Sunday, November 11, 2012

Butternut Pear Soup

I don't know if Skoticus put this recipe up or not but here goes.

I LOVE this recipe. It's amazing, and we eat it a lot.

Butternut Pear Soup:
1 butternut squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion (peeled and finely chopped)
1 carrot (peeled and finely chopped)
1 garlic clove (peeled and minced)
2 tbsp ginger root (fresh, peeled and finely minced)
2 halved pears (cored and diced)
3 cups chicken broth- or whatever it takes to make it soupy
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
1 tsp ground cumin
6 tsp paprika
salt-to taste
black pepper-to taste (ground is best)
2 tbsp lemon juice
Directions: Peel, seed and cube squash. In a large pan add broth onion, carrot, garlic and ginger, squash and remaining ingredients (except pepper and lemon juice) into pan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 20 minutes. The vegetables and pears should be very tender.Let soup cool a bit and puree in batches in a food processor or blender. ( I find a blender gives a smoother puree, in larger batches) and be careful it's hot! Pour soup into a clean pan. Reheat over medium-low heat, until very hot. Season with pepper and lemon juice. You can add a dollop of sour cream or drizzle some cream into the soup to make it extra yummy, but if you're bottling don't add any dairy until you eat it.
I ended up adding a lot of broth but I was also bottling lots soup, so use your discretion on how much to add. 
We had this soup for our wedding reception in Provo, so it's not only nostalgic but it's such a good wintery soup as well. and we only have 2 bottles left, time to make more!! 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Andrew's Apple Cake

Andrew made this lovely concoction today!

2 1/2 cups flour 
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon 
1 teaspoon salt 
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
2 eggs 
3/4 cups sugar 
1/2 cup oil 
1 tablespoon vanilla and a little almond extract
2 cups diced apples
Powdered sugar for the top

The apples were local, and surprisingly there isn't much sugar! So for a light treat try this out


Sunday, June 24, 2012

We Made A Cake

We got invited to a dinner group thing and we made a yummy cake to go along with it! So we made
 a white almond cake with lemon custard filling and candied lemons on top.

Andrew made his custard-

6 egg yolks
  • 2 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup cornstarch
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons butter

  • In a large saucepan or double boiler combine sugar, cornstarch and salt. Mix well. Beat the egg yolks and water together, then whisk into sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until mixture is thickened. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice and butter. Cover with plastic wrap until completely cooled
  • I made the cake using 2 box cakes *it's just easier* and let them cool in the freezer for a few hours/overnight. 
    Then I candied some lemons- using 3/4 cup water and 3/4 cup of sugar. I boiled the sugar water first and added 2 thinly sliced lemons and boiled those until they were translucent about 7 mins or so. I let them cool on this rack for a few hours. They tasted exactly like really lemony gummy bears. There was also a little left over syrup infused with lemon so we saved it in a little jar for some other use. 
    I made butter cream almond frosting using our bodacious kitchen-aid (of course we brought it!) using 2 cups of sweet cream unsalted butter 1 tsp or so of almond extract and 3 cups of powdered sugar and a pinch of salt, then proceeded to whip it to death. 
    After layering the cakes with the custard in the middle and frosting the whole thing, decorating the cake was anything but utterly pleasant! The lemons on the cake add a lovely appeal and challenge to those willing to try and eat the sour sweets. 

Friday, June 15, 2012

Cinnamon Vanilla Pancakes From Scratch

Learning to properly feed husbands who go out all day doing what AJ does can be challenging. Especially when wives are trying to cut back on carbs and sugar because of various widening of certain posterior areas. But if you're in the mood for some good comfort food this is it! 

2 cups all-purpose flour
2 ½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
2 eggs, beaten lightly
1 ½ cups milk
2 tbsp butter, melted

2 tbsp cinnamon
1/8 cup vanilla 

Mix dry then wet ingredients and pour onto hot pan.....The batter is thick and fluffy, and quite tasty! 

The Vanilla-

I strongly suggest making you're own, it's a bit pricier but totally worth it and it lasts a long time. For AJ's birthday last year I got fresh vanilla beans (36) for around 20 bucks on Ebay. They were gooey and not dried out and gross like the store bought ones, plus you get them for way cheaper. Then I got a big bottle of rum with a Kraken on it and we put about 15 beans in it way back in October, it's seriously the best vanilla we own.  We even carted a mason jar of it here to TN!

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Singapore Noodles

3/4lb fresh Singapore noodles or in my case rice noodles.
 2oz Laksa paste or other Thai curry paste 
1 large can coconut cream 2 cups 
mixed chopped vegetables- I used a cup of stir fry mix and chopped bok choy and green onions 
handful fresh basil leaves 
Start cooking noodles *these took at least 15 mins to cook*
Meanwhile heat 2 tablespoons of peanut or other vegetable oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add curry paste and stir fry for 30 seconds. Quickly add coconut cream and 2 cups boiling water. Bring to the boil and add vegetables. Simmer for 2 minutes or until vegetables are cooked to your liking. To serve, divide noodles between 3 bowls. Pour over soup and vegetables and top with basil leaves.

It was a bit spicy but really good! 

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Buttermilk German Pancakes

Since Andrew has been working I have been doing all the cooking which I prefer because I use less butter and sugar, as well as make more healthy nutrition savvy choices. Although Andrew's food is downright delicious and my favorite, I seriously cannot afford to pack away anymore post marriage pounds.

But I can still eat a little goodness now and then!

I try and get up before AJ goes to work so he can have a good amount of energy to start the day.

German pancakes

Easy peasy!

I halved the recipe since it's just the two of us.

4 Tbs. Butter
1 Cups Flour
1 Cup Butter Milk
1/2 tsp. Salt
6 Eggs


Melt butter first in 9X13 pan glass is preferable but you can make anything work

Mix up batter by whipping eggs until thin then adding the rest of the ingredients. 

Pour batter in pan after the butter is all melty-keep a keen eye on that butter, the minute you get distracted it'll me. 

bake for about 15-20 mins in 425 oven until peaked and brown. 

We used some apple butter made by some local Amish, SO GOOOOD. 

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Dragon Fruit

Andrew and I found a dragon fruit at winco last night while getting snacks for our long trip across country, if you ever wondered about these things I'll tell you they're quite strange.

Basically the flavor is like a floral cactus, juicy and lightly sweet. I didn't like it much but Andrew did! Which was good because these things were like 4 bucks a piece (we only bought one) 

First you cut it in half then you spoon out all the white flesh *don't eat the pink it's not good for us* then serve in the pink shell which in my opinion is aesthetically pleasing. 

The best part to me was the pretty colors! I loved the bright pink skin with the B/W polkadot inside. Pretty fruit!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

I made another pie.

Since the Rhubarb pie was snarfed so quickly I felt the need to use up some of our apples we had lying around.
I used my own recipe for this pie.

The crust-

2 1/2 cups flour
2 sticks unsalted butter
1/8 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt- or so-
1/4 cup ice water
1 egg for wash

For the crust the colder the better so sometimes before adding the water and rolling it out I'll refrigerate it, in addition to almost freezing the water by sticking it in the icebox for 15 minutes.

The filling-

5 peeled and cored medium apples I used granny smith and fuji apples
3-4 tbs of lemon juice
almost a cup of sugar
a bunch of cinnamon and allspice
a few glugs of vanilla infused rum
1/4 cup flour or tapioca (I used flour)
mix it all up!

When layering the apples I usually stack them neatly until it's full almost over full because the apples settle leaving lots of negative space.

Bake at 425 for 25 minutes on a baking sheet then turn down the heat to 325 for another 30 minutes.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

I made this pie special for Andrew last night because we kind of bickered over the rhubarb plant at his old house.

I didn't want it...he did. His logic was I had given him that plant 3 years ago (after saying something mean) and he had taken it with him wherever he lived.

*It was our love fern*

My logic was "rhubarb can always be our love fern it doesn't matter if it's THAT plant."

So we transplanted it in the backyard, again, and it was all wilty and didn't look so good. I snipped the few stalks that were somewhat turgid and preceded to find a recipe for it.

Strawberry Rhubarb pie via Smitten Kitchen

For crust

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks (8 ounces, 16 tablespoons or 1 cup) unsalted butter, very cold

If you don't know how to make pie crust, find directions here

For filling

3 1/2 cups (about 1 1/2 pounds, untrimmed) rhubarb, in 1/2-inch thick slices
3 1/2 cups (about 1 pound) strawberries, hulled and sliced if big, halved if tiny
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup quick-cooking tapioca
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 large egg yolk beaten to blend with 1 teaspoon water (for glaze)

Whipped Cream-

Vanilla- we made ours using a bottle of rum and some vanilla beans 8 months ago... SO GOOD

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On a well-floured counter, roll half of pie dough into a 12-inch circle and carefully transfer to a 9-inch pie plate. (I like to roll mine gently into  to transfer it more easily, then unroll it in the pie plate.)
Stir together rhubarb, strawberries, sugars, lemon, salt and tapioca in a large bowl. Mound filling inside bottom pie crust and dot with bits of unsalted butter. Roll second half of pie dough into an 11-inch circle and cut decorative slits in it. Transfer it to center over the pie filling. Trim top and bottom pie dough so that their overhang beyond the pie plate lip is only 1/2-inch. Tuck rim of dough underneath itself and crimp it decoratively.
Transfer pie to a baking sheet and brush egg yolk mixture over dough. Bake for 20 minutes then reduce temperature to 350 degrees and bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes, until the pie is golden and the juices bubble visibly.
Transfer pie to wire rack to cool. When full cool (several hours later) the juices gel.

*Disclaimer* I made this last night and there is only one piece left.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Baba Ganoush

Besides being really fun to say, baba ganoush is also really delicious, and remarkably simple Mediterranean dish to make. When you serve it at parties or dinners, it will disappear quickly, but I also keep some in the fridge to spread on veggie sandwiches.

This is not a traditional baba ganoush recipe, but one I've put together to meet how I like it, a little thicker and sturdier. For a traditional, smoother baba ganoush, omit the garbanzo beans and olive oil.

Baba Ganoush

1 large eggplant
1-2 cloves garlic
1/3 can garbanzo beans
1/4 tsp kosher salt
3 Tbs tahini
2 Tbs lemon juice
2 Tbs olive oil
Black pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 450.

Prick eggplant all over with a fork, then place on a cookie sheet lined with foil. Bake the eggplant until it is soft all the way through for about 20 minutes. (Check on it at about 10 minutes and turn it to the other side.)

Let the eggplant cool.

Cut the eggplant lengthwise and let the juices drain. Be sure to let it drain thoroughly, since these juices are what give eggplant its bitter taste. Scoop out the seedy pulp in the center, and transfer the meaty innards to a food processor (don't use the skins.)

Process until smooth, then add the other ingredients until it makes a smooth paste. Add more salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with fresh parsley, chopped tomatoes, etc.

Serve as a dip for pita bread or sliced vegetables, or a spread for sandwiches.

Friday, April 6, 2012

A Study in Oranges

I love fresh oranges, especially because there are so many kinds.

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Simple Vegetables

This is my new favorite way to cook vegetables:

Heat some olive oil and minced garlic in a pan.

Gently sauté whatever fresh vegetables you like: spinach, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, zucchini, whathaveyou.

And I mean gently: just enough to warm them through. You're going to be cooking them more, so don't over cook them now.

Sprinkle in some salt and pepper to taste, maybe add some fresh herbs (a sprig of rosemary is perfect).

Then, transfer them to an oven safe dish, sprinkle with fresh Parmesan or Mozzarella, or a combo of both.

Heat in the oven at 350 for 10-15 minutes, until the cheese starts to brown a bit.

It's perfect, simple, flavorful,

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Warm Blackberry Salsa: The Best Breakfast Ever

This was, to date, the best breakfast I have ever made:

Maple infused grilled salmon fillet
Fried egg on top
Sauteed Mushrooms
Warm Blackberry Salsa

Warm Blackberry Salsa
Dice tomatoes in large chunks
Mix with fresh blackberries
Add a Tbs or so of fresh, chopped basil
Add a splash of white vinegar
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Pinch of sugar

Mix all together then sear very briefly on a hot pan, just enough to warm.

Lemon Pepper Pasta with Shrimp

This is a meal that Andrew and I make often-ish. It's quite easy and very delicious!

Depending on how many people you're feeding changes this recipe a bit.

But it's so easy, it's not a big deal.

We use 1/2 box of bow tie pasta *or spaghetti*

A few tbs of butter or olive oil

A lot of freshly ground pepper

1/8 cup or so of lemon juice

and however much shrimp or scallions you'd like.

Mix prepared pasta with above ingredients and enjoy!

Super easy spring/summer weeknight dish.

Saturday, March 31, 2012


It's conference weekend and I love good food to go along with the comforting words.

Today Andrew made his famous pancakes!

Cinnamon Vanilla Pancakes


1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder at high altitude (3 1/2 tsp at sea level)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon white sugar           1 1/4 cups milk
1 egg
3 tablespoons butter, melted

1.         In a large bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, and sugar. Make a well in the center and pour in the milk, egg, vanilla, and melted butter; mix until smooth.
2.         Heat a lightly oiled griddle or frying pan over medium high heat. Pour or scoop the batter onto the griddle, using approximately 1/4 cup for each pancake. Brown on both sides and serve hot.

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Banana/Persimmon Up-side Down Bread

It's simple, really:

1. Cut up a not-yet-ripe persimmon and mix it with some butter and brown sugar. Lay those out on the bottom of a loaf pan.

Then, make your favorite banana bread recipe. Pour in the batter, and cook as usual. Then upturn the bread and you've got something wonderful and delicious.

Simple as bread.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Hors d'oeurves: Radish and Salsa Croutons

I just spelled "hors d'oeurves" without looking it up. First time for everything.

Anyhow, a few months ago, Kirsten and I were going to go to an hors d'oeurves party, but then we weren't feeling well, so I had to eat all of these myself. It was tragic.

Radish and Salsa Croutons

Some good, quality bread. Any kind will do.
Olive Oil
Greek Yogurt
Cream cheese, or any other soft cheese

Green Salsa

First, mince some garlic and mix with a small amount of olive oil. Brush the oil on ones side of the bread.

Cut the bread into strips and heat on low in the oven until it is dried out.

While the bread is drying, mix the Greek yogurt and cheese together, in about equal portions. Then season to taste with mustard, salt, and garlic. Really, you could season this any number of ways.

When the bread is done, spread a small amount of the cheese/yogurt mixture on each crouton.

Place a small dollop of salsa in the center of each crouton.

Thinly slice the radishes and cut each slice in half, then gently twist to make the radish helixes, place those on top.

Easy as that, and so delicious.

The yogurt and the salsa will both make the bread a little soggy, so don't decorate these until just before serving, although all the individual parts can be made ahead of time.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Beef Stroganoff

Andrew made this delish dish completely from scratch, he used Amy's (stepmom) recipe as a baseline but of course added a few things here and there. He promised to make me some stroganoff sunday evening right before dinner with Scott and Kirsten, and even after they made stroganoff (completely by chance) as well! Both versions the brothers concocted were spectacular but due to loyalty issues I have to take the side of Andrew, he is my husband after all!

Ingredients Included: 

1/2 onion chopped
2 tbs melted butter
1.5 lb of beef sirloin tip *or any beef really*
Sautee together and add 2 tbs of flour, cook until brown

In a separate pot add:

1/4 cup butter 
8 ounces of fresh mushrooms and 1/2 tsp of dried thyme.
Sautee mushrooms until fragrant *totally the word Andrew used* 
Then add 1/2 cup of flour continually stir until brown. 
2 cups of milk- add more if it seems to thick- then 1 1/2 tsp of chicken bouillon 
and 1/2 tsp of ground onion. 

Add sauteed beef and onion to mushroom mixture, then add 1 1/2 tsp of paprika
and let simmer for 10-15 minutes

in the meantime cook some pasta!

Just before serving stir in 1 cup sour cream 

Pour over noodles add salt and pepper to taste! 

Monday, March 26, 2012

Burnt Walnut Carrot Cake

Written by Andrew- Posted by Laura

This light and fluffy cake would be a great addition to any Easter dinner.

4 large carrots 
2 cups cake flour 
3/4 tsp. baking powder (this is for high altitude, use 2 tsp baking powder and soda at sea level)
3/4 tsp. baking soda 
1 tsp. salt 
1 1/2  tsp. cinnamon 

1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. allspice
1 1/2 cups sugar 
4 eggs 
1 1/4 cups canola oil 

Grated zest of 1 orange 
Generous amount of vanilla to taste
1 cup walnuts, chopped and then cooked with 1/4 cup sugar until the sugar is melted and the walnuts taste slightly burned 

For the cream cheese frosting: 

1/4 cup butter
12 oz. (1 1/2 packages) cream cheese, at room temperature 
 powered sugar and vanilla to taste

Grate carrots and set aside, then sight the ingredients in order from the flour through the allspice into a medium bowl.  In another bowl mix the sugar through the vanilla.  Beat in the carrots, then fold in the dry ingredients until almost combined, then add 1/2 cup of the walnuts and fold until combined.  Pour into a greased 13" x 9" pan.  Bake at 350 F for 25-30 minutes at high altitude or 35-40 at sea level.  After cake has cooled, spread the mixed frosting onto it and top with remaining walnuts.

Eat lots. 

Monday, March 19, 2012

Green Smoothies in Mason Jars

It works!
I recently saw on pinterest that you can just use a mason jar with your blender so I decided to give it a shot.

Todays smothie consisted of 1/2 green apple, a small mango, some frozen papaya, as much spinach I could stuff into the spaces, and a dash of frozen OJ.

A delicious single serving of green smoothie! It's a bit messy though :)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Honey Cloud Pancakes with Blueberry Syrup

Today I decided to make breakfast in bed for Andrew, but ended up making so much noise that he got up and ultimately started to help.

First I started with a blueberry syrup

1.5 cups of blueberries
1 cup sugar (I would prefer honey, but AJ likes sugar)
3tbs lime juice (you can use lemon too)
1/3 cup water

Bring blueberries to a boil and then let simmer on low until it thickens a bit.

Simply jar the rest!

Now for the Honey Cloud Pancakes, it has a nice ring to it huh?

  • 1 large egg and 1 egg white
  • 1/4 cup of warmed milk
  • 1/4 cup of flour (plain will do, I used 00)
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 2 teaspoons of honey
  • 1 dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • Soft fruits
  • Honey
How to make them:
  1. Heat the oven to a little below 400
  2. Heat a small 6″ oven proof frying pan
  3. In one bowl whisk one egg white until it is white and peaky
  4. To make the main batter, in another bowl, mix the the other whole egg with flour, salt, honey, and vanilla then whisk in the warm milk
  5. Gently fold the egg white into the batter with a metal spoon
  6. Melt one tablespoon of butter in the hot pan
  7. Pour the batter in and cook on the hob for a few minutes until starting to set at the very edge
  8. Sprinkle some fruit on top if you wish, we decided not to 'cause of the syrup we made.
  9. Bake the whole lot in the hot oven for 7 minutes until puffed up and golden
  10. Drizzle with honey

I started off with the flour and egg...

Then I freaked out! I've never seen a gross bloody egg before. Andrew insisted we used it but as he was reading something online about how it's perfectly fine and edible I was flushing the thing. 

It pretty much went downhill from there...

 I think I added too much honey.
 It tasted really good- because of the blueberry syrup.

Then I made a meme on indesign! 
I like to think I'm a good cook, but somedays I just don't flow in the kitchen.