy. Cover bowl with plastic wrap. Let dough rest about 4 hours at warm room temperature, about 70 degrees.

2. Lightly oil a work surface and place dough on it; fold it over on itself once or twice. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rest 30 minutes more.

3. At least a half-hour before dough is ready, heat oven to 450 degrees. Put a 6- to 8-quart heavy covered pot (cast iron, enamel, Pyrex or ceramic) in oven as it heats. When dough is ready, carefully remove pot from oven. Slide your hand under dough and put it into pot, seam side up. Shake pan once or twice if dough is unevenly distributed; it will straighten out as it bakes.

4. Cover with lid and bake 30 minutes, then remove lid and bake another 15 to 30 minutes, until loaf is beautifully browned. Cool on a rack.

Friday, October 31, 2008

Breadstick Fingers

Breadstick Fingers
Originally uploaded by grayd80
OMG! Brilliant!

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Pumpkin Souffle, Guerrilla Style

I saw this recipe in a magazine and thought it sounded like a great use for those mini pumpkins, but didn't have time to copy it, so I snap-and-ran. This is my approximate understanding of the picture.

You Will Need:
8 Mini Pumpkins
4 Large Eggs
4 Tsp All-Purpose Flour
1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
3 oz. Cabot Habanero Cheddar, diced
Salt and Black Pepper to taste

Preheat Over to 350
Place uncut pumpkins in a shallow dish and add a 1/4 inch of water. Cover tightly with foil and bake for 40 minutes, or until tender. Let cool.
Reheat oven to 375
With a paring knife, remove tops of pumpkins. Remove and discard seeds. Remove some flesh, leaving a 1/4 inch shell.
Place four cups of pumpkin flesh in a mixing bowl. Separate eggs and mix yolks into pumpkin flesh, reserving whites in a separate bowl.
Stir flour and baking powder into flesh and egg mixture. Add cheese. Season with Salt and Pepper.
Whip egg whites into stiff peaks and fold into pumpkin mixture. Spoon into pumpkin shells.
Place on baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.