Thursday, November 26, 2009

i obviously can't keep up with this! so rather than throw in the oven mits i'm just going to publish any photo worthy food on my main blog

bookmark me there!

i'll email recipes by request :)

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

roasted kabocha fondue

this is a delicious, simple and easy but luxurious fall or winter meal. i'm making it by request for friends tonight.


1 (7-pound) kabocha squash
2 shallots chopped
½ cup vermouth
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Gruyère (6 ounces)
2 1/2 cups coarsely grated Emmental (6 ounces)
2 tsp truffle oil
1 tablespoon olive oil

Preheat oven to 400°F with rack in lower third.
Saute shallots in olive oil until tender. Add ½ cup of vermouth and reduce by half. Set aside.
Remove top of pumpkin by cutting a circle (3 inches in diameter) around stem with a small sharp knife. Scrape out seeds and any loose fibers from inside squash with a spoon (including top of pumpkin; reserve seeds for another use if desired). Season inside of squash with salt and pepper.
Whisk together shallots, cream, broth, nutmeg, truffle oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a bowl. Mix together cheeses in another bowl.
Layer cheese and cream mixture until pumpkin is filled to about 1/2 inch from top, using all of cream.
Cover pumpkin with top and put in an oiled small roasting pan. Brush outside of pumpkin all over with olive oil. Bake until pumpkin is tender and filling is puffed, 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 hours.

Scoop squash flesh and cheese into bowls and serve with great bread and a green salad.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

baked cheese grits

part 2 of the fab southern meal i made the other night and didn't take pictures of :(
we had this with crab cakes, but eric made those at work so i don't have the recipe.

baked cheese grits

The grits mixture will almost fill the entire baking dish and will puff up when baking, but don't worry — it won't overflow. Also, switching sides, these grits can take the place of mashed potatoes anytime.
Yield: Makes 8 servings
Active Time: 15 min
Total Time: 1 3/4 hr
1/2 onion chopped
6 cups water
2 1/4 teaspoons salt
2 cups yellow grits* (not quick or instant; 12 oz)
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
3/4 lb Cheddar, coarsely grated (2 cups)
3 large eggs
1 cup whole milk
1.5 cups corn

Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F.

saute onion in some butter in saute pan until tender and golden.

Bring water and 3/4 teaspoon salt to a boil in a 4-quart heavy pot.

Add grits in a slow stream, stirring constantly. Reduce heat and gently simmer, stirring frequently to avoid sticking, until very thick, about 30 minutes. (Use a long-handled spoon to avoid bubbling and popping hot grits.)

Add butter, remaining 1 1/2 teaspoons salt, pepper, garlic, sauteed onion, corn and cheese, stirring until butter and cheese are melted. Lightly beat eggs and milk in a small bowl, then stir into grits until combined.

Pour into an ungreased 8-inch square baking dish (2 inches deep) and bake until set and lightly browned, about 1 hour. Serve immediately.

chess pie

if you haven't had this you must try! its not for the faint of heart. its very sweet and rich but oh so delicious, way way better than its ingredients and unlike anything else. this is my great aunt mae's recipe. i've seen a ton online but they all have very different proportions of these ingredients. this is in my opinion, the very very best.

aunt mae’s chess pie

3 eggs
2 cups sugar
1 stick melted butter
2 tbsp cornmeal
5 tbsp buttermilk
1 tsp vanilla
9 inch unbaked pie shell (homemade or store bought)

mix together eggs, sugar, vanilla and melted butter. In a separate bowl whisk together cornmeal, buttermilk, and salt. Mix wet ingredients into dry until well combined.
Pour mixture into unbaked shell.
bake at 450 for 10 minutes then 350 for one more hour. Watch center, it should be barely jiggly when you take it out and top should be very brown.

Monday, October 12, 2009

vegan super meal

my good friend leah and her husband tim ran a marathon this weekend! 26 miles deserved a super special vegan surprise meal delivered right to their fridge. i didn't take any pictures but here are the recipes.

Lentil Loaf:

  • 3/4 cup lentils (about 5 ounces)
  • 3 cups reduced-sodium vegetable broth (I use veggie demi glace from whole foods)
  • 1 cup uncooked short-grain brown rice, rinsed well
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped white onion
  • 3 cloves chopped garlic
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots
  • 1 celery rib, sliced
  • 1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh oregeno
  • 2 tablespoons vegan earth balance butter, divided
  • 10 ounces fresh baby spinach leaves (about 4 cups)
  • 2 cups cubed vegan mozarella, divided (about 8 ounces total)
  • ½ cup crushed roasted cashews
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  • 2 cups Vegan tomato sauce


Place the lentils in a large saucepan of cold water. Bring the water just to a boil over high heat. Carefully drain the boiling water and rinse the lentils. Meanwhile, in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat, bring the broth to a boil. Add the rice and return the liquid to a boil. Decrease the heat to low, cover the rice, and gently simmer without stirring for 10 minutes. Stir in the lentils, onion, garlic, carrot, and celery. Cover and continue cooking without stirring until the rice and lentils are tender and the liquid is absorbed, about 30 minutes longer. Turn off the heat. Sprinkle the corn, oregano and thyme over the rice and lentils and let stand, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover and fluff the rice with a fork. Cover and let stand for 5 more minutes.

Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Spread 1 tablespoon of the vegan over a 10 by 4 1/2 by 3-inch loaf pan. In a heavy, large skillet, cook the spinach over medium heat until the spinach wilts, about 3 minutes. Drain and squeeze the excess liquid from the spinach. Transfer the spinach to a work surface and coarsely chop.

In a large bowl, gently mix the lentil mixture, spinach, 11/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, cashews, basil, salt, pepper, 1 cup of the tomato sauce. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Arrange the sliced tomatoes in a row over the lentil mixture. Sprinkle with the remaining 1/2 cup of mozzarella cheese. Dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon of vegan butter.

Bake uncovered until the loaf is heated through and the topping is melted and starting to brown, about 30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes. Slice the loaf into 2-inch slices, arrange on plates, and serve with the remaining tomato sauce.

Best vegan brownies

so good i know they are not going to believe me they are vegan!

Preheat oven to 350

¾ cup vegan butter

12 ounces bag dark chocolate vegan chips

2 cups turbinado sugar

1 cup coconut milk (use the thick cream off the top off two cans, disgard the watery stuff)

2 tsp vanilla

1 ½ cups flour

½ tsp baking powder

½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ tsp salt


3/4 cup sweetened flaked coconut

3/4 cup toasted pecans, chopped

1/4 cup turbinado sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

1 cup vegan chocolate chips

2 tablespoons vegan butter

For topping

Mix all ingredients together well and set aside.

For brownies

Melt butter and chocolate chips together at 50% power in microwave until smooth. Set aside to cool. Mix sugar and coconut milk together in a separate bowl. Then in a third bowl whisk together flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt.

Mix together chocolate butter mixture and sugar mixture until smooth. Then fold in flour mixture. Add batter to greased 8x8 pan. Then cover with topping and bake until topping is golden about 30-35 minutes.

Vegan coconut milk ice cream

1/2 cup sugar
1 (13.5- ounce) can cream of coconut (i usually find it at mexican markets)
1 (13.5- ounce) can regular coconut milk
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

heat all ingredients in a pot until sugar is dissolved and mixture is smooth. (cream of coconut is usually separated in the can so you just want it all fully incorporated.)
then immediately chill in an ice bath until room temp whisking every few minutes. eventually chill in fridge until cold or overnight.

then mix in ice cream maker following manufacturers directions.

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

beautiful food

last wednesday i had the privilege of shooting for my chef friend, chris. here are some faves.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

san francisco bound

a gift for my friend anna

ginger cookies

humminbird cake

i had heard about this cake for a long time and had to try it. sadly, i didn't love it. i love bananas, i love pecans, i love pineapple and i love cream cheese frosting but sadly didn't fall in love with the sum of their parts. while carrots make carrot cake super moist, the bananas in here just make it kinda mushy. i'd rather have bananas in my granola, pecans in my cookies and cream cheese frosting on my carrot cake. not a perfect recipe and definitely not a fave. but here is a pic anyway.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

homemade chocolate chip doughnuts

woke up early this morning to make a hummingbird cake for my mom who requested it for a party (pics and recipe of that later)
with all the flour and butter and sugar and a big jug of vegetable oil out on the counter, i thought i'd whip up fox some homemade chocolate chip doughnuts. i really really don't have a recipe to share, just threw together flour, buttermilk, butter, baking soda, salt, sugar and egg, let rest, fried, rolled in powdered sugar and voila special breakfast. fox is so food spoiled that then he requested homemade sausage and homemade french fries. call me crazy but i didn't feel like getting out the meat grinder or mandoline at 645 am. those will have to be for another day.

romesco sauce

i love love this sauce. its a spanish sauce typically served with chicken or fish. i love it as a spread or dip. my favorite is on pasta with lots of basil and lots of goat cheese.

i double the recipe and freeze half for another use.

romesco sauce

  • 1 1/2 pounds red bell peppers
  • 1/2 cup roasted almonds
  • 6 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4-6 cloves garlic
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

Char bell peppers over gas flame or under broiler until blackened on all sides. Let cool in closed paper bag for 10 minutes. Peel and seed peppers. Place peppers in processor. Add almonds, 4 tablespoons olive oil, vinegar, garlic, tomato paste and cayenne pepper. Process until almonds are finely ground and peppers are almost smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

fresh swordfish salad sandwiches

made these a few nights ago with left over grilled swordfish. just chopped the fish and mixed with lemon juice, red wine vinegar, lots of capers and sundried tomatoes, chopped garlic and onions, olive oil, mayonaise, basil, salt and pepper. served on crusty bread with olive spread on one side and anchovy paste on the other, microgreens on top. really really good. if you want the recipe email me and i can take a stab at the proportions but i really just threw this together.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


fellow foodie, photographer and friend, jen and i went to dinner at luques last night. this was 2 of 3 great dinners in my september of special dinners. i didn't realize until we walked in that i had actually shot an event here a few years ago. its a warm, wonderfully cozy space with exposed brick, a beautiful fireplace and a lovely high ceiling patio. thanks to a woman with offensively strong perfume, we got to experience both the patio and the inside.
the menu is pared down but a perfect selection. we shared heirloom tomato salad with burrata, torn croutons, salsa verde and opal basil and fried squash blossoms with manchego, marcona almonds and green romesco. both were great. my pick was the heirloom tomato salad. i've had such a dish a million times and made it a million more but the perfect tomatoes, amazing croutons, and dressing made this the best one i'd had maybe short of one i still remember from animal. i fell in love with jen's choice. i'm not crazy about battered things but the combination of the delicate blossom, the soft manchego, marcona almonds and romesco was amazing. i kept going back to the plate for the romesco.
for dinner we split the king salmon with sweet corn, quinoa, summer squash and cherry tomatoes. i know, totally the boring choice but salmon is my favorite and jen was getting full and already thinking about dessert. sometimes i think ordering the boring thing is a real test of the restaurant. i could totally make this salmon at home but hers was so so perfect. it was cooked medium rare just like i like it and had beautiful notes of butter. i love butter. it was not boring, simple and perfect. we also had some corn succotash but it was average, either of us could have made better. oooh and the crusty table bread was amazing with a pat of their fresh butter and a sprinkle of the sea salt.
jen had some beignets with blueberries and ice cream which i only took a tiny bite of and wasn't crazy about. i did have some lovely pear brandy which i split with her and still couldn't finish :( such a lightweight!
our dinner took 3 hours. we both noted that under other circumstances we would have been looking by our waiter but with great conversation and perfect food we really didn't need him until it was time to leave and it was a great space to sit in for three hours.
go here!

rosemary's restaurant las vegas

my girlfriends and i went to vegas last weekend for my birthday. as i browsed the usual suspects on rosemary's restaurant came up #2 in the best overall list and since i had never heard of it i was intrigued. even more intriguing, its off the strip which i thought might make it a hidden gem.

its basically tucked away in a generic strip mall. though they have put a lot of effort into covering up the interior aspects of being in a generic strip mall, unfortunately, it still feels like it. what was immediately outstanding about rosemary's was the service. when any of us returned to the table, a member of the staff speed walked across the room dedicated to beating us to our chair and pulling it out. great service continued through all parts of the service.

the menu was straightforward american with a southern, new orleans angle, featuring a lot of my favorites. we shared the "wilted spinach salad: port wine shallots, goat cheese cake, spiced pecans & sherry mustard dressing" then three of us had the "halibut lindquist: sautéed garlic spinach, buttermilk onion crust & chive muscadet butter sauce." the salad was good but like so many others i've had. the halibut while perfectly cooked and seasoned, was just topped with a giant pile of onion rings - not my version of "crusted" but obviously theirs. i love when the menu description sounds like a 7 and the chef wows me with a 10 interpretation. this was the opposite. the menu descriptions sounded like solid 8 and 9s but the final product was more of a7.

the service, perfectly cooked fish and great friends made is a very enjoyable dinner but with so many restaurants in vegas, i'd skip this one.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

its my birthday!

4, yes 4, layer carrot cake and homemade cinnamon caramel ice cream

recipe here from last year - but double recipe and quadruple frosting :)

Thursday, September 10, 2009

chocolate pot de cream

i made this a week ago for friends. i'm way into simple right now and this is a great example of a great straight forward classic. i hadn't made this recipe since we lived in our old house and i forgot how much i loved it! its rich, decadent and feels luxurious but a small portion hits the spot. please do it right and use valhrona or scharfen berger.

Chocolate Pot de Cream

1 ¼ cups half and half

4 ounces high quality 60-70% chocolate, finely chopped

1/3 cup sugar

3 large egg yolks

½ tsp vanilla

1 tbsp cocoa powder

Pinch of salt

1 tbsp liqueur, frangelico or godiva

Caramel sauce homemade or store bought

Freshly whipped and sweetened cream

Preheat oven to 300. bring a kettle of water to a boil and keep warm. Heat half and half just till it begins to simmer. Remove from heat and add chocolate and sugar. Let stand 5 minutes. Stir together yolks, vanilla, cocoa, salt and liqueur in a large bowl. With a fork, stir chocolate mixture until smooth. Gradually stir chocolate mixture into egg mixture. Pour through a fine sieve into a glass measuring cup or bowl. Place four ramekins or other oven safe small dishes, 3 to 4 oz each, in the roasting pan and divide chocolate mixture among them. Pour water into pan so that it reaches half way up each ramekin. Bake until custards are not quite set in center about 30 minutes. They will firm up as they cool. Carefully remove ramekins from water bath and let cool slightly. Cover and chill at least 4 hours or until very chilled. To serve, ladle a generous spoonful of caramel over it then a good plop of whipped cream. Yum.

tamarind turkey burgers and miso broccoli slaw

i like my beef burgers pretty plain with good cheddar or blue cheese but turkey burgers need help and i've got all sorts of ways to do it. this is a new great one. tamarind is a seed and pod. its used a lot in asian and hispanic cooking. these burgers are sour, sweet and tangy.

Tamarind Turkey Burgers


  • 1 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 tsp minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup tamarind concentrate* (found in middle eastern markets)
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1/8 cup water
  • 1 tablespoons fresh lime juice


  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
  • 2 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • 2 tbsp tamarind glaze
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 red jalapeño chile with seeds, minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup chopped green onions
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground natural turkey
  • Large lettuce leaves for wrapping
  • Garlic/ginger mayonnaise for garnish

For glaze:
Heat oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Add ginger and garlic and sauté 2 minutes. Add tamarind concentrate, honey, and water and bring to boil. Reduce heat; simmer until thick enough to coat spoon and reduced to 1 1/4 cups, stirring often, about 8 minutes. Cool completely (volume will reduce as glaze cools); mix in lime juice.

For burgers:
Stir mayonnaise, ginger, garlic, soy, fish sauce, salt, jalapeño, bl
ack pepper, and 2 tbsp glaze in large bowl to blend; mix in green onions. Add ground turkey; blend gently (do not pack tightly). Shape mixture into patties, I make mine 8 oz. pepper and salt both sides. Make ahead and chill so they stay together better.

Prepare barbecue (medium heat). Grill burgers on first side then flip and glaze until cooked through and thermometer inserted into center registers 160°F, about 8 minutes per side. Brush other side with more glaze. Place 1 burger, on a lettuce leave with garlic/ginger mayo, onions and tomatoes. Top each with onion, tomato, lettuce, and roll top. Serve, passing remaining glaze separately.

Miso slaw

Miso dressing:

1/3 cup rice vinegar
3 tablespoons yellow or red miso
3 large garlic cloves, peeled
2 tsp sugar
2 teaspoons chopped fresh ginger

2 tsp sesame oil

2 tsp soy
1/4 cup olive oil

¼ cup mayonnaise

Mix everything in a blender.

Salad ingredients

1 package trader joes broccoli slaw

½ bunch chopped green onions

4 cups chopped spinach

½ cup finely chopped roasted almonds

Mix dressing and salad ingredients in a large bowl. Garnish with almonds and chill.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

cookie party

i spent fri and sun making and baking 4 fabulous kinds of cookies: double chocolate chip pecan, oatmeal raisin walnut, oatmeal cherry white and dark chip, and brown sugar cinnamon

these are 4 recipes i'm not divulging just in case i give up photography and open a cookie shop :) but here are some pics.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

mustard chicken

found this recipe awhile ago on epicurious and realized i had yet to try it. its a great simple and healthy recipe with great flavors. we have been grilling so much this summer this homey braised chicken was a welcome departure.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

cauliflower gazpacho and broiled goat cheese with tomato sauce

such a good summer meal

this recipe comes from food and wine, i saw it a while ago and finally made it.


  1. 1/2 medium head cauliflower, cut into 1-inch florets
  2. 2 slices of crustless white bread
  3. 1/4 cup pine nuts (1 1/2 ounces)
  4. 2 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
  5. 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  6. 1 large shallot, coarsely chopped
  7. 1 1/4 cups blanched slivered almonds
  8. 1/2 medium seedless cucumber, peeled and coarsely chopped, plus 1/4 cup finely diced cucumber
  9. 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  10. Kosher salt


  1. In a large saucepan of boiling salted water, cook the cauliflower until tender, about 8 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water until cool and drain well.
  2. In a blender, combine 1 1/2 cups of cold water with the cooked cauliflower, bread, pine nuts, chopped garlic, sherry vinegar, chopped shallot, 1 cup of the slivered almonds and the coarsely chopped cucumber; blend until smooth. Add the olive oil and pulse just until incorporated. If necessary, add more water to thin the gazpacho. Season the soup with salt and refrigerate until chilled, about 1 hour.
  3. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the remaining 1/4 cup of slivered almonds in a pie plate and toast for about 6 minutes, until fragrant and lightly golden. Ladle the gazpacho into bowls. Garnish the soup with the toasted almonds and the finely diced cucumber and serve.

for this goat cheese simple wonder, just oil a ramekin or oven proof bowl. put 2-4 ounces goat cheese in the bottom, top with chopped fresh herbs and tomato sauce or brushetta. broil 10 minutes until bubbly and serve with bread. sooooooo good.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


i saw "julie and julia" last night with my dear friend sarah. i have to admit i was only mildly interesting in seeing it and if sarah had not invited me to a screening, i would have waited for netflix.
but, watching it, it hit me like a ton of bricks that food and cooking is the one passion in my life that started as a child and continues today . . .my ONLY lifelong passion.
horses, fine art, those interests faded and i eventually gave them up. . . photography didn't start until much later in life . . . but since i can remember i have loved everything to do with food, cooking at eating.
we had a family friend, betty miller, who taught me my first recipe. we melted chocolate and carefully covered the inside of a cupcake paper, chilled it, peeled the paper of and served a scoop of ice cream in it. i thought that was magic. from there my dad taught me to make an omelet and pretty soon i was off and running, cooking anything and everything i could from my moms cookbooks.
so i have to ask myself as i have spent the last year taking a break from booking photography jobs and exploring other things, why am i not cooking?

Friday, August 7, 2009

fresh blueberry scones

made this for steph a few weeks ago. her self proclaimed favorite thing i've made so far.

fresh blueberry scones


  • 2 cups unbleached flour, plus more for rolling berries
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, chilled and cut in chunks
  • 3/4 cup cream
  • 1 egg
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries


Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, sift together flour, baking powder, salt and sugar; mix thoroughly. Cut in butter using 2 forks or a pastry blender. The butter pieces should be coated with flour and resemble crumbs.

In another bowl, mix buttermilk and egg together, and then add to the flour mixture. Mix just to incorporate, do no overwork the dough.

Roll blueberries in flour to coat, this will help prevent the fruit from sinking to the bottom of the scone when baked. Fold the blueberries into batter, being careful not to bruise. Drop large tablespoons of batter on an ungreased cookie sheet.

Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until brown.

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

4 cheese lasagna with mushrooms, squash and leeks

  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1 pound portabella mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup finely chopped yellow onion
  • 3 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 7 cups milk
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1 pound spinach, stemmed, washed, blanched and roughly chopped
  • 1 pound shitake mushrooms thinly sliced
  • 1 pound cubed butternut squash
  • 1 pound thinly sliced leeks
  • 2 cups grated Parmesan
  • 8 ounces goat cheese
  • 8 ounces fontina
  • 8 ounces mozzarella
  • 8 ounces gouda
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for coating casserole dish
  • 1 pound no boil lasagna sheets
  • 1 tablespoon butter, cut into 8 pieces


Preheat oven to 450. roast leeks, shitakes, and squash with salt, pepper, and olive oil 30-45 minutes until tender. Turn oven down to 375. Set aside.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring often until the mushrooms are browned and most of the liquid has evaporated, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the onions and garlic to the pan and saute until soft and translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the flour and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, to make a light roux, about 2 minutes. Whisking constantly, slowly add the milk and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until thickened, 5 minutes. Add 1 1/2 teaspoons of the salt, pepper, nutmeg, spinach and 1 1/2 cups of the Parmesan and cook, stirring, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Place a piece of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the bechamel sauce until ready to assemble the lasagna.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Coat a 9 by 13 by 3-inch casserole with olive oil, and spread about 1/2 cup of the bechamel sauce on the bottom of the dish. Lay 3 sheets of pasta across the bottom of the dish and spread 3/4 cup of the bechamel sauce over the pasta. Sprinkle 1/4 of the roasted veggies over the bechamel sauce, then cover with cheeses. Lay another 3 sheets of pasta over.. Repeat 2 additional times with the remaining bechamel sauce, veggies, cheeses, and pasta, ending with a layer of pasta covered with bechamel sauce. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup of Parmesan over the bechamel sauce and scatter the butter pieces over the top. Place the casserole on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet and bake, uncovered, until bubbly and well browned, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for at least 20 minutes before serving.

Note: You may need slightly less than the entire package of lasagna noodles, depending on the pan used for the casserole. Also, you may be able to fit more than 3 pieces of pasta in each layer, depending. The pasta can be broken into smaller pieces to fill in the gaps.

Monday, August 3, 2009

killer blondies

the secret to these baking marvels is #1 using muscavado sugar #2 letting the batter sit for 12 hours. they are to die for! i can't just take a pretty picture i have to share my recipe so you an all try them!

killer blondies

1 1/2 sticks unsalted butter, plus butter for pan
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup dark brown muscovado sugar (find at whole foods or other gourmet store)
2 large eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 tsp instant coffee dissolved in ½ tsp brandy
1/2 cup milk chocolate chips
½ cup white chocolate chips
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons toffee chips
1/2 cup coarsely chopped toasted pecans


3/4 cup butter
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
½ cup mixed white and chocolate chips
1/2 cup pecans
1 tsp kosher salt or fleur de sel

butter and line a 9 by 9 by 2-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing a 2-inch overhang. butter the lining too.
whisk together the flour, baking powder and salt in a medium bowl.
melt the butter in a medium saucepan; add both sugars and whisk until combined and sugar is melted, about 5 minutes. transfer the mixture to a medium bowl and let cool slightly. whisk in the eggs, vanilla and coffee/brandy mixture until combined. add the flour and whisk until just incorporated. fold in the chocolate chips, toffee chips and almonds. Refrigerate mixture 12 hours or overnight. when ready to bake, bring batter to room temperature and preheat oven to 350, transfer the mixture to the prepared pan. bake for 24 to 27 minutes or until the top cracks slightly and is firm to the touch and a skewer inserted into the center comes out with moist pieces clinging to it.
in a saucepan over medium heat, stir together 3/4 cup butter 1/2 cup brown sugar, stirring constantly until bubbly. once it starts bubbling cook and stir for 1 minute.

scatter the ½ cup of chocolate and white chips and pecans over warm blondies.

pour butter and sugar mixture evenly over nuts and chocolate in pan. make sure not to get too close to the edges of the pan or it will burn to the sides.

bake 10-15 minutes more or until just bubbly around edges.
cool in pan on rack. refrigerate a few hours to make easier to cut.
cut into bars.

super good served warm with vanilla ice cream

my new favorite chocolate frosting

this one is creamy, super chocolaty and rich, and not too sweet, its my new favorite. i've made it twice in the last two weeks to rave reviews.


  • 1 12-ounce package (2 cups) semisweet chocolate pieces
  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 1 8-ounce carton dairy sour cream
  • 4 1/2 cups sifted powdered sugar (about 1 pound)


1. In a large saucepan melt chocolate and butter over low heat, stirring frequently. Cool for 5 minutes. Stir in sour cream. Gradually add powdered sugar, beating until smooth. This frosts tops and sides of two 8- or 9-inch cake layers. (Halve the recipe to frost a 13x9x2-inch cake.) Cover and store frosted cake in the refrigerator.