Icelandic Dark Rye Bread

In Bread, Breakfast / Brunch, Buttermilk, Recipe, Whole-Grain
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Sliced bread tight - Blog 3763

I was so happy to come across this recipe the other day in the latest issue of Saveur Magazine, not just because it looked like a delicious holiday season treat, but also because it allowed me to put some rarely used pantry items of mine to good use.  It turns out that I had everything I needed to make this simple (though not quick) bread, including rye flour and Lyle's Golden Syrup on-hand.  The syrup was left-over from making Anzac Biscuits with the boys some months ago, but for the life of me I can't tell you why I had not one, but TWO bags of rye flour in my pantry.

I do sometimes wonder where all this stuff comes from.... a pantry fairy perhaps?

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Meatball and Mozzarella Tartine

In Basil, Beef, Bread, Cheese, Main Course, Sandwich
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Finished tartine - Blog 3760


Tartines are open faced sandwiches that are found widely throughout France and are one of the things I miss most about living there.  While this is clearly not a very French take on a tartine, it remains true to the soul of the concept in that is a "sandwich" that you eat with a knife and fork.

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Twisted Turtle Bars

In Butter, Chocolate, Coconut, Cookbooks, Cookies - Bars, Cream, Dessert, Nuts, Oats, Peanut, Recipe
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Turtle bars wide 2 - Blog 3754


 I call these "Twisted Turtle Bars" because they are my spin on the classic as presented  by Matt Lewis and Renato Poliafito in their second cookbook, Baked Explorations: Classic American Desserts Reinvented .  I made these to bring to my eldest son and his cronies at college a few weekends back, and decided to modify the original recipe NOT because I thought I could make it any better, but because I didn't have all the ingredients I needed on-hand and so decided to make a few substitutions.

"Turtles" have always been, are now, and will always be candies that are made from caramel, chocolate and pecans.   I love them in a way that is probably unnatural for a grown man, but really what's not to love about them.  They're chewy, crunchy, sweet, and salty...and oh so cute if made properly so that they resemble little turtles with the pecans forming their legs and head.

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Creamed Mushroom Soup

In Butter, Cream, Leek, Main Course, Mushroom, Peach, Recipe, Soup & Stew
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Mushroom soup top - Blog 3750

 When my Mom was laid up sick in bed for a few days last week she was craving not a chicken noodle soup, but rather a cream of mushroom soup.  Not the famed Campbell's from a can version, but something closer to the velvety perfection she remembered enjoying on a cruise we took together many years ago.

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Spinach and Chickpea Curry

In Beans, Cilantro, Curry, Ginger, Main Course, Meatless, Onion, Recipe, Spinach, Tomato, Vegetarian
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Chickpea curry wide - Blog 3741


I made this amazingly flavorful vegetarian meal the other night in about 15 minutes flat.

No, I'm not kidding!

If you are reasonably proficient with a knife and can dispatch the onion and fresh ginger quickly, and have a can of chickpeas and diced tomatoes on-hand, then this is about as quick a meal as you can put on your dinner table.  This is one-pan deliciousness that is super healthy and reheats beautifully for  lunch or as a side-dish the following day.

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Roasted Carrot Hummus

In Beans, Carrot, Cilantro, Cinnamon, Coriander, Garlic, Ginger, Lemon, Middle Eastern, Recipe, Tahini, Vegetarian
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  Hummus wide - Blog 3747


I found this hummus on the kitchn, one of my favorite food and lifestyle blogs and decided to make it as a nibble to serve up with cocktails before the middle-eastern influenced Za'atar Lamb  and Mejadra meal I had a while back.  I'm a fan of hummus of just about every flavor, but normally just make a standard chickpea based spread flavored with either smoky chipotle peppers, olives, or fresh herbs.

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Spiced Mirliton Cake

In Almond Flour, Breakfast / Brunch, Cake, Cardamom, Cinnamon, Eggs, Gluten-Free, Hazelnuts, Recipe
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  Mirliton top - Blog 3744


This little gluten free marvel comes to us courtesy of my friends at Leite's Culinaria.  I made it first in my role as a recipe tester for the site, and then again last weekend as an elegant and super tasty end to a dinner party I was hosting.  I don't know many people with full-blown Celiacs, but I dare say a quarter of my friends are trying to limit their intake of gluten and so a cake like this in my repertoire is most welcomed.

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In Cheddar, Cheese, Chili, Cilantro, Cream, Hors d'oeuvres, Recipe, Sausage, Snacks
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  Choriqueso wide - Blog 3740


There are as many variations on this queso dip as there are sports bars here in the States, and though I am late posting recipes to enjoy during this year's football season due to my inability to watch the Patriots SUCK in early season play; now that they have gotten their act together and are REALLY playing football I thought it high time to share this awesome game day treat.

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Chicken Paillards with Romaine Caesar Slaw

In Cheese, Chicken, Garlic, Greens, Lemon, Main Course, Parmesan, Recipe, Salads
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  Chicken romaine wide - Blog 3738


Leave it to my friends at Cooking Light Magazine to take the ubiquitous chicken caesar salad and turn it on it's head.  This delicious twist on the restaurant staple is a breeze to get on the table and relatively healthy due to a re-working of the traditional caesar dressing to make is so much healthier than the standard mayonnaise based ones that abound.

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Roasted Za'atar Lamb Chops with Mejadra

In Chefs, Cilantro, Cookbooks, Coriander, Herbs, Lamb, Lentil, Main Course, Middle Eastern, Onion, Recipe, Rice and Grains
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  Lamb with Mejhadra - Blog 3735


I made another batch of Mejadra (Mujadra) recently, the awesome middle eastern dish consisting of rice, lentils, gads of spices, and fried onions, and enjoyed it over the course of a week as a dinner side as well as a meatless lunchtime meal.  It's an easy, healthy, and super flavorful dish to keep on-hand to fill in the gaps of a given week's meal plan and it seems to get better with each reheating.  I served up my last left-over portion as a dinner side with some delicious double thick lamb chops that I had in the freezer.  Following the lead of my friends Clay and Zach over at The Bitten Word, I decided to marinate my lamb "post-grilling" as the meat rested in a bowl of za'atar and EVOO.....and it was SO GOOD I almost wept!

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"Oui, Chef" exists as an extension of my efforts to teach my kids a few things about cooking, and how their food choices over time effect not only their own health, but that of our local food communities and our planet at large. By sharing some of our cooking experiences, I hope to inspire other families to start spending more time together in the kitchen, passing on established familial food traditions, and starting some new ones. Read more...
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