Spiced Apple Pie Biscuits

Fall is upon us. Even though it was 80 today and the AC is on on Conrad’s room…its just here, ok? That’s why I am embracing things like eggplant parmesan (who turns their oven on to 450 when its 80 out?!) for summer and these Spiced Apple Pie Biscuits.

This recipe is inspired by a fellow blogger and the fact that I already had some self raising flour in my pantry. Do you guys know what self raising flour is? WELL- its basically a fancy way of saying, “hey, i am regular flour with added baking powder and a touch of salt, mmmmkay?” Essentially, you can use self raising flour when you want to not add baking powder and salt to your recipe. Normally with biscuits, you need to add something to make them raise up high, but not if you have self raising flour.

So, the new flour was a first. Secondly, I was out of buttermilk, so I created my own by adding 1 tablespoon of lemon juice (or you can use white vinegar) to a scant cup of milk. Let that sit for 10 min and you could have a usable substitute for buttermilk. In this case, the buttermilk was to make the biscuits nice and tender. The acid in the lemon helped with that and there was no hint of lemon.

I hope many of you will warm your hearts and minds with these wonderful biscuits! Thank you to Joy the Baker for the great inspiration. I added the option of using pumpkin pie spice instead of cinnamon, which really gets a gal excited about the cool, crisp days ahead.

Spiced Apple Pie Biscuits

Spiced Apple Pie Biscuits


  • Apples:
  • 1 Fuji or Gala apple, peeled, cored and sliced very thin
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon OR Pumpkin Pie Spice
  • 2 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • Biscuits Dough:
  • 2 cups Self-Rising Flour
  • 1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 2/3 to 3/4 cup cold buttermilk
  • Glaze:
  • 1 large egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • pinch of salt

To Do

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  3. To make the apples, place butter in a medium skilled over medium heat to melt. Add the apples, cinnamon OR Pumpkin Pie spice, and brown sugar. Toss with a wooden spoon until all of the apples are coated and the sugar is melted over the apples, about 2 to 4 minutes. You will finish cooking the apples in the oven.
  4. To make the biscuit dough, place flour in a medium bowl and add cold butter cubes. Use your fingers to quickly break the butter down into the flour. Some of the butter bits will be the size of oats, some the size of small peas. Stir in the granulated sugar.
  5. Create a well in the center of the butter and flour mixture and add 2/3 cup buttermilk. Stir the mixture together until it is well moistened and holds together well. Biscuit dough should be soft and moist. Add the remaining buttermilk as needed.
  6. Use all-purpose flour to generously dust a clear work surface. Spoon dough onto the floured surface and use your hands to gather it into a ball and gently pat it into a small rectangle. just keep patting it back together.
  7. Use a rolling pin to gently roll the dough into a rectangle 1/2-inch thick, about 7-inches x 10-inches. Arrange the apples in a single layer over one side of the rolled out biscuit dough.
  8. Fold the bare side of the dough over the apples and gently press the edges to seal in the apples. Use the palms of your hand to pat the dough into a 6 x 8-inch rectangle if the edges are looking a bit rounded.
  9. Use a sharp knife to slice the dough into 12 squares. Use a spatula to place each biscuit onto the prepared baking sheet, about 2-inches apart.
  10. In a small bowl, whisk together sugar for topping, cinnamon, and salt.
  11. Brush each biscuit top with beaten egg and sprinkle generously with the cinnamon sugar mixture.
  12. Bake for 12 to 14 minutes until the biscuits are risen and golden brown. Remove from the oven and serve warm or cool completely before storing in an airtight container. Biscuits are best enjoyed within two days of baking.

Spiced Apple Pie Biscuits

Victoria’s Sponge Cake with Rhubarb and Mascarpone Cream

Look at this flower child I was raised by!


Happy Mother’s Day! I made a beautiful cake to celebrate all the loveliness that is Nancy. I saw a gorgeous picture of some cakes available to purchase at a local pop up bakery here in Seattle. I had never heard of the type of cake, so I looked further into it and it was a typical British tea cake, similar to our US version of a pound cake in that it uses equal weights of flour, eggs and sugar. ALSO, Queen Victoria was quite fond of this cake, hence the name. Coyle’s Bakeshop was preparing many of these cakes and advertising them on their Facebook page. Luckily for me, they also included a super easy recipe for Rhubarb Compote, which is part of the filling. Now, I just had to decide which sponge cake recipe to use and find a proper mascarpone cream filling.


For some reason, the baby is taking a 2 hour plus nap right now, so I am able to go on and on about cake. But, how good does this look?! It travels very well and assembles beautifully on site. I would recommend taking along a cake stand if you do travel, as placing this cake on a mere PLATE would be just, rude. Plus, it’s a British cake, so we want to treat it quite right, don’t we?


Here are the recipes;


Recipe: Baked Rhubarb Compote


  • Baked Rhubarb Compote
  • Makes about 1 1/2 cups
  • 1 lb. rhubarb stalks, cut into 2″ x 1/2″ pieces
  • 1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
  • Zest of 1/2 an orange, cut into long strips with a vegetable peeler
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, seeds scraped and pod included
  • 2 pieces star anise
  • pinch of ground cinnamon


  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. In a small baking dish, combine all of the ingredients and mix gently to distribute the vanilla seeds. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes, or until rhubarb is cooked through and soft. Remove the foil and cook for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the syrup is reduced.

Quick notes

recipe from Coyle’s Bakeshop

Recipe: Mascarpone Cream Filling


  • 2 cups mascarpone cheese
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 cup heavy cream


  1. Beat mascarpone and sugar on medium speed in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk until combined. Add cream; beat until stiff.

Quick notes

recipe from http://www.marthastewartweddings.com/224244/mascarpone-cream-filling

Recipe: Sponge Cake


I made two of these cakes, so double the recipe if you would like, or you can slice the one cake in half horizontally. Recipe below is for one (1) sponge

  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • 175g sugar
  • 3 free-range eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 175g self-raising flour
  • 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons milk
  • powdered sugar for dusting


  1. Pre-heat oven to 350˚F
  2. Sift flour, cornstarch and baking powder into a bowl and set aside.
  3. Grease and line 9inch spring-form round baking tin.
  4. Cream butter and sugar together until pale and a super creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing in-between each addition. If the mixture looks curdled, don’t worry, it will often look like this, it’s perfectly normal.
  5. Add the vanilla essence then the sifted dry ingredients in 2 or 3 additions and fold in gently to combine followed by the milk. When batter is thoroughly combined, pour into your pre-lined spring form pan, spreading out evenly with a small angled spatula, give the tin a light tap on a counter to remove any air bubbles. Bake in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes until the top is golden brown and a skewer comes out clean when inserted into the middle of the cake. Allow to cool in springform pan for 5 minutes before removing and transferring to wire racks to cool completely.
  6. To assemble cake, spread mascarpone cream over the top of the bottom cake and top with the fruit. Cover with the second sponge and liberally dust top with powdered sugar.

Quick notes

recipe adapted from http://www.whatkatieate.com/recipes/limoncello-and-balsamic-strawberry-victoria-sponge-teacake/

Easy Ham and Pea Pasta with Beecher’s Cheese Sauce

It’s Tuesday night. All major proteins are solid as a rock in the freezer and I rummage through the fridge…Huzzah! I remember my mom making ham and pea pasta for my two brothers when I was little. They ate everything in sight and this was probably something she made them before dinner was served. They were growing boys. The point is, this is super fast and easy to whip up.

You begin with a white sauce. I will not scare you by calling it a béchamel, but it really is. Keep reading. A quick melt of butter, whisk in equal parts flour and finish with a cup of milk. Stir in some fine cheese and you have a perfect base to coat pasta or veggies. I also like to add in a couple of swipes of fresh nutmeg using my microplane.

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Definitely seek out a chunk of Beecher’s Flagship the next time you’re at Costco. Having a hearty wedge like this is invaluable for weeknight dinners. Grilled cheese, especially.

pasta pea

Recipe: Easy Ham and Pea Pasta with Beecher’s Cheese Sauce


  • 2 tablespoons of butter
  • 2 tablespoon of flour
  • 1 cup of milk
  • swipe of nutmeg
  • 1 cup of Beechers Flagship Cheese, shredded
  • 1 cup of peas
  • 6-10 thick slices of black forest ham, cut into cubes
  • 3/4 lb fusilli pasta, cooked


  1. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat
  2. Whisk in flour until it gets a little nutty color to it
  3. Slowly pour the milk into the pan, whisking feverishly so that no lumps of flour remain. Continue until all the milk is gone
  4. Turn the heat to low, add in the Beechers Cheese and stir to combine
  5. Taste for seasoning and add in kosher salt, ground pepper and nutmeg
  6. Add the ham, peas and pasta
  7. Done!

Quick notes

You may wish to reserve some pasta water to thin out the cheese sauce if you find it comes out too thick once everything is combined.


Kale Caesar Dressing

Errrrrrrrbody is on the kale bandwagon these days it seems. It kind of makes me mad that some food editors and magazines are saying that kale has “had its 15 min” or “kale is out.” Oh KALE no, its not out, its delicious and I am forever stuck on kale smoothies and salads. Mixing in soups, sautéing with garlic, red pepper flakes, and finishing with chicken stock…yes please.

Today I wanted to just bang out a quick lunch for T because he was working from home today. This salad is obviously really versatile and you can throw whatev in with the kale. I chose pomegranate arils. I love the tiny pops of color against the dark green of the kale leaves. Pomegranate arils are like edible jewels. For some reason, I also feel compelled to say that hummingbirds are fairies. Random, but think about it. Whimsy! Now look at this albino aril:


With regards to the salad prep, I want to briefly share with you one of my favorite kitchen items. We have all become familiar with my vitamix. Now, I present to you: the Mini Food Processor! It comes in so many cute colors and I actually need a new one of these. I have had mine for almost 5 years, so its a little beat up, but t still does the job. How cute is the Pink Champagne one in the link? Papaya caught my eye too.

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This guy is amazing when it comes to making smaller portions of anything;  like salad dressing, grinding nuts, chopping a small amount of veggies for meatballs, ect. There are so many uses. For salad dressing, the coolest feature is the ability to slowly stream in olive oil to create that emulation for a creamy, dreamy dressing. I don’t know if the holes at the top of this thing are meant for that (maybe its for air circulation?) but I certainly use it for emulsifying.

I used Trader Joe’s organic bagged kale for this salad. So easy! The dressing is adapted from Tartine Bread.

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Recipe: Kale Caesar Dressing

Summary: Kale Caesar Dressing


  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 6 olive oil-packed anchovy fillets or a hearty squeeze of anchovy paste
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • Salt
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice, plus more to taste
  • 1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1-2 tablespoons parmigiano reggiano, plus more to finish


  1. Place the garlic, anchovies and lemon zest in your mini processor and bland to make a thick paste. Add the egg yolk, a pinch of salt and a few drops of the lemon juice and mix thoroughly. With the blender motor running, add ½ cup of the olive oil through the top of the machine, to create a smooth emulsion. Blend in the remaining cup of olive oil in a slow stream. (The dressing will thicken.) Periodically add the remaining lemon juice. When all the oil is incorporated, season the dressing to taste with additional salt, lemon juice, and a tablespoon or so of ground parmigiano reggiano. I had some rotisserie chicken that I shredded and tossed on top too. You could put salmon on there as well.


Nellebee’s Green Smoothie

Prior to my wedding, I didn’t own a vitamix super blender. I shall refer to that era as “the depression.” Let me also say, that I didn’t receive the vitamix as a straight gift. So before you egg my car, know that I had to scrimp and save for this blender beast. Through a combination of Williams Sonoma gift cards, cash, and my wedding registry completion discount, I was able to call this guy my own. It is truly worth it to have a machine like this in your arsenal. I know they also sell them at Costco, so if you are THINKING about getting one, YOLO. Please. YOLO. you can’t make shit with an Oster Blender that can barely manage to taco-time some ice. I can grind flour with this. Think about it. People in the New Stone Age used to grind  flour by hand and now, we, as a people, can grind it in the comfort of our own homes while watching the Kardashians and drinking day wine.

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Ok, weren’t we going to make a smoothie? I finally got into smoothies, as opposed to straight green juices, after being introduced to my local juicery; The Juicy Cafe. I should say smoothie, because its the only smoothie I have had there. Usually, I find them full of sugar and i prefer the straight shot of nutrients of a juice. This simple green smoothie, has piqued my interest and held tight ever since. Some mornings when I am rushed, I can just get a handful of almonds in my pocket and eat them as I go. I cannot stress enough about getting the dry roasted almonds. I buy them in bulk at QFC. During “the depression” I would eat regular, raw almonds. They are bupkis compared to toasty, roasty ones. Enjoy!

green drink

Recipe: Nellebee’s Green Smoothie


  • Soy Milk
  • 2 Bananas
  • 2 Handfuls Whole Roasted Almonds
  • 4 Cups Baby Spinach, or as much as you can cram in
  • Ice


  1. Place all ingredients into the Vitamix container in the order listed and secure lid.
  2. Select Variable 1.
  3. Turn machine on and slowly increase speed to Variable 10, then to High.
  4. Blend for 35-40 seconds or until mixture is smooth, add more soy milk to thin out as needed

Number of servings (yield): 2


vita before

vita after

Pretzel Bites with Pepperjack Mornay Sauce

Poppable food. There isn’t anything better. I decided on these pretzel bites for New Years Day/Football watching. I knew they would be paired well with beers and the pan of nachos that always seems to appear on football marathon days like this.

This dough is ridiculously easy to make. Do not be intimated just because you have to make a dough! There won’t be any kneading, as you can use your trusty ‘ol Kitchenaid mixer for this recipe. I know you have one. Maybe you have not used your dough hook, but it really is a lifesaver, so dig it out!

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Essentially, you will make a quick dough, let it rise, roll it out and cut it. It was at this point that I stopped and put all the cut up pretzel bites in the freezer. This made it super easy for me to pull them out the next day and quickly cook them. I looked like a badass, if I do say so myself?

The cheese sauce comes together so quickly as well. I made it while the bites were in the oven, and they only take 10-12 min to cook! It starts with a standard béchamel, and becomes a mornay sauce, with the addition of cheese. By making this recipe, you will have made two real french sauces! The béchamel is a mother sauce, which means its one of the 5 sauces in which all other classic French sauces are derived from – Hollandaise/mayonnaise, Espagnole, Veloute, Béchamel, and Tomato sauce.

finished bites

Recipe: Pretzel Bites with Pepperjack Mornay Sauce


  • 1 1/2 cups warm (110 to 115 degrees F) water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 package active dry yeast
  • 22 ounces all-purpose flour, approximately 4 1/2 cups
  • 2 ounces unsalted butter, melted
  • Vegetable oil, for pan
  • 10 cups water
  • 2/3 cup baking soda
  • 1 large egg yolk beaten with 1 tablespoon water
  • Pretzel salt


  1. Combine the water, sugar and kosher salt in the bowl of a stand mixer and sprinkle the yeast on top. Allow to sit for 5 minutes or until the mixture begins to foam. Add the flour and butter and, using the dough hook attachment, mix on low speed until well combined. Change to medium speed and knead until the dough is smooth and pulls away from the side of the bowl, approximately 4 to 5 minutes. Remove the dough from the bowl, clean the bowl and then oil it well with vegetable oil. Return the dough to the bowl, cover with plastic wrap and sit in a warm place for approximately 50 to 55 minutes or until the dough has doubled in size.
  2. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Line 2 half-sheet pans with parchment paper and lightly brush with the vegetable oil. Set aside.
  3. Bring the 10 cups of water and the baking soda to a rolling boil in an 8-quart saucepan or roasting pan.
  4. In the meantime, turn the dough out onto a slightly oiled work surface and divide into 8 equal pieces. Roll out each piece of dough into a 24-inch rope. Cut into bite sized pieces with a sharp knife.
  5. At this point, you can freeze the bites on a sheet pan (then transfer to a plastic bag when they’re frozen. You can cook them from frozen by continuing on to step 6), or continue to cook them now;
  6. Place the pretzel bites into the boiling baking soda water (it will bubble up, but its fun!), for 30 seconds. Remove them from the water using a large flat spatula. Return to the half sheet pan, brush the top of each pretzel with the beaten egg yolk and water mixture and sprinkle with the pretzel salt. Bake until dark golden brown in color, approximately 12 minutes.

I would have loved to make this sauce with the bites, which makes quite a bit, so you could have leftovers to pour over broccoli, pasta, ect.

Here is the quick sauce I made with Pepperjack Cheese, a bit of butter, milk, and flour;

Recipe: Pepperjack Mornay Sauce


  • ½ Tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ½ Tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup milk
  • 8 ounces Pepperjack cheese, grated


  1. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook 1 minute. Whisk in the milk and cook until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in the cheese until smooth and all of the cheese is melted. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.

Miso Glazed Black Cod

MISO Hungry.

I found myself at Metropolitan Market YET again. This time, I was seduced by a $3.00 cookie which was labeled “shareable” (riiiight) and some expensive fish. $21/lb is pretty extravagant, but it’s worth it, especially with this recipe. You don’t need to buy 45 other ingredients in addition to the twenty spot you just spent on fish.

I really do want to start eating more fish in 2014, but I find myself being a little b about where I buy my oceanic supper. A lot of times, QFC just makes me queasy. I will buy wild salmon there occasionally or shrimp, but I am hesitant to try any new fish there like I did with the Black Cod. I just have this vivid memory of this workers there packing up the fish for the night and knowing that it was going to live in some freezer and then laid out the next 7 days with some wilted kale surrounding it. Newsflash, kale does not exist in the sea. Also, can you replace the kale so it doesn’t look like it just came out of a sweaty, hot sock?

There is something about Metropolitan Market and Whole Foods that just makes me think they have their fish storage down pat. They always offer interesting varietals of fish, like the black cod, and usually have some whole fish too, which I like to see. I wish I had time to go to a dedicated fish market once a week. Maybe I do and I just realized it now. Dammit.


Recipe: Miso Glazed Black Cod


  • 1/4 cup white miso paste
  • 1/4 cup sake
  • 2 tablespoons mirin
  • 2 teaspoons soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 4 black cod filets or a 1 lb piece


  1. Whisk together miso, sake, mirin, soy sauce, oil, and sugar. Rub mixture over every surface of the filets. Transfer to a plastic ziplock bag or sealable container. Marinate for about 30 minutes or up to two days.
  2. Adjust broiler rack to 4 inches from heat source and preheat broiler to high. Cover a small sheet pan with aluminum foil. Place black cod filets skin side-down on pan. Broil until top surface is well charred and a thin skewer inserted into black cod shows no resistance at all when piercing through layers of flesh, about 10 minutes. Shield with small aluminum foil if getting charred
  3. When fish is cooked, carefully remove pin bones with a pair of tweezers (there should be no resistence), and serve immediately.





Black and Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Squash, Pepitas, and Pomegranate

This is a beautiful salad that is perfect for a special occasion or just dinner tonight! The combination of the black and wild rice make all of the other ingredients pop, so it really looks just splendid on the dinner table. Black rice can be found at your regular old QFC, but its usually labeled “forbidden rice”. Also, did  you know that wild rice is a grass?! My friend Kari did, but it was because she went to WSU and they teach that stuff out there.

The original recipe calls for micro greens and roasted and salted pistachios. I didn’t have time to source any tiny, hydroponic greens, so I just omitted the greens and subbed the pistachios for pepitas. I had meant to use some baby arugula, which would look nice in this dish as well.


Recipe: Black and Wild Rice Salad with Roasted Squash, Pepitas, and Pomegranate


  • 1½ cups black rice
  • ½ cup wild rice
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, cut into pieces
  • ½ cup olive oil, divided
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • 2 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup pomegranate seeds
  • 1 cup baby arugula
  • ½ cup pepitas (pumpkin seed)


  1. Preheat oven to 450°. Cook black rice and wild rice in a large pot of boiling salted water until tender, 35–40 minutes; drain and rinse, shaking off as much water as possible. Don’t be afraid…the cooking water will turn black and you will feel like you are making a witches brew.
  2. Spread the rice out on a rimmed baking sheet and let cool.
  3. Meanwhile, toss squash with ¼ cup oil on another baking sheet; season with salt and pepper. Roast, tossing once, until golden brown and tender, 20–25 minutes; let cool.
  4. Whisk vinegar, honey, and remaining ¼ cup oil in a large bowl. Add black rice and wild rice, squash, scallions, pomegranate seeds, arugula, and pepitas; season with salt and pepper and toss to combine.
  5. note: I found this video useful when de seeding my pomegranate. fast forward to 1:26, because this guys is really chatty http://lifehacker.com/5895852/deseed-a-pomegranate-in-10-seconds-using-a-wooden-spoon



Parisian Chocolate Orange Mousse

Warm wishes to all!

I was looking for a good dessert to make for a holiday party and this came to mind. I knew that someone else was going to bring cupcakes, so I was stonewalled against making these cute gingerbread cakes, topped with dark chocolate sauce. Basically an inverted cupcake.


I pulled out a cookbook that T had gotten me for Christmas a few years back. The very same holiday in which he presented me with a BLUE Le Creuset batter bowl. Doesn’t everyone know my color is red?? First world problems galore.

I digress. Making mousse is kinda a calorie burning endeavor, unless you lick the bowl…or eat any mousse. This recipe has you folding in egg whites and whipped cream, so you better call Jennifer Aniston if you don’t have the biceps. Arms are the new face, you know.


Recipe: Chocolate Orange Mousse


  • 6 ounces good semisweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2 ounces good bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/4 cup Grand Marnier
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 8 extra-large eggs, at room temperature, separated
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
  • Pinch kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup cold heavy cream
  • Whipped Cream
  • Supremed orange segments, drained, for the top


  1. Combine both chocolates, orange liqueur, 1/4 cup water, and the vanilla in a heat-proof bowl. Set it over a double boiler (pan of simmering water) just until the chocolate melts. Cool to room temp. Whisk in the orange zest and butter in chunks until combined.
  2. Place the egg yolks and 1/2 cup of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on high speed for 4 minutes, or until very thick and pale yellow. With the mixer on low speed, add the chocolate mixture. Transfer to a large bowl. I mean LARGE. You want to have ample room to do your folding.
  3. Place 1 cup of egg whites, salt, and 1 tablespoon of the sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Beat on high speed until firm but not dry. Whisk 1/4 of the egg whites into the chocolate mixture; then fold the rest in carefully with a rubber spatula.
  4. Without cleaning the bowl or whisk, whip the heavy cream and the remaining tablespoon of sugar until firm. Fold the whipped cream into the chocolate mixture. Pour the mousse into individual dishes (I used week tulip jars) or an 8-cup serving bowl. Chill and decorate with whipped cream and oranges. Serve with extra whipped cream on the side.



IMG_3539 melted choc

zest in choc


Pear, Toasted Hazelnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Champagne-Cranberry Vinaigrette

So, I had some blue cheese…in my fridge. I wanted to use it all up and the first thing that came to mind was Barefoot’s Blue Cheese Soufflé. I honestly contemplated making it as I had all the ingredients. However, T was working late and then I came back to reality and realized I should not be making a soufflé that needs to be eaten immediately and serves 4 adults. It seriously is a great diner with a crisp green salad on the side. That’s another post.

This recipe is interesting because you make the dressing in a pan on the stove in order to make the cranberry sauce more manageable. Oh, I also had some leftover cranberry sauce from Thanksgiving. Isn’t this divine?! The ceramic mold is from Williams Sonoma and my sister and I begged my dad to get them one year. Now, its a tradition to make whatever cranberry recipe in this signature WS ceramic mold. Alas, I can’t find it online anymore so you best be poppin some tags at Goodwill to find it.


Recipe: Pear, Toasted Walnut and Blue Cheese Salad with Champagne-Cranberry Vinaigrette


  • 1/2 cup chopped hazelnuts
  • 1/2 cup crumbled Blue Cheese
  • 1/2 cup Champagne Vinegar
  • 1/2 cup jellied cranberry sauce
  • 1/4 cup minced shallots or red onions
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and ground black pepper
  • 6 cups mixed lettuce greens
  • 2 pears, cored and diced
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries, dried sour cherries, or currants
  • 1-2 Flat Chicken Breasts (just pound these thin, S&P and sauté. Let rest and then slice on a bias)


  1. Toast hazelnuts in a small skillet over medium heat (it will take about 3 minutes).
  2. In a small saucepan, combine Champagne vin, cranberry sauce, shallots, Dijon mustard and oil.
  3. Whisk together.
  4. Set pan over high heat and bring to a boil. Simmer until reduced to about 1/3 cup (about 5 minutes).
  5. Remove from heat and season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  6. Place greens in a large bowl.
  7. Top with pears, toasted hazelnuts and dried cranberries/cherries/or currants.
  8. Drizzle over cranberry vinaigrette just before serving. Blammo! 

salad stuff

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