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.