Saturday, May 21, 2011


Now tell me, who doesn't love waking up to a fresh, hot stack of buttery, fluffy pancakes? I sure would. That is, if I could convince Tim to get up before me and make some. But that'll never happen. He sleeps in like 2-3 hours after me and doesn't like to cook anything except mac and cheese from a box. But I still love him.

Anyways, back to the pancakes. This recipe is the best pancake recipe I've ever made. I even think my parents (and possibly by my grandparents!) used this recipe when I was growing up. I love them plain, with a little bit of butter and syrup, but to tell you the truth, my favorite addition is huckleberries. If you have never had a huckleberry, get your butt over to either Washington or Oregon or Idaho and go hiking in late August/early September. They are everywhere and they are so delicious!

In fact, one of my many nicknames growing up was tumbleberry because I fell while picking huckleberries and went a-tumbling through the bushes till my uncle caught me. True story.

Pancakes are seriously one of the best breakfast foods, ever! So tell me, what do you like in or on your pancakes?

Good Ole Fashioned Pancakes
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens

1 c. all purpose flour*
1/2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 beaten egg
1 cup milk**
2 tbsp cooking oil

1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center of mixture. Set aside.
2. Combine egg, milk and oil. Add wet mixture to dry ingredients. Stir just until moistened. Batter will be lumpy.
3. Heat a nonstick griddle or skillet over medium heat. For standard size pancakes, drop 1/4 c. batter onto hot griddle. For dollar-size, drop 1 tbsp batter. Pancake will be ready to turn when bubbles form and the edges are set. Flip and let cook for 2 minutes longer. Enjoy with butter and syrup or jam.

*1/2 c. of the flour can be replaced with whole wheat flour, if desired.
**Buttermilk can be substituted for lighter, fluffier pancakes. Sour milk (1 tbsp vinegar + 1 c. milk, let sit for 5 minutes before using) can also be used.



Sign up for our email list to get weekly recipe digests, updates on events, get a free e-cookbook and be entered for a monthly drawing for a free cookbook (Up to a value of $31.95. Limit one per person). Who wouldn't want all that?

* indicates required




Basic Pancakes on Foodista

Friday, May 20, 2011

Asparagus with Hazelnut Dressing

Has there ever been a time when you thought you knew everything about something, but then one day, you find out something new that completely takes you by surprise? That was me yesterday.

I thought I had figured out almost everything about the white balance on my camera. I had been having trouble with my pictures looking blue since I moved into my new apartment, and just thought that I would have to edit it out as best as I could later.

But then yesterday, I happened upon a little icon that I had no idea what it meant. So I selected it. And I fudged around with it. Turns out, if you select this little icon then point it at something white, it will change the white balance to match that white. Cool!

Well, it's definitely true that you learn something new every day!

Anyways, enjoy this wonderful springtime dish of asparagus with a hazelnut dressing. It's light, easy and one of the simplest ways to enjoy asparagus.

Asparagus with Hazelnut Dressing
adapted from Classic Light

1 bunch asparagus
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 c. hazelnuts

1. Heat hazelnuts in a dry saute pan over med-low heat for 5 minutes, watching carefully that they don't burn. Pour into a towel and rub the skins off (careful! they are hot!). Set aside to cool.
2. Bring a large stockpot of water to a boil. Add asparagus and cook for 1-2 minutes, depending on thickness of stalks. Drain and run under cool water to slow cooking.
3. To make dressing, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice and parsley. Arrange asparagus on a serving platter. Drizzle dressing over top. Chop hazelnuts and sprinkle on top.


Asparagus on Foodista


Sign up for our email list to get weekly recipe digests, updates on events, get a free e-cookbook and be entered for a monthly drawing for a free cookbook (Up to a value of $31.95. Limit one per person). Who wouldn't want all that?

* indicates required




Thursday, May 19, 2011

Steak and Sweet Onion Sandwich

I have been dying to get back into cooking since I moved. I kinda threw myself at this one recipe that I've been wanting to try just to get back into the swing of things, but it didn't turn out as I had hoped. I really think if I tried it again and didn't rush it (and remembered to make the rice to accompany it!), it would turn out great. If I'm hungry, I tend to rush through making dinner, forgetting mise en place, forgetting where I store stuff, and/or forgetting to make part of the meal. I need to remember that cooking is a process that should be enjoyed along the way.

Good music should be turned on and danced to, a good glass of sparkling water with lemon (or a glass of wine, if you prefer) should be poured, and things will just naturally fall into place. Making a meal is like life. You should enjoy the journey.

On another note, here is a dish that should not be rushed. If you give it time to let the flavors mellow and meld, it will be well worth the wait.

Steak and Sweet Onion Sandwich 
adapted from Better Homes and Gardens cookbook

3/4 lb. top sirloin steak
1 sweet onion (I prefer Walla Walla, but Vidalia or Maui work fine too), sliced
vegetable oil
1 tbsp dijon mustard
salad greens
roasted red peppers, if desired
4 slices good sourdough bread, toasted

1. Season steak with salt and pepper. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a large saute pan over med-high heat. Sear steak for 4-5 minutes per side, depending on how well done you like your steak. Remove from pan and cover loosely with aluminum foil. 
2. Lower heat to med-low and add onion slices. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir Dijon mustard in with the onions. Remove from heat.
3. To assemble sandwiches, slice steak thinly across the grain. Top 2 slices of bread with steak slices, then onions, followed by red peppers and salad greens. Top with other 2 slices of bread and eat!



Sign up for our email list to get weekly recipe digests, updates on events, get a free e-cookbook and be entered for a monthly drawing for a free cookbook (Up to a value of $31.95. Limit one per person). Who wouldn't want all that?

* indicates required




Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Asparagus, Prosciutto and Pea Risotto

Risotto is one of the go-to meals for me. It’s like pasta. There are endless possibilities. I almost always have all the ingredients on hand to make a risotto, so I tend to make it a lot. My favorite combination is pea and prosciutto. The saltiness of the prosciutto pairs well with the sweetness of the peas. It’s heaven in a bowl. Since it’s asparagus season, I thought I would change it up and make an asparagus and prosciutto risotto. Halfway through cooking the meal, I changed my mind (again!) and decided to make it an asparagus, prosciutto and pea risotto, just because I love my vegetables. Having two vegetables in the risotto just made it that much better. This dish is quick enough for a weeknight, but comfortable enough for a weekend leisurely meal. 

Asparagus, Prosciutto and Pea Risotto

1 c. Arborio rice
4 c. chicken stock (or vegetable if you prefer)
½ yellow onion, diced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into 1” pieces
6 oz. prosciutto, torn into bite-sized pieces
1 c. frozen peas

1. Heat chicken stock in a saucepan over low heat.
2. Heat olive oil in another saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent. Add rice and stir for 1 min to coat the grains with oil. Turn heat to med-low.
3. Stir in 1 ladleful of stock. Let simmer until most of stock is absorbed. Stir in another ladleful of stock. Let simmer until absorbed. Repeat until all but 1 c. of stock has been absorbed. Taste rice. If still tastes grainy, repeat adding stock, simmering and tasting until rice is soft but not mushy and the mixture is spoon able, but with a little liquid left.
4. Meanwhile, bring a large stock pot of water to a boil. Add asparagus, boil for 1 minute, drain and rinse under cold water. Set aside until ready.
5. When rice is ready, stir in asparagus and peas. Let sit off heat for 2 minutes. Spoon risotto into bowls. Top with slices of prosciutto.



Sign up for our email list to get weekly recipe digests, updates on events, get a free e-cookbook and be entered for a monthly drawing for a free cookbook (Up to a value of $31.95. Limit one per person). Who wouldn't want all that?

* indicates required




Monday, May 16, 2011

Skagit Valley Tulip Festival


I'm back! For the most part. My food posts will resume rather shortly. I am planning on cooking every night this week, but of course I will get side tracked by all the boxes that haven't been unpacked yet....

On the other hand, I thought I would share pictures from a trip I made in April to the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival.

The last time I went, I was about 2 or 3 years old, so it's been a while.

This time, I went with three gals from my meetup group. I had a blast!

Crystal, Laura and Beckee

Crystal, Laura and me!
I took lots of pretty flower pictures, as you can see.

It was so crowded there towards the end of the day, so I'm glad we got there kinda early.

Other than it being kinda crowded, I had lots of fun!

Have a great day!


Friday, May 13, 2011

Update: Night Before Move

Hi there!

Whew, I'm sure tired from packing. And we still have a ways to go. We ran out of boxes and still have probably 1/3 of our stuff left. I really don't know how I have accumulated so much stuff!

Tomorrow is going to be super busy. I have this meeting to go to in the morning from 9 am - noon, which totally wipes out any extra last minute packing time, but I have a Timmy to-do list for my fiancee. And I'm hoping to get up early enough to do some last minute packing, but that's most likely not going to happen.

My cat is really stressed out, which makes me really sad. We think his previous owners had to move and left him behind so when he saw all the boxes he got really worried. I'm sure he will be happy at our new place. Do any of you have any tips on how to move animals? We are only moving 45 minutes from where we are now, but even just a 5-minute car ride freaks him out and he cries constantly. Poor kitty..

Anyways, I'm off to get ready for bed so I can (maybe) get up early. Have a good evening!


Thursday, May 5, 2011

Update: 9 days left!

Hi there!

I'm so excited because there are only 9 days left until I move! Really, I should be freaking out because the only thing that has been packed is my enormous collection of books and magazines and one box of shoes. But I'm really rather relaxed. I feel so much better off than I did for out last move.

Our last move was kind of a disaster. I didn't have anything packed so the morning of, I was rushing around like crazy trying to find empty boxes and fill them with stuff. So now I say I'm not going to procrastinate like that, but I know I will. I'm a semi-procrastinator. I get about half of the stuff done ahead of time, and then I wait until the last minute to finish it. It's definitely not productive.

The downside to packing everything up is that now I'm going through cooking withdrawls.. I really don't like eating out more than 3 times a week but lately we've been eating out almost every day. We have a lot of great food places near where we are now, but I want to cook! I just have to remind myself that in only 9 days I can cook again. Er, well, actually I'm going to make dinner tomorrow night so I won't have to wait that long. But then after that, I won't be able to cook for like 8 days! I don't know if I will survive!! (Just kidding... I will survive, but I'll be really grumpy!)

Some other good news is that my future mother-in-law has offered up her backyard to me to plant a veggie garden. I'm super excited because I have been dreaming of having my own veggie garden for years now and I've got it all planned out. We are going to dig up the dirt and start on May 31st, which isn't too far away!

Anyways, that is my not so short update. I did make an asparagus, pea and prosciutto risotto the other night, which I will share soon. I also made a chocolate chip banana bread, but we ate it all before I could snap a picture, so I'm going to make another loaf and then post the recipe.

Have a great day!


Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

There is no better sign of spring than a strawberry rhubarb crisp. Growing up, I would spend a lot of time over at my grandparents’ house. They had the best garden, full of strawberries, blueberries, rhubarb, asparagus, and apples. I remember every spring, as soon as the strawberries were ready and the rhubarb had been picked, I would help my grandparents make a strawberry-rhubarb cobbler. It was the favorite springtime family dessert. Recently, I discovered crisps, which I think I now like better than cobblers. 

Don’t know the difference between a cobbler and a crisp? Don’t worry about it! Here is a great website that will help you. 

 Strawberry-Rhubarb Crisp

Serves 6

3 c.  frozen strawberries, thawed, reserving juices
2 c. frozen rhubarb, sliced, thawed, reserving juices
½ c.  granulated sugar
1/2  cup  regular rolled oats
1/2  cup  packed brown sugar
1/4  cup  all-purpose flour
1/8  tsp.  ground nutmeg,
¼ tsp ground cinnamon
1/4  cup  butter, slightly softened
1/4  cup  chopped nuts
Vanilla ice cream or light cream (optional)

1.      Preheat oven to 375 F. Combine fruit and sugar in a 2-qt square baking dish. Set aside.
2.      To make topping, mix oats, sugar, flour, and spices in a medium bowl. Cut in butter with a pastry cutter until butter is the size of peas. Sprinkle mixture over top of fruit.
3.      Bake for 40 minutes, or until top is golden brown.


*Tip: Double the topping, without the butter and store in the freezer for up to 1 month for a dessert that will come together in minutes. 


Sign up for our email list to get weekly recipe digests, updates on events, get a free e-cookbook and be entered for a monthly drawing for a free cookbook (Up to a value of $31.95. Limit one per person). Who wouldn't want all that?

* indicates required




Share This!