Monthly Archives: September 2013

A Bon-Appetempt wannabe – Chicken with Caramelized Onions and Cardamom Rice



Here’s to my favorite blogging video of all time. If you’ve been around me, my new iPhone, or anything with wi-fi, I’ve probably showed you this vid. I just absolutely love Amelia Morris’ sense of humor and weird voices. Mostly because I am all about the loud voices and imitations, whether or not I’m in the kitchen. The best part of this vid is definitely BAKED CHECKEN GETCHA BAKED CHECKEN. Sadly, my photo skills have really got to pick it up. I’m so excited about the food that I forget to take pictures before it’s all gone. Forgive me, but srsly make THIS AND WATCH THE VIDEO.

I love this dish because it’s deceptive comfort food. The dill and parsley and cilantro give it this fresh texture that lightens up the extremely moist and rich chicken and rice. It’s that chicken and rice base that represents comfort food for so many cultures that I love. My grandma’s Chicken Tikka Masala is our family’s traditional comfort food as well as the ultimate Khausway, a Burmese chicken dish that reminds me of every family memory with my Dad’s side.

For some families, it’s that chicken, saltine, rice, and cheese casserole-y thing that makes you want to curl up in a ball and be a cat-lady (wut?). No, but seriously, sometimes that stuff is zooo good. It was really fun to make this comfort food with my friend Caelan as we are both adjusting to post-grad life, moving into the “real people” phase. Just kidding, but honestly it was a great Sunday night meal for two friends catching up. I encourage you to make this with a friend on a night when you have the time to wait for a hearty chicken dish to simmer slowly for a solid half hour, leaving you time to share your exciting stories from the weekend and calm each others’ nerves for the week!

I feel so blessed.



Caramelized onions…my friend Kelly and I could eat these like a dip or even plain…

DSCF4287yummy chicken with spices…it pays to have an Indian grandmother with whole spices in her cabinet 🙂

DSCF4290omg yes. Follow the rules and don’t move your chicken around too much! Let it get crispy

DSCF4292When you add the rice, get it all coated with oil and spices before adding in the water. Ours was SOOO oily, so there’s really no need to add more oil if you ask me


DSCF4299Mysterious, I know :/





Buttermilk Walnut Praline Skillet Cake with an Almond Twist


photo (49)

My friend Claire is back in ATL for the year!! Besides updating our old blog “la chanson du soleil” and other best-friendsy things, this means amping up the baking big-time. If there’s one person who appreciates big-fat-dinner-parties and fancy aprons, it’s Claire.

Which is why my friend and co-worker Blake hit the nail on the head in suggesting we bake her something to welcome her home! And this cake was perfection. I’m always about JoyTheBaker but on this particular day, I was in desperate need of a little sugar. I don’t even know if it was the taste of the cake or the fact that I was having a rough day and needed something warm that paired well with a nightcap (And by that I mean glass of milk).

The almond twist here is adding a bit of almond extract instead of the full amount of vanilla extract which made it a little fancier tasting if you ask me. Almond tastes so sophisticated in desserts for some reason, right? I think it comes from the word marzipan. Don’t you imagine some exotic prince fanned by banana leaves eating some exotic and fancy almond pasty dessert called MAHHHZAPANNN? Well, I do.

We are still in the years of the toaster oven, which is why I couldn’t really bake this in a skillet. Used a 9 inch cake pan and as you can see here, it came out in the first flip!!!

When I delivered this to her in the oh-so-elegant Mall parking lot, half eaten by my family and other friends mind you, we instantly became addicted to the praline. It’s dangerous. I’m serious.






A Runner’s Feast: Deb’s Baked Pasta with Broccoli Rabe and Sausage



When your dad makes you run a race with him, you somehow get roped into making cheesy pasta bake the night before. You also end up arriving at the race a whopping 40 minutes too early and thus leaving an extra 40 minutes to sleep in the car dreaming of carb mania dinner from last night. But hey, you ran 9 miles THUMBS UP CHICA

Deb, you were thinking of my dad when you wrote this post I think. He is ALL ABOUT baked pasta with hot Italian sausage and hearty greens. I’ve never cooked broccoli rabe before, but am a HUGE fan. It always makes me think of when I went to Philadelphia during the college tour days and told my dad I wanted to go to a REAL Italian establishment in Philly. I ordered pasta with broccoli rabe, the waiter’s name was Dominic, and the restaurant was an old converted mansion. It was awesome.

On Atlanta’s first perfect fall day, I visited the St. Phillips farmers market for the first time and bought this delicious hot Italian sausage. The rapini I found at the regular grocery store actually and used part-skim mozzarella (use the block kind not shredded!!). I couldn’t find campagnelle but am a fan of rigatoni’s ridges. I slept soooo well after this meal and used some of the broccoli rabe, cheesy goodness and sausage to make scrambled eggs after the race.

This recipe’s going on my “college guy friends come to visit need food lots of it” list. And this bechamel ohhhhh. You could honestly make this without cheese and it’d be great with the bechamel. Since it’s cooked in the hot italian sausauge drippings, it has this spicy and full flavor thats so different from any bechamel I’ve made before.

Thank you Deb for this recipe!!

Served it with a salad, homemade balsamic, honey, lemon vinaigrette and some failed homemade croutons (feelin the sistah love coffield and grubes on the burned croutons)

(I added a few mushrooms)

DSCF4235Chop up the broccoli rabe


Break up the sausage and sautee (I think she used sweet but I used hot Italian)


Best trick for quick blanch of vegetables…adding in at the end of the pasta’s jacuzzi swim



Mixing the pasta, brocc and sausage

DSCF4248The beesssstttt bechamel…garlic was ON POINT


Mixin in half da cheese

DSCF4258Sprinkle some more cheese on top



Lamb Pita Burgers and Tzatziki



Mediterranean food was the very first kind of food I learned to make. I think it’s such an easy place to start. Tomatoes, feta, red onion, good olive oil, and cucumbers can go in salads, as toppings, on pastas, or as appetizers. Barely any cooking involved!

As I returned from an amazing trip to California, these warm pita pockets and comfort burgers were a transitional food from summer to fall. If you live in a place that is hot until October like me, you still need to get outside and use the grill in September. But the mix of hearty lamb and coriander, cumin, and ginger spices gives it a fall spin.

I LOVE lamb burgers, and my fam especially likes mini burgers. It’s a fun way to try different ingredients in a few of each burger. I used this lamb burger recipe from Adrianna and didnt have any mint so just used parsley. I highly recommend! Our secret ingredient was some chopped up salt olives. Mixed every so lightly, these lamb burgers are tender, rich, and can absorb a variety of flavors. Before pics, I have to share my fave foods from San Fran. While the weather was the best in record years, I felt this love-hate relationship with my favorite city!! Had to play hard to get since I don’t know when I’ll be making it back again. Saw wonderful friends, went to an awesome conference, and saw beautiful views. oh, and food.

Fava bean pasta from a restaurant in berkeley with my lovely host katie, amazing Vietnamese at Tin in SOMA with my colleague Alloy, delicious Tofu Banh Mi in the Mission at duc loi kitchen, UMAMI BURGER FINALLY!!!, also i finally saw chez panisse omgomgomgomg, and tyler florence’s store in mill valley it was HEAVEN! oh and this delicious chicken, mango, avocado Asian salad at this Asian street food place in mill valley after the hike. I am so happy thinking about it. Can’t wait to get back….


Sauteed onions and spices she recommends



parsley and pistachios


lamb, herbs, spices

DSCF4221let these guys set in the fridge for 15-20

DSCF4216For tzatziki I really like shredded English cucumber. BUT SQUEEZE out the water with a paper towel like so

DSCF4220add some dill, yogurt, lemon juice, salt and pepper and whatever else you like!