Monday, June 15, 2015 Conchiglie with Yogurt, Peas and Chile

My sweet neglected blog has taken a back seat to my portrait photography endeavors but when I find a good dish I can't help but share. I found a wonderful recipe for Conchiglie with Yogurt, Peas and Chile in Ottolenghi's cookbook 'Jerusalem'. The sauce is greek yogurt based and maintains a nice creamy quality without feeling heavy. If you can't find a larger shell pasta (Conchiglie) there's an alternative, Lumache. Essentially, you want to make a place for the peas inside the pasta or you will be chasing them around your bowl. I think the secret to this delicious is the spicy pine nuts (or walnuts in my case), the original recipe recommended Turkish or Syrian chile flakes, I used the red pepper flakes I already had and they were wonderful. I used a little over half of what the original recipe called for (2tsp) and was pleased with the result, a little smoky and a touch of heat.

Time to get back to snapping photographs. On another note, if you're looking for a photographer for any occasion please feel free to contact me here.

Tuesday, March 17, 2015 a Green Flash Double Stout Chocolate Cake with Mascarpone Frosting

This cake is what happens when you're heading home Monday night and decide you MUST make a cake for St. Patrick's Day. It turns out so good that you know you have to immediately share it on your extremely neglected blog (because your recent focus is on photography and yoga teacher training). And, you decide on this fantastic blog post idea needs to happen immediately you take a picture of your cake, at work, with your phone, on a paper plate (which is admittedly better than the brown paper towel you thought you might have to use as a background). All of that said, this cake is wonderful you should go home and make it tonight.
Happy St. Patrick's Day!
Adapted from Nigella's Chocolate Guinness Cake

Monday, December 8, 2014 Thanksgiving Cinnamon Rolls

Has it really been over two months since I've posted anything? A lot has happened in two months, I guess. Most of October was spent studying (AND PASSING!) my final Architecture exam. Which means, I am an Architect, capital A, no qualifying statement or calling myself an 'almost architect' or 'architect-ish'. It's a long process, you can see from the dates on the previous posts about my exams (Testing Break, .325 Architect, .625 Architect & .875 Architect) or I can walk you thru the process over coffee sometime.

November, was one giant *sigh* of relief to be done with testing and the month got away from me. I applied for a promotion at work and had to prepare for a week long training class too. And then Thanksgiving and the month was over. I hosted the dinner at my house with CPB, my mum, HLCIII, MMcK, her mom and her roommate Carmen. We managed to cook the turkey right-side-up this year (last year we were certain we had picked the turkey with the world's boniest breast meat), I made JHP's homemade cranberry sauce & these wonderful browned butter, parmesan mashed potatoes.

Usually for holiday breakfast we make beignets, Christmas beignets, birthday beignets, Easter beignets, Flag Day beignets, etc. (I did extensive research for the perfect beignet recipe, if you haven't yet you should really try it, it's almost NOLA worthy.) This year for Thanksgiving I did something way outside the box and made Cinnamon Rolls for Thanksgiving Breakfast. I made the dough the night before and put it in the fridge overnight. I made sure to let it sit out on the counter in the morning so it could come to room temperature before I rolled it out. The amount of cinnamon in the filling sounded monstrous but I followed the Candid Appetite recipe and love the outcome. Maybe I'll be back to beignets for Christmas but this has definitely earned a spot in the holiday breakfast rotation.

Monday, September 29, 2014 Feta & Grilled Onion Sandwich

About six weeks after I met CPB, I moved to Seattle(ish). I planned on the move for almost a year, everything was booked, rented and set for one year working in the Pacific Northwest. While I would never (ever) recommend a long distance relationship we did come up with a few things I really enjoyed during my time away. We were able to see each other almost once a month, I came here, he went there, we met in Denver one time and spending time together was wonderful. We would talk on the phone most days, even if it was only a few minutes on the way to or from work, it's not the same as being together in person but it was nice to hear his voice. We also took pictures throughout our day and emailed them with a few captions, something I eventually turned into an adorable set of Blurb Books. And, my favorite thing we did, long distance date night, or dinner 'together apart'.

Every week we would take turns picking a recipe. Mine tended more towards a California fresh theme and his choices were usually a southern soul food variation. (You can see most of the recipes here and probably figure out who chose which dish.) We would make dinner together, over the phone, sit down and eat together-apart, usually with a nice beer. It's harder to have a natural conversation over the phone, 'how was your day?', 'how was work?', and 'how's the weather?' become a little redundant. (Especially when it was always grey where I was and always perfect in southern California.)

What does this all have to do with a Feta & Grilled Onion Sandwich, you may ask?
This sandwich is the second long distance date night CPB & I made together-apart. (Only with better pictures, you can see our original creations here.) 
I think it tasted better making it together in the same kitchen.

Thursday, September 18, 2014 the Heart of the Artichoke

Today is an exciting day! I'm heading up to Sacramento with CPB to meet up with my little brother, HLCIII & his lovely girlfriend HV, to go to our cousin's wedding in Sonoma. More on that later, I was lucky enough to help her with some fun wedding projects I'll share soon.

This past July our other Hamilton girl cousin, Cassie, got married! It was a beautiful day and we had a great time celebrating Cassie & Todd. We also got to spend some time with Ashley & her fiancé Joe, and one evening we had a wonderful dinner party with them, HLCIII, HV & two of Joe's friends that live in San Diego. After a great morning with Ashley, including a yoga class at Mosaic, lunch at Mona Lisa Deli, and a beer from bottlecraft. We used my other David Tanis cookbook, Heart of the Artichoke, to help inspire the menu. (When the Cook's visited I used his 'Platter of Figs' cookbook the whole weekend, you can see Menu One & Menu Two.)

Tonights Menu:
Greek-ish Salad
Grilled Squash & Mozzarella
Herbed Rice
Grilled Salmon with Rosemary & Lemon
Dutch Oven French Bread

Monday, September 15, 2014 Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers

Apart from one day in May yesterday was probably the hottest day of the summer and coincidentally the sdame day CPB and I decided Jambalaya Stuffed Bell Peppers sounded like an amazing lunch. Why I thought turning on the oven was a good idea is beyond me. The living room did not cool off until after 9pm. September 14th might not seem like summer to most of the country but in San Diego we were holding strong at 90 degrees on the coast (and 100+ inland), extremely unusual for this time of year. 

The Jambalaya takes about an hour from beginning to end and then the stuffed peppers another 30 minutes finished in the oven. And while I don't recommend using an oven when your house has poor ventilation and lacks air conditioning, it was a sucessful dish. There will be plenty of leftover Jambalaya, you can probably make 12 or so stuffed peppers with the below recipe. The Jambalaya recipe is a cumulative recipe from CPB's family and some of the New Orleans cookbooks we own. It is lovely on its own, with a little chipotle tabasco or cajun garlic sauce sprinkled on top.

Friday, August 22, 2014 Tea & Crumpets

Last year I made Buttermilk Crumpets, the first and only time I've made them and when they came up in conversation with MMcK on what to bake next I decided it was time to tryagain but with a new recipe. It wasn't that the buttermilk crumpets were bad, they just didn't quite fit the memory of afternoon crumpets with my Aunt. I found this Bobby Flay recipe that appeared to be a little more traditional and decided to give it a try. They were soft and airy but didn't brown or get a light crust quite the way I expected. I prefered these over the buttermilk ones but I will have to keep trying new recipes.

Serve topped with butter, honey and a mug of warm tea & milk. Enjoy!


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