Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Prince of Parties

I wanted to let everyone know that there have been a number of things that have taken my attention away from my blog in the last year. I will be starting back up, not sure what my schedule is going to be, but I want to stay true to journaling and jotting down various thoughts.

The spring of Minnesota is showing true here in Minneapolis; bringing rain, and not enough days in between for any gardening. My seedlings are awaiting the warm soil. More news to come.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Hi Everyone!

Sorry I have been sooo neglectful! I am finishing up my last month of school, and I decided that I need/ed to take a break from my blog for a bit and prepare everything else for now. I can count all of my assignments due on two hands, and I have to write my senior paper. So, I am still in the kitchen, working, gardening, schooling, dreaming, dog sitting/house sitting, biking(!), but I will be back to you some time in Mid-May. Here is a little share of some things I have been doing.
And... this is what my garden holds as of now: Oregano, rosemary, lavender, dill, sage, marigolds, swish chard, kale, lettuce, onions, and carrots. I am hoping to get some beans, peas, squash, tomatoes (this is a must), asparagus, and peppers out there. I also strewn about wildflowers along a path in our backyard (in a semi-organized manner). Enjoy April and all of your spring starter plants!! See you in May!

Kitchen happenings. Top (left) mini pork meatballs (right) zucchini bread. I can't wait to grow my own! Bottom (left) heirloom mini tomatoes from D'lish (right) simple chicken, tomato, basil-tomato pasta, oil, and Parmesan salad.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Pumpkin Muffins

I am feeling a little under the weather today. So under the weather, in fact, that I didn't feel like making supper (Dan is making us Mac and Cheese with broccoli and extra cheese), however I did feel like making muffins. These muffins were my perfect fix. They were really easy to make, fairly seasonal in ingredients, and things you normally have on hand. Pumpkins are still sort of in season right? So, hear is another recipe I adapted from Smitten Kitchen (are you getting sick of them yet). They are very moist, the right amount of spice, and almost took me back to Christmas in the early days of March.

Pumpkin Muffins
adopted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes approximately 2 dozen medium muffins.

3/4 c. unbleached all-purpose flour (or bleached is fine too)
3/4 c. whole wheat flour
1t baking powder
1c canned pumpkin (from a 15oz can) I used organic
1/3 c. vegetable oil*
2 large eggs
1t pumpkin-pie spice (clove, ginger, nutmeg, cinnimon)
1 c. + 1T pure cane sugar
1/2t baking soda
1/2t salt
1t cinnamon

*I replaced 1/6c of the oil with yogurt, I would assume you could replace all of it with out a significant difference in taste or texture.

Set the oven at 350 degrees. 1. Mix the flours and baking powder. 2. Mix the next ingredients minus 1T sugar and the final 1t cinnamon. 3. Mix the flour mixture with the batter. 4. Fill muffin tins (with or without the paper cups- the ones I didn't use the paper cups with turned out better) about 3/4ths full. 5. Mix remaining 1T sugar and 1t cinnamon together and sprinkle over the muffins. 6. Bake in the oven for about 20-30 mins. at 350 degrees.

Friday, March 5, 2010

I want to make a simple, whole wheat sandwich loaf of bread.

There. I said it.

It seems sooo easy to just say it. I don't think I have confessed my fear of bread making yet to you all.. its big. I feel like there is so much mounting pressure to make a great loaf the first time or to allocate a lot of time to keep making and making bread until you get it. Usually I think about trying to make bread when my store-bought loaf is starting to look a little low. Well that only gives me about two days to perfectly create a new loaf of bread, but who wants to be making bread for two days..? I don't have time. So, maybe its my inpatients or maybe it is my lack of experience, but making bread has always been a little struggle in my baking world. So for tonight, I am attempting the perfect loaf, once again. I have two days before my store-loaf is gone. I better get a move on.....

Here are some inspiring pictures that keep me going on my bread venture...

I think I can, I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Wings

So, I haven't exactly made any sort of chicken wing or leg yet. Period. Its intimidating. I was browsing Local D'lish's website this weekend and I spotted this Crock Pot BBQ Chicken Wing recipe and it just looked too good and too simple to not try. So for all of you out there that are intimidated by a big'ole basket of homemade BBQ wings try this one out! It is fantastic. Like Julia said, "it is perfect for one of those cold winter days when all you want to do is curl up and read a book." It is such an easy meal to start cooking and leave it to do the work. I chose to use the BBQ sauce local in Minnesota that D'lish recommended, but I bet this recipe would be great with your favorite BBQ sauce. I prefer something a little sweet and alotta spicy so the next time I make this I will be looking at some additional hot sauce to put an extra kick on it! All of the ingredients listed can be found local to Minnesota and found at Local D'lish, however, I challenge you to find these ingredients local to you! 

Crock Pot BBQ Chicken
from Local D'lish and Julia (from February 2nd 2010)

1-2 lb Callister Chicken Wings (or chicken wings from your local farmer)
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 12 oz bottle Lucky’s Bar-B-Que Sauce (Applewood Roasted Jalapeno, Garlic and Honey)

1. Salt and Pepper the chicken and saute them in a pan drizzled with a little splash of olive oil until they brown lightly, 3-4 mins. on each side, do this in batches so to not crowd the chicken. 2. Spray your crock pot with some oil and place the chicken in the bottom, spread out evenly. 3. Add the onion into crock pot. 4. Drizzle 3/4 of the bottle of BBQ sauce evenly. 5. Cook on high for 3-4 hours. 6. Add the rest of the BBQ sauce

I served these as-is with a side of creamy cheesy mashed potatoes. D'lish also suggests that they would also be great shredded and eaten on a bun with a side of cole slaw and beans.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Community Garden Season is right around the corner!

I decided that my feeble gardening attempts would be better cultivated (get it..) in a community garden atmosphere this year. I will learn a lot share recipes and pointers, and I won't have to worry about bad soil and little sun! Don't worry, I know what you're thinking... I haven't given up backyard gardening. In my current rented house I don't have much of a backyard to garden! What are you guys doing this year? Does anyone have any backyard ambitions? Community garden?

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chocolate-Raspberry Tiramisu

This sweet recipe was called for on the account of one of my best friends birthdays! And I am a big believer in birthday celebrations! My roommate Jenna (who I've previously introduced to you) and I decided to tackle this very easy nontraditional tiramisu recipe from her Best of Cooking Light cookbook which she has been having a hard time peeling her eyes from since she got it!

Chocolate-Raspberry Tiramisu
adopted by Cooking Light
Makes about 12 minis

1/4c powdered sugar
1/4c (2oz) mascarpone cheese, softened
1/4c raspberry-flavored liqueur, divided
1 (8oz) block fat-free cream cheese, softened
12 cake-style ladyfingers, split (we couldn't find ladyfingers, believe-it-or-not, so we used Twinkies, scraped and split)
1 1/2T unsweetened cocoa
2c fresh raspberries
mint sprigs (optional)

1. Place powdered sugar, mascarpone, 1 1/2T liqueur, and cream cheese into a large bowl, and beat with a mixer at a high speed until blended well. 2. Brush cut sides of ladyfingers with remaining 2 1/2T liqueur. Spread about 1 1/2T mascarpone mixture over bottom half of each ladyfinger, cover with tops. 3. Arrange on dessert plates. Sprinkle evenly with cocoa (sift cocoa over desserts with a sifter) and arrange raspberries over each. Garnish with mint sprigs.