Archive | October, 2011

Just a reminder…

29 Oct

If you haven’t yet made the pork belly lettuce wraps with mustard seed sauce I made (reminisce here:, you are such a disappointment to me.

Buy my love back and make this now. It’s my most favorite recipe I have in my arsenal, along with my chipotle chicken of course.

Tomorrow is Sunday. You may be stuck inside watching football. Or maybe you like football and you’re not stuck at all. Either way, stay in and have one of the best meals you’ve ever had. The sauce is tricky but oooooooooo is it worth it!

Buy the Momofuku cookbook on amazon, or get your math skills sorted out and convert the measurements with the recipe shown here.

Begging you.



29 Oct

I cannot explain why I get so excited about snow. Maybe I don’t actually love the snow as much as I love what it defines for me. Snow means I get to be comfortable with how I really am, which is pretty much a homebody. Snow gives me that wonderful excuse to stay indoors, cooking for people I love and drinking drinks that make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

When I do have to go out, I’ll tell you this: 90% of the time, I truly do NOT want to. There is so much that goes into these events and so much mental “hyping” I have to do, knowing that I will probably be talking to people that will make me death grip John’s hand each time they say something silly or name-droppy. Or when John tries to introduce me to somebody and they stick out their hand toward my direction as they continue to look into his eyes and ramble. It happens all. night. So would I rather be at home, cooking? Every time.

Not to say it isn’t a fun life. It is. It really is. You do meet some amazing people. But holy cow, there is so much bullshit to sift through. So maybe I overcompensate sometimes by trying to dumb it down a little and make fun of it all. I hope it doesn’t come off as uppity, but I need to keep myself sane.

Anyhow, as usual, where the hell is this going? How on earth will I transition this into me posting about those warm apple-dumplings with pumpkin pie ice cream I was talking about, weeks ago? Well I am certainly not the segue master, so here goes….

Make this. It’s delicious, and it probably took me 8 minutes to prep. This is what I brought (along with cinnamon blondies and other goodies) to my girlfriend’s pumpkin carving party. As we know, with it also being football Sunday, I was in cooking hell that day. It was so nice to make something completely delicious and so, so easy. It was definitely the highlight of all the things I made that day…

…I call this the “I took on too fucking much” face.

but it was worth it…

If you don’t eat this warm and paired with ice cream, you’re a terrorist. And fair warning: This is not my typical Whole-Foodsy type recipe. You’re gonna need a regular grocery store for this one. Mountain Dew and pop ‘n fresh, anyone?

Enjoy 🙂 Recipe here, from one of my most favorite women in the world:

And the cinnamon blondies recipe:


I Can’t Move.

17 Oct

I’m so full. Truly. And not the “happy full” that I am after a good meal. Bad full. Need-to-go-back-to-low-carb-for-a-bit full. I feel icky.

Pork belly. Chipotle chicken. Cheese dip with toasted french bread. Apple dumplings with pumpkin pie ice cream. Guacamole. Cinnamon blondies. Chocolate chip blondies. Chili. I consumed all this yesterday with beer, tequila, vodka and wine.

I have raised, deep purple blisters on my wrists from quickly removing baking trays out of the oven. I grated off my right pinky knuckle while grating cabbage — and if you’re wondering, I tossed it shortly after I made it into a finger slaw. I seared my elbow on my indoor grill after bragging about how quickly it reaches maximum temperature. And pippa successfully scratched the left side of my face pretty badly while running full speed from her play pen to my bed while I was in a deep sleep. In short, I look like a hollywood boulevard meth head. In shorter, any Lohan.

I woke up bright and early to start curing the pork belly…now my GO-TO boy-pleaser for football sundays…

John seasoned his chili…

I made a new batch of my chipotle marinade (those freezer bags went FAST)…

Then I worked on the little starters as well as 4 different desserts (only 3 were suitable for actual consumption) for our dear friend’s pumpkin-carving-contest party where her more-than-gorgeous daughter was the judge. She is like….2. What were my teammates and I thinking carving something like this and thinking we WOULDN’T scare the shit out of this poor little girl and send her bawling, burying her head into her father’s arms?

Man. Talk about not knowing your audience.

Anyhow, I will definitely be posting some recipes from that list above this week, mainly, that delicious cheese dip recipe from my friend Melissa, (swiss, cream cheese, and MIRACLE WHIP!, and the apple dumplings  — you will die at how delicious AND easy they were. Easily the best dessert I’ve made in a while. But for now, I am……just full. Full, and kind of in pain. But not in as much pain as my little girl Pippa, who has an infection that even IIIIII can’t discuss on this food blog.

I’ll be traveling and working a lot this week, which oddly enough equals a lot of downtime 🙂 Can’t wait to share a few recipes with you.



This weekend….

15 Oct

Hope you are all having a lovely weekend so far!! I started my Saturday out with a double bloody mary and for once, it didn’t have anything to do with being hungover. Been menu planning all day, as I am doing some baking for my friend’s pumpkin carving party tomorrow, along with football Sunday for John and his friends. Seems crazy but I live for things like this…I beg my friends to let me bring something. It’s sad.

So for football, I’ll be making the same pork belly ssam lettuce wraps from the other night (they were that good and the boys will eat them upppp), an oozing baked super-cream-cheesy-swiss-cheese dip with baked french bread “chips”, barbecue chicken egg rolls, my amazzzzzing baked chipotle chicken thighs and drums, and John has already put his homemade chili in the slow cooker.

For pumpkin carving, I decided to keep things sweet by doing cinnamon blondies with brown butter, and apple dumplings (wrapped in pillsbury crescent roll dough! Toooo easy!) with pumpkin pie ice cream.

Excited? Me too. I’ll be back monday with all the recipes 🙂


pork. belly. ssam. night.

14 Oct

Yes, that is Jersey Shore on the TV, don’t judge us.

Have you noticed that I completely type like I speak? As in, basic incoherent rambling with never ending run-on sentences. When I do. the. thing. where. i write. like. this., I am basically trying to get an important point across. And if I were actually saying that sentence out loud, I would be staring at you with a completely straight, creepy face, saying “pork. belly. ssam. night.”. You would think there was about to be a punch or something, but it’s really just me expressing my passion. Frightening, I know. I have problems.

My point here? That pork belly is a gift from the gods.

Want to share some photos from dinner but I’m warning you now…I will not be posting the recipe. Because I’m basically flat out BEGGING you to buy David Chang’s Momofuku cookbook. It, without a doubt, has some tedious recipes in it, but good god it is WORTH IT. Nothing in the book is impossible, but if you’re like me, you’ll find chaos in the fact a recipe will call for “pickled mustard seeds” then you have to turn to page 70 for that recipe then that recipe might call for something you need from ANOTHER page but IT IS WORTH IT! Especially if you want to be soooo proud of yourself for creating a meal for friends or family that they have truly never ever had or even thought about having. It’s….just awesome.

I eat at Momofuku regularly. I am a regular ol’ paying customer, so don’t think I’m getting some sorta deal outta this. I tweet David Chang for help when I need it (sometimes often) and I just find everything he touches to be gold, from each nyc restaurant he has to this very cookbook.

I made Pork Belly Ssam, lettuce wraps, with David’s signature mustard seed sauce with picked cucumbers, mayo and hot mustard (and more), and I cannot imagine a better pairing for the pork belly. The flavors, together, are….remarkable. I have no other word.

Also made his roasted cauliflower with fish sauce vinaigrette. I was able to consume 2 or 3 pieces because john annihilated it.

Please make it. I’m sure the recipes are online but I always feel weird posting something that I personally got from a cookbook , online. It will pretty much blow your mind. Orrrrr I suppose you can go to Momofuku Ssam Bar in nyc (207 2nd Avenue) and do it the lazy way! Lazy can be delicious but will you be proud of yourself and have the honor of doing a sink and a half of oily dishes? NO you certainly will not!

Also, these recipes were Puddy and Pippa approved:

Lemon Garlic Bacon CHICKEN!

13 Oct

Okay guys. LOOK AT THIS.

Now, let me tell you right now that I’m gonna teach you how to make this. But you will first have to trust me and leave all your little measuring cups in your filthy little drawers (if you’re anything like me) and get ready to eyeball things and taste taste taste.

Basically, I found a wonderful little recipe for lemon-garlic roasted chicken from Ina Garten, but hers called for a whole chicken. And I dunno if you’ve heard (it’s allll over the newsstands next to the ashton/demi headlines) but I’m on a low-carb kick again so if I need to toss potatoes, bread, and pasta out of my life, you can bet I’m gonna eat the shit out of some dark meat.

So I decided to just take her recipe and experiment, which is why I can’t give you many exact measurements, except for the cheat-worthy gravy and sweet green beans.

THIS IS IMPORTANT: Please read this entire thing before you sit down to make this. I am by no means a recipe-writer. And I find it painful to even put these things together. For instance I’m and idiot and will tell you to fully bake your chicken, thennn say to make the gravy and green beans, but obviously it is smarter to do this as it all bakes. I hope this isn’t too hard to understand….

For just the chicken, you will need:

  • 4 bone-in chicken thighs and 4 legs/drumsticks…with skin, preferably.
  • Fresh thyme. Lots of it. I’d say…ummm…10 sprigs or so.
  • olive oil
  • 5 tablespoons of unsalted butter
  • 3 lemons
  • mushrooms (not a must)
  • 8 peeled cloves of garlic (although I used 10 because I love garlic)
  • paprika
  • your favorite poultry seasoning (duh, lawry’s)
  • kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • one yellow onion
  • some baby carrots (some. see how precise I am?)
  • BACON. your favorite bacon. I used uncured apple smoked.
  • 2 cups of chicken stock

For the gravy you will need:

  • 2 cups of chicken stock
  • 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning (lawry’s!)

For the green beans you will need:

  • 1 pound green beans, washed, tips snapped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • A little salt
  • 1/4 cup water stirred with 1/4 teaspoon sugar
  • Salt & pepper

Ok readdddddy? As I said, I’m not a recipe writer, but I really did just literally throw this together so I don’t want anyone to be nervous that there are no measurements. Chicken thighs and drums are so easy to work with and very difficult to over-season or over-cook. For me, they are really fun to work with because they are soooo juicy and crowd pleasing. People really love having a down-home, hot, roasted chicken meal. It’s just so…cozy.

*The first thing I did was sautee 5 pieces of bacon in a non-stick pan with a teaspoon of olive oil. Why? Because I was hungry and wanted bacon, truthfully. So I made bacon, and poured ALL the extra grease into a bowl to save for this chicken recipe….smartest thing I’ve ever done.

*With your oven pre-heated to 400 degrees, start by washing all your thighs and drums (the chicken ones, not yours, unless yours are noticeably dirty). Pat dry and lay into a roasting pan.

*Quarter 2 of the lemons so you have 8 wedges total. Toss em in the roasting pan.

*Mince (or use a garlic press, preferably) all 8-10 cloves of the garlic into a bowl. Rub some of the chunky paste deliciousness on the tops of each piece of chicken.

*Generously sprinkle the thyme leaves over the chicken — if you flip each sprig over, the leaves kind of effortlessly pull off the stem.

*Take each tablespoon of butter (5 total) and spread the chunks randomly throughout the pan.

I realize now I should have taken more photos, but hopefully at this point, yours will look like this:

See? I was SUPER heavy with the garlic. I highly recommend this. Next…

*Add 2 cups of chicken stock to the roasting pan, avoiding the tops of each piece of chicken. Want that flavor to stick for a bit!

*Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Also with a bitttt of a heavy hand — much of the seasoning will fall off into the yummy broth at the bottom.

*Pour the bacon grease over each piece of chicken. RUSTICALLY ( 🙂 )

* Quarter your onion and the mushrooms. Toss in the pan with your baby carrots.

*Lay 4 more strips of bacon on top of the chicken.

By now, it should look like this:

Are you nervous? I know people (me) get really annoyed when a recipe doesn’t have EXACT measurements but pleassssse trust me. It is SO hard to mess this up. Also, if you noticed, yes….I do have an extra entire BULB of garlic in the middle there, chopped in half. No idea if it contributed to the overall flavor so I don’t want to ask you to do this as well. I just figured it couldn’t hurt.


*Drizzle with olive oil alllll over

*Squeeze  another half a lemon over the chicken, reserving the other half for serving time 🙂

Put into the oven at 400 degrees for 30 minutes, then baste or spoon the liquid all over each piece. Turn the oven down to 350 degrees and cook for another 30-45 minutes. Keep basting throughout.

Whenever I roast chicken, it takes much longer than the written time because I open the oven so much to baste. This particular one took about an hour and 40 minutes to bake completely.

When your chicken looks like it should be about done inside (I always cut into the ugliest piece to make sure), sprinkle the entire pan with more poultry seasoning, and some paprika. The paprika takes the chicken from looking raw/bland (even though it isn’t) and gives it a wonderfully roasted coloring. Now broil the chicken for 5-10 minutes, watching constantly, as the broiler is just meant to give it a nice brown top.

Gravy time!

For the chicken gravy, I used the recipe here, and my poultry seasoning was lawry’s. It says to use just chicken broth but I used both 2 cups of chicken broth added to a few tablespoons of the chicken drippings from my roasting pan:

Let the gravy simmer on the stove. If it gets thick and gel-ish before you are ready to serve (it will) just add a little more stock and keep stirring.

Make the green beans. SO DELICIOUS, I wish I had made more than this recipe even called for:

Plate with a piece of bacon from the roasting pan like so…

Cover with gravy…

Marvel as you bite into your juicy, homemade chicken:

Get seconds and thirds (like john did):


VEGETARIAN OPTION: Don’t make the chicken. Or the gravy. Triple the green beans. Eat the green beans.

ALTERNATE VEGETARIAN OPTION: Make the chicken. Chew the chicken. Spit out the chicken. Chew the green beans. Swallow the green beans.



Prosciutto Figs

12 Oct

Let me start by saying that I am not a fan of simple things. I like things that you have to really baby….shit that takes forevvvvvver. Tedious tasks. BIG flavors. Dishes where you can feeeeeel the work and love that went into it.

Then I discovered these little bites…

They are little bites of FLAVOR. And all you need is olive oil, prosciutto, and figs, That’s it. If you’d like, you can even spice em up with blue cheese or honey which is still ridiculously easy and your guests (or lovah) will go nuts for them.

If you can’t make these, you are pretty much incapable of doing anything. Like we should probably take away your driver’s license and remove your sperm or ovaries (or both, we don’t discriminate here) and I’m going to figure out how to ban your IP address from ever coming here again. I mean I love you but I can’t coddle you, you know?

Step one! Slice the top of each fig off — the stem. Then slice little figgy in half. I only buy about 4 figs at a time, for 8 halves (durrr) but make as many as you’d like…it will be the same cooking time. And oh my god since you will ask this in the comments anyhow — I’m sad no one cared about my snapper recipe and people were only intrigued by my striped Equipment (GOT THAT?) shirt that I was wearing while saucing the little guy — the blazer is Helmut Lang and so are the shorts and the watch is something I can’t spell and the knife is from sur la table and the oil is from whole foods and the cheese was made by a cheesemaker and the book was published by a publisher and my skin is from being half thai and the tomato is from a vine and the pepper mill is made from wood are you happy now please tell me you are kljfkadljgdkg.

Take one super thin slice of prosciutto and “rustically” wrap it around the fig. Remember, rustic is what we call things when they look unprofessional and messy but you need a great euphemism. All my cooking? Rustic.

If you are feeling cray cray, slap a piece of blue cheese on the fig before wrapping the prosciutto around it. I LOVEDDD this snack before the blue cheese, but once I added cheese….hard to go back to the plain guys.

Use your ummm…fingerpads?… to slap some oil on the tops. Or honey! SOOO good with honey drizzled over them — plain with just prosciutto, or the ones with cheese.

Throw em in the oven and bake for 10 – 12 minutes at 400. The figs will come out super soft (and suuuuuper hot) and SUUUUUUPER FLAVORFUL. I think they’re just super. Can’t you tell? Super!

Make them. Because it’s fall and you’re a terrorist if you don’t make something with figs during the fall. And I just imagined these with a hot apple rum cider and I just about peed myself. Excuse me.