Tag Archives: create

Do the (Carrots with Sage and Garlic) Mash.

As promised, a homemade recipe from my Day in the Kitchen: Carrot Mash with Sage and Garlic. I thought for just one hot second about letting you figure it out using that chicken scratch I call shorthand above. But then, I’d also like you to visit again. That said, enjoy my friends.

Carrot Mash with Sage and Garlic
+ Makes…quite a bit
This recipe was one I made up a few months back when I became obsessed with La Cascada’s dips. First, let me say that I like dips. And by dips, I don’t mean spicy Velveeta nacho cheese or sour cream and chive. I’m talking veggie dips. La Cascada’s eggplant dip, spicy zucchini dip, the Mediterranean dip… all good, and all stupidly expensive at my little local grocery. (Let’s just get real: shit there ain’t cheap.) $5.99 for a 4 ounce container that maybe had a two day refrigerator life (because I ATE IT in two days) was starting to lose it’s appeal and possibly get on my husband’s nerves. So I bought a food processor and went on a semi-kitchen adventure to figure out how  I could make the dip at home. What came out of that little rompus was a couple of things – but the best one is below. Carrot Mash. It’s like grown-up baby food. If it makes you feel better to think of it as a pudding, go right on ahead and knock yourself out. You can eat it hot or cold, add butter or not; use it as a dip, or eat it alone. I will tell you that in two days I’ve eaten it over steak, chicken, with vegetables and by itself. I’ve eaten it a lot, and I still love it. In fact, I’ll probably eat it for lunch. Yay for me!

1250 g / 45 oz. carrots, peeled and cut into consistently sized stalks (2″ long and about 1/2″ thick)
2 onions, peeled and sliced
4 grams / 1 oz fresh sage, torn into pieces
6-10 garlic cloves, peeled
*2 TB butter olive oil
**20 oz / 2 1/2 c pureed butternut squash soup
470 g / 2 cans white kidney beans, drained
1 TB butter olive oil (optional)

* I’m lucky enough to live close to Amphora, a shop that sells all kinds of wonderful flavors of olive oil and vinegars. This one, the butter olive oil, is a great alternative to using butter and olive oil. If you don’t have it, that’s ok! Just use regular extra virgin olive oil or butter – whichever you prefer.
** I’m also lucky enough to live near a Trader Joe’s, a Whole Foods and within spitting distance of a small gourmet grocery store. It goes without saying that I have options. The butternut squash soup I used here is from Trader Joe’s. However, you can also use low-sodium chicken  broth or even pureed pumpkin soup. There are a slew of substitutions you can use here, so just play with it.
***For the salt, I used Smoked Salt from Trader Joe’s. It’s just a nice alternative to the regular stuff, but the regular stuff works just fine, too.


  1. Turn oven to 350.
  2. Place parchment paper on two cookie sheets.
  3. Get your food processor from whatever dusty cabinet it’s in and place it on the counter. You should use the metal blade for this recipe.
  4. A container to hold the shit-ton of carrot mash you’ll be making.


  1. In a large bowl, toss your carrots, onions, sage and garlic in the butter olive oil.
  2. Lay your mixture out in one single layer on the cookie sheets.
  3. Cook for 30-45 minutes. Depending on your oven, it may need to be longer. For me, because I have an old Merritt and O’Keefe, I need to turn my sheets around every 15-20 minutes to make sure things are cooked evenly. I also swap my pans (top goes on bottom, bottom goes on top). You may not need to do this, but at the very least, you should turn your carrots over about midway through the cooking process.
  4. Once everything is cooked, take it out of the oven and let it cool slightly. If you need sustenance, feel free to eat some carrots.
  5. Throw 1/3 of the carrot mix into your food processor, along with a 1/3 of the soup and 1/3 of the beans. If you’re going to add the olive oil, add one teaspoon for the first 1/3 of the mix.
  6. Process away until your mix is nice and smooth. I’m okay with there being some course bits in my mash, so you may need to adjust the amount of soup you add to make it as smooth as you want. If you’re still not getting the texture you want, butter or cream never hurt anyone and always helps in these matters.
  7. Remove the first 1/3 of the mix from the processor, place in a large bowl and repeat step 5 and 6.
  8. Once all of the carrots have been processed and are in the large bowl, give them a good mix.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.

Let me stress that you can use this a base for a bunch of different substitutions. Don’t like carrots? Try butternut squash, pumpkin or sweet potatas (that’s potatoes when I say it like I’m from the West coast). Don’t like sage? Use thyme or rosemary – or get wild and try curry. Don’t like garlic? Good luck with that. I’m kidding. Don’t use it, or if you love it, use more. Whatever you do, don’t give up on it. You can make it as high-fat or as low-fat as you want, as creamy or as crunchy as you want – you just have to work with it. And if you do make it, by all means – let me know how it comes out!


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The master of my domesticity.

Here’s the sad truth about my blog: sometimes, I forget it exists. And then some nice friend of mine, who has a better memory than me, will say – hey, when are you going to update your blog? And then I’m all……ohhhhhhh yeahhhhh, the blog. And then I feel kind of like a dummy, because quite frankly, I really enjoy writing and putting my life and humor out there in the universe. What idiot forgets there is something like that in their life?

Me. This idiot.

So anyway. Thank Jesus for a three day weekend and a husband that is all too happy to wash and fold clothes if he can watch episode after uninterrupted episode of whatever is currently available on Netflix. That said, I spent the first time in ages in my kitchen. Like, the entire day. Woah. At the end of the day, I felt like an Awesome Wife. Also, a total Bad Ass. And, like I’d Burned A Lot of Calories Just Standing Around and Stirring Things.

And now, to share my goodies with you…

What magic came out of the kitchen? For starters, I was inspired by a good friend to make a weekly menu. Yes, duh, I know. Saves time and money and people have been doing it for, like, ever. I get it. For my first week, on my first day, here’s what I whipped up:

  • Cilantro Buttermilk Skirt Steak (Everyday Food, June 2012)
  • Carrot Mash with Sage and Garlic (my concoction, which I will eventually give to you…)
  • Early Summer Vegetable Love (adapted, from the Gluten Free Girl blog) with Lemon-Dill Yogurt Sauce (also another homemade concoction and pictured in the Ball jar above)
  • And some crazy good cookies, which…

The main thing that I wanted to make was this batch of cookies. They’d been rolling around in my brain for months. I’d made the Momofuku Compost Cookies a few months back, and good god, they were kind of exhausting. But. The idea of making a cookie that had different textures really intrigued me, so I’d been thinking and thinking and thinking and talking to B. about my idea for a new cookie. There are a couple of recipes I’d like to try, but for the first go-round, it was Lemon Cookies with Freeze-Dried Blueberries made with Lemon Cookie Crust.

 Lemon Cookies with Freeze-Dried Blueberries
+ Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook: Blueberry and Cream Cookies recipe
++ Makes about 18 cookies

225 g / 16 TB butter, at room temperature
150 g / ¾ c granulated sugar
150 g / 2/3 c tightly packed light brown sugar
*100 g / ¼ c glucose
2 eggs
105 g / 1/3 c lemon curd
Lemon peel from one small lemon
320 g / 2 c flour
2 g / ½ tsp baking powder
1.5 g / ¼ tsp baking soda
6 g / 1 ½ tsp kosher salt
½ of the total recipe of Lemon Cookie Crust (recipe below)
**100 g / ¾ c freeze dried blueberries
105 g / 1/3 c lemon curd
***Granulated honey (optional)

* Unless you’re some kind of kitchen guru, you probably don’t have glucose laying around. If needed, substitute 35 g / 2 TB light corn syrup.
** Freeze dried blueberries can be found at Amazon.com or Trader Joe’s.  You can use more or less in the recipe, and you can also try other freeze dried fruit (strawberries, raspberries).
*** Available on Amazon or at Williams Sonoma.


  1. Before you get started, line a cookie sheet with parchment paper and set aside.
  2. Combine the butters, sugars and glucose in the medium bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and cream on medium high for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the eggs, and beat for 7-8 minutes. Eggs should be added one at a time.
  4. Reduce the speed to low and add the lemon curd and lemon peel. Mix until just incorporated.
  5. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Mix until the dough comes together, no longer than 1 minute. Don’t over-mix the dough by walking away from the mixer during this step! Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
  6. Back on low speed, add the Lemon Cookie Crust and mix until it’s incorporated, no more than 30 seconds. Add the freeze-dried blueberries, mixing for 30 seconds. Be careful not to mix the berries for   too long – otherwise, they’ll end up a powdered mess in your dough.
  7. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add in the final 1/3 c lemon curd and fold in gently using a spatula. Don’t mix the curd all the way into the dough – it should be like a “swirl” of curd throughout the dough.
  8. Using a 2 ¾ ounce ice cream scoop (or a 1/3 c measure), portion out the dough onto the parchment lined cookie sheet.
  9. Sprinkle the cookies with the granulated honey. Use as little or as much as you’d like. Pat the tops of the cookie domes flat.
  10. Wrap the cookie sheet in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least one hour, or up to 1 week. Do not bake your cookies from room temperature.
  11. Heat the oven to 350.
  12. Arrange the chilled dough a minimum of 4” apart on a parchment-lined cookie sheet (or, use a Silpat). Bake for 18 minutes, turning once at the midway point. The cookies will puff, crackle and spread. After 18 minutes, they should be very faintly browned on the edges and still bright yellow in the center. I recommend baking one test cookie to make sure the heat and timing are right for your oven.
  13. Cool the cookies completely on the cookie sheet before transferring. At room temperature, the cookies will keep fresh for 5 days; in the freezer, they’ll keep for 1 month.

Lemon Cookie Crust
+ Adapted from Momofuku Milk Bar Cookbook: Graham Crust recipe
++ Doubled this recipe without a problem

190 g / 1 ½ c lemon cookies (used Trader Joe’s Meyer Lemon Wafer Cookies), crushed
20 g / ¼ c milk powder
25 g / 2 TB sugar
3 g / ¾ tsp kosher salt
*5 g granulated honey
*2.5 g dried Meyer lemon peel (you can also use fresh lemon peel)
55 g / 4 TB melted butter
55 g / ¼ c heavy cream

* Available on Amazon or at Williams Sonoma.


1. Toss the lemon cookie crumbs, milk powder, sugar, salt, honey and lemon peel with your hands in a medium bowl to even distribute your dry ingredients.
2. Whisk the butter and heavy cream together. Add to the dry ingredients; use a fork to incorporate the wet mixture into the dry. The mixture should be small clusters and should hold its shape if squeezed tightly in the palm of your hand. If it doesn’t hold together, melt an additional 14 to 25 g (1-1 ½ TB) butter and mix it in.
3. Enjoy! Immediately use it in your recipe, or store in an airtight container. The crust will keep fresh for 1 week at room temperature or  for 1 month in the fridge or freezer.

Additional uses for the Lemon Cookie Crust
For one, just EAT IT. Or…
Crust for pies, cheesecake
Topping for yogurt or ice cream
Use in the bottom of cupcakes

Let me know if you decide to give these a go. Up next? If I can make it happen, a cookie version of my Aunt Cle’s famous banana pudding.

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Roasted vegetable galette and strawberry-banana bread.

I don’t know about you, but with everything happening in the world – earthquakes in Japan, Libyan uprisings, kids jumping off the Golden Gate (and I quote) for kicks…do I need to mention Iraq and Afghanistan here (it seems we’ve spent a lot of time on Charlie and Lindsay, and I just want to make sure that we’re all on the same page for the important stuff) – I’m just mentally beat. I don’t want to watch the news, read the paper or look at any website that has anything remotely to do with news, or newspapers or celebrities. That said, foodgawker has been a good getaway for me. Not only is it just page after page of food you want to cook RIGHT NOW, it also links you to dwellinggawker and craftgawker – so you can look at pretty things.


I can’t truly get away from reality, but I can have moments of forgetfulness, of feeling like I’m leaving in a different time pre-allofthosethingsmentionedabove.

That said, I made a galette today – and strawberry-banana bread – because it makes me feel normal to be in my kitchen. Both things turned out really nice, and we even acted like adults and sat at our dinner table to eat and talk about our day and listen to old records. So fancy. And now I’m going to share them with you…

Click here for the roasted vegetable galette recipe. Something to note about this recipe is that it’s very flexible – use whatever vegetables, herbs or cheese you like – and you can bet it’ll still taste like a million bucks.


Click here for the strawberry-banana bread. This recipe is crazy-easy. If I make it again, I’d like to add this crunchy N’Dizi topping, found on Liv Life.

Ready? Set? Run to your kitchens! And enjoy your Saturday.

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Food bites.


I’m aware that I was supposed to write up my Roadtrip Day 2 blog post, like, three weeks ago. I’m also aware that I haven’t done that. What I’m not aware of? Where the hell the time went (scratches head). Three weeks just gone. Like that. Poof. I’ve no idea what happened. I wish I could blame the weather – but………I can’t. I live in the Bay Area, where it is shamelessly sunny. I also wish I could blame work – but………….I can’t. I’ve been busy, but not that busy. So I’ve got no reasonable explanation for not doing what I said I would. None. 

However, I’m pretty sure none of you were waiting with bated breath. 

So. In the meantime, while I figure out what I’ve been doing, exactly, for the last three weeks, here are some wonderful recipes I’ve found that I will be trying very soon (and if you happen to try them first, let me know how they turned out!):

  • Cherry Pie from Dinner: A Love Story
  • Pull Apart Lemon Coffee Cake by Clockwork Lemon. I saw this and my mouth watered. No lie.
  • Roasted Red Onions with Pomegranate, Orange and Parsley Gremolata by The Bitten Word. Note here, this blog is incredibly fun and has a ton of inspiring recipes and food stories. It’s one of my newfound favorites. As if I needed another newfound favorite.
  • Potato Gratin with Rosemary Crust (also) by The Bitten Word. This one I liked immediately, because it wasn’t asking me to roll out a pie crust. Ugh. As if I have time for that at the end of the day. But you tell me I can use a refrigerated pie crust, and I’m yours.
  • Bacon Caramels by Not Without Salt. Yes, you heard correctly my friend. The caramels actually look pretty gross – like leftover grease that’s hardened – but I say give the bacon a chance.
  • Brown Butter, Bacon and Chocolate Chip Cookies by Mouth from the South. First, I love the name of this blog, because my stepdad is always saying this at get-togethers to whichever kid is being overly rambunctious and talking too much. Second, bacon and chocolate!

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A whole punch of fun.


How many of you saw that edition of Ready Made where they had the Paint Chip Orbs as one of their craft projects? It really was a neat little project. Now, how many of you looked at that and thought to yourself – Wow. That’s amazing. Let me get on that, like, asap.



I thought so. Me either. 

Here’s the thing – my friend, Dolores? Well, she’s the one person I know that did see it, loved it, and made it – and she was nice and patient enough to show me how to make them, too. Once you figure out how to keep your fingers from sticking to the paper, or to each other, and your husband smartly suggests using clothespins to keep the whole dang thing together, creating your very own orb/snowflake/snowball will be incredibly easy. And to show you just how easy, I’ve created a tutorial for you right here.

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Keeping it simple.

I really, really like cute things. Really. I especially like to make cute things. So last week, when I offered to make cupcakes for a first birthday party, I wanted to make them…….ahem………cute. I thought maybe I could learn how to use fondant – overnight! – but that was a terrible idea from the get-go. Then I thought I could make robot designs out of candy – also a terrible idea from the get-go, since the theme was blocks. I had all of these thoughts while also acknowledging that it’s a first birthday party, and how many people are really (really) going to be checking out the cupcakes since they were going to play second fiddle to the main event – the cake, which actually was made to look like wooden blocks?

But still. No one likes to put ugly things on a plate.

Thankfully, I have creative friends who can help me in my moments of need, and this time it was my friend, Dolores. She suggested making pennants out of paper. Duh. Of course. They weren’t blocks, but they were primary colors all the same. And very much like the fancy $12 cupcake sets , I made my own version. At 59 cents (each) for three pieces of paper from Michael’s, and two packages of cupcake liners from Sur La Table, I came in way under $12, and I was able to make 36 (fancy cupcake sets only give you enough for 24). Here’s the final version:

A couple things to note:

  • I used the same s’mores cupcake recipe that I listed below in a previous blog post. People love those things. However, I used a different icing recipe, since I didn’t want to brown the marshmallow. I used this buttercream marshmallow recipe, and it seemed to hold up just fine.
  • I always double-line cupcakes. I just like the way that it looks.
  • I love my mechanical pastry bag, and you would too if you had one. It’s nearly the holidays, so put it on your list.


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The Millie.


Yes, another capelet. This time it’s for Millie, a friend’s niece. I’m pretty happy with it, except that the finishing isn’t finishing the way that I want it to (what I really mean to say is: it’s not perfectly perfect). So yesterday morning, long past the redo/ripping stitches stage of the Millie capelet, while I was on my run, I thought through the entire process of putting it together. And I think I’ve solved the problem. We’ll see. Another post to come.

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Some S’mores.

I pledged last week to make birthday cupcakes for a coworker of mine, and I really wanted to do something different. I mean, fennel cupcakes, although good, don’t say “Happy Birthday” quite like chocolate can. I finally decided I wanted to make S’mores cupcakes, and really and truly, they were easy to make. I used this recipe from Martha-no-last-name-required, with the exception that I didn’t make my own marshmallows. Please. Why make your own marshmallows when they sell perfectly good marshmallow cream in the store? I did use this recipe for Marshmallow Cream Meringue, since I wanted to make sure the topping of the cupcake wasn’t grainy and would last until tomorrow. The recipe was pretty straightforward. I will admit I was a little over-zealous with the marshmallow cream purchase and now we have been forced to make pseudo-meringues with all of the leftover meringue. Life is difficult.

Two quick things to note:

  • You don’t need a kitchen torch to brown the meringue. Just throw those puppies under the broiler and keep an eye on them.
  • I used a piping gun to put the cream meringue on top of my cupcakes, but if you don’t have one of those, just scoop it into a plastic bag, snip the bottom corner off – and go to town.

And ps…apologies for the dark photo. It’s late, and well…it’s dark.

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And a hush fell over the blog…while I finished this:

Well, for one thing, I finally finished the LSU quilt for my stepdad. Let’s not talk about how long it took me to complete that little project. It was my first try at a quilt, so there were a few snafus that I had to get a little creative with. I could only see the problems with it, but he really liked it, so that’s all that matters. No pictures below, because I completely forgot to take any. I’m headed home at the end of the month, so I’ll be sure to snap a few then and share.

Okay, the other project I was working on was my reversible capelet. There are a few things that I want to change, but overall I like the way it turned out. I like that it’s reversible, and I like that it can be worn for more than just a couple of months. Children grow so fast, and clothes are so expensive, it’s nice to make something that will be wearable for a little longer. You can also see below that I finally had my tags made: Pedal Pushers. I’m pretty excited about it.

So. Happy Sunday everyone. It’s a beautiful day here in the Bay Area – hope it’s the same wherever you are.




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Just plain edible.

Edible crayons. Yes, you heard me right. Crayons. Just when you thought it wasn’t safe for your kids to eat their art supplies, it is. Thanks to Luxirare for the beautiful photos above, and for inspiring something that seems so simple and smart. Although there isn’t an actual tutorial or recipe, you can see all of the ingredients are comprised of dried fruits, nuts, seeds (and some of them are bound with MARSHMALLOWS – hello!) ……..the list goes on. If you want to give it a whirl, you can purchase your very own crayon mold here.

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