Category Archives: recipes

Sausage & Pumpkin Flapjack Apple Butter Stacks

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Phew! That was a mouth full! Literally. You’ll want to stuff your faces with these babies.

Ok. Let me decode it a bit for you.

Sweet country style breakfast sausage patties. Check. Apple buttery gravy. Pancakes… but with pumpkin! Because I pimp everything with pumpkin. And cinnamon. And nutmeg. You can’t go wrong. With honey apple butter in between, topped with a few slices of apple and parsley. If that isn’t enough to convince you, the stackage styling is fulfilling enough in itself. It’s like breakfast Jenga. (Boyfriend totally gets food styling props for this one though… I was in the shower while that business happened. Professional huh?)

Bust out that gravy boat! And make these for your next lazy Sunday morning brunch.

You’re welcome.

Sausage & Pumpkin Flapjack Apple Butter Stacks

Adapted from Rachael Ray Magazine, December 2007

Serves 4

  • 24 oz uncooked bulk country style sausage
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for gravy
  • 1 1/2 cups plus 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 1/4 cups plus 6 tablespoons milk
  • 1/2 cup apple butter
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 small apple, cored and thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees F. Heat a heavy, medium skillet over medium heat. Divide the sausage into 8 portions, then form into thin patties. Add 4 patties to the skillet and cook until browned and crisp, about 3 minutes on each side. Transfer to a baking sheet and keep warm in the oven. Repeat with the remaining patties.
  2. Add enough melted butter to the sausage fat to equal 2 tablespoons total. Over medium heat, whisk in 2 tablespoons flour for 1 minute. Gradually whisk in 1 1/4 cups milk until the mixture boils, then continue to cook, whisking, for 1 minute more. Add 2 tablespoons apple butter and season with salt and pepper. Transfer the gravy to a pitcher; keep warm.
  3. Heat a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, stir together the remaining 1 1/2 cups flour, the baking powder and 1/2 teaspoon salt. In a small bowl, whisk together the eggs, remaining 2 tablespoons melted butter, 1 cup plus 6 tablespoons milk, pumpkin puree, and spices. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture.
  4. Spoon 1/4 cup batter for each pancake onto the griddle and cook until bubbles form, 1 to 2 minutes. Flip and cook until springy, 1 minute more. Make 8 pancakes.
  5. Spoon some gravy onto each plate. Spread 4 pancakes with apple butter and place on the gravy. Top each with a sausage patty, another pancake, more apple butter, another sausage patty, a few apple slices and more gravy. Sprinkle with the parsley.
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Olive Oil Fig Cake

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Sometimes, when you have somewhat of a crappy week, not even for any real good reason, it’s nice to have some help along the way. Sometimes you need a good book, a cozy nap on the couch with a warm quilt and your kitten, or a slice of this olive oil fig cake. I’ll take all of the above.

I saw this recipe that Tracy (Shutterbean) posted last week via Instagram and instantly began drooling. My original plan was to make a loaf of pumpkin bread that day, but that ended up being pushed aside (sorry pumpkin, I still love you!). Figs. Almond. Citrus. Olive oil. YUM. YES. PLEASE.

The flavors are wonderful. Lemon and orange zest, ground almond flour, extra virgin olive oil, and succulent figs roasted in honey on top? Hellomylifehaschanged. I even swapped in a bit of lavender sugar for a bit of the regular granulated kind. It reminded me of a “healthier” version of pound cake upgraded to autumn-status. I urge you to make this while fresh figs are still in season. You will not regret it.

Olive Oil Fig Cake

Makes about 6-8 slices

recipe adapted from Tracy Shutterbean & Jamie Oliver Magazine

  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup ground almonds
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 cup sugar plus 1/2 cup lavender sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • grated zest of 1 lemon
  • grated zest and juice of 1 orange (original recipe called for 2)
  • 1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/3 cup milk
  • 5-6 figs, quartered
  • 2-3 tablespoons honey

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9×5 loaf pan with cooking spray and set aside. Place the flour, ground almonds, and baking powder in a bowl and mix together.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the sugar and eggs until fluffy. Add the citrus zest and juice, then stir in the olive oil and milk. Gently fold in the flour mixture then pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes.

Push the figs into the top of the loaf. Drizzle with the honey and bake for another 30-40 minutes, or until the top is caramelized and a toothpick comes out clean. Cool and enjoy!

The Only Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe You’ll Ever Need

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Some things in life don’t have to be very complicated or intricate to be good. This chocolate chip cookie recipe taught me that lesson.

It’s so basic, yet so amazing. I can guarantee you probably have every ingredient in your fridge or pantry to make these right now. A bit of flour, brown sugar (shh! it’s the secret!), good quality chocolate, butter, eggs… you know the rest.

Really, I don’t have much to say other than that this is my favorite chocolate chip cookie recipe of all time. Yes, you heard me right. ALL TIME.

Soft, chewy, decadent cookie-dough like goodness.

MAKE THEM. I ORDER YOU.

See, even boyfriend is eating the COOKIE DOUGH.

You know they gotta be good.

Thick, Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

AKA The Only Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe You’ll Ever Need

Makes about 24-28 cookies

From Sunset Magazine, November 2003

  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 1 1/2 cups firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups Guittard semisweet chocolate chips (12 oz.)
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts

1. In a bowl, with an electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and brown sugar until well blended. Beat in eggs and vanilla until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl as needed.

2. In another bowl, mix flour, baking soda, and salt. Stir or beat into butter mixture until well incorporated. Stir in chocolate chips and pecans, if using.

3. Drop dough in 2-tablespoon (1/8-cup) portions, 2 inches apart, onto buttered 12- by 15-inch baking sheets.

4. Bake in a 400° oven until cookies are lightly browned and no longer wet in the center (break one open to check), 6 to 8 minutes; if baking more than one pan at a time, switch pan positions halfway through baking.

5. With a wide spatula, transfer cookies to racks to cool. If hot cookies start to break, slide a thin spatula under them to release; let stand on pan to firm up, 2 to 5 minutes, then transfer to racks to cool completely.

Truffled Walnut Pesto

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Garlic and I don’t get along. You see, I like it, but it doesn’t like me. I’ve always loved the flavor, don’t get me wrong, but indigestion, headache, and sweet tooth syndrome (yeah, it totally has to be a thing) seem to develop after eating this Allium sativum. Not only that, I absolutely hate having garlic breath all night long/the next 24 hours. No Euthymol or tongue scraper can get rid of that. Also, I had begun to notice the last year or so that every time I had to chop fresh garlic, I’d have garlic fingers for several days after. Like, I could smell the scent of garlic in the pores of my fingertips for literally 4-5 days after. And it makes me nauseous. See, we gots problems.

But not to fear. That doesn’t mean that I will go without having garlic in my pesto. That is one thing I will not sacrifice. Garlic breath and fingers aside, I have found two ways around this: 1. purchasing already pre-crushed garlic in the jar (I like Trader Joes’), or 2. ask boyfriend to chop it up for you. Method number 2 seemed to work for this recipe quite well.

I hope that none of you have this problem. I hope you and garlic get along just fine. Less for me, more for you!

That aside, this is, by far, the best homemade pesto I have ever made. I hardly ever make it, but I bought a whole package of basil last week for juicing recipes, and had a ton left. I also received a huge package of homegrown walnuts from my grandmother’s farm a few days ago. So that’s when the two pieces of the puzzle came together. But then, on top of that, I thought a little pinch of truffle salt be a nice touch. And it surely was.

This recipe is dedicated to both of my (living) grandmothers, on both sides. If it weren’t for either of them, I wouldn’t have been able to make this. Grandma #1 supplied the homegrown walnuts, and grandma #2 supplied my new 7-cup Cuisinart (I’m not sure how I survived so long with a 3-cup one, but I somehow managed!).

Thank you, grandmas. I have the best grandmas in the universe.

Truffled Walnut Pesto

Makes about 3/4-1 cup of pesto

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup walnut halves
  • 1 cup basil leaves, packed tightly
  • 1 cup fresh spinach leaves, packed tightly
  • 2 garlic cloves, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup shredded or grated grana padano
  • 1/2 lemon, squeezed (about 1 Tbsp.)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • black truffle sea salt, to taste (I bought mine here)

Directions:

  1. Place walnut halves in a food processor and process until finely chopped.
  2. Add in basil, spinach leaves, and garlic. Pulse until well incorporated.
  3. Add in lemon juice and grana padano.
  4. With the lid on and motor running, steam in olive oil.
  5. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  6. Mix with your favorite pasta or whatever!

Rosemary Apricot Bars

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I’m a California girl. Well, at least I was. I’m slowly getting used to the way things run around here. I don’t mind being converted into an Oregon girl, it’s just a bit different. Different customs and regulations. I’m not used to someone else pumping my own gas. You see, I feel like half of the reason to go and get gas is to get out of the car, get some fresh air, stretch your legs for a little bit. But no. Oregon doesn’t let you do that (well, I’m sure you have the freedom to get out of your car, but as far as the gas goes, it’s the law.) It’s weird, I tell you. Another thing I’m definitely not used to is having to drive specifically to a liquor store to buy liquor. You can’t just waltz into a Safeway or Fred Meyer and pick out a bottle of Jack Daniels. Coming from working at a grocery store that had the entire store lined with wine, beer, and booze right behind the register, it’s taking some adjusting to. You have to hunt down one of the (few) liquor stores around here, even if you just want a little mini bottle of brandy to put in your baking recipe.

That’s what I had to do for this. Oh, the sacrifices…

I’ll tell you what I do like though. NO TAX. Yeah, I’m sure I’ll end up paying for it someday, somehow, but in the meantime, I must admit it’s quite refreshing. I’m adjusting to that quite nicely.

Anyhow, I don’t know about you, but rosemary makes my dreams come true. Especially if apricots stewed in white wine, brandy, and honey are involved in the mix. Add some butter and flour to make a shortbread, and basically this is what you get.

I hope I’ve convinced you already.

Unfortunately for some reason these bars turned out a bit too dry for me. I think I put them under the broiler to crisp up a bit too long (you’ll see around the last few steps). They didn’t resemble the color and moistness this photo demonstrates, but that’s ok. They were still delicious. The apricot filling was delectable. If I make this again, I will definitely put a bit more rosemary in the shortbread dough. I could taste it, but it was a bit too subtle for my liking. Like I said, I adore rosemary, and I love the flavor to really shine through. Trials and errors in baking, it’s oh so much fun!

Rosemary Apricot Bars

Recipe from Savory Simple

Makes about 9-12 large sized bars

 For the rosemary dough:

  • 12 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed and at room temperature
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 3/4 cups all purpose flour

For the apricot filling:

  • 2 cups dried apricots
  • 3/4 cups white wine
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice (omit if using California dried apricots)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • pinch of salt

For the crumb topping:

  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup pecans, finely chopped
  • pinch of salt
  • 4 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cubed

Method!

  1. Grease the inside of  a 9×9 inch pan with baking spray and line it with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on two sides of the pan (I didn’t do this, and that may have been my problem).
  2. To make the rosemary shortbread, cream the butter, powdered sugar and salt in a stand mixer on medium-high until light and fluffy.  Add the vanilla and rosemary, then lower the speed and gradually add the flour until the dough is smooth.
  3. Press the dough evenly into the prepared pan.  Take some time to do this nicely so your layers are beautiful and clean.  Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
  4. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  5. Bake the shortbread for 25-30 minutes, or until lightly golden on top.  Allow to cool to room temperature.
  6. Make the apricot filling by combining all ingredients in a medium saucepan.  Simmer on low heat for 45 minutes, or until all of the liquid is absorbed.  Allow to cool and then puree in a food processor until smooth.
  7. Make the crumb topping by combining all ingredients in a stand mixer with the paddle attachment until the mixture is just combined and crumbly.  Don’t over-mix, you want texture.
  8. Spread the apricot paste evenly on top of the shortbread.  Make sure it’s level!
  9. Sprinkle on the topping evenly and gently press it into place.  Again, make sure it’s level; when you cut the bars you want three even levels.
  10. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the topping is brown.  I turned on the broiler for a couple minutes at the end to get the top extra crunchy.  If you do this, watch carefully to avoid burning.
  11. Allow to cool completely before cutting into bars.

Cake Inspiration, New Music, & Lovely Things

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After taking a cake decorating class last Spring, I can appreciate the hard work that goes into something like this even more…

The Royal Wedding Cake
Crazy, eh?
These inspire me to further my cake decorating education/skill.
This lovely-sounding Elderflower Lemon Cake, spotted on the Kitchn. I’m in love with elderflower anything and this seems fitting with a hot cup of tea on a Spring afternoon. Here’s also a recipe for Elderflower Jam Tassies (meaning “small cup” in Scottish). Looks like I need to purchase some of this sometime soon…
YUM!
“Throughout the history of civilization, food has been more than simple necessity. In countless cultures, it has been livelihood, status symbol, entertainment – and passion. In the GREAT FOOD series, Penguin brings you the finest food writing from the last 400 years, and opens the door to the wonders of every kitchen.”
I would like to collect and read all of these, please. Thanks.
The cover artist is a genius. So in love with her reinvention of covers for classics. Gorgeous!
(She’s the woman that’s been making these also, if they look familiar to you…)
A few are already available on Amazon but some will take awhile to be printed here as they are from the UK.
A few I’m particularly excited for:
Ahh I’m dying to read them all!
Also now lusting after this F. Scott Fitzgerald collection:
Music I’m really enjoying lately…
Ok, back to studying for midterms.
More Portland food porn soon.

Chanterelle-Potato Salad with Bacon, Shallots, & Thyme

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So I won a copy of the new Sunset cookbook, thanks to their amazing giveaway last October, as I explained in 75 words or less what makes me a “great Western cook”. Word for word, I couldn’t tell you exactly what it was that convinced them, just how I love to experiment combining new and unexpected spices, flavors, and reinventing classics. That I like to make up cupcake creations involving chocolate, coconut, and curry, for example.
So, cool. Yeah. I won a ginormous compilation of Sunset recipes.
I feel pretty special.
I bought some chanterelles the other day without any real particular plan in mind. It’s hard to pass them up when they’re half the price they normally go for per pound. I had faith that I’d find something interesting to do with them somehow. So after staring at them in the fridge for a bit too long, I turned to this nifty resource to find this lovely recipe involving chanterelles, baby yukon potatoes, bacon, thyme, and shallots. A fancy potato salad of sorts. Fancy restaurant status potato salad. I’m typically not a huge white potato fan, but I’ll go for these little creamers every once in a while if it’s paired with something worthwhile. And this was definitely worth while. I scattered it on top of some spinach and fried up an egg and it could definitely be a $15 brunch menu item at a restaurant in Portland. Just sayin’. The smells coming out of the kitchen were FANTASTIC.
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Chanterelle-Potato Salad with Pancetta, Shallots, and Thyme
Serves 8 (I halved the recipe)
12 ounces fresh chanterelle mushrooms or 10 oz. shiitake mushrooms

6 ounces slab pancetta or thick-cut bacon, diced (I used cinnamon bacon)

3 pounds baby Yukon Gold potatoes, halved lengthwise (if potatoes are longer than 2 in., cut into quarters)

4 medium cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves

1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt

3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons butter

1 medium shallot, minced

1/3 cup Chardonnay or other white wine

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon (skipped this)

1 tablespoon chopped chives

1/2 cup White-Wine Vinaigrette1. Preheat oven to 375°. Wipe chanterelles with a damp cloth or scrape with a knife to remove dirt; cut away dry, woody parts. Tear mushrooms into 1-in. pieces.

2. Cook pancetta in a large frying pan over medium-high heat until crisp and browned, about 7 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels, reserving drippings.

3. Toss potatoes with 3 tbsp. reserved pancetta drippings, garlic, thyme, 1 tsp. salt, and 1/2 tsp. pepper. Divide potatoes between two 9- by 13-in. glass baking pans. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes, until tender, well browned, and crispy, 25 to 35 minutes. Remove from oven and keep warm.

4. Melt butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add shallot and cook until soft, 1 minute. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until browned, 5 to 6 minutes. Add Chardonnay, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt, and remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper; scrape up browned bits and cook until liquid evaporates, about 2 minutes.

5. In a large bowl, toss together potatoes, mushrooms, pancetta, tarragon, and chives. Drizzle with vinaigrette. Serve warm (with an egg!).
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