Saturday, November 19, 2011

Never Too Early

I love to cook.  I have for a long, long time.  After I made up my first recipe at 7 years old, I only loved it more.  Now I have a daughter, a beautiful two and a half year old daughter, and she too loves to cook.  "My help, Mama!"  "My cook, Mama!"  "My do it!"

Last night, we made brownies, and Penelope learned how to lick the spoon, and she learned how wonderful it is to lick the spoon.

I love her, even if I didn't take her up on the offer to share the brownie battered spoon after she had had her way with it for awhile.

Jalapeño Bourbon Cranberry Sauce

I was inspired by Bobby Flay on Iron Chef a few years ago and this cranberry sauce has become an addition to our yearly Thanksgiving feast.  It may sound odd.  It may be a bit scary.  I encourage you to try it.

Cranberry Bourbon Vanilla Jalapeño Sauce

1 bag cranberries (I like to add a few extras, like a third of a bag or so)
1/3 cup water
2/3 cup bourbon
1 roasted/seeded/de-veined red jalapeño, finely chopped (these are sometimes called fresno chilies)
         *I usually taste test my chile to make sure it isn't too hot, but the sugar in the sauce tends to counteract    
           the heat
1 vanilla bean
1 cup sugar

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Twisted Lebanese Chicken

As kids, we had a dish called Lebanese Chicken that my mom had learned from a Lebanese friend.  It had great promise but often not a great outcome.  The chicken was overcooked, the potatoes under-cooked, and sometimes it was just a bit bland.  Now don't get me wrong, my parents were A-MAZing cooks, but combining pre-boiled shredded chicken with raw potatoes and baking is a recipe for disaster.

Tonight, I had some CRAZY ideas running through my head for dinner... when scrounging through the cupboards, this can happen.  But my brother and I came up with a plan, and that plan came out well.  I love fixing and twisting childhood dishes.  Don't you?

Tuesday, November 15, 2011


Man oh man, between teaching and being a mom and other things, I haven't been able to blog much of late.  Today's is little, but delicious nonetheless.

Tonight, I was a bit naughty with our vegetables.  You see, we had a potato bar for dinner last night, complete with bacon as a topping, so I absconded with the bacon grease.  GASP!  Not that I'd want to make cooking with that stuff a habit, buuuut...

I had some beautiful asparagus tonight.  I wedged an onions, heated the bacon grease, and started the onions cooking.  Then, after snapping the tough ends off of the asparagus, I added that to the party.  It all cooked for about 8 minutes because the asparagus was on the thicker side.  Here it is served:

What is your favorite easy vegetable?  Do you do anything to make it special on occasion?