Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Cookbook Review - Sunday Suppers by Karen Mordechai

I received a copy of Sunday Suppers Recipes + Gatherings by Karen Mordechai for review.



















Karen Mordechai has put together a lovely cookbook for small gatherings and meals to enjoy at home or taken on the road.  I was first taken with the front cover of the book, simple and inviting. There was something about the look of linen fabric with a gorgeous photograph of a simple peasant meal on the cover, I knew this would be the cookbook I would use to entertain my closest family and friends.

Karen's photographs in this cookbook are beautifully done and I enjoyed the introduction, it gave me an understanding of Karen's passion.

Each section of the cookbook starts with a menu and a description of the plot and wonderful quotes, I find this cookbook very romantic and thoughtful.

The very first is Morning and the Menu is Cream Biscuits with Jam Butters, Perfectly Scrambled Eggs, Greens, Blood Orange, halved, Green Juice and French Press Coffee. I looked forward to reading the next menu and start planning what I was going to make first from Sunday Suppers.

For this review I picked the Date Cake with Toffee Sauce. This is one of the best Date Cakes I have ever made. The cake is moist with a lot of flavor and the toffee sauce is perfection that I will use with other recipes.














Karen is the founder of Sunday Suppers, a Brooklyn based food community and blog. Karen also is a photographer and stylist who has won the 2013 Food and Wine Digital Award, top food blog Saveur and number six in Babble.com top 50 Design Blogs. You can find Karen's work in New York Times, Martha Stewart Living, New York magazine along with other publications.

Karen Mordechai Photography
Sunday-Suppers Food and Community

I would like to thank Blogging for Books for their generosity with supplying we with a copy of Sunday Suppers.


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Trip to California

After a year of planning and postponing our vacation we finally made it to California to visit our daughter.  It was a good and bad trip. Five days before we were leaving I woke up with a sore throat, the next day it turned into a full blown cold. My husband thought it best that I stop my exercising and baby myself until we left. (we really didn't want to postpone our trip again) I sat around in my pjs wrapped in a blanket, drinking hot tea, not to mention a couple of shots of bourbon, it didn't help my sore throat but I was toasty.

The drive to CA was perfect, no traffic and smooth sailing, we arrived at our hotel at 3:30 in the afternoon. The hotel wasn't great but it was the only one close to our daughters apartment that allowed dogs. Olive was in carpet heaven being able to zip around the room and have traction, she even jumped up on the bed and back down, she has never done that at home. 

Anna and her boyfriend Cliff came by after she got off work. We were tired from our drive and thought it best just to pick up dinner and bring it back to the room and I was so happy that Chipolte was just around the corner from our hotel.

The next morning we had a full day planned.....Bill woke up with a sore throat and grumpy. He decided to stay at the hotel. With my purse stuffed with Kleenex and cough drops we were off to Fashion Island in Newport Beach.

Anna and I have a tradition of going to Mariposa Cafe in Neiman Marcus, we love their popovers and strawberry butter, I also had their cream of mushroom soup which was delicious. (note to self I need to order the cookbook) 

We walked around and checked out the stores, so much had changed since I was there 2 years ago. Another place we had our foodie hearts set on was Yard House to get the Grilled Artichoke appetizer, we also ordered the Hawaiian Poke Stack. We had a fantastic server Adam who helped me pick out a drink and now I'm all about the Moscow Mules, the one I had was a Ruby Red Moscow Mule. I have already ordered me a couple of the copper mugs.

















Wednesday we nixed all of our plans and just enjoyed each others company. Anna and Cliff also had colds, so we were just one big sick happy family. 

Thursday Anna, Cliff, my mom and I had Dim Sum, it was so good and I was in Chinese food heaven. We did a little shopping at Target I was on the hunt for a Christmas pillow that I spotted and didn't buy, I have it now.



















Friday Anna wanted me to go to Soul Cycle and experience her work-outs. Oh my gosh, if there was a Soul Cycle close to me I would be there. Now, because I was new and had no clue what I was doing I did the best I could, watching everyone else do the routine was making me want to get into this. The next day and a few days after the workout I was sore, but a good sore. 
















During the trip I was able to get my fill of my Asian craving with a Sushi lunch, my pampering getting a mani and pedi and a trip to BevMo. 



















My plan is to fly back to California in the spring to visit people I missed, shop and eat at all the places we had to cancel. I would have been happy just spending the week at the hotel with Anna having a giant slumber party.














Anna and Cliff (sorry about the sun in your eyes)
















The family





















Anna saying good-bye to Olive













Cliff and Olive sharing a moment













Bill











My loves

We are back in Utah and slowly our cold are going away.






Monday, October 27, 2014

Chicken Pot Pie Topped With Potatoes Anna

It has been very windy here and the last of the fall leaves have blown off our trees. Winter is creeping up on us but no snow not even a flurry has graced our path. I'm enjoying the crisp mornings makes my walks a little easier and I'm amazed how much further I go without the hot sun beating down on you.

This weather is making me crave chicken pot pies and I very rarely make chicken pot pies. My husband thinks a pastry crust only belongs on sweet pies not savory. I decided to top my chicken pot pie with Potatoes Anna. I knew it would be a hit with him, he went back for seconds.























Chicken Pot Pie Topped With Potatoes Anna

2 tablespoons olive oil
5 stalks of celery, sliced
5 carrots, sliced
1 large onion,  diced
8 medium size cremini mushrooms, quartered
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
3 tablespoons flour
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
pinch cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups frozen peas
3 to 4 cups shredded cooked chicken (I used store bought rotisserie chicken)
2 large russet potatoes, sliced really thin
1 cup heavy cream
salt
pepper
thyme, minced
hard cheese like parmesan, finely grated (I used Sartori Merlot BellaVitano Cheese)

In a large dutch oven heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add sliced celery, carrots and onions making sure they are all chopped around the same size, add salt, pepper and thyme. Sauté for 15 minutes. While the vegetables are sautéing, melt butter over medium low heat in a skillet and add mushrooms, lightly season with salt and pepper.

Add flour to the vegetables and stir for 3 minutes. Add 1 cup of chicken stock to incorporate the flour and vegetables; add remaining chicken stock, cream, cayenne pepper, nutmeg, bay leaves and mushrooms, lower heat to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes.

Peel potatoes and cut very thin, I used a mandolin slicer at 1/8 inch. Place potato sliced in a bowl and cover with cream.

Remove bay leaves, add frozen peas and chicken to the vegetables. Make a single layer of the sliced potatoes on top of the chicken mixture.  Sprinkle lightly with salt, pepper, thyme and cheese. Repeat this two more times.

Place dutch oven into a pre-heated 400 degree oven for 1 1/2 hours.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Soup and Sandwich

Bill and I went on a 9 mile hike up the mountain Saturday morning. While we were out there we starting talking about tomato soup and grilled cheese sandwiches. (we always seem to start talking food when we are on a long hike) It sounded so good that I had to make it for dinner.

I didn't feel like the same old grilled cheese sandwich.  I had just bought some chipolte gouda and thought the orange marmalade would be a nice combo with the smokiness of the chipolte.  It was perfect and went so well with tomato soup.























Creamy Tomato Basil Soup

1 1/2 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, minced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 28 oz can tomato puree
1 35 oz can Italian whole tomatoes
chicken broth (fill the 28 oz can with the chicken broth)
1 cup cream
1/2 cup fresh basil, chiffonade
2 tablespoons sugar (more if you like sweet soup)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
garlic croutons to garnish

Heat olive oil in a dutch oven over medium heat, add onions and garlic, sauté for a minute or two. Add tomato puree, tomatoes (crushing them with your hands) and chicken both, bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 30 minutes. Remove from heat, uncover for about 30 to 40 minutes to cool.

Fill the blender about half way with the tomato mixture. Hold down lid with a towel to avoid any accidents if the mixture is still very warm. Blend on puree for about a minutes and repeat until all the soup has been blended.  Pour back into the dutch oven and add cream, basil, sugar, oregano, salt and pepper. Bring soup to a low boil and reduce heat to simmer for 30 minutes. Garnish with croutons.






















Chipolte Grilled Cheese Sandwiches

loaf of Bread - Roasted Garlic (I used La Brea), sliced
Chipolte Gouda Cheese (I used Boar's Head)
fresh basil leaves
orange marmalade
butter

Heat skillet or griddle on medium heat. Butter outside of bread, spread orange marmalade on the inside of the bread slices, add thick slices of the chipolte gouda cheese, add basil leaves and assembly sandwiches. Lower heat to medium low and place sandwiches in skillet or griddle. Cook until golden brown on each side. I cover my pan to help the cheese melt.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Shop Small - Gift Ideas

I am a supporter of Small Business shopping. For the last 3 years I have shopped locally or Etsy Shops. For me I feel I am helping "Mom and Pop" type businesses and keeping money in the community, plus I am giving one of a kind unique gifts made in the USA.

Today I want to share some of my favorite Etsy Shops with you.

Midwest Alchemy takes raw, organic, rough gemstones and makes beautiful one of a kind pendants and rings at affordable prices. Here are two of my favorite pendants

















Kismet Collection Morse Code necklace, my daughter bought me this necklace and I love it so much















Leighton Point Linen Beautiful Ecofriendly Linen's. Aprons, Dish Towels, Napkins, Drawstring Bags plus more items for your household that any cook/baker would love.
















The Art of Steve Javiel Mixed Media Art, Urban Decay - I love Steve's artwork
















Succulent Wonderland beautiful succulents for that plant lover. When I first discovered Succulent Wonderland I was in awe of the plants in painted canning jars. Well they just to the succulents to the next level as you will see in the photos below.
















Sweet Marve Lace edible sugar lace. What a clever and unique idea.




















Lastly I'm sharing one of my favorite shops. I have purchased from Sunchowders Emporia many times. My favorite is the Raspberry Pepper Jam and I make a mean Whisky Sauce using this jam.


Thursday, October 16, 2014

Johnsonville Jalapeño and Cheddar Sausage Skillet Cornbread

Cornbread is a main staple in our home we have it with chili, fried chicken, BBQ, soup and even pasta.  I can make it work with any dish. I had a leftover package of Johnsonville Jalapeño and Cheddar Smoked Sausages and knew that I could use them in my cornbread recipe.  Oh my yum! The cornbread came out fantastic, moist, the right amount of heat, this is a keeper recipe.

Thank goodness cornbread is something I can make with my eyes closed because I suck at making biscuits, which is hard for me to admit. I need a Darlin' Southern Gal teach me to make biscuits.







Johnsonville Jalapeño and Cheddar Sausage Skillet Cornbread

1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup yellow corn meal
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 tablespoons sugar
1 cup buttermilk
3 tablespoons canola oil
2 large eggs
1 cup Mexican Blend shredded cheese plus additional cheese to top cornbread
1 cup frozen corn
1/2  onion, minced
pinch red pepper flakes (optional)
3 links Johnsonville Jalapeño and Cheddar Smoked Sausages, diced small
Tabasco sauce (optional)

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. In a large bowl whisk together flour, corn meal, baking powder and sugar. In a small bowl whisk together buttermilk, canola oil and eggs; combine with the dry ingredients until everything is mixed together. Fold in the cheese, corn, onion, red pepper flakes and Johnsonville sausage. Butter 4 5-inch cast iron skillets; divide batter between the 4 skillets. Sprinkle with more cheese and optional splash the top with Tabasco Sauce. Bake for 25 minutes; or until done.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The Colors of Fall

Bill, Olive and I drove up to the meadow above us which is about 3 miles.  Olive played with her egg while I walked around snapping photos.  I took these photos a week ago the Aspen trees are now bright yellow.

I lived in Los Angeles where it was green all year long. This is such a treat to see the Fall colors and I'm in awe every year when the leaves start changing.

The two years our daughter lived here in Utah with us she always seem to go back to California during this time of year to visit friends and she never got to see the beauty this time of the year in person.  I hope she will be able to visit us during this window of opportunity before we move (not sure when we will be moving but it's in our future).










Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap

I will be participating in the 4th Annual Great American Food Blogger Cookie Swap, hosted by Love and Olive Oil and The Little Kitchen.



















Not only will you make cookies and share them with other Food Bloggers you also get to help out with a fantastic charity Cookies For Kids Cancer with a small $4.00 donation you can make a huge difference.  If you are unable to participate in the Cookie Swap, please consider making a donation.


Monday, October 13, 2014

Carnitas Tamale Pie

I came across a recipe for Carnitas Tamale Pie from Pinch of Yum on Pinterest. I had almost everything for Lindsey's recipe. Instead of making a trip to the market I decided to use what I had on hand and I wanted to add to her recipe.

I did some adjusting, I didn't have creamed corn so I used frozen corn and for the cream part I omitted the milk and used whipping cream instead. I also wanted to use refried beans to make it a bit heartier. Lastly I added black olives just because I love olives in Mexican dishes.

Stop by Pinch of Yum to check out the original recipe the link is provided below.






















Carnitas Tamale Pie
Adapted from: Pinch of Yum

2/3 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup yellow corn meal
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 egg
pinch cayenne pepper (optional)
1 small can diced green chilies
2/3 cup frozen corn
1 3.8 oz can black olives, divided
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup enchilada sauce
1 16 oz can refried beans
3 cups shredded carnitas
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
cilantro, rough chop

Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder and salt together. Stir in whipping cream and egg just until just combined. Add cayenne pepper, green chilies, corn, 1/2 the olives and the 1/2 cup shredded cheese; stir until just combined. Spread out into a 9 inch square baking dish allow to rest while the oven preheats to 400 degrees. Bake for 25 minutes or until set.

Reduce oven to 350 degrees. Poke holes in the crust and pour enchilada sauce over crust, top with refried beans, carnitas, remaining olives and cheddar cheese. Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes; remove foil and bake another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted.

Sprinkle with cilantro; cool for 5 minutes before serving.


Saturday, October 11, 2014

2014 Cookie Recipe and Cookie Cutter Exchange

Presenting the 1st Annual Living Rancho Delux Cookie Recipe and Cookie Cutter Exchange

I am hosting a Cookie Recipe and Cookie Cutter Exchange on Elfster - Sign up Deadline is November 1st.  Feel free to share this with your family and friends.

Sign Up Here: For the Cookie Recipe and Cookie Cutter Exchange

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Recipe: Sloppy Jose Sandwich

I was thinking back to food I ate as a kid and one that our school fixed often was Sloppy Joe's. I think the last time I had one was in middle school, that would be back in 1973.  From what I remember they were kinda on the sweet side and I prefer spicy and smokey over sweet.  Here is my version of a Sloppy Joe.....The Sloppy Jose.
























Sloppy Jose Sandwich

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium onion, diced small
1/2 large red bell pepper, diced small
1 clove garlic, minced
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 pound lean ground beef
1 pound chorizo
1/2 chipolte pepper in adobo sauce, minced (if you like heat add more I used 2 peppers)
1 tablespoon adobo sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
pepper jack cheese
arugula greens
onion buns or your favorite rolls 6 to 8 depending on the size of the buns

In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium low heat add onions, sauté for 3 minutes add red bell pepper, garlic, salt and pepper, sauté for 4 minutes.  Turn heat up to medium add ground beef, breaking up the ground beef, once it starts to brown add chorizo and mix everything together until incorporated. Cook for 10 minutes; stirring occasionally. Once the meat is cooked through add the chipolte pepper, adobo sauce and tomato paste, mix together. Turn hit on low, cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Fill bun with meat mixture top with cheese and place under the broiler until cheese melts, top with arugula.

For leftovers heat meat mixture add eggs and stir the eggs turning them making scrambled eggs.  Add the meat egg mixture to flour tortillas, along with cheese, hash browns and salsa for burritos.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding

Since moving to Utah it has snowed on my birthday, Monday was my birthday and we had blue skies, no clouds and it was in the 70's, it was a beautiful fall day.  The day started with my husband and I walking down to the paved road and back which was around 5 miles and coming back was all up hill. Thank goodness I have been walking diligently since June it wasn't bad at all.

My husband had his post-op appointment  for his knee. We got there almost an hour early (his doctor is 43 miles away) and found out he was running an hour behind. We decided to go have lunch came back to the doctors office and he is now running 1 1/2 hours behind schedule. I left Bill in the doctors office and ran errands which I had planned to do after his appointment.  By the time he got out of the doctors office it was almost 4pm.  His appointment went well and he doesn't have to go back until the one year check up, good news.  I had just enough time to change and head off to bowling.  Not the birthday I had expected but that is okay when we go to California to visit our daughter we are going to go out for a Family dinner for all of our birthdays.

I had made this Ham & Cheese Bread Pudding for breakfast and Bill enjoyed it and decided to warm it up for dinner.




















Ham and Cheese Bread Pudding

4 Eggland's Best large eggs
2 cups half and half
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 teaspoons fresh sage, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
pinch of cayenne pepper
1 1/2 cups cooked ham, diced small
2/3 cup gruyere cheese, grated
2/3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
4 croissants, torn into bite size pieces

Whisk together eggs, half and half, dijon mustard, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper.  Fold in ham and cheese.  Butter an 8 x 8 baking dish, place half the pieces of the croissants into the baking dish and pour half of the egg mixture over the bread, press down making sure all of the bread is covered.  Repeat with the remaining croissants and egg mixture.  Cover with foil and allow to sit for 45 minutes while the bread absorbs the egg mixture.   Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees, place in oven for 45 to 60 minutes; or until toothpick comes out clean.  Allow to sit for 10 minutes before serving.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Cookbook Review: Tacolicious

I better get my review completed before my husband eats all the Pickled Red Onions that I made.  Mexican food by far is my favorite food, I could eat it every night of the week.

Tacolicious by: Sara Deseran co-owner of Tacolicious the San Francisco Bay's most popular Mexican Restaurant.



















For me this cookbook reads "street food" and would be perfect for hosting a party with Mexican finger foods and delicious drinks. To start with I enjoyed the Introduction and seeing where Tacolicious got its roots.  I love that this isn't your typical Mexican food that you are going to find at any chain restaurant. The flavors, ingredients and recipes is what I'm looking for in a cookbook.  I made the Pickled Red Onions, that took only a few simple ingredients to put together, and I will tell you the onions only get better as they sit.  I know this isn't the greatest photo, but this jar was packed with the Pickled Red Onions and my husband has been snacking on them since the day I made them.



















I have already started to make A Summer's Night Shrimp Cocktail for tonights dinner. Some of the other recipes I look forward to making are:

Roasted Tomato Mint Salsa
The Legendary Orange Sauce
Lime-Cured Cucumber, Habanero and Onion
Melon, Mango and Cucumber with Chile, Salt and Lime
Shrimp Cakes with Corn-Basil Salsa
Quesadillas with Squash Blossoms, Sweet Peppers and Goat Cheese
Ms. Reyes's Most Awesome Tamales (with step by step photos)
Guajillo-Braised Beef Short Rib Taco
Three-Chile Bistec Adobado Toco with Cebollitas
Off-The-Spit Pork Al Pastor Taco
Tangy Achiote-Rubbed Grilled Chicken Taco
Butternut Squash, Kale and Crunchy Pepitas Taco

The drink section is fantastic on making your own Agave Syrup, Pink Peppercorn Salt, Toasted-Coconut Salt, Infused Tequila.  Cocktails you will find Lolita Squeeze, Mexican Traitor along with non-alchol drinks Mango Agua Fresca, Pineapple-Coconut Agua Fresca and Homemade Horchata.

Tacolicious has everything you need in this cookbook, fantastic photos, ingredients glossary, mail-order sources and Restaurants They Love.

I would like to thank Blogging for Books providing me with this cookbook and allowing me to review Tacolicious.

 
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