Friday, May 27, 2011

Listen....



I heard this song at the end of United States of Tara (love that show) and I had to go find it.

I did.

Then I watched a bunch of his You Tube Videos and fell in love with every one.

Wanted to share this one will you all.

Happy Weekend.

Enjoy and laugh a lot!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Fall Off the Bone Roasted Chicken Thighs

Roasted Chic Thighs

So I bought Cristina Fererre's new cookbook Big Bowl of Love last week.

All I have done for the past week and a half is read this book like a bible.

I want to make EVERYTHING in it. Ok, maybe not everything, but a good 98% of it, and I can't say that about many cookbooks.

I love this cookbook not only because the recipes are amazing but also because my friends Todd & Diane from White on Rice Couple took all the photographs...breathtakingly beautiful photographs that make you wish you could rip through the pages and tear the food out to eat it.

I used to watch Cristina on a show called Home & Family. She cooked on the show and the stuff she made looked damn good. I even ordered her first cookbook for my Mom, which she still has and I need to borrow.

I have like a good two months worth of recipes I need make from this coobook. So many wonderful ones to choose from. I started with these Fall off the Bone Chicken Thighs. I love chicken thighs. I'm a dark-meat kinda gal, so this recipe really enticed me.

I knew we would be out in the yard most of the day on Saturday so I prepped the sauce in the morning then just ran back in the house and threw them in the oven.

Let's talk about the sauce! Oh my. Oh my, my, my. Such deliciousness! Evan and I kept sticking our pinkies in the sauce and tasting it. So good. I knew if the sauce tasted this good in the bowl is was bound to be killer when it was cooked..and it was. These are some seriously delicious thighs.

I did omit the chicken stock in the recipe. When I checked at the 45 minute mark I really had plenty of sauce still in the pan so I didn't want to "drown" them in chicken stock. I basted and stuck them back in uncovered. The end result was perfect so I'm glad I skipped the chicken stock.

FALL OFF THE BONE ROASTED CHICKEN THIGHS
Recipe from Cristina Ferrare’s Big Bowl of Love
3 cups chicken stock or chicken broth (I didn't need to add any)
12 chicken thighs, washed and dried
1/3 cup Dijon mustard
¼ cup fresh lemon juice
1/3 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons herbs, finely chopped (your choice, I used thyme, rosemary, parsley & oregano)
1 teaspoon fennel seeds (I omitted these)
Kosher salt
Cracked pepper

Preheat the oven to 350.

Place the chicken thighs in a baking dish.

Combine the mustard, lemon juice, soy sauce and olive oil. Pour over the chicken. Turn the thighs to coat evenly.

Sprinkle on the herbs and the fennel seeds, and then sprinkle on several pinches of kosher salt and plenty of cracked pepper.

Cover with aluminum foil and roast for 45 minutes. Remove the foil and baste. Add in 2 cups of the chicken stock and stir to turn up any of the bits that have formed on the bottom of the pan. Baste again with a bulb baster.

Continue to roast for 60 minutes more, basting every 15 minutes to keep the chicken supermoist. The thighs will turn a beautiful caramel color. If you find that the bottom of the pan is dry, add the rest of the chicken stock.

Roasted Chic Thighs 1

Monday, May 23, 2011

Etsy addicted.

I admit it.

I'm addicted to Etsy.

It's my most favorite site on the entire world wide web.

Hours have been lost.

Inspiration taken.

Money given.

It's hopeless.

Do you think there's a 12 step program?


Here's what I'm loving right now:






How beautiful is this ring?

ring


Just look at this ring holder. You know I have a thing for little birdies.


ring catcher


These garden markers gave me inspiration to make my own.


I've got the utensils and the stamps, now I just have to get pounding!


garden markers


Look at this rabbit. Love it.


rabbit


And these mugs...adorable.


mugs


This set of little stackable bowls is really calling my name.


prep bowls



I so want to buy a few of these.

Solar lids that fit mason jars. You can buy them here

mason jar lid

I have lots of mason jars. I'm thinking lighting for the backyard.

Check out this hand carved sign. The name kinda got to me.

Big Moose


So you know I'm ring addicted....I'm also earring addicted. Especially when I see these:

Black Earrings 1

or these....

Black Earrings

or maybe this necklace...

Black Butterfly

and back to the rings...

rOOTS

Check this out....a necklace made out of your babies thumbprint.

Baby Prints

or both of your babies thumbprints...

Double prints

If you have more than 2 babies then I don't know what to tell ya....buy a few??

If you babies happen to have fur they have that covered too...nose prints.

Nose Prints


Thursday, May 19, 2011

Swedish Almond Jam Bars

Swedish Jam Bars 2

I don't know about you but I think when you throw in the name of another country on a recipe title it always seems to make that recipe a bit more appealing.

Is it just me or is that true? I'm sure Almond Jam Bars would have been perfectly acceptable, but these are Swedish Almond Jam Bars so now it's an international recipe, and who wouldn’t want to make jam bars from Sweden? This recipe is actually from someone’s Swedish neighbor, so technically they are truly Swedish. I’m down with Sweden, I mean they gave us those little meatballs and Ikea, lingonberry jam and Abba and let’s not forget lutfisk ….well then again; you might want to forget lutfisk (google it, you’ll see why).

I confessed in an earlier post that I haven’t been spending much time in the kitchen. All my time and energy has been consumed with the outdoors these past few weeks, but a big ole patch of rain damped my enthusiasm and made it pretty impossible for me to play in the dirt, so back to the kitchen it was for me.


Swedish Jam Bars

Chilly rainy days make me reach for my cuppa tea and what goes better with a cuppa tea then an international jam bar?

I love the meringue-like topping. It gives these bars a slight bit of chewiness in all the right ways. Feel free to substitute with whatever jam you have on hand. These were originally Raspberry Almond Jam Bars, umm excuse me, Swedish Raspberry Almond Jam Bars, by my cupboard only contained strawberry jam. No matter what jam you choose or what you decide to call them, you’ll be pleased with the results.

Swedish Almond Jam Bars
Recipe adapted from Taste of Home
¾ cup butter (1 ½ sticks)
¾ cup confectioners’ sugar
1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
¾ cup strawberry jam (or raspberry jam)
3 egg whites
6 tablespoons of granulated sugar
½ cup coconut flakes
1 cup sliced almonds, divided
Additional confectioners’ sugar for sprinkling.

In a large bowl cream together the butter and confectioners’ sugar until light and fluffy. Gradually add the flour and mix well. Press into the bottom of a greased 9x13 inch baking pan. Bake at 350 for 18 – 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Spread the jam over the crust.

In a large bowl beat the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gradually best in the sugar 1 tablespoon at a time on high until stiff peaks form. Fold in the coconut and ½ a cup of the almonds. Spread over the jam. Sprinkle with the remaining almonds. Bake at 350 for 18 – 22 minutes or until golden brown. Mine were in the oven for 26 minutes before they turned a nice golden color.


Swedish Jam Bars 3

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Friday, May 13, 2011

Brown Butter Cinnamon Cheerio Caramel Squares

Brown Butter Cinnamon Cheerio Caramel Squares 3

I feel my blog mojo is stalling a bit.

Every spring this seems to happen.

I'm outside every minute that I can be and cooking up something new and photographable just seems to fall to the wayside. Sorry blog followers.

Don't give up on me, just have a little patience and be happy in knowing that I'm outside digging and planting and getting my hands dirty, and if you know me at all, you'll know that's when I'm most happy.

Once my yard is the way I want it, and the garden is planted and growing I'll be back in the kitchen churing out a bunch of amazing recipes for you all. I'm not abondaning ship, but I just wanted you to know why things are a little slow that's all.

Anyway, this post was a long time coming.

I made these months ago. I confess.

I used a variation of a recipe I found online and couldn't find where I had put the recipe, nor did I have time or energy to look for it, so it took awhile.

I bought a lot of these Cinnamon Burst Cheerios. I bought 5 boxes of them.

Why 5 boxes you ask? Well I had a coupon you see and they were on sale so I ended up paying 50 cents a box. Now that is a deal I just couldn't pass up.

So after we ate 2 boxes and were getting a bit Cinnamon-cheerioed out I decided that I needed to make something else with these. Cue my freind Krysta.

Krysta made churrios. Genius huh? Churro like Cheerio treats. Inspiration is born.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Cheerio Caramel Squares 1

Think churro flavored rice krispie treats.

Now drizzle them with some caramel.

Now shove at least two in your pie hole while you are think about a third.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Cheerio Caramel Squares
Adapted from a recipe at the pastryaffair.com
8 tablespoons (1 stick) salted butter
1 10.5 ounce bag marshmallows (mini marshmallows melt the best)
6 cups of Cinnamon Burst Cheerios
Caramel Sauce for drizzling (I used Trader Joes Fleur de Sel)

Grease and 8 inch square pan (loaf pan or bar pan).

In a large pot over medium high heat melt the butter. To brown it, keep the butter on the heat until it turns brown and smells nutty. The butter will foam and turn golden before it begins to brown. Stir frequently, scraping the bottom. Watch the butter closely; it will from brown to burnt in less than a minute.

Once the butter is browned, turn off the heat and stir in the marshmallows. Add the cereal once the marshmallows are smooth and stir until evenly coated.

Spread the cereal into the prepared pan. Press down with a silicone spatulas, or coat your hands with a bit of butter like I did and press. Let cool and cut into squares.

Brown Butter Cinnamon Cheerio Caramel Squares

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Blue Stilton & Pecan crackers

Blue Stilton and Pecan crackers 4

This is the time of the year when I seem to spend every waking sun-filled hour outside.

I have a list of projects a half mile long (see honey I didn’t say a mile long, it’s getting shorter!).

I walk around the yard and my mind is constantly churning with ideas.

“Let’s pull this shrub out”

“Let’s rip this up and replace it with something else”

“I need to re-paint that”

“I need to find ____ for this space”

“What if I move that over there?”

And that’s just the stuff I say out loud.

I also keep a gardening journal. I am constantly writing notes in it. It’s my little reference guide.

In addition to the journal I have a running excel list which keeps me in check with all the things I have to do.

It’s a bit hectic in my head.....and on paper too. It's also the time of year when meals with meat, potato and veg kinda just go out the door. Some nights it's a big salad with walnuts and pears, other nights it's pita pizza's on the grill. I have to prioritize and when we're talkin' spring yard prep, full course meals get pushed to the way side a bit. Some night it's homemade crackers and fruit.

With that being said...let's move on to crackers! Yup homemade crackers. You can do it!

This is an Ina recipe. I love Ina. You all know that. I love that she takes simple everyday ingredients and turns them into something lovely. These crackers are the epitome of loveliness. The Stilton gives you a sharp bite but the butter mellows is all out. I ate slices these with a thin slice of Granny Smith apple. Devine.

Blue Stilton & Pecan Crackers
recipe from Ina Garten
1 stick of unsalted butter at room temp
8 ounces of Stilton at room temp, crumbled (or 12 ounces with the rind)
1 ½ all purpose flour
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 extra large egg beaten with 1 tablespoon of water for egg wash
½ cup walnuts, finely chopped

In the bowl of and electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream the butter and the Stilton together for about 1 minute or until smooth. With the mixer on low add the flour, salt & pepper and continue beating for 1 minute until the dough is in large crumbles. Add 1 tablespoon of cold water and mix until the dough comes together.

Dump the dough onto a floured board and roll it into a 12 inch long log. Brush the log completely with the egg wash. Spread the walnuts on a cutting board and roll the log back and forth in the walnuts, pressing lightly to distribute them evenly. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or for up to 4 days.

Preheat the oven to 350 and line a sheet pan with parchment paper.

Cut the log into 3/8 inch thick slices with a small sharp knife and arrange the crackers on the sheet pan. Bake for 22 minutes, until very lightly browned, rotating the pan once during baking. Cool on the pan and serve at room temp.

Blue Stilton and Pecan crackers

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Wordless Wednesday~

pink cluster tint

Giveaway Winner!

The winner of the Reluctant Entertainer is....

Squirrelbread!

Love that name, lol.
She chose my favorite flower too! No, that's not how I chose a winner, although it would have been a good idea. The random # generator did it's work.

Congrats Heather!

Please email me your address (hit the contact me button off to the right there).


Thanks to all who entered and much thanks to Sandy for giving away a copy of her book~