Tag Archives: cooking

jan’s homemade apple sauce.

17 Oct

no one makes better apple sauce than my mother.

and nothing says fall like walking into a kitchen full of the sweet smell of spiced apples cooking. it was always my favorite treat growing up and a sure sign that autumn was under way. my mom never told us she was going to whip up a batch, it was always the most wonderful surprise we’d stumble upon.

now that i’m on my own and creating some of my own seasonal traditions, i’m taking my first stab at recreating a classic from the autumns of my youth in our (somewhat) adult household.

delightfully, it turns out that jan’s recipe is super low fuss. (though, i’ll admit i called my mom twice during the preparation.)

ingredients

  • 8-10 apples. (i choose  2-3 varieties)
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 cup water
method
  1. wash & peel apples.
  2. core apples and slice apples. i quartered each apple and then halved.
  3. combine apples, cinnamon, lemon juice, water, & brown sugar in the crock pot
  4. cook on low for 8 hours or on high for 4 hours
et voilà!
feeling indulgent?
sprinkle some brown sugar over the top and dunk with light nilla wafers.

enjoy a cozy weekend.

15 Oct

after what feels like, and very well may be, months of events and travel and rush here-rush there, we are finally planning a weekend IN.

i’m indulging in an unsest alarm clock, healthy home-cooked dinners, movie night, and my fuzzy brown blanket. much as i love them, a weekend free from the curling iron and lipstick is oh so needed. i’m trading in my blazer and glitter flats for leggings and my vintage bears hoodie.

can you tell i’m excited to do nothing? because i am.

here’s some favorite cozy & relaxing finds to peruse, especially while kicking it on your couch (like me!)…

ready to get your fall apron on? soups for the season.

the perfect bed to fall into.

live in chicago? i recommend county line orchard for some apple picking.

i’m dying to try this pumpkin bread pudding.

adorable halloween party invites on etsy.

holy dairy bliss. fancy grilled cheese recipes! do i hear dinner party?

the always stylish beauty department tutorial for CANDY CORN NAILS!

seeking: hardboiled perfection.

14 Oct

this girl is an eggs addict.

after 22 years of claiming to hate them, i’ve jumped on the bandwagon. now its eggs for lunch, for dinner, for snack-time. i really owe this new found love to my friend beth, who when i moved to chicago got me to try poached eggs. nowadays i’ll eat them almost anyway. the most convenient (and favorite at the moment) is hardboiled.

when i started cooking hard boiled eggs, i felt like a lost puppy. there is SO much literature on how to cook the perfect hardboiled egg. i can’t claim to have achieved this ‘perfection’, yet i’ve found 2 ways, one simple & quick and the other fool-proof and a little longer, that are doing the trick. the boy can be credited for the latter version.

some tips i’ve learned, before we start:

  • hard-boiling works best when using eggs near their expiration date. new eggs will be harder to peel
  • hard-cooked eggs can be stored (in shell) for a week in the refrigerator

method 1:  quick & easy hard boiled eggs
preparation & cook time: ~15 Minutes

  1. fill a small pot with cold water (such that when you place the eggs in they will be covered)
  2. set stove to high & heat water to boiling
  3. use a spoon to lower eggs into the boiling water & let cook for 10 minutes
  4. on the side, fill a bowl with ice water
  5. after ten minutes remove eggs from boiling water
  6. submerge eggs into the ice water (this prevents the eggs from having that dark grey-ish icky color around the yolk)
  7. let stand in cool water for 5 minutes. peel & eat

method 2: fool-proof method hardboiling 
preparation & cook time: ~25 Minutes

  1. place eggs in a small pot
  2. fill with cold water such that the eggs are covered by an inch of water
  3. set stove to high & heat water to boiling
  4. one at a boil, remove pot from the burner & turn heat to low
  5. place pot back on burner & boil on low hear for 1 minute
  6. turn off stove completely after 1 minute
  7. place pot on a cool burner & cover
  8. let sit for 12 minutes
  9. on the side, fill a bowl with ice water
  10. after 12 minutes, submerge eggs into the ice water
  11. let stand in cool water for 5 minutes. peel & eat

{excuse my poor peeling.}

both of these methods work great. it’s really what you have time for. if you’re already preparing a breakfast full of pancakes & bacon, then the longer method doesn’t hold you up. but there are SO many mornings where i’m racing against the clock & the quick and easy method has come through in the clutch.

happy hardboiling!

mango blueberry quinoa salad.

27 Sep

yesterday, while i was munching on my afternoon snack of peaches & blueberries, i brainstormed concoctions to make use of the impressive amount of end-of-summer produce we’ve got in the house. i knew i wanted to do something with the fruit other than use it in a dessert dish.

how happy was i to stumble across this delicious quinoa dish?!

what’s that you say?

MANGO. BLUEBERRY. QUINOA.

i am TOTALLY making this tonight.

i’ll add peaches onto the mango blueberryness as well as some chickpeas for even MORE fiber and texture. i’m a huge quinoa fan. it cooks in bulk, keeps for days, is a versatile base for sweet or savory recipes, and is a great source of fiber and protein. in fact quinoa is a source of COMPLETE protein, supplying all 9 essential amino acids. BOOM. whole grain win.

here’s the recipe in short. more info on the scrumptious veggie-belly!

ingredients for the quinoa
1/2 cup quinoa
1 cup water

ingredients for the fruits and veggies
½ cup fresh blueberries
½ cup cubed ripe mangoes
½ cup cubed cucumbers
1/2 tablespoon dried cranberries

ingredients for the lemon basil dressing
1½ tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon lemon zest
10 Basil leaves, chopped finely
Salt and pepper

method: preparing the quinoa
rinse quinoa under cold running water and drain.
if using a rice cooker: measure 1 cup quinoa to 2 cups water and combine in rice cooker. cook on white rice setting. let cool when cooking is finished.

if using stove top: bring 1 3/4 cups water to a boil in a small pot. Stir quinoa and a pinch of salt into water. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until tender and liquid is absorbed, 15 to 20 minutes. uncover and let cool.

method: preparing the fruits
combine the fruits in a bowl and refrigerate till you are ready to serve the salad.
whisk together all the dressing ingredients, except the chopped basil. refrigerate dressing until you are ready to serve.
chop and add the basil to the dressing just before serving.

let me know what you think of the dish if you try this out!!

fall into the season.

23 Sep

happy first day of autumn, everyone!

tis’ a wonderful season for all things cozy, warm, and cinnamon spicy. here’s to enjoying the next wonderful season on the docket. i’ve got some great stuff lined up to share-lots of new recipes and adventures! a season change is a perfect excuse for a little change of pace.

as with any season, i’ve got some classics & new things i’d like to try out. my fall wish list:

  • bake a pumpkin pie from scratch
  • make homemade pumpkin spice lattes & pumpkin spice muffins
  • take photos of the colors changing along lake michigan
  • pick apples at the orchard next to our lake house in michigan
  • take long walks in the crisp cool air (preferably with a warm beverage in hand)
  • attend a U of M football game (we are going to U of M vs NWU!)
  • host a chicago friends thanksgiving at our apartment
  • carve pumpkins for halloween & bake the seeds

have a wonderful first day of fall!

have a carefree weekend!

17 Sep

this weekend we’re off to great america with friends to [belatedly] celebrate the boy’s birthday! a perfect end of summer activity, if you ask me.

i LOVE everything about roller coasters–the feeling when your stomach drops in mid-air, the anticipation of approaching the highest drop, gripping hands with the person next to you. it’s all a rush. oh, and they have elephant ears and funnel cake there.

DONE and DONE.

here’s some things floating around my mind, and the web:

an anticipated new jeffrey eugenides novel, The Marriage Plot, out this october.

this herringbone mini is perfect for showing some leg this fall, a la j. crew.

my favorite fall beverage indulgence, pumpkin spice lattes, are back!

a mustache broach to pin on a fall blazer? YES.

this print makes me smile. pretty sure i ran around like a wild one when i was little.

you’d NEVER be able to get me to come down from this tree house .

the most decadent meets nostalgic dessert i can imagine: pb & j tiramisu

oven baked red potatoes.

18 Aug

irish girl that i am, i love a good potato.

honestly, i’ll eat them any which way. but my favorites are baked potatoes and fries. this recipe marries the two into one delicious savory combination.

ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp. butter, melted
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. basil
  • 3/4 tsp. oregano
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 4-6 small/medium unpeeled red potatoes

method:

preheat oven to 425 degrees

after cleaning, quarter each red potato into wedge size pieces. put aside in a mixing bowl.

combine butter (melted), oil, & spices together in a small bowl. stir well.

pour mixture over the potatoes wedges in the mixing bowl & toss to coat.

use tongs to place each wedge on a baking sheet, skin side down.

bake at 425 degrees for 25-30 minutes.

and…

VOILA! easy peasy perfectly seasoned potatoes. i like mine all browned and crispy.

if you’re feeling indulgent, sprinkle 1/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese over the wedges pre-oven baking.

this is my go-to when i’m craving something that feels like a good ol’home cooked meal. a perfect partner for steak!