Monday, November 21, 2011

Potato and Leek Soup

There is something about cozying up on the couch with a hot bowl of delicious soup and comfy blanket and movie that you may or may not nap through. If you are looking for a vegetarian option but an absolutely harty and delicious soup, I reccomend Potato and Leek Soup. There is no cream and yet it is absolutely luxioursously creamy, there is no meet and yet it is a completely satisfying meal.

2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil
2 large cleaned leeks
4-5 medium red potatoes
water to cover (or chicken stock if you are ok with it not being vegetarian)
salt and peper to taste


1. Clean and soak your leeks, be careful there is usually grit in the layers as they grown in sandy soil. Although, now Trader Joes is selling them already clean and cut in their frozen veg section.
2. Heat the olive oil in a large heavy bottomed pot, large enough to hold the soup.
3. Cook the leeks with salt and pepper until they turn translucent and begin to carmelize, cover with about a quart or so of water.
3. Wash and chop the potatoes. Don't bother to peel them if they are red or yukon gold.
4. Add the potatoes, partially cover and allow to simmer until the potatoes are fork tender.
5. When mushy and delicious, blitz in a blender or use a stick blender to make the soup smooth and creamy.
6. Taste to adjust seasoning, i.e. salt and pepper.
7. Enjoy in a mug, cozy and warm.

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy cooking.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Heirloom Tomato Vodka for Bloody Marys

This is a super simple recipe to turn your regular old Bloody Marys into something a little more couture. But you do have to be patient the steeping process takes 8 days. The most interesting chemical exchange occurs, the tomatoes taste like solid vodka and the vodka tastes of delicious smooth tomatoes. It is easy to turn a $25 vodka bottle into an expensive and heirloom liqueur.


1 750 ml Bottle of mid-grade vodka
1 lbs of quartered heirloom tomatoes
sterilized jars

1. Sterilize your glass vessel by washing in the dishwasher or boiling for 10 minutes.
2. Quarter your tomatoes and add to the jar
3. Pour over your vodka, and tightly seal the lid of the tomato jars. Keep the vodka bottle to re-use.
4. Put in a cool dark place and swirl every day for 8 days
5. At the end of 8 days, pour the vodka through a fine mesh strainer and keep in a clean vodka.
6. Discard the tomatoes.
7. Store in the freezer and make delicious bloody Marys or drink as a shooter.

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy vodka making

Monday, June 6, 2011

Red Velvet Moon Pies

Now I realize that up north, somewhere in Maine, they claim whoopie pies were invented. But in the south we make them too, we just call them moon pies, and we usually dip them in chocolate when we are done. These are classic pairing of two southern traditions, moon pies and red velvet cake.

Ingredients for the Moon Pies:
2 cups flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
½teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon sea salt
½ cup butter melted
1 cup packed brown sugar
1 large egg
1 teaspoon vanilla
½ cup buttermilk
2 Tablespoons liquid red food coloring

Ingredients for the cream cheese frosting:
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
½ cup of soft butter
3 cups powdered sugar
4 teaspoons vanilla extract

1. Crank your oven to 375 and let it get hot.
2. In your food processor whip together all of the ingredients.
3. Line two large baking sheets with parchment paper.
4. Using an ice cream scoop place small scoops of the dough on the sheet about 3 inches apart, they will rise.
5. Bake for 10 minutes.
6. Let cool completely before filling, or you will have a messy, but delicious sloppy sandwich.
7. In your standing mixer whip together the frosting ingredients.
8. Turn your moon pie side with the bottom facing you, fill with a tablespoon or so of filling, sandwich another half of the moon pie.
9. Enjoy!

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy baking.

Sweet Strawberry Scones

A good scone can be so difficult to find. Mainly because the recipe is usually cumbersome to make, or the texture is incredibly dry. These are spectacular. They are a breeze to throw together you just whip everything up in a food processor and they are heavenly little clouds of berry goodness. Please try these for breakfast or tea, but I warn you they puff and will be much larger than expected, so cut a little on the small side.


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for work surface
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 cup (1 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
3/4 cup buttermilk
1 large egg yolk
1 cup fresh strawberries cut up into small cubes


1. Preheat oven to 400.
2. Whip together everything in a food processor except for the buttermilk, egg yolk, and strawberries.
3. through the tube pour in the egg yolk and buttermilk.
4. Pulse until the dough comes together.
5. Flour your board and shape dough folding in the strawberries until they distributed.
6. Using a sharp knife or a bench scraper cut the dough into triangles or squares.
7. Place on parchment lined baking sheet about 3 inches apart.
8. Bake for 15 minutes.
9. Serve with butter and strawberry jam.

As always, much love, many blessings and happy baking.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Spring Garden

So, this is not exactly a recipe, but I love early spring in Virgina, and I wanted to show where some raw ingredients in future recipes would be coming from.

These are some of my beloved flowers and the hope of strawberries in June. Strawberry blossoms have such hope of promise.

Here are the beginnings of my herb garden and salad bowls (container pots growing lettuces), which I keep on my patio. The bright fuschia flowers are on my Virginia Shade tree. It only blooms for about a week, every year around Easter, and I love those gorgeous bright purple blossoms.

Well, as always, many blessings, much love, and happy gardening... Happy Spring!

Buttermilk Waffles

Who doesn’t love waffles? But these are not your leggo-my-eggo. These are more wholesome, more filling, and ever so much more delicious. They are also are incredibly easy. The batter also can stay in your fridge over night ready for you to make someone’s morning.


2 1/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking soda
2 eggs, beaten
2 c. buttermilk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
8 Tbsp. butter, melted


1. Pre-heat your waffle iron
2. In a lovely bright bowl whisk all the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda.
3. Mix all the wet ingredients: eggs, buttermilk, vanilla and melted butter.
4. Mix all until incorporated.
5. Pour about ¼ a cup into your waffle iron depending on the size of your iron. But less is better than more, the mess is difficult to clean
6. Cook until crisp and golden, I cheat, my iron has a little green light when it is ready

Enjoy with fresh fruit, nuts, warm maple syrup, and whip cream… and your best friend…

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy waffle-making

Monday, March 21, 2011

Irish Soda Bread

It is St. Patty's Day. Time corned beef and cabbage, Guiness, and the annual watching of A Quiet Man. I admit, every time I had soda bread before it was dry and tasted reminiscent of soap. However this recipe is delicious, easy, and a wonderful breakfast treat. It is as if raisin bread and a biscuit had a love affair.

4 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp turbinado sugar
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
4 Tbsp butter of cold, chunked butter
1 cup raisins or dates (I love the dates)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1 3/4 cups buttermilk


1. Crank your oven to to 425°.
2. In your mixer or food prep add all the ingredients, whiz away until you have a doughy ball. Add more flour (a tablespoon at a time) if it seems too wet to handle.
3. On a large skillet, sprayed with non-stick place the large bowl of dough.
4. Take a knife and score in a cross.
5. Bake for 40 minutes, check about 20 minutes through to make sure the top is not too dark. If it does seem like it singing, cover with tin foil.

Enjoy with some delicious Kerigold Irish butter.

Happy St. Patrick's Day everyone.

Lots of love, many blessings, and happy baking...

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Bahn Mi

Bahn Mi… it is the iconoclast of Vietnamese Sandwiches. They are delicious and like much of Asian cuisine the perfect blend of sweet, savory, salty, sour, soft, and crunchy. My own little twist is that rather than serving them on French baguette, I prefer the Chinese steam buns also known as Bao. I also love, and have more than once posted my pickled carrots, but just in case I have that simple recipe for you to have as well.


1 4 oz piece of grilled beef or pork any kind will do
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Chinese Steamed Buns (Bao) or French bread, for serving
Sliced Cucumbers
Pickled vegetables, for serving, recipe follows
Sriracha (Asian Hot Sauce) to taste or any spicey sauce you enjoy


1. Slice the meat into long, fajita like strips.
2. Steam the buns in a bamboo steamer or simply slice and toast your bread.
3. Slather mayonnaise on both sides. (Just goes to show you how the French colonization of Vietnam influenced their delicious cuisine.)
4. Assemble your sandwich according to your taste. I love lots of cilantro.

Pickled carrots:

2 carrots, julienned
1/2 cup rice wine vinegar
Dash sugar

Stir together all the ingredients; let them sit for 20 minutes. Drain and enjoy in your sandwich or as a condiment to other Asian dishes.

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy sandwich making.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Do Blondes have more fun? As a natural brunette, I am not so sure… But that being said, I must admit I prefer blondies to brownies. To be truthful, I married a blond. This is a super simple recipe that I adapted from Bobby Flay just to make it a little easier, and to adapt it to what I had in my kitchen.


1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup light brown muscovado sugar
1/2 cup dark brown muscovado sugar
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup milk chocolate chips
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons toffee chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted almonds


1. Crank up the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. Butter and line with parchment paper a 9 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan
3. Whisk together your dry goods: flour, baking powder and salt.
4. Melt the butter in a sauce pan, whisk in both sugars until they are melted and let the pan cool a bit.
5. Whisk in the vanilla and the eggs.
6. Add the dry ingredients and stir until mixed.
7. Fold in the chips, toffee and nuts.
8. Pour into your pan with the parchment.
9. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer/toothpick comes out a little gooey, but mostly clean.
10. Cool completely and cut into a little squares, they are very rich but very delicious.

As always, much love, many blessings, and happy baking.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Chicago Dog

Who doesn't love a good hot dog? While there are a thousand variations based on personal taste. There are some classics guarded by the humble historians known to us as hot dog kiosks lining the busy streets of our great American cities.

The Chicago Hot Dog seems to become popular during the depression because of its robust toppings that served as a larger meal. The dog was known as the "Depression Sandwich" and while ordering one you would say, "drag it through the garden." Many sources attribute the distinctive combination of toppings to Fluky's in 1929 on the historic Maxwell Street.

Now you can find these hot dogs at hundreds of locations in Chicago and around the US. Apparently in Chicago there are more hot-dog kiosks that any other fast food chain. But, why bother to go out and get one, when you can make them at home.


1 all-beef hot dog
1 hot dog bun (it is supposed to have poppy seeds, but we could not find one, so we added poppy seeds to the top of the dog.
1 yellow mustard
1 sweet green pickle relish
1 chopped onion
4 tomato wedges
1 dill pickle spear
2 sport peppers (or any sort of spicy pickled pepper)
1 dash celery salt

1.You are supposed to boil the dogs, but we grilled ours. It took about 2 minutes on a hot grill.

2. Steam your bun.

3. Pile on toppings following the apparently hallowed order: yellow mustard, sweet green pickle relish, onion, tomato wedges, pickle spear, sport peppers, and celery salt.

The only rule is no ketchup.

Enjoy your Chicago Dog and cheers to the windy city.