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Parsley Pesto from Bon Appetit

June 23, 2013

This is an easy peasy recipe from Bon Appetit that would be great at lunch or dinner. The ingredients were on hand, although I did buy extra parsley. I roasted the raw almonds in the oven and it all came together in the food processor. The most “work” was washing the parsley. You’ll need about 2 big bunches to get enough leaves. I sorted out the longer stems. The recipe was fantastic as written, but I’d probably add some garlic next time. Maybe roasted garlic.  Try this, I think  you’ll like it!

My take on Bon Appetit's Parsley Pesto

My take on Bon Appetit’s Parsley Pesto

Poodly Poodle Cuteness Break

June 18, 2013
George at 9 months

George at 9 months (2012)

Pan Roasted Garlic

June 17, 2013

I like to pan roast garlic in olive oil. It’s fun, it’s wonderful on pizza. I made it the last time I made pizza. I kept the oil and used it for pasta and bread dipping. It makes me feel smart to pan roast garlic. It’s lovely roasted in the oven, but this a little faster, and it is fun to watch over. Yummmmm. Pan Roasted Garlic.

easy and delicious.

easy and delicious.

What about the yoga? w/ puppies, pizza and cake.

June 15, 2013

Hello friends.

It’s been kind of quiet around here on the ole blog, but I’ve been really really busy. I had some surgery, got a new puppy, and I had some more surgery! Some of that repair work has been on both wrists.  (I blog with voice recognition software but the thing about pain and painkillers, they make it hard to think. They also make it hard to “do” things. Every time I know I have a surgery  I’m just sure that I’ll be “reading a lot” and “blogging a lot” and  “doing” all those things that you can do while you sit and rest.  For me, surgical recovery doesn’t allow that kind of thing to happen for at least a couple of months. I can buy books and stare at them but I can’t really comprehend. So I’m looking at a lot of pretty pictures and ingredient lists but there’s been no serious cooking around here lately. I did do this fun dessert. Those are groats and walnuts. It’s boozy  and creamy. It’s more subtle flavors will surprise you.I made this Shaved Asparagus and sausage pizza with mushrooms and homemade fresh cherry tomato sauce and crust.

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Shaved Asparagus and Italian sausage pizza

By the way I wanted to mention- If you take a look on this page on the upper right side you’ll see a new link for a new page called “what about the yoga?”  If you’re curious why don’t you give it a click. It’s really for those people who found this website looking for yoga classes taught by me.

Who knows?  Things could get crazy and I could start posting yoga stuff again over there. I certainly intend on practicing asana again this summer.  It really is healing when practiced in a therapeutic way… at a reasonable pace. My 3-5 classes- per- day-days will never return. But soon I’ll be doing it-  and it’ll be hot. And sweet.

Speaking of sweet- I did bake this cake a few weeks ago:

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There is so much going on. There were some less than stellar moments:

bread that didn't rise

The bread that didn’t rise

over done cookies

These over done cookies

frittata was eh.

This frittata was eh.

potatoes were lovely.

But the potatoes were lovely.

There was Leonard in NOLA. Healing for sure!

And There was Leonard in NOLA. Healing for sure!

The man who does car inspections has a deal with the pigeons. He feeds them a specific seed, and "they do not poop on my trucks." I LOVED his story!

The man who does car inspections has a deal with the pigeons. He feeds them a specific seed, and “they do not poop on my trucks.” I LOVED his story!

And, did I mention a puppy?

And, did I mention a puppy?

Meyer Lemonade with real, By God, Texas Sugar

April 5, 2013

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I just ran out of this lemonade. It is/was so delicious. It’s the second batch I’ve made this month. What you see there in the picture is what I just finished drinking.  I posted about it on Facebook last time I had some;
“I have unlocked the secret to sweet lemonade. Nectar!” It’s true. I think this is my current favorite way to make lemonade. It’s smooth, and not too sweet and SO refreshing. Yep, this stuff is Nectar. And as long as I can get fresh Meyers, I’m going to keep squeezing. :::cue the band:::    (push play)

The secret is, like many “secrets” in cooking is just a little planning and  a little time. The fragrant Meyers keep everything on the sweet/tart side. There is something about this variety of lemon that keeps attracting me all season again and again. I did add a little bit of “regular” lemon and I couldn’t pass up the blood orange blushing so beautifully in the produce drawer. It seemed the right thing to do to add it too for some interest and depth to the tang.  The other secret is to make the simple syrup ahead. Maybe even the day ahead. OH! Also, don’t juice the citrus until around 30 minutes before  you are ready to mix everything up.

Not only is this Local Texas lemonade, this is seriously LOCAL Local lemonade.  “Local”  like,  right down the street. Yep, the Meyers are grown right here in the Houston Heights, procured from our own Revival Market AND the sugar is Imperial Sugar. Imperial is our neighbor in Sugarland, TX. Sugarland is SO close I have been known drive all the way out there (30 minutes one way) to get good Bikram yoga. I LOVE Sugarland. The Whole Foods Market out there is as big as a Wal-Mart!

So do it like we do in Texas. Get some good yoga, good sugar and good local produce. Add some nice filtered “local” water and “I’ll tell you what,” you’ll be drinking this till it’s gone too.

Texas Lemonade with Real, by God, Sugar

1.5 cups Meyer Lemon juice
.5 cup reg lemon juice
.5 cup blood orange juice
2.5 cups simple syrup
6 cups filtered water
Zest of Half Blood orange
Zest of one Meyer Lemon

Make the syrup: Mix equal parts LOCAL TEXAS sugar and water. Bring to a boil, let simmer about 15 minutes.
Cool and refrigerate.

When you are ready to assemble:
Zest orange and one Meyer Lemon. Set aside.
Juice the Meyer lemons and the blood orange.
Mix the juices with equal parts of simple syrup.
Add 6 cups of water-more or less to taste- whatever you like.
Add the zests.
Serve chilled or on ice with a wheel of lemon or orange.

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Organic Oatmeal Sunflower Seed Dog Treats

April 1, 2013
George Approved!

George Approved!

I have found in the last year or so that I have focused mainly on the basics while cooking. And by the basics, I mean food that we are going to eat immediately. In other words it’s not food that I’m making because I have the desire to see “if I can make that.” So when I was looking around for some photographs to see what I could post here I came up with these dog treats.

I thought to myself oh boy, another dog treat recipe! My readers will be rolling their eyes and clicking right through to the next blog if I don’t find something else. And then I remembered the reason that I make dog treats. And that reason is… I love my dog! I love my dog like a member of the family just like many of you do I’m sure. So why wouldn’t I make different treats for him? His daily diet is a commercial kibble that I feel very confident in. But treats…? I don’t know, I don’t trust commercial treats right now. There’s been too many recalls and so many dogs made sick. I want George to have the best I can provide And anyway,dog treats are like making cookies for your dog! How fun is that!? I certainly don’t make the same flavor cookies for myself every time I make cookies, so why would I do that for my dog? Why would you?  You wouldn’t! And if you love to cook as much as I do, you can even use your dog as an excuse to cook, or buy fun cooking gadgets. Such as cookie cutters.

We were completely out of dog treats, and I happened to have the new beautiful cookie-cutter shaped like a piece of bread that I wanted to play with. However, I should have known this dough would be really thick. It wasn’t really cookie-cutter appropriate. No big deal!  I just used my fluted pasta wheel to cut the dough into various sized squares. I think the fluted edges of the rectangular treats are beautiful. George loved them!
Every time he hears the container in the refrigerator open he comes running!

A softer crumbly texture….

Oatmeal  Sunflower Seed Dog Treats

1 1/2 cups Organic oat flour
1 1/2 cups Organic brown rice flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
2 cups of Organic old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup finely chopped sunflower seeds (unsalted)
1/2 cup local honey
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

 

Pre-heat your oven to 350. Combine all your ingredients together until a dough forms.   roll the dough out to about a half-inch thick and then place it onto a large sheet pan. Use your hands to try to make it a little thinner, and  squish it down into the pan. Use a knife or a fluted pasta cutter to cut to the desired shapes. Bake for 30 minutes. Let cool completely. Store the treats in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

**This recipe is  Based on a recipe from the organic dog biscuit cookbook from the Bubba Rose biscuit company. I have mentioned it before, it’s a great book. If I don’t use the recipes from there outright, I certainly modify many of them, usually with the predicted results.

French Toast- local and with Love

March 18, 2013
French Toast.

French Toast.

Toast is the perfect food. I love toast. It’s so simple, so satisfying and SO adaptable. I love garlic toast, dry toast, cheese toast, but my sweetest fondest toast memories are of French toast, and third grade.  My mother never made French toast. It was a very special  (to me) dish that my neighbor’s dad made for his kids before he took us all to school. Yep, french toast and off to school!  We had just moved from the hills of Tennessee to the big city of Houston. My mom worked once we moved here- I was lucky to catch a ride to school most days with the neighbors. I usually walked over to their place and waited for them to finish getting ready- or eat breakfast.  Usually they invited me to eat breakfast with them if I was there on time. The first time he served “French” Toast was the craziest notion I had ever heard. Honestly, having been raised on biscuits and gravy for my first 8 years, I didn’t quite understand the concept. Even when the syrup and powdered sugar came into the picture, I only “got it” once I “had it.”

It was heaven.

so delicious.

so delicious.

My friend Lana also loves toast. Also French toast most especially. I gifted this awesome soft sculpture of French Toast to her a few years ago after a wine soaked evening of food discussions and proclamation of toast’s perfection. I thought this was the cutest dang thing I’d ever seen on Etsy. For the life of me I can’t remember the artist’s name,but she made him nice and big for me. Again, a special piece of French Toast. She (the artist) explained to me he holds a microphone because he is ready to “make a toast” and the beret he wears- a sign of his obvious Frenchdom. Truly perfect French Toast. Lana loves him.
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I made french toast for myself the other day. It was amazing.  I saw Mr.Darla looking wanting-ly at it, but he had just returned from an early breakfast meeting and could not justify having any. I was okay with that. It was delicious. I looked up a few formulas and I did a “mash-up” Alton Brown’s and Emril Legasse’s recipes with the spirit of that nice man making breakfast for me.
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I used local bakery “Slow-Dough” ‘s incredible brioche, I added my own dairy “twisty- twist” by using local dairy Mill-King’s whole milk and heavy cream (uh yummmm!), I used local yard eggs, all from the awesome Revival Market in the Houston Heights. I also poured from my own extracted vanilla bottle, used local honey and came up with a darn fine recipe for amazing french toast! Here it is:

French Toast

½ cup heavy cream
½ cup whole milk
3 large eggs
2 tablespoons honey, warmed in microwave for 20 seconds (thanks Alton for the tip)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
8 (or less) slices day-old or stale Texas toast or my favorite, thick brioche
4 tablespoons ghee (or butter)
Syrup
Powdered Sugar for dusting

In medium mixing bowl, whisk together the half-and-half, eggs, honey, vanilla and salt.  Pour eggy mixture into a square glass pan and set aside.
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees F. put another sheet pan with another rack on it in the oven. Dip the bread into egg mixture, allow to soak for 30 seconds on each side, and then remove to a cooling rack that is sitting in a sheet pan on the counter, and allow to drip for a couple of minutes.

Over medium-low heat, melt 1 tablespoon of ghee in a 10-inch nonstick pan. Place 2 slices of bread at a time into the pan and cook until golden brown, approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove from pan and place on your warmed rack in oven for 5 minutes while you cook others. Repeat as needed. Sprinkle with powdered sugar and serve immediately with maple syrup, whipped cream or fruit.

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