Archive | March, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate-Chip Cupcakes

31 Mar

Our neighbors, and friends, went away a week or so ago. I call them Pal and Am, fondly, but they are really Al and Pam. We have an arrangement with them where we watch each others’ cats when any of us are out of town, but this time Cookie, their older cat, was a little under the weather. I won’t go into details, but I did suggest trying to give her some puréed pumpkin.

I didn’t promise it would work, which is good, because neither of the cats even tasted it. The potassium I was supposed to give Cookie was nasty—if it tasted anything like it smelled, the poor girl was in trouble. Luckily, the poor kitty’s bad day was someone else’s delicious baked treat… Continue reading

I’ve Been Nominated AGAIN!

26 Mar

Nominate her, or I'll get angry. And you don't want to see me when I'm angry.

Okay, everyone, now you’re spoiling me! But I don’t mind being spoiled. In fact, I love it. So any further nominations for the Versatile Blogger Award (or any other blogging award—don’t be shy!) will be very gratefully accepted.

Thank you so much to DogDaz for the nomination, but also much, much more. Continue reading

Pesto, Part Deux: Poulet

26 Mar

Occasionally, The Husband does come up with some lovely ideas for me to try out in the kitchen—long-time readers will remember that the bacon-crumble apple pies were his idea.

As usual, we bought our weekend chicken from the farmers market, and that chive pesto was still hanging around in the fridge—bright and perky, by the way, even over a week old. I love those glass snap-lock containers! He suggested we combine them both, putting the pesto under the skin. Since it was a cold and rainy Sunday yesterday, a roast chicken seemed just the thing for dinner. Continue reading

Chive and Spinach Pesto

25 Mar

Quinoa pasta with chive-spinach pesto

When I lived in London, I was able to grow the following on a fifth-story balcony: blueberries, radishes, green onions, tomatoes, thyme and rosemary. When I lived in Santa Barbara, I had a 10′ x 12′ garden full of everything from corn to potatoes to zucchini. In my “backyard” in Laguna Beach? I can barely grow anything. I’m not sure why Laguna Beach has turned by green thumb brown, but I’m not happy.

But there’s one thing that grows like crazy in the back—chives. Continue reading

Soyrizo and Spinach Baked Pasilla Chiles

24 Mar

The finished product—don't worry, you won't miss the sauce!

I have to say, I’m getting hungry again just thinking about this recipe! I was trying to cook vegetarian dishes all last week, and I had some Soyrizo lingering in the fridge. I’m always so amazed at how delicious Soyrizo is, and once I taste it I can’t wait to have more.

Last Sunday, to celebrate my nomination for the Versatile Blogger Award (thanks again!), I made myself a Soyrizo, egg and cheese breakfast sandwich. Since that day I was planning what I’d do with the rest of it. And, true to form, I decided to make something that was totally labor-intensive for a weeknight. Oops. But it was totally worth it. Continue reading

Mr. DeMille, I’m Ready for My Closeup

18 Mar

"...And I'd like to thank The Husband, for putting me up to this blog in the first place. Sniff."

Tiara—check. Ginormous bouquet of flowers—check. Hair swept up in elegant chignon—check. Pink Ralph Lauren ballgown—check. Tears welling up with unabashed gratitude and happiness—check. Yes, I feel like Gwyneth Paltrow when she won the Oscar for Shakespeare in Love.

I’ve been nominated for the Versatile Blogger Award. Continue reading

Like Taking Candy from a Baby

17 Mar

There’s two reasons why I named the post the way I did: One, these treats were so easy to make it’s not even funny. I may never buy them again. Two, The Husband is hilarious.

I love this blogging thing—I am so inspired by my fellow bloggers! I want to make almost everything they do, but alas, that “work” thing gets in the way. But this one I had to try.

Not only does “In Pursuit of More” have a great concept, which you’ll have to read about here, she also makes great food with a less-is-more attitude. When I saw these peanut-butter cups, I knew I had to make them. Continue reading

[Salad] Dressed For Success

13 Mar

Besides, the color looks so nice against the green lettuce!

If I’m going to have a salad, then the dressing has to be good. Nothing turns me off a salad like a boring or badly dressed salad. That’s one of the reasons I’m addicted to Trader Joe’s Seasoned Rice Vinegar. And when I say addicted, I’m not kidding. This stuff, a little olive or grapeseed oil and some freshly ground black pepper transforms any green stuff into a lovely salad.

But today’s tidbit is not about that simple but satisfying dressing. This is one that I bastardized from the lovely Isa Chandra Moscowitz. Yes, again. Continue reading

Another Indian-Spiced Sunday Roast Chicken

11 Mar

I know I bang on about toasting your own spices all the time. And I’m not apologizing, because if you don’t, you miss out on a fantastic range of flavors. I was very happy to see a fellow blogger find this out on her own recently (Violets and Cardamom) when she went to a Peruvian cooking course. Her own recipes look amazing, and I can’t wait to try a few.

But I digress. The other weekend I was a bit lazy and decided to grab the panch phoron, or “Bengali five-spice”, instead of coming up with my own spice mix. I did still toast those spices to maximize their flavor, but because of the fenugreek I used the coffee grinder (which has now become the dedicated spice grinder).

It was a lovely lazy option, because soon the house filled with a delicious smell as I mixed the spices Continue reading

A Warming Winter Soup: Posole

10 Mar

This is not a soup you usually see on a menu in a Mexican restaurant in Orange County—not unless you are in a real Mexican cantina in Santa Ana where they’re not catering to us gringos. Those are the best to go to, for sure, but it’s not always convenient for us to go to Santa Ana. Actually, it’s hardly ever a destination for us, although maybe we should try harder, because those restaurants are definitely worth the drive! At the restaurants nearer us, there’s usually just tortilla soup and albondigas soup. Speaking of tortilla soup, I’m going to have to share that recipe pretty soon too. Hmmmm….

But posole is full of flavor as well as being a very filling soup. This one is touted as being a “quick” weeknight soup, Continue reading