Tuesday, May 31

Watermelon Mint Sorbet


And if that doesn't make you feel like listening to this song and then losing the next 2 hours of your life in a '90's music induced dance-partying trip down memory lane, then finally join us in this century listening to this song, I don't know what will. You my friend, are welcome.

Oh no, mission diversion!

Cool, crisp, refreshing!

I am very excited about this weather. It was warming up a bit before I went away to Colorado (It was amazing, thanks for asking. Whitewater rafting, hiking, delicious food and beer, Red Rocks and a few dance parties sprinkled in between; can't beat it) but the air was still pretty crisp out there, despite being absolutely gorgeous and sunny. So to return to 95 degree weather is quite the system shock. Summer is officially on the scene ladies and gents, and it's here to stay! At least until something cooler comes around and shows it up. (Teeheehee!) So let's enjoy it while we can. Jagger Maystig sure is: 

What baby pool?
(This is not to eat)

One of my favorite things about summer (or really, life in general) is ice cream. Some of the best days growing up were those when my family would ride our bikes to the ice cream shop or days when we were on the go and mom would let us get ice cream for lunch rather than fast food (yea, that happened, my mom is da best!). Fond memories. My poor little brother was lactose intolerant growing up, so we also always had some sorbet on hand for him. (He would sneak dairy though, as though we didn't all find out eventually anyway.)

So, I've always also loved a good sorbet. This watermelon and mint sorbet is great for hot summer days. It's light, crisp and refreshing. It's cooling and won't weigh you down. You can also control the amount of sugar you add for a healthier frosty treat. You can actually make it without an ice cream machine, which is great for anyone (like me!!) who doesn't. You will just need a blender or food processor. 

Sountrack: The XX - XX

Use seedless, it's much easier!

Watermelon Mint Sorbet

1/2 medium watermelon (or double the recipe, but you will end up with a lot. This way you can enjoy some fresh as well! )
1/4 c. simple syrup (it's simple! this can be adjusted to taste)
4 sprigs of fresh mint (just the leaves!) or about 1/4 c.
zest of 1 lemon
juice of 1/2 the lemon (then use the other half to have some water!)

Remove the rinds and cut the watermelon into cubes. Combine all ingredients in a food processor or blender (or in a bowl and use a hand blender) and blend/chop until liquid. Make sure to get all of the chunks of watermelon.

Pour liquid into an airtight container (or ice cream machine if you have one! If you do, lucky you can skip the rest!). Freeze the liquid for 2-4 hours, then process again. Freeze for another few hours and repeat. This will make sure that everything is evenly distributed. Before serving, process again for an even smoother sorbet.

Fresh summa ingredients!

The colors Duke, the colors!

Doesn't look so appetizing at this point...

Check out that frozen food selection: popsicles, Phillies ice cream
(aka graham slam aka best ice cream eva), Ellio's (oh yea!)

Tuesday, May 24

Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Brownies

Holy procrastination, batman!

Hey guys! I'm supposed to be packing because I am leaving for a long weekend in Denver tomorrow!!! So now let me ask you, what better time to blog? Exactly. I had these pictures of some delectable brownies I made over the weekend, so let me share. (PS I totally typed shart first, and I had to share/shart that with you.) 

Well, these were delicious. Only good can come of something that begins with melting a 4 oz chocolate bar and an entire stick of butter in a sauce pan. Only good. Chewy and very fudgey. Rich and very soft. The hazelnuts add a great crunch that is full of flavor and compliments the chocolate well. Almost candy-like. Yum! And the best part? Minimal dishes. (Who doesn't hate dishes?) Well, maybe not the best part. I guess the best part should really be the brownies...

Soundtrack: La Roux - La Roux

1/2 c. butter (yea, a whole stick)
4 oz. dark bittersweet chocolate (I like this one!)
4 eggs
1/2 tsp. salt 
2 c. sugar (yea, 2 cups)
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c. sifted all-purpose flour
3/4 c. chopped hazelnuts

Heat oven to 350.
Melt butter and chocolate together in a medium sauce pot. This will need to cool completely before incorporating it into the other ingredients (I don't know what happens if you don't; I've never tested it!) I stuck it in the freezer for a few minutes. Just don't let it harden.
Using an electric mixer (or a sweet hand-blender whisk attachment!) beat/whip the eggs and salt together until foamy. Add sugar and vanilla and continue beating to combine. Beat/whip (yea, you're getting a little abusive at this point) the mixture until it is thick.
Stir (by hand, using a spatula) in the cooled chocolate/butter mixture until combined (use as few strokes as possible!). Stir in flour gently, then stir in nuts.
Line a 9x13 in. pan with tin foil and grease. Pour mixture in. Bake for 25-35 min (check center with a toothpick, make sure it comes out clean!)
Sign of good things to come!

Ahhh, we meellltteedd!

Beat it!

This is what your mixture should look like
riiiight before adding the chocolate!

Final product, once again

Sunday, May 22

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

Like I said, I love carbs. So here is my serving suggestion for this sauce (served over spaghetti with kalamata olives and tomato-basil chicken sausage):

You can also use pesto to grill or top chicken or fish (shrimp? eh? yum!), in dips, on eggs, instead of garlic bread, in burgers, on sandwiches.. ON POTATOES etc. So don't think this is strictly for pasta. 

This recipe combines the sweet taste of fresh basil, with the tang of sun-dried tomatoes and olive oil to create delicious and fragrant sauce. Fresh basil is a great thing to have on hand; it has an amazing aroma that is very enticing. Basil grows pretty out of control (and by that I mean FAST), so if you don't have a lot of space to plant (like me!) it's a good choice. Maximum benefit, minimum space, effort, etc (like a pet goldfish, but more delicious. And it's not going to die overnight and get flushed down the toilet. Ok, bad example). 
Fresh basil, just cleaned. Can you smell it??
Pesto is a fairly easy sauce to make, as long as you own a food processor. Pretty much just combines a few simple, ingredients in a way that they all shine. If you're not a confident chef and you want to impress people with your "skills," make this. This is the recipe for you. Hint, hint. (Subtlety? Not a strength of mine. I lean more towards awkwardly blurting things out.)

My recipe makes about 4 servings (or really 2, if you're like Adam and I, which I've already said, not enough people are). So adjust accordingly. You can also multiply this (just leave out the cheese) and freeze it (then add the cheese and a little extra oil after you defrost it).

Soundtrack: Amazing Baby - Rewild

Sun-dried Tomato Pesto

1 to 1&1/2 c. fresh basil leaves (yea, they gotta be fresh)
1 clove fresh garlic
1/8 c. pine nuts (yea, they're expensive, but this amount will probably cost you $1 or 2)
10 sun-dried tomatoes (not the kind in oil)
1/2 c. olive oil
1/4 Pecorino Romano cheese (freshly grated, preferred! You can add more, to taste)
Salt & Pepper

Combine basil, garlic, pine nuts and tomatoes in a food processor. Run until pureed (you'll have to scrape down the sides, etc). Add cheese and olive oil and process until smooth. Transfer to a bowl and add a little salt n peppa.

Yep, that's easy.

Looks like a weird flower!

What the moon is made of!

Finished sauce, should be a little chunky.


Hope you enjoy!

Wednesday, May 18

Lemon Ginger Stir-Fry

So I promised (mostly myself after my last ice cream sundae dinner) healthier recipes and now, I will deliver! I know, I know, the world is ending on Saturday anyway, why even bother, right? 

This dish is loaded with vegetables (the more colors you get in the better - different nutrients and such) and healthy protein. The sauce might be a little high in sodium (I really have no idea), but who cares (the jury is still out on this one people... sorry if you lived in fear of a little salt these past few years for no reason, sucks!). Serve with a lil' brown rice for some healthy grains. It's fairly easy to make, just prep everything before you get started!


I totally thought, by the way, that I was being fairly creative with this dish. I love Asian-style lemon chicken and well, there's never any shortage of ginger when Adam is around... har har har. (I'll be here all night, folks! Don't forget to tip your bartender!) Throw some scallions in there, a little sesame oil for kicks... etc. Turns out, that's pretty standard as far as lemony Asian chicken goes. Ah well, c'est la vie. This stir-fry version is a different from your restaurant standard lemon chicken though - the sauce is much lighter and it incorporates vegetables. It's unique; I swear it!

PS speaking of vegetables, JerBear (roommate!) is the proud new owner (well, renter) of a little plot of land in our community garden (he was pretty low on the waiting list, so I hope there's no plague going around). I will definitely be posting some delicious fresh produce recipes this summer! I know, I know, it's going to keep you up nights. Sahhweee...

Soundtrack: Jimkata - Ghosts & Killers (Free download here!!)

Lemon Ginger Stir-Fry Chicken


1/3 c. lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest
1/4 c. chicken stock (could be vegetable!)
1 1/2 tbsp. soy sauce
1 tbsp. white wine
2 tbsp. sugar

Combine all ingredients for sauce in a small bowl. Whisk together.


1 tbsp. sesame oil
1 tbsp. ginger, chopped
1 tbsp. garlic, chopped
1 red bell pepper, cut into slices
1 med. onion, cut into quarters
1 handful sugar snap peas, cleaned
1 handful baby corn, cut in half
2 broccoli crowns, cut into pieces
1 package extra-firm tofu, cubed (or chicken, but chicken should be cooked first!)
3 green onions, chopped
sauce (see above)

Heat sesame oil in a large pan (or wok) over med heat. Add ginger and garlic and cook until softened and garlic begins to brown. Add vegetables and stir-fry sauce. Stir-fry for about 5 minutes. Add tofu and green onions. Continue to cook until vegetables are cooked through and tofu is heated. Serve over brown rice!

Prep all veggies before cooking ANYTHING!
Don't even think about not.

Lemony Sauce
(I had a really hard typing that for one reason or another)

And a toast!

Raw vegetables

Add tofus and green onions!

Thanks for playing guys!

Monday, May 16

Craisin & Pumpkin Seed Breads

The weather was pretty bleh this weekend, which I see as the perfect opportunity to do some baking. And because... 


And really, who doesn't? Pasta? Delicious. Egg everything bagels? Delicious. Margharita pizza? Delicious. Wegman's Whole Wheat Pita? Delicious. Rice? Eh, ok we can't all be perfect... jazz it up a bit, delicious. Cinnamon Life Cereal? Also, delicious. Aaaaaand so on and so forth.

This post features 2 loaves of bread:

Feta Cheese and Brown Sugar? Besties!

I read in a cookbook once that the best thing about sweet breads (breads that are actually sweet, not the kind where you think you are going to eat delicious bread, but you really get animal guts! Oooohhh English, how essential that space is!) is that the enjoyment is twofold. First, you get that right-out-of-the-oven, warm and soft treat that is fresh bread. But, sweet breads also make for an interesting piece of toast. This little tidbit was found above a recipe for a cinnamon raisin bread with a brown sugar swirl. I adapted this idea for these two loaves. The first, a craisin and pumpkin seed loaf with a brown sugar swirl. And, because I like my cinnamon raisin toast with a schmear of cream cheese (I also like to say schmear), the same loaf with a  feta swirl rather than brown sugar.

I can't actually decide which is my favorite, so I would recommend making them both. The feta loaf has an interesting balance of sweet and salty, between the tang of the cheese and of the craisins. The nuttiness of the pumpkin seeds add a great dimension as well. The brown sugar loaf is delectably sweet without being over the top. It's a great breakfast loaf.

Soundtrack: Bonobo - Black Sands

Recipe is as follows:

Craisin & Pumpkin Seed Breads

1/4 c. warm water
2 1/2 tsp. active dry yeast
1 c. milk
3/4 c. brown sugar, divided
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 c. melted butter, divided
2 c. all purpose flour
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1/2 c. craisins
1/2 c. raw pumpkin seeds
1/2 c. feta cheese, crumbled

In a small bowl, whisk together water and yeast. Let stand until a small froth forms at the top (about 5 minutes). Meanwhile, in a large bowl mix together milk, 1/4 c. brown sugar, salt, vanilla, 3 tbsp. butter, 1 c. whole wheat flour and 1 c. white flour. Stir well and mix in the yeast. Add in 1/2 c. wheat flour and 1/2 c. white flour and stir. Dough will begin to clean the walls of the bowl and form a ball. Remove dough from the bowl and place on a floured surface. Knead the dough until it is slightly elastic and still a bit sticky. Some flour will need to be added while kneading (up to 1/2 c.) to get a smooth dough. Add in the crasins and pumpkin seeds and work into the dough.

Oil a shallow bowl and place dough in the bowl, turning until coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the oven (off) to rise for 1 1/2 hours. 

After dough has risen, remove from the bowl and return to the floured surface. Flatten the dough to create a flat rectangle (about 10X14). Cut into halves lengthwise (or, if you are in kindergarten or wish you were, hot dog style). Brush one half with remaining butter (you might not need all of it) and press remaining brown sugar to coat. Coat other halve with feta cheese. Take a small end of each halve and roll tightly to form a loaf. Places each loaf in a loaf pan and cover in plastic wrap, again allowing to rise in the oven (off) for 45 minutes.

Preheat oven to 400 F (make sure your bread is no longer in there!!). Bake loaves for 25-30 minutes.


Batter, before adding the 2nd round of flours!

Because really, who can resist just one more round?

Dump the seeds and craisins next to the dough,
 so they're easier to add

Fold 'em into the dough, like so!

Dough ball!

Ready to rise!

Food porn.. work it!

Just two little loaves!
PS The healthy recipes are coming, I swear! (I had an ice cream sundae for dinner on Saturday night, so I could use some) :)

Sunday, May 15

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits

Hello! and happy Sunday! :)


Just to make sure we are clear on this, this recipe is for peanut butter DOG biscuits, so it's not recommended you eat them yourself (although, you could... and I did). I have a dog, sorry if you don't. If you don't, I promise to post again soon with some delicious people food for you. You could keep reading anyway though, because my dog is cute.

This is my puppy (ok, he's 11...) Jagger:

Jagger loves peanut butter. He's got a very sophisticated pallet for a dog and will only chew peanut butter bones. That's right, no fake chicken flavor for him! He gets very jealous of all the people treats that I make and we were out of dog treats, so I decided to give this recipe a try. 

Like I said, I tried one. But I am no judge; I don't have the sophisticated pallet of Jagger Maystig, so let's see what he thinks:

The taste test!

Lip smackin' good!

Jagger liked them so much and asked that I send some to his cousin Nugget, who he still has not made up with after an argument over football got a little out of hand at Christmas. Jagger has overheard that he has been growing exponentially and is shaking in his little harness. (My mom's dog is named Nugget, ie: gold nuggets, because he's yellow. She's not a stoner; I recently caught her using hemp lotion and she claimed she had no idea what the leaf was on the front of the bottle. Adorable.)

This is Nugget about 5 months ago. He's huge now; that jersey would
probably not even fit over his head. BEAST DOG!

 I liked this recipe because there was no sugar, but it's sweetened with molasses. The biscuits are made with wheat flour and oats, making them a pretty healthy snack. And there are no preservatives, nothing bad for le petit prince, which is pretty cool. He eats a lot of shit of the streets of Philly (which... is really gross and sometimes it actually is shit), so I figure this balances it out. I got the recipe here, so you should check it out if you want to see their other recipes. They also have great tips on frosting the treats, which is adorable, but I'll pass this time.

Soundtrack: (mostly) Johnny Cash - The Sound of Johnny Cash. And also this song (which makes me infinitely happy, and drives Adam crazy... which also makes me infinitely happy. It's never-ending).

Peanut Butter Dog Biscuits:

1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour (You will also need additional flour for rolling)
1/4 c. rolled oats
1 tsp. baking powder
3/4 c. milk (reduced or fat free is preferred)
1 c. peanut butter (use natural, with no sugar)
1 tbsp. molasses

Preheat oven to 350°.

Whisk together the flour, oats and baking powder in a medium bowl. Stir in the milk, peanut butter and molasses.Turn out onto a floured surface. Knead until a soft dough forms. Roll out to 1/2" thickness and cut with a cookie cutter (if you don't own a dog-appropriate sized cookie cutter, you can use a shot glass like I did!). Bake for 20 minutes.

(Storing: These peanut butter dog biscuits can last for 2 weeks in a dog treat jar (... or a tupperware). They will be fresh in the refrigerator for 4-5 weeks and good for 6 mos in the freezer.)
This is what the dough will look like, once kneaded... or Ned.

Rolled dough - Jean Jags thinks it looks like home (France)!

Cutting biscuits... the little ones are for Jags, the big ones are for Nugs!

They don't spread out, so you can put them closer together
So, that was my Sunday morning. Love.

'Til next time!

Wednesday, May 11

Turkey, Hummus & Arugula Pita Sandwiches

This sandwich is my go to during the week. It's fresh, delicious, and easy to assemble.

It's what one might call a quickie. Most of the time, the more love and effort you put in, the better the result will be. But sometimes you just don't have all that time. Sometimes it's the middle of the day and you just need a quick fix. Sometimes you're really ravenous and you just. need. to be satisfied. Sometimes you're feeling lazy and you just want maximum enjoyment, with minimal effort. Are we sure we're talking about food here? 

Hello!!! I'm talking about this sandwich you perv!

This sandwich just requires some easy assembly, but I wanted to share it because I could probably eat it every day. In fact, I kind of do. I have my favorite veggies, but you could use any really (please don't use Chinese artichokes - google it, you'll gag). The essentials are in the title, the rest is rotating. I also have my favorite pita, Wegman's Whole Wheat, which I highly recommend (and not just because I admire anything with an awesome alliteration). I make my own hummus, I'm sure at some point I'll post a recipe (so stayed tuned!!) but there are some great store-bought brands out there as well. Weg's has a hummus bar (honestly I have an obsession, I'm realizing it more and more...) which is fab. 

Soundtrack: Magic Tape 10 (This has also been on repeat lately, mostly because of the Adele remix. <3<3<3 her!)

Turkey, Hummus & Arugula Pitas

1 pita pocket, cut off the very top straight across
2 tbsp any flavor hummus (use more or less, according to preference)
3 or 4 slices of deli-sliced turkey
1 handful arugula (again, adjust to desired amount)
1/2 mini cucumber, sliced thin
3 or 4 slices red bell pepper
pinch of shredded carrot

Lots of colors means lots of nutrients!

Open pita pocket and spread hummus on inner sides. Be careful to hold the pocket open and not to let it close; the sides will stick together and be difficult to open again. Fill pita pocket with turkey (1 slice at a time works best) , arugula, then the rest of your veggies.

It's honestly that easy.

Check out those cut veg. They must work out.

Arugula, you're so good. and good for us!
Anyway, just wanted to share this one. Try it out, enjoy it.

Til next time! <3

Tuesday, May 10

Roman-Style Chicken and Herb Roasted Potatoes

Installment dos of Mother's Day dinner.. readdyyy.. go! 

 TA DAAAAA... dinner!
I also just need to mention that in order to make this meal, I braved a trip to Wegman's in Cherry Hill on Sunday. alone. on a Sunday. Weggies is my all time favorite grocery store. I get butterflies the night before going. It's pretty sick how I'm. not. kidding. HOWEVER, in case you don't know, this is what Sunday at good old Wegs feels like:

So you can see how this is a pretty big deal and I had to brag about it. I made it out alive and you can all be proud! Thanks!

This chicken recipe (Roman-Style Chicken from Giada De Laurentiis) I have made a couple times now and I really love it. I don't change anything; it's pretty perfect as is. Giada's one of my favorites; the girl makes amazing food and she's fecking HOT (yea ok, a small part of me secretly wants to be her... I think I'm getting close). South Park did a pretty great parody of her last season: Perky Tats and Gigantic Head! in case you missed it. 

But ANYWAY, back to the CHICKEN breast... 

This recipe produces an incredibly moist piece of chicken and a dish that really has a great depth of flavor. The prosciutto and capers add a nice saltiness that is fairly balanced by fresh bell pepper and diced tomato. The thyme also adds a nice layer of flavor that really pops and compliments the other slightly more subtle seasonings nicely. The result is a great sauce, which is the real star, along with an amazing topping for the chicken. 

To accompany the chicken, I made herb roasted potatoes, which are easy to season and require little attention once in the oven. They roast for about an hour and the chicken requires a little more than 40 minutes, so the potatoes should go in oven just a bit before the chicken. 

Recipes for both, with my notes, are as follows.

Soundtrack: Minus the Bear - Menos El Oso (Although, I could really just listen to THIS SONG on repeat for an hour or so and be just as happy)

Herb Roasted Potatoes


4-5 med red potatoes, cut into 1 in. cubes
Olive Oil
1 Tbsp. Italian Seasoning
1 Tbsp. Rosemary
Salt and Pepper

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, toss potatoes with enough olive oil to coat. Season to taste with Italian seasoning, rosemary, and salt & pepper. Place in greased glass baking dish and cook for 1 hour or until cooked through and starting to brown. Stir potatoes every 15 minutes until finished cooking for an even cook.
Seasoned taters! 

Roman-Style Chicken Breast


  • 4 skinless chicken breast halves, with ribs
  • 2 skinless chicken thighs, with bones (I actually just used 5 breasts - Weggies club pack! - and this worked out well. I took the ribs off too, which apparently makes a weird cut of chicken.)
  • salt and pepper 
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 red bell pepper, sliced (slice thin and cut slices in half lengthwise)
  • 1 yellow bell pepper, sliced (slice same as red!)
  • 3 ounces prosciutto, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 1 (15-ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano leaves
  • 1/2 c. chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 1/4 c. chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley leaves
First, clean the fat off the chicken and season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper. In a heavy, large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When the oil is hot, cook the chicken until browned on both sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Keeping the same pan over medium heat, add the peppers and prosciutto and cook until the peppers have browned and the prosciutto is crisp, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute. Add the tomatoes, wine, and herbs. Using a wooden spoon, scrape the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Return the chicken to the pan, add the stock, and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the chicken is cooked through, about 20 to 30 minutes.
If serving immediately, add the capers and the parsley. Stir to combine and serve. If making ahead of time, transfer the chicken and sauce to a storage container, cool, and refrigerate. The next day, reheat the chicken to a simmer over medium heat. Stir in the capers and the parsley and serve.

Prepping the thyme. Strip the leaves from the stems as seen above,
by running fingers down the stem to pull them off.

Prepped ingredients!!!

Tanning the chicken. Just like at the Jerzzz shore!

Remove chicken and sautee prosciutto and peppers.. Look
at those little Guido pieces of meat!
Add diced tomatoes and white whine! Peppers gettin crunk.. Jerrzzzz!

Definitely a delicious meal and absolutely worth the effort. See the happy family below for proof. Except Kevin, who actually might be sleeping. ;)