Monday, December 31, 2012


We had an amazing time at ICE! today.  The photos demonstrate how cool it was.  Not a Mike Isabella recipe, but adapted from a Joy the Baker recipe.  This is a totally easy pie, especially for non bakers or people with pie crust phobias.

Make a pie crust
1 cup flour
1 tsp salt
1/2 cup shortning
1/4 cup water

Blend together the flour, salt and shortning with a potato masher. Add the water.  You can sprinkle flour and roll it out, but I just wet my hands and press it into a pie pan.  Chill for 45 minutes in the refridge.  Preheat the oven to 400.

For the filling, mix
1 cup mascarpone
3/4 cup sour cream
1/3 cup honey

Bake the pie crust for 15 minutes, or until golden

When cool, add the mascarpone mixture

Top with 2 cups of fruit


Sunday, December 30, 2012


Cold out today!  I went to church and Target, kept hoping it would be warmer when I got out of the car.  It was not.  We are going to see ICE! at National Harbor tomorrow, very excited, we've seen every ICE!  I've put off making this recipe, kinda hoping Doris would do it because it sounded so boring.  I mean, chicken and potatoes?  But, it really exceeded my expectations. 

I preheated the broiler on the oven and cut up a couple of potatoes and 16 pearl onions.  I made a paste out of olive oil, oregno, garlic, paprika and lemon zest.  I spread half of the paste on the chicken (I used a cut up whole chicken) and seasoned with salt and pepper.  I tossed the potatoes and onions with the remaining paste and salted it.  I added them to the pan and broiled for around 40 minutes.  The recipe said 25 minutes under the broiler, but the chicken was still raw. 

It was crispier and more flavorable than I expected.  It was kind of spicy and salty and the onions were crispy.  I felt bad for ignoring the recipe and will try to not judge!

Saturday, December 29, 2012


Sorry for the long Christmas break!  We went to Pennsylvania and got busy.  Christmas was great, did a Men in Black 1, 2 and 3 marathon, caught nuances and amazingness.  Ate way too much, got an an
amazing kitchen aid mixer and pasta attachments.  Doris got a bracelet crafted from sand at Dewey Beach (at least they said it was from Dewey Beach). Came back yesterday.  The kids spun signs today and I made some good fish tacos.

I had some doubts about these fish tacos since they weren't battered.  I should have trusted Mike, they were delicious!  But a little work.  First I made fennel slaw.  I boiled water, vinegar and sugar.   Meanwhile, I finely diceed fennel, carrots (bought them finely diced), onion and pepper.  I marinated the vegetables in the liquid for 20 minutes, drained the liquid and added the fennel fronds, olive oil and salt. 

I next made the aioli.  Really, there is no basil this time of year, so we did plain, vs basil, aioli.  I put egg yolks, lemon juice, garlic and salt in the food processor, and added olive oil until it got thick.

It was really easy to fry the fish.  I fried them in olive oil, 2 minutes per side.

They were really good and not too hard.  I would make these again.  Now, off to watch Magic Mike!  Hello!

Sunday, December 16, 2012


Mixed up football day!  Redskins and Cowboys won and Steelers lost.  But Dakota Meyer started following me on twitter (blush).  Made some spiced pisatchios which were good.  Not amazaballs good like the spiced peanuts but still highly delicious.

I used shelled pistachios, which I suppose violate the recipe, but we don't like shelling pistachios.  I blended garlic oil (again, purchased, you may be thinking why I bothered to make this...) oregano and rosemary.  I toasted fennel, coriander and carraway and added chilli flakes.  I added cayenne, paprika and salt and tossed everything over the pistachios.  Roasted them for 10 minutes and they were done.  They were very tasty, especially warm.  I would make them again.

Saturday, December 15, 2012


Everything is going well with our Christmas preps!  We have most of our gifts bought and the kids have finished their finals.  Made some really good pork loin.  It was a little expensive so I don't know if I would make it regularly, but everyone really liked it.

I went to Harris Teeter for my pork loins, and could only get two, for like $15.  I doubled the recipe and made a brine of cinnammon sticks, peppercorns, allspice, cumin, cloves, water, salt, garlic, brown sugar, bay leaves and thyme.  10 bay leaves are a lot!  The pork was very bay-y!

I refrigerated the pork in the brine for 4 hours.  While the pork was brining, I made the rub by toasting almonds, sesame seeds, cumin, peppercorns and clove.  I added bread crumbs, pumpkin seeds, salt and brown sugar. 

Started getting a  little bit involved, I had to make a sauce of onion, garlic, and jalepeno sauteed.  Then I processed it with pumpkin seeds, parsely, cilantro, lemon juice, olive oil and water.  I had to take a break and drink an alcoholic beverage.

Anyway, I removed the pork loin from the reefer, rinsed it, coated it in the rub, sauteed it and cooked it in the oven for 10 minutes.  I was kind of tired of making this.

I plated it and served it with the sauce.  Then I lay down to take a nap.  It was very good, though.  The pumpkin seed was kind of musky and added a good flavor note.

The sauce was green due to the cilantro and parsley.  Ooooh, we are going to watch Ted on DVD.  So excited!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012


Oh wow!  I don't normally like seafood at home.  It tastes really fishy and unpleasant.  I liked this recipe, though.  My kids did not.

I could not find sea bass and had to substitute halibut.  3 different stores!  I got tired!  I did the whole artichoke thing, lemon juice and water, cleaned artichokes.  I sauteed the bacon and shallot.  I added artichoke, carrots, garlic and salt.  I added white wine, thyme and bay leaf and after 10 minutes added chicken stock and simmered for 15 minutes. 

I topped the fish with bacon fat and salt and baked for 15 minutes.  While the fish was cooking I toasted pine nuts and added them to the artichoke mixture.  I topped the artichoke mixture with the fish.  It was good.  Not amazing or make this again immediayely, but solid.  Good if you are looking for something different.


Monday, December 3, 2012


Jusr got back from Nanty Glo, PA.  It was great to see Doris, hang out, cook and work on the house.  Made some scallop cutlets.  I liked them, I really liked them, but I would have done a couple of things differently.  I liked cutting the sea scallops in half and pounding them thin.  I liked the bacon in the crumb mixture.  But I would add WAY more bacon to the crmb mixture (only three slices were called for, I would use at least six next time.)  And the arugula pesto was the wrong sauce for these.  Josh was particularly vocal about the fact that these needed a spicy, jalapeno based sauce, not a slightly bitter arugula based sauce. 

So, to make it I sliced the scallops in half and pounded them thin.  I toasted the pine nuts and cooked the 3 slices of bacon.  I added the bread crumbs to the bacon fat and sauteed them for 2 minutes.  I stirred in the bacon, chives and salt.  I set up a 3 bowl breading station with flour, egg and bread crumbs.  I coated the scallops in flour, egg and bread crumbs and fried them in 1/2 cup olive oil.I only had to fry them for a minute on each side.

I made the arugula pesto by combining arugla, parm reggiano, pine nuts, garlic and salt in the food processor and adding olive oil.  I plated the scallops with the sauce.

No one could taste the bacon or liked the sauce.  The scallops werre good, though.  I might make it again with more bacon.

 Nice picture of John!