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Gluten Free Sweet Potato Pancakes Recipe: Turkey Sausage Wrapped In A Sweet Potato Blanket of Love and Dipped in Maple Dijon Dressing

Gluten Free Sweet Potato Pancakes Recipe: Turkey Sausage Wrapped In A Sweet Potato Blanket of Love and Dipped in Maple Dijon Dressing

Sweet potatoes are kinda my thing. They are a super food wrapped in a cozy (edible) jacket just waiting to be ravaged.  Besides being high in fiber (hello smooooth digestion) sweet taters are also a source for most of our vitamins B and C. The […]

Fruitcake: A Tasting And Review Of “Alton Brown’s Free Range Fruitcake” Recipe

Fruitcake: A Tasting And Review Of “Alton Brown’s Free Range Fruitcake” Recipe

While I was working a few weeks back one of my customers mentioned an article she’d read that morning in the Wall Street Journal (article in link). It was about fruitcake…and hikers. It piqued my interest enough to buy some leftover holiday currants and I looked […]

Quick Breakfast Foods: Crustless Quiche “Muffins”, Herbed Cheese and Spinach, Oh MY!!

Quick Breakfast Foods: Crustless Quiche “Muffins”, Herbed Cheese and Spinach, Oh MY!!

One of the main reasons I started this blog was to make myself find myself some good solid breakfast foods and have something on hand to grab real quick when I’m running out the door before dawn for work. I love breakfast and can put down some breakfast foods but it seems the only thing to grab that early in the morning is a heavily processed cereal bar or cereal. I NEEEEEED more! I want something that satiates me when I throw away the wrapper and holds me for at least a few hours and even better, lunch. Eating cereal is like eating Chinese food, you’re hungry like 20 minutes later. So what’s the deal?

Even though grain is considered a “filler” and whets the appetite briefly, you need protein to actually make you feel, and be, full. Most of the recipes I’ve researched for grab and go do meet the criteria, but there is still going to have to be some prep time that goes in, usually the day before. So, with a little planning and preparation, it’s actually not too hard to create grab n go snacks and breakfast items. I decided to make these little crustless egg muffins because I can do a couple of things with them. I can warm them as is and eat it with an apple or a side or oatmeal or granola or I can cut one in half and throw it on a toasted bagel or english muffin. After I bake these guys and cool em down I store them in a Tupperware container in the fridge with parchment paper placed between the layers of eggy goodness. I recommend using them within 3 to 4 days, but you can freeze them as well in ziploc bags or in said Tupperware for 2 to 3 months.

If you’re not an herby cheese kinda guy or gal you can always switch up the cheese used. For the recipe below I’d sub in 1 1/2 cups of grated soft cheese like cheddar or swiss. You can always switch out the creams as well with regular whole milk if you wanna cut down on the fat. Since a quiche is basically a custard the more cream you add, the richer and more velvety the mouth feel.  I’ve also used the standard ratio in my below recipe of  1/2 cup of dairy (4 ounces) to 1 large egg (2 ounces). If your wondering about the proper temperature for a  properly cooked quiche it is 170°. The coagulation of the egg occurs at 165° and the protein becomes a bit like a rubber ball around 185°.

quiche ingredients lilchefchic

Crustless Quiche Muffins:

4 large eggs

1 1/2 cups half and half

1/2 cup heavy creamquiche mixing lilchefchic

1/8 teaspoon salt

Freshly cracked black pepper

1 9oz. Package Frozen Spinach, thawed and squeezed of water

1 Package Boursin Cheese

 

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter a 12 cup muffin pan. You can use spray if you’d like but I like the flavor of the butter on my lil egg muffins. If you haven’t already, thaw the spinach under cold water in a strainer. Once the spinach is thawed, squeeze that spinach like it owes you money! Place to the side. Crack eggs into a medium size bowl and whisk together. Add in half and half, cream, and seasoning, and whisk until thoroughly combined. Stir in cheese making sure it’s incorporated well and there’s no lumps. Stir in your spinach and pour custard into buttered muffin pans. Bake in oven for 15 to 18 minutes until set. Check the temp if you like to make sure it’s at 170° (like I did;) )Get ready for an egggstrodinary day!

Quick Breakfast Foods: Crispity Crunchity Peanut Butter Muuuunchity Granola Ballz

Quick Breakfast Foods: Crispity Crunchity Peanut Butter Muuuunchity Granola Ballz

When I jumped online tonight I literally had this song pop in my head:  I mean it’s been like four days since I posted….riiiiight? A week! Whuuut whuuuut!?? I usually can’t keep off this blog much less keep off thinking about food…and recipes..and techniques. […]

Best Winter Soups: Vietnamese Pho

Best Winter Soups: Vietnamese Pho

There’s been some unusual activity lately happening in the south and it involves…..snow. And yes, only 2 people in the state of Georgia actually know how to drive in it. Myself, and Joe up the street who’s from New York. We are completely unprepared for […]

Best Winter Soups: French Onion Bliss

Best Winter Soups: French Onion Bliss

Homemade beef stock, caramelized sweet onions, fresh herbs, red wine. That’s a meal right derr. This is one of the simplest and most affordable meals that you can make. Seriously. All you need is a little thyme. 🙂 The classic flavor of this soup comes from the slow cooking of the onions, which take close to an hour to melt to perfection. But wait! It’s worth it. Let it go…Low and slow, while you sit back and read the paper. Catch up on that old novel you’ve been meaning to get back to. Just keep a lil peeky eye out on your onions. And have patience. The slow cooking helps ensure an even sumptuous bite with no…err bitter bite? Cuz cooking these babies over high fast heat creates a bitter tasting soup. And that’s not what we’re here for.

French On-yon soup:

4 lbs Sweet Yellow Onions, peeled and slicedjust cooked onions lilchefchic

1/2 Stick Butta

1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

1 Heaping Teaspoon Fresh Thyme

6 cups Homemade Beef Stock

1 cup Red Wine

salt and pepper to taste

1 tablespoon Fresh Lemon Juice (optional)

1/3 lb. Comte’ Cheese or Gruyere

1 day old French Baguette, Sliced into 1/2″ pieces

 

Peel and slice onions about 1/8″ thick and place in large pot with butter and oil on moderate heat. Cook down, stirring occasionally for 10 to 12 minutes until softened. Add in thyme and salt and pepper ( I like lots of fresh cracked pepper in this soup..so have at it!). Now, you’re basically going to set it and forget it..well, sorta. Check back on it every few minutes making sure the heat is not too high and give it a stir. Cook for 50 to 60 minutes until onions are a nice golden brown color.caramelized onions lilchefchic

Pour in wine and turn the heat up a bit keeping an eye on it as to not burn. Cook until onions are jammy looking and the wine is cooked out. Sprinkle flour over onions and stir, cooking for 3 to 4 minutes to get the raw flour taste cooked out. Add in your stock and bring to a boil. Once at a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning and add in lemon juice if needed for extra acidity. Ladle into oven proof bowls and top with slice of bread and cheese. Set oven at lo-broil and cook until cheese is melted and bubbly.

 

 

 

jammy onions lilchefchic

Enjoy!

Chefs Notes: A lot of recipes will call for bay leaves or garlic in the recipe but my stock was infused with all of these flavors already, even the thyme. But since I’m a lover of thyme, I added more here for freshness. If you’re using store bought stock make sure it’s low sodium and contains good quality ingredients.  You’ll also find a lot of recipes calling for vinegars and sugars but since I’m using wine that’s the best of both worlds. That’s why the lemon in the recipe is optional. If you think the acid is perfect once you’re at the almost stopping point then don’t add the lemon. All wines are different and my soup was screaming for some more acidity.

 

When’s the last time you had a nice big bowl of soup and where’d you stumble across it? What made it so good? The weather outside? The friend you dined with? Or those good quality ingredients?? Hit me up down below in the comments!:)
finito frenchonionsoup lilchefchic

 

 

How To Make Beef Stock From Scratch: Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Beeeef Bones!

How To Make Beef Stock From Scratch: Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Beeeef Bones!

Cue the Salt n’ Pepa theme song..”Lets talk about….BONES baaaby. Let’s talk about you and me. Let’s talk about all the good things and the bad things there may be. Let’s talk about……………bones.” That’s not exactly how the song goes, but for this post, it’ll […]

Stand Mixer: KitchenAid 5 Quart Artisan Series Review

Stand Mixer: KitchenAid 5 Quart Artisan Series Review

Product: KitchenAid 5 Quart Artisan Series Most Affordable Place to buy: Amazon Price: $259.99 plus free shipping! Warranty: 1 year hassle free My Experience With My KitchenAid Stand Mixer I mentioned in my last post that I used my KitchenAid to make all of my […]

Easy Cookies: Christmas Cookies from Magazines and the backs of thangs:)

Easy Cookies: Christmas Cookies from Magazines and the backs of thangs:)

Since it’s the holidays and I’m going to be baking, packing, and shipping out sweets pretty soon here I’d thought I’d write a post about it. This year though, I wanted to try all new recipes and all new cookies. Something different than the usual chocolate chip and oatmeal. What really got me thinking about something totally different was the new issue of bon appetit that popped up in my mailbox the other day. Hmmmmph, pistachio thumbprint cookies? Yes, please!! Check! Ingredients added to my now must do shopping list. Once I decided on the thumbprints, I figured I’d look for two other recipes to try. Instead of oatmeal how about Spiced Molasses cookies? Uuuh huh, uuuh huh! My mom is always trying to get me to bake the one’s on the back of Grandma’s Molasses. Added to shopping list. What about cookie numero tre? Snowballs, also known as wedding cookies to most here in the south. Done. I’m always using Land O’ Lakes butter anywayz, so why not check out their website for cookie recipes? BOOOOOM! Snowball ingredients added to the list with a double star.

 

 

 

 

thumbprints lilchefchic

Blood Orange Thumbprint Cookies:

So, notice how I went from pistachio to blood orange? That’s because I was standing in the middle of the grocery store with the ingredients for the pistachio recipe in my hands and realized I was holding a 20 dolla bill (plus a couple of one’s) worth of ingredients in my hand for ONE recipe. I just couldn’t pull that trigger. Going in to my cookie project I knew the pistachios would be my highest costing ingredient but once I added fresh Cardamom and vanilla beans and, and….I….just…. couldn’t. So, I went home and pulled out my “The bon appetit fast easy fresh cookbook” and looked for some new ideas. I landed on page 604, “Lemon thumbprint cookies.” Perfect. So, below is that recipe to a “t.” It suggests in the book to use a lemon or raspberry jam for the filling but I found some Sicilian blood orange jam at my local TJ Maxx’s and that was that.

This recipe made almost 30 cookies (I ate dough whilst working. Note the missing cookie in the upper corner…yum:) )

1 cup unsalted butta

1/2 cup sugar

2 large egg yolks

3 Tablespoons finely grated lemon peel

1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice (not that junk in a bottle)thumbprint dough cookies lilchefchic

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup Jam (ur favorite:) )

Preheat oven to 350°. Lightly butter 2 baking sheets. Beat the butter and sugar until well blended with a mixer. Beat in the yolks one at a time and then add your peel, juice, and salt. Add flour in 2 additions and beat just until moist clumps form. Gather in bowl into ball and form into 1 inch balls. It saves time to use a small scoop to portion out the dough and then go back and form into balls on the sheet pan 1 inch apart. Using finger, make a deep indentation in the center of each ball.

Bake until firm to the touch and golden on the bottoms of the cookies up to 22 minutes. Mine were done in 19. Remove from oven and fill with a scant 1/2 teaspoon jam because you want the jam to melt slightly into the indentation. Transfer to rack to cool completely.

Note: Make sure and follow bon appetits directions for a “scant” bit of jelly. I overfilled mine a bit making the jam more of a mound then a muddle. I later went back with a small spoon and skimmed some of the extra jam off, making for a prettier cookie. For the lemon zest in the recipe you’ll also save yourself a lot of time if you invest in a Microplane. It’s little teeth are so fine, and so sharp, it takes little effort to have all that zest in a cinch.

 

 snowball landolakes lilchefchic

Land O’ Lakes Snowball Cookies

These cookies had awesome reviews and very few ingredients. The most expensive ingredient for these guys were the pecans, obviously, so try and get the best ones possible. Look for light brown to golden brown color for the pecans and preferably ones from GEORGIA ;). They are very easy to make and so light and delectable. Make sure your butter is at room temp for these because this is a stiffer dough and you want your ingredients to incorporate completely in a cinch without overworking the dough. I pulled this recipe from their website and was very pleased with the results. This recipe makes about 36 cookies.

2 cups all purpose flour

2 cups pecans, finely chopped (I used my food processor and pulsed a few times)snowball dough lilchefchic

1/4 cup sugar

1 cup Land O’ Lakes butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla

Powdered sugar

 

Heat oven to 325°. Combine all ingredients in bowl (except powdered sugar) with mixer set on low speed  until well mixed. Using small scoop form into 1 inch balls and then shape with hands and place 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake 18-25 minutes (mine were done in 20). Let cool for 5 minutes and roll in sugar. Once cool roll em’ again in the powdered sugar for a nice snowy coating.

 

molasses cookies lilchefchic

Grandma’s Molasses Crinkle Cookies:

These are the one’s requested by mama.  I understand the use of shortening. I’m from the south. But usually in my baked goods there’s a time and a place for hydrogenated fat..and that’s usually in my buttercream. But, stickin’ to my original plan I made all of the recipes as they were written. These were actually very good. In the future I’d probably be a little apt to underbake them slightly less than I did but that’s just a textural thing for me. Everyone in my family enjoyed them and they were a favorite at my mom and dads church class this morning so there ya go. 🙂

3/4 cup softened shortening

1 cup light brown sugar, packed

1 egg

1/4 cup Grandma’s MolassesMolasses crinkle cookies lilchefchic

2 1/4 cup flour

2 teaspoons baking soda

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon cloves

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

Mix shortening, sugar, egg, and molasses in bowl. Stir in remaining ingredients. This is a stiff dough as well so don’t freak out. Chill dough. Heat oven to 375°.  Portion dough with scooper into balls the size of a walnut (that’s exactly what the jar says..heehee). Dip tops in sugar. Place sugared side up on greased baking sheet. Sprinkle cookies with 2 to 3 drops of water each for a crackled surface and bake 10-12 minutes. It says it makes about 4 dozen. I got around 30 cookies.

Note: I got mine done in about 11 minutes, but next time I think I’ll pull them at around 9 minutes for a bit of a softer cookie. And do the little drops of water rather (uhhh ummmm..as the recipe states) than be a smartie and dip the tops in water before dipping in sugar. That’s why mine came out looking like little cartoon mushrooms. Lesson learned. I also used my KitchenAid mixer for all of these recipes. It makes these simple recipes even simpler and is super easy to clean up. What makes a stand mixer so awesome is that it enables you to do other things while it does all the hard work of mixing. And the KitchenAid just hums away happily while you…hum away doing other things!

All in all, each recipe was a hit in it’s own way. They were all so different from one another that you really couldn’t compare them. Next time though, I think I’ll tell people the jam is a Sicilian Orange jam rather than “Blood Orange.” I guess fewer people than I thought know what a blood orange is. Oh well, ANOTHER lesson learned lol.

What are your favorite Christmas cookies? Is there one that you look forward to every year? Homemade or something from a special market in town? Tell me about em’ below! 🙂

 

Best Fall Soups: Spicy Thai Crab n’ Shrimp Noodle bowl

Best Fall Soups: Spicy Thai Crab n’ Shrimp Noodle bowl

All of the stocks that are on my site will feature two soups. One with cream, and one without. My fish stock made a super delicious chowder in my last post and now we’ve gone around the world, in my magical little stock pot, to […]


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All of the stocks that are on my site will feature two soups. One with cream, and one without. My fish stock made a super delicious chowder in my last post and now we’ve gone around the world, in my magical little stock pot, to Thailand. Just because you have fish stock doesn’t mean you’re limited to fish. The ocean is your playground. So play away and experiment. What else swims with the fishes? Shrimp and crab! This soup is chock full of fresh crab meat with a few shrimp galavanting around for good measure.

Thai Cuisine makes my little coconut of a heart go buh-bumpity bump. The balance of salty and sweet and hot and sour makes my taste buds zing-uh-zang. You really can’t ask for more in a dish. Background melodies of ginger, garlic, lemongrass, and kaffir lime leaves season the fish stock. Umami goodness made possible by fish sauce encases the tongue. In the forefront you’ve got incredibly fresh vegetables, simply prepared. A scattering of fresh herbs like cilantro (or you will often find thai basil or mint leaves). Sometimes the broth, like mine below, is made velvety smooth with the addition of sumptuous coconut milk. Sometimes chopped peanuts. Sometimes not. My mouth is watering just typing this. Nuff of that, let’s talk crab.

My dad SWEARS he can tell the difference between fresh crab and pasteurized, and I SWEAR..he’s nuts (haha..just kidding dad;) ). I mean, if you’re making  a dish where the crab is the highlight you may notice some textural differences in the meat, but if the crab has been processed correctly, there should be no noticeable difference between the two. The pasteurization process, simply put is: after the crabs have been harvested, picked and cooked, they are sealed in cans and heated (to about 185°) to kill off any pathogens in/on the cans. This process also enables the meat to be kept in the fridge (unopened) for up to six months versus the much shorter shelf life of unpasteurized. Pasteurized only last 3 to 4 days though once it has been opened, like fresh crab. There is no water added to the crab meat itself during the pasteurization process, which would cause a degradation of the meat. But still..there’s my dad. “I want FRESH crab meat! Pasteurized is craaaaap!”

Since Maryland crabs are in season that’s what I was hoping to find, but no such luck here in the ol’ GA. I couldn’t even find local, which is really disappointing since I…LIVE ON THE COAST! Anywhooz, so I got the UNpasteurized crab (as requested..all the way from V-E-N-E-Z-U-E-L-A (Reeeeaaalllly:/) and my Georgia fresh shrimp and the rest is..well, written down below:) Enjoy! Oh, little side note! I got all of my ingredients, besides the seafood, from an Asian market. The market owner here actually grows a lot of the herbs he sells and packages them in huge bags for a fraction of what you pay at the grocery store.

 

 

Spicy Don’t Think Twicey Crab n’ Shrimp Noodle Bowl:

 

4 cups Fish Stock

3 slices ginger (about 1/8″slices)

4 kaffir lime leaves/divided (2 whole, 2 shredded)

1 bunch cilantro

3 cloves gaaalic, smashed

2 stalks lemongrass, chopped

1 small onion, diced small

1 can coconut milk

1/3 cup chopped tomato

1 Tablespoon Fish Sauce

2 Tablespoons Thai Green Curry

1/2 lime; juiced

1/2 lb. Shrimp; shelled and deveined

1 lb. lump crab meat (unpasteurized or not??)

3 baby bok choy, thinly sliced crosswise, divided into leaves and stems

First things first. Take those lemongrass sticks outside and beat them on something (Or you could slap them on your counter a time or two-whatever makes you feel better). Doing this loosens the fibers and releases dem flavas. Cut off the root end as well as the hard ends of green. Cut it length wise and chop it up. In large pot combine stock with ginger, 2 lime leaves, lemongrass, and the stem ends of your cilantro.  Chop the cilantro leaves and reserve for use later. Cook on a light simmer for 20 minutes, strain out solids and hold to the side. Wipe down pot and add oil and cook your diced onion on moderate heat until translucent. Add in the strained stock as well as the coconut milk, fish sauce and shredded kaffir lime leaves. Cook for 10 minutes. Add in 2 Tablespoons of green curry and stir until dissolved. Stir in fresh lime juice and taste for seasoning. Add salt and pepper to taste and toss in the crab meat and bok choy stems. Cook for 4 minutes. Add in shrimp, chopped tomato, and boy choy leaves and cook 4 minutes longer. Stir in reserved cilantro and taste for seasoning.

 

Wham bam thank you ma’am!

Your tastebuds will thank you for this slice of thai. If you like a little more heat (which believe me, this thang was spicy spicy nicey for me) you can either add in more green curry which is full of green spicy chiles or you can throw in a diced red chile for some extra EXTRA.

 

What’s your favorite Thai dish? What makes it your favorite? I’d say this one is up there on my list now of top dishes. I also always love a good Pad Thai from a little restaurant here locally called The Noodle Bowl.