February 25, 2010

Lemon Bars

To finish off our Valentine's Menu, I made one of AC's favorite desserts - Lemon Bars. Kind of a nice refreshing finish to a meal.

Lemon Bars
adapted from this cook book
1 c butter at room temperature, plus more for pan
1 c powdered sugar
2 cups flour

4 large eggs
2 c sugar
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest (for me, this was about 1 1/2 lemons)
6 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 1/2 lemons as well)
1/3 c flour
1 tsp baking powder

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Grease a 9x13 pan with butter. For crust: In a bowl, cream butter and powdered sugar, scrapping sides of bowl occasionally. Add flour and mix until well blended spread mixture in an even layer on the bottom and sides of the prepared pan. (Watch your corner, they tend to get thick.) Bake crust until lightly brown, about 15-20 minutes. Remove from oven and cool completly on wire rack.
Raise oven temperature to 350 degrees. For filling: Beat eggs until well blended, about 2 minutes. Add sugar and beat until thick. Add lemon zest and juice, flour, and baking powder until well blended and pale yellow. Pour filling into baked, cooled crust. Spread evenly.
Bake until filling is set - firm on edges but still a little soft in the middle, 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool slightly. Using a sifter or seive, dust top with powdered sugar while still warm. Cut into desired size and serve warm.

February 24, 2010

Roasted Asparagus

I love asparagus. Although it isn't really in season right now, it had to be on our Valentine's Menu. It may possibly be my favorite vegetable, plus, its an aphrodisiac. Valentine's Bonus. *blush*
Asparagus is great any way (except canned - why would you do that?!).  But my favorite way is roasted. It may be yours too after you taste this and see how easy it is to make it.

Roasted Asparagus
1 lb asparagus, trimmed
2-3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (it's really important to have the flavor)
Sea salt

Turn broiler on. Toss asparagus with olive oil, making sure each entire spear is covered. Place on baking sheet. Sprinkle with sea salt (to your taste). Place under broiler until asparagus just start to brown, about 7 minutes (varies on size of asparagus). Flip asparagus, place under broiler for another 5-7 minutes, until browned.

February 23, 2010

Rosette Dinner Rolls

For our Valentine's Menu, I tried out a new shape for the rolls. I used my standard recipe for dinner rolls, only formed them into a different shape. I love that about bread. I love playing with my food.
Oh and thanks to Freida who let me know that Rosettes are also called, "love knots!" Perfect for Valentines!

How to Shape Rosette Dinner Rolls: (please ignore my dry old lady hands)

Divide dough in half. Divide that half into 12 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a 12 inch rope. Tie the rope into a loose knot, leaving the ends long. Tuck the end on top underneath the roll and point towards the middle. Bring the bottom end up, and tuck into the center of the roll, see my finger? Place them on great baking sheet, 2-3 inches apart. Let rise and bake as directed. Makes 32 rolls.

February 22, 2010

Have You Heard?

Have you heard about Formspring? If not, that's okay, I just learned about it a couple days ago. Go sign up, start asking questions. It's so fun!


I have a link on my sidebar now so if you have a question, you can click there to ask me anything - and it can be truly anonymous. So don't be embarrassed!

Happy Birthday to Me

We have quite a few February birthdays in our family. Mine was actually on the second, but I just got around to posting about it. My husband was very thoughtful and surprised me with an overnight babysitter (Thanks Grandma) and a night at a nice hotel in downtown Salt Lake City. I also got to do my favorite thing twice that day - try new foods!

For lunch we had Pho at the Pho Noodle House in Orem. It was so good. Plus, it was cheap. This enomous bowl was $7 and my husband and I could have shared.


So fun too - you get to put in what you like (of course for me that means everything - basil, jalapeno, both sauces, cilantro, lime...)
Then for dinner I had Mole at the Red Iguana. I had never had mole before. My husband served a mission for our church in Los Angeles speaking spanish. So a lot of the Latins gave him mole. He said everyone's is a little different. So I asked the waiter if I could try the sauce. I was expecting one sauce - there were at least 6 on the plate. All were delicious and so different. He let me do half and half - Amarillo (the spiciest - proud?) and negro (one of the sweeter, more traditional chocolate.

This was one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. My nose did run, but oh, I loved every bite.

February 19, 2010

Our Valentine's Day

I know it's a little late, but I wanted to share what AC and I had for dinner on Valentine's Day. It is much more fun for us to stay in. (Added bonuses - not worrying about finding a sitter, cheaper, and turned out - this was tastier!)

On our Valentine Menu: Surf and Turf (Ribeye Steak and Shrimp), Roasted Asparagus, Rosette Dinner Rolls, and a Spinach Salad (you can see it in the corner... there was nothing special about it). For dessert we had Lemon Bars. Don't be mad, we didn't have chocolate. But Lemon Bars are my husband's favorite. Stay tuned for all the recipes.
Here is the Surf and Turf for you though:

Steak and Shrimp
2 Ribeye Steaks
3-4 Tbsp Butter
Seasoning Salt
Lemon Pepper
12 shrimp
garlic powder
Lemon Pepper

In a large skillet or grill pan, melt butter. Apply a thin layer or seasoning salt and lemon pepper on the steak, give it a little massage and rub it in. Cook steaks until desired doneness. Let rest for 10 minutes before poking or cutting into it!
Okay, I know that's pretty broad, but it totally depends on how you like your steaks cooked and how thick they are. Here is what I did for a Medium steak: Heat was just between Medium and Medium High. My steaks were 1 inch (ish) thick. And I cooked them for about 5 minutes on both sides. Does that help.
5 minutes after your steak started resting, turn heat back on the skillet to Medium High (don't clean it out, that's good stuff in there!).  Once pan is hot, place shrimp in skillet, stirring for just a minute to pick up those yummy flavors left in the pan. (If it seems kind of dry, add 1 Tbsp of butter.) Flip the shrimp once down side looks white and slightly pink. Remove shrimp as soon as it is white all over.

Okay, more tips: remove your steak from the fridge and bring your steaks to room temperature before cooking - trust me.
Don't move your steak while cooking them except to flip. This gives you nice caramelization. Again, trust me.
If you are a newbie to steak (I am pretty new myself - this was my third steak and my first real success), and are worried about doneness - use a meat thermometer. yes, it is a little poke, but it's much better than cutting a big slice into it.

February 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Lou

My baby turned 1! I can't believe it. This past year went so fast.

My baby butterfly

I had a lot of fun doing her party. I was inspired when I saw this book, Hello Cupcake. They had some beautiful butterflies that looked so fun to make. Of course, they were our first attempt and didn't turn out as good as the book, but I am pretty proud.

What are the cupcakes?:
Wings & antenna - melted chocolate dark and pink (bought at local craft store, pre-colored)
Bodies - 4 brown M&Ms and/or Reese's Peices
Buttercream frosting
Vanilla cupcakes - used this recipe

Tips for assembling:
If you look closely on  some of the butterflies you will notice candies under the wings, this holds them up in flight.
Make extra wings and lots of extra antennas. They may break.

My baby loved them. Can you tell? 

Dear Lou - thanks for the best year of my life. You have made me such a better person. I love you more each day. You are my favorite girl in the world. Kisses!

February 17, 2010

Homemade Pizza

We love homemade pizza in our house. It is so much tastier than from the store or the freezer section. We made our for a party. The perfect food. Who doesn't love pizza. And an added bonus? Everyone gets exactly what they want. One fun party idea: pot luck toppings, everyone bring their favorite. My favorite? Fresh tomatoes. Or maybe caramelized onions.

Pizza Dough
adapted from Bobby Flay
2/3 c lukewarm water
2 1/2 tsp active dry yeast
1/2 tsp sugar
2 Tbsp olive oil, plus more for oiling bowl
1 3/4 to 2 c flour
2 tsp coarse salt

In a bowl stir together 1/3 cup water, yeast, and sugar and let stand until foamy, about 10 minutes. Stir in remaining 1/3 cup water, 2 tablespoons oil, 1 3/4 cups flour, and salt and blend until the mixture forms a dough. Put dough hook on your mixer and knead for a 5-10 minutes until dough looks smooth and doesn't stick to sides of the bowl. You may need to add some more flour. (Add a couple tablespoons at a time.)
Lightly oil the sides and bottom of a large bowl with oil, add the dough, turn to coat in the oil, cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Sprinkle baking sheet with corn meal. Gently punch the dough down and divide into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece on a lightly floured surface into a 10-inch circle that is 1/8-inch thick. Brush off excess flour and transfer the dough to baking sheet. Top with sauce, cheese, and favorite toppings. Bake for 12-15 minutes or until crust is cooked and cheese is melted.

February 15, 2010

How to: Caramelized Onions

Have you ever wondered how to make caramelized onions? Or can't seem to get them just right? Let's see if this helps you. I hope you can get them right, they are a favorite food of mine. I always make more than I need because I eat them plain. They are almost like candy to me.

Caramelized Onions

5 Tbsp butter
2 large onions, thinly sliced
pinch of salt
pinch of sugar

In a saute pan over medium heat, melt butter. Add onions, sprinkle with salt and sugar, and toss in butter. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, for about 20-30 minutes, or until desired color has been reached. If you noticed your onions are starting to brown on the edges, lower the heat. Notice how much they cook down!
 FYI - I halved this recipe because I knew I was going to be the only one eating them.

The thinner you slice your onions, the quicker they will cook (but also your heat may need to be lower because they will brown before they caramelize)
Put caramelized onions on everything - pizza, salad, steak, green beans, any meat (or if your like me - anything).

February 14, 2010

Epicurean Style Winner

And the winner is... Tiffany! who said: "My friend showed me these aprons before and I love them! Such great style! I love your blog too!"

Congrats. Email me (see Contact Me) with your address and if you would prefer the Penelope or Paisley apron and we will ship it out to you! Contact me in 48 hours with your choice and information. If I don't hear from you by then I will draw another name.

February 12, 2010

Valentine's Day Menu Ideas

I still haven't decided what to make for my sweetheart for Valentines Day. I know we are having dinner rolls, asparagus, and Martinellis. But haven't decided the two most important things - main course and dessert. My husband's request - taquitos. No, I am not making tacquitos for Valentine's Day.


If you are like me, here are some ideas to help spark your interest.

Main Course
Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin from Cafe Johnsonia
Chicken Francese from Gina's WW recipes
Grilled Ribeye with Onion Blue Cheese Sauce from Pioneer Woman
If you want to make a good ol' steak - PW has a great tutorial

Side Dish
Hasselback Potatoes
Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Sage Walnuts and Browned Butter  although her blog is now closed, Cafe Johnsonia has left her recipes up for us to enjoy
Roasted Cauliflower with Capers from Rookie Cookie

New York Chocolate Cheesecake
Red Velvet Layer Cake from Bobby Flay
Cupcake Pops from Steamy Kitchen
Heart Shaped Ice Cream Sandwiches from No Biggie
Chocolate Caramel Cookies with Sea Salt from Two Peas in a Pod

Now what should I make?

February 10, 2010

Blueberry Pancakes

I love blueberry pancakes. But I have a confession, I never had them with real blueberries until about 2 or 3 years ago. We always used the dried ones. These blueberry pancakes are like a luxury for us. This could be a really special breakfast for Valentine's Day, or any day!

Blueberry Pancakes
adapted from Better Homes and Garden New Cook Book
1 1/2 c flour
2 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 cup blueberries

In a large bowl combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir well. In a separate bowl (or in my case the measuring cup) combine the egg, milk, and oil. In the bowl with the dry ingredients, make a well (aka pit). Pour wet ingredients into dry ingredient well. Stir until just combined, but still lumpy.
Please! I am begging! Do not use a whisk! Do not over mix! Yucky rubbery pancakes are sure to follow if you do! Okay, sorry, back to the recipe...
Add blueberries. Pour about 1/4 cup batter onto greased skillet. Cook until golden brown. Flip, brown again. Eat immediately! Makes about 8 4-inch pancakes

  • Like I said before, do not over mix, I can not stress this enough (obviously)
  • Use fresh blueberries if they are available. If not, use frozen. Just thaw before using them.
  • If you have a well seasoned griddle or heavy skillet, you don't really need to grease the pan - you will get beautiful looking, even colored pancakes.
  • If your making a large batch, turn oven on to 200 degrees (or whatever your lowest setting is) with a cookie sheet inside. As the pancakes finish cooking, put them on the cookie sheet (in a single layer if possible). This keeps them hot and prevents too much sweat underneath.

February 08, 2010

Giveaway! Epicurean Aprons

I am so excited to announce my first giveaway. I met my friend Michelle in high school - long before she was an entrepreneur. She was always stylish and always creative. I am so excited to giveaway one of these aprons from Epicurean Style.
These fabulous handmade aprons are both reversible and have beautiful fabrics and detailing. I love wearing my aprons for cleaning, crafting, feeding my baby, and of course cooking! You'll look pretty cute in your kitchen with one of these on!

The winner will get to choose between the Penelope or Paisley Apron (worth $58!)
Winner will be chosen by random.org and announced on Monday, February 15.

Want to win an apron? Leave a comment telling me what you love using aprons for before Saturday, February 13th at midnight MST.
For extra entries (leave a comment for each extra entry):
1. Tweet, blog, and/or facebook about this giveaway
2. Add my button to your sidebar

*sorry, this giveaway is now closed, for the winner click here

February 05, 2010

Beautiful Blogger? Me!?

I received my first award! Thank you! Thank you! Jenn from Jenn's Food Journey nominated me.

So there are some rules I have to abide to in order to fully accept this award. First - 7 interesting things about me:
1 - I have been run over, drug behind, and fell out of a car (going 45 mph) and still have never broken a bone
2 - I am a mom by day and a labor & delivery nurse by night
3 - Sometimes I sit and read cookbooks... 
4 - In high school, I was the boys' buddy. I helped them ask my friends out. But it all worked out because I ended up marrying one of my buddies 5 years later.
5 - My parents moved in the summer before my senior year of high school. Instead of taking me with them, kicking and screaming, they let me stay and finish school.
6 - My daughter is a mini-me - red hair, blue eyes, and all. Maybe she'll inherit Redhead Recipes when she is older.
7 - I have been to Hawaii 6 times. My parents moved there (see 5). It is paradise - but mostly when my whole family is there. (and surprisingly enough - my first plane ride was at 18 years old.)

Now- I get to nominate 7 of you!
Hannah from Sherbet Blossom - she's my sister, but I think her posts are inspiring - I want to be a better person when I read them
Marta from Marta Writes - she has a way of showing how beautiful life is.
Melissa from Melissa E Photography - super funny, great photos
Linda from Craftaholics Anonymous - I love her crafts, I am not a crafty person, but her tutorials make me think, "I can do that!"
Jessica from Running with Scissors - she has great projects, but she is also so hilarious!
Whitney from Rookie Cookie - I love her food. Great pictures. I want to try all of her recipes. No, literally!
and Stephanie from The Daily Blarg - my fun twitter friend, she always makes me laugh and is so nice!

If you've been nominated and want to pay it forward, here are the guidelines:
  • Thank the person who nominated YOU.
  • Copy the award and post it you YOUR blog.
  • Link back to the person who nominated you.
  • Share 7 interesting things about yourself.
  • Nominate 7 more bloggers for this award.
  • Post your link to those 7 blogs.

February 04, 2010

Minestrone Soup

You are in luck! Today is homemade soup day! I love soup all year round - even in the summer. In college my roommates thought I was crazy eating soup in August. But it's delicious!
This is a simple Minestrone soup recipe. I didn't do a step by step because basically you dump, stir, dump. Simple enough right?


Minestrone Soup
3 carrots
3 celery stalks
1 small onion
olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
2 cans diced tomatoes
1-2 cans kidney beans
4 cups chicken stock
1/2 lb cooked pasta
1/3 cup chopped parsley (reserve 1 Tbsp for garnish)
Parmesan cheese, for garnish

Chop carrots, celery, and onion into a small dice (The smaller you dice, the faster they cook). Saute in large stock pot with a little olive oil over medium high heat until vegetables are soften. Add garlic and red pepper flakes (if you so desire) and saute for another 2 minutes. Stir in tomatoes (don't drain them), beans (drain and rinse these), and chicken stock. Simmer for 10-15 minutes. Add pasta and parsley. Serve. Garnish with a little fresh parsley and Parmesan. Serves 6.

You can make this a day ahead - gets better with time.
Don't like kidney beans, substitute cannallini beans. (I just like the color of kidney)
Use any shape of pasta - Orecchiette or small shells is what I usually see, but we had bow tie in our house. Use what your family will eat.
I cut my vegetables pretty small and was willing to eat them slightly firm. My soup was ready in 20 minutes! Beat that Rachael Ray! :)

February 03, 2010

What's in Season - February

I slacked last month. Sorry about that. Even though I am a little late this month, I thought I will try to redeem myself. With these cold months here in Utah, we aren't able to get too much locally, but at least we know these are fresh and not shipped terribly far. Thank you warm states for providing us these delicious produce items.

Here's What's in Season for February:

From left to right (kind of):
Rutabaga (just learned the difference between rutabaga and a turnip is a rutabaga is a cross between a turnip and a cabbage)
Brussel Sprouts
Tangerines (and all family members)
and Fennel

Enjoy the freshest produce!

February 02, 2010


For my birthday, and in honor of National Crepe Day, we decided to have Strawberry Crepes for breakfast. They were mighty tasty, if I do say so myself.

1 c flour
1 1/3 c milk
3 eggs
6 Tbsp butter, melted (plus extra for pan)
pinch salt

Combine all ingredients in blender. Blend until smooth. Let batter rest for a few minutes while you prepare your fillings.
Heat an 8-inch nonstick saute pan over medium heat. Brush the pan with melted butter. Pour 1/4 cup batter into the hot pan, twirling the pan so the batter spreads out evenly into a very thin layer. Cook about 30 seconds until the crepe comes away from the sides of the pan. Cook until batter is dry and slightly browned. Transfer to a plate. Fill with whatever you'd like.  Makes about 8 crepes.