Friday, July 30, 2010

What's Cooking: Prosciutto and Gorgonzola Crustini

Recently I made this in an effort to try something a bit different. The recipe calls for a bit of olive oil and a baguette. Cut the baguette into thin slices, brush them with the oil and bake them at 375 degree on a baking sheet for about 10 minutes.

Once they're cooked, cover each baguette with a slice of prosciutto. You'll need about 8 thin slices cut in half to make 16 pieces.

Then cut super thin slices of green apple for each baguette. You'll only need half of an apple.

The final bit is topping each baguette with some gorgonzola cheese crumbles. They make a great appetizer for a party and each one is very rich. A sweet, white Gewurztraminer wine went really well with it.

Photos by moi.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I've never been a big fan of flowery dish patterns, but this one is special to me. Growing up, these dishes were displayed on the hutch in our dining room. Later in life I learned the story of where they came from.

Both my Dad's grandma and my Mom's grandma had a complete set of the exact same dishes. My Mom grew up in Indiana, while my Dad was born in California and raised mainly in Massachusetts. Though they were states apart, somehow they bought the same brand and same pattern. Both of my great-grandmothers passed their dishes down to our family so that my only sister and I could each have a set.

Recently my sister and I unwrapped the dishes from their weathered boxes. Seeing each delicate teacup and serving platter brought back so many memories. Even though neither of us are "fancy china" kind of girls, the dishes mean the world to us because they hold so much family history.

Photo by moi.

What's Cooking: Cottage Pie

(Cooking the ground beef and peas)

I've found a new favorite of Flannel Man's, Cottage Pie, made from a recipe in Real Simple (found here).

It was incredibly easy and the only thing I changed was baking it in one big dish, instead of individual ones. I also left out the carrots, but would probably add them in next time.


1) Brown 1 pound ground beef

2) Stir in 1⁄3 cup ketchup and 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce; season with salt and pepper. Add 1½ cups frozen peas and carrots.

(Cooked beef and peas in dish, half covered with potatoes)

3) Transfer to 4 individual baking dishes.

4) Top with 3 cups mashed potatoes

5) Bake at 400° F until golden brown, 25 to 30 minutes.

(Finished dish)

Photos by moi.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fresh Green Beans

I'm really new to the world of cooking and so the simplest things can seem overwhelming. A friend gave me a big bag full of fresh green beans from her garden and I was at a complete loss as to what to do with them.

Another friend came to the rescue with the simplest instructions: snap off the ends and boil them until they are tender in a pot with some minced garlic. So easy and delicious!

Photo by moi.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

What's Cooking: White Chicken Chili

This is my new favorite crock pot dish. We had almost every ingredient on hand, so it was super easy. Also, I learned that the cutting an onion and crying thing is legit, those things are vicious! I added extra garlic and hot sauce, because that's how we roll, and it was perfect. We froze half and will hopefully enjoy that later.
  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon dried leaf oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon Tabasco sauce
  • 2 cans (about 15 ounces each) great northern beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1 can (12 to 15 oz.) corn, drained
  • 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh cilantro, optional

Cover and cook on LOW for 4 1/2 to 5 1/2 hours, or until chicken is tender.

Awful photo by moi.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

What's Cooking: Chicken with Broccoli

This Real Simple recipe was a great way to spice up a regular chicken dish. I used minced garlic instead of cloves and used broccolini instead of broccoli rabe because I couldn't find ANY at the grocery store.


  • 2 teaspoons plus 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 4 6-ounce boneless, skinless chicken breasts
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 6 dried apricots, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons pine nuts
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 bunch broccoli rabe (about 1 pound), trimmed

I ended up making it without pine nuts (because I forgot to buy them), but it was still delicious. The broccoli was particularly good because the garlic flavor was perfection. Mmm.

Photos by moi.

Monday, July 12, 2010

What's Cooking: Pork Tenderloin

A friend gave me this recipe and after searching for the envelope dry onion soup mix for weeks, I finally found it by the Worcestershire sauce and made the dish. Despite this awful photo, this meal turned out great.

Here's the details...

Amazing Pork Tenderloin in the Slow Cooker

-1 (2 pound) pork tenderloin

-1 (1 ounce) envelope dry onion soup mix

-1 cup water

-3/4 cup red wine

-3 tablespoons minced garlic

-3 tablespoons soy sauce

-freshly ground black pepper to taste

It was simple and I had almost all of the ingredients in my kitchen. I used some of the left over pork to make a wrap a few days later. I used a tortilla, goat cheese, cut up pork and dijon mustard and it was delicious!

Photo by moi.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The Mystery of Morning People

I have never been able to understand how people can wake up and immediately be perky and cheerful. I have a hard time interacting with people until I've had at least one cup of coffee, and even then I wouldn't call myself perky. That's why radio alarm clocks have always baffled me. I understand the alarm clocks that start a CD, because then you have control over the music that wakes you up. But the ones that wake you up to a radio station leaves way too much to chance. Think of that horrible repeating scene from the movie Groundhog Day and you'll know what I mean.

Hyperbole and a Half sums it up perfectly in her post ...

"Why I Don't Use a Radio Alarm Clock: Because waking up to "Mambo Number Five" by Lou Bega feels like being stabbed in the face with music."

Flannel Man has quickly learned that on a Saturday morning he can avoid my grumpy snappiness by waiting until he smells coffee to get out of bed. So if you know someone like me, take pity on us and don't force us to make small talk before we've had a caffeine fix.

Photo by moi.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Perfect Guacamole

This summer I've been trying to find the perfect recipe for guacamole (or green goo as Flannel Man calls it, he hates the word "guac"). After a bit of experimenting I found one that I love and bonus, it's incredibly simple to make.

Take one avocado and peel it, removing the pit and any bad spots.

Smash the avocado with a fork, leaving some lumps.

Sprinkle with lime juice.

Take 3 or 4 sprigs of cilantro. Pull off the leaves and cut them up.

Use the fork to mix the avocado, cilantro and lime juice together.


Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Finding joy in the little things

I'm still frequently surprised by things we discover about our home. We've lived here for less than a year and we're still finding all sorts of things. We had no idea that the big tree in our back yard was a pear tree until we saw all the pears.

This weekend we worked in our yard for hours. I usually use a hose at the front of our house to water the plants and fill my watering can. Yesterday Flannel Man pointed out a hose in the very back part of the garden, which meant hauling the watering can a much shorter distance.

I went to use the hose and found this beautiful hummingbird faucet attached to the hose. Even while covered with sweat and bug bites I was simply delighted. It was such a simple thing, but I love it and the best part was the fact that it was so unexpected.

I hope all of you find something unexpected that gives you joy this week.

Photo by moi.