Browsing Tag


Savory Pumpkin Hand Pies

November 19, 2013



Being a vegetarian at your boyfriend’s family Thanksgiving can be madly intimidating. Or going home and explaining to your family for the first time that you no longer will be eating your aunt’s legendary roast. Although it’s never fun having to repeat yourself over and over to every person at the gathering about why you aren’t diving into that meat, it’s something all of us vegetarians (and vegans!) have had to endure. Instead of spending your entire evening avoiding eye contact with everyone in the room in an attempt to avoid that ‘dietary needs conversation’, whip up a batch of these hand pies to win everyone over. No meat lover will miss the meat in these little pockets of savory deliciousness and they might just agree that these would make a better main course (or appetizer or side or all 3).

Although eating a giant turkery for Thanksgiving is ‘traditional’, I say the hell with it! Let’s make our own tradition!! You aren’t constrained to eating that one meat that is ‘traditional’ and you can play around with any food you enjoy. And, in my opinion, I think these little pockets of pot pies are better than any dried out turkey I was served as a child.




Hop on over to DeSmitten Design blog for the full recipe and learn more!


Homemade Pumpkin Pasta with Goat Cheese Whip & Browned Butter Sage

September 27, 2013


You know, I was so proud of myself for thinking about using that can of pumpkin before October rolled around. I was like ‘damn, I’m going to beat the pumpkin craze this year for sure!’ and then I waited 3 days to post this. And now this recipe is in the dead middle of all the pumpkin blondies and nutmeg dutch babies. Oh well. This was my attempt to create a ‘savory’ dish with the pumpkin instead of the sugar overload that October tends to bring (helloooo Halloween!).



Continue Reading…

Baklava Ice Cream

May 4, 2013



This was my first time making ice cream from scratch. I borrowed my Mother’s ice cream maker with the promise of returning it alongside a delicious pint of frozen goodness. My ice cream making interest peaked a few weeks back when I was enjoying a particularly irresistible piece of baklava with a side of ice cream. Scooping both chunks of baklava and the ice cream into my mouth, my tastebuds were trying to grab the flavors as one. Which is when my mind realized I should just combine the two..into a delicious baklava ice cream.

I had a plan – I was going to find a simple vanilla ice cream recipe and customize it with baklava ingredients. However, when I got home and started looking at recipes, I began to feel overwhelmed. So overwhelmed I wondered if it would have been better to just go and buy a pint of ice cream at Kroger. I mean do I use whole milk or heavy cream or eggs? Do I let the mixture sit for an hour in the fridge or overnight?

This wasn’t the kind of  kitchen tool that I grew up watching my family use. I was totally clueless and, for the first time in years, the internet seemed to be throwing too much information at me to process. I sat on the idea of making ice cream for a few days. Comparing online recipes with my recipe books until I came onto a decision. I’d just wing it…like I’ve done with so many successful (but also…some unsuccessful) recipes in the past. I chose to go with heavy cream AND milk and to let the mixture sit overnight (just in case).




And let me tell you – I am SO glad I didn’t give up and run to Kroger for a pint instead. All the worry and reluctance was so worth it. This ice cream is like nothing I’ve ever had before. Better than store bought and better than my local ice cream stand. It’s creamy and tastes fresh and full of cinnamon-walnut-honey-baklava amazingness.




Baklava Ice Cream

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup milk (I used 2% but whole would work well too), divided
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoons salt
  • 3 Tablespoons cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup + 1 Tablespoon honey, divided
  • 1 vanilla bean, split in half
  • 2 cinnamon sticks
  • 3/4 cup walnuts, finely chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon cloves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 8 sheets phyllo dough, thawed
  • 2 tablespoons butter, melted


In a small bowl, whisk together 1/4 cup milk with the cornstarch. Set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine the cream cheese and salt. Set aside.

Combine the cream, remaining milk, vanilla bean, and cinnamon sticks. Bring to a simmer (just until tiny bubbles start to form around the edges) and let simmer for three minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the honey and cornstarch mixture, and return to heat. Bring to simmer, stirring constantly, and let cook until thickened (one or two minutes). Remove from heat, whisk in the cream cheese mixture, and chill the mixture overnight.

The night day: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix together the walnuts, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, and cloves and transfer to a baking sheet. On a separate baking sheet, place 4 phyllo sheets down and brush with butter. Place the other four on top of those and brush with butter. Mix any remaining butter with the walnut mixture. Cook both in the oven for 25 minutes or until the phyllo has browned and the walnuts are giving off a nutty aroma. Remove from oven and let cool completely. Break the phyllo dough into large chunks.

Remove the cinnamon sticks and vanilla bean from the chilled cream mixture. Prepare the ice cream according to your ice cream maker’s instructions (mine has me stick the cream mixture into the ice cream maker for 20 minutes). 1 minute before the ice cream is done churning, add in the nuts and phyllo dough.

Enjoy right away or transfer into an airtight container in the freezer to enjoy later.



Berry Brioche Muffins

April 9, 2013


I love making bread. On any given rainy Sunday, you will most likely find me in the kitchen kneading up something delicious. Whether it’s beer bread or pumpernickel or cinnamon rolls will all depend on my mood. There is something I find soothing about watching the dough slowly rise. Or kneading the batter with your bare hands. Or feeling like you are conducting a science experiment in your kitchen. Or starting with a huge pile of flour and ending with a crusty ball of deliciousness. Whatever it is, it soothes me and I find myself turning to bread making in moments where I crave relaxation the most.

This is also the reason I often times make the same cinnamon rolls or beer bread. When relaxing, I don’t want to have read through a 3 page recipe four times over. I want to be able to get lost in stirring and pound of my frustration through kneading.  I had come across a brioche recipe in a Food Network cookbook a few months back and it was 5 pages long. FIVE. The ingredients list was extensive and there were several randevues with the mixer (sorry but I prefer the old fashion way. This both makes me lazy because I don’t want to clean the mixer and a BA because I knead the dough by hand). It left a bad taste in my mouth and made me write off sweet brioche as too much work.

That was until Pinterest told me last week that I could make brioche in a slow cooker. In a slow cooker, really? How hard could a slow cooker recipe be?! So that triggered lots of brioche research (AKA google searching) and I came across Artisan Bread in Five. It’s a wonderful resource for any breadmaker and lays out some of the best instructions on how to make delicious bread I’ve ever come across. I’ve only gawked at their blog but am very excited to try out some of their cookbooks as well. I can only imagine!

I suggest making the dough the night before so you can just let it rise for an hour in the muffins pan the next day and bake them right up. That will cut down on 2+ hours of rising time.



Berry Brioche Buns

Dough adapted from Artisan Bread in Five Minutes
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 1/2 tablespoon yeast
  • 1/2 tablespoon salt
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 sticks of unsalted butter, melted
  • 4 cups of all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup Mixed berries
  • 1/4 sugar

Mix the yeast and warm water in a bowl. Let sit for five minutes or until it starts to foam. Add in the salt, eggs, honey, and butter. Add 4 cups of flour and mix with a spoon until incorporated. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for two hours.

After it has risen, chill the dough so that it is easier to work with. I let mine chill overnight but feel free to just let chill for an hour or so.

Grease a 12 muffin pan and divide the dough evenly between the tins. Cover with a clean dish towel and let rise for one hour.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Press a few berries into each muffin (make sure to really get them in there so they don’t pop out) and sprinkle with sugar. Bake for 20 minutes or until the brioche is brown on top.

Remove from oven and let cool. Sprinkle with cocoa powder or powdered sugar.


Kale, Tomato, & Garlic Breadsticks

March 19, 2013

Kale, Tomato, and Garlic Breadsticks

These breadsticks are a product of a frustrating juicer clean up experience. And by frustrating I mean the twenty minutes I spent scrubbing it’s inside parts trying to get green stains out. And then the other twenty minutes I spent scrubbing the kitchen counter to remove the orange carrot stains. And then finally the last ten minutes which consisted of scorching my hands with hot water trying to get all the last bits of color off of my own hands. Through this process I kept thinking to myself ‘Never again will I wait until my lunch break to clean up my morning juice’ which then was followed by thoughts of ‘these stains are crazy. Does it stain the inside of my stomach like this?’ and then ‘I bet this is how they make that fun colored pasta’ and finally ‘wait..I bet I could make fun colored doughs!’

And there you have it. The next day I set out of make dye juices out of carrots, kale, and beets. I didn’t end up following through the the beet one though…I know it would have made the most beautiful color dough but I couldn’t do it. I can not stand the smell of beets (let alone the taste) and knew the sticks would go straight to the trash if I even attempted to try it. And then my hands would smell like beets. And my beet stained hands would be reminders of the horrible earthy smell [sorry, beet lovers. I can not relate to you on this one]. I also ended up wanting a deeper red than the carrot juice gave so I ended up using tomato paste which worked wonders. And lastly, I played around with all sorts of toppings – poppy seed, garlic, parmesan, sesame seeds, and fresh herbs. The results were an array of fun colored breadsticks all with individual flavor profiles. No two sticks the same…which made it challenging to not want to sample them all.



All in all – my favorites were the kale poppy seed, tomato paremsan, and garlic thyme ones. These would make pretty party appetizers or go along perfectly with pizza. In fact, the basic dough recipe is my favorite pizza dough so you could totally just double that part and use half the dough for pizza. Just saying – I’ll take any excuse to eat pizza.

Make these thicker if you like your breadsticks doughy and soft. I personally was going for a cracker feel so I made them thin and let them sit out for a few hours.


Kale Tomato Garlic Breadsticks


Garlic, Tomato, & Kale Breadsticks

  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 3+ cups all purpose flour
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoons salt
  • 2 Tablespoons tomato paste
  • a bunch of kale
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • assortment of toppings (sesame seeds, poppy seeds, parmesan, garlic, herbs, spices, etc)

Whisk together the yeast, 1 Tablespoon flour, and 1/4 cup warm water and let stand for ten minutes or until the yeast has become a thick foam.

Stir together 1 1/2 cups of flour and salt. Add yeast mixture and the rest of the water (3/4 cup) and stir until smooth. Add another half a cup of flour and mix. If the dough is sticking to your hands then it’s too moist so add a bit more flour and if it’s too dry then add a bit more water (try to keep on the stickier side since you’ll be adding a bit more flour as you knead).

Transfer dough to a floured surface and knead for 10 minutes. Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with a damp towel. Let dough rise for an hour or until it’s doubled.

While it’s raising, press washed kale through a juicer to create a few tablespoons of juice.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Divide the dough into 3 equal parts and keep the two parts you aren’t working with covered in the bowl (this will help the dough from drying out).

On a floured surface, fold in the minced garlic to the first part of the dough. Knead the dough until garlic is speckled throughout. Roll the dough into a 9×13 rectagle and use a cookie cutter to cut 5 long strips. Pick up a strip, twist it, and transfer to a greased cookie sheet. Repeat with the rest of the strips.


On a very floured surface (this is important because we are going to be adding more liquid to the dough which will make the dough sticky and will most likely need to be adding more flour), place another 1/3 of the dough and pour 1 tablespoon of kale juice over it. Start folding the dough into itself and add more kale juice (1 tablespoon at a time) until the dough is at your desired color consistency. Make sure to add more flour if the dough starts to get too sticky.

Roll out the dough into a 13×9 rectangle and cut into 5 strips with a cookie cutter. Twist each strip by hand and transfer to your greased baking sheet.

Lastly, knead 1 tablespoon at a time of the tomato paste into the rest of the dough. Knead until the color is evenly distributed (adding more paste if you want a darker color) and roll out into a 13×9 strip. Cut into 5 pieces, twist each piece by hand, and transfer to a greased baking sheet (you may need to start a second sheet at this point).


Brush 1 tablespoon olive oil over the top of the sticks and top with desired toppings. Cook for 20 minutes or until golden at the top.

Serve warm or let sit overnight for a cracker-like texture.
Song Pairing:

Cheddar Corn Biscuits

December 5, 2012

How has your week been going? Mine has been fine but I know it’s been a little quite around here. I’ve done a bit of traveling this week and have more to go which is a nice change of pace but can also be exhausting. It’s the type of exhausting that makes me want to just curl up on the couch with my leftover chili and watch Veronica Mars (corniest 90s show ever but we are addicted) all night. Sorry VV, you take up too much energy for me right now.

But I promised and I usually like to be a girl of my word. So here I am! And as I promised, here is the buttery and addictive biscuit recipe that complaints that healthy Black Bean & Wheatberry Chili recipe perfectly. If you missed the chili recipe, it’s featured on The Kitchn today so hop on over and check it out!

We even used leftover biscuits to make biscuits and gravy with Wyatt’s favorite Sage Gravy! Mmmmm. And I have a feeling that breakfast sandwiches are in our very VERY near future. Breakfast for dinner? Well hello evening plans!



Cheddar Corn Biscuits

  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 cup frozen corn (or fresh!)
  • 1/2 cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1/2 cup butter (1 stick), cubed
  • 1 cup buttermilk (I made my own out of the milk I had on hand)

Grease a baking sheet (it may take 2 sheets depending on how thick you make the biscuits). In a large mixing bowl, combine the flour, cornmeal, salt, sugar, black pepper, baking powder, and baking soda. Next, add in the butter and use your hands to incorporate the butter into the dough until it resembles a coarse meal.

Next, fold in the cheese, onions, and corn. Finally, add the buttermilk and mix until just combined (don’t over mix or the dough will become tough).

Transfer dough to a slightly floured surface and roll out to about an inch thick (more or less depending on how you like your biscuits) and use a cookie cutter or glass to circle cut outs. Transfer to prepared baking sheet and repeat with the rest of the dough.

Stick the cookie sheet (with the prepared dough) into the fridge and preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Let the biscuits chill while it is preheating because the cold butter will help to make the biscuits flakier.

Bake for about 25 minutes (mine took 30 but my oven ALWAYS takes longer than what a recipe recommends so check often).

Serve warm with soup or gravy or by themselves with a little butter!



Sesame & Poppyseed Crackers

November 23, 2012

…And it’s over. All the planning, cooking, over-eating, and family time is done. Now…time for a detox. Haha, Just kidding! Time to start planning for December holidays!

These crackers are awesome with some homemade hummus (sweet potato hummus recipe to follow soon!), baba ganoush or with that leftover brie from Thanksgiving (who are we kidding…who ever has leftover brie?!).



Anyhow, these make several dozen so plan to serve them at a holiday party (Ugly Sweater party, anyone?) or nibble away at them slowly as long as they are stored in an airtight container for up to two weeks. Easy, right?

Also, feel free to get creative with the seed combinations. I used Sesame and Poppy because that is what I had on hand but feel free to use all sesame or flaxseed or sunflower…whatever you are feeling!



Sesame & Poppyseed Crackers

adapted from Salty Snacks
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1/8 cup poppy seeds
  • 1/8 cup sesame seeds
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


Preheat oven to 375 degrees and lightly grease a baking sheet.

Combine the flour, seeds, baking powder, and salt in a large mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and add the water and olive oil. Fold dry ingredient into wet until combined (don’t overmix or it’ll become tough!)



Roll out in sections (I divided my dough into 4 parts) using either a rolling pin or your pasta maker. If using rolling pin, I would just roll as thin as possible or until desired thickness. Cut squares out of the dough using a cookie cutter and move prepared squares to the baking sheets.


Working in batches, cook for 12 minutes or until browned and crisp. As this round is baking, prepare more crackers with the rest of your dough. Repeat until all the dough has been prepared and cooked.

Let cool completely, serve with dips, or transfer to an airtight container for up to two weeks.


Vegan Pumpkin Cinnanom Rolls with Maple Glaze

September 25, 2012


Ah, Tuesday. Sometimes I feel like Tuesday is worse than Monday because you’ve already got back into the swing of things but still have so much more time before it’s the weekend. But there is a cure for the Tuesday blues and that cure is Cinnamon Rolls! [How could you possible be down when you have a fresh, warm and gooey cinnamon roll in your belly?] What about cinnamon rolls with an extra kick of pumpkin in them? Oooooh yeah! I’m sold. I became hooked on what I called cinnamon roll “spin-offs” after I made those Sweet Potato Cinnamon Rolls. Oh goodness. Nothing like taking something already delicious and making it even better.

And so, it’s officially fall for me because I cooked with my first pumpkin of the season. Ah, I love it! How can you not get excited about a season that features pumpkin, cinnamon, apples, and cider?!? I just don’t understand.

These were amazing but I will, however, add more pumpkin next time around. You could definitely taste the pumpkin but it was subtle. Also, don’t forget to prep these SEVERAL hours before you want to indulge since they take two rounds of rising (I started them the night before and then let them rise all night which worked as a perfect way to cut out an extra hour and half in the AM.

Vegan Pumpkin Cinnamon Rolls

Adapted from EatLiveRun
  • 2 Tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 1/3 cup almond milk
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon corn starch + 3 Tablespoons water (mix together so that a gel forms)
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 Tablespoon pumpkin pie spice


For the Filling:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons Earth Balance
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon


For Maple Glaze:

  • 2 Tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 Tablespoon Almond Milk


Heat the butter and almond milk over low in a small saucepan until the butter has melted and is incorporated. Remove from heat and wait for the mixture to cool slightly (should be able to touch the milk with your finger and not be uncomfortable) and add the yeast. Let sit for five minutes or until the yeast becomes foamy.

In a small bowl, whisk together the cornstarch/water mixture with the pumpkin. In the bowl of your stand mixer (with the dough attachment) combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, and pumpkin pie spice. Add in the pumpkin mixture and turn the mixer onto medium until everything is combined. Next, add in the yeast mixture and let the dough knead for about five minutes. The dough should end up elastic and firm.

Transfer dough to a greased mixing bowl and cover. Let rise for an hour (or overnight).

Go do some yoga. Turn the vinyl over. Dance with your puppy. Or take a nap. Or whatever you like to fill your time with.

Transfer dough to a flour surface and roll out to form a large rectangle shape. Mix the filling together in a bowl and sprinkle on top of the dough. Roll dough by taking the long ends and forming a long cylinder. Cut in the middle and then cut each of those pieces into thirds (you should end up with 6 rolls). Stick in a greased 8×8 cooking pan and cover. Let rise for another 40 minutes.

Preheat oven to 350. Bake rolls for about 30 minutes or until the tops are browned. Remove and let cool.

While cooling, prepare the glaze! Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl until it starts to gel. Pour over the rolls.

Enjoy warm and with tea or coffee.


Zucchini, Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese Pizza

September 5, 2012

And after a wonderful 4 day (birthday) weekend, it’s back to my day job and back to my standard routine. The thought of no vacations in sight is a bit daunting (and making me exhausted already) so I decided I better start planning little stuff. You know, like Dale Cooper from Twin Peaks said:”Harry, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. It could be a new shirt at the men’s store, a catnap in your office chair, or two cups of good, hot black coffee.”

And for me- most of these little treats I give myself are in the form of delicious food or yoga or a new magazine. Today’s treat was fresh, homemade pizza. Work may have been extra stressful (with having to catch up on the days I took off) but knowing I was coming home to already prepared pizza dough (I made and froze it over the weekend) and lots of goat cheese gave me something to look forward to (in addition to my adorable puppy and goofy boyfriend, of course).

Plus, this recipe uses up more produce from my CSA box so I don’t even have to feel guilty about eating pizza since those veggies needed to be used up anyways!

Oh. And I got to rock the new Smoosh shirt I received for my birthday from Kristin and David. Have you met Smoosh yet? Oh man, you should (and can- here).


Zucchini, Red Pepper, and Goat Cheese Pizza

  • 1 pizza dough, store bought or homemade
  • 1 small zucchini, sliced into thin ribbons (I used a peeler and it worked perfectly)
  • 1 small red pepper, sliced
  • 4 ounces of goat cheese
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • Salt/Pepper, to taste


Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Roll out pizza dough to your liking on a floured surface (I like mine thick but you could be a thin crust kind of person). I also recommend sprinkling cornmeal or polenta on the bottom to make a crispier crust. It’s absolutely delicious. Top your pizza in the following order (or just follow the pictures): tomato sauce, goat cheese, zucchini, and red pepper. Season with salt and pepper.

Cook for ten to fifteen minutes or until the edges are crispy

Enjoy warm with a cold glass of your favorite beer (or wine or tea or kombucha or whatever your fix is)!


Corn and Feta Empanadas

July 26, 2012

I have been having some serious wonderlust lately. It’s a serious problem. I feel like it mine as well be 20 degrees out…this heat makes me feel just as claustrophobic as the freezing nights of January. It makes me long for cool breezes, sweaters, and hot apple cider. I had such a long list of camping destinations this summer and I fear we won’t be able to get to any of them if these constant heat waves don’t break! I need some ‘smores and waterfall adventures in my life ASAP.

Well, it is SUPPOSE to rain here all day…cross your fingers! Sadly, it has been so dry that the local crops have been growing at snail pace which means we didn’t get a CSA box this week! It’s a total bummer. This means no fresh sage or summer squash this week. Or no beautiful drive into the country to pick up our ‘goodie box’ full of delicious surprises. Ah, oh well. It does also mean that we will get to do it for an extra week in October but still….

Anyhow, we still have a few leftover veggies from last week’s crop (and we do live two blocks from the local co-op so I really shouldn’t complain that much). We get LOADS of corn on the cob every week (go figure! What else is Indiana known for?). This was a perfect recipe to use up the leftover 7 cobs.

This was my first time ever tackling empanadas but it was surprisingly easy. Imagine calzones but without the hassle of using yeast dough (no kneading, rising, etc). It was fantastic. The dough had to chill so I was able to make the filling in the mean time and this probably didn’t take more than 20-30 minutes (plus cooking time). I grew up enjoying my step-mom’s empanadas which were always filled with apples, cherries, or blueberries. I feel like I could never top their sweet delicious flakiness so I decided to go in the opposite direction. I made these savory ones knowing they would be nothing like hers but being able to claim them as my own (and not compare them!).
Anyhow, this post has become very wordy. I am going to end saying one last thing about these empanadas. The filling was AMAZING. Next time I decided to make a corn side for a potluck or family gathering, I am going to just make this filling (corn + feta = oh so delicious). I am telling you this as a warning so you don’t eat all of the filling before you manage to fill all the insides!

Corn and Feta Empanadas

Adapted from The Kitchn
  • 3 cups flour
  • 1 1/2 sticks butter, cubed and chilled
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup cold water, divided


For the Filling:

  • 7- 8 ears of corn, boiled until softened (or about 3 1/2 cups frozen)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 3 Tablespoons milk
  • 1 teaspoon of lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil


Start by prepping the dough: I made the dough by hand but feel free to use a food processor if you have one. Place the flour, salt, and chopped butter in a bowl. Use your washed hands to work the butter into the dried ingredients until coarse. Whisk together the egg and water in a small bowl. Add in the water/egg mixture a little bit at a time and mix with your hands. Repeat until the dough has formed a stiff ball (you may not need all the water for this).

Divide into two parts and wrap in foil or parchment paper. Stick in the fridge to chill while you prep the filling.

To make the filling: heat olive oil over medium in a large skillet. Add in the corn and cook for about 5 minutes. Next, add in the garlic, mustard, milk, lime juice, paprika, sugar, and salt and cook for another 5 minutes. Remove from heat and fold in the feta.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll out on a floured surface. I suggest just making it as thin as possible (probably about a 1/2 in thick but this all depends on personal preference). Use a small tea saucer as a template to cut out a circular hole.

Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and fill with about 2 tablespoon of the corn/feta mixture. Use your finger to rub a tiny bit of water on the outer edges of the dough (to make it sticky) and fold in half. Make indents with a fork to insure the empanadas are sealed. Repeat with the rest of the dough/mixture.

Cook for 15 or so minutes (it took mine about 22 minutes but my oven seems to take longer than most..)

Enjoy as an appetizer or as a main with a big salad!

Summer Vegetable Calzones

June 28, 2012

Oh! Do you remember those delicious pizzas I made here? Well, I froze the rest of the dough and made calzones out of it yesterday! It was oh so yummy and a great way to get versatile with the dough. I don’t know about you guys but we eat pizza A LOT over here so it’s nice to  mix it up. However, since I stuck eggs and blueberries on top of our pizzas last week, I promised Wyatt that I would keep these simple. BUT believe me- next time I will be throwing in pesto, potato slices, feta, thyme, and gouda! Not a doubt in the world.

In non-food related news, we are ALMOST moved into our home and are shooting for Sunday to be our official “all moved in” date (if this 100 degree weather subsides). Honestly, we just have a bunch of clothes and plants to transfer to the place and we are set. We even slept in our new bed for the first time last night- it was like we were at a slumber party because the place does not feel like home yet. Exciting (but kind of scary!) stuff going on around here.

Summer Vegetable Calzones

Makes 4

  • 1 Pizza Dough
  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce
  • 2 cups mozzerella cheese
  • 1 yellow zucchini, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh basil
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil

If you are using dough that you froze, make sure to take it out of the fridge at least four hours before and cover it in an oiled bowl. Set it in a warm place to rise and do it’s thing.

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

In a large skillet, heat the tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and sauté for about a minute. Next, add in the onion, pepper, and zucchini and sauté until the vegetables are tender (I cooked them for about ten minutes). Season with salt and pepper.

Divide the dough into 4 balls. Use a floured surface and rolling pin to roll out 4 circles (or ovals). Divide the veggie mixture into 4 parts and make a line in the center of each dough piece with them. Next, do the same for the sauce, basil, and cheeses. Finally, fold over the dough and seal by pressing a fork along the edges. I then rolled the edges to make them look pretty but it does not matter as long as it’s sealed.

Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.

Enjoy warm and gooey!

Pizza Party: BBQ Tempeh Pizza vs. Creamy Purple Potato Pizza

April 25, 2012

I live about two blocks from my favorite house in Bloomington. This house is actually a HUGE old historic home that was converted into 4 businesses. The business in the basement is a coffee shop that is just too quirky not to love; I probably owe my degree to this place since it gave me a place to actually enjoy going to when I had to write awful papers for classes. Soma is filled with old TV-turned-fish tanks, mannequin’s dressed as 80′s drag queens, and map murals all over the walls. I find all of it’s charm to be very inspiring and often times write these blog posts there to get the juices flowing!

Anyways, in the “attic” is a very awesome consignment shop that has shelves and shelves of cute vintage clothes. And next to that is a stone shop that sells adorable jewelry and gems. Lastly, there is a burrito shop called ‘Laughing Planet’. This place only serves local meat and everything is organic. On top of these healthy ingredients, they always come up with the most creative combination for burritos. For example, for Thanksgiving they have a burrito that is filled with mashed potatoes, corn, vegan gravy, turkey or tempeh, green beans, and served with a cranberry salsa. Sounds weird…which it is but also surprisingly delicious.

Oh yeah, the point of this story? I was eating lunch there last week with Kelsey and we decided to try their special of the week which was a ‘grill out’ themed burrito. It was filled with sweet potatoes, kale, corn, bbq tofu, and black beans. Absolutely delicious. And this burrito was the first thing I thought of when I realized how much homemade bbq we had leftover from Kristin and I’s cooking adventure the other night.

I wanted to do something besides Mexican since we just made tacos the night before so I decided to try to turn it into a pizza! This, for some reason, led to Wyatt wanting to compete with my pizza idea and make it into a competition.  So off we went to Bloomingfoods and he managed to snatch up some beautiful purple potatoes and locally made Alfredo sauce for his pie.

Both the pizzas turned out delicious. I have to give Wyatt some credit for coming up with such a delicious recipe on a whim (and one that definitely photographed better). Neither of us would budge on which pizza was better so you guys will just have to whip these pizzas up and decide for yourselves!

Pizza Dough

  • 2 teaspoons yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 1/2 – 4 cups of flour
  • corn meal, for dusting

In a mixer with a dough hook (or a large mixing bowl if you don’t have a mixer), combine the yeast, sugar, and water and let sit for 10 minutes (this gives the yeast time to start reacting).

Next, add in the salt and olive oil. Turn the mixer in low and start adding the flour a half a cup at a time (or use your hands to mix in the flour). Start with 3 and a half cups of flour but add more if the dough is still too sticky that it’s not turning into a ball. Mix on high for five minutes.

Place in a oiled bowl and cover with a towel. Let rise in a warm place for about an hour or so.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Dust your surface with cornmeal and use a rolling pin to roll out two pizza crusts with this dough. Place on an oiled cooking sheet and set aside while you prepare the toppings

BBQ Tempeh Pizza

  • 1/2 cup bbq sauce
  • 4 oz tempeh, cut into small pieces
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 cup kale, chopped
  • 1/4 cup frozen corn, thawed
  • 1/2 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 cup Gouda, shredded

Heat the oil in a small skillet over medium. Add the tempeh and saute for about five minutes. Mix in 1/4 cup of bbq sauce and cook for about a minute. Remove from heat.

Bring a large pot to a boil. Boil the sweet potato chunks for about five minutes or until they become a little soft (cooking time will depend on how big or little you made the chunks – make sure you don’t let them get mushy though!).

Lather the rest of the bbq sauce on the pizza. Top with the tempeh, kale, frozen corn, sweet potato, and gouda. Cook for about 15 minutes or until the cheese has browned.

Creamy Potato Pizza

  • 1/2 cup Alfredo sauce
  • 3 ounces of Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled
  • 1 cup cheddar, shredded
  • 1/2 Tablespoon dried Dill
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • Dash of fresh pepper

Lather Alfredo sauce on top of dough. Then top pizza with everything else and stick in the oven for 15 minutes or until cheese has browned.

Mixed Berry Grunts

March 24, 2012

I don’t know what the proper name of this dish is called; I’ve heard grunts or dumplings or just plain old stove top cobbler. Whatever it is, it’s amazing. I looooove cobblers but when I discovered that I could make a version that has doughy dumplings drenched in fruity sugar…I was sold. I made a vegan version last summer which you can find here.

It’s like we skipped most of winter and now we are skipping spring and heading straight for summer. This is totally throwing my body off and the summer vibe is making my body crave fruity desserts. But it’s not fruit season yet (is it still March?) and my blueberry bush has just started blooming so what’s a girl to do? Well, I marched (in the form of walking my puppy) right to the store and picked out the freshest berries I could find. The pickens’ were slim with lots of impersonator fruits that we all know have traveled thousands of miles and were picked weeks ago but I did manage to find a batch of delicious looking strawberries and a batch of blackberries (sorry Kroger, I don’t like my blueberries shriveled and decrepit).

Don’t hesitate to make this vegan by substituting Almond/Soy milk for the milk, sugar cane for the sugar, and Earth Balance instead of butter!

Mixed Berry Grunts

  • 1 pint of strawberries (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups Blackberries (or blueberries or raspberries)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of lemon juice
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter

In a large saucepan, combine the fruit, sugar and lemon juice. Let sit for about ten minutes so that a sugar starts to form. Next, bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and stir it often.

While waiting for the mixture to simmer, combine the flour, baking soda, and salt in a bowl. Next, melt the butter into milk in a tiny saucepan. Add the warm mixture to the dry ingredients and stir into a thick dough.

Scoop heaping tablespoons full of the mixture into the simmering fruit to make dumplings. Then cover with a lid and let simmer for another 20 minutes.

The dumplings should double in size and the fruit should be drenched in a syrup. Serve warm with yummy ice cream on a sticky [March] summer [spring] evening!

Homemade Pierogies

January 6, 2012

My family is German…both sets of my Grandparents are German and their parent’s are German and so on. But for some reason, my mother and I make this Polish tradition every year. I’m not sure how it started but homemade, fresh pierogies are so amazing that we make sure to take time to whip these up during the holidays. I’m a student who has two jobs so I can’t say that I get home very much but when I go, I do make sure to make time for these guys.

We’ve tackled this recipe for so many years that we are able to whip several dozen of these out in less than two hours but you should plan on spending a few hours on this recipe (or do half the recipe and only make a few dozen which should just take over an hour). We always make the 4 dozen and freeze most of them for a later date.

Every August, a nearby town hosts ‘Pierogi Fest’ which is exactly what it sounds: a weekend long food festival dedicated to these tasty dumplings. They have dumplings filled with cheese, sauerkraut, veggies, blueberries, raspberries, and so on. Basically, it’s amazing. And is probably what originally inspired us so many years ago to start making these things.

I suggest you saute them in some olive oil with some onions and peppers. Or in butter with Swiss cheese and shallots. So the next time you have a relaxing, rainy (or snowy) Saturday, take the afternoon to make these with a friend or your Ma or your boyfriend. Whip up some mimosas, turn that vinyl player on, and enjoy the cooking process.

Homemade Pierogies


  • 6 cups flour
  • 2 Tablespoons salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 2 eggs


  • 8 medium russet potatoes
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced

Start by preparing the filling. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and peel and chop the potatoes into 1 inch chunks. Boil the potatoes until they are soft and a fork can easily pierce them. Drain and then mash the potatoes with a masher or hand mixer until smooth. Then fold in the cheddar and garlic until they are well incorporated. Set aside to cool while you prepare the dough.

Now it’s time to prep the dough! Doing it in two batches,  add all dough ingredients into a food processor and pulse until well combined.

If the dough is super sticky, add a bit more flour and if it’s too crumbly, add more milk.

Next, you are going to roll the dough on a floured surface. We take chunks of the dough (just like my Ma is doing in the picture below) and roll it in parts but feel free to do whatever works best for you. Also, you can definetely use a rolling pin to roll out the dough but we’ve discovered the amazing cooking secrets of the pasta maker. If you do use a pasta maker, I recommend keeping it on the 7 setting and just running it through two times to achieve a smooth texture.

Resist the cute begging dog (with the ridiculous joker collar. Poor guy- what are my parent’s thinking?)

Next, place the dough on a pierogi mold which looks like this:

Fill the pierogies with a tablespoon each of the filling and then place another thin layer of dough on top of the filling and roll a rolling pin over to seal the dumplings.

Repeat with the rest of the filling/dough. Should make around 4 dozen pierogies. Bring a large pot to a boil with salted water. Drop the dumpling in the water for about 3 minutes or until they are floating in the water.

Enjoyed boiled or saute them in butter with onions and bell peppers. Feel free to freeze a couple dozen of them for later use. And don’t forget to share with that begging puppy.

Fall Focaccia

November 6, 2011

If this hasn’t been brought up before, I am a vintage shopping addict. I am a loyal customer of Goodwill’s 50 percent off day and could tell you any place to find second hand clothes within a 50 mile radius of Bloomington. This has led me to a large collection of semi-useless collections (like my Polaroid collection where the majority of the cameras don’t work or my collection of state plates). Anyways, so I bought this huge bread-maker for 5 dollars over the summer and have only managed to make the same focaccia recipe in it over and over again.

Have you ever had focaccia? If not, I am soooo sorry. Coming from a carb obsesser, this stuff is better than chocolate during your time of the month (sorry guys, that reference obviously wasn’t for you). Imagine, a soft hunk of warm bread with fresh roasted veggies, crispy cheese, and overwhelming chunks of herbs all piled on top! Yuuuuuuummmy!

What is great about this recipe (and why I seem to make it over and over and over again) is because you can top it with whatever you are feeling like. This one was obviously inspired by fall but feel free to switch out my toppings with peppers, parmesan, basil, thyme, butternut squash, swiss, or anything else that you can roast/bake!

Fall Focaccia

For the Dough: (Adapted from Bread Machine Dough)

  • 1 packet bread yeast
  • 3 cups bread flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoon oregano (dried)
  • 1 tablespoon oil
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 small onion, cut into chunks
  • 1 medium apple, cut into chunks
  • 1/8 cup rosemary leaves (fresh or dried)
  • 1/4 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
  • olive oil
First (do this step a little ahead of time since your bread-maker will take awhile) put all of the dough ingredients in the bread maker in the order listed. Press the dough setting and start that thing up!
Once the bread-maker is done doing it’s thing, Preheat oven to 400 and grease a 9 by 13 inch pan with olive oil and flatten the dough out across the pan. Rub oil on the top of the dough and poke indents with your fingers all across the dough. Top with rosemary, onions, cheddar and apples.
Cook for 20 to 25 minutes.
And then munch down! Serve with some butternut squash soup or by itself. I’ll warn you though…you might want to try it before giving some to your friends since you might want to eat it all!