Thursday, May 31, 2012

goat cheese, prosciutto, honey, fig crostini

what if you woke up tomorrow and only had the
things that you were thankful for today?

just in case that does happen,
let me just say i am VERY thankful for all the ingredients listed below
AND this amazing new combination
(thanks to my good friend martha)

fig jam
goat cheese


1. slice up your bread

2. drizzle with olive oil and broil for 7ish minutes, or until crispy

3. spread with jam and top with a slice dollop of goat cheese. bake for 5 minutes at 350 degrees.

4. top with prosciutto, drizzle with honey, season with fresh ground pepper.

5. try not to eat all of them :)

new favorite.
no doubt about it :)

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

broiled pineapple sundaes

i have a sister named kinsey.
you can read about her here and here.

today she is moving to alaska for the summer.
i'm jealous :)

i have a lot of favorite things about her,
but one of the funniest is her intense love for pineapples.

this delectable treat is in honor of her sendoff.

trust me, it's delicious. 

3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 1/2 teaspoons honey
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups coarsely chopped fresh pineapple
1/4 cup macadamia nuts, coarsely chopped
2 cups vanilla fat-free frozen yogurt

recipe via cooking light


1. preheat broiler on high

2. combine first 5 ingredients in a medium bowl, stirring well with a whisk.
add pineapple; toss to coat.

3. spread pineapple mixture in a single layer on a pan lined with foil.
broil 5 minutes or until bubbly.

4. place nuts in a skillet; cook over medium heat 3 minutes
or until lightly browned, shaking pan frequently.

5. spoon 1/2 cup yogurt into each of 4 dessert bowls.
top each serving with about 1/4 cup pineapple mixture and 1 tablespoon nuts.

feel free to serve with anything from vanilla bean ice cream to fro-yo!

enjoy :)

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

memorial day 2012

my weekend top ten...

1. shopping day with mom

2. strawberry shortcake and a BBQ on the lake

4. walk around lake union with one of my favorite people

5. helping a friend move

6. rhubarb apple cobbler & a triple date

8. new favorite appetizer

9. ferry date including blackbird bakery

10. perfecting the blueberry smash

don't you worry, recipes to come :)

happy monday tuesday!

Sunday, May 27, 2012

very berry crumble

happy holiday weekend :)

with all the sunshine, beachy cocktails and fresh berries coming out of my kitchen,
you would think it was already mid-august. i love my life :)

i'm loving an easy dessert right now...
one with fresh ingredients that you can just throw in a pan
and then grab it and head to a party 30-45 minutes later.

recently, my top faves have been...
1. strawberry shortcake
2. rhubarb apple cobbler
3. this very berry crumble :)

you can actually use 4 cups of any fruit you'd like
you can even mix it up.
how's that for easy breezy?

4 cups fruit - any type
(i used blueberries and sliced strawberries)
1/4 cup & 1 tablespoon whole grain spelt flour
1 cup rolled oats
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, at room temp.

1. preheat oven to 350 degrees

2. toss your fruit with the 1 tablespoon of spelt flour in a 9" pie plate. 

3. combine the rest of the ingredients in a bow and mix with your hands
until it comes together in pea-sized crumbles. 

4. sprinkle the topping evenly over the fruit and bake for 40-45 minutes,
or until the top has browned and the fruit juices are bubbling up around the edges.

5. take to a summer BBQ :)
serve warm with vanilla bean ice cream

Friday, May 25, 2012

sweet lavender scones

a number of years ago i traveled to the gorgeous country of croatia.
i spent two weeks traveling through the countryside and along the coast with my family.
if i could tell you anything about the country it would be that it's underrated.
most people can't even find it on the map.
you should probably go.

here are a couple of highlights from the trip...

every time i think of lavender i think of croatia, and specifically a little island called hvar.

hvar has been nicknamed the 'island of lavendar'

as we drove through the countryside across the island,
it was covered with sweeping purple fields of lavender just blowing in the wind.
pretty awesome if you ask me :)

every little gift shop had fresh lavender soaps and potpourri and the like.

sweet memories & sweet lavender scones :)

let me tell you a few things...
1. these were super easy
2. they were totally delicious
3. they tasted more like a lemon scone with an occasional hint of lavender
4. the lemon curd just put them over the top

overall, delightful!

3 cups all-purpose flour plus more for surface
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon dried lavender buds
(i found my dried lavender buds at whole foods in the bulk section
they were actually super cheap)
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 sticks chilled unsalted butter, cut into 1/4-inch cubes
1 cup plus 2 tablespoons buttermilk
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons sanding or granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups store-bought lemon curd
(i think you could probably get by with about 1 cup of this,
depending how many you are serving)

recipe via bon appetit


1. arrange racks in upper and lower thirds of oven; preheat to 425 degrees
line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. whisk 3 cups flour and next 5 ingredients in a large bowl.

3. add butter; rub in with your fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal.

4. whisk 1 cup buttermilk, zest, and vanilla in a small bowl.

5. add wet ingredients to dry ingredients. stir until shaggy dough forms.

6. transfer to a lightly floured surface; knead until dough forms, about 5 turns.
pat into a 10x6" rectangle. halve dough lengthwise. cut each half crosswise into 4 squares.
cut each square diagonally in half into 2 triangles. divide between baking sheets.

7. brush with 2 Tbsp. buttermilk. sprinkle with sanding sugar.

8. bake until scones are golden and a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 13–15 minutes.
**swap baking sheets from top to bottom half way through baking time - about 7 minutes

9. transfer to wire racks; let cool.

10. serve warm or at room temperature with lemon curd.

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

what i've been learning in the kitchen...

alright friends,
it's been almost 6 full months of my cooking/blogging adventure.

so, i figured it was high time for me to share the
top ten things i've learned in the kitchen so far...

(don't worry, this list could go on for days, but we'll just stick to 10 for now) :)

1. read your recipes
yes, i am that person that totally forgets one ingredient,
because i don't read the instructions :)

i'm learning to read my recipes over and over.
a couple of times before i go to the store,
as well as the night before i plan to make something

i feel like this allows time to
a) not forget anything, and
b) best plan ahead...
(for example: do you need milk at room temperature, etc)

2. start with a clean kitchen
there is something to be said for the peace of mind of starting
your cooking adventure with a clean kitchen.

and trust me, i always end up with a mess anyway,
so starting clean and organized allows me more room to think and move around.

3. substitutes
as i'm learning #1 above,
i've also learned there are some super easy substitutes if you are in a pinch.
one of my fave references for these is here.

this also has allowed me to better understand the 'chemistry'
of a lot of ingredients. example: the other day one of my recipes called
for buttermilk... well, in true christine fashion i hadn't planned for that. oops.
easy enough! i found out all i need is some lemon and regular milk!

4. when to 'whole foods'
i shop at a pretty standard grocery store for a number of reasons.
a) i like buying everything in one place, and sometimes specialty stores make this hard,
and b) i don't want to pay extra on top of my already growing grocery bill.

i have learned, however, that there are just some certain things
you HAVE to get at whole foods.


if there is something slightly out of the ordinary,
or maybe even something i haven't heard of,
i don't even look for it at my grocery store...
i just ask at whole foods.

they honestly are the nicest, most helpful people.

i had the most frustrating experience trying to find tahini the other day.
i asked about 12 different people and got a total runaround
each one telling us to go somewhere else in the store.
when i finally arrived at whole foods and asked the same question,
the clerk said 'oh, what type???'

(pretty sure i was in heaven!)

every time i ask for something they walk with me right to it's location

AND, the meat counter doesn't laugh at me during my classic...
'hi, i'm making ________. what meat should i buy?' :)

do it.

5. the glory of a vanilla bean
how i had never been let in on the secret of a vanilla bean, i have no idea.
i'm just glad i'm not in the dark anymore.
what an amazing thing!!!

the flavors, aroma, and authenticity it adds to any dish.

i'm starting to use it more and more.

(learn how here!)

6. how to: butter
i go through a lot of butter.
maybe like 6-8 sticks a week on average
(don't quote me on that)

i'm learning that there is an art to having your butter
 at the exact right consistency needed for your recipe.
whether that means melted, softened, or something else.
follow those instructions diligently.
it will make your dish better 99% of the time.

7. the magic of a crock pot
if i was a working mom,
the crock pot might literally be my best friend.

it's amazing. SO easy. SO simple.
honestly, it's a no brainer.

i've loved learning easy breezy recipes that i can throw in to cook all day long,
and spend my time a) doing something else, b) cooking dessert!

8. the art of failing
i remember the first few times my recipes didn't turn out - i was so frustrated!
you spend all this time, and all these ingredients, and then it's a complete flop!
i've learned a few things...

a) laugh at yourself (obviously)
b) revel in this moments...

some of my best failures so far...

attempt at cinnamon yogurt pretzels - disgusting and soggy
first attempt at cream puffs - totally didn't rise
creme brulee - kind of mushy and didn't have the tools to toast the top
the list goes on.... but you get the idea :)

these things make me learn how to do things right!

there is a finesse in baking and cooking,
and sometimes, even if you follow the directions exactly,
your recipe won't be perfect.

9. take your time
i've learned that i most enjoy the kitchen when i take my sweet time.
i'm in no rush, i'm not scrambling, i'm not under a deadline.

i think it also makes your food better.

10. don't be scared
there are a lot of ingredients i used to be scared of.
i'd look at a recipe and automatically write it off for a whole host of reasons.
it had meat i didn't like, an ingredient i had never heard of, too many spices, etc.
i've started embracing these items as a challenge and an adventure.

thanks so much for reading my blog!

i'm having a lot of fun, so i hope you are too :)

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

vietnamese iced coffee

i love my coffee.
hot, dark, fresh, every morning.
and sometimes, the afternoon just begs for an iced coffee.
right after lunch, when you're dragging and the sun is shining and you need a little boost.

typically i make this.

but this week i decided to try a vietnamese iced coffee recipe from bon appeitit.


tablespoons dark-roast ground coffee
2 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk


1. steep 4 tablespoons coffee grounds in a heatproof container
with 2 cups boiling water for 4 minutes.

2. pour through a coffee filter into a heatproof glass.

3. stir in condensed milk until blended. add ice, stir, and serve.

**if you like strong, sweet coffee, this recipe is for you :)
for me, i could have halved the condensed milk, but overall super delicious :)

i hope this brightens your afternoon! :)

Monday, May 21, 2012

creamy tomato basil soup

i love soup.
i love it so much i have a cookbook called 'the ultimate soup bible'

since most people disagree with me on the fact
that soup can be an entire meal in and of itself, i resort to either
a) eating soup when flying solo OR
b) pairing it with salads, etc.

this past week i just found myself craving some
super creamy delicious tomato basil soup.

so, i adapted this recipe from allrecipes
(not the soup bible) :)

warning: not the healthiest soup in the book,
but delish nonetheless!

4 tomatoes - peeled, seeded and diced
4 cups tomato juice
14 leaves fresh basil
1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup butter
salt and pepper to taste

**i halved both the butter and the cream. this is already noted in the ingredients above**


1. place tomatoes and juice in a stock pot over medium heat.
simmer for 30 minutes.

2. puree the tomato mixture along with the basil leaves,
and return the puree to the stock pot.

3. place the pot over medium heat, and stir in the heavy cream and butter.
season with salt and pepper. Heat, stirring until the butter is melted. do not boil.

4. enjoy! :)

we enjoyed our with a chopped salad :)

Sunday, May 20, 2012

roasted cauliflower

what was for dinner?
roasted cauliflower :)
and it was AMAZING.

i swear i could eat 1 vegetable for dinner every night!
(okay, maybe it would get old?)

1 head of cauliflower
2 tablespoons olive oil
fresh ground pepper
sea salt


1. preheat oven to 450 degrees

2. in a baking dish large enough to hold the cauliflower in one layer,
toss all the ingredients together.

3. roast for 30-35 minutes, stirring occasionally,
until cauliflower is soft and toasted all over.

4. enjoy warm! YUM!

i love my life :)

Saturday, May 19, 2012

peach lemonade

this past week i had the joy of hanging out 
with a girlfriend at fay bainbridge state park.

i had no idea this amazing little park ever existed,
and it was the MOST beautiful day... hello!

i am so thankful both for her friendship
AND for the amazing beauty of the northwest on a sunny day :)

and as i took my ferry back to the city,
i just couldn't help be be overwhelmed with thankfulness.

i love my life.
i love my friends.
God is SO good :)

in other news, this peach lemonade was amazing :)
and i'm not just saying that.

it was so very flavorful, and the best part was it can be both adult and kid friendly :)
great for an upcoming summer bbq or get together!

(recipe via cooking light)

4 cups water
2 cups coarsely chopped peaches
3/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh lemon juice (about 6 lemons)
4 cups ice
1 peach, cut into 8 wedges


1. combine the first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.
bring to a boil; reduce heat, and simmer 3 minutes.

2. place peach mixture in a blender; let stand for 20 minutes.
remove lid to let steam escape.

3. replace lid and blend until smooth.
pour into a large bowl. refrigerate for at least 3 hours

4. press peach mixture through a sieve over a bowl,
reserving liquid; discard solids. stir in lemon juice.

5. serve over ice and with a peach wedge

bonus: make this a cocktail by adding vodka, white rum, or bourbon!


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