Category Archives: side dish

FFwD Dressy Pasta “Risotto”

AKA Fancy mac and cheese!   I enjoy risotto and was slightly disappointed when I read through the recipe to find out it’s everything but.  But man do I LOVE mac and cheese.  Like LOVE.  It is just the definition of comfort food.  This fancier version might now be my go to for mac and cheese.  I normally make a roux, dump some cream in, melt the cheese and add the pasta.  This was SO much easier.  Dorie calls for chicken stock – lucky for me I made chicken stock earlier in the day.  I had chicken parts in the freezer and was looking to free up some space.  It’s getting colder here at the beach thanks to snow storm Hercules, so homemade soup will be happening later this week.  The local fish market is having a HUGE sale on clams so I’m also thinking clam chowder is going to happen in the very near future.  The perks of living at the beach!

Back to that risotto … Onions, butter, chicken stock, pasta, cream, fresh grated parmesan and mascarpone.  MMM. Dorie.  It’s like you wrote this recipe just for me.  Taking one of my favorite things to eat, making it fancy AND it’s a one pot wonder.  Gah! I served mine up with some pork chops (thanks for the chops, Mom!) and greens.

This was a hit all around.  I will make this again that is for sure.  Check out what the other Doriesters are doing with their dressy pasta risotto here.

Now I will stay indoors all day.  It’s cold here!

So pretty!

Update — Beach snow photos! 🙂



Filed under dinner, FFWD, side dish

Apple Turnovers

So over the weekend I made the compote de pommes as part of French Fridays with Dorie.  The bonne idee for the compote was to use it in some turnovers/hand pies.  What a bonne idee it was.  And so stinking EASY. The compote was super easy to begin with and why not make two things out of one recipe?  Consider me sold.

Thaw the puff pastry, roll it out and cut some circles.

Stuff this with some compote, close it, crimp it and add a little egg wash for shine.

Let it do it’s thing in the oven for 20-25 minutes and boom.  Turnovers/handpies.

So simple! The puff pastry had a lightness to it but still buttery and delicious.  The apple filling is simple and tasty.  Personally, I enjoyed this turnover cold.  There’s something about cold applesauce and that buttery crust that makes me happy.  Now, what else can I stuff in these?!

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Filed under breakfast, dessert, FFWD, side dish, snack, sweet treat

French Friday with Dorie – Compote de Pommes

It’s been a while since I’ve participated in a French Friday with Dorie recipe. I could list excuses but I’m not going to.  I’ll just get back in it! I love reading the posts the others in the group share and the camaraderie this group has created and I’ve missed contributing to it.  This past Friday’s FFwD recipe is Compote de Pommes two ways.  That is applesauce for you who don’t know the lingo.  There is a straight forward recipe and the second one is a thicker, gussied up version with butter.  I opted for the first go at it and will make the turnovers tomorrow for a fancy breakfast.

Apples, peeled, cored and chopped up.

About halfway there.

Dorie suggests milling, pushing the apples through a sieve or leave them whole. I don’t have a mill, no patience for the sieve and I don’t like an overly chunky applesauce. To the food processor it goes!

Finished compote de pommes.

I took a taste. Delish.  I didn’t add the butter or vanilla, which were optional.  I thought this was good as is.  The compote is now chilling in the fridge waiting to be tucked in some puff pastry and enjoyed as a hand pie.  But Dorie also suggests adding some creme fraîche and enjoying it as a delicious dessert.  Perhaps I’ll do both.  Perhaps I’ll try to nestle this in to something for thanksgiving … Hmm… Posts to come!

Check out the other FFwD compote de pommes posts from fellow bloggers!

PS – It feels good to be back to FFwD! 🙂


Filed under FFWD, side dish, snack, sweet treat

Spent Grain Pretzel Rolls


Also – HEY I’M BACK. Sorry. I love you!

I am dabbing my big toe into the baking realm.   And by that I mean bread.  I’ve done cookies and what not.  But not breads.  There was something about making my own dough that just intimidated me.  I think it’s the rising dough that freaks me out.  A ball of mush that doubles in size just by sitting there?  It’s like a monster!

So as I already told you about, I tried my hand at beer.  My first one came out delicious.  Second, not so much.  But hey, I’m learning.  A plus from any batch of brew is the spent grain.

spent grain on the left

And with that you can make all sorts of things.  This time is spent grain PRETZEL ROLLS.  The recipe comes from the company that makes the beer kit I use (here).

I was a little iffy about making it since I haven’t done bread OR pretzels.  So might as well just do it one big swoop, right? Right.

You need:

  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 packet dry active yeast
  • 2 1/2 cups flour
  • 1/2 cup of Spent Grain Flour
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more for sprinkling
  • 5 cups water
  • 1 cup beer
  • 1/4 cup baking soda


1. In a stand mixer add the warm water and sprinkle yeast on top. Let stand five minutes until small bubbles appear.

2. Combine flours, sugar, and salt.

3. Using the dough hook attachment dump in flour mixture and mix on low until the dough comes together. Increase speed to medium and mix until dough is elastic and smooth (about 6 more minutes).

4. Remove dough from mixer, form into a ball and place in oiled mixing bowl, turning once to coat. Let rise 30 minutes covered in a damp dish towel.

5. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead for 1 minute. Divide dough into 8 balls. Place on an oiled baking sheet or cupcake tin, score top of each roll, cover with a damp dish towel and let rise a second time (about 20 minutes).

6. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Bring water and beer to a boil in a large pot on the stove top. We recommend using at least a two gallon pot as the water tends to boil over with the addition of the baking soda.

7. When rolls have risen, add the baking soda to the boil (it will foam up a bit). Using a slotted spoon boil rolls for 2 minutes per side.

8. Transfer to baking sheet with rolls scored side up. Sprinkle with salt and bake 12 minutes. Enjoy.

And here’s the final outcome:

I am no longer afraid of dough and breads and baking and OMG were they DELICIOUS.

I loved making these. Simple. Easy. Different. Yummy. Easy.

Now I need to try making beer again after my failed chocolate donut stout. That was a sad, dark time.  I must remedy that.

Make beer and beer pretzel rolls NOW!

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Mom’s (boozy) Birthday Brunch

Hi! How are you?  I’m fine. Yes, it’s been a while and I’m really sorry.  Sometimes I get busy with life and that’s exactly what happened with the month of February.  I wasn’t able to blog as much as I wanted to.  I cooked! I have a back log of posts, but I just couldn’t find the time to sit down and tell you all the things I’ve been doing.  And for that, I am terribly sorry! But here’s hoping my unplanned ‘break’ ( I wouldn’t really call it a break, I still facebooked…) got me out of the blogging rut.  Enough apologizing, on to the post. And what a post this is!

Jes and I have started a birthday tradition for Mom.  Last year for her birthday we made delicious steaks and sides. This year we went with brunch.  And you know, after two years it’s tradition. So now it’s tradition.  Let’s not wait any longer for the festivities.

I am in love with the cookbook Around My French Table by Dorie Greenspan.  I made it a new years resolution to do more with the group French Fridays with Dorie (FFwD).  I think I participated in two recipe postings before I fell off the wagon.  I have browsed this cookbook numerous times, flagging different recipes I wanted to make, what’s coming up in FFwD, and just staring at the mouth watering photos in the book.  The quiches really caught my eye.  When Jes and I started to plan out Mom’s birthday brunch, I thought OMG. I can make Dorie’s quiches.  And Boozy Birthday Brunch was decided upon. Before I get into the quiches, Jes made Baked French Toast (Jes: Modifications:  I only had walnuts on hand to put between the bread layers, and only had vanilla on hand so it wasn’t really boozy.  Maybe next time.), Potato Salad (Jes: No modifications.  Only that the cucumbers didn’t sit over night, they sat marinating for like a 1/2 hour lol.), and Caramel Banana Sauce (Jes: No modifications, borgborgborg!)  We have at thing with the Sweedish Chef.  ON TO THE QUICHES!

The quiche dough was SIMPLE.  Flour, some sugar, some salt, cold butter, an egg.  Whirled all in my food processor.  My food processor is on the smaller side so I can only make one dough recipe (ie. enough for one quiche) at a time. But it all came together and BOOM. So easy.

After the dough chilled for a few hours, I rolled it out and smushed it in my tart pan. Don’t get me started on the tart pan.  Lets just say I was able to find one after vising THREE STORES.  You’d think Macy’s would have a tart pan.  Nope.  And using a pie plate was not as pretty.

This is the Quiche Lorraine (quiche 1 of 2).  Bacon, gruyere, onion, eggs, heavy cream.

The other quiche, Gorgonzola-Apple Quiche (not pictured!) had apples, gorgonzola, onions, eggs, and heavy cream.  Delightful.

Our lovely table scape courtesy of Jes.

Birthday brunch at it’s finest.

And what’s a brunch without booze?  Not a brunch, duh.  Jes supplied mimoas and I brought the best bloody mary mix EVER.  In my opinion.  So, ever. Zing Zang is the BEST.  If only we had pickled green beans up here to top it off.  Celery will just have to do.  If you are a bloody mary fan, I suggest ditching your mix and get this.  You can thank me later.

All of us pigged out and enjoyed ourselves.  It was a relaxing afternoon for everyone who attended and quite pleasing to the palate.  We don’t indulge all the time, but when we do, we do it right.

There were leftovers (I know… blasphemy).  But, we packed them up and sent them home with Mom.  Gram and Pap lucked out since they got to eat the leftovers :).

Since I know Mom follows my blog … I HOPE YOU HAD THE BEST BIRTHDAY BRUNCH! 🙂  Can’t wait to plan for next year! Love you!

PS – No recipes for the quiches? I know.  I’m keeping with the FFwD rule of not posting Dorie’s recipes.  Her book is amazing and I really do urge you to buy it. Yes, it’s THAT amazing I’m not posting the recipes.  But, if you ask me nicely, I may give it to you.


Filed under adult beverage, breakfast, lunch, side dish, sweet treat

bluebird’s corn salad

I’ve been kind of obsessed with bluebird kitchen.  the first day i went there i got the veggie sandwich (which was amaze) and a side of the corn salad.  i was just so amazed by this salad.  i wasn’t sure if i was going to laugh or cry while eating it, it was that good. so good i recreated it at home.  and then i laughed and cried into my corn salad because it was so delicious. (i also went back the following day for lunch and got the roast beef sandwich and i may have to go back again tomorrow and every other day the rest of the week to get the roast beef because IT IS THAT GOOD).

you’ll need:

  • 2-3 cups cooked long grain white rice
  • 1 cup sweet corn
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup greek yogurt
  • salt and pepper to taste

mix all of your ingredients together and chill.  yep. THAT EASY.  adjust your cilantro/corn/onion/yogurt ratios to your liking, my numbers are just a ball park.  i probably had more cilantro because i just love cilantro. this might be my new “salad” thing to bring to gatherings.  here’s hoping i don’t eat it all before i even get to my final destination… 🙂


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Filed under side dish

Cheddar Corn Spoon Bread

I made this for Christmas dinner.  I just wanted to throw my face in it and eat it all myself.  It was that good.  There were no leftovers.  I was not the one to take the last scoop, unfortunately.

Again… Thank you, Martha Stewart for your delish recipe.

You’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon butter, plus more for baking dish
  • 2 cups milk
  • 1 1/2 cups corn kernels
  • 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal
  • Coarse salt
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese – or how ever much you’d like.  I doubled it! 🙂
  • 4 large eggs

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 2-quart souffle dish or casserole; set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine butter, milk, corn, cornmeal, 1 teaspoon salt, and cayenne. Bring to a boil; reduce heat to medium, and simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is slightly thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in cheese. Let cool until just warm to the touch, about 15 minutes. Stir in egg yolks until combined.

In a clean mixing bowl, beat egg whites and a pinch of salt until soft peaks form. Stir 1/3 of the whites into cornmeal mixture until combined, then gently fold in the remaining whites with a rubber spatula. Pour into prepared dish.

Place dish in oven; reduce oven heat to 375 degrees. Bake until browned on top but still slightly loose in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving.

Look at it.  It’s like a pillow of cheese and corn.  Who WOULDN’T want to throw their face in it and eat it all?!?!?!

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Filed under side dish