Enchanting Recipes & Everyday Life In General

Monthly Archives: April 2011

I apologize for my lack of posts as of late.

The Boo and I took an impromptu trip to Michigan this week. We’re still here, but we’ll be home soon. (I’m not posting dates because I’ve recently become one of those people that’s a freak about not telling anyone how long we’ll be away, we could pop at home ANYTIME–so don’t even try to break in. 🙂 )

But, I promise, we will return home soon and I will continue my regular posting.
And when I do…

Yummm. Do not fret, it will come soon!
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Happpppy Monday!

Hope y’all had a GREAT Easter weekend! I did.

I made the Boo and I a little Easter dinner just for the two of us. In between the 5 services he had to do at church yesterday, we had a couple hours to enjoy dinner.

Of course, I forgot to take pictures of everything.
Whoopies!

I managed to snap a few pictures from my iPhone–so that’s what you get.

I don’t think this recipe will be too useful to you now that Easter’s done–but hey, there’s always next year, right? And who knows, maybe you’ll make deviled eggs a weekly staple for you?
No?

Deviled Eggs

What you need:
6 hard boiled eggs
1 green onion
1/3 cup mayonaise
1 tablespoon of dijon mustard (regular mustard will suffice if you don’t have dijon)
2 dashes on hot sauce
1 teaspoon of white wine vinegar
salt & pepper, to taste
paprika, for sprinkling

It starts with hard boiled eggs. Here it is, the secret recipe. It’s tricky, are you ready?

1. Put 6 eggs in a saucepan.
2. Cover the eggs with cold water–1 inch higher than the top of the eggs.
3. Put 1 tablespoon of vinegar in the water. (This keeps an egg from spreading if it breaks open. It helps it coagulate.)
4. Bring the eggs to a boil.
5. Let them boil for 1 minute.
6. Remove from heat and cover.
7. Let sit in water for 14 minutes.
8. Move eggs to a bowl of ice water–this will stop the cooking.

Tada! Perfect hard boiled eggs.

Okay. So, after the eggs have cooled, cut them in half lengthwise. Remove the yolks into a bowl, and put the eggs on a plate.

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To the yolks, add the rest of the ingredients besides the paprika.

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With a fork, mash up the yolks and mix all the ingredients together.
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Put the filling into a piping bag, and pipe into the eggs. If you don’t have a piping bag, cut the corner off a ziplock bag…. Or you can scoop it in with a spoon.
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Sprinkle the eggies with paprika, and serve cold!
Yum yum.
I literally had 3 of these. Paul ate the rest. 
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Not bad pics for a phone, eh?

Speaking of my iPhone. I got it 4 days ago. Immediately I ordered a phone cover off the internet.

The next day, I got insurance on it from Best Buy. (It’s pretty sweet insurance, it’s only $15 a month and you can break your phone as many times as you want and they just send it in and in like 3 days you get a new one. FANTASTIC, right? )

I’ve been doing realllllly well, trying to protect my phone.

Today–I dropped it. On the cement.
It shattered.

3 hours later, I got my case that I had ordered in the mail. Convenient.

ARG!

Well, tonight I went to the mall to send it into the Best Buy to get it fixed, and I decided to stop by The Apple Store quick, to see if there’s anything they could do. (They did replace Paul’s iPad (FOR FREE) when he left it on top of his car, and it fell into the middle of one of the busiest streets in town and got ran over several times before Paul went searching for it several hours later)

Welp, Apple is good. They fixed my phone. For free. No sending it in. No waiting. Fixed phone. No cracks. Free.

Yay Apple. Recommended, for sure.
(Nope, they didn’t even pay me to say this to you.)


This is completely un-food related–but I just gotta share it.

A lot of you have probably never heard of this band, but I just can’t keep them to myself–they are SOO good.

They are an indie folk duo (John Paul White & Joy Williams)
They are absolutely Fan. Tas. Tic.
They have AMAZING harmonies.

I’ve been listening to them for quite a while now, and all of a sudden they just blew up–they’re getting rave reviews by everyone.

You should download their album, Barton Hallow–it’s only $7 on iTunes. It’s worth the $7.

A few weeks ago, Paul & I, along with some friends went to see them here in Louisville. They are equally good live as they are on their CD–which is rare. 
I just can’t find the words to describe their amazingness. Really. Do you see me stumbling here? They make me stumble.
At the show–John Paul White came out to introduce the opener, and well, his fly was down. Oopsies. The Boo sent a tweet to them, letting him know:

@thecivilwars john, being a brother here…. Looked like your fly was down when introducing the opening act… Louisville!

He was grateful. they loved it, and they dedicated a song to him:

Fantastic!

We even got a picture with them afterwards…Woohoo!

Doesn’t he look like Johnny Depp?

Anyways, they are absolutely fantastic and I strongly encourage you to check them out. 




Homemade Pasta > Store Bought Pasta

There is nothing quite like it. It’s hard to describe–that flavor…Mmm, and that texture…Yum! It actually has flavor, and it actually has texture. 
AND you can control the flavor–that’s the biggest advantage I see to making pasta at home. You want spinach pasta? Add a little spinach. Want herby pasta? Add some herbs.
The dough is very versatile and you can make whatever kind of pasta you want to out of it (ravioli, spaghetti, tortellini, etc..)
It’s very easy, and it doesn’t take too long either! 

Basic Pasta Dough

Printable Version
Recipe by Tyler Florence


You’ll need:
2 cups all purpose flour
3 eggs
1 teaspoon of salt
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting

Get your mise en place all ready.

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Mise en place means ‘everything in its place’, meaning measure all your ingredients and have them handy before you start cooking. The first step to mise en place is always to read the entire recipe from start to finish, so you know what to expect.

Dump the flour onto a clean working surface, mix in the salt

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Make it into a pretty little mound, then create a little well in the center

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Beat the eggs (Oops, I forgot to!) and

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Add the olive oil as well…

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Start to lightly beat the eggs, gradually draw flour into the mixture while beating.

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Slowly, but surely, draw more and more flour into the mixture until a firm dough starts to form.

Then, start kneading the dough.

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If the dough is too dry and hard to knead, add a little hot water.
Knead until elastic-ey, form into a ball. Dust the tabletop with cornmeal as needed to prevent sticking.

If you’re using an electric mixer...It’s even easier!

Put the flower (oops) flour in a mixer fitted with the dough hook attachment…

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Add the eggs and mix on low.

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Slowly drizzle in the olive oil…

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Mix until it comes together as a dough, then dump out onto a floured/cornmealed surface.
Knead until the dough is smooth and elastic-ey.

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This is what a picture looks like with horrible lighting.

Roll the dough into a ball.

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Orrr…

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A butt! Bahahaha.

Then cover it with plastic and let it rest for 20 minutes.

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Ta da! Pasta dough.

To use the dough, simple roll it out into a thin sheet & cut it into whichever shape you’d like.

To cook homemade pasta–it takes MUCH less time. Cook in boiling, heavily-salted water for 3-4 minutes until al dente. Serve with your favorite pasta sauce, pesto, or simply butter & parmesan cheese.

Bon Appetit!


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Today, this 17th day in April, 2011, is Gracie Mae’s 3rd Birthday; therefore, this entire post is devoted to her.

Little Miss Mae is celebrating her third year of life. I still remember her first day with us.
Look how much she has grown! Wasn’t she just a darling little peanut!?

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For her birthday, we typically go for a nice long walk, or to the park, and then we go to the pet store and let her pick out a couple new toys of her choice…And, yes, she really does chose them.

We always have a little photo shoot, to document her growth, and her day. And this year, we added something new into the mix–I made her yummy homemade doggie treats (and yes, Paul & I both tried them.)

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Homemade Pooch Treats

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These were super-duper simple, and Gracie can’t get enough. Plus, they are healthier (and cheaper) than her normal Milkbones that tend to make her constipated and change her poop weird colors.
I did a little research before making these–a lot of recipes I came across had garlic in them, apparently fleas hate the smell of garlic, so garlicky food keeps them away. Unfortunately, garlic is bad for dogs. Like onions, garlic can cause anemia in dogs–which can cause death. No, thank you!
A lot of the recipes also had animal flavors in them, like chicken or beef bouillon. I opted not to add these because of the typical sodium content, but feel free to if you’d like.

In a mixing bowl, combine 1 cup of rolled oats..

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…and 1/3 cup softened butter.

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Then pour in 1 cup of hot water (just like you’re making oatmeal!)

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Mix it together a bit, and let that sit for 10 minutes.

Measure 1/4 a cup of cornmeal,

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and grate 2 carrots.

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Put the carrot shreds into a piece of paper towel and gently squeeze the juice out.

Next, chop up 1/2 cup of parsley…

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..and measure 1 cup of peanut butter.

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Add this all to the bowl with the oatmeal.

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Next, add 3 cups of flour.

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I would have used whole wheat flour if I’d had it–but I didn’t…So, I just used plain ol’ all-purpose flour. If you have whole wheat flour, I recommend using it.

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Add 1 egg and 1/4 cup of milk, then mix it all together.

It should look something like this.

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You may be tempted to eat the dough at this point–it smells like peanut butter cookies. Don’t let yourself be fooled–this is going to be dog food. Remember? But mmm, it smells so good.

Mmm, smell them?

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Dump the dough out onto a well-floured surface. The dough should be firm, not too sticky. If it’s sticky, dust it with flour and knead it a bit until it becomes firm.

Form it into a ball.

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I rolled the dough a bit and found it was too much, so I cut it in half.

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Roll your dough to about 1/4″ thickness.

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Use a cookie cutter to cut it into whichever shape you desire.

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Lay the cookies on a grease cookie sheet. Bake on 350˚F for 45 minutes–until hardened.

Let them cool, and share them with your favorite pooch!

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Here it is, the big reveal!

After several weeks of eagerly waiting, anticipating, and stressing, the day has arrived that I can finally share this HUGE news with you all.

I am pleased to announce the growth in our house!
New life is blossoming here in this family, and I couldn’t be more excited to finally share in this with you.

I am thrilled to be able to celebrate this joyous day with everyone!

That’s right!
My herbs are finally in bloom!

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I’ve been wanting to tell you guys for a while. To shout it from the rooftops. But I’ve been waiting for the basil to finally make an appearance.

On Monday, it rained and rained and rained, ALLLLLLLLLLLLL the live long day. And I, being the horrible gardener that I am, left all my pots out on the steps while I was away all day. My face paled and my stomach dropped to my toes when I was at cooking club and remembered that my pots we’re still sitting outside on the porch.

They were doomed, I knew it. All that water. All the flood warnings…they were done for.

Apparently, all that rain was what they needed because the next day, this happened:

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Happy, tiny, little basil sprouts started to appear. 
And that’s when I knew it was time. Time to share the joyous news of the growth of de herbs with you. 
The cilantro made its appearance first.
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It’s clearly doing the best of all the herbs. It’s even starting to take its shape.

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I picked a piece and ate it, and it’s delicious. Mucho cilantro-ey. I cannot WAITTTT to use it this summer! It will be so nice to not have to run to the store all the time for herbs.

The parsley made it’s appearance next.

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It’s not quite as full and robust as the cilantro–but I’ll take it. It will come, in time, in time. It also hasn’t started to take it’s signature flat leaf parsley shape. It will get there, I know it will.

Next, my marigolds started to sprout.

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I’m a little underwhelmed with the state of these. They haven’t done much growing since they first sprouted, and come on, where are all the brothers and sisters? They are going to need to start appearing if I am going to have the beautiful welcome plant on my front stoop like I had hoped…

Then finely, the lone basils started appearing. I almost missed them–two tiny little sprouts on the very side of the pot. Last year, the basil were the quickest growers.

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They’re shy this year, they must be.
Maybe that’s why I can’t seem to find basil at any grocery stores this year…They’re shy.

Anywhoo…
Precious herbs.
I can’t wait to see how they grow up.

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Pssst. You may notice in the picture about that my deck is one color, and the stairs are another. This was an annoying story. 
Yesterday morning I came outside of my condo to take my precious Gracie potty–there was a strange man at the bottom of my stairs with a power washer and a bottle of wood stain. He had removed all the stain from our stairs, and re-stained it. The stairs were dripping wet with stain, and there I was, stuck at the top with my dog who had to poo. I asked if I could walk on it, and the strange man replied with, “Uhhhhh….You’re not supposed to.”
HELLLOO–Those are my only stairs. My only way out. What am I supposed to do? Fly down? Glide down on the rail? A little warning about the staining would be nice, don’t you think? Well, I picked up Gracie and we went downstairs anyway. Psh. Don’t tell me what to do, homeboy. 
The deck is still a different color than the stairs. Annoying. 
More herby updates to come, promise. 
OH! And it’s Gracie’s birthday on Sunday. She’ll be three. I might die–my baby is THREE.
Random.
Goodbye!

I just have a minute, so I’ll share a quick side dish with you.

Cauliflower Gratin was something I grew up eating. I loveeee cauliflower, and this is one of my favorite dishes. It’s pure melt-in-your-mouth cheesy goodness. It’s sort of like au gratin potatoes, except cauliflower.

Credit of this recipe goes to mi Madre. I know I poked fun of her pork steaks, but this cancels that out…Right?

Yum yum.

Cauliflower Gratin

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What you’ll need:
1 head of cauliflower
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 cups milk
salt & pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
8 oz swiss cheese

First, trim the cauliflower into bite sized pieces.

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In a saucepan, melt butter on medium-high heat.

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Add the flour to the melted butter, and whisk until combined.

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It will be kind of lumpy. This is called a roux–it’s a thickener. You can add a roux to any sauce to thicken it.

Side Topic: Roux
To make a thickened sauce from a roux, melt the butter, then add the flour, then the liquid. It’s always equal parts butter to flour (1 tablespoon of butter–1 tablespoon of flour.)

If you’re thickening an already made sauce (or soup), melt the butter and add the flour. Then add some (a cup at a time) of the already made sauce (or soup) liquid to the roux. Whisk it until liquidy and smooth (not lumpy). When the roux is thick, but smooth, then add it to the sauce (or soup). Then, bring it to a boil. It thickens at a boil–so don’t forget this step.

I’ll have more on this in a later post, I promise. Maybe I’ll do a How To post.

End Side Topic.

Slowly, SLOWLY, add the milk–stirring to incorporate. I cannot emphasize slowly enough, this prevents lumps.

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See. Thick. Lump Free. Looks like gravy.
Add your salt and pepper, and garlic powder.

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You just made what our grandma’s call a “white sauce”.

Pour this white sauce over the cauliflower in a 9×9 baking dish. Mix it in and make sure the cauliflower is saturated with sauce.

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Then, grate your cheese.

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My favorite step, clearly.

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Cover the cauliflower with the cheeeeeeeese.

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Stick it in the oven at 350˚ F for 25-30 minutes, until the top is golden and the cauliflower is tender.

See. Yum.

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Serve it with your favorite meal to make it even more delicious.

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