vanilla pots de creme with candied bananas

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Pots de creme are the best. The French got a hold of pudding and, of course, made it better. Here we have a basic vanilla pots de creme with real vanilla bean caviar scraped into the scalded milk. Thickened with marigold colored egg yolks, and topped with brown sugared banana slices.

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simple salmon & crab cakes

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Salmon is flaked together with crab meat, seasoned lightly with onion, salt and pepper, and finished with lemon. Grilled to a crispy perfection in cocoanut oil.  My brother and I made these for Sunday dinner. Cooking and talking, mostly about Michael Jackson in my parent’s kitchen. Dancing, singing, and making these cakes. We served them with mashed potatoes, and seasoned cucumbers that I am planning on sharing with you later this week. My family and I sat and stood around the end of the bar eating and talking.

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strawberry butter on toast & honey latte

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Honey in my coffe is one of my favorite ways to drink coffee. It’s a nice change from the plain coffee with just a little bit of half-and-half that’s my normal go-to. Besides being so much healthier then plain sugar, the flavors of the honey play so nicely with the coffee. Do you have any sugar alternatives that you put in your coffee? I’m always looking for new ways to enjoy my morning cup.

Strawberries, honey, butter, and lemon are mingled together then spread on warm toast. The butter melts into the toast while the flavors sing a spring song.

Some links for your weekend:

Humming Bird Bakery. A bakery in London with “authentic American cakes”

I got a wonderful email from a reader, she sent me a link to her blog. I just have to share it! It’s so beautiful! Local Haven

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spinach, cheddar & apple salad with lemon

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The title of this recipe may be a bit deceiving, cheddar and apple are my main flavors, we also have some grape tomato, chia, and snow peas. Dressed with a white balsamic dressing. I also ended up tossing some roasted chicken on it last minute. The drizzle of lemon, adds just the right amount of flavor.

I don’t know what my problem is, this is the second salad recipe I have posted in, what, a week? And guess what? I ordered a salad today when I went our to lunch. I’m so grown up.

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yogurt pancakes with stewed rhubarb

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Moist yogurt pancakes that I topped with whipped cream and sweetened stewed rhubarb. Yogurt to replace the whipped cream would be nice here too, but I ended up using all of the yogurt I had in the batter. I love acidic pancakes, weather it be buttermilk, or yogurt. There is no comparison to pancakes made with milk, there is so much more depth to acidic pancakes. I love the flavor of rhubarb, it’s so bright, and wonderful. One of the best ways to consume rhubarb is just like this, stewed with a little sugar. It makes the perfect topping for nearly anything.

I remember eating mounds of yogurt topped with freshly stewed rhubarb at my grandma’s house on early spring days. To date, that’s one of my favorite breakfasts. Or a decadent dessert, by replacing the yogurt with vanilla ice cream.

Every family has a sort-of iconic dish, or ingredient. I think of rhubarb as ours.

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skillet cookie

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Think of this. A whole slice  of cookie, and not just any cookie, a cookie that is chewy on the edge, but soft toward the middle. Classic chocolate chip cookie flavor, elevated to the cast iron skillet. The chocolate chips melt down to the bottom almost creating a 100% chocolate crust. The pure butter flavor is mingling with chocolate and vanilla is always a crowd pleaser.

And another AWESOME thing about a skillet cookie: there is non of this stupid scooping out drops of cookie dough onto cookie sheets. I hate that part, normally I make the dough and my mom scoops it onto the sheets. So this fixes that problem.

Anyway, some links:

Bacon Van Gough 

Got Bill Grander’s newest book for my birthday. Love Bill!

A recipe I wrote for The Nourishing Gourmet blog

Newest blog crush: My New Roots

100 rules for dinner (via A Cup of Jo)

Crepe cones (Via Oh Joy!)

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cocoanut carrot cake with cinnamon frosting

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Ok, I thought I didn’t like carrot cake, UM, WRONG! This little missy loves carrot cake. We got some carrot cake cupcakes for my little brother’s birthday from Trader Joe’s. So I went on this carrot cake kick, yeah, yeah. It’s like I can’t eat anything without trying to make a better version at home. It’s a mental illness.

So here’s the jist. We have a spicy cinnamon cake with a superb moist crumb, and flakes of carrot and cocoanut though out. As if that wasn’t enough we have a buttercream that was taken to the next level with a couple teaspoons of cinnamon. And there you have it, your new best friend.

Do you ever have those mornings when you spend over a half hour looking for the attachment for your mixer when you really should be doing homework? Oh, funny you don’t? I do, well I did this morning anyway. Ah! School! Why do you have to be so time consuming? I just want to cook.

Alas, at this time I must juggle both cooking and {gurrr} school.

Oh, this is totally random. But if you’re interested, you can follow me on Instagram. I post a lot of behind the scene pictures, and other life stuff.

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sticky toffee pudding & things i love

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If you’ve been reading the blog for a while you know about my infatuation with England. My 2 trips to there are testimony to that. Though my sister gets the honor of being stopped in airpots asking if she has any relation to Kate Middleton, I like to remind her that Kate is not a princess. She’s still just a Duchess. Though when Pippa (Kate’s little sister) released her book based on food and entertaining, I thought maybe we really are leading parreal lives with the Middletons. Oh how I wish that were true. Wouldn’t that mean I end up with Harry?

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That whole rant on the Royal Family is to say: sticky toffee pudding is a classic British dessert. I had it several times when I was in England, and the moist cake with a great carmen sauce is divine. This turned out pretty darn good if I do say so. Though I probably would have enjoyed it better with a view of Big Ben, or possibly tucked in a small cafe in Oxford.

Also, I have to admit, this recipe is tweaked from “Kate’s favorite sticky toffee pudding recipe

Here are a few of the things that give beauty to my everyday life:

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My avocado plant that I started from a seed nearly 3 years ago + some store bought flowers that got a wild makeover from a few roadside weeds.

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My littlest brother mid-nap.  (Some photos of him at 24 hours old)

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Some British & foodie links:

Loving the blog: a la mode

Another lovely photog blog

The Queen & Kate on the Tube in London

honey & jam, a wonderful food blog

Of course, Pippa Middleton’s book

A whole food and vegetarian blog, Cookie + Kate 

The Mayflower Pub is where I had my last British Sticky Toffee Pudding.

Love this blog name: The Crepes of Wrath (!)

A guide to dim sum

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broccoli and blueberry slaw (mayo free)

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Have I ever told you how much I HATE mayo? Oh, I have? Well, sorry you will hear it again. I really do HATE it. Why does it smell like that? And do you even know what’s in it? I have even tried to make homemade a couple of times, but every time it breaks, and is ruined. So, apparently it hates me too. But I’m ok with that.

Anyway about this recipe…

Crisp broccoli and carrot is tossed with dried blueberries, giving it a wonderful sweet surprise. Dressed in a sweet-acidic dressing and topped with crunchy almond slices. This would be a perfect paper plate BBQ side dish.

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blackberry cream puffs

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Eggy shells with sugary-crunchy top, filled with whipped cream what has been spiked with blackberry jam. Um, yes, you did just read that sentence right. I love putting a little kick of something unexpected in the ordinary. Just by looking you would think that those are just normal innocent cream puffed guys. But no! Those are infused with my mother’s homemade blackberry jam. Giving you a chic little number that is sure to impress.

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I remember making cream puffs with my grandma when I was little. Every time I make a choux now, I always think of that time in her kitchen: We had just added the flour to the hot milk, and the directions said to cook it until there was a film on the bottom of the pot, and that should take about 3 minutes. Well, ours had a film within a minute. My grandma, leaning over my shoulder and giving the mixture a good stir said, “well aren’t we just ahead of the class”. I don’t know why that one memory stuck in my head above all the other cooking adventures my grandma and I had. So if your choux dough is done before 3 minters, remember you are just ahead of the class.

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