Tuesday, December 29, 2009
This year I made a spinach salad with toasted pine nuts, goat cheese, and a lemon vinaigrette. Last year my friends served it with a spinach salad with feta, chopped pecans, and a raspberry vinaigrette. You serve the salad stuffed inside a cored pear that has been cut into thirds. And you can drizzle honey on top or a little extra salad dressing. The honey looks really pretty on top, I forgot to do that to these in the picture. It also helps the pear sit flat on the plate if you cut a small slice off the bottom.
Sunday, December 27, 2009
- 4 scoops lemon sorbet
- 2 ounces chilled vodka, citrus vodka or limoncello (Italian lemon liqueur)
- 2 ounces prosecco or other sparkling wine or Champagne
- 2 sprigs fresh mint
- 3 very ripe white nectarines, halved, pitted and cut into eighths
- 1/2 pint fresh raspberries
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 pints vanilla ice cream
- 1 bottle chilled Champagne, Prosecco, or sparkling wine
- 1/4 cup Chambord
- Mint sprigs, for garnish
Tuesday, December 22, 2009
Sunday, December 20, 2009
Friday, December 18, 2009
Brined Roast Chicken with Wine Jus
Green Beans with Almonds
Classic Mashed Potatoes
- 3 Tbs. unsalted butter
- 4 large yellow onions, about 2 lb. total, thinly
- 2 leeks, including pale green tops, sliced
- 1 garlic clove, chopped
- 2 Tbs. fresh tarragon leaves, chopped
- 3 Tbs. all-purpose flour
- 2 cups Riesling
- 6 cups reduced-sodium chicken stock
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 1/2 baguette, thinly sliced
- 2 Tbs. olive oil
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, melted
- 2 Tbs. chopped mixed fresh herbs, such as
tarragon, rosemary, thyme and flat-leaf
parsley, in any combination
- 1/2 lb. Italian fontina cheese, cut into
To make the herbed croutons, preheat an oven to 300°F.
Arrange the baguette slices in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. In a small bowl, stir together the olive oil, butter and herbs. Lightly coat each bread slice on both sides with the oil mixture. Toast the bread in the oven, turning occasionally, until crisp and golden brown, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside. (The croutons can be made up to 24 hours in advance and stored, tightly covered, at room temperature.)
Preheat a broiler.
Arrange individual ovenproof bowls on a baking sheet and ladle the soup into the bowls. Top each serving with 2 or 3 croutons and an equal amount of the cheese. Place the baking sheet under the broiler 7 inches from the heat source and broil until the cheese melts, about 1 minute. Remove from the broiler and serve immediately. Serves 6.
- 1 cup kosher salt or 1/2 cup iodized or plain salt
- 1 quart hot water
- 3 quarts cold water
- 1 chicken, about 6 1/2 lb., giblets reserved for
- 2 Tbs. unsalted butter, at room temperature
- Freshly ground pepper, to taste
- 4 fresh thyme sprigs
- 4 fresh rosemary sprigs
- 1 small yellow onion, coarsely chopped
- 1 small carrot, coarsely chopped
- 1 small celery stalk, coarsely chopped
For the Wine Jus:
- 1/2 cup crisp, dry white wine, such as Sauvignon
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 Tbs. chilled unsalted butter
- Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
Preheat an oven to 400°F.
Remove the chicken from the brine and pat dry with paper towels. Rub with the butter and season inside and out with pepper. Place the thyme and rosemary sprigs in the cavity.
Place the chicken on its side on a V-shaped rack in a roasting pan. Roast for 30 minutes. Turn the chicken on its other side and roast for 30 minutes more. Turn the chicken on its back and place the onion, carrot and celery in the cavity. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh, away from the bone, registers 170°F, about 45 minutes more. Pour the juices from the chicken cavity into the pan and transfer the chicken to a warmed platter. Cover loosely with aluminum foil and let rest for 10 to 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the wine jus. Strain the cooking juices into a bowl. Skim off any visible fat from the surface and pour the juices back into the roasting pan. Set the pan on 2 burners over medium-high heat. Add the wine and boil until reduced by half, about 1 minute. Add the stock and boil until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, about 6 minutes. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the jus into a sauceboat.
Carve the chicken and serve hot with the wine jus.
Monday, December 7, 2009
I put a small Christmas tree in my craft room and decided to decorate it with some of the fabric yo yos that I had made. I have a ton of fabric scraps lying around, so I used all different kinds of fabrics, and tied knots on the ends of the branches. I also decorated the tree with some old buttons and pins that I have collected. All I used was old craft supplies, and I think it turned out pretty cute!
Thursday, December 3, 2009
I am liking all of the silver and white Christmas decorations this year! Here's how I have added some of it to our house this year for Christmas. I made a new bench cushion with Amy Butler fabric. The mistletoe topiary and wreath are from Target, and the silver ornaments are also from Target, and TJ Maxx. I found the silver branches at Pier One Imports; and they have a good selection of Christmas branches right now.
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Tuesday, December 1, 2009
Thursday, November 26, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
I had some more fun with the yo yos today, and decided to make tiny ones for earrings. I think they turned out pretty cute! All I did was use a smaller circle for the pattern (about 1 to 1/12") and glued a gem in the center, then glued the earring onto the back.
Today I went to Create Your Own Joy Studio to buy some Amy Butler fabric. These are the ones that I picked out. I am using the fabric to make some pillows are recover the seat of the chair I found at Merchant's Square. This studio was so cute and Kelly, the owner, offers all kinds of fun classes each month. She also sells lots of cute things, like baby blankets, aprons, cute skirts for little girls, and other stuff too. She sells her Amy Butler fabric for $7.50 per yard, which is great!
Tuesday, November 17, 2009
After shopping in downtown Mesa today I was feeling a little crafty. There's a lot you can do with all the fabric flowers and yo yos, so I thought I should learn how to make some. They are so easy to make, just a little time consuming if you're making a whole bunch. These are few yo yos that I made today. Go here to follow Heather Bailey's step by step instructions.
Monday, November 16, 2009
This past weekend our good friends, Jason and Jessica's little boy Cruz turned 1! I can't believe how fast all these little babies are growing up! These are pictures of the cake and cupcakes Amy and I made for Cruz's party.
Amy made the cupcake stand, and has been recovering it with different papers and ribbon for different events. She even thought of the clever idea of laminating the paper so that you can reuse it! All you need to make one is some cake boards and Styrofoam rounds (you can find both at Micheal's) for in between each level. Then you can cover it with ribbon and paper to match the cake and cupcakes. There's a step by step "How to" on Cake Journal.
I made the animals out of fondant, and had a lot of fun with it. I used the Wilton fondant, which you can also find at Micheal's and found out that the Wilton fondant it much better for making figurines and such then making them out of marshmallow fondant.
My family has been making this turkey recipe for Thanksgiving for I think a few years now, and it has become our favorite! You use a cheesecloth that is soaked in butter and wine, and baste the turkey every 30 minutes. So you can imagine how moist and delicious the turkey is when it's done! One thing we do differently is that we make our stuffing separately in another pan instead of actually stuffing the turkey.
Serves 12 to 14
- 1 twenty- to-twenty-one-pound fresh whole turkey, giblets and neck removed from cavity and reserved
- 1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1 750-ml bottle dry white wine
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
- Classic Stuffing
- 1 cup dry red or white wine, for gravy (optional)
- Giblet Stock
- Rinse turkey with cool water, and dry with paper towels. Let stand for 2 hours at room temperature.
- Place rack on lowest level in oven. Heat oven to 450 degrees. Combine melted butter and white wine in a bowl. Fold a large piece of cheesecloth into quarters and cut it into a 17-inch, four-layer square. Immerse cheesecloth in the butter and wine; let soak.
- Place turkey, breast side up, on a roasting rack in a heavy metal roasting pan. If the turkey comes with a pop-up timer, remove it; an instant-read thermometer is a much more accurate indication of doneness. Fold wing tips under turkey. Sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon each salt and pepper inside turkey. Fill large cavity and neck cavity loosely with as much stuffing as they hold comfortably; do not pack tightly. (Cook remaining stuffing in a buttered baking dish for 45 minutes at 375 degrees.) Tie legs together loosely with kitchen string (a bow will be easy to untie later). Fold neck flap under, and secure with toothpicks. Rub turkey with the softened butter, and sprinkle with remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt and pepper.
- Lift cheesecloth out of liquid, and squeeze it slightly, leaving it very damp. Spread it evenly over the breast and about halfway down the sides of the turkey; it can cover some of the leg area. Place turkey, legs first, in oven. Cook for 30 minutes. Using a pastry brush, baste cheesecloth and exposed parts of turkey with butter and wine. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. and continue to cook for 2 1/2 more hours, basting every 30 minutes and watching pan juices; if the pan gets too full, spoon out juices, reserving them for gravy.
- After this third hour of cooking, carefully remove and discard cheesecloth. Turn roasting pan so that the breast is facing the back of the oven. Baste turkey with pan juices. If there are not enough juices, continue to use butter and wine. The skin gets fragile as it browns, so baste carefully. Cook 1 more hour, basting after 30 minutes.
- After this fourth hour of cooking, insert an instant-read thermometer into the thickest part of the thigh. Do not poke into a bone. The temperature should reach 180 degrees.(stuffing should be between 140 degrees.and 160 degrees. and the turkey should be golden brown. The breast does not need to be checked for temperature. If legs are not yet fully cooked, baste turkey, return to oven, and cook another 20 to 30 minutes.
- When fully cooked, transfer turkey to a serving platter, and let rest for about 30 minutes. Meanwhile, make the gravy. Pour all the pan juices into a glass measuring cup. Let stand until grease rises to the surface, about 10 minutes, then skim it off. Meanwhile, place roasting pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 cup dry red or white wine, or water, to the pan. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the pan until liquid boils and all the crisp bits are unstuck from pan. Add giblet stock to pan. Stir well, and bring back to a boil. Cook until liquid has reduced by half, about 10 minutes. Add the defatted pan juices, and cook over medium-high heat 10 minutes more. You will have about 2 1/2 cups of gravy. Season to taste, strain into a warm gravy boat, and serve with turkey.
You can't have Thanksgiving without some pecan pie, as least not in my family. We always make pumpkin pie too, but here's the recipe my family uses for pecan pie.
- 3 eggs, beaten
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cup karo syrup, 1/2 light and 1/2 dark
- 4 tablespoons melted butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup whole pecans
Saturday, November 14, 2009
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, softened
- 2 egg whites
- 1/4 cup vegetable oil
- 1 box white cake mix
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup frozen strawberries, thawed and drained
- 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
Special equipment: 4 mini muffin tins and 48 mini muffin paper cupcake liners
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line the mini tins with paper liners.
In a large bowl combine the mascarpone cheese, egg whites and vegetable oil. Using a hand mixer, beat the ingredients until combined and creamy. Add the cake mix and water and mix until smooth, about 3 minutes. Fill the mini cups to just below the rim and bake until puffed and golden, about 18 to 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, let cool slightly in the tin then transfer the cupcakes to a wire rack.
Meanwhile, puree the strawberries in a blender or small food processor. Place the powdered sugar in a medium bowl. Pour in the strawberry puree and whisk until smooth. Top the cooled cupcakes with the strawberry glaze. Let the cupcakes sit for a few minutes for the glaze to firm up, then serve.
- Recipe from Giada de Laurentiis
Friday, November 13, 2009
- 5 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
- 1 cup water
- 1/3 cup mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 2 1/4 cups sugar
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 3 large eggs
- 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
- 3 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (recommended: Nestle morsels)
- 1 cup (6 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips (recommended: Nestle morsels)
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Special equipment: 2 (12-count) muffin pans with paper liners
Thursday, November 12, 2009
The United States Postal Service is offering free flat rate boxes for the holidays. You can place your order online and the boxes will be shipped to you free of charge. You can choose a variety pack of four boxes or a 5-pack of small, medium, or large boxes. When you're ready to send your boxes you can go back to their site to pay for postage and have them picked up from your home.
Saturday, November 7, 2009
I went shopping today at Cornerstone's Boutique and one of the items that I purchased was a jar of pickles. Not what I was expecting to buy at the holiday boutique, but once I tried them I had to buy a jar! They are soo good, sliced very thin and full of flavor! They would make great gifts for the holidays. Nickles Pickles.
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
I love brussel sprouts and this recipe is super easy to make. You will need:
- brussel sprouts
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- balsamic vinegar
- pine nuts
Monday, November 2, 2009
- 16 large sea scallops (about 1 1/4 pounds), rinsed and dried, tough muscles removed
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- 3 tablespoons safflower oil
- 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced lengthwise
- 7 ounces baby spinach (about 10 cups)
- 7 ounces baby arugula (about 10 cups)
- 1/4 teaspoon crushed red-pepper flakes
- Heat a large straight-sided skillet over medium-high heat. Sprinkle scallops with 1 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Heat 2 tablespoons oil in skillet. Arrange scallops in skillet, and cook on 1 side until golden brown, about 7 minutes. Flip, and cook until scallops are opaque, 30 to 45 seconds. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towels.
- Reduce heat to medium, and add remaining tablespoon oil to skillet. Add garlic, and cook for 15 seconds. Add spinach, arugula, red-pepper flakes, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Cook, tossing greens often, until just wilted, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a platter, top with scallops, and serve immediately.
Friday, October 30, 2009
Thursday, October 29, 2009
I went shopping this morning at Trader Joe's. I love that store; I would shop there all the time if there was one a little closer to our house. I have a lot of favorites that I like to buy there but today I discovered a new one! Casey and I both love the cilantro jalapeno hummus at Pita Jungle and I found some at Trader Joe's and it is good! I bought some flat bread to eat it with. Hudson loves hummus too, which is great because it is a good healthy snack. If you like hummus you'll have to try this one out. I believe it costs just under $3.00. And if you have any favorite things from Trader Joe's please let me know, I always love to try new things there!
Saturday, October 24, 2009
In a blender combine 3/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, 1/2 cup ice, 1/2 cup plain low-fat regular yogurt or Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons soy milk, 2 tablespoons fresh orange juice, a handful of spinach leaves, and 1 tablespoon of honey. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender as needed. Serve immediately. Serves 1.
Recipe from everyday food magazine: November 2009 issue
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Domestic Bliss is hosting their annual event on November 6th from 6 to 10pm. Lots to see and lots of cute things to buy! If you've never been to Domestic Bliss, it is a boutique located in downtown Mesa on Main Street and Robson. They have so much cute stuff, very similar style to Anthropologie, you have to check it out! They sell home furnishings and decor, clothing, jewelry, baby and kids items, and they have an awesome selection of fabrics (including Heather Bailey and Amy Butler).
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
This Slatkin & Co pumpkin patch candle is awesome! My sister bought it for me and I love it. I hate when you buy a candle hoping it will make your house smell good but it doesn't smell good when you burn it. This one is not like that! It makes your whole house smell like you've been baking pumpkin pies all day! You can find it at Bath & Body Works.