Archive for June, 2011|Monthly archive page

Quinoa Grits

In Cooking, Uncategorized on June 30, 2011 at 9:32 pm

This is my first time to try quinoa. So far I am a big fan. It was just like cooking rice, although it smelled like I was cooking rice in peanut butter and chicken stock. Maybe that is just me, but it smelt weird so I was needless to say leery.  So I decided to make them cheesy and serve like grits with poached eggs for a meatless, but high protein dinner. So technically these aren’t grits, but this was the closest description I could come up with for the dish.

Quinoa Grits

Serves 2

1 cup cooked quinoa
2/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1/4 cup cottage cheese
3-4 baby carrot, finely grated
1 egg, plus 1 egg white
1 small yellow onions, finely diced
1 /2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1/8 teaspoon salt
pinch of  garlic powder
Olive oil to saute onions
2 poached eggs to serve with Quinoa Grits. 


Directions: Prepare quinoa according to directions and set aside to cool. In a large bowl combine the cooked quinoa, cheddar cheese, cottage cheese, carrot, eggs, sugar, pepper, cumin, salt, and garlic powder.

Heat a frying pan with olive oil and saute onions; then add mixture and cook through until warm and all the cheese is melted. Place in your serving dish and top with a freshly poached egg. Voila.

I made extra quinoa in the rice cooker to try other recipes. This recipe would lend itself to any variety of flavors and spices so if cumin isn’t your thing feel free to experiment!


Weekly Boozer: Baking with Bourbon

In Baking, Uncategorized on June 27, 2011 at 10:46 am

Bourbon is by far one of my favorite booze to cook with. It marries well with so many flavors.  Like cherries, pecans, bread… like Makers Mark Cherry Pecan Bread Pudding. Whew. That’s a big name! But, it is what it is and that would be fantastically delicious, comforting and worth repeating. Remember baking is just like cooking with alcohol – choose something you would drink as the flavor is transferred and sometimes amplified.  Taste tests may be necessary before baking 😉  If you don’t want the alcoholic version Makers Mark sells bottled cherries that have had the alcohol cooked off  which = all the flavor, nix the booze.

Makers Mark Cherry Pecan Bread Pudding

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup half & half
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (use a high-quality extract, not an imitation)
  • 1 vanilla bean, scraped 
  • 5 cups day-old French bread, cut into 1-inch cubes (see Note)
    1/3 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/3 cup Makers Mark Cherries*, diced 
    I made my Makers Mark Cherries by purchasing a jar of maraschino cherries, draining the juice completely and replacing with Makers Mark. I placed the mixture in the fridge for one week; shaking the contents daily.  This means of course these cherries have alcohol in them, unlike the store product. ~ you can also soak dried cherries in bourbon overnight before baking.

Directions: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Grease an 8-inch baking dish.

To make the bread pudding, combine the sugar, cinnamon, and nutmeg in a large bowl. Beat in the eggs until smooth, then work in the heavy cream, half & half, vanilla and vanilla seed. Then toss in the bread cubes, pecans and chopped cherries(drained). Allow the bread to soak up the custard before adding to the prepared baking dish. Bake for approximately 25 to 30 minutes or until the pudding has a golden color and is firm to the touch. It will expand in the dish/oven, but should remain moist and an inserted toothpick should come out clean. Let cool to room temperature.

Note: I made a bourbon creme anglaise to accompany my bread pudding and to compliment the flavor – both are subtle so they work well together. Bourbon Creme Anglaise – click here. I added one Tbsp of Vanilla Bean Paste to this recipe.


Bread Pudding is like country decadence. This one is slightly sweet, has a nice crunch from the pecans and a little warmth from the bourbon.  This dessert could be made ahead as it is twice as nice the second day.  On another note, I kept my Makers Mark Cherry juice and am excited to create a cocktail with it!! Happy baking!


Chinese Carrot Salad

In Cooking, Uncategorized on June 23, 2011 at 8:44 pm

I call this Chinese Carrot Salad, because it is something I came up with to serve alongside stir-fry and fried rice.  Nothing ever really seems to go. Especially with stir-fry, because well you put most everything in it. This salad is super crunchy, sweet, savory and very refreshing. It would go well with fish or any number of dishes… but I always serve it with Chinese – hence the name.

Chinese Carrot Salad

12 oz carrots, cleaned and cut into fine matchsticks
1 Tbsp poppy seeds
1 Tbsp rice vinegar
1 tsp fresh grated ginger
2 Tbsp garlic and ginger infused olive oil (recipe below)

Directions: Prep carrots and place in a bowl with oil, vinegar, salt, pepper and fresh ginger. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour so flavors can meld. Stir in the poppy seeds just before serving. Enjoy.

Garlic & Ginger Infused Oil: Method 1: Add several smashed garlic cloves and about 1 inch of chopped fresh ginger to a bottle of olive oil and leave to infuse about 2-3 weeks before using. Strain the oil after allotted time and store in a cool-dark place. Method 2: Bring oil, smashed garlic and fresh ginger to a simmer in a pan. Stir so the garlic and ginger do not stick or burn and turn to a very low heat for about 20 minutes. Let cool, strain and use. If you make more than needed store in the fridge covered for up to 1 week. 

I could eat the whole batch – it is that tasty. I hope you will make it, even if it is not with Chinese! 😉 P.S. I love poppy seeds.

Snaps: April & May Edition (LATE Ed.)

In Crafts, Personal, Photography on June 20, 2011 at 9:15 pm

I missed posting my Snaps in April. I fully intended to in May and then tada internet got cut off early. Boo! So now that things are in full swing again I wanted to get it posted before I missed my chance all together! So here are some shots – mostly objects and not people as I spent the majority of these two months living alone while my husband was working in “our future city.” But, I like exploring all different types of photography and having more than just pictures of food to look back on for memories. Here are a few:





Here are some beautiful hand knitted placemats and dishcloths I was given.

I love knowing crafty people – it pays off in the best ways 😀

This is my Mema (grandma) and her ex-sister-in-law who never really stopped being family.

That’s how we roll. Once you are in we don’t let you out. Kinda scary… anyways,

I love the lighting and shadows from the tree. 



Here of course is the token dog shot. She is so purdy 😀 … and I am so smitten 😀




A peak in my floss box. Floss is boss. Embroidery is freakin’ awesome!

I might need an intervention… soon. 

This is my $1 flea market find. Pearl snaps!! Strawberries!! I am so going to rock this while I do yard work. 

My husband is not impressed. At all!


My magnetic spices loaded into a moving box. 

(with a bad – bad glare from our fluorescent light.. well it’s not ours anymore!!)

… from a more groovy perspective. 

A treasure to me. One of the ceramic coffee cups my maternal grandmother cast and painted the year I was born. 

Items like these are the ones you pray to make the move safely. 

I am thrilled to report it made the journey just fine! 

This crazy cute moose was less than a dollar at Ikea. It has brought more joy to our crazy dog than some of the $10 toys she owns. 

She is glad to report it made the move safely. 

It is still bringing her joy. 


Not dead yet…

In Personal, Uncategorized on June 18, 2011 at 11:50 am

All right stop collaborate and listen, I’m back with my brand new invention. Not really – well at least the invention part, but I am back and ready to resume the blogging. That song just creeped its way into my head when I started this post. It happens… darn 90’s.

It has been 1 month+. During that time I entertained guests, made several trips to Austin, moved states, was without internet (yes WITHOUT) for almost three weeks, lost 7lbs in one week and did more crafting than cooking or baking. It has been crazy! I felt exiled without the web to entertain me and keeping in touch is way more difficult. Getting internet back after that time was overwhelming. I just deleted everything. So if you sent something important… re-send please? In the meantime, I was extremely productive. I guess the lack of Facebook, Netflix and Pinterest will do that to a person.

It overall has been nice. We like our new town and are finally settling into the new digs. I have eaten out a lot. Too much. Your kitchen being in boxes kinda has that effect. I also took very few pictures and took no notes while cooking – it was nice!

Anyways, just wanted to say hello! Still alive over here and happy to be cooking and baking again!! Love, EO (and Maddy… she loves you too!)

P.S. Sorry if you spend the rest of the day with Vanilla Ice stuck in your head 😉