Tag Archives: onion

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.

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

Grilled Peach Pizza

Saaayyywhaaaa?

Oh yeah.  My friend Kristin posted a photo of her grilled pizza she made not too long ago and man was I inspired.  And then I flipped through Cooking Light and saw fruit on a pizza and it was all down hill from there.  I was hooked.  Here’s how I made mine.

You’ll need:

  • pizza crust
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • mozzarella cheese
  • spinach
  • onion, chopped
  • green pepper, chopped
  • chicken, cooked and shredded
  • apple wood smoked blue cheese
  • 1-2 peaches, thinly sliced
  • balsamic vinegar

I started off by taking a pre-made pizza (I haven’t messed around with making my own pizza dough and I was not in the mood to try), brushed some oil on it and slapped it on the grill (medium high heat), about a couple minutes on each side to warm it up and get some grill marks on it.  I then added some mozz cheese, spinach, onion, peppers, shredded chicken, apple wood smoked blue cheese, peach slices, and topped off with a little more mozz.  Shut the grill and let her go until the cheese has melted and the pizza is warmed through out.  Um this apple wood smoked blue cheese is OUT OF THIS WORLD.  I think I could have ate the whole thing because it was JUST THAT GOOD.  I refrained.  It will go on the next pizza I make.

Now the balsamic vinegar.  If you are handy and can multitask, pour about 1/3 cup in a small sauce pan and boil for about 2-3 minutes until it has reduced.  Once the pizza is done (or do this as soon as the pizza comes off the grill or oven), drizzle this all over it.  Oh yeah.  Do not forget this part.  It makes the pizza.  I may start drizzling it over everything. And I mean everything.

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Fat Tuesday Chicken Gumbo

Fat Tuesday was a combination of reasons why I made this dish.  Ian, with the help of Tim, got me this ridiculous cookbook for Christmas, The Total Banana.

And ever since, we’ve been talking about having a banana dinner night.  After thumbing through the banana book, I found “Chicken Gumbo” (with plantain balls) and Fat Tuesday was only a couple of days away.  A few text messages later the banana dinner was in place!  I picked chicken gumbo from the book because it seemed to be one of the easier things to make.  I thought to ease myself in to the Total Banana.

The recipe called for okra and I’ve never worked with okra before.  I did not prepare it the best way possible and it was a little bit slimy.  Not in a gross way, but a definite acquired taste.  A better way to use okra is to fry it up and add it at the end, almost like a garnish to your dish.  I will definitely go that route next time I use okra.

I do not have the recipe on hand currently.  Tim has The Total Banana, since we decided that we should take turns hosting the banana dinner.  Tim is unfortunately next.

It was a pretty straight forward recipe with green peppers, onions, garlic, chicken stock, okra, spices, etc.  I added sausage into it to give it a little more oomph.  My coworker gave me some southern cookin’ staples and I added gumbo file at the end.  Deeeelish!  Once I get the banana book back, I will update with the recipe.

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pulled pork BBQ

i wanted to try something new but i was feeling quite lazy.  the holiday has got me in a coma of wanting to do nothing cooking wise, so it was time to dust off the ol’ crock pot.  after a few minutes of browsing the internet i found a unique recipe for some pulled pork BBQ that i tweaked just a tid.  i’ve never made pulled pork BBQ so this was filling my adventurous “want” and tossing it into the slow cooker kept me in line with my laziness.  and it paid off big time.

you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup ketchup
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped onion
  • 1 cup chopped celery
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/4 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 (2 pound) pork shoulder roast

Mix all ingredients (except pork) together in the slow cooker until combined.  place the pork in the cooker and spoon the sauce over top.  set the slow cooker to low and cook 7-8 hours.  shred the meat and toss back in the cooker.  serve over buns.

it was that simple and WOW was it delicious.  you could smell it when you came through the front door of my building.  this is definitely going on my rotation of simply delicious  foods to make time and time again.  add some of your favorite bbq sauce to it as well to give it more flavor.  i served it up with a side of green beans and i was one happy and lazy eater.   enjoy!

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Creamy Peanut Butter & Kale Pasta

i’d like to give a shout out to Kristyn for this recipe.  i put a call out for suggestions for some ingredients i got from my CSA and this is what i got.  peanut butter?  with kale?  my initial thought was, “hmmm… interesting,” and as was the reaction of a few other people when they asked me what was for dinner.  my mind was set.  peanut butter and kale it was.  i followed Kristyn’s recipe almost to a T, making a short cut on the kale.

you’ll need:

  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/3 onion, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, chopped
  • 1/4 cup natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vegetable broth or water, warmed
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 bunch kale, chopped
  • half pound of pasta – medium shells

Cook the pasta according to the box directions.  while the pasta cooks,  saute the onions and garlic in vegetable oil.  once translucent, add the kale and cover, cooking until tender and green.  combine the peanut butter, soy sauce, warm vegetable broth, and spices. add the sauce and pasta once the kale is cooked.

it was simple, it was fast and it was ridiculously yummy.  i suggest making this if you want to try kale or have some and don’t know what to do with it.  thanks, Kristyn!!!

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Quick Chicken and Corn Chowder

another chowder, another night with ian.  tim joined us for this one.  and it was simple, simple, simple!  i have to give a big shout out to giant eagle and their 4.99 rotisserie chicken.  it might be my favorite thing to buy there because it’s cheap, delicious and i can use it in so many things, like this dish.

you’ll need:

  • 1 Tbs butter
  • generous 1/2 cup chopped onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped celery
  • 2 1/2 Tbs all-purpose flour
  • 2 1/2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 2 cups roasted chicken, shredded
  • 1 1/2 cups frozen corn
  • 1/4 tsp dried thyme
  • dash of cayenne
  • salt to taste
  • avocado for garnish

melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat.  add the onion and celery and cook for about 3 minutes, or until vegetables are tender.  Add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.  Stir in the milk and remaining ingredients, simmer until thickened, about 5 minutes.  Serve with avocado and freshly ground pepper if desired.

i think it took about 15-20 minutes to pull together.  had a nice sweet taste to it, courtesy of the corn, and it was warm and filling.  it makes a lot!  so feed your friends or prepare to have leftovers.  yum!

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New England Clam Chowder

i love clam chowder.  i’ve consumed it at many restaurants and have made it out of a can a few times, but i’ve never actually tried making it from scratch.  i came across this recipe at epicurious.com and thought it seemed pretty simple.  after sending it over to ian for further review, i went ahead and made it for our weekly hanging out of watching tv trash-ness.

you’ll need:

  • 1 1/4 pound canned clams, minced, juices reserved – about 3 cans
  • 2-3 cups bottled clam juice
  • 2 bacon slices, minced
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme leaves, chopped
  • 1 pound potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 3 cups heavy cream or half and half
  • Salt, to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste
  • Worcestershire sauce, to taste

drain the clams and combine that juice with enough bottled juice to equal 3 cups.  the juice from three cans and one bottle of clam juice will be enough.

cook the bacon in a soup pot over medium heat until crisp.

add the onion and cook until translucent, stirring occasionally.  add the flour and stir over low heat for about 2-3 minutes.

whisk in the clam juice and bring to a simmer.  cook for 5 minutes.  if the liquid is too thick, add more clam juice to adjust.  add thyme.

add the potatoes and simmer for about 15 minutes or until tender.

add the cream and clams once the potatoes are cooked.  serve with oyster crackers or crispy bread, seasoning with tobassco sauce and worcestershire to taste.

 

there is no photo. why? simply because i forgot to take one.  probably because i was enjoying this too much to take one. sorry!

at any rate, this has been the best clam chowder i’ve had in a long time.  and really, really simple to make.  warm, creamy, potato-y with a hint of clam.  perfect for dinner on a cold night.  enjoy!