Monday, September 24, 2012

What's in my oven now

Blueberry & Raspberry Baked Oatmeal

adapted by The Curvy Carrot
from Super Natural Every Day by Heidi Swanson
via Annie's Eats
makes 6 servings
nutritional value will vary depending on the fruit and ingredients you use


1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/4 cup chopped walnuts, divided
1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup maple syrup (I used sugar free)
1 cup milk 

 1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2-3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
1 cup blueberries or raspberries, fresh or frozen, divided


1. Preheat the oven to 375F.
2. Lightly grease a 2-quart baking dish. In a medium bowl, mix the oats, half of the walnuts, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt. Stir to combine. In a liquid measuring cup, combine the syrup, milk, egg, butter, and vanilla.
3. Spread the sliced bananas in a single layer over the bottom of the baking dish. Top with half of the berries. Sprinkle the dry oat mixture over the fruit in an even layer. Pour the liquid ingredients evenly over the oats.
4. Sprinkle the remaining nuts and berries over the top. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the top is browned and the oats have set. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.


I found it only needed 2 bananas.  I also used only raspberrries (2 for $3 at Jewel).  Haven't tasted them yet...but they smell really good.

Final thoughts after tasting...

I didn't think it was sweet enough, but maybe that's just me.  I added a little honey and it was much better.  

Will I make again?  Probably, but I would use blueberries or maybe even apples.  And I wouldn't use the sugar free maple syrup; I'd use honey. 

Best Oven Fries ever!!!

And sooo easy.

Baked Oven Fries



So like "real" french fries that we eat 'em with ketchup.  Really, really good.  And easy

Friday, September 21, 2012

My house smells cozy!

All day long on Monday my house smelled cozy!  Why? you wonder.

I made chicken stock.  From scratch.  My local market had whole chickens for $.99/lb.  So I bought 2, a bag of celery, a sack of carrots and a couple onions. I already had garlic and a whole mess of herbs from my garden plus whole peppercorns.

I tied my herbs together to make a bouquet garni, cut my garlic and onions in half (papery skin in tact), submerged the whole mess in water and put the pots on to simmer.  For two hours.

Then I let everything cool in the pots.  I removed the veggies (they were trash...they'd given their lives to the cause), the chicken (which was falling off the bone), and strained the stock through cheese cloth.

I put up 4.5 quarts.

Now what did I do with all that chicken?

I made chicken noodle soup on Monday night.  We won't talk about how the whole box of little stars sucked up all the liquid and made it more like chicken flavored porridge.

I made buffalo chicken sammies.  Very easy: 4T butter and 3/4 c of your favorite hot sauce (we used Franks).

After I finished the stock I made banana bread.  The cozy smells just kept coming.

Today I made chicken salad.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Date Night--September 19, 2012

 It was a little odd preparing a Date Night meal with Josh around.  He wanted to--wait for it--HELP!

Coulda knocked me over with a feather.  Of course, if you ask him today who made the steak and the pudding, well,  you know what his answer will be.  "I did."  The reality is he helped.   A lot.  especially making the marinade.  He mixed everything in the zip top bag except the grated shallot and garlic.  (No onion makes me cry like a shallot and grating it had me in hysterics!  I thought I was gonna die.)

The flank steak was a recipe that I saw Kelsey Nixon make on her show on the cooking channel.


  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • Kosher salt and freshly cracked black pepper
  • 4 cloves garlic, grated
  • 1 medium shallot, grated
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil, plus 1 tablespoon, divided


For the steak: In a small bowl, mix together the Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, mustard, 2 teaspoons salt, 1 teaspoon pepper, garlic and shallots. Gradually whisk in 1/4 cup vegetable oil until emulsified. Place the steak in a plastic zip-top bag. Pour the marinade over the steak and seal the bag. Marinate for at least 1 hour at room temperature or refrigerate overnight. Allow the steak to come to room temperature before cooking.

When ready to cook, preheat the broiler and set the oven rack at the highest point, as close to the flame as it can get and still fit the steak below. Fit a wire rack onto a baking sheet.

Place the marinated steak on the prepared baking sheet (or a broiler pan), sprinkle with salt and pepper and place it under the broiler. Cook for 3 minutes on the first side. Flip and cook for another 3 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from the oven and allow to rest 10 minutes. Slice thin strips of steak against the grain.

Now, did you notice the green highlighted (highlit?) part?  I had the steak so close that it was actually on fire when I took it out to the oven.  Quick thinking Josh blew it out.

This steak was accompanied by perfectly steamed green beans and these yummy roasted potatoes that my mommy makes.

You start by thinly slicing any number of potatoes.  Then you shingle them on a pan that has been lightly coated with EVOO.  Coat the tops of the taters with more EVOO, salt, pepper, and minced rosemary.  Bake at 450 for 45 minutes to an hour.

I imagine that by now you have noticed the image of a "SliceOMatic" on this blog.  I have a story about my newly acquired SliceOMatic.  I saw an ad in the Bed Bath and Beyond circular for this product at half price.  A mere $10!  So last Friday, after getting my brand name mayo at the local market for $1.88(!!!), I headed over to BB&B to get my new slicing machine.  It was 9:05.  The store doesn't open till 9:30.  I was standing in the vestibule with an employee.  She let me in early, went and got my item (there were only 3!!! left) and sold it to me all before opening!!!  Additionally, I had forgotten my 20% off coupon, but was assured that I could bring the coupon and my receipt in and be reimbursed.  Do I think this item is worth the MSRP of $20?  Probably not.  But for $8, it's great!

Slice O Matic

Now on to dessert.  I made pudding.  From scratch.  My sister thought was "ambitious."  But it was not that bad.  Josh helped until we got to the "whisk for 7 minutes" stage.  That was just too tedious, I guess.  I wish he had been there to see the moment when it thickened.  Cooking is so exciting!

So anyway, this is Real Simple's Ultimate Chocolate Pudding.   And it is yummy!



  1. Set a fine-mesh sieve over a medium bowl. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, cocoa, and salt. Gradually whisk in the milk, then the egg yolks.
  2. Cook the milk mixture over medium heat, whisking constantly, until thickened to the consistency of mayonnaise, 7 to 8 minutes. Continue to cook, whisking, for 1 minute more. Remove from heat and pour through the sieve into the bowl, pushing the mixture through gently with a rubber spatula or spoon. Add the butter and chocolate and stir until melted. Mix in the vanilla.
  3. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the pudding and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. Before serving, gently stir the pudding to loosen it. Serve with the whipped cream.
Kristen out!

happy cooking!  

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I haven't stopped cooking...or End of Summer Ecaudoran Cocktail Party

In fact, I've been doing quite a lot of just for my cocktail party, either.

I'll break this up into multiple posts.

Cocktail Party first.

We have friends who have been "need-greating" in Ecuador for about 8 years.  They had a baby a little more than a year ago.  They come back to the states a couple times a year to make money.  We try to do as much as we can with them while their here.  There are many pulls for their attention, so we don't get much.  A cocktail party with some of their friends and family seemed like a good idea.

I'll let the pictures explain what I made:

These are caprese bites--half  cherry tomato, one small balls of mozzarella, (bocacinni), the other tomato half, and a basil leaf.


This is may most basic and size appropriate antipasto  tray ever. No leftovers (okay, I sent them home with my guests).


 Deviled eggs.  I don't love 'em; Josh does.  Still looking for recipe.  These were only okay.

Pineapple and raspberries.

 Finally the beehive cake.  There was lemon and honey in the batter.  The drizzle over the top was honey and confectioners sugar.  So yummy.  The bee was not edible.  It was a push pin that I had made approximately 12 years ago.

This ends my photo essay of my cocktail party.  Josh handle the drinks.

I'll try to post more tomorrow.

happy cooking!