Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Sriracha Pasta

Alex came home tonight declaring that he feared he was getting sick and intended to eat something smothered in Sriracha for dinner. I had already put a pot of pasta on the stove... so, I decided to improvise a Sriracha cream sauce for the pasta and it turned out fantastic!

Ground Beef, Onions, Garlic, Carrots, Cremini Mushrooms, Butter, Flour, Milk, Sriracha, Chopped Cilantro.

I simply sauteed everything in butter, then added more butter and a small hand-full of flour. I stirred the flour in well and allowed it to cook for a few minutes before adding in a few cups of milk and a very liberal drizzle of Sriracha. Once the sauce had a good consistency, I finished it with some salt, then added the pasta and finally cilantro.

Oh yeah, and this isn't the Sriracha also known as Cock Sauce, we found a groovy (less chemical-y) Sriracha at our local grocery store! ...I love the label:

Monday, January 7, 2013

Super Salad!

So I went to a random Forrest yoga class,  which is normally a relatively relaxed yoga experience, except that they packed the room and left the heat on. I've never done hot yoga because I don't handle heat terrible well, but I imagine that is what happened today - hot Forrest yoga! Whew. On my bike ride home, my body was screaming, WATER! VITAMINS! ...So I marched into the kitchen when I got home and made this salad:
Red Cabbage
1/2 Blood Orange, sections cut in half
Whole Avocado
Cilantro, chopped
~tsp Apple Cider Vinegar
sprinkle of salt

This salad was AWESOME. Eating it was like running through a vegetable forest laden with silky avocado and punctuated by explosive deluges of blood orange sunshine!

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Yeast-Raised Waffles

Yeast-raised waffles take a little bit more time to make than regular baking-powder-raised waffles, but it's totally worth it! Simply make the dough the night before, then wake up and make your waffles!

2 1/4 tsp Dry Yeast
Dissolve yeast in 1/2 cup warm water until foamy

2 cups Flour
1 tsp Sugar
1 tsp Salt
2 Eggs
2 cups Milk
1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
Combine all these ingredients together in a bowl with the yeast solution. Whisk until everything is evenly mixed together, then cover the top of the bowl in plastic wrap and put it in the fridge overnight!

1/4 tsp Baking Soda
Add baking soda to the batter immediately prior to cooking. Make sure it's thoroughly mixed in!

Pull out your favorite waffle iron, and make some waffles!

These waffles were so tender and fluffy!

Saturday, January 5, 2013


There's a funny thing that happens late at night hanging out with friends at Candice & Joe's house: I get incredible inspired to whip up ravioli-like things, by hand, because it's fun. This time, I made pierogies, which are a lot like ravioli's, except they're Polish in origin, often filled with potatoes, usually fried after being boiled, and frequently served with sour cream.

The dough:
1 3/4 cup Flour
2 Eggs
1/4 cup water
big pinch salt

Combine these together (I like the well method) and knead the dough for a few minutes until it's good and smooth, then wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest on the counter for about 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, prepare your filling. I boiled some potatoes and combined them with grated cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. I appreciate the comfort of traditional pierogies, but you could certainly run wild and get creative with fillings.

Roll out the dough on a well floured surface and keep it moving so you're sure it's not sticking to the counter! Then use a circular cookie-cutter to cut out circles roughly 3 inches in diameter. Place some filling in the center of each circle, brush the edges with a whipped egg, fold each circle in half over the filling and thoroughly press the edges closed with a fork. (The egg acts like glue, so you can be sure your pierogies wont open up on you!)

Cook the pierogies in salted boiling water for 12 minutes.

  Then fry them in butter and serve with sour cream!

...I may have fried these in an extremely liberal amount of butter.

Comfort Christmas

For the past few years my husbands family has adopted a totally awesome unconventional Christmas tradition of no bought gifts (handmade things, stories, games, and other shared activities are all encouraged). Alex wanted to share his delicious brisket magic with everyone, and thus the food theme for Christmas dinner was born: comfort food!

Brisket BBQ sauce ingredients, fresh from World Spice.

Snacks by the light of the Christmas tree and Home Alone on TV
...crackers, cheeses, smoked salmon, hummus, grapes...

So there's a funny story I must include here that Alex's sister, Etalia told us about a phone conversation she had with her mom the day before Christmas. It went something like this:

Mom: Guess what I'm making?!
Etalia: What?
Mom: Crack!
Etalia: ....uuhhh, that's nice.....


Unbeknownst to us, crack is not just an illegal drug anymore, but rather a highly addictive chocolate confection!

Skagit River Valley Ranch Bacon is the best bacon in the world!

The grease was used for cooking, and we had bacon as both an appetizer and mixed into dinner.

Layered lemons, onions and shrimp...

A full kitchen!

 Etalia makes silly faces and gluten-free vegan pie dough

Jeremy's Alabama Shrimp Bake

Etalia & Sorin's Bacon Brussel Sprouts

Debbie's Salad

My Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

Etalia's Gluten-Free Vegan Cornbread

Alex's Brisket

Sorin's Frosted Apple Pie (an old family recipe!)

A post-vacation home-cooked dinner

After walking off a plane at 10pm, all I wanted was a good home-cooked meal. But both Alex and I were too exhausted to cook. Luckily, I remembered that before our two-week vacation, we had thrown a few things in the freezer to save them from going bad in our absence. We tried our best to eat everything that might go bad before we left, and for our final meal we sauteed all the veggies that were left in the fridge and combined them with some pasta and butter. Fortunately, we couldn't eat it all, so I put the leftovers in a baking dish, smothered it in all the cheese we had, and threw it in the freezer. Two weeks later, we stumbled through our front door, threw down our luggage, took out the now mystery leftovers from the freezer and let it heat up in the oven while we took a shower.

My original intention was to simply keep food from going bad, but little did I know that I made a much appreciated future dinner for Alex and I. Sometimes my past-self is pretty darn awesome.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Delicious Seattle

Aahh it's good to be home for the holidays! Since Alex and I moved away a mere five months ago it seems like there's been a gastronomical explosion of new deliciously creative (and relatively cheap) restaurants, particularly in Ballard.

Urban Family Public House is a brand new itty bitty little brewery on Ballard Ave. across the street from our favorite backpacking-planning bar, The Noble Fir (they have an alcove of nearly every guidebook and map ever printed!). But I digress, the Urban Family Pub has an adorable little commercial brewing set up snuggled into the back of their hole-in-the-wall brewpub. They currently make two beers: Le Vagabond (a mild, light, hoppy, saison) and Rain Walker Porter (a nice, solid porter!). Their modest food menu follows a creative trend that seems to have started with Skillet and is now sweeping the city; bacon-jam burger, poutine, and frites. While the Urban Family Pub's bacon-jam is great on a burger, I felt it was way too sweet on poutine.

Bitterroot's "Cowboy Killer" (ribs, brikets, chicken, pulled pork, coleslaw, grits, cornbread, and a roll)  ...photo from the stranger

For brunch on New Year's Day we met up with some friends at Bitterroot, also on Ballard Ave. Named after Montana's Bitterrroot river, this darling little restaurant promises Northwest BBQ and All-American foods and beverages.


I got the best hushpuppies I've ever had outside of Arkansas and Mac 'n Cheese with roasted red peppers and bacon lardons (mac 'n cheese comes with your choice of any two additions; braised greens, pulled pork, hotlink, english peas, smoked jalepenos, caramelized onions, roasted red peppers, or bacon lardons). This was definitely one of the best Mac 'n Cheeses I have ever had! And it was so filling I ended up taking my left overs home and splitting them with Alex for dinner that night!

Alex got a plate of pulled pork, cornbread with honey-butter, and cheddar grits. The grits! Oh the grits were incredible! Fluffy, light-yellow, cornmeal clouds of joy! The pork and cornbread were absolutely stellar as well.

Then there was American Coffee. I ordered Irish Coffee, and our server said they only carry American Whiskey, thus rendering "Irish" Coffee impossible... so I asked if "American" Coffee was possible, to which he said, "absolutely" and went back to the bar to make my drink. I was expecting a simple shot of bourbon in a cup of coffee, but what I received instead is my new favorite cocktail! I asked what was in it, and here's what I remember: Coffee, Bourbon, Creme de Cacao, Simple Syrup, Cinnamon, and Nutmed shavings on top.

...And here is where my friend, Sienna, interrupted me writing this blog post with text messages saying we should go to The Wandering Goose for lunch, so now I have a third restaurant to add! The Wandering Goose on Capitol Hill's 15th Ave. is the creation of few recent transplants from New Orleans. The menu is thick with southern flavor including biscuit sandwiches, grits, fried chicken, brisket with veggies and a poached egg, and fried oysters with bacon, tomato, lettuce, and pepper jam. Both Sienna and I got the Biscuit of the Day, which was a wild boar sloppy joe adorned with a sunny-side-up duck egg and fried jalepenos. It was incredible! And even better, it filled me up without making me feel overly full, and I staid full straight through dinner!

The Saw Mill Biscuit: Fried Chicken, Sage Gravy, Aged Cheddar