Thursday, October 13, 2011

Guess Who's Back? (Back Again)...

First of all, I'd like to apologize for quoting Eminem in my blog title. Second of all, it's true. I'm back and better than ever! Bakin' and cookin' up a storm. I EVEN MEAL PLANNED TODAY. That's right. Oh, the things a 27 year old single gal gets excited about. That brings me to my next order of business: cranberry pumpkin upside down cake. Is your mind blown? Mine is. Let's get started:

  • 1/4 cup butter, plus more for pans
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon dark or light rum
  • 1 1/3 cups cranberries (see Notes)
  • 2/3 cup toasted coarsely chopped walnuts (see Notes)
  • large eggs
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/3 cup canola or other vegetable oil
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Melt your butter in a sauce pan over medium/high heat. Combine rum and brown sugar until it's completely combined. It will smell a little like brown butter, which in my opinion, is delicious. Pour over a buttered 9inch buttered pan, you can add parchment paper to cover the bottom of the pan but it's not 100% necessary. 

Combine walnuts and cranberries into a bowl. We toasted ours (walnuts) ourselves, they kinda end up smellin' like popcorn! Then pour them over the sugar mixture. 

(that is clearly not my hand, because I am not mama helped me, isn't she the best?)

Mix together the pumpkin, eggs, oil and sugar into a bowl. Then combine sifted flour (let's remember, I say F sifting! So I just dumped it all in together) and baking powder to create your cake batter. 

(Fun fact, my parents have chickens, yes chickens, in their backyard. SO those are the most organic eggs on the planet cuz I got them from the coop! Well, I didn't get them, my mom did...cuz I don't like birds. And that's why we used 3, cuz they're little mini)

Pour the batter over the cranberry/walnut goodness in the pan. Put it into a pre-heated oven of 350 degrees for 35-45 minutes. 

After it's baked, take it out of the oven to cool (STILL IN THE PAN!) for at least 10 minutes. Run a knife around the edges to prevent sticking and flip over onto a serving plate and serve warm with whipped cream. I clearly missed a spot. You guys? This picture so doesn't serve it justice. It's gorgeous, and so delicious. The most perfect thing to bring to a brunch or dinner party. Enjoy! 

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Oh, Hey Guys.

4 months since my last post? What a disgrace! So, as much as I'd like to chat about my culinary adventures, I've got other business to attend to. I am back in Phoenix, because my little sister was diagnosed with Leukemia in July. I'm taking this time to spend with my family and with her. She's doing well, all things considered, but has thrown us all for a serious loop. I will get back to cooking and talking about it in no time, but first I wanted to share a couple of links.

First is the family blog we've started to keep everyone up to date on Hannah's progress: free to take a peek!

Second is a little Etsy shop I set up for her. Because of her treatment, she's unable to work a part time job, so we decided selling her super cute crafty creations is the perfect solution.  All of them are one of a kind and made by her.

so head here to shop! I'll be back sooner than next year to talk about food n stuff. ;) 

Wednesday, June 22, 2011


Hey guys, remember me? Yeah, sorry. Moving 2 states away, starting a new job/life really took a toll on my bloggin' life. I'll try to get back to the regular 1-2x a week posts though, pinky swear. SO today, I made blueberry jam! JAM! I found a recipe that doesn't require canning equipment (thank goodness) and so I marched down to my nearest Fred Meyer (a glorified Walmart, don't judge) and found some cute jars to gift out my jammy-jam when it was finished. Anywho, let's get started.

You'll need:

5 cups blueberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice 
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
(I doubled the recipe, because it ends up only making 3 cups and I wanted to share!)

SO, dump all your ingredients into a big ol sauce pan.

Here comes the fun part. Grab a potato masher and get down n dirty with those blueberries. Mash 'em til their good and...mashed. If you're having an angry or emotional day it's a good reliever. (Trust me, today was one of those days for me...I'm feelin' like a million bucks now!)

Let the mixture simmer on medium-high heat for about 25 minutes, or until it thickens enough. It won't get as thick as jam does until it's fully cool though, so don't freak out. I did.

Transfer your jam into containers when finished and KEEP REFRIGERATED (!!). It's not the kind that can hang out in your cupboard until it's opened because canning equipment wasn't used. It will last a month in the fridge and a year if you freeze it. 

And there we have it. Butter up a co-worker and bring some into work, give some to your friends! Or just keep it all to yourself, you know, whatevs. And yes, I used my iPhone for all my pictures cuz I was being lazy, sorry. 


Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Carbs Carbs Carbs.

Hey guys! I'm blogging from the airport! F A N C Y. I'm going to Seattle, yahoo! Last week my mom and sister were in town to pay me a little visit. My mom is like a super-human and makes this homemade bread at least twice a week at home. Its enough dough to make 3 loaves and literally takes under 10 minutes prep time. OH and you don't have to knead it! Lazy bakers unite!

Here we go:
(coming to us from the website:

3 cups lukewarm water cold water = longer rising time hot water = KILLING YEAST. so do it right! 
1 1/2 tablespoons granulated yeast 
1 1/2 tablespoons kosher salt (or sea salt...mmm!)
6 1/2 cups (2-pounds) unbleached all-purpose flour 

In your mixer, or in a 5 quart bowl (you dont have to have a Kitchenaid!) dump your water, yeast and salt and mix with a whisk (I really like using whisks, dont you?). 

(oooh, action shot!) 

Now, combine all your flour into mixture. Guess what? You dont have to sift it! You know how I feel about sifting.

It's going to be a wet dough, especially in comparison to other doughs. And that's ok! It will need to rise for about 2 hours. We placed the bowl on my stove so that it was a little warmer than room temperature. I have a gas stove so it's always a little warm. Cover your bowl lightly with tin foil.

When it's done rising, divide dough into two or three pieces, depending on how big you'd like your bread to be. 
Cover a wood cutting board with flour and work with the dough to get it into the shape you'd like. 

It gets a little messy in there! 
OH, PS...if you want to let the dough chill before using, that's fine. Put it in the fridge over night but you CAN use it after the 2 hour rise. We did both, and I even put thyme in my second batch...mmm!

Let the dough rest for about an hour. If you don't, you won't get those delicious holes in the bread and it will be a bit dense. 

Cut at least 3 1/4" slits at the top of the bread. This will help the baking process and make it prettier! 
Pre-heat your oven to 450 and use a baking stone if you have one. If not, use a shallow baking pan and cover the loaf slightly with foil. But don't use glass, ok? ok. 

Bake for 30-35  minutes until a gorgeous golden color. 

It sounds like a ton of steps, but its actually really easy. And so good! You'll have fresh bread for a FRACTION of the cost. 

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Dinner With Jude.

First things first. I joined the 21st century and GOT AN IPHONE. A 4 even! A very exciting day today. And I'm clearly obsessed with Instagram like the rest of the world. See?
MY FOREHEAD LOOKS HUGE!/ wish you guys could see the sweet navajo pattern poncho I'm wearing. I'ma basically live in this bitch. (sorry mom). 

So Jude is a regular here on ze old bloggy. He comes over for dinner and a movie when his mama and his daddy are workin' late. Tonight the menu was: 
Adult grilled cheese; gruyere, bacon, spinach and onions (and 3 year old grilled cheese for Jude)
Dill potato wedges.
Monkey bread (recipe coming soon!)
and Megamind. 

For the tadoes you basically need 2 gigantic russet potatoes if theres 2 of you or more if there's...well..more of ya! Cut into thick wedges, drizzle olive oil over the top and toss with dried dill, salt and pepper. Roast at 450 for 30 minutes and toss about every 10. 

For the sammies you'll need a handful of fresh spinach, 1 cup of shredded gruyere cheese, 6 slices center-cut bacon, sliced red onion and 4 slices of whatever bread you fancy. After you cook the bacon pile it all onto the  bread and cook like a grilled cheese! PS: Do you guys use butter on the exterior of your bread for grilled cheese or something else? I've always used butter cuz that's what my mom used...but was curious what everyone else does! 

NO I wasn't crying, that's how amazingly bad my eyes water EVERYTIME I cut onions. No matter what trick I do (i've even worn swimming goggles...don't judge) they do this. Most of my mascara is off! Ps I promised I wouldn't post bad pictures of myself online anymore but that clearly went out the window. 

Super simple, and super delicious. I had a nervous breakdown because I couldn't find the ketchup to go with our potatoes. Don't worry. Crisis averted, it was behind the water. (Um, how cute is my dinner date?)

And I'll leave you with another face I shouldn't make. Night! <3

Farm Box Round Up.

I posted a few weeks ago that I had gotten some delicious treats via Farm Box. While I made an array of yummy treats including an apple pie and roasted garlic, the most delicious of the bunch was a recipe I snagged from Miss James over at Bleubird Vintage. It's called estofado. It's basically Spanish stew, and my my was it tasty. It holds up super well for lunch the next day too. I won't bore all of you with re-posting the ingredients and step-by-step since it's already been done over at Bleubird, but I will show you some of my crazy carrots and potatoes.

One of the things in the Farm Box was heirloom carrots. Some were yellow, some orange, and my favorite, some purple.

I thought they'd be purple all the way through, but to my surprise....they looked like this:

Pretty gorgeous, right? Lurved the colors. 

I also had red and purple potatoes. I figured once peeled and sliced they'd be regular potato color (white-ish?)...but I was surprised again!

They cooked and tasted like normal potatoes and had the consistency of basically a yukon potato. The only problem with them, though is that with this recipe you have to skillet fry your potatoes. The easiest way to tell when they're done is if they're starting to golden up around the edges. Well, purple and magenta potatoes don't do that. They turned out lovely and added some serious color to the dish. 
If you are looking for something packed full of veggies, jump over to that recipe. You won't be disappointed! 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Worlds Most Precious Cookies.

Um. Maybe not the MOST precious, but I think they're pretty adorable tea/coffee cookies (with the exception of my unhealthy love for madelines). You know when you're going to a friends for brunch/lunch and you don't want to come empty handed but REALLY don't have to make something? Throwing store-bought cookies onto a platter does not count, my friends. Make these. Really. Do it. Alls you need is puff-pastry and sugar. They're so cute and girly and the perfect thing to make in under 20 minutes.

You need:
2 sheets puff pastry
1/2 cup sugar
and cinnamon if you'd like (and I like!)

Thaw 2 sheets of pastry. Cover your cutting board with sugar and cinnamon.

Roll out our puff pastry and flip it a few times to get it nice and coated. 
Starting on one end, roll the dough inwards toward other side. Do both sides, rolling 1/2" at a time. (does that make sense? i hope so)

Keep on' rollin until the two sides are touching and look kinda like a pinwheel. 

Using a very sharp knife (and I mean very, people! otherwise they'll kinda fall apart). Cut roll crosswise into 1/4" to 1/2" slices. Now, don't be discouraged, they look a little sad when they're cut. But they come out super cute. 

Cook at 375 for 18-22 until they're nice and puffed and golden on the bottom. 

See? Told you. So cute. You know what else is cute? My new sweater. 

Sweater: Pippa Lynn (LF)
Jeans: Levis
Hightops: Converse
Paint on mirror: Maintenance man.