May 2013

Hi! I hope y’all had a great Memorial Day weekend.  It’s one of my favorite holidays because I forget about it and then it pops out of nowhere and you get a day off.
Per Memorial Day requirements, we grilled. But we had just returned from a weekend of KC barbecue and burgers, so we wanted something a bit lighter. It’s no secret that I love Central Market, and this chicken was inspired by one of their marinades. Perrrrrrrfect summer grilling recipe….will be making it again and again (my husband is eating it right now for the third night in a row).
  • 4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts – pounded thin
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup fresh parsley leaves
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, packed
  • 2 tablespoons fresh thyme
  • 2 tablespoons fresh rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • Pinch Paprika
Mix all marinade ingredients (everything but the chicken!) – in the bowl of a food processor or blender. Blend into a thick paste.  Cut small slits into the chicken to help absorb the marinade.  Pour the marinade into a ziploc bag and add the chicken.  Let sit for at least 4 hours or overnight.  Heat the grill to high, then cook for about 3-4 minutes on each side.  Happy summer!
I’m flying around the world tomorrow so if I go missing, it’s because I am.
Am I the worst blogger ever lately? Yes. Yes I am. But I have been traveling nonstop and have had little to no kitchen access in the last few weeks. I feel incomplete and restless.
I made these for Mother’s Day, and what better way to celebrate our wonderful moms than with bright red decadent chocolate cookies?
Recipe (adapted from Duncan Hines)
  • 1 box Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake Mix
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1 package cream cheese
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350.  Mix the cake mix, melted butter, eggs, and 1 tsp. vanilla in a bowl. Add in the chocolate chips. In a separate bowl, mix the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla. Drop the cream cheese mixture into the cookie dough, and give it a couple LIGHT swirls to incorporate. Don’t over-mix or you’ll end up with pink cookies.  Chill for about 20 minutes (this is optional, but you’ll get fuller cookies if you refrigerate).  Drop in tablespoon-fuls onto an ungreased cookie sheet, and bake for 9-11 minutes.
I hope to have more recipes in the coming weeks, but I just looked at my American Airlines account and I have 7 upcoming flights in my queue. SEVEN.   I may have to get back into the flight attendants’ quarters and help them mix drinks and warm up the nuts or something.  If I did that I suppose I could give myself all pistachios and cashews, and leave the almonds for everyone else. Hm…
The idea here was to add as many delicious ingredients as possible in to one cookie.  I wanted to add Nutella too, but I ran out.
I used this recipe, but I added a ripe mashed banana, and used all chocolate chips rather than Reese’s.  If there is a spare ripe banana sitting in my fruit bowl, you can bet that it will make itself into the next thing I bake.  No description necessary here, these were tasty. The addition of the banana made these really moist, they tasted more like banana bread meets cookie. I think they liked each other.
Popovers, in my mind, are the perfect bread. Crusty on the outside, soft on the inside, and fun to look at. Add cheese, and they’re even better. I just made my standard old popover recipe, but sprinkled cubes of Manchego cheese and a pinch of sea salt on them before popping them in the oven.
Recipe (serves 6)
  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon butter, melted
  • ~24 small cubes of Manchego cheese (about 1/2 in each)
  • Sea Salt
Preheat the oven to 425. Spray a popover pan with Pam. Mix the flour, milk, eggs, and butter in a bowl. Pour the batter into 6 popover cups. Sprinkle a pinch of sea salt and 4 cubes of Manchego cheese on top of each one.  Bake for about 30 minutes (check around 25).

Have you seen a Himalayan Salt Block before? I hadn’t until I received one from my sister for my cooking endeavors, and now I’m hooked on experimenting. It’s a large (and rather heavy) block of super pure and natural salt that you can use for cooking, serving, chilling, etc. How fun! Coincidentally, I LOVE SALT. And when you cook on this, it perfectly salts your food and gives it a really delicious flavor. I will let you read more about it on the website, but the whole idea is kind of amazing. You can heat it to super high temperatures to cook on, or you can freeze it to serve chilled appetizers. I knew I loved salt, and now it’s confirmed that it truly is a superfood.

Frying eggs has been my favorite use so far. It’s easy and I looooove salty eggs served over toast. And peppery eggs, as you can tell from the photo above. It’s the one and only culinary trait I inherited from my father.

So, I placed the salt block directly over a burner (we have a gas range).  I started the heat at low to warm it up a bit, then gradually increased the heat to medium-high. I let the block heat up for about 20 minutes or so, then I threw on about a tablespoon of butter. I let the butter melt, then added two eggs. And lots of pepper. In minutes you’ll have fried eggs with a perfectly unique and salty flavor infused into them!

I feel very creative and resourceful with my salt block, like I am one step closer to being able to live off the land.  Because that’s clearly one of my long term goals. Thanks B!