Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spring is here...

and it was all over the farmer's market this weekend.
I picked up the most lovely fruits and veggies:
Chard and little gem lettuce,
strawberries and blood oranges
Meyer lemons and green garlic
fava beans and fresh peas

I think I am most excited about the peas (I am planning on making the carbonara from Sunday Supers at Luques).

I also picked up bacon from the Prather Ranch guys (, fresh stone ground corn meal from Ridgecut Gristmills ( check out the website this woman is AWESOME), garlic Gouda, and fresh farm eggs.

Oh I always love the farmers market but really this is the season.  Spring is on Oh Yeah, time to your local farmers market! 

Monday, April 20, 2009

Salty, Savory, Easter Pie

If you grew up in a family that made the traditional Italian holiday fare then I am sure you know exactly what I am blogging about.  If not let me open your eyes to the one food item that says Spring to me like nothing else.  It is a savory pie, made with Ham, sausage, cheese and lots of eggs, that we always had for Easter (I know I am a little late, but let's face it you don't have to celebrate Easter to enjoy this dish).  Last weekend my mom and I whipped out the old recipe and got to baking. The recipe is as follows (for those of you that need a little more direction than the below posted recipe card).


1 1/2 lbs.  Ham (chopped or in run through a meat grinder)
1 1/2 lbs.  Grated jack cheese (use the biggest holes on your grater) 
1 1/2 lbs.  Ricotta Cheese (feel free to make your own, makes it oh so good)
8 hard boiled eggs (chopped)
1/2 cup parsley 
1/4 cup grated parmigiano - reggino cheese
6 raw eggs + 1 extra yolk 
black pepper to taste


Make your favorite pie crust with less shortening/butter than normal (make enough for a top and bottom)

Pre heat your oven at 350 degrees with the rack placed in the middle.

Remove your sausage from there casings and cook, set aside to cool.

Bake pie for and hour and a half. Cool on a rack and eat at room temperature.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Tuna Noodle Casserole

When I first started this blog I envisioned it as a place to post my mac and cheese recipes. Because frankly I loved mac and cheese, but the thing is I have yet to post a single mac and cheese recipe on this here blog. I guess I fell off that train a while back, not because I don’t love the mac and cheese but I did realize I don’t really make it that often for a variety of reasons. So today you get my first post that is even close to mac and cheese you get...drum roll please...tuna noodle casserole.

Now I did not grow up in a casserole eating family, in fact I did not have tuna noodle casserole until my friend Mackenzie made it in college. But I like it, I like it a lot, which means I have made in many times in many different ways in the quest to find something so yummy that like does not cover how I feel! The following recipe is variation of an recipe from
So here it is my favorite recipe for tuna noodle casserole:

1 medium yellow onion (finely chopped)
2 cloves garlic (chopped)
2 tablespoons fresh thyme
4 cups sliced white mushrooms
6 tablespoons butter give or take
2 teaspoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
1/4 cup flour
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup whole milk
6 oz. egg noodles (half a bag)
salt and pepper
1 cup mild cheddar cheese (grated)
1 cup bread crumbs
1/4 cup parmesan cheese (grated fine)

Prep ingredients, you know get the chopping and grating done ahead of time so you can get to it. Preheat oven at 375 degrees, placing rack in the middle. Butter casserole dish.

In heavy skillet melt 1 1/2 tblsp. butter and saute onions until they begin to give off liquid and soften, add garlic cook until onions start to caramelize. Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to give off liquid. Add soy sauce and continue cooking until they are tender and liquid has evaporated. Add sherry vinegar and cook until liquid has evaporated (if you don’t have sherry vinegar, then don’t put it in and really you will be fine, it just kind of mellows out the soy and you know adds another layer of flavor. The original recipe called for a 1/4 sherry, but I didn’t have it and I had the vinegar so I adjusted, feel free to do the same). Remove from heat and set aside.

Melt 4 tablespoons of butter in heavy sauce pan over medium low heat, whisk in flour and cook stirring for three minutes. Add broth in steady stream, whisking. Bring to a boil, and you know keep on whisking. Whisk in milk and cook for 5 minutes (whisking occasionally). Add in lemon juice, salt, tuna and mushroom mixture. Taste and add salt and pepper.

Cook noodles till al dente and strain, transfer noodles back to pot you cooked them in and mix in cheese. Pour sauce over noodles and give them a good stir to make sure sauce coats the noodles. Transfer to baking dish and cover with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese (which you should mix together). Bake for 20 minutes until the top is golden brown and the dish bubbles.

Take out of oven and let dish set up 5-10 minutes. Dish out and enjoy!

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

The things you find in the grocery store!

While visiting the parental unit this holiday season I took the obligatory trip to the grocery store with my mom to pick up some things we forgot (I then went back after we got home and realized there was no white wine or onions in the house).  While running through my grocery list and picking up the fixings for Christmas dinner I ran across this....
That is right folks, and quarterly magazine dedicated to cheese, cheese making, and cheese makers.  If you love the dairy as I do, I suggest you check it out.  I of course bought it and have been enjoying it A LOT!  There is a lovely article about an Italian cheese maker along with lots of info about blue cheese (there feature cheese for this first issue).  
check out the website or go get it in your local grocery/book/news stand store and buy it.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Lemon Meringue Pie

I have these old ceramic pie plates from my grandmother that have nifty recipes on the bottom and there is nothing that brings out the baking dork in me like these pie plates.  I love making apple pie in the apple one and lemon meringue pie in the lemon one and so in the spirit of the holidays I bring you Lemon Meringue Pie.  Yes you can still make it if you don't have a pie plate with lemons on the bottom, but if you do I promise it will taste better.

For my pie crust I use the recipe from the Tartine cookbook.   It is pretty basic, flour (check), butter (you know it) and water.  Anyway bake up your favorite pie crust and let cool.

For the filing:

8 tblsp. cornstarch
3 cups sugar (add and extra cup if you like your pie extra sweet)
2 cups boiling water
1 tsp. salt
3/4 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. meyer lemon juice
grated rind from 4 lemons 2 each kind
4 tblsp butter
8 eggs seperated

In double boiler, combine cornstarch, 2 c sugar and boiling water.  Cook, stirring constantly, till mixture thickens.  Add salt, lemon juice & grated rind.  Continue cooking, and don't you dare stop with the stirring lumpy pie...yuck!  Once completely blended, beat egg yolks (in a separate bowl, make it a big one) until lemon colored.  Pour mixture over egg yolks, stirring constantly, then transfer back into the top of your double boiler and cook for 4 minutes.  Add butter and blend well.  Remove mixture and let cool, then pour into cooled pie shell.  

For the meringue preheat oven to 325.  Beat egg whites till very stiff, gradually adding 12 tblsp. sugar.  Beat until mixture forms stiff peaks.  Spread over lemon mixture and bake for 15 minutes or until you have a nice golden brown crust over the meringue.  Let pie completely cool before serving (the lemon will need to set up again, yeah go ahead and stick it in the fridge).

I made this pie in october for Canadian Thanksgiving (What so I live in California, I know a lot of Canadians and I like turkey) and it was a hit, so if you are thinking you would like to change it up this holiday season and bring a lemon pie instead, be bold and go for it!

Monday, June 23, 2008

A new project...

I am not going to lie the highlight of my weekend was making ricotta in my kitchen.  The cheese and the pizza it went on turned out fabulous and now I am all about making the cheese!  I think I would like to try the ricotta again but infuse it with basil and see what happens.  But what really is at the forefront of my mind in mozzarella.  I found a recipe at that I am going to try and I do believe I will be taking my lunch today at the bookstore where I will find a cheese making book, because I simply have too.  I am so excited.  Look forward to many cheese posting to come!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Beating the Heat!

Ladies and Gentlemen it is HOT in the bay area, I mean seriously hot for the folks here.  You know we don't have air conditioning because we do not usually get heat like this.  So I needed a solution to my overheating issue that went beyond laying if front of my fan all day.  While at the farmers' market genius hit in the form of beautiful blackberries, I bought myself a basket and headed home where I proceeded to make lemon-limeade and fresh blackberry popsicles.  The recipe is as follows, it is tart but I like it that way, if you don't use more sugar!

1 cup water
1 cup sugar

Make simple syrup and cool.

Juice from 3 lemons
Juice from 4 limes

Mix together with simple syrup.

Drop 4-5 fresh blackberries into your popsicle mold.  If you don't have one you can use dixi cups and popsicle sticks (totally work I swear!).  Then pour your lemon-limeade over blackberries, pop in the sticks and freeze.  In a couple of hours you will have a cool refreshing treat!

In other news I just finished making homemade ricotta for the first time and I am going use it on my pizza tonight (the recipe via smittenkitchen, though I am not using the meat and adding olives and arugula salad as a topper).  

Hope the heat isn't keeping you out of the kitchen!  Remember you can always take a break with a popsicle!