Author Archive

Green Egg Scramble

Sunday, February 16th, 2014

I do so like green eggs and ham!
Thank you! Thank you,
Sam-I-am!
-Dr. Seuss

Now that Valentines Day has become a memory, my mind is now rushing to March and the promise of spring, and St. Patrick’s Day. Of all of the holiday’s, my two very most favorite are Valentines Day and St. Patrick’s day because there are no grand preconceived ideas about what should and shouldn’t happen. It is a blank canvas and every year and I have the opportunity to create what I want to with the time and energy that I have.
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Pan Seared Brussels Sprouts with Bacon and Feta

Monday, January 27th, 2014

We kids feared many things in those days

- werewolves, dentists, North Koreans, Sunday School

- but they all paled in comparison

with Brussels sprouts

                                                                                   -Dave Barry

Forget everything you know, or think you know about Brussels sprouts. One bite of these delectable little beauties will have you singing a new tune.

I have always loved Brussels sprouts, except for a short time when my older brother Mike told me that since Cabbage Patch Kids came from cabbages and Brussels sprouts are essential mini cabbages then Cabbage Patch Kids Preemies must come from Brussels sprouts. It only took one tear filled dinner to quickly dispel that myth. (more…)

Strawberry Honey Butter

Sunday, November 24th, 2013

October’s poplars are flaming torches lighting the way to winter.
-Nova S. Bair


I don’t know what it is about fall, but it brings me in. It holds me tightly with memories of trick or treating as a kid, the hot smell of the candle flickering inside my perfectly carved pumpkin cooking the flesh just enough to add its aroma to the already perfect evening. It reminds me of crisp autumn nights as I unpacked my belongings into a sturdy and warm dorm room that sat at the mouth of Logan canyon, the wind whipping around its edges creating mini snow or leaf filled tornados. It reminds me of riding the shuttle over to the student center for a hot slice of bread with apple butter or raspberry honey butter. I had a car but I would usually trade in the solidarity of a morning ride by myself in Crunchie the Love Cockroach (my pet name for my little Toyota Corolla because it made a lovely crunching sound anytime I cornered to the right) for the warmth and camaraderie of the shuttle.
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Roasted Tomato Soup

Saturday, October 26th, 2013

A world without tomatoes is like a string quartet without violins.
-Laurie Colwin, “Home Cooking”

Growing up I hated two things that were good for me, fish and tomatoes. When I took a health class in high school I realized the importance and benefits of incorporating these two beauties into my diet. It took years to change my opinion and palate, but I am slowly coming around. I started by ordering hamburgers and leaving the tomatoes in place instead of discarding them the instant they arrived on my plate. I’m still working on fish. I have trained myself to like lobster, crab and shrimp, but learning to like fish will take a little more time. Whenever I am near an ocean however I feel like it would be an insult if I didn’t give it another try. I ate Mahi Mahi for the first time in Hawaii and really enjoyed it. This past March I had some of the most amazing salmon I have ever tasted while at an awards dinner, for work,  in Orlando. It takes baby steps. If I had this tomato soup as a kid, I have a feeling my thoughts about tomatoes would have changed ages ago. It is a far cry from the preservative packed can variety and is almost as easy to prepare.
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Quick and Easy Pasta Carbonara

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

Life is a combination of magic and pasta.

-Federico Fellini

When I cook for my family, I do my best to set the mood. I always feel like I am more able to listen to the little things that the food is trying to tell me when I surround myself with good music. No music connects me more readily and directly to the food that I am preparing than Italian music paired with Italian cuisine. The music and the food speaks to me in a way that excites every inch of my body, down to the tiniest atom in my little toe. I can’t help but dance through the kitchen as I mince the garlic or drop the pasta. It becomes a celebration instead of a simple meal, made on a week night, to fill the bellies of my hungry savages.


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Mango Coconut Banana Bread

Monday, October 14th, 2013

Cooking is like love, it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.
-Harriet Van Horne (Vogue 1956)

Is there anything more comforting than freshly baked banana bread? Growing up a friend and I would always make banana bread when we were down. We would spy each other with that knowing look and immediately start gathering ingredients. When we were apart we would often bring a warm slice to each other “just because” and the sentiment contained in that delicious slice is something that I can conjure up all of these years later. It was more than the ingredients, it was an act of love. It was an act of knowing that we can’t always fix things with words, but sharing in a scrumptous delight and surrendering to that moment, somehow everything was just a little more bearable.
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Mango Chicken over Coconut Rice

Thursday, September 26th, 2013

Tell me what you eat,

and I shall tell you what you are.

-Jean-Anthelme Brilliat-Saravin

After tonight’s dinner, with the above quote in mind, Jean would peg me as a lover of all things tropical and he would be right. I have long fantasized of changing my heritage to more suit my palate and climate preferences. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t get excited at the prospect of scaring the life out of people when I tell them I love them (I’m mostly German BTW), but island cuisine and way of life melds so much better with my current state of mind than my own German roots ever have. (With the exception of Christmas of course. I would be lost without my German Christmas traditions and pfeffernusse.)

Every time I eat a perfectly ripe pineapple or sprinkle some toasted coconut on my latest creation I am reminded of how grateful I am that other cultures and countries share their food with us. My diet would be pretty unexciting if I were only able to eat the foods that naturally grew near my geographical location. It would, however, give me even more incentive to move to a tropical locale.

Nonetheless, this quick and easy recipe helped to muffle my desire to escape to a tropical paradise.

With the kids now back in school and back to a myriad of activities, it has been increasingly difficult to get a good meal on the table. This is the perfect season for slow cookers. With a little prep work earlier in the day, your family can be sitting down to a warm delicious meal moments after mom’s taxi service closes for the day.

Mango Chicken over Coconut Rice

Mango Chicken over Coconut Rice

Ingredients

  • 4-5 chicken breasts
  • 1 large ripe mango peeled and diced
  • 3 ripe peaches peeled and diced
  • 1/2-1 full hatch chili pepper (or pepper of your choice) seeds and ribs removed and diced
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1-2 Tbsp toasted coconut for garnish

Instructions

  1. Prepare slow cooker by spraying sides and bottom with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. Place all ingredients in slow cooker and cook on high for 3 hours or medium for 4-5 hours.
  3. Shred chicken and serve over coconut rice with toasted coconut on top.

Coconut Rice

Ingredients

  • 2 cups rice
  • 1 (16.5 oz) can of coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup toasted coconut
  • water

Instructions

  1. Cook rice as per package directions but sub coconut milk for as much water as you can.
  2. For example I cooked cal rose rice in a microwave rice cooker that called for 3 cups of water to 2 cups of rice. The 16.5 oz can was almost 2 c so I finished filling the measuring cup with water to equal 3 cups.
  3. When the rice is done, immediately toss with toasted coconut.

Baked Pineapple

Wednesday, September 25th, 2013

A table, a chair, a bowl of fruit, and a violin;

what else does a man need to be happy?

-Albert Einstein

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Cindy – Pizza and a Movie

Friday, September 13th, 2013

Use what talent you possess:
the woods would be very silent if no birds sang
except those that sang best.

I’m having one of those “less than perfect” days. Nothing is particularly wrong, I just can’t seem to get something right. I had HIGH hopes of offering up a wonderful meal to my family and to you tonight, but for the second time in a row it was less than perfect. Which got me thinking about the lenses that we see each other through.

In my old neighborhood I had a neighbor who was the epitome of perfect. Her hair was perfect, her make-up was perfect, her clothes were perfect, her house was always tidy and ready for guests, she hosted fun luncheons and even figured out how to balance all of that and stay in shape. I was the polar opposite of her. I rarely did anything more than a ponytail with my hair, makeup was a luxury that was just out of my grasp, my clothes covered my body, nothing more nothing less (I was just grateful for the days that I could escape, unscathed, by the onslaught of baby food that was being hurled at me) and my house, though it was tidy, it was never guest ready. If someone stopped by unannounced I would either pretend I wasn’t home or holler at them through the door that they would have to wait for a second while I quickly ran through the offending room shoving everything out of sight.
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Grilled Peaches a la Mode

Monday, September 9th, 2013

Delicious autumn!

My very soul is wedded to it,

and if I were a bird

I would fly about the earth seeking

the successive autumns.

–George Eliot

With our recent trip to the mountains, and all of the beautiful changing leaves, my stomach couldn’t quit thinking of all of the exciting flavors that are about to grace our table. But my heart isn’t ready to give up summer quite yet. Tonight, for dessert, I decided to make my heart and my stomach happy with a fun twist on a summer dish that plays up some of my favorite fall elements.

Say hello to Grilled Peaches a la Mode. This is the time of year that the peach trees are heavy with sweet, ripe, beautiful fruit just begging to be picked. If you are lucky enough to live close to a farm, you might take this time to pick your own peaches. Or maybe, you have a single peach tree in your yard that supplies an abundance for you and your family. My peaches came to me via Bountiful Baskets. As soon as I got home I tucked them away to preserve them for tonights dessert. Fresh peaches don’t stand a chance in our house.


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