Archive of ‘Recipes’ category

Summer Days


These days are involving less cooking, not necessarily a bad thing.  We have had some really warm days up here, meaning no oven use.  It is also means I have close to no energy, being 39+ weeks pregnant now.  I helped the husband make toast with Fire Island bread this morning and rinsed some strawberries, that’s something.  He scrambled eggs with spinach and goat cheese

Husband cooking eggsbreakfast

If you happen to be looking for some good store bought eggs, I recommend Vital Farms.  Their eggs are super flavorful and one of the highest rated eggs by the Cornucopia Institute based on sustainable, family run, humane farming practices.

Vital farms egg

A good egg

I am working less and less so that should mean more time to garden and blog and organize, and be nesty.  But no, it means thinking about all the things I should be doing but can’t get the motivation to do because I don’t know where to start.  I did make a to do list, and yes there are things crossed off.

What’s left:

1. Finish cleaning out fridge

2. Organize stuff to donate/sell

3. Finish writing thank you cards for baby shower (they are coming)

4. Do work paperwork (I plan on putting this off for a long time)

5. Blog


I have accomplished things like paying bills, making some freezer meals, washing the sheets (yes I had to put the on The List).

Kitchen remodel

As much as I want this baby out, we still have a gaping hole in the kitchen, but it’s not as bad as it looks.  The main part is done, and we can cook, clean and eat in it, what else is there to do in a kitchen?  The husband is now building a pantry that will sit behind the fridge, then we should be pretty much done.  If you decide to remodel your home, the general rule is that it will take at least double of what you think it will, even if you have already accounted for that.  So if you think 2 months, but maybe it will take 4 because things take a while, it will be more like 4-6.  We were initially thinking 3, maybe more.  It’s been almost 8.

Remodeling kitchen with cat

Cooking Binge Time

Blackberry Galette

I was almost a little sad to go on vacation, but as I was looking out the window watching snow fall I became less sad.  The husband and I haven’t learned to appreciate the art of the stay-cation, so I’m cooking my heart out while I can because I have a kitchen sink with a disposal and a dishwasher too!  No more cleaning black beans out of the sink while I brush my teeth.

Preparing Ricotta Gnocchi

I am instead learning about convection baking and experimenting with the Pie setting on the oven.  Yes and there is a Pizza setting too.  Aren’t we fancy?  Say yes.

Galette in KitchenI made ricotta gnudi from my Gourmet Today cookbook which is one of my favorites, I ended up making a quick marinara from the next recipe for fresh manicotti.  The galette I made by making a simple all butter pie crust, doing about 2/3 wheat flour and no sugar, I did a little egg wash and coarse sugar around the edge.  Filling is just 5 cups blackberries, 3/4 cup sugar, couple teaspoons vanilla, a bit of cinnamon (no I didn’t measure).  It’s simple, rustic, the wheat flour gives it a little hearty nuttiness that balances the tart and sweet of the blackberries.  I suggest homemade vanilla ice cream as a serving suggestion.


Cooking Rocitta GnocchiThere has also been: cinnamon rolls, chocolate cupcakes, ribs, collard green rolls (plan on recipe post for that), sourdough bread, banana barley muffins, kale chips, goat cheese souffle to name a few.

Future plans: carrot cake, coconut cake, waffles, oven fries, raspberry pie.  I should make some vegetables too…

A Lazy Idiot

Flourless Chocolate Cake

I planned never to have to say this, but I have neglected my blog and been lax on the posting.  I had the time, I even did some cooking, but I really just wanted to eat my food.  The kitchen has been up and down, and I think now is definitely at an up.  Meaning I can cook in the room that is supposed to be a kitchen.  There is like a stove and a cook-top and some sort of cabinets.  It also looks really good.  The husband and I like to stand in there at night and just stare at it.  It’s not done, and it’s not perfect but it’s getting there.

Chocolate Cake in Kitchen

I have been more motivated to cook, especially with multiple burners and an oven.  But I am still washing dishes in the bathroom so now is not yet the time to go crazy.  I’ve been holding back on the my deep, primal urge to bake a cake.  Until today as I was sitting on the floor staring straight on at my new oven (really 2 years old, but sitting unused in the shed) and decided it was time.  Nothing crazy, I will save my carrot cake with apricot and cream cheese frosting with layers of something curd for later.  So of course David Lebovitz to the rescue again.  I have been eyeing his chocolate idiot cake for a while.  So few ingredients but the combination cannot be wrong.  I of course did not have enough bittersweet chocolate, so used some unsweetened baking chocolate and added a touch more sugar.  Then I added some salt, and maybe some bourbon.  I did not use a springform pan in the water bath because I decided it was too hard, that is what makes it lazy idiot.  Fitting that I have also been too lazy to write blog posts.

Flourless Chocolate Cake with gelato

Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemon Curd

Every day is feeling closer and closer to summer.  I’m beyond ready for fresh strawberries and sunshine.  I also love anything lemon, if it can involve lemon curd, even better.  It’s tart, a little bit sweet, and creamy.  If you end up with a Costco sized bag of lemons this is a great use for them.  Meyer lemons are a little less tart and more floral tasting, they are becoming easier to find at grocery stores, I got mine from Full Circle Farms, if you happen to be in the Pacific Northwest area.  Once you have the curd made, you have lemon bars, lemon tarts, and lemon mousse all possibilities in your future.  So go make some.

This recipe is adapted from Martha Stewart, there are also many other great ideas for using up your lemon curd, like Meyer Lemon Crepe Cake.  Please make sure you don’t skip the straining part, otherwise there can be some cooked egg bits in your otherwise smooth and dreamy curd.

Meyer Lemon Curd

Meyer Lemon Curd

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 10 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

Yield: 1 cup


  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • zest of 3 lemons
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup Meyer lemon juice (about 3 lemons)
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, cut into chunks


  1. Stir together zest and sugar in a medium saucepan.
  2. Whisk in egg and egg yolk, and place pan over medium low heat, whisking constantly until starting to thicken.
  3. Whisk in lemon juice and remove from heat.
  4. Add butter, one or two chunks at a time until fully incorporated. Strain curd through fine mesh sieve into bowl.
  5. Cover and refrigerate until cool.


-You can use regular lemons if Meyer lemons are not available, you may want to increase the sugar as it will be more tart. -Should keep for a week or two in the fridge.

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Meyer Lemon Curd

Grilled Pizza with Proscuitto and Arugula


Grilled Pizza with Proscuitto and ArugulaWe have had a warm spell up here in Alaska, perfect reason to uncloak the grill and awaken it from hibernation.  I love the charred taste of bread fresh off the grill, a perfect base for pizza.  This is one example of what you can do, if you don’t like arugula and proscuitto then go in a different direction.  I would make sure all ingredients that need to be cooked are cooked and to go easy on the toppings.  If this pizza gets overloaded the crust can burn before the cheese has had a chance to melt, and that high temp will give it that nice crust on the bottom.

Homemade Pizza DoughSome things I buy at the store that can be made at home (enchilada sauce), others I make myself.  One of those that I make is pizza dough.  It’s maybe 20 minutes of effort, and I always have the ingredients on hand.  Flour, yeast, salt, water, olive oil.  Having a few hours before dinner is needed though.  I don’t usually measure when I’m making dough, except for the yeast.  The amount of flour and water can vary depending on how compacted the flour is and how humid the environment is.  If the dough is too wet, add a little flour, too dry then add some water.  If you have a storebought dough, you can bake it on the grill the same way.

ingredients for pizzaIt helps to have everything ready, so when you flip the crust, all the toppings can be added quickly and easily.

Grilling Pizza DoughGrilling Pizza Dough


Grilled Pizza with Proscuitto and Arugula

Prep Time: 3 hours

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes

Yield: 4 servings


  • 1/2 cup warm water
  • 1 1/2 cup all purpose or bread flour, plus more for dusting surface
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup shredded or cubed mozzarella cheese
  • 4 slices proscuitto sliced
  • 2-3 cups arugula
  • 1-2 tablespoons truffle oil
  • flaky sea salt to finish


  1. Combine warm water and yeast in medium sized bowl and let sit for about 5 minutes until water is foamy.
  2. Add flour and stir with a fork or hands until dough is coming together. Then dump dough onto well floured surface.
  3. Knead dough about 10 minutes, dough should be smooth and elastic, still somewhat soft.
  4. Place dough in oiled bowl and cover with tea towel. Let rise until doubled in size, about 2-3 hours.
  5. Flour a large cutting board, gently stretch out dough to large pizza size. Can make smaller ones if prefered, will make approximately one 14" round pizza.
  6. Set grill to high on both burners. Temp around 500 degrees fahrenheit.
  7. Get all topping ingredients ready and place next to grill.
  8. Scrape down grill grates and oil with paper towel soaked in oil (hold with tongs).
  9. Using spatula, gently shake cutting board to loosen dough and place on grill surface.
  10. Close door and check in two minutes. Dough should brown on the bottom with some blistering on top.
  11. Remove crust from grill and place back on cutting board and close grill door.
  12. Flip crust over, brush with oil, then spread ricotta over. Then put on 1/3 of the arugula, proscuitto and mozzarella.
  13. Put pizza back on to grill surface and turn down heat to medium high, about 450.
  14. Check every couple minutes, wait for cheese to melt, bottom crust should be browning too (takes 4-5 minutes).
  15. Remove pizza from grill back onto cutting board. Spread rest of the arugula over the top and drizzle the truffle oil over top.
  16. Let rest for 5 minutes or so, slice and enjoy.


You can substitute bacon or ham if you don't have proscuitto, can usually find it in the deli section of the grocery store.

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Pizza on the Grill

Banana Cream Pie with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream


Banana Cream PieI don’t really like banana cream pie, well I didn’t before.  But when you are pregnant sometimes the urge strikes.  Doesn’t hurt that it happens to be Pi(e) day, a very special one on 3.14.15!  When I think of banana cream pie I think of the cafeteria at the hospital, with its rotating dessert case.  Gritty chocolate puddings with cool whip and sprinkles.  They had been sitting long enough that the sprinkles were starting to dissolve and dye the cool whip in bright neon splotches.  Then the banana cream pie rotated slowly, beige, soggy and sad.

Banana Cream PieBut now for some reason, I think of it as comfort food.  If you have read my previous post then you will know why I might need some comfort food.  Like if you broke up with your boyfriend and you were upset and went to see your favorite aunt, she would give you a slice of this.  No, she didn’t bring it home from the hospital, she made it.  Made it with love for someone who needs comforting.

Graham cracker crust for banana cream pieCustard for banana cream pieThe recipe uses a crust made from honey graham crackers, the ones I used were Annie’s bunny grahams, because that’s what I could find at the store.  It’s what makes shopping at your small local grocery store fun.  I also liked the less grahamy flavor.  I crushed the crackers bunnies using a plastic baggie and a glass.  This makes a coarser and more irregular crumb and is more work, but meh.  Sometimes I am willing to go through tedious extra work if it involves using less brain power to find a quicker way.  This recipe makes a lot of crust, so the extra crumbs I toasted on a baking sheet on the side and added on top for a little crunch.

Banana Cream Pie


The filling is a vanilla custard with vanilla bean and extract, and just a touch of brandy.  I used store bought salted caramel sauce because I am still mad at caramel for being so easy in the beginning and then turning on me.  I also don’t want to wash crystallized caramel out of my pan in the bathroom.

Filling Banana Cream PieRecipe adapted from Epicurious

Banana Cream Pie with Salted Caramel Whipped Cream

Yield: 8 servings


  • 2 1/2 cups honey graham crumbs
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • 1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
  • 1 1/2 cups milk (I used 2%)
  • 3 large egg yolks
  • 1 vanilla bean
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon brandy
  • 4 ripe bananas peeled and sliced into 1/4" rounds
  • 2-3 tablespoons salted caramel sauce
  • 1 1/2 cups cold whipping cream


  1. Preheat oven to 350 fahrenheit.
  2. Combine crumbs, cinnamon, sugar and butter in a bowl and mix until resembling coarse sand.
  3. Put in a 9" pie plate and press around bottom and sides evenly. If you have extra crumbs put them on a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake crust and crumbs in oven about 10 minutes. Let cool.
  5. Whisk together sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Gradually whisk in cream, milk and egg yolks.
  6. Cut vanilla bean in half lengthwise, scrape out the seeds and add to custard along with vanilla bean.
  7. Heat on medium high heat, while stirring until thickened, about 6-8 minutes.
  8. Remove from heat, stir in butter, vanilla and brandy.
  9. Let cool until warm to room temperature, stirring occasionally, remove vanilla bean.
  10. Add about a cup of custard to cooled crust, layer half the bananas, then another layer of custard and remaining bananas. Add last of custard over top.
  11. Let set in the fridge for 6-8 hours.
  12. Before serving prepare whipped cream by chilling cream, bowl and whisk or beaters.
  13. Place caramel in bowl and pour cream over top.
  14. Stir initially to mix togeter then beat on high until soft peaks but do not overbeat.
  15. Spread over pie, use extra caramel to drizzle over top. Spread crust crumbs on top and serve.


This pie will keep in the fridge for a day or two covered in plastic wrap.

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Banana Cream Pie

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