Bodacious Buns

Originally posted on chefcatherinemcknight:

To have bodacious buns you have to put in a little work. It might be easier to crack open a can of pre made cinnamon buns, you might have even convinced yourself they are just like  homemade but lets face it, they are not even close!

Burn off a few calories making them, maybe put in an extra yoga or spin session and gobble them up on Easter morning. Your family will taste the difference and these will become a family tradition. I will not go on a rant about how disgusted I get by people that use  the phrase ” Its just family”…… really ? Treat them to these absolutely delicious, sticky, bodacious cinnamon rolls, throw in a mimosa and you will have a smiling, lip smacking, happy family♥

Prep the rolls one or two days ahead of the day you want to gobble them up, wolf them down or savor the spicy…

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New computer so I can finally blog again!

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I kicked my old computer to the curb this week… took me forever because I had to do the file transfer and I thought I lost everything when  everything went black! Yikes..

I am going to kick some old habits to the curb too. Starting with beating myself up for not blogging more often.. Have a great Thanksgiving and make a batch of cinnamon rolls for your family… you will find the recipe  in the archives:

they will worship you!!

Joie de Vivre sauce for your recipe repertoire….

The following recipe is a combination of pistou & Sauce aux herbes ( a french  green sauce.) I love the combination of the anchovy , capers and herbs with a hint of garlic. Anchovies are to Mediterranean cuisine as fish sauce is to Asian cuisine.. Your not quite sure why the sauce is so unique and delicious as you taste it but you know it is special.

I call it Joie De Vivre because it adds so much sparkle to a dish.

I love the process of using a mortar and pestle for this sauce. ….each ingredient  releases such a wonderful aroma as you add it to the bowl and mash. Consider buying one if it is not one of your kitchen tools already.

The pleasure of cooking is not just in the eating, but also in the preparation. Planting a few herbs and harvesting them from your own garden, going to a farmers market and chatting with the farmers. Lots of chatting.. I don’t have the nickname Chatty Cathy for nothing! 

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You will need:

2 cloves of garlic

1 TBSP. of salt cured large capers. I love the CENTO Brand

3  small anchovy fillets

If salt cured rinse them slightly and pat dry.

If oil cured remove them from the oil and let them drain slightly.

 

2 Tbsp. fresh tarragon leaves, no stem

2 Tbsp. Italian flat leaf parsley leaves, no stem

2 Tbsp.  baby arugula leaves,

2 hard boiled egg yolks

! TBSP. olive oil

1 fresh lemon for juice

coarse ground black pepper

Put the garlic in the mortar bowl and crush with the pestle

add the capers and pound until they become a paste.

add the anchovies and pound well.

add the herbs and pound until well mixed.

the sauce will not be completely smooth but you may have pounded out any frustration you have had for the day…..Cooking is so good for the soul!

 

add the egg yolks, oil and lemon juice, one at a time and pound to combine between each ingredient.

Add a good pinch of coarsely ground black pepper. Store in a glass Mason jar up to one week.

 

Slather on a whole chicken before roasting or  use it on sauteed vegetables right before you remove them from the heat .

Spread this sauce on baguette and sprinkle with great  shredded Parmesan, broil quickly and you have the best crostini in the Universe!

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If you have some free time and want to explore French food at its roots then you must read “Simple French Food“by Richard Olney.

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It was written in 1974 and the text & recipes express so eloquently what chefs are doing right now in their commercial and home kitchens…….Getting back to locally sourced food , simply prepared with the best product available and shared with family & friends.

In France this is termed Gueuleton… translated to……. “a meal among friends made of many dishes and  washed down with great quantities of better than average wine with much conversation, gaiety and laughter.”

I think that is going to be the name of my new food venture…

That is the best kind of day♥ 

 

 

Have A Spring Fling That Turns Into A Summer Romance

Crazy thing to suggest? come on be Frivolous, “I love that word” ♥

 I am talking about your garden, which could be a few planter boxes or a small container & if your blessed by the garden Gods then you have a big area to plant. It doesn’t  matter as long as you get fresh vegetables from your garden to your plate. …..Home Grown and Kissed by the sun.

Today I tore out our winter garden, which was on its last leaf. Our winter weather has been having serious mood swings from hot to cold to windy to hot and I think we will be baking by the end of the week and not in my kitchen~!

Take the rest of May to plan out what you would like to try. One of my favorite suggestions to my clients is to start out with a container garden. A salsa garden to be exact. Using a 2 gallon container ,of any sort ,plant a one tomato plant of your choice. add a jalapeno plant and some cilantro seedlings….. in 30 days you will have the great start to awesome fresh salsa. Your local garden center will be glad to help you with this project and I can guarantee that you will eat up the results.

We have four 8′ X 4′ planter boxes and a dozen different container combinations. One of my favorite is a lime tree that I co- planted with french tarragon. The tarragon loves the shade of the lime tree and  I am always finding them tangled up together. The romance of the two flavors rubbed onto roasted Chicken is sublime!

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Companion planting makes so much sense, right? Especially if it is something that you use over and over.

EnJOY.

 

 

 

Peach & Habanero BBQ sauce

chefcatherinemcknight:

The best way to glaze a Ham for your Easter celebration! It is worth the effort and Peaches are early this year and in the Markets !

Originally posted on chefcatherinemcknight:

I love savory spicy BBQ sauce especially if it is made with Masumoto Peaches.

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Our friends Cindy and Ed Beck shared their tree with us!Image

Masumoto Farms is an organic peach farm near Fresno in Northern California. It has been in his family for generations.

Mas and his peaches, as well as his two books are delicious. Epitaph for a Peach and Wisdom Of the Last Farmer are absolutely two of my favorite books. His connection to his family and land are awe-inspiring!

Mas and his family share their heirloom peaches with a select group of people who adopt an heirloom peach tree for the year and then get the opportunity to pick from the tree over the course of two weekends in late July and Early August…My husband and I went with the Beck’s two years ago & their tree was right next to the Whole Food tree. 

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Cocoa & Cashew Truffles

And above all, watch with glittering eyes the whole world around you because the greatest secrets are always hidden in the most unlikely places. Those who don’t believe in magic will never find it.                     -Roald Dahl

 

My magic cocoa & cashew truffles

2 cups pitted dates

1 cup dried figs

1/2 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup cocoa nibs

1 cup raw cashews

1/4 cup raw cocoa powder

Optional: 1/2 cup  Vanilla Vega protein powder ( I always add it!1)

using the blade of your food processor and the pulse setting

pulse the dates until well chopped.

add the figs and pulse to combine.

Add the cashews,pulse well to combine.

add the coconut and cocoa powder, pulse again,

add the cocoa nibs last and combine well…

roll the dough into 1″ truffles and roll in an equal mix of coconut flakes and cocoa powder ( I used a 1/2 cup of each.)

so delicious.. Add the protein powder to the last pulse  before you roll it in the cocoa coconut dust, to make a protein packed truffle to satisfy your sweet tooth and as a post workout snack!

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Spring is your chance to BLOOM!

The secret of change is to focus all of your energy not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” ~ Socrates

My husband  planted an amazing  Spring garden for us. I have been getting handfuls of gorgeous greens for our salads. We garden organically so you have to look for extra goodies that might come in on the lettuce, things like spiders, grasshoppers, ants etc. Yesterday I found a tightly spun caterpillar web on the underside of a crispy leaf of Butter crunch lettuce.I wish I would have taken a picture of it before I transferred it back to the garden. I will never interrupt the process it takes to become a butterfly. (I also don’t want to eat caterpillars, a little squishy for me!)

Each one of us is so tightly wound ,like that cocoon, or attached snugly to something. 

What are you hanging onto that is keeping you from being a butterfly?

Today is a great day to begin. Just like all of the birds, bugs, plants & animals in nature we need to get started today. We now have 31 days until Easter Sunday.  Have you started your Spring cleaning yet?

I am not talking about your closet or garage. Let’s clean your pantry and physical body. You are worth it! 

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My Meyer Lemon blossoms. The honey Bees are buzzing around raiding the pollen. I wish I could find their secret stash of honey!

I had so many thoughts today as I was watching the activity in my garden but the biggest one was that all of the creatures out there looked so light.

floating, flitting, soaring, gliding and dancing in the new growth. Leaping from stem to stem or flower to flower Such freedom in their movements. Can you feel it, that energy? I could and it encouraged me and empowered me to be my healthiest self.

This salad tasted just like Spring with the crisp lettuce, arugula, beets, pea shoots, basil, tarragon, chives heirloom carrots, Thumbalina bell peppers,blueberries& mango. I also crumbled some bacon on top for some crunch and salty goodness. A drizzle of California olive oil and Banyls vinegar finished it.

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Sweet potatoes & The @Whole30

Sweet potatoes saved me during my 30 days on the @Whole30! I made then anyway they could be cooked. …..sauteed, mashed, grated, cubed or baked,they made it to my plate at least 4 times a week. When I put some of their magic on my plate I felt like my meal was complete. One little bite of grated sweet potatoes mixed with fresh chives and sauteed with a TBSP. of ghee and my tastebuds said “ah, thank you!”

So a quick little recipe to get you started, especially  if you have only had sweet potatoes at holiday time with marshmallow topping and you think you hate them!

Sweet potato fritter

1 organic sweet potato, peeled

2 TBSP. fresh chive, minced

pinch kosher salt

pinch coarse ground pepper

1 tsp. dried chipotle flakes

1 egg white. beaten

2 TBSP. almond flour

3 TBSP. ghee or clarified butter

 

Using a hand grater or your food processor, grate the sweet potato. Mix it a medium bowl with the salt,pepper, chipotle and chives.

next toss the grated potato with the almond flour to distribute evenly.

mix in the beaten egg white and mix thoroughly.

melt the ghee in a saute pan over medium high heat .

drop in large spoonfuls of the potato mixture and let it sizzle for about three minutes .

Flip it over and let it sizzle some more.. they should have a little crust top and bottom.

Serve these with your protein and lots of fresh veggies for dinner or with your eggs for breakfast..you will never miss mashed potatoes or pasta, I promise ♥

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Shown here with guacamole & bacon burger with a garden salad