Wednesday, December 15, 2010

wake up call

Muffins make my day. I love the faces of my kids when they wake up to the smell. I love to pinch them in half and spread soft butter on the inside. I love how wholesome and filling they are. I love to eat them as a snack. I'm picky when it comes to a muffin, I don't like them too sweet like the ones you buy at stores. I think those muffins taste more like cupcakes. I topped these muffins with a crumble made with oat cereal sugar and a bit of butter.


2 Cups AP Flour
¾ cups sugar
2 tsp. Baking powder
½ tsp. Salt
¼ tsp. Cinnamon
1 tsp. Lemon zest
¾ cup milk
1 stick of butter melted
1 tsp. Vanilla
1 egg beaten
2 cups mixed berries
1 cup very ripe bananas, chopped

combine dry ingredients in a large bowl. Stir in wet ingredients with a spoon until just combined. Lastly, fold in berries and bananas. Spoon into muffin pans lined with muffin cups. Bake in a 400 degree oven for 24 minutes.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

like mother like daughter

I am often asked where I went to culinary school and my response is the "school of hard knocks". I learned at home from the best of the best, my mother and grandmother. Both amazing home chefs and me the lone girl in the family with lots to learn. I think that the most visible style taught by these lovely ladies that you recognize in my food is comfort. No matter how fancy my dishes may look at times, they are still simple and comforting. My mother always said that people will always come back to the table if it reminds them of where they come from. I agree (for the most part) and so here I am again sharing a special dish.
Stuffed sole is one of the staples I grew up on. My mother would stuff the sole with whatever looked good in the butchers case and she would typically top it with a Bearnaise sauce. I have changed it a bit over the years, but it still smells the same and renders the same feelings for me. In this case, I served it over peas with pancetta, so easy and so rewarding. This is an easy dish that is elegant enough to serve as a holiday dinner. I hope you enjoy it.


½ cup butter
6 Tablespoons flour
2 teaspoons fresh dill
2 teaspoons lemon zest
6 Tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup chicken/vegetable stock

In a saucepan, melt the butter and then add the flour. Cook for a minute or two before adding the chicken stock slowly. Whisk constantly over medium high heat. Add the remaining ingredients and whisk until bubbly and thick. Remove from heat and keep warm.


2 eggs
2 lbs crab meat
2 pounds shrimp
½ cup celery, diced
½ cup red onion
3 Tablespoons capers
4 tablespoons parsley, chopped
½ cup panko bread crumbs
Salt and pepper
¼ cup Parmesan cheese
4 tablespoons butter, melted
6 sole , tilapia, or roughy fillets
1 teaspoon salt and paprika
½ teaspoon each pepper and cayenne

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In a small bowl, combine salt, pepper, cayenne, and paprika.
In a bowl, combine the egg, crab, shrimp, onion, celery, capers, parsley, panko, Parmesan, and butter. Spoon the mixture evenly into each fillet and roll. If needed, close with a toothpick. Place in a baking dish that has been sprayed with nonstick spray. Drizzle with olive oil and lightly season with salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne. Bake for 25 minutes.

2 lbs petit peas (frozen)
1 cup onion, minced
8 Slices pancetta
3 Tablespoons butter
3 mint leaves
¾ teaspoon salt
Drizzle a bit of olive oil in a sauté pan and fry the pancetta until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel. Add the butter and the onion and sauté until onion is translucent. Add the peas and cover for three to five minutes, careful not to turn the peas brown. Remove from heat and add the pancetta and salt.