Thursday, December 20, 2012

Peppermint Eggnog

We have a tradition in our house that we have to buy eggnog the first time that we see it in stores every year. It usually ends up coming out around Thanksgiving now and it's a fun way to kick off the holiday season.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Peppermint Bark Cookies

I had a craving for peppermint bark earlier this week and I went searching for a good recipe for it. While searching I came across this recipe for chocolate peppermint cookies from Martha Stewart and they sounded even better than just plain old peppermint bark so I went for it. That was Monday night, which was also the first night home after spending a week in China. I was exhausted but I decided to bake something instead of going to sleep. Probably because it was the first time I'd had the opportunity to be in a kitchen in over a week. I had also learned from my time in China that almost no one there has an oven. So I baked in honor of all those people who will never get to enjoy it.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Curried Peanut Butter Turkey Soup

It's the day after Thanksgiving and hopefully you still have plenty of leftovers to carry you through the next few days!

There's no reason to keep on reheating and eating the same thing though. Take the same ingredients that you have in your kitchen and create something totally different, like this Curried Peanut Butter Turkey Soup. I use some shredded leftover turkey, sweet potatoes, carrots and mushrooms combined with curry to take these leftovers in a completely new direction. I think you'll enjoy it.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Sweet Potato Casserole

Can anyone tell me how Pumpkin Pie sits at the dessert table while sweet potato casserole sits with the rest of the food at the table as a side dish? It's like someone thought it would be funny one year to slip a dessert onto the table among all the other dishes and the whole world caught on. I'm certainly not complaining, I just laugh every time I serve it with dinner.

Friday, November 9, 2012

OXO Giveaway

OXO has partnered with the Virtual Potluck team to provide you with an array of tools you need to pull off some amazing meals this holiday season!

With the right tools in hand, any cooking job becomes so much easier. If you haven't already checked out my post on how to Spatchcock a Turkey, do it now! I use a whole array of OXO tools and it's a fun new technique you can use this year.

How to Spatchcock a Turkey

I honestly feel like I was just writing my posts for last Thanksgiving a few weeks ago. And now it's already come around again. It's my favorite time of year though so I'm happy to have it around again so soon. As a family we're busier than ever but it's a good busy and I appreciate having this time of year to focus on the things that are most important to us.

We're doing another big Thanksgiving this year, inviting all the families we know around us that are in a similar situation of not having any relatives nearby and we'll all celebrate together. It makes for a chaotic day with our house filled to the brim but it's a great way to enjoy the day. Then I leave that weekend to go to China for a week, finalizing plans for a new business we're launching soon.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Four Layer Gourmet Caramel Apples

My wife would like 100% of the credit for this creation. And for something this amazing, she deserves it. This isn't exactly a recipe I'll be sharing with you but it's a fun treat that you can create with the kids help and it makes a great gift for the upcoming holidays!

Four layers you ask? Absolutely. Caramel, Butterfinger, Chocolate and Candied Peanuts. When she first described what she wanted to make, I thought  she was a bit crazy, and I honestly didn't think it would be as good as she was imagining that it would be. Butterfinger layer is one thing but then adding peanuts on the outside? I thought it might just be too much. And maybe it is, but it was pretty amazing.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Loaded Baked Potato Bites

I had the opportunity last week to sneak into the local Fox 9 station as John McLemore, the CEO of Masterbuilt and his wonderful wife Tonya were filming a segment promoting their new book "Dadgum That's Good, Too". As I walked into the main building early that morning, I could smell the turkey almost immediately. I asked the security guard where to go and he laughed as he said to just follow the smell. The smell led me to the studio kitchen where a prep crew and John were busily working around the kitchen and two of John's indoor turkey fryers were happily frying away on the counter top.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Pancakes

Sometimes time just gets away from you. I've always been a busy person. Not necessarily hectic, run all around the place type busy, but busy. I like side projects and lots of things going on that I can be involved in, but the month of October just got away from me. Full time job, trying to launch a new business, wedding, travel, foster kids and a major professional certification exam.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Chocolate Hazelnut Cupcakes

I'm not sure why I even said yes. I'm not a professional by any means and I've never done anything near a wedding cake before. It was soon after my cake won a ribbon at the state fair though so I must have been at a weak moment when my brother asked if I'd make their wedding cake and I actually said yes. The only reason I even considered it though is because they said they wanted something less traditional and were thinking more of a cupcake tower.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Squash Blossom and Quinoa Stir Fry

Most years we plant a few zucchini plants in our garden but this year we chose to go with some new vegetables and didn't want the zucchini taking over. We figured we could always get it fresh from the farmers market or from friends whenever we needed it. Well, I was working in the yard a few weeks ago and I looked behind our shed and saw this:

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Cinnamon Swirl Brioche

One of the things I love most about blogging is hearing back from friends, family and my readers about how they tried something in their own kitchens. Maybe even if it didn't turn out as well as they had hoped, I love that people are trying to cook more on their own and that they're challenging themselves to do something they might not usually try.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Bacon Wrapped, Sausage Stuffed Jalapeno Peppers

The State Fair is over, school has started and it's already getting cooler. I'm going to reminisce though a bit with one of my favorite foods from the State Fair this year. I won't list everything I had this year, wait, sure I will: cheese curds, pina-colada, beef tongue taco, fried eggplant taco, chocolate chip cookies, puff pastry sausage, stuffed jalapenos, foot-long corn dog, mini donuts, poutine, red velvet funnel cake, fried green beans, strawberry smoothie and onion rings! Whew. Now, don't go thinking that was all in one visit. It was two. :)

Friday, August 31, 2012

Minnesota State Fair 2012

I told myself I wasn't going to enter anything in the fair this year. I entered a few things last year and completely struck out. Not even an honorable mention. Then this year came around and I caved in. BUT, I only entered one item. It was all or nothing. It was the special contest sponsored by King Arthur Flour. I love King Arthur and after having visited them earlier this year, I felt it only right to submit an entry and try to win even more money to spend with them.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Lemon Poppy Seed Waffles

When I was 12 years old, I spent a week or so one summer helping my Dad bring a friends yacht down through the waters of the Puget Sound to its home port near Seattle. I loved the time we spent on the water and even at that age, I was pretty comfortable in the kitchen. I spent much of the time in the ships galley preparing food and even managed to whip up some cinnamon rolls with some yeast I found in the back of one of the cupboards. The months after that trip were spent dreaming of ways that I could spend a life on the water and even today I think it would be great sometime to retire to a nice boat and just travel around the world.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

It must be state fair season. I know this not only by the constant reminders by email to register for this years baking contests but I'm also craving fried foods constantly. My body just knows what's coming and wants it. And truth be told, I have no problem giving in.

Friday, August 10, 2012

Smoked Salmon Chowder

You knew I was going to post another smoker recipe right? It's like when you got a new toy as a kid and couldn't stop playing with it for ages. Well, this is my new toy, and all I can think about is new ways to try smoking things. I bought the book Smoke and Spice and have learned a ton just reading through it in the last week. Looks like it's got some great recipes to try out.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Smoked Pulled Pork

Did you miss me? Did you even notice I was gone? I just spent the last week up in the boundary waters of Minnesota. It's a beautiful area and it was so nice to get away for awhile. I had no technology except for my little camera. It also meant I didn't do much cooking for the week, although we did eat pretty well for being in the wilderness with only the food that we could pack in.

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Dark Chocolate Cherries

Cherries are still in season people! If my pie and sorbetto haven't tempted you, these dark chocolate cherries are guaranteed to. They are incredibly easy to make and the hardest part is just waiting for them to be ready. I came across this recipe when Kate In The Kitchen posted about her adventures with cherries and I knew that I couldn't pass them up. Simple syrup is created by heating water and sugar together. Dark Chocolate is then melted into the syrup before being poured over cherries packed into a quart jar. They're then sealed for up to two weeks to create a beautiful dark chocolate treat!

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Zesty Zucchini Twist

It's that time of year. Gardens are in full swing and we're enjoying the great fruits, vegetables and herbs that we've got planted this year. We didn't plant any zucchini this year though and while I don't miss having the glut of squash this time of year, I do miss the challenge of coming up with new recipes to use it all up.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Seared Scallops with Tomato-Lemongrass Sauce

It's my last weekend at home without the family. The last two weeks have seemed like months! It will certainly be nice to have them home this week.

Had some more friends over this weekend and we had a fantastic dinner together. I started off the day by visiting the Mill City Farmers Market. It's a great little market along the river in Minneapolis. I'd heard a lot about it but hadn't ever visited before. Chef Shack also sets up there and I've been dying to get some of the great breakfast items they do there. After breakfast, I picked up some great produce including mushrooms, onions, rainbow chard, and even some fresh chevre. Produce from our garden included tomatoes, basil, chives, mint and cilantro. Picked up some scallops at Costco and we had our dinner menu.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cherry-Lime Sorbetto

You remember those 8lbs of cherries from last week? Well that cherry pie was just one of the recipes created. Today I've got a refreshing dish that's perfect for summer. It's only got a few ingredients so it lets the sweet flavor of these beautiful cherries shine through.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Classic Lattice Top Cherry Pie

I picked up 8 lbs of sweet cherries from Costco on Friday night. And they're all gone. Not that I've eaten them all, but they've all been made into three amazing desserts that I can't wait to share with you.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Mahi Mahi Tacos

It's still just me in the house, which is good and bad. I cleaned the house on Friday and I love knowing that I won't have to clean hand prints off the windows or pick up toys in the playroom for the next two weeks, but it's awfully quiet in the evening around here. I've been keeping myself pretty busy though and invited some guys over to cook with me Saturday night. Well, technically one of them (yep, you Joe) invited himself over, but I was all for it. Guys night cooking some great food.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Cardamom Bread

I've got the house all to myself for the next two weeks. Which means no one to help me eat all the food I need to make. We sent the boys off to Wyoming with their grandparents the day Coralie was born and then Breanne left on Thursday with the girls to Seattle for two and a half weeks. I still have tons of things I need to make though so I'll probably have to invite people over more to eat it all. Want to come over?

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Sourdough Sandwich Rolls

We just had a delivery of a beautiful baby girl on Monday morning so easy lunches are in order! These sourdough sandwich rolls are so easy to bake in advance and then freeze for later use. Just pull them out of the freezer on the morning you want to use them and you're ready to go!

Friday, June 22, 2012

Vanilla Panna Cotta with Macerated Strawberries and Balsamic Vinegar

On one of my recent food truck forays, I tried a panna cotta from the Get Sauced truck in downtown Minneapolis. I had bought it and brought it back to my desk to eat while I worked. As I sat there eating bite after bite I was just blown away by the way that these simple flavors had combined to create such a complex eating experience. I think my co-workers might have got a little annoyed because after every bite I had to remind them how amazing this was. And I wasn't sharing.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Flank Steak with Pineapple Salsa

Hope everyone had a great Fathers Day! For us it was the weekend of steak. My wife and I went out to dinner Friday night, one of the last times we'll have without a newborn for awhile, and we had a great steak there. I had the leftovers from that Saturday for lunch and then I grilled this amazing flank steak for the family Saturday night.

Friday, June 15, 2012

Blitz Puff Pastry & Palmiers

Are you enjoying all the baking that's been going on here? I hope so because I've got a whole lot more coming up! What I would really hope though is that you're actually TRYING some of this. If you've baked all your life or if you're just searching for something to give you the courage to try for the first time, these recipes are fun ones to try and of course they taste amazing too.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Blog and Bake Part Two

I'm back home now and already missing the beautiful North East part of the country. Could have had a little nicer weather but we still had a few beautiful days and we were inside most of the time anyway so I really shouldn't complain. I honestly had such an amazing time and met some really cool people.

Photo Courtesy of Terri Rosenstock

Photo Courtesy of Terri Rosenstock

Photo Courtesy of Terri Rosenstock
Photo Courtesy of Terri Rosenstock

I'm not going to share all the things I learned here in this post but I'll share some more pictures, talk about some of the classes that we took and then include more tips and tricks in my upcoming posts.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Blog and Bake

I love Vermont! And Connecticut. And New York. I've been in all three states in the last 48 hours and I have loved every second of it.

I am here in Norwich Vermont visiting the headquarters of King Arthur Flour for their second annual Blog and Bake conference with 12 other bloggers from around the country. What a group. I won't name names but such a great range of quiet, talkative, funny and everyone has such a great and different perspective on life and blogging. Like usual I feel like the little fish in the big and crazy world of food blogging but I love hearing about their experiences and some pretty hilarious stories of life.

Whole-Wheat Sourdough Ciabatta

What great timing! This week Virtual Potluck has partnered with King Arthur Flour and Red Star Yeast and I am actually visiting the headquarters of King Arthur for a few days as part of their second Blog and Bake conference! You can follow along with some of my adventures on Facebook or Twitter for now and I'll be sharing some more on the blog as I go! For more of the Virtual Potluck activities this week, go check out the round-up from Donna at Cookistry.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Candy "Sushi"

I've made these a couple times in the last month or so and everybody seems to love them so I thought I'd include a few pictures and directions here for fun.

The first time I made them was for our boys Ninja birthday party. Most of the kids loved them although a few were pretty suspicious of them still. After that I decided to make them to bring to work, wondering how they would go over with an adult crowd. I think they were even more popular there and they went faster than anything else I've brought in to the office.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Roast Duck Breast with Shaved Black Truffles

Some time ago I received a copy of Patricia Wells "Simply Truffles" cookbook to do a review on. I kind of laughed when I received it thinking there was never going to be a time when I would have a chance to make anything from it. I honestly didn't even read through it like I usually do with a new cookbook because I didn't want to get excited about anything.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Double-Ginger Snaps

My 8 year old is back and this time he went all out and wanted to do a video for all of you!

He was so excited to hear all the feedback after his last post and it's already one of my most popular posts. He's always loved making videos and when I suggested he try another recipe and I'd film it, he was all over it. We had a ton of fun and I'd have to say he's a natural.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Spicy Blackberry Glazed Ribs

Are you ready for grilling season? Technically, I could say it's always grilling season as I've been known to even clear a path in the snow to get to my grill but now that the weather is warming up, our grill is being used 2-3 times a week. To be honest, a lot of the time it's just grilling some hot dogs for the kids but I still try and grill some fun stuff more and more during the summer.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Curried Chicken Coconut Soup

Yeah, I know, it's not really soup season anymore but sometimes it's just good to make a great soup. I borrowed a friends pressure cooker awhile ago and I was having fun playing with a few different types of food. I haven't used a pressure cooker since I was in high school and even then I never really used it for much other than cooking artichokes. 

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Pecan Caramel Sticky Rolls

Most of you know already that I make my own bread every week. The great thing about my bread recipe is that it's so versatile and I love making many different things with it. One of my favorites is to split some off and make cinnamon rolls, or the ultimate: Sticky Rolls.

Sticky rolls are created by creating a "smear" of butter, cinnamon and sugar that's placed on the bottom of the pan before the rolls go in. Then as they cook, the sugar is melted into a wonderful caramel sauce that cooks into the bottom of the rolls. After you bake them you flip the pan upside down so that the caramel ends up on top and runs down over the rolls. Sound amazing? Yeah, they are.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Morel and Asparagus Lasagna

Spring is the redeeming quality of Minnesota. Our typical winters seem to start in September and go on through May. Admittedly this last Winter was surprisingly mild, but Spring was still a welcome change. I love to see the trees budding and tulips flowering and crazy as it may seem, I look forward to the first time I get to mow the lawn again too!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Buttermilk and Chocolate Chip Waffles

I've got a special guest blogging for me today! It's my seven year old son Kayden. I asked him if he'd like to make dinner last night and then challenged him to do it all by himself. 

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Oxtail Ragu and Fennel Pollen Pasta

Ready to experiment with some new ingredients today? One of my favorite things about cooking is discovering new things and challenging myself to make something that I might not normally try.

This week, the Virtual Potluck team is taking you on a Spice Adventure and I think you're really going to enjoy it. Donna from Cookistry has the roundup page where you can follow along with the whole team. We're working with Savory Spice Shop and each of us is focusing an a different area of the shop.

Savory Spice Shop is one of the most comprehensive spice stores online. They not only provide fantastic products but they also have a wealth of knowledge on where the spices come from and how to best use them to make some amazing food. I found so much useful information and loved just browsing through the store.