orange cranberry muffins

sometimes i want a muffin for breakfast. a plain old, nothing too crazy muffin. but i've had my fair share of bland muffin recipes. so i substituted half the white sugar for brown and doubled the suggested amount of cranberries and tripled the orange zest. they're perfectly flavorful.

what? you don't like cranberries or oranges? just remove them and add whatever you'd like - cinnamon, nuts, blueberries, anything else you can think of.

and yes, i used up the last of my valentine's day and easter cupcake papers.

i'm on the lookout for a good pistachio muffin recipe. i've looked online - there are a lot of variations out there, but none of them are really grabbing me. recommendations?

cranberry orange muffins
adapted from joy of cooking

2 cups flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup dried cranberries
zest from one navel orange
2 eggs
1 cup milk or cream
1/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup melted butter
  1. preheat the oven to 400F and line a muffin pan with paper liners.
  2. sift the flour, baking powder, and salt. mix in the cranberries and zest and evenly coat with the flour mixture.
  3. in a separate bowl, mix the eggs, milk/cream, sugars, butter, and vanilla.
  4. make a well in the flour mixture and add the wet mixture. mix just until combined.
  5. divide batter between 12 muffins and bake for 18 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  6. let cool in the pan for ~10 minutes, remove, and serve warm or cool completely before storing in an airtight container.


pasta with tomato almond pesto & homemade garlic bread

last weekend (or was it the week before?) i caught america's test kitchen's "saucy italian favorites" show. i love a good pesto, but i was surprised to see them make a Sicilian pesto ofrom fresh tomatoes and ground almonds instead of pine nuts. it was really really good and really really easy. and another reason to fire up my food processor.

pasta with tomato and almond pesto
adapted from america's test kitchen

1/4 cup toasted slivered almonds
2 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes
1/2 cup basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon salt
pinch red pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 pound pasta, cooked according to package directions
  1. mix almonds, tomatoes, basil, garlic, salt, and red pepper in a food processor for 1 minute until smooth.
  2. stream in olive oil to the tomato mixture.
  3. mix sauce into cooked pasta. mix in grated parmesan.

homemade garlic bread

1 loaf italian bread
1/2 stick unsalted butter, room temp
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
6 cloves minced garlic
salt & pepper
  1. preheat oven to 350F. slice bread in half horizontally.
  2. mix the butter, cheese, and garlic together. season with salt & pepper.
  3. spread butter evenly onto both sides of the bread. put the loaf back together, put on a baking sheet, and bake about 10-15 minutes.


chicken & vegetable stirfry with soba noodles

the grocery store was all out of the usual lo mein noodles i use for stirfry and since we had rice last week, i wasn't in the mood for it again. i'm not an asian food connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination, so it took me a while in the aisle to find a substitute. and i settled on soba noodles. and i was pleasantly surprised. lo mein might have competition in my house.

so the noodles were set but i wanted something different for the stirfry - not the usual soy sauce and sesame oil. i wanted broccoli & beef but with more vegetables. so that's exactly what i made. and with chicken instead of beef.

chicken & vegetable stirfry with soba noodles
adapted from steamy kitchen's broccoli beef, serves 2

1 large chicken breast, thinly sliced
1/2 pound broccoli florets
6 carrots, cut into matchsticks
1 cup sugar snap peas
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cloves minced garlic
1 teaspoon cornstarch dissolved in 1 tablespoon water

for the marinade:
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon dry sherry
1/2 teaspoon corn starch

for the sauce:
2 tablespoons fish sauce
1 teaspoon dry sherry
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 cup chicken broth

  1. stir together the marinade. pour into a resealable bag and add the chicken. massage the marinade into the chicken through the bag. marinade for 10 minutes.
  2. blanch the broccoli by cooking in boiling water for 2 minutes. rinse in cold water and set aside.
  3. stir together the sauce and set aside. start the water to cook the soba noodles. cook and drain according to directions on the package. do not rinse and set aside.
  4. heat a large frying pan or wok over high heat and add the vegetable oil. add the chicken and cook until completely cooked.
  5. add garlic to the pan and cook about thirty seconds, or until fragrant.
  6. add the sauce, broccoli, carrots, and peas and stir to coat. add the dissolved cornstarch and cook 3-4 minutes until the sauce boils. stir in the noodles to coat in the sauce and serve.


pineapple sorbet

ice cream season is finally here!

my ice cream maker sits in the back corner of my cupboard for six months out of the year. sure, i can make ice cream in december, but that would be too weird. can you imagine - it's 15 degrees out and i'm making ice cream!? december is time for cookies and brownies and other oven required goodies. but now, now is the time for frozen fruit, dairy, and sugar.
and what better way to kick it off than with pineapple!

my only complaint about this recipe - it doesn't have enough sugar in it or it needs some vodka or something. it freezes too hard making it almost impossible to scoop. it isn't impossible, just really hard.

jason loves soft serve ice cream, so we always have a bowl when it comes out of the ice cream maker...

...and freeze the rest for later

pineapple sorbet

from the ultimate ice cream book

1 pineapple, peeled, cored, and coarsely chopped (about 3 pounds)
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
juice from one lime
  1. add the sugar and water to a saucepan and heat over medium heat until the mixture is clear. remove from heat and cool to room temp.
  2. blend the pineapple, cooled syrup, and lime juice until smooth.
  3. chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
  4. mix well before churning in your ice cream maker according to the directions. i had to process mine in two batches since it didn't fit in one. be careful - you don't want it to overflow.
  5. eat immediately for soft serve or freeze for a couple hours and serve.


raspberry pots de creme

i'm intimidated by custard. or pots de creme. whatever you want to call them, they've always scared me a bit. i've seen vanilla ones. chocolate ones. fruit flavored ones. i watched america's test kitchen make creme caramel. and melissa d'arabian make spiced butterscotch. and talk about how easy they are to make. and how the water bath is critical. so last weekend, when i needed a celebration dessert i also just happened to see this post for raspberry pots de creme. perfect.

they were easy. very easy. but i'm not quite sure if i don't like custard or if i did something wrong. i'm thinking the latter since the flavor itself was great.

i'll try again, when i get up the courage. and it will be a chocolate or caramel or other super sweet flavor. maybe i jumped the gun and skipped the foundational flavor and skipped straight to something unique.

raspberry pots de creme
find the recipe at Showfood Chef


italian eggs for dinner

i had an idea.

sometimes ideas are good, sometimes not so much. and this one, to be honest, i wasn't quite sure how it was going to pan out.

about once a week, i make breakfast for dinner. it almost always includes eggs and usually it's some form of breakfast burrito/taco or huevos rancheros. this time, i wanted to go italian. (and as jason points out, it's been night three of italian food here. i'm not complaining.)

i think the first time i had a poached egg was a year ago and i absolutely love them. so poached eggs are in. i didn't want pasta, but lots of vegetables. and the flavors of italy - at least italy in america. so i got to work building a sauce or base for the eggs.

tomatoes. cheese. onion. garlic. bread. basil. ah, almost forgot the basil. a couple eggs and it was perfect.

i started with a base of sauteed onions, garlic, and carrot (i almost always add some minced or grated carrot to pasta sauce now too. it adds a nice flavor - not like carrot at all - and it's a good way to add a little vegetable into a pasta dish). then added a can of diced tomatoes. i simmered the mixture until it started to thicken and the tomatoes broke down. stirred in some cubes of mozzarella i had left over from something else and some basil. then i cracked in the eggs. yep, directly into the simmering sauce. and it worked. it took a little longer than i expected (and mine were overcooked a little - i wanted the yolks to be runny). a little salt, pepper, and parmesan and it was perfect. especially with some italian bread to dunk in the sauce.

and if you think runny eggs sounds odd, it was really good. one of my eggs was completely cooked through, but the other was fairly runny. the best was a piece of egg with runny yolk and a scoop of the tomato mixture on a bite of bread. definitely a keeper. but next time i may poach the eggs separately and serve it on top of the tomato mixture.

italian eggs for dinner

1 tablespoon butter
1 medium onion, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, finely diced
28oz diced tomatoes
~1 teaspoon italian seasoning
~1/4 cup basil, finely sliced
however many eggs per person you'd like (i did two)
olive oil
grated parmesan cheese
salt & pepper
italian bread for serving
  1. melt the butter and a roughly equal amount of olive oil in a large saute pan over medium low heat. saute the onion, garlic, and carrot until the onion turns translucent, about 8-10 minutes.
  2. add the diced tomatoes and italian seasoning and cook, stirring occasionally, until the tomatoes start to break down and the sauce has thickened, about 10 minutes.
  3. mix in the basil. make a well with a spoon in the sauce and crack and egg directly into the sauce. repeat with the rest of the eggs. season tops of the eggs with salt & pepper. cover the pan and cook until eggs are to your liking (check by tapping the yolk with the spoon you're using to mix the sauce. if it's bouncy, the yolk is still runny. tap the whites to see if they're set too).
  4. use a large spoon to scoop the eggs and sauce into a bowl. sprinkle with parmesan cheese and serve with italian bread.


brown sugar poundcakes with brown butter icing

...or she didn't have the baby yet, so let's eat cupcakes.

you see, she thought she was going into labor last friday morning. she wasn't far enough along, so the doctor sent her home. all weekend i waited. i slept with the phone next to me, just in case. but nope, it didn't happen.

so what a surprise when i heard her come in to the office monday morning. and by the end of the day, still nothing. not a thing. we were all expecting her to come back in on tuesday. and hey, if the woman still hasn't had the baby, she may as well eat cake.

but at 4:00 tuesday morning, i got the text - 8lbs 6oz! finally!

so mamacita, these cupcakes are for you. sorry you missed them. i'll make another batch to welcome you back in june.

for the cakes, i used all dark brown sugar because i like the butterscotchy/molassesey flavor of the dark rather than the light brown sugar, but use whatever you like (or have on hand).

after ferociously licking the whisk after making the icing, i decided it's absolutely divine and would make an awesome buttercream with a relatively plain - i'm thinking white - layer cake.

brown sugar poundcakes with brown butter glaze
adapted from Martha Stewart's cupcakes, makes 12 cupcakes

for the cakes
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
1 cup + 2 tablespoons dark or light brown sugar
2 eggs, room temperature
6 tablespoons buttermilk

for the glaze
1/2 stick butter
1 cup powdered sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon milk
  1. preheat the oven to 325F and line muffin tins with paper liners.
  2. cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy. add eggs, one a time, until incorporated.
  3. mix in baking powder and salt. alternate adding flour and buttermilk until everything is incorporated.
  4. fill muffin tins 3/4 full. bake for 20-25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
  5. cool in the tin for 10 minutes and then remove. cool completely before glazing.
  6. while waiting for the cupcakes to cool, make the glaze. start by melting the butter over medium heat in a pan that is not nonstick. cook until the butter turns a nutty amber color, 6-10 minutes. pour off the browned butter (try not to get all the black sediment - it just tastes burnt) into a glass or heat proof bowl. add the sugar, vanilla, and milk. mix until smooth.
  7. when the cupcakes are cool, glaze them. turn the cupcake upside down and dip into the glaze. swirl the cupcake as you pull it up and out of the glaze (to get the relatively flat top). eat immediately or let sit out for an hour or so for the glaze to dry.


honey ginger chicken with peppers stirfry

i have a confession. i can't eat with chopsticks. i always have high hopes going in, but about five minutes into it and scooping up three grains of rice or watching noodles slip off, i frustratingly give up and get out the fork.

but not tonight. no way. tonight, i conquered the chopsticks.

i ate the whole bowl with them. no joke. it took me 30 minutes, but i did it! one more thing to check off the list!

honey ginger chicken with peppers stirfry
adapted from everyday food

1/4 cup honey
2 tablespoons rice vinegar
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 pound boneless, skinless chicken, cut into bite size pieces
1/4 cup minced or grated ginger
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 bell peppers, sliced into thin strips
3 cups cooked rice
  1. mix together the honey, rice vinegar, and soy sauce in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. heat 1 tablespoon vegetable oil in a wok (or saute pan). add the chicken and cook through, about 4 minutes. remove the chicken and set aside.
  3. add the last tablespoon oil, ginger, and garlic to the wok. cook until fragrant, about one minute.
  4. add the peppers and cook about 4 minutes.
  5. add the honey mixture and bring to a boil. add the chicken and cook until thick, about 5 minutes.
  6. serve the chicken, peppers, and sauce over the rice.


chicken parm

i realized when i was halfway through the recipe tonight: what's up with me breading everything? it sure tastes good, but it's not the best habit to get into. especially when it always involves some kind of cheese or other fried food as an accompaniment.

but for the next month or so, i'll take it whenever i can. because heat and humidity is just around the corner. and that only means one thing -"so are we grilling this week or what?" from jason. and really, who eats chicken parm in the middle of june anyway?!

weeknight chicken parm for four
a kt&e original

1/2 pound chicken tenders (about 6), pounded thin
~1/4 cup panko bread crumbs
~1/4 cup italian bread crumbs
~2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten with 1 tablespoon water
1/2 pound pasta (it's always thin spaghetti in our house so use whatever you like)
1 jar pasta sauce
6 slices provolone cheese (or however many tenders you have)
couple tablespoons vegetable oil
salt & pepper
  1. mix the panko, italian bread crumbs, and parmesan cheese in a shallow pan or bowl. season with salt & pepper. heat a couple tablespoons of vegetable oil in a saute pan over medium heat. put a pot of water on to boil, and when ready, cook the pasta according to directions.
  2. dip the flattened tenders in the beaten egg. let the excess drop off and transfer the chicken to the breading mixture. flip the chicken around so all sides are covered in the breading.
  3. pour the pasta sauce into a 9x13 pan. turn the oven to 350F and put the sauce in the oven.
  4. cook the chicken pieces in the hot oil, about 3 minutes per side. transfer the cooked chicken into the sauce in the oven. cover with a piece of provolone cheese. continue cooking the chicken in batches until done. let heat in the oven at least 10 minutes. serve pasta with hot sauce and chicken.


homemade cinnamon rolls

i don't know why i hadn't thought of this sooner. believe it or not, i've never made cinnamon rolls from scratch. which is weird, since they always seem to be popping up.

ever since i left home for college, it's always a big deal when i come home to my parent's house, especially for an overnight visit. for the longest time, we all woke up to the smell of cinnamon from my mom's homemade cinnamon rolls. she'd get up early and make them so they were ready at the perfect moment when we woke up. that must be another secret mom trick.

when jason and i first got together, i used to make cinnamon rolls on weekend mornings. he loved them and would devour half the pan in one sitting. but i always made them from a can. it was just easier. and it wasn't until last saturday morning - marking six months since we rocked out to shimi all night (aka got hitched) - when i remembered the weekend ritual.

so i decided to tackle them. and tackle them i did. and man oh man were they good.

i used the "clone of a cinnabon" recipe - google it, you'll find it. the only replacement i made was all purpose flour for bread flour. i googled the difference - essentially the bread flour makes the rolls a bit chewier, but honestly, i didn't notice it. and i didn't have to go out to the store for bread flour.

and i rolled out my dough really thin, so i could roll up the log a bunch of times. there's nothing worse than a cinnamon roll with an uneven distribution of cinnamon.

oh yea, and next time i make these, i'm going to make the dough, roll it out, fill it, and slice the rolls and store them in the fridge overnight. then when i decide to make them at 9am, i can eat them before noon.


stovetop mac & cheese

i've had a couple requests for commentary from jason. i'll do you one better - here's a post directly from him. his thoughts, unedited. my photos.

Kate has been cooking everything and having all the fun. So, when I saw that she found a really easy recipe from Amanda's Cookin' for stovetop macaroni and cheese I decided that I, the husband, should try it out.

Kate told me that the sauce was basically a bechamel. I didn't know much about cooking until I met Kate and I certainly didn't know what a bechamel was, but I knew every time I had it I loved it. I was also scared about keeping it whisked and not burning because I know how milk and flour can be.

So I set out for my first trial on bechamel. Without Kate's help. Will it be a success or an error?

Turns out, it was really easy, or I just got real lucky. And I can tell you the result is probably one of the best mac and cheeses I have ever had. In fact, it is easy enough I'm not sure I can ever go back to the box ever again, and it barely takes any more time than it takes for the "blue box". By the time the elbows are cooked, the sauce is done.

The only surprising thing about making the bechamel is that it seems like it will never thicken and you are doing it wrong. Then all of a sudden you look away for an instance and the whole thing thickens up. So don't give up on the sauce until it's done! I used a silicone spatula occasionally in addition to the whisk to keep the flour from building up on the bottom in the corners of the pot where the whisk couldn't go.

The result, nearly perfect mac and cheese. I say nearly perfect because all mac and cheese should have HAM! So I warmed up some leftover Easter ham, cut it up and put it in. Ham always adds a nice saltiness.

If you don't have ham, the result will be great but you might find that it needs just a little kick. The perfect topper is to add a few generous turns of freshly ground black pepper. The pepper honestly does need to be freshly ground for this to work right; the pre-ground pepper just doesn't work. I'm sure there are other alternatives as well worth exploring. I've heard of using but never tried hot sauce in a mac and cheese.

While I made the food, I left the photography to the professional, Kate.

stovetop macaroni & cheese

find the recipe at amanda's cookin' here


cornmeal crusted haddock

i love a good fish fry. i'm talking the beer battered, fish bigger than my plate, fish fry. the kind only served on friday night with a side of fries and coleslaw. the problem is that it's relatively time consuming, takes a lot of oil, and because my stove is so finicky, is difficult to get exactly perfect to make at home. that's when lightly breading and frying comes in.

i've made this a bunch of times before - with tilapia and cod and as whole pieces of fish as well as smaller pieces - and it comes out great every time.

one word of caution - don't overcrowd the pan. if you can't fit the pieces in one pan, cook them in two batches. but keep the first batch warm in the oven, don't put a cover over it. otherwise you'll end up with soggy fish.

not only is this good, easy, and quick (start to finish it took 20 minutes - the same amount of time to cook the fries), but i had everything except the fish already at home.

cornmeal crusted fish

2 egg whites
1 pound haddock, cod, or tilapia
1/2 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup all purpose flour
vegetable oil
salt & pepper
  1. cut the fish into strips for fish sticks or cut into larger pieces that fit in the pan.
  2. place the egg whites in a bowl and whisk in some salt & pepper. place the fish pieces in the egg whites.
  3. in a separate container (i use a 9x13 pyrex pan) mix the cornmeal and flour together. season with salt & pepper.
  4. heat about 1/4" vegetable oil in a skillet over medium high heat. if you need to cook the fish in batches, turn your oven onto warm (or the lowest setting) and line a pan with paper towels. the first batch of fish will go in the oven while the second batch is frying.
  5. remove the fish pieces from the egg white mixture, let the excess drip off, and place in the cornmeal mixture. flip the fish around so all sides are covered. place in the hot oil and cook about 3 minutes on each side.
  6. if cooking in batches, place the first batch in the oven to keep warm and fry the second batch.


chocolate peanut butter marble cake

i saw some amazing recipes floating around the internet and blogs in the last two weeks for easter. elaborate cakes. insanely decorated cookies. fancy pants pastries.

yes, they were gorgeous. yes, time consuming. and probably worth it. but not for my audience.

as my martha-wannabe-mom said "why go to all the trouble? this crew doesn't care about bird's nest placecards. give them a chocolate egg and they'll be happy"

so i settled with chocolate cake. settled is not the right word. because i knew the combination of chocolate and peanut butter would be a huge hit. and it was.

the cake has been in my "to make" list ever since i first started following sugar plum last year.

the few changes i made were slight - i marbled the chocolate and peanut butter sides together a bit more and used my favorite alton brown chocolate frosting (look for the recipe here soon) instead of emily's recipe.

at first i was going to make a peanut butter frosting too, and use that to sandwich the layers together. but the peanut butter cake has a nice strong peanut butter flavor and the chocolate frosting balances well.

i could see these as amazing cupcakes too. just reduce the baking time to around 20-25 minutes - make sure to check them since the 20 minutes is a ballpark.

chocolate peanut butter marble cake
find the recipe at sugar plum here


pretzel crusted chicken

ever since we went to cleveland and jason had the pretzel chicken at the great lakes brewing company about every three months he asks "so what about that pretzel chicken?" it took me 18 months, but i finally made it.

but silly me, i used the wrong pretzels. since i had to buy a decent sized bag, i bought the thin twists, instead of the big crunchy sourdough. for once i should have listened to jason.

i grabbed two handfuls of pretzels, put them in a ziplock bag, sealed it, and crushed them with a rolling pin. it worked pretty well. i ended up with some larger chunks and some crushed to smithereens.

regardless, they were still really good. and the only thing i added to the crushed pretzels was a bit of black pepper. the pretzel flavor was there, i think it would be more pronounced and crunchier with the sourdough pretzels. i'm sure i'll be trying it again sometime in the next year. or two.

and bonus, this whole thing takes about 15 minutes. it took me 20 to make this with a side of green beans.

pretzel crusted chicken

1/2 cup buttermilk
2 handfuls of pretzels, smashed with rolling pin, pan, or something else heavy
black pepper
couple tablespoons vegetable oil
2 chicken breasts, pounded thin or thin sliced chicken breast cutlets
  1. heat a large saute pan over medium high heat and add the oil.
  2. add the buttermilk to a large bowl and the pretzel crumbs in a plate or other wide vessel, like a square pyrex baking dish. season the pretzels with a little black pepper.
  3. place the chicken in the buttermilk. take the chicken out of the buttermilk, let the excess drip off, and transfer to the pretzel mixture.
  4. flip the chicken so both sides and the edges are well coated.
  5. cook the chicken in the hot oil, about 3-4 minutes per side.


spring! and cinnamon scones

spring is here. finally. no, wait, summer is here.

that's the one thing i've noticed about rochester. it seems like we go straight from 30 degree days and winter coats to 70+ degree days and asking ourselves if we really need a coat to go out. the transition is odd - like it's too soon for super warm days (it's 85 today) but too late for the cold days. what happened to highs of 60 or 65? we plow right through them.

at least my mint is coming in - after not doing much with it last summer, i have big plans for it this year - and chives and irises. still no sign of spearmint, though and one lonely daffodil bloomed. i'll have to plant some more this fall.

anyway, on to breakfast. before i realized it was approaching 80 degrees out at 9:30 when we got up, i decided it's time for scones. i should have looked at the thermometer before firing up the oven.

none the less, i debated what to make - pumpkin spice (it's summer, not fall, so those were out), lemon (but i don't have any lemons, they're out too), cinnamon filled (eh, not in the mood to mess around with filling this morning), or a cinnamon & mini chocolate chip version i've made a couple times before. i settled on the cinnamon chocolate chip, but omitted the chocolate for a tasty cinnamon version.

i made half a batch, since we really only need a couple small ones for breakfast. and whipped up an easy glaze to add even more cinnamon flavor. instead of cutting them out with biscuit cutters, i always use a knife and slice into whatever shape - squares or wedges - i'm in the mood for. mostly because i'm lazy, but also because i don't care of my scone is perfectly round.

if you decide to add the chocolate chips, i recommend cutting the cinnamon in half, otherwise it's just too much, but it's up to you.

cinnamon scones
adapted from food network's cinnamon chocolate scones

for the scones
3 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup sugar
3 tablespoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 1/2 cups mini chocolate chips (optional)
1 cup butter, cold, cut into small cubes
1 1/4 cups milk

for the glaze
1 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  1. preheat the oven to 375. line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. mix the flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, and ginger in a large bowl. add the butter and mix until coarse and sandy. you should still be able to see small chunks of butter in the flour mixture.
  3. add the milk and mix just until combined. don't overmix or your scones will be flat and dense. add the chocolate chips if using.
  4. turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll to about 1" thick. cut into whatever size scones you'd like. place on the baking sheet and bake about 15 minutes, until light brown.
  5. remove from the baking sheet and cool on a wire rack.
  6. while the scones cool, make the glaze. whisk together the powdered sugar, water, and cinnamon.
  7. when the scones are slightly warm or cool, drizzle the glaze over the scones.
  8. wait for the glaze to dry, about one hour, and store in an airtight container.  
  9. 2015.05.04 this was one of things i make (for dinner)'s picks for the secret recipe club! 


stuffed shells...again

this time, they're stuffed with beef.

i used the same recipe as my mushroom stuffed shells, except i replaced the mushrooms with 1 pound of ground beef. everything else is exactly the same.

not-so-surprisingly, jason liked the mushroom better than the beef. i think a mixture of the two would be perfect.

2014.09.01 this was cooking mimi's pick for the secret recipe club!


panini with garlic basil mayo

paninis are easy, grown up grilled cheese. and quick.

but the star of mine, is the mayo. there's something about the bite from the garlic, the creaminess of the mayo, and the sweetness of the basil that does it for me every time.

my favorite - ok maybe not my absolute favorite (prosciutto, mozz, and basil win every time) but the easiest - is sliced turkey and provolone. slather a spoonful on each side of the bread, smash it and grill it, and dinner's done in 15 minutes.

and no, i don't have a panini press. i use my george foreman grill and it works perfectly. just be sure to brush a little olive oil on both sides of the roll or bread you're using for the sandwich before you put it in, otherwise the bread will burn, trust me. and once you've put in the sandwich, press good and hard on the top so the bread is smushed down. works perfect for me every time. and i can fit four sandwiches onto mine, easily.

i use a lot of garlic in my mayo. i'm just warning you now. so if you love garlic, 6 is perfect. if you like it but aren't in love with it, stick with 4, or even 3. feel free to adjust as you like. and this keeps in the fridge for a couple weeks.

garlic basil mayo

i don't measure anything when i make this. just take a guess and taste as you go until you find the right balance for you.

4-6 garlic cloves, finely minced
1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, thin sliced
2/3 to 3/4 cup mayonnaise
dash kosher salt & pepper

mix together and slather over both sides of the panini. this is also good on cold, unpressed sandwiches.
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