In Category: ‘In The Kitchen’


For Christmas last year, Chris bought me an ice cream maker and Jenis Splendid Ice Creams at Home.  Best.Gift.Ever.  I spent months stocking our fridge with every ice cream imaginable.  There was so much ice cream this winter!   Then, I took a little break.  Ice Cream overload.  Now, with it being so hot during the day, I pulled the ice cream maker out of hiding and put it to work.  So good.  So fresh.  So delicious.  I’ll never buy ice cream again!

Italy 115 Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

Italy 116 Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

Italy 117 Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

Italy 118 Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

Italy 119 Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

Italy 120 Cherry Chocolate Ice Cream

I wish I had a finished product photo… but we ate it.

The Milkiest Chocolate Ice Cream in the World, with Cherries

Makes 1 Quart

Ice Cream

1 Cup Whole Milk

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch

2 ounces bittersweet chocolate

1 1/4 cups heavy cream

1 cup evaporated milk

2/3 cup sugar

2 tablespoons light corn syrup

1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt


Sugar-Plumped Cherries

1 cup dried cherries

1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon water

1/2 cup sugar

Make the Cherries – Put the cherries in a heatproof bowl. Combine the water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.  Pour the syrup over the fruit and let cool to room temperature.  Refrigerate until chilled. The fruit will keep for up to one month in the refrigerator.

Prep -  Mix 2 tablespoons of the milk with the cornstarch in a small bowl to make a smooth slurry.  Chop the cholate and put it in a medium bowl.  Fill a large bowl with ice and water.

Cook – Combine the remaining milk, the cream, evaporated milk, sugar and corn syrup in a 4-quart sauce pan, and bring to a rolling boil over medium high heat. Add the cocoa, whisking until it is incorporated, and continue boiling for four minutes.  Remove from the heat and gradually whisk in the cornstarch slurry.  Bring the mixture back to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring with a heatproof spatula, until slightly thickened, about 1 minute.  Remove from heat.

Chill – Gradually whisk the hot milk mixture into the chocolate.  Add the salt and whisk until the chocolate is melted and incorporated.  Pour the mixture into a 1-gallon Ziploc freezer bag and submerge the sealed bag in the ice bath.  Let stand, adding more ice as necessary, until cold, about 30 minutes.

Freeze – Pour the ice cream base into the frozen canister and spin until thick and creamy.  Pack the ice cream into a storage container, adding the drained cherries in layers and seal with an airtight lid.  Freeze in the coldest part of your freezer until firm, at least 4 hours.

Note – I buy my storage containers at Surfas.  This recipe fills two of the pint sized containers.


I usually don’t eat a big lunch.  I work from home, so I tend to graze… eating a bit here, a bit there, never really making a meal for myself.  But one day, I felt like pizza.  And while I didn’t want to eat pizza, I really did want to eat pizza.  Catch me?  So, I dug around to see what we had, threw this in the oven and have literally been eating it every day since.  That was almost two weeks ago.

It’s so simple I feel a little bit silly even writing it as a recipe.  That’s ridiculous.  But it’s so good, so simple, so delicious, that I couldn’t not share it!   You will feel like you created something amazing, when in actuality you layered some stuff and let it melt.  But isn’t that what it’s all about… taking the super simple and creating amazing?!

I love to eat it with a little bowl of fresh berries.  They are so delicious right now!  The blackberries are absolutely incredible.  I haven’t added fresh basil yet, but I bet that would be incredible as well!

pizza 2 The Best, Easiest, Most Delicious Lunch

Pita Pizza

1 Whole Wheat Pita

Goat Cheese

1/2 Roma Tomato

A handful of olives

salt/pepper/oregano/olive oil


Pile everything on top of the pita.  Broil for five minutes.  Eat.


It grows out of control!  These pictures were taken just about one month after this first round, but everything has grown so much more than I ever expected!   There are teeny little grapefruits, tomatoes, zucchini, strawberries, corn and squash.  Almost everything is flowering, just waiting for the little fruits to sprout through!  I think the squash is the most surprising… it’s ENORMOUS.  HUMONGOUS.  I literally trim it back a few times a week so that it doesn’t completely cover the plants surrounding it.  They’re not joking when they suggest planting a few feet apart.  I did not do that.

There was a little problem with the mint, whereby we tweaked the watering system and it didn’t get watered for a bit.  So it nearly died, but it’s bouncing back icon smile How Does Your Garden Grow?

Other than that, I’m not really sure what I’m doing, but it seems to be working.  Water.  Sun.  Love.



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Garden2 104 How Does Your Garden Grow?

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Garden2 112 How Does Your Garden Grow?


One of the best things about Farm Fresh to You is trying new things.  There’s usually one or two things that I wouldn’t necessarily buy at the farmers market.  But, once it’s in my fridge, I’m kind of required to make an attempt at it.  Rhubarb is one of those things.  It’s kind of a vegetable, but it’s sweet.  But it’s also tart.  It’s weird looking.  I’ve only really heard of it in pies.  I just don’t really know how to handle it.  And it popped up in the last two boxes… so we are overflowing with rhubarb around here!

So, I did a quick search on Pinterest (where I find anything that I would ever need in my life) and I found the Smitten Kitchen recipe for Rhubarb Streusel Muffins.  Heaven.  Literally, heaven.  They’re light and fluffy with just the right amount of sweetness.  I eat them for snacks.  For breakfast.  For dessert.  So.Good.

muffins 001 Rhubarb Streusel Muffins

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My friend Jess has the best book recommendations.  All books… novels, biographies, cooking.   And when she bought me Dorie Greenspans Around My French Table, I knew I was in for a good time.  It’s big and solid, something I adore in a cookbook.  And the pictures are so gorgeous.  And the recipes, so easy! And, well, it’s French.  Anything French and I’m all about it.

When my parents were in town a few weeks ago I made her gorgonzola-apple quiche.  It was perfect for breakfast after their 7 am flight.   Ahh!  So good!  Enjoy!

quiche 043 Apple Gorgonzola Quiche

quiche 044 Apple Gorgonzola Quiche

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quiche 047 Apple Gorgonzola Quiche

Gorgonzola-Apple Quiche

From Around My French Table, Dorie Greenspan


1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

Salt and freshly ground white pepper

1 9-9.5 inch tart shell made from Tart Dough, partially baked and cooled

1/2 small apple (a tart-sweet apple, such as Empire or Gala), peeled, cored, and cut into small dice

2 ounces Gorgonzola dolce

2/3 cup heavy cream

2 large eggs


Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with a silicone baking mat or parchment paper.

Melt the butter in a small skilled over low heat and toss in the onion, Season the onion lightly with salt & pepper.  Remember, the Gorgonzola will be salty!  Cook until it is very soft but not at all colored, about 10 minutes; remove from heat.

Put the tart shell on the lined baking sheet. Spread the onion, with whatever butter remains in the pan, evenly over the bottom of the crust.  Scatter the apple over the onion.  Cut the Gorgonzola into small cubes and scatter it over the onion and apple.  Beat the cream and eggs together until well blended, season with salt and white pepper, and pour into the tart shell.

Gently slide the baking sheet into the oven and bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until the filling is uniformly puffed (wait for the center to puff), browned and set.  Transfer the quiche to a cooling rack and allow it to cool and gather itself for 5 minutes or so.

Carefully remove the sides of the pan and slide the quiche onto a platter if you want to serve it hot, or onto a rack if you want to cool it.  Serve hot, warm, or at room temperature.


I don’t really have a green thumb.  I have brown thumbs.  No, I have black thumbs.  I’m really not so good at gardening and spend a lot of money to kill beautiful plants.  But, I’ve been working on it.  Working really hard on it actually.  Because I am obsessed with green backyards.  Lush and full of life.  I want to sink down into my backyard and be absolutely intoxicated by the delicious smells and pretty foliage.  So, I’ve been reading.  And researching.  And finding the absolute best way to keep things alive.  It mostly entails good soil.  And water.  And that’s it.  Ha!

I knew I wanted a lot of the backyard to be edible.  If I’m going to spend all this time and money on plants, I want to be able to eat them.  And it’s all organic.  And so pretty.  And I have such a sense of accomplishment that, not only is it not dying, it’s thriving!  And sprouting little flowers and fruits.  Pretty sure I couldn’t be prouder!

A few weeks ago Chris & I built three raised beds.  Because our backyard is mostly sand and clay, and I didn’t want to spend my entire life getting it all garden ready, we thought this would be the best way to go.  They’re super simple boxes with open bottoms.  Then filled with dirt.

Star Jasmine & corn.  Last year I killed the corn.  Hopefully this year will be better!

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Peaches & Eggplant.

gardening 033 Attempting to Grow Things

Mint & the very beginnings of Cantaloupe and strawberries.

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gardening 036 Attempting to Grow Things

Squash & Kale

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Tomatoes & Jalapeno & Lavender.  I picked up this tip at the nursery while listening to two other ladies shop together.  Apparently if you plant jalapeno next to a tomato plant, it will keep the bugs away.   So far, it’s looking really good!

gardening 038 Attempting to Grow Things

Grapefruits!   We planted this tree a few years ago and haven’t gotten a huge return on it yet.  But this year is looking oh so good.

gardening 039 Attempting to Grow Things

Apples & Brocolli

gardening 040 Attempting to Grow Things

Oregano & Basil

gardening 041 Attempting to Grow Things

gardening 042 Attempting to Grow Things

May 2, 2012 Sourdough Bread


I have an unhealthy obsession with bread.  I can literally eat it every single day, for every single meal, and for a few snacks in between.  French bread, sourdough bread, wheat bread, white bread, olive bread.  Really, all the breads. It’s a problem!

So, I really wanted to learn how to make my own.  I started with a pretty simple French Bread recipe that my mom sent me.  And it’s incredible!  But then, I was sitting at my favorite wine bar, chatting with my favorite wine guy and he let me in on his sourdough secret.  We worked out a little plan whereby I handed over a few pints of homemade ice cream and he gave me two cups of his sourdough starter.

And then, after many many many loaves of decent loaves, I did something different and magic happened.  Honestly, I don’t even know what I did.  But apparently I’ve been doing it steadily, and the results make me so happy.  And fat.  Fat & Happy.

So, here’s the only issue with making sourdough bread from a starter.  It takes FOREVER.  Nearly twenty four hours.  So, it takes some planning, but it’s well worth it!

French Bread 001 Sourdough Bread

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Brian’s Sourdough Bread Recipe:

7 cups unbleached bread flour (plus more for adjusting / kneading)
2 cups starter
2 1/4 cups water (plus more if needed)
3 tsp. sea salt
1 tsp. barley malt syrup (optional but desirable)

Combine ingredients in a stand mixer bowl with dough hook and begin mixing, paying special attention to the moisture level–after a minute the dough should almost be finished coming together in a ball and this is the point to adjust the moisture one way or the other—you want the dough to just stop sticking to the bottom of the bowl but still be moist—without stopping the mixer try to assess and if necessary adjust  the moisture level—if its still stuck to the bottom add some more flour just to the point that it stops sticking—if it seems too dry dribble some water in, a few drops at a time.  Continue mixing for a total of 5 minutes.

Stop the mixer, remove the bowl with the dough from the mixer and cover for a 20 minute rest.

Remove the dough from the bowl to a floured surface for kneading–the dough should be soft and slightly sticky–hand-knead for two to three minutes adding a minimal amount of flour at the beginning to prevent sticking–until the dough is smooth and not sticky to the touch.  Dust the bowl with flour and return the dough to the bowl and cover (I use a kitchen/foodsafe garbage bag–just put the bowl in the bag and seal it up–they also come in handy in covering odd-shaped items like a tray of baguettes…)

Let the dough rise until fully doubled–usually 8-12 hours depending on the ambient temperature.  Be patient– you can tell when its done by feeling–it should feel flabby, like the arms of a fat baby(?!!)–also if you poke your finger into the dough it no longer has any springback.

Remove dough from the bowl back to a floured surface and gently squish the air bubbles out.  Divide and shape the dough into desired loafs.  Cover and let rise until almost doubled, about 4 hours.   Completely pre-heat oven to 500 degrees (it should be radiating heat) and bake the loafs,  22-25 minutes for baguettes /small rolls or about 30 minutes for large loafs. The color should be a fairly deep brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Cool completely before eating or wrapping.

For Freezing – wrap each loaf completely in tin foil and put it in the freezer. When you’re ready to eat it, heat oven to 350 degrees. Bake the loaves, still wrapped in tin foil, for 30 minutes.  It should taste as good as freshly baked bread!


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