Saturday, June 18, 2011


So....   it's been a while and I've neglected the blog for quite some time......   The garden is starting to produce and we're getting really excited.  We've had lots of lettuces which are always a delight and taste so much different that what you find at the grocery store.  Here is our first harvest of carrots, Cosmic Purple and Tonda Di Parigi.  They are both roasting in the oven right now.....

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Cinnamon Chip Scones - Daily Breakfast

It seems that rituals define us as humans.  They are all over the place in our daily life.  There is a very strict morning ritual here in our house that consists of two things.  First and foremost is coffee!!  Strong, Strong, Strong double lattes.  We use a Nespresso Citiz machine and it's the easiest thing in the world, especially considering how excellent the coffee is.  Second are Cinnamon Chip Scones!  Cinnamon chips are only a seasonal grocery item where we live so we have to order them by the case.  Kind of ridiculous, but so worth it.  They are the most requested recipe from visitors to the house.

We use a recipe from Sunny, in Valencia CA.  We do not know her, but we do know her recipe.  Here is a link to the recipe:


How to make it

  • Preheat oven to 375°F
  • Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and sugar in mixing bowl. Cut in butter slowly, mixing well.
  • In a seperate bowl, combine egg yolk, vanilla, and buttermilk. Add to dry ingredients, mixing completely. Stir in cinnamon chips.
  • On a floured surface, pat out dough (with hands) to rounded mound 1/2" thick. Cut into 6 scones, place on ungreased cooking sheet or in a cast iron scone pan.
  • Brush egg white over scones and sprinkle cinnamon sugar, to taste, over scones. Bake 18-20 minutes.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Lemon Tree Dance

I love when the days start to get warmer.  Daffodils start poking up through the ground, I can play outside when I'm not swamped with school work, etc. 

We have two pet lemon trees.  I call them pets because they are the recipients of a great deal of attention from us.  When the weather is nice they go outside for some fresh air.  Usually this means that it's still too cold at night for them to stay out, so back in they come.  Thus the lemon tree dance, back and fourth, in and out, repeat, repeat.

The Lemon trees in their happy spot, outside on the patio, next to the topiary, and the boxwood,  and my favorite thing, the grill.

Sesame Chicken, a lighter version

Since I found my new soy sauce, I had to try it in something......  Sesame chicken sounded really tasty and it's super easy.

Make some white rice, sticky rice is what we like in this house.  We make it in our Zojirushi rice maker.  It's perfect every time.  

Mix two egg whites and 1/4 cup of cornstarch together until smooth.  cube up three chicken breasts or 6 thighs.  Season with salt and pepper and add to egg/starch mixture.  Make a sauce that consists of 2T of sesame seeds, 3T of honey, 2T of soy sauce, and a clove of minced garlic.  Set this aside.  Prepare some broccoli for the steamer and have it ready to go. 

When the rice is almost done saute the chicken in two batches.  The egg white mix will make all the chicken pieces stick together a little bit, so just separate them as you cook them.  A nonstick pan is best for this.  Turn the broccoli on so it starts to steam.  Brown the second batch of chicken and then return the first batch back to the pan.  Thinly slice 4 scallions and add to the chicken.  Also add the sauce that we made earlier. Allow the sauce to simmer for a minute and its done.  Put some rice on a plate then top with the chicken and the broccoli.

This is a great dish because it is not so heavy.  The flavors are simple, fresh, and clean. 

New Find - Real Soy Sauce

I found this Kishibori Shoyu at my favorite store, Sur La Table.  This is real soy sauce!!  Fermented for 2 years in 100 year old cedar casks.  Wow!  Rich and complex, yet not salty.  Everything is in Chinese so I can't tell you anything more about it.....  other than to get some.......
I really enjoy the pristine white paper the soya comes in. 

These are the "instructions/directions" that come with it.

Friday, February 25, 2011

it's Ten o'clock... I just got home from work.... I'm hungry.... Lamb chops are in the fridge

it's Ten o'clock...  I just got home from work.... I'm hungry....  Lamb chops are in the fridge.  I picked up some truffle oil at the store before coming home.  I cut some red potatoes into little fries and tossed them in olive oil and pepper and roasted them at 400 for 30 minutes.  Lamb chops, really they are like miniature porter house steaks, trimmed, coated in olive oil and herbs de provence.  Fresh broccoli in the steamer ready to go.  I grilled the lamb and while it was resting I steamed the broccoli and pulled the fries out of the oven and tossed with truffle oil and truffle salt.  The lamb was perfect.  Flavorful, rich, and just the right amount of lambiness.......  The truffle fries are my secret indulgence.  Steamed broccoli, unadulterated........  sometimes you need some simple to compliment the not so simple.  Once again, simple prevails and is delicious.  Always is.......

Thursday night effort.....

Roasted root vegetables....  Sweet potatoes, parsnips, carrots, onions, and celery......  toss in olive oil and pepper and a touch of salt roast at 400 for an hour or so, toss the veggies 1/2 way through.  I really enjoy the parsnips, they give an apple pie spice, cinnamon-ish flavor to everything.  If you have not tried them you really should.  They look like white carrots......

On top of the veggies, Grilled Pork Chops with Dean and Deluca's pork rub and a mustard sauce.  The Dean and Deluca spice rub is to die for.  I bought a collection of rubs from D and D a few months back.  They always turn the mundane to the extraordinary.  Sure they are sixty bucks but you'll spend that on dinner at a decent restaurant.  You do get 9 spice rubs in the tin, really you should but them....  So I pan fried the pork chops.  While they were resting I made a sauce in the same pan.  The brown bits that look like burnt on scrub work are actually called Fond.  It's a french word.  I add a touch of white wine to the pan and stir.  This loosens the fond from the bottom of the pan.  Add 1 tablespoon spicy mustard.  I'm really partial to Lusty Monk Mustard made in Asheville NC.  It's got kick, you know you're alive when you use their mustard.  It's really fantastic.  Add about a cup of chicken stock, and simmer away until reduced by 1/2.  Add a tablespoon of butter and pour over the pork chops.  YUM YUM all around.