Friday, December 19, 2014

Pancetta and Mushroom Stuffed Pork Loin - Caity

If you only make one pork roast in your life, please, let this be it. It's soooooooooooooooo good! It's a nice pork roast stuffed with pancetta, mushrooms, bread crumbs and herbs then has porcini fennel salt sprinkled on the outside before being roasted to perfection. We just ate it last night and I already want to eat it again! 

It is a little more work than your average pork loin (with the stuffing) but it is really worth the effort and deserves a place on your table this holiday season. Try serving with Roasted Fingerling Potatoes with Sage or your favorite risotto and Balsamic Asparagus with Parmesan with Panna Cotta for dessert. This recipe comes from Food 52

Note: Make sure you have butcher string! You don't want to substitute out of desperation (no blue soup like in Bridget Jones Diary-bleh). Also, I was unable to find porcini powder pre-made, so I took dried porcini mushrooms and ground them using a mortar and pestle.

Serves 4

One year ago: Earl Grey Tea Cookies


Thursday, December 18, 2014

Devonshire Cream - Caity

One of my favorite rainy day breakfasts is a pot of tea served with Cream Scones, jam and Devonshire cream.  Devonshire cream (aka Devon Cream or Clotted Cream) is a thick creamy spread traditionally made by gently simmering large vats of milk until a thick layer of cream can be skimmed off the top. The areas in Southwest England, like Devon (get it DEVONshire?), are famous for their cream and other dairy products. It is amazing on scones with jam (raspberry is my favorite!).

 I can usually buy Devonshire Cream at Whole Foods but if you're unable to buy some or want to make it yourself, try this recipe as it's quite simple to make but does require close monitoring. The recipe comes from Margaret M. Johnson's cookbook "Tea & Crumpets". This recipe makes about a cup of cream which is more than I can (and should) eat in the two week refrigerator time; I've found that it keeps quite well in the freezer in small containers for several months to be enjoyed year round. Cheers! 

One year ago: Earl Grey Tea Cookies
Two years ago: Hot Chocolate Truffles

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Cream Scones - Caity

I have a picture of a teapot that hangs in my kitchen and says "Plead contemporary insanity and sit down with a pot of tea". I take that message to heart on a regular basis, especially when I feel spread thin. It was a card that my mom gave me when I left for college 7 (!!!) years ago. I like having it framed in my kitchen to serve as a visual reminder that sometimes, you need to take some time for yourself. There is something really refreshing about stopping everything to sit down, enjoy a pot of tea and reflect on life. I highly recommend a tea break for everyone today! 

If you are going to "plead contemporary insanity", it is always nice to have a snack to enjoy with your tea. And what better snack than a cream scone? This recipe comes from a Wall Street Journal article sent to me by my mom called "Romancing the Scone" and makes currant scones but since I am boring sometimes, I decided to leave the currants out this round (my mom made them with the currants and said they are excellent though). Serve the scones with jam and Devonshire cream (recipe here or can be purchased at Whole Foods) and a pot of steaming tea. Be sure to take at least 20 minutes to be present and refocus yourself. And don't forget - pinkies out! 

Makes about 20 small scones, or 9-ish big ones

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Black Bean and Turkey Chili--Cathy

Thanksgiving was wonderful; full of family and friends and so much great food!  We made two huge turkeys  (dry-brined of course! It really does work so well!)--one in the oven and one lightly smoked out on the grill.  I love to have tons of turkey and all of the fixings so that we can have plenty of food to include last-minute extra guests, and lots and lots of leftovers to send everyone home with some.  What's Thanksgiving without leftovers?  I can eat them for breakfast, lunch or dinner just as they are, or in many various guises.  

One of our favorite ways to use leftover turkey was given to me many, many years ago by our friend and a wonderful cook,  Cindy Taylor Voss who used to make it by the gigantic potful for hordes of us.  It is purported to be the recipe for the famous Turkey Chili at the Deer Valley Ski Resort, though who knows if it really is or not.  If you Google it, the recipe comes up in almost identical forms from many sources with only slight variations, though even these have changed over the years.  Even more interestingly (well, to me anyway because I'm the food nerdly-type who finds this kind of stuff fascinating) I found pretty much the identical recipe years after Cindy gave it to me in a cookbook from a wonderful place in Colorado, The Daily Bread in Glenwood Springs. I have only slightly adapted it myself, to increase the seasonings because we like it that way, so feel free to adjust to your liking.

Anyway, who knows what the actual source of this recipe is?  Whatever it is, it's a fabulously delicious recipe for a thick, hearty and unusual chili and a great way to use up some of your turkey day bounty. My theoretical hat is off to the creative person behind this deliciousness.

One year ago: Mashed Rutabaga Gratin, Thanksgiving Turkey
Two years ago: Pecan "Crack" Pie, Fresh Cranberry Orange Relish, Holiday Green Beans
Three years ago: Crab and Brie Soup, Orange and Herbs Turkey Brine, Tomato, Sausage and Eggplant Soup 
Fours years ago: Our first post! Thanksgiving Stuffing

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Southern Skillet Cornbread - Caity

My mom has many opinions on "Southern Cornbread" vs. "Yankee Cornbread". Since she lived in Georgia for many years as a child, I highly respect her opinion and will summarize it here: "Yankee Cornbread" is wrong. All wrong. It has sugar in it which is completely unacceptable. Especially if you're using it to make stuffing. If someone feels this strongly about cornbread, I think you ought to listen to them! 

Tutu (my mom's mom) always made Southern Cornbread for Thanksgiving Stuffing when my mom  was growing up. The problem is that she made it without a recipe which is extremely hard to replicate. The only Cathy approved recipe for cornbread (besides Tutu's) comes from the Pioneer Woman's recipe "Skillet Cornbread". The bread comes out nice and crispy on the bottom and tastes fantastic. If you're using it for stuffing, you can make it up to a month before hand and freeze until you're ready to use which is what I have done this year in preparation for Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving! 

One year ago: Mashed Rutabega Gratin
Four years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Cranberry Sauce with Candied Orange Peels - Cathy

This recipe is really just the basic Ocean Spray back of the bag recipe, but it's the one my mom always used, and it's the one I like the best.  Over the years I've tried lots of fancy variations (in addition to this one that I'm posting today, and this one of course, not instead of!), with various spices, fruit, nuts, liqueurs, differing amounts of sugar, etc. but I always decide that I just like this basic back of the bag recipe the best.  Something about tradition, I guess...  So really, my only variation to the recipe is that I add chopped up candied orange peel (recipe here) that I started making when the kids were little.  I had some leftover candied peel and Erin asked me to add some into the cranberry sauce and a tradition was born!

One of the best advantages though of having this favorite recipe printed up somewhere is that sometimes I buy cranberries from say, Costco in a giant bag that doesn't have a recipe on the back.  Then I have to go hunt down the recipe, and even then the amount is in ounces instead of cups!  Or another brand may have a recipe with more sugar than I like and it ends up being way too sweet for me.  So anyway, it's nice to have the good old Ocean Spray recipe written down where it's easily accessible.  

Thanks for being there all my life, Ocean Spray to provide lots of good, delicious memories!

One year ago: Thanksgiving Turkey
Two years ago: Pecan "Crack" Pie
Three years ago: Crab and Brie Soup
Four years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Citrus and Peppercorn Dry Turkey Brine - Caity

Any holiday that revolves around eating is an excellent one in my book!  Brendan's family will be driving up to spend the holiday with us which we are very excited about! Since we will be having a much larger dinner this year compared to last year, we are starting our preparations early. Brendan reserved the turkey yesterday from New Seasons and I am trying to make as many things beforehand as I can like cranberry sauce (recipe coming soon from my mom, Cathy!) and freezing it. I am also going to make our turkey brine during the "quiet" days before Thanksgiving so I don't have to worry about it last minute. Which leads me to my next point...

Traditionally brining your turkey is a really great way to make sure you have delicious moist and flavorful meat. The only downside is what a big production the whole thing can be; getting a big enough bag to fit all the brine, mixing the brine, disposing of the brine when you're done etc. I was happy to see this recipe for a dry brine published in Bon Appetit last year and am happy to report it tasted great! The dry brine is like a concentrated rub. Massage it onto the skin and let it sit for 6-24 hour prior to oven time. The result will be moist and flavorful meat with less mess! 

For tips on roasting your turkey click here and for other Thanksgiving recipes click here

Creates enough dry brine for a 12-14 lb turkey

One year ago: Thanksgiving Turkey
Three years ago: Chex Mix, Crab and Brie Soup
Four years ago: Thanksgiving Stuffing

Friday, October 31, 2014

Spaghetti and Mice - Caity

I love Halloween! This year we are renting a house (rather than an apartment) and were really looking forward to having some trick-or-treaters. We bought candy, we got mildly dressed up (even our dog, Nigel, had his Killer Whale costume on!) and we turned on all our Halloween lights aaaaaannnnd...... we had two trick-or-treaters. Just two! The night was still a good one though! We watched "Young Frankenstein" while we made ourselves a spooky dinner. 

I like to make a creepy themed foods for Halloween night. Last year, I made meatloaf in the shape of a hand. This year my inspiration came from Pinterest and was a picture of a meatball shaped as a cute little mouse! The recipe wasn't included with the picture, so I filled in the blanks.  The spaghetti and meatball recipe I used is one of my favorite recipes from the Barefoot Contessa's "Family Style" cookbook with a couple small adjustments. Then, once the meatballs were done cooking, I just added a couple extras and I had some adorable mice! Since everyday isn't Halloween and mice meatballs aren't entirely appropriate year round, I made a couple of mice meatballs and the rest regular meatballs so I could use them for work lunches. I hope you enjoy this creepy dinner and Happy Halloween! 

Serves 6

one year ago: Pumpkin Juice
three years ago: Tomato Focaccia

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Kale and Brussels Sprout Salad - Caity

The first time I had this salad, it was 3 AM and I was at work at the hospital. It was just getting to the point of the nightshift where I wanted to rip out my own eyeballs, I was so tired (lovely image isn't it?). I hadn't packed a very satisfactory lunch for myself so my friend and co-worker, Emily Aspy, was nice enough to share her homemade salad with me. It was a real game changer. I went from grumpy, zombie nurse to enthusiastic salad eater in one bite flat. This salad was crunchy and savory and the bite of the lemon vinaigrette zipped my tastebuds to another level! 

I had to have the salad again; I was hooked! I kindly asked (aka demanded) that Emily please bring me some more of that heavenly salad to work the next night which she did. A couple of days later, I kindly asked (aka demanded) that she give me the recipe. This fantastic recipe comes from the "Holiday Entertaining" magazine which includes the best recipes from Bon Appetit and Gourmet. It also has the added bonus that everything can be prepared several hours to a day ahead of time then mixed together right before serving. 

It is a perfect salad for really any meal but I thought it was really great as a Thanksgiving salad. The lemon vinaigrette cuts through the rest of the meal's rich flavors. I changed the recipe only slightly and around the holidays I like to add pomegranate seeds to make it look really festive! I hope you love it as much as I do! 

Serves 8-10

One year ago: Pumpkin Spice SyrupPumpkin Juice
Two years ago: Bacon & Jalapeño Corn ChowderPeruvian Style Roasted Chicken
Three years ago: Caprese SaladOrzo with Parmesan and BasilTomato Focaccia 

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Spinach and Fontina Soup - Erin

This is an attempt to re-create a soup from the menu of the Tin Angel Cafe in Salt Lake City.  As with virtually everything I cook, it's really easy, and really delicious!  Tin Angel (here) is a great little restaurant, and my mom has fallen in love with this soup of theirs.  She's been wanting it now that the cool weather is coming, so we tried to do it ourselves, and it turned out to be very delicious indeed! 

This is a much thinner, lighter soup than most cream soups; if you want it to be thicker you could add in a few tablespoons of flour when you add in the garlic.  I prefer to use the creamier Italian Fontina over the Dutch, but if you can't find it I'm sure it will be just fine!

One year ago: Baked Pumpkin Oatmeal
Two years ago: Bacon and Corn Jalapeno Chowder, Pumpkin Spice Creamer, Hungry High Schooler Beef Sandwiches 
Three years ago: Coffeecake Muffins, Caprese Salad, Orzo with Parmesan and Basil, Tomato Focaccia

what you will need:
5 Tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, finely diced
6 cups chicken (or veggie) stock
salt and freshly ground pepper
3/4 lb baby spinach leaves
 1/2 lb Fontina cheese, cubed
1/2 cup cream

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Dutch Baby Pancake - Cathy

This is a guest recipe today by Kevin's brother, Mike and his wife, Jodi Walsh.  They did a wonderful job of photographing and presenting an old favorite family recipe that my sister-in-law Jodi recently pulled out of her files.  She says that she got it many years ago from Mike and Kevin's sister, Marsha Albano, who called it a Popover pancake.  Mike and Jodi note that it can also be called a German pancake.  Whatever you call it, it's beautiful, delicious, and simple to make.

  The pancake puffs up delightfully golden brown in the oven and is so good with a variety of toppings.  You can use whatever fresh fruit you have on hand with or without syrup, or serve it as my sister Karen does with a similar recipe, with just the powdered sugar and a squeeze of citrus. The pancake will deflate a bit as it cools, but it's still gorgeous, and so, so good!

Here's a copy of the original recipe from Jodi's files. I always love to see handwritten recipes.

Two years ago: Barley Greek Salad
Three years ago: Corn Risotto Dip

Summer Zucchini Noodle Salad - Caity

As the summer produce slows down, I am starting to panic. Despite the fact that I am excited for fall and love anything pumpkin flavored, I also love walking outside to the garden and coming inside with everything I need for dinner. My mom is especially good at creating special dishes with what is available in the garden and the refrigerator which is how this special dish was born. 

My mom flew up to Portland for a day so she could drive back to Utah with me (now THAT is love!). I had to work that night so while I slept all day, she weeded my garden, picked the produce, watered everything, cleaned the kitchen and packed my lunch for work. It was amazing. She made me ratatouille with polenta and this Summer Zucchini Noodle Salad. 

Squeeze in this last little bit of summer flavors before the big autumn switch!  

Serves 3-4

Two years ago: Barley Greek Salad

Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Roasted Fairytale Eggplants with Chili Lime Yogurt Sauce - Caity

 I have been waiting eagerly all summer for my two little eggplant plants to give me enough produce to make this recipe. The day finally arrived and my little plants gave me 6 baby eggplants all at once! Who knew eggplant could make a person so happy??? A 15-year-younger version of myself never would have thought that an eggplant would make me happy. Then I tried two life changing eggplant recipes: this recipe and also a recipe from Otto Lenghi's "Plenty". Now I am an avid eggplant supporter and an eager eggplant farmer. Who knew I had it in me? 

If you haven't ever seen them, fairytale eggplants are these beautiful miniature eggplants that are tiger striped with white and light purple. They are gorgeous and perfectly bite sized. I have found them occasionally at the farmer's market. If you can't locate them, use the smallest Japanese eggplants you can find which are smaller and narrower than a regular eggplant. Just slice them into 3-4 inch sections prior to roasting them. 

This recipe is uh-maz-ing. It comes from one of my favorite cookbooks by Melia Marden, "Modern Mediterranean". This is the same cookbook that the Balsamic Roasted Chicken comes from. If you ever come across it, I highly suggest picking up a copy! This eggplant recipe is great as an appetizer or a side dish. It is also perfect for a pot luck because it tastes great hot, room temperature or cold. Become an avid eggplant supporter like me and try this recipe today! 

Serves 4 as a side dish

Two years ago: Barley Greek Salad

Friday, September 5, 2014

Salmon with Blackberry Chimichurri--Cathy

Is there anything better than blackberry season?  When I was little, we lived on the island of Kauai, in Hawaii.  We would make excursions up to the mountains during blackberry season armed with long-sleeved shirts and long pants and lots of buckets to go pick as many blackberries as we possibly could. My mom would make jam, and legendary cobbler, and freeze a bunch so we could savor them for a long, long time.

But my very favorite way to eat it was in a bowl with milk and a spoonful of the sparkly raw sugar that sat in a burlap sack in the corner that my Uncle Masayuki would bring us from the sugar factory.  If you carefully squish just a few of the berries against the side of your bowl, it colors and flavors the milk just right and it's oh, so good! Best if eaten while buried in a really good book from the library--like "Flight to the Mushroom Planet", or "From the Mixed-Up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler",  sitting at the old Formica table in the kitchen...

This fabulous recipe was discovered while on a visit to Portland to see Caity and Brendan.  Caity and I found this beautiful Chimichurri recipe in Portland Monthly magazine.  The recipe comes from Ox restaurant--a to-die-for place in Portland (which is saying a lot in that city!).  It is originally meant for beef short ribs, but we had to feed a crowd that night with not much time, so we decided to try it with salmon and absolutely love it that way. 

The salmon is just very simply grilled, and the Chimichurri is so easy and so gorgeous!  You can make it ahead up to two days and really requires very little effort. Give it a try before blackberry season is over.  

One year ago: Summer Squash with Browned Butter and Thyme 
Two years ago: Barley Greek Salad 
Three years ago: Corn Risotto Dip 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Watermelon Popsicles - Caity

Watermelon popsicles are one of my favorite summer treats. They are so easy (one ingredient!) and delicious that it's impossible not to like them. I learned how to make these in Mrs. Britt's 2nd grade class and have been making them every summer since. Make sure to enjoy outdoors preferably in a hammock or with a furry friend as company! 

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Gina's Mom's Tart - Caity

This has been a Walsh family favorite as long as I can remember and has been in my mom's collection of recipes for years. Here is what she had to say about it:

"This is the most wonderful, easy, delicious recipe from Gina A.'s mom, adapted by Gina to this version.  The first time I had this, Gina had made a blueberry one and we couldn’t believe it didn’t come from a bakery; it was so beautiful and good.  I have given this recipe over the years to just about everyone I know and they all have loved it and tried many different versions of it—all wonderful.

Just about any fruit works—blueberry (fresh or frozen) or apricot has always been my favorite, but also great with plum, raspberry, pear, apple,

strawberry—I’ve never heard of anything that didn’t work well.  Maybe if you used cranberries you would have to increase sugar a bit though to compensate for the tartness. 

     A nice touch is to place fresh fruit on top right before serving—especially raspberries.  Also, if you are using a larger pan, it works fine to do the recipe 1 ½ times or double.

     Julie Mackie made some tarts one summer with fresh raspberries, but discovered that her family had eaten most of the raspberries.  She made the tarts anyway and just sprinkled the few she had on the crust.  She also doesn’t have a tart pan, so she just pressed the crust out onto a flat pan (which can only work if you only use a little bit of fruit like this.  She usually uses a regular pie pan which works well; it’s just harder to remove the tart from the pan.)  The tart was still delicious—it just tasted more like a raspberry cookie than a tart.  Just goes to show you that improvisation can work out great sometimes. "

Two years ago: Hamachi Shots

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Campfire Breakfast Burritos - Caity

I like good breakfast, and I like camping, and I like good breakfast while I'm camping! I also like not doing dishes while I'm camping. These breakfast burritos are the solution to everything! You do all the work beforehand, then reheat them on the fire and you've got a great meal.  The recipe makes quite a few burritos, but they freeze fantastically. They are also great reheated in the oven or microwave, especially after a long night working at the hospital because they are so fast. Seriously, you must try them! 

This recipe is from the Pioneer Woman's website for "Breakfast Burritos To Go". 

Makes about 10 Campfire Breakfast Burritos

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Grilled Zucchini and Hummus Pizzas - Erin

The first time I made these I was basically planning on having to add something else in order to make it a little more interesting or substantial.  And much to my delight, that was totally unnecessary!  I know I always say this, but it's so easy and so delicious!  

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Pan Roasted Radishes in Browned Butter - Caity

In Portland, there is a very wonderful street called N. Mississippi Avenue.  I used to live on that street and I loved every minute of it (except maybe the rent)! If you are ever in Portland, you must go there. It has several blocks of cool shops, bars and restaurants. One of my favorite restaurants is a newer one called "Radar". They serve a variety of small plates and fancy cocktails and this recipe is based on their Radishes in Browned Butter that I adore. 

Side note: those radishes are from our garden!!!

Serves 2

one year ago: Brazilian Lemonade
two years ago: Sicilian Carrots
three years ago: Garlic Grands

Friday, May 23, 2014

Banana Crunch Muffins - Caity

Banana muffins are my favorite muffins! I frequently will buy a bunch of bananas just to let them go brown so I can make banana bread or muffins. My favorite banana muffins were muffins made from the Blueberry Banana Bread recipe, but now I've tried Banana Crunch Muffins, they will have to tie for first place. These Banana Crunch Muffins are especially tasty because in addition to the great banana flavor (which comes from both mashed and diced bananas), they have a lot to chew on (they contain granola, banana chips, walnuts and coconut). This recipe comes from "The Barefoot Contessa Cookbook"by Ina Garten. 

The same week I was making these muffins my mom happened to watch her TV show where she made these muffins. She said that you could make the batter the night before, refrigerate it, then bake in the morning. I thought no way, my muffins will be hockey pucks! But I tried it and it's true! They were just as good after a night in the fridge as if I had baked them straight away. That means they would be a great thing to make when you have house guests, are going to a breakfast potluck, or are taking to work. I highly recommend trying these muffins! 

Makes 18 large muffins or 24 regular muffins. 

three years ago: Mint Sugar, Garlic Grands