What do you call a chicken that crossed the road?
Poultry in motion.
Ahhahhaa! (Just so you know, I can hear you all groaning right now.) Okay, I apologize for the dumb joke, but it’s Monday and I have writer’s block. I’ve been sitting here for what feels like an eternity trying to figure out what I wanted to tell you about this chicken recipe and I just keep coming back to this joke. So that’s my excuse.
Alright, enough of that nonsense, here’s what I really want to tell you about this chicken: it’s delicious! And although it looks fancy, it’s much easier to make than it would appear. Continue reading
Happy autumn, everyone! In celebration of this change in seasons, I felt it appropriate to post a soup recipe (remember when I used to do that all the time?). Well, now that the temperatures are steadily dropping, it seems only fitting that I should get back to making more of the food that I love soooo much I named an entire blog after. But rather than jumping in feet first with a hearty stew, I thought it best to tiptoe into fall with a light and flavorful chowder. Seasoned with warming spices like smoked paprika and chilies, this soup is the perfect way to take the edge off of a brisk day, AND it has the added bonus of using up all that leftover summer corn that’s taking up valuable pumpkin space at the supermarket. So come on everyone, let’s get our autumn on! Continue reading
Well it looks like Texas finally got the message that autumn is coming. For the past couple days we’ve been enjoying foggy, rainy weather, and temperatures in the mid-80’s (believe me, that’s chilly for this area). All it took was this slight change in climate for the mound of pumpkins sitting outside our grocery store to stop looking ridiculous and out of place, and start looking appealing. A few days ago I dug out all of my pumpkin recipes and tried to figure out what I wanted to make first, and that’s when I found my mom’s Pumpkin Roll recipe. Now, this isn’t actually her recipe, but it’s one that she’s been making since I was a toddler and can be traced back only as far as her friend Roxie. My mom’s copy is handwritten on a yellowing index card that has orange flowers and brown mushrooms decorating the corners (it was the 70’s afterall). Most likely the original recipe came from Betty Crocker or Good Housekeeping, but she made it often and it always marked the beginning of fall for my sister and me, so in my mind it will always be my mom’s pumpkin roll…and now it can be yours, too. Continue reading
Okay class, pull out your pencils and write down this date: September 23rd. That, my friends, is the official start of autumn (or the Autumnal Equinox, if you want to be specific). What does this mean? Well, it means that we have T-minus 6 days to start dusting off our casserole dishes and crockpots, and rummage through our cookbooks to find our favorite comfort food recipes. Yep, it’s the dawn of sweater season once again, which give us permission to start eating hearty pastas, starchy potatoes, and meats smothered in gravy. And what better way to kick off this fatty food frenzy than with a good, old fashioned mac & cheese. But please, I beg you, put down the blue box with the atomic orange powder, in fact, just throw it away. You don’t want that. Trust me, you want this; this macaroni with not one, not two, but five cheeses. FIVE. Um, preach! Continue reading
I’ve already mentioned my weakness for peanut butter and chocolate, right? Yes, I remember now, I confessed that little sin in another post. Well, guess what, folks? My mad craving recently struck again, and I was forced (forced I tell you!) to create something rich, creamy, and delicious to stave it off. And since pie season is rapidly approaching, I chose to channel my gluttony into little, bitty pies rather than dumping them all into my ice cream maker like last time — and ohmygoodness was it heavenly! Served straight out of the ice box, it’s still considered a “cool treat,” but one that is substantial enough to stand up to the heavier autumn meals that we’re starting to make. So come on, everybody, let’s make today Friday Pie-Day! Continue reading
Okay, for those of you good sports playing along with yesterday’s trivia quiz, the answer to the question, what do we always serve with pork chops, is applesauce, of course! As Bobby Brady said in a terrible Humphrey Bogart impression, “We’re having pork choooops and applesaaaauce, that’s swell.” Just so you know, in my entire experience as a home cook, I don’t think I’ve ever once made pork chops without applesauce; that’s how much of an impact this wacky Brady Bunch quote made on my young, impressionable mind. But this isn’t your typical flavorless, out-of-the-jar applesauce, this version is the real deal! Sweetened with golden raisins and honey, and spiked with cinnamon and ginger, this tart little number (and I’m not referring to myself here), will make you reconsider every other applesauce you’ve ever eaten. Cross my heart. Continue reading
Brining, for those of you who have never heard this term before, is the process of steeping food in a saltwater solution, thereby locking in moisture and a crazy amount of flavor. You see, meat typically loses about 30% of water when it’s cooked, but when it’s soaked in a brining solution for the better part of the day, it’s able to absorb extra water into the muscle fibers, building up a reserve that is retained during cooking. Now, when you add seasonal aromatics (rosemary, garlic, and peppercorns) to the mix, you’re simply ensuring that those flavors will be imparted into the meat as well. Brilliant, right? So how do you get such wonderfully juicy and flavorful pork chops, you ask? Simple! Just follow this 4-step cooking process thought up by the brilliant minds over at Bon Appétit. Seriously, these pork chops are no joke, people! Yes, it does take 4-steps (only three of which are actual cooking though) to achieve this juicy goodness, but I guarantee that this will be the most delicious meal you’ve made in forever! And I promise that if you take the time that this hands-on method requires , I’ll reward you with super easy, super fast recipes for the rest of the week. Deal? Continue reading
Now that September is here and all the kids are back in school, I’m starting to notice a shocking amount of fall items popping up all over the place. You know what I’m talking about: pumpkin spice lattes, autumn-inspired wreaths, and Halloween costumes on every store shelf. Although autumn is my favorite time of year, it’s hard for me to think about fall when we’re still experiencing 100° temperatures here in Texas. Now, with that being said, I’m fully aware that many parts of the world (like my drizzly home state of Washington) are already feeling the change in seasons, so I’m willing to strike a compromise, ya’ll. But, instead of going full bore with the cinnamon & nutmeg and carving out a big, fat, orange pumpkin, I’ve decided to take a summer fruit (blueberries) and combine it with subtle, warming flavors like cloves, coriander, and port wine to create a sauce that you can serve hot or cold – making it perfect for any climate! Continue reading
Almost two years ago my parents decided to add a deck onto the back of their kitchen, and somehow in the planning process, my dad miraculously talked my mom in to allowing him to build a brick pizza oven along with it. I don’t know how he managed to convince her, but I’m pretty sure a bottle of Merlot was involved. Regardless, I was delighted. By association, I became the proud owner of a beautiful cooking device that I use almost of every time I’m home. In addition to crafting homemade pizzas (of which we’ve made dozens), we use it to cook calzones, empanadas, and, just recently, mussels. Now, I realize that a brick oven isn’t something you can just go out and buy, like a waffle iron or a ice cream maker, so I’ve also included cooking instructions for these Fireside Mussels using a regular outdoor grill (which is how I cook them whenever I’m not visiting my parents). No matter what vessel you use to bake these succulent bivalves, they’re going to taste amazing! Just promise me you’ll serve them with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the extra cooking liquid – believe me, you’ll thank me for it! Continue reading