Monday, October 31, 2011

Blue Ribbon Peanut Butter Pie


This pie is no ordinary pie. It’s a magic pie that has quietly weaved its way into the fibers of my life. This pie comes with a story, rather several. I have no idea when the recipe came into my family or why… this makes me think, next visit with my mom its time to shake up a martini, snuggle up on the couch and hear the very beginnings of the legend of the peanut butter pie. For all of you, I will share my personal experiences with this pie, in what will be my most lengthy post ever. It was 1984, I was two years old and living in Irvine, CA with my family (naturally) my mom entered a peanut butter pie in the Orange County fair along with my dad entering his banana bread. That year, my mom won first place, the coveted blue ribbon prize, but more famous out of that year’s competition was my dad’s entry of his banana bread. That was the year my dad won second place, second place with a tiny little note written by a tiny little old lady, the note written in shaky scrawl: “your nuts are too small;” this preference of larger nuts from the little old lady sure prompted a roaring laugh from my parents. My parents had their ribbons framed with the “Wild n’ Wooly” sheep promotion poster for that year at the fair. It has hung in every house we have ever lived in and the story of the little old lady and the unfavorably small nuts has always been an accompanying, rather hilarious story, along with the with the honor of the blue ribbon winning peanut butter pie. The pie continued to make appearances in my life, particularly the smell of the meringue topping with peanut butter always brings back memories of long drives to visit my parent’s dearest friends, Elaine and Jim. Jim loved my mom’s pie and every time she would go visit she had two traditions, bringing a peanut butter pie for Jim and a bottle of champagne for she and Elaine, their tradition was to paint their nails and drink champagne while catching up. We made countless trips up to their ranch house throughout my childhood, great memories of running through acres of orange and avocado trees, returning indoors to have a slice of the deliciously peanut butter goodness. Jim and Elaine ended up sadly passing away, my parents lost two of their dearest friends and their three children, bordering adulthood had to tread through a torturous time. The peanut butter pie recipe was tucked away for a while and on a hiatus while hearts healed. Then one day, years later, I was invited to my dear friend’s home for a BBQ while in college. We were roommates sharing a student housing apartment at UCLA with two delightful foreign exchange students from Korea and Japan. I wanted to bring her parents something different so I called my mom and got the peanut butter pie recipe. We all packed into her car and made the trek to Orange County, four 21 year old young women. On the drive, the smell of the pie drove us crazy with hunger. Somehow, someone accidentally poked their finger through the meringue of the pie. I had a tiny freak out, and while trying to fix the damage we somehow all started taking little bites of the pie. Pick by pick the pie disappeared and then it hit us, the four of us, ate a whole pie with just our hands, covered in sticky meringue and crumbs we suspiciously pulled off the freeway to rid ourselves of all evidence. We were so embarrassed and made a pact to secrecy. I cant remember if I went empty handed or ended up picking up a bottle of wine on the way, but Ashley and I still often say to one and other “remember that time we ate a WHOLE pie with our bare hands in the CAR!?!?!” A couple more years passed, Ashley moved out of Los Angeles to get her PhD at Duke (yes, my friend is an incredible, talented, psychology genius who will change the world) and the peanut butter pie laid dormant yet again. One day, out of the blue about a week before Ashley’s birthday, I got an e-mail from one of Ashley’s dearest friends at Duke; I had never met her before but had known of her through Ashley. In the e-mail she said she wanted to make Ashley the peanut butter pie for her birthday, she had heard so much about it. She ever so politely asked for the recipe and tips on baking it. This was by far one of the sweetest things I have ever known someone to do for a birthday, I was so touched to pass on the recipe of the pie the very pie Ashley and I laugh about so often. The pie recipe again went untouched for some time through diets and seasons, but I always had it tucked away in the back of my mind for something special.
 Todd jokingly says it was the peanut butter pie that won his heart. What other great stories might this pie provide? Perhaps you should try it and see... 
*** I used the ugly pie tin because I was taking the pie to a party, so I could just throw it away when it was done***


Blue Ribbon Peanut Butter Pie
3/4 cup of powered sugar
1/2 cup peanut butter, creamy or crunchy of your preference
1 baked 9" pie shell or pie crust from scratch of your liking
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
3 eggs, separated
2 1/2 cups of whole milk
1 tsp. vanilla extract
6 T sugar

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Mix powdered sugar and peanut butter together until crumbs form (I think it is easiest using a fork). Cover bottom of pastry shell with crumbs, reserving 3 T. for top. Mix together 1/2 cup of sugar, cornstarch and salt in a saucepan. Beat egg yolks and add milk, stir. Add to saucepan. Cook over medium heat until mixture boils and boil one minute stirring constantly, careful not to burn. Stir in vanilla and cool, spoon mixture into pie crust. In a clean, dry bowl, beat egg whites until foamy and add sugar. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Spread over the top of the pie. Top/sprinkle with remaining peanut butter crumb mixture. Bake at 425 degrees for 5 minutes. Cool and serve.

To make it with chocolate:
Follow above recipe adding:
1 chocolate 9’ pie crust or homemade (6 oz of chocolate wafers in the food processor, mix in 2 T of butter, press into pie dish, bake at 350 for 8 minutes)
6 oz of chocolate (I recommend dark or semi sweet to make a thicker ganache but my favorite is milk chocolate so I’m often playing around with that)
1/2 cup of heavy whipping cream

Heat heavy whipping cream in a saucepan on medium heat, stir often, making sure that the cream does not scorch. Bring to a simmer and simmer for one minute wile stirring quickly. Remove from heat. Pour over chocolate, set aside and let it melt, about 5 minutes. Give the chocolate a good stir, set aside to cool. While assembling the pie, pour pudding mixture in to the pie shell, spread cool ganache in a thick top layer over the pudding, don’t mix, leave this layered. Place meringue on top, peanut butter crumbles and bake for 5 minutes at 425. Let cool, 20 minutes, and then move to refrigerator to chill.
This pie also freezes well, and I recommend freezing it if you plan to travel with it, it does not travel well as is.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Date Night: Sweet Potato Gnocchi for my Sweetheart


Todd and I have a date night as often as we can, sometimes that’s several in a week and sometimes, on the most unfortunate occasions, we get one in a week. This past date night, I wanted to make something out of the norm, something special and very fall inspired. I had sweet potatoes and delicata squash sent straight from the farm and a flourishing sage plant, it was destined to be: Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Brown Butter and Sage, served inside roasted delicata squash. I found a recipe from Bon Appetit that looked quite foolproof for my first time making the little potato puffs. The recipe was great! It takes a time investment, but it is easy, delicious and makes a large quantity. I ended up sharing a bit of dough with my parents and was left with a ton to freeze. I think that this may be my next go to recipe for entertaining because it makes such a large quantity, can be made ahead of time and is cooked in a flash! The most difficult part for me was making the gnocchi look appropriate; I'm still a little insecure about the aesthetics, if I'm being honest. I'd pair it with an Italian Rose and we actually thought some andouille sausage would be fantastic with this dish but came to that conclusion after eating it.

Sweet Potato Gnocchi - Bon Appetit

2 1-pound red-skinned sweet potatoes (yams), rinsed, patted dry, pierced all over with fork
1 12-ounce container fresh ricotta cheese, drained in sieve 2 hours 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese (about 3 ounces)
2 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
2 teaspoons plus 2 tablespoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
2 3/4 cups (about) all purpose flour
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
6 tablespoons chopped fresh sage plus whole leaves for garnish

Line large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place sweet potatoes on plate; microwave on high until tender, about 5 minutes per side. Cut in half and cool. Scrape sweet potato flesh into medium bowl and mash; transfer 3 cups to large bowl. Add ricotta cheese; blend well. Add Parmesan cheese, brown sugar, 2 teaspoons salt, and nutmeg; mash to blend. Mix in flour, about 1/2 cup at a time, until soft dough forms.
Turn dough out onto floured surface; divide into 6 equal pieces. Rolling between palms and floured work surface, form each piece into 20-inch-long rope (about 1 inch in diameter), sprinkling with flour as needed if sticky. Cut each rope into 20 pieces. Roll each piece over tines of fork to indent. Transfer to baking sheet.
Bring large pot of water to boil; add 2 tablespoons salt and return to boil. Working in batches, boil gnocchi until tender, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer gnocchi to clean rimmed baking sheet. Cool completely. (Can be made 4 hours ahead. Let stand at room temperature.)
Preheat oven to 300°F. Melt butter in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until butter solids are brown and have toasty aroma, swirling pan occasionally, about 5 minutes.
Add chopped sage (mixture will bubble up). Turn off heat. Season sage butter generously with salt and pepper.
Transfer half of sage butter to large skillet set over medium-high heat. Add half of gnocchi. Sauté until gnocchi are heated through, about 6 minutes. Empty skillet onto rimmed baking sheet; place in oven to keep warm. Repeat with remaining sage butter and gnocchi.
Divide gnocchi and sauce among shallow bowls. Garnish with sage leaves. 

Roasted Squash

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut squash in half, scrape out the inside seeds. Drizzle with olive oil, season. Lay in the oven, open faced, on foil and roast until tender, about 20 minutes.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Bates Nut Farm

Daisy with Fairytale Pumpkins

Over this past weekend, I was lucky enough to have the great experience of visiting Bates Nut Farm with my family. Bates Nut Farm is Goliath sized farm tucked deep into the hills of North County San Diego, in Valley Center. This was my first time visiting the farm, after my dad had the idea to take my almost three year old nephew there. The rest of my family couldn't resist going and after incessant jokes about the Kelley family visiting the "nut farm" we were all congregated together bright and early on a Saturday morning. As one can clearly see, I'm a tad obsessed with pumpkins and extremely fascinated by farms so I was very eager to share this on my blog... any and every farm visit should be on a food blog of course! Since I have so many pictures, I'll just rely on a visual harvest (below). Enjoy!


Amazingly Delicious Funnel Cake (my first ever)

Between my whole family, it was gone in 60 seconds!


Turban Squash

We Be Little

Butternut Squash
Long neck Squash

Standard Orange

Baby Boo


The inside of the country mart-esque nut shop
Gorgeous Grey Breton Horses

Awesome, colorful vintage signage

Friday, October 21, 2011

Friday Libation - Not Yo Mama's Apple Juice

Happy Friday everyone! I have a personal rule about the colder seasons, it's always my time to switch to the brown stuff. This happened years ago when I discovered that a whiskey, scotch, cognac and the such can warm the most chilled of bones. With fall as my inspiration, this little libation has been a simple little treat as of late. Nothing fancy by any means but a nice little sweet sip with a great balance between oaky and apple, two great flavors together.

Not Yo Mama's Apple Juice
2 oz (more or less depending on taste, hour and how bad your day was) of your favorite mixing Whiskey (I used Bushmills)
1 oz of all natural apple cider or 100% juice (not the golden colored stuff, the thick brown juice that looks like its fresh direct from an apple) or juice your own!
Ice or Whiskey stones

Fill glass with ice or stones, add your whiskey. I'll admit I always have a pour to "cover the ice" rule but that gets people in to trouble and makes quite a stiff drink. Add your apple cider, taste, modify to your likings. Repeat.


*Note about whiskey stones: I know they don't photograph well, but I used whiskey stones in this drink for the soul purpose of being able to write about it here. I know, I'm a dork, but if you haven't discovered the greatness of whiskey stones, it is about time. They run about $16 - $20 and can be found a BevMo. They are carved out of soapstone so they freeze and chill your favorite whiskey or scotch without watering down the greatness of the flavors.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Boiling Shrimp - Hollywood

There’s something too fun about eating with your hands. As adults, we know better than to play with our food, but it seems that any given opportunity, I’m not going to pass up the chance to act like a 5 year old finger painting with pudding. I think it’s what I like most about Ethiopian food, to be completely honest. Over the weekend, I reverted back to my childhood and was brought great pleasure playing with my food. This time it came with a shell, eyeballs and tentacles, in the form of a lovely, plump, lipstick pink shrimp. Tucked away in an interesting little area of Thai town, in Hollywood, sits The Boiling Shrimp; it so happens to be right next door to a middle Eastern restaurant, Carousel, easy to confuse with Carousel in Glendale which is famous thanks to the Kardashian’s. Apparently the location in Hollywood has no relation to either… Back to the shrimp, The Boiling Shrimp is interesting, it has a half Thai menu, where one will find their favorite Thai all-star dishes and the other half, Creole seafood, definitely the kind of kitsch I adore in an eatery. We ordered the garlic bread which was mind blowing, super garlic in flavor and tasted like it was buttered with coconut butter. The calamari, which had a very different taste than most calamari, the batter reminded Todd and I of a breading one would find on southern fried chicken, it wasn’t overly salty nor greasy. We then ordered a bucket o’shrimp with “the medley” of spices, mild kick. The spices were amazing and actually spicy (I often feel that restaurants are overly cautious with bringing on the heat). The bucket had corn cobs, which we added to our order, red potatoes and a pound of large shrimp with everything intact. I loved the spice mix, the potato, the corn was juicy and the shrimp were flavorful and large. It took me a minute to set my overly girly ways aside to not get grossed out by the shrimp eyeballs but I’m glad I over came it and dug right in. All in all, The Boiling Shrimp turned out to be a great, casual and inexpensive experience that really added some fun into my daily dinner. Note: this is probably not the best first date option, though they provide bibs they are in no way sexy and I did somehow manage to get food all over me. I could smell shrimp all through our post dinner movie and cocktail but thank goodness it disappeared after about five vigorous hand washes- the price you pay eating with your hands. For the well acquainted company, a definite fun place to check out in the Hollywood area.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Simple Deliciousness - Abuelita Over Ice Cream

The best things in life are simple: the scent of a rainy day, a seamless romance, the unconditional love of a puppy, grandmother’s kitchen… This little desert was born out of the desperate yearning of a late night sweet tooth aching to be satisfied by all that is bad for you. Alas, open the cupboard, dig through like a gopher and come out with a small disk of Abuelita. Abuelita means “little grandmother” in Spanish, I always have it on hand to make my favorite hot cocoa, the delicious cinnamon chocolate melted down, whisked with milk with a dash of salt - a pure indulgence for sure. On this particular occasion, patience was not to be tested, Abuelita melted and poured over vanilla ice cream? Why have I never thought of this before!?!?! Simple, easy, always there and as nurturing as your Grandmother… delicious!


12 a.m. Abuelita Treat

2 tbsp. of water or milk
1 disk of Abuelita Chocolate
Ice cream of your favoring

In a medium saucepan over low heat, add the water or milk (less for a thicker chocolate topping) add Abuelita disk, stir constantly until chocolate is melted and smooth. Be careful not to scorch. Pour directly over a serving of your favorite ice cream and indulge.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Get Well Soon Turkey Stew

Sniffle Sniffle! This past week both Todd and I caught a horrible cold. There seems to never be anything better while slowly suffering, than a hearty warm stew. Thus, the stock pot came out and this turkey stew was born. I tried to pack it full of tons of nutrients and made enough to freeze for later. This can also be made vegetarian or vegan by withholding the meat of course.


Get Well Soon Turkey Stew

2 tablespoons of olive oil
6 celery stalks – chopped
2 brown onions – chopped
6 large carrots – chopped
2 cups of Madera
6-8 cloves of garlic, minced
3 Gala apples
One large turkey breast, rib bone in (I think mine was about 2.5 lbs)
3 rosemary sprigs
3 sage leaves
6 sweet potatoes – cut into large pieces
1 bag of green peas
¼ a teaspoon of curry powder
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne

In a large stock pot heat olive oil on medium heat, add celery, brown onions and carrots. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté until softened a bit. Add garlic until aromatic. Lower heat, add Madera and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add apples, then turkey breast. Let the turkey sit on top of the chopped ingredients for about a minute. Fill the stock pot about a quarter of the way up, covering the turkey. Create a satchel of the herbs, add to stock pot. Season. Simmer on low heat about 30 minutes. Add more water about half way up of the stock pot. Simmer for about 2 hours. Remove turkey, set aside to cool, continue simmering stock. I reserved a bit for freezing to have turkey stock on hand. When turkey is cool enough to handle, remove bones and break meat into chunks with your hands, it will naturally shred and fall off of the bone. Add meat back into stock pot, add sweet potatoes. Simmer until cooked through. Add the peas, continue simmering another 10 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste, then the curry, cinnamon, nutmeg and cayenne. There should be a nice balance of fall flavors and spices to clear up the sinuses, of course, alter to taste. Serve hot.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Happiest of Hours - Friday Cocktail Time

It's my goal to post a new cocktail recipe every Friday, because I feel everyone should have a cocktail, every Friday evening. This recipe is a lower calorie version of a classic margarita and is quite yummy! So, cheers to the weekend!


Skinny Girl Fizz
1 3/4 oz of tasty Tequila
3/4 of Patron Citronge (Triple Sec works too)
Fresh juice of 2 limes (or to taste)

Add ice to a cocktail shaker, add tequila, Citronge and lime juice, shake, strain into your favorite glass. Sip. Repeat.

Famous Todd's Rockin' Lasagna

Food is love. I truly believe one universal, nonverbal love language is shared through food. Cooking for another, one nurtures, satisfying one basic need for survival. Through one single dish, one can communicate an insight to a personal culture, history, background, a celebration or event, experiences, even religion. Food can communicate an awful lot. The time one puts in to creating a dish, carefully, lovingly seasoning to perfection, finding that perfect balance that shares something so personal from person to person, that that perfect balance speaks deep to the soul. Then we have the ritual of sharing a meal, delving even more into the importance of human bonding through subsistence. I could go on for days about this personal belief but to spare any readers out there, I will just say this: For the above given reasons it is deeply appreciated anytime anything comes out of one’s kitchen and shared with me.  So, the other day when Todd lovingly created a lasagna dish, spending time buying the ingredients and carefully preparing them in his kitchen, it spoke much more to me than I’m sure he thought it would. He was probably just craving lasagna and wanted to do something nice for his girlfriend. He cooks for me quite often (I’m lucky he is a fabulous cook) but I hope, on every occasion he knows, how greatly he is appreciated as well as his every meal shared with me. The perfect way to say, “I love you”.
Don’t forget: this also applies to all friends and family out there too.
As a result, I had to share his delicious lasagna creation.


Famous Todd’s Rockin’ Lasagna

1 small container of non-fat ricotta cheese
½ cube of firm tofu
1 yellow or white onion (finely chopped)
5 to 7 celery stalks (finely chopped)
8 cloves of garlic (minced)
1 can of anchovies in oil (finely chopped)
1 Lb. of spicy Italian sausage (casings removed)
1 package of flat lasagna noodles (uncooked)
1 large heirloom tomato or 4 Roma tomatoes (coarsely chopped)
1 jar of Trader Joe’s garlic pasta sauce
¼ of red wine
3 Tb of savory
2 Tb of oregano
Olive oil
About 1 cup of fresh mozzerella (shredded or sliced)
1 can of black olives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. With your clean hands, smoosh ricotta and tofu together in a large bowl.  In a large skillet, heat on medium the onion, celery, garlic and anchovies until they begin to sweat, remove from heat, add tomatoes. In a medium skillet brown the sausage on medium heat. Heat the tomato sauce in a pan and add a dash of olive oil, and red wine, set aside when hot and integrated. In a ¼ cup scoop a small layer of sauce in to the bottom of a 9 x 13 pan. Layer one layer of noodles, a layer of cheese, another layer of noodles, a layer of celery mixture, layer of noodles, layer of meat, layer of sauce, layer of noodles, layer of cheese, layer of sauce, sprinkle with savory, oregano and olives. Bake in oven about 20 minutes, until heated through. Let stand for 5 minutes out of the oven. For perfect presentation, cut desired piece of lasagna, lift out of pan and flip upside down to serve. Cin! Cin! Enjoy!

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Mi Gusta Enchiladas!

I initially made this recipe for a work potluck a couple of years ago- it was my test to see if the recipe was a keeper. Living in LA has really exposed me to great Mexican food but I have never felt apt to tackle the cuisine in my own kitchen and let alone, try to make it as authentic as possible. I went out of my comfort zone; I felt that the bevy of taste buds my coworkers provided would be a good gauge. The enchiladas were a major hit! I’ve made them time and time again, they are good for parties (transport well) and great to just have in the fridge for the next couple days or so after making them. They aren’t difficult to make, are unique from the “typical” chicken enchilada one would expect and I try to convince myself they have some desirable nutritional elements. The below, are an adaptation from the king of authentic Mexican cooking, Rick Bayless. Ole!






Adapted from Rick Bayless - Enchiladas Especiales Tacuba Style

Makes about 12 enchiladas


One whole fryer chicken – raw
2 bottles of beer
2 fresh poblano chilies
1 cup roughly chopped fresh spinach leaves
2 cups chicken broth (reserved)
2 cups milk
1 tablespoons butter
4 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
1/2 cup flour
3 cups coarsely shredded cooked chicken
12 corn tortillas
A little bit of oil for brushing
About 1 cup Mexican melting cheese (Chihuahua)
A small handful of chopped cilantro for garnish

Remove innards of chicken (I like to take them, add them to a saucepan with about a cup of water and make gravy for the dog, of course let it cool before feeding it to them).  Place the chicken in slow cooker, pour two bottles of beer and fill the rest of the pot with water until chicken is cover. Cook on low for 4 hours. Remove chicken and let cool. To save time, you can use precooked chicken but I find it to be more dry and salty than cooking it yourself. Reserve 2 cups of the broth for the sauce.
Roast the poblanos in the broiler, turning when the skins blacken, do this to all sides. Place in a plastic bag for 15 minutes.  Rinse to remove seeds and the thick “plasticy” part of the skin. Chop into large pieces and add to the blender.  Add the spinach.
In a medium saucepan, combine the milk and broth, warm at medium low heat.
In a large saucepan, melt butter over medium- low heat.  Add the garlic and cook for a minute while stirring lightly, then add the flour and stir quicker for a minute.  Pour in the warm broth mixture and whisk constantly, raise heat, whisk until the sauce boils.  Reduce the heat to low medium and simmer for 5 minutes. The sauce will thicken. Remove from the heat.
Pour half of the sauce into the blender with the chilies and spinach. Blend until smooth with blender lid on and center part removed.  Pour the mixture back into the saucepan with the remaining sauce.  Taste and season with salt, expect it to need salt.  
Pull apart the chicken, the meat should fall off the bone and shred naturally, feel to make sure you remove any pieces of cartilage, bone, skin and fat.  Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Smear about 1 cup of the sauce over the bottom of a 13x9-inch baking dish.  Stir 1 cup of the sauce into the chicken and mix, season to taste.
This is important: Lay 6 tortillas out on a baking sheet and lightly brush both sides of the tortillas with oil; top each tortilla with another one and brush with oil.  Bake until warm but not brown, about 3 minutes.  Stack the tortillas, keep warm wrapped up in a towel.  
While tortillas are still warm, lay in the baking dish, in sauce, spoon chicken into center of tortilla, roll up chicken up in each tortilla, line them up, touching, until baking dish is full.  Pour remaining sauce over enchiladas and sprinkle with the cheese.  Bake until the enchiladas are hot, about 20 minutes, the cheese will brown.  Garnish with the cilantro.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Thinking Outside of the Box

We get a wonderful box, produce delivery every other week of farm fresh, organic, seasonal fruits and vegetables.  It really is a great, affordable service; I encourage anyone who can to find one that will service their area. My many adventures in the kitchen are dictated by what is fresh and seasonal at that time, and for me usually that is what comes in my bimonthly box. I love that it exposes me to different produce I necessarily wouldn’t purchase at the market or feel comfortable cooking and urges me to think outside of the box (literally) and try new things. Plus, I seem to always have something delicious and healthy on hand.

This week's box: gorgeous heirloom tomatoes, juicy Bartlett pears, cauliflower, rubyesque beets, black crunchy grapes, green onions, healthy chard.

A Time to Fall in Love

It’s October!!! My absolute favorite time of the year! There always seems to be some magical force in the air during autumn - the crunch of the leaves under my boots, the crisp breeze of the air tickling your nose and the deeply cozy feeling one gets when fall spices dance on your tongue. The autumn harvest always greatly inspires me in the kitchen. Say goodbye to white peaches and succulent strawberries, hello juicy Macintosh apples and tart cranberries. What a great way to start a food blog? This is a project I have been intending to start for years and finally doing it, partly fueled by this years fall fare. Please excuse my rusty writing and novice attempt, and join me for an adventure of trails and tribulations, hopefully sprinkled with some successes in the kitchen.
** Credit to my fabulous art director, photographer extraordinaire and even more importantly: boyfriend, muse magnifico, Todd Bjurstrom for all of the fabulous photos posted. This particular photo is of the extensive pumpkin collection I have been cultivating for Todd, a wonderful Cinderella pumpkin, amongst many scattered around with gourd friends. He has deemed me the biggest fall enthusiast he has ever met.