Tag: food blog

Recent Recipes

In my last post I promised to share with you some of the things I’ve been cooking up recently. Cooking at home serves many purposes for me. It is, first and foremost, educational, but it is also therapeutic and FUN. It gives me the opportunity to work on kitchen skills, try new things and photograph them all… the good, the bad and the ugly. Yes, some of it turns out ugly. It is what it is.

It also supplies me with blog material. It works out well. I get to play around in the kitchen, practice my creative eye with the help of my Canon and then share it all with you on my blog. I love it when passions naturally meld together and perhaps you’ll be inspired to try a new recipe or two yourself!

Basically Croque Monsieur

This classic French sandwich is SO cheesy and if you’re a cheese lover like me, this has your name all over it. This was the perfect compliment to my Saturday afternoon. You might, however, need a quick nap afterwards. You can find the recipe here: https://www.bonappetit.com/recipe/basically-croque-monsieur

Shepard’s Pie

While it’s nothing fancy, if you’re looking for a quick and easy weeknight meal for the family, shepard’s pie fits the bill. Someone mentioned it not long ago and I was curious, so I tried it myself.

You could easily prepare the ingredients for this dish the night before or the morning of and have it ready to pop into the oven when you get home from work. This is a highly customizable dish. You likely already have the ingredients and if you’re missing something, don’t sweat it. A quick google search will provide a plethora of recipes to choose from, but this is the one I used: https://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/alton-brown/shepherds-pie-recipe2-1942900

Paleo Gluten-Free Apple Cake

I love dessert. This shouldn’t and likely doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who knows me. I’ve been baking for as long as I can remember. My first memories in the kitchen involve more than one something sweet. These days when I’m baking for myself, I try to put a healthy spin on it. This cake is a good compromise, it’s delicious and it’s not too bad for you.
https://joyfoodsunshine.com/paleo-apple-cake/

Vanilla Funfetti Birthday Cake with Buttercream Frosting

This cake is sugar. Pure and simple. Sugar, eggs and butter. So many eggs. But it’s also delicious. I made this for a special little girl’s 4th birthday party, hence the overwhelming amount of pink. I was a bit ambitious but I was determined to get my pink four layer funfetti cake. I doubled the recipe and had plenty of extra batter for cupcakes as well. Most of a day and a few mishaps later… voila. https://sugarspunrun.com/funfetti-cake-scratch/

The sprinkles can easily be omitted from this recipe if you prefer. Either way, this cake is addicting and so is the frosting… you’ve been warned.

Carrot Cake Cheesecake Cake

I love cheesecake. It’s one of my favorite desserts. I also love finding ways to incorporate a cheesecake element into other desserts. This carrot cake cheesecake is incredibly rich and so good. https://www.shugarysweets.com/carrot-cake-cheesecake-cake/

Word of caution: there are multiple steps and the cheesecake needs to be made in advance so read over the recipe a few times and game plan accordingly. (Also, don’t forget to refrigerate your cheesecake layer if baking ahead of time… yes, I forgot. Well, I slept through my alarm. And I had to run to the store the next morning so I could bake another one. It happens!)

I’m always game to try something new; send me some of your favorite recipes!

Cooking Up A Storm

Now that I’m pursing a career in the culinary field, I often get asked what my favorite thing to make is. The truth? I don’t have one! (No one is satisfied with that answer.) My favorite thing to make is the thing I haven’t yet made. Yeah, that’s definitely an oxymoron but it’s true.

We all have our go-to’s, those make up the majority of our weekday lunches and dinners. When we exhaust our list of staples, what do we do? We run through them again. My week is usually pretty packed and the meals I make reflect that. They don’t take long to make and they’re pretty simple (I think I’ve said it before, but leftovers are SO underrated).

Baking with Grandma and little sis, Emma (right), circa 2004

The kitchen has always been a therapeutic place for me. Whether I was baking with my grandma’s or concocting my own creations; I was constantly coming up with substitutions for ingredients (like eggs) because we were often short of something integral to a recipe (I write that with a smile on my face – love you, mom!). The kitchen is, in many ways, a safe haven for me. A place where creativity can shine and memories can be made.

Right now, I have the best of both worlds. Technically, thanks to my day job, I work in a kitchen all week long, and I love it, but it’s different than cooking in your own kitchen. It just is. The environment is faster paced and mistakes come at a higher cost. It’s where I go to learn, to push myself out of my comfort zone and to grow. It’s expanding my mind in so many ways, yet, I still crave that quiet time in my own kitchen.

My kitchen is where I go to clear my head and de-stress. From a professional standpoint I’m still very much in the stage where I don’t know what I don’t know and everyone knows it, which is something I am very aware of. I’ve been graced with such a patient, open minded learning environment but that fact also makes me want to try harder. It’s a total blessing to have people investing time and energy into teaching you but it makes me want to show up tenfold in return. At work, I take things very seriously, myself included.

When I have a day or two off sometimes other things take priority but I usually find time to cook up at least one or two new recipes. Those are my favorite ones. So many people get in the rut of making the same meals over and over and over again… year after year after year. If that works for you then keep on keeping on, but it just doesn’t jive with me. There’s so much potential, so many different kinds of food. I actually freak out a little when I think about all of the ingredients I pass in the grocery store that I’ll never notice or get a chance to try.

A few weeks back I took advantage of an extended weekend and immersed myself in the kitchen. I come across a lot of recipes online that I put aside for an opportunity when I can make them, or I’ll see one in Bon Appetit, the monthly magazine I’m subscribed to. More recently, as I continue to learn about different kinds of foods and various cuisines I’ll challenge myself to come up with something I would normally only get from a restaurant or buy from the store, then I’ll do some research and make it. Easy as pie, right? Not always, but it’s a learning experience and that alone makes it rewarding.

These times in the kitchen, by myself, with the music blaring – no where to go and nothing pressing to do – will always be some of my very favorite. On my own, I love to experiment and lost in my own thoughts, I’m free to do just that. The recipes, for now, provide an often needed guide but liberty is always taken and so are lots of photos (because nothing’s better than the chance to combine two of your passions).

I just bought my first chef’s knife and it is SO SHARP. (I’m told – repeatedly – that fingers grow back so there’s not much to worry about.) Honestly, I can’t wait to put it to use. My knife skills are sorely lacking and I’m more than ready to remedy that situation. I look forward to continuing to share my journey and my food, with you, the reader. I regularly share posts and story updates on my adventures in the kitchen (at work and at home) via my Instagram and Facebook pages. Follow along and send me a photo of your latest creation! Check back soon for some of the things I’ve been cooking up recently.