Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Roast Cauli

I’ve been digging around the junk drawer that is my draft folder.  In a concerted effort to clear out the mental clutter, I’m posting this drafts ‘as is’….

Parmesan Roasted Cauliflower

Adapted from Bon Appetit

  • 1 head of cauliflower, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, skin on
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan

Heat your oven to 425 degrees and line a sheet pan with aluminum foil.

Combine the cauliflower, garlic, onion, olive oil, and kosher salt on the sheet pan and use your hands to make sure the vegetables are coated with oil.  Roast for 45 minutes or until the cauliflower and onion are golden brown and starts to char on the edges.  Sprinkle the parmesan over the cauliflower and serve immediately.

{printable recipe}

Posted in Cooking, Food, Recipe, Vegetables | Tagged , | 4 Comments

7.20.2015

libby 2015Three years.  In a blink of an eye.  Everyday my heart gets a little bigger taking in all that you are.

You are sassy, and funny, and sort of a bossypants.  You are fearless and you are vulnerable.  You are a do it yourselfer and a helper.  You are quiet and kind.  And you are big and loud.

You look for the ladybugs and bees.  You still chase the cat.  You stop to touch the piano keys at school every day.  You love to splash but hate getting your face wet.

You have been up high on mountain tops and down below in caves.  And you love to go round and round and round on the carousel.

You are the reason I am a momma….you are my sunshine.

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Spiced Lentil Soup

I’ve been digging around the junk drawer that is my draft folder.  In a concerted effort to clear out the mental clutter, I’m posting this drafts ‘as is’….

Spiced Lentil Soup

Adapted from Parents Need to Eat Too

BAH Note:  You could use as much as 1 1/2 cups of lentils which would give you a thicker, stoupy soup.

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 1 sweet potato, peeled and cubed
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala
  • 1 tablespoon cumin
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 6 cups chicken broth
  • 1 cup french green lentils
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • black pepper

Heat the oil in a dutch oven set over medium heat.  Add the onion, carrots, and sweet potatoes and cook for 5 to 10 minutes until the vegetables being to soften a bit.

Add the garam masala, cumin, ginger, and salt and cook for approximately 1 minute until you begin to smell the spices.  Add the broth and lentils and bring to boil.  Reduce the heat and simmer 30 to 40 minutes until the lentils are tender.  Season to taste with additional salt, pepper, and spices.

{printable recipe}

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Strawberry Lemonade

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I’ve been digging around the junk drawer that is my draft folder.  In a concerted effort to clear out the mental clutter, I’m posting these drafts ‘as is’….

Strawberry Lemonade

BAH Note:  To make the simple syrup, combine 1 cup sugar and 1 1/4 cup of water in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer over medium heat and stir until the sugar is completely dissolved.  The simple syrup can be refrigerated in an airtight container and used to sweeten your beverages all summer long.

  • 3 cups water
  • 1 cup lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup strawberry puree

Combine all the ingredients in a pitcher and stir.  Serve over ice and enjoy.

{printable recipe}

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Frozen Cherry Lemonade

cherry bourbon lemonade

I need to get something off my chest….I thought we were friends, but I’m starting to have my doubts.   Sure I might disappear from this space for looooong stretches of time without warning.  And I might be just a touch more forgetful about asking how you’ve been and how the world is treating you.  And my awareness of what is going on around me may have hit an all time low.  But for the life of me I can’t understand why you would do this to me.

For the love of all that is good and right, why didn’t you tell me that 3 year olds are such big jerks?

What’s that?  You say that you don’t have firsthand knowledge of life with a 3 year old?  Ok, well then I can’t hold that against you.  Please accept my apology for being all crankypants with you.

But what about the rest of you?  The parents.  The people who have already experienced the tempest that is a 3 year old.  How could you have failed to at least mention that there might be a chance that my child may, at times, become a total jerk by her 3rd birthday?

That’s just how 3 year olds are, you say?  They turn from Dr. Jekyll into Mr. Hyde without warning?  Yeah I’ve noticed that, thanks. It would have been helpful to have been given that nugget of information ahead of time.

So for anyone out there who may, at some point, be responsible for a child, allow me to tell you what everyone else already knows but isn’t saying…Life with a 3 year old is like Clash of the Titans. Every. Single. Day.  There’s no way to avoid it.  There’s little you can do to prepare for it other than to know that it’s steaming towards you like a locomotive.  One day, without warning, that train will arrive.  And when it does, you will most likely be standing in the middle of tracks and get completely steam rolled.

I suggest you pick yourself up, dust yourself off, and start all over again.  And maybe have a cocktail once you get The Kraken tucked into bed.

Frozen Cherry Lemonade

Inspired by Shutterbean’s Boozy Cherry Slushies

BAH Note:  The bourbon is 100% optional.  But after a long day with a 3 year old, you might want to exercise that option.  I whip this up in my Vitamix so breaking down the ice cubes and getting a good slushy consistency isn’t hard.  If your mixer needs a little help, try using crushed ice if you have that option on your ice maker, or place whole ice cubes in a plastic bag and whack them with a rolling pin to break them up.

  • 1/2 cup cherry syrup (recipe below)
  • 1 1/2 cup lemonade (homemade is fine but I got mine at the store)
  • 1/4 cup bourbon (optional)
  • 4 cups ice

Combine cherry syrup, lemonade, and bourbon (if using) in your blender and give it a good whirl.  Add the ice and blend until you get a slushy consistency.  Don’t be alarmed if the drink separates a bit in your glass as it melts.

Shutterbean’s Cherry Syrup

  • 1 pound sweet cherries, pitted
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 1 /2 cups water
  • juice and zest of 2 limes

Cook the cherries, sugar, water, and lime juice and zest in a saucepan over medium heat for about 10 minutes or until the cherries burst and the liquid starts to simmer.  Remove from the heat and let cool for 20 minutes before straining the liquid through a mesh sieve into a container for storage in the fridge.

{printable recipe}

Posted in Drinks, Recipe | Tagged , , , , | 6 Comments

Chicken Marsala Casserole

pasta bakeI’ve wanted to talk with you about what I’ve been cooking but I feel like I’m supposed to have a pretty picture to oooh and aaaah over before I post.  Which makes for a lot of radio silence here at BAH .

Clearly I’m still feeding my family.  I’m just not doing a great job of documenting what’s been on our plates.  Which is really a shame because I have been serving up some serious deliciousness.

Like Chicken Marsala Casserole.  I grabbed this one from Smitten Kitchen, as you can tell from my (not food) photo above.  If you’d like to see a pretty picture of baked pasta, clicky here to see the lovely photo Deb included in her post.  Mine looked remarkably similar.  And tasted good enough that I’ve made it again AND put some in the freeze for a future get-out-of-dinner-free night.

Here’s why this dish appeals to me:

Making a double batch = 2x reward and only 1x work.  (You do the math.)

There’s something for everyone at my table.  If The Libster is feeling peckish, she can pick out the pasta and politely say no thank you to the porcini and poultry.  The Mistah and I aren’t quite so persnickity.  (Try saying this five times real fast.)

If I can’t cobble together enough time to get from start to finish in a single shot I can make the sauce and keep it in the fridge for a day or two until I’m pasta ready.  Come to think of it, I could probably make and freeze the sauce and then have it at the ready to spoon over cooked pasta anytime. (I just had an a-ha moment!)

Feel free to use any of my reasons, or come up with one of your own.  But get to know this casserole. (No aside necessary.)

Chicken Marsala Casserole

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

BAH Note:  Sturdier pastas like ziti, rigatoni, twists, and penne are well suited for this application.  I’ve used plain white mushrooms as well as crimini and they’ve both worked equally well.  I work on making the sauce while I’m waiting for my pot of water to boil and pasta to cook.

  • 1 pound boneless skinless chicken breast or thigh, cut into bite sized pieces
  • 8 ounces pasta
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 pound mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup Marsala wine
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1 can beef broth
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan
  • kosher salt

Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned and cooked through, working in batches if you need to.  Transfer the chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm.

Return the pan to the stove, add the remaining oil, mushrooms, and 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until the liquid released by the mushrooms is nearly cooked away.  Add the marsala and cook until most of the wine has cooked down before adding the butter to the pan.  Once the butter has completely melted and been stirred around once or twice, sprinkle the flour on top of the mushrooms, give the mixture a good stir so that all of the flour combines with the butter and mushrooms, and cook for about two minutes.

Add about a quarter cup of broth to the pan and whisk.  It might bubble up angrily and look pasty; just keep going.  Slowly add the remaining broth and continue to whisk until the sauce smooths out.  Keep the sauce on a simmer, stirring occasionally, until the sauce thickens up slightly.  Add the chicken and any accumulated juices to sauce and stir to combine.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a pot of well salted water for 10 – 12 minutes.  You want the pasta just a teensy bit underdone so it can finish cooking off in the oven.  Drain the pasta, add it back to the pot, and stir in the sauce and grated Parmesan.

Bake for 25 minutes at 375 degrees.

{printable recipe}

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Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

cupcake

would this face lie about a cupcake?

Life, in general, is not easy.  Life with a toddler, specifically, is not easy.  Especially when it comes to matters that concern the safety of said toddler, life is not easy.

Toddlers don’t understand that you don’t run out into the street….everything is a game of catch me.  Toddlers don’t consider that a car may come around the corner at any second when they decide to park their bottom in the middle of the road…walking from the car to the house takes a lot out of you and sometimes you just need to rest, geez momma.

Toddlers, much like Honey Badger, don’t care.  But as their parents, we do.

So it is that I’ve been on the hunt to repair the fence in our front yard.  Thanks to the driving skills of our neighbors, our fence has been hit, banged, knocked, and generally whacked out of service.  The posts are so far out of alignment that the gate can’t latch closed, the top rail isn’t connected to anything, and the chain link itself has pulled away from the posts leaving huge gaps.

Exactly the kind of gap that a toddler can use to make a break for it.

With the promise of a thaw from this endless winter, at some point we will want to be out in the front yard.  But before that can happen, the breach must be secured.  Never, in my wildest imagination, did I expect to pay nearly two month’s worth of mortgage payments for some metal posts, chain link mesh, and a gate.  And yet I am about to sign a contract to do just that.

If it gives me one less thing in life with toddler to worry about, I’m all for it.  And when you come visit me in the poor house because I’ve gone broke paying for the fence, please bring these cupcakes.  They are easier than most moments of life with toddler….and they are pretty freaking delicious.

Easy Chocolate Cupcakes

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen

I’m already planning on making these for Miss Libby’s birthday.  They are what my memory says is a perfect birthday cake…moist, tender, and frosted with indulgence.  Seriously, my frosting was almost too sweet because for some reason I only used 1 ounce of unsweetened chocolate.  For more balance, use the full 2 ounces.

BAH Note: According to The Smitten, this makes one dozen cupcakes or one 8 OR 9 inch cake, so plan accordingly.  The Smitten also provided both volume and weight measures, so they are below.  But if you ask me, it’s so much easier to weigh out your dry ingredients….because hello, precision.  But you use what you’re most comfortable with.

Cake

    • 6 tablespoons (85 grams) butter, at room temperature
    • 3/4 cup (145 grams) firmly packed brown sugar
    • 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
    • 1 large egg + 1 large egg yolk
    • 3/4 cup buttermilk
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup (41 grams) Dutch cocoa powder
    • 1 cup (125 grams) all-purpose flour
    • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
    • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Frosting

    • 2 ounces (55 grams) unsweetened chocolate, melted and cooled
    • 1 1/2 cups (180 grams) powdered sugar (sifted if lumpy)
    • 1/2 cup (4 ounces or 115 grams) butter, at room temperature
    • Pinch of fine sea salt
    • 1 tablespoons cream, milk, or half and half
    • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees, place paper liners in a cupcake pan, and lightly grease the top of the pan with a little butter to help get the baked cupcakes out with minimal resistance. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt in a medium bowl and stir with a fork or whisk to combine and break up any clumps of cocoa powder.

In the workbowl of your stand mixer, cream the butter and brown sugar on medium speed until fully combined and fluffy.  Reduce speed to low and add the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla and mix. Add the buttermilk and mix until combined.  The batter might look curdled at this point, and that’s ok.

Slowly add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until almost just combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl and give the batter a final mixing by hand to make sure there are no dry streaks of flour hiding at the bottom.

Spoon or scoop the batter into the prepared muffin tin and bake for 18 to 22 minutes, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool for 10 minutes in the pan and  then flip the cupcakes out onto a rack to cool completely before frosting.

Combine the melted chocolate, salt, and butter in a medium bowl and use a hand mixer to beat until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and mix on low speed until fluffy.  Add the milk/cream/half and half to thin the frosting till it’s to your liking and then turn up the speed on your mixer for a minute for maximum frosting fluffiness.

Spoon or spread the frosting onto the cooled cupcakes and try not to gobble them down all at once….easier said than done.

 {printable recipe}

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Perfect Pimento Cheese

perfect pimento cheese

To quote from the immortal words of Minnie Pearl…howdy, how you all’s?

It feels like ages since we chatted.  So pull up a chair and I’ll fix us a little snack.  I made this pimento cheese for New Year’s Day and liked it so much that now it has a permanent place in my fridge.  In a world of cramped refrigerator quarters, that is no small commitment.  But this pimento cheese can go from being spread on crackers or bread to melting into the most perfect grilled cheese that ever existed to looking all fancy piped into celery stalks.

Or simply licked off a spoon, if that’s your thing.

Perfect Pimento Cheese

Adapted from Demaris Phillips

BAH Note: Ms. Phillips advises you to gently stir the roasted red pepper into the mixture by hand.  I let the mixer do all the work for me.  You do what feels right to you.  Want to turn up the heat?  Add a wee dash of smoked paprika or cayenne.  I bet some soft, roasted garlic would melt beautifully into this cheese…..and give it nice little je ne sais quoi.

  • 8 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 8 ounces cheddar cheese, preferably sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 8 ounces gouda, shredded
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 roasted red pepper, diced

Combine the cream cheese and mayonnaise on medium speed in your stand mixer until smooth.  Reduce the speed to low and add the cheddar and gouda and mix until nicely combined.  Add the roasted red pepper and mix until you’re happy with how it looks. Add kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

{printable recipe}

Posted in Appetizers, Cooking, Food, Photo | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

1.20.15

mommas helperHappy 2.5 Libby.  I have to say, the 2’s have been an education.  You feel and want and do EVERYTHING on a level that astounds me….as though your joys, your sorrows, your smiles, your tears, your wants all pass through a magnifying glass.  It’s amazing, and a little terrifying, to watch you experience the world.  And it’s an incredible gift to watch the world experience you.

What do I want to remember about this time?  I want to remember how you still smile and laugh in your sleep like you did as a baby.  Seeing that completely pure smile still melts me.

I want to remember the sound of your feet tearing across the floors as you charge full steam ahead.  You’re usually chasing the cat and desperately trying to be his friend.

I want to remember how proud you are when you are able to do things yourself.  Whether it’s putting on your socks and shoes or helping dry the dishes, you started saying “I do it” before you started saying “No”.

I want to remember how you sing the same three songs after breakfast every day.   Roar, Edelweiss, and Fix You are the soundtrack to our mornings.

I want to remember how it feels to have you wrap yourself around me.  There is something magical and melty about feeling your body completely relax in my lap.

I want to remember how every single day with you is an adventure….and I wouldn’t trade it for the world.

 

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Big Batch Perfect Rice

let's pretend all this rice is already cooked ok?

let’s pretend all this rice is already cooked ok?

I remember how the lid of my grandmother’s butter dish would clang as I removed the top and let my knife sink into the achingly soft stick of Land o’ Lakes (salted).  That creamy goodness quickly melted into the pile of snowy white grains, steaming hot from the stove.

Plain.  Simple.  Delicious.

So I ask you, is there anything better than a bowl of buttered rice?

Big Batch Perfect Rice

Adapted from Parents Need to Eat Too and Kim Severson

BAH Note:  This IS a lot of rice.  But the point is to portion it into smaller servings and stash them in the freezer.  I divided the cooked, cooled rice into 1 cup portions, put them into sandwich size plastic bags (rolled out all the air), and then froze them.  Reheating was easy…I added maybe 1 tablespoon of water to my dish and microwaved until the rice was hot and steaming.

  • 2 cups white rice
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 cups water

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.  Give the rice a quick rinse in a strainer while you melt the butter over medium heat in an oven safe pot.  Add the rice to your pot and stir to coat the rice with the butter.  Once the rice starts to smell a bit toasted, add the water and salt to the rice and bring to a boil.

Cover tightly with foil or a lid and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove from the oven and let the pot sit, covered, for another 10 minutes before digging in.

{printable recipe}

Posted in Cooking, Food, Recipe, Side Dishes | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments