Monthly Archives: February 2014

Kimchi and Bacon Brussels Sprouts


Ok so for Valentine’s Day I wanted to make heart-shaped brownies and sugary sugary cookies and drink wine and gab for hours. Well I did gab for hours on GALENTINE’S DAY! But for the amount that I’ve been baking lately, these brussels sprouts are a savory that really stands out. And it’s a secretly easy dish. Do you ever have those moments in your life where you stop breathing because you almost wonder if life could be that sweet…and you look over your shoulder to see if anyone else is going to burst your bubble? These brussels sprouts will make you look over your shoulder to see if anyone else is seeing just how simple the recipe is when it seems so exotic.

Usually I really like brussels sprouts with a sweet and salty hint, but these are more of a salty and tart combo, it’s complex! Sophisticated right?


Also, two things I realized this week that I hadn’t remembered: Joey Fatone is in My Big Fat Greek Wedding and that Butter Pecan is a way underrated ice cream flavor. Random side note aside, let’s explore these greenies.

Brussels Sprouts with Kimchi and Bacon, adapted from the New York Times


3 slices turkey bacon

1 lb brussels sprouts

1-2 TBS butter

olive oil

salt and pepper

1 cup kimchi (they sell it at the grocery store it’s all pickle-y if you’re not familiar)

Turn on the oven to 400 degrees. I sliced up about 3 pieces of turkey bacon and fried them in a little bit of oil (due to their lack of a lot of fat they have been burning in the saute pan).

DSCF4586While chopping up the bacon, I sliced off the brussels sprouts’ “butts” and sliced them in half. The timing works out peeps, don’t be in a rush.

DSCF4587Ok, bacon’s cooked! Take it out with a slotted spoon and then add in your brussels sprouts. Add some oil to the pan if these guys are a little bit dry and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Let them get a little golden browny in the pan then transfer to the oven. Here’s where I differ from the New York Times. I let them turn green and roast for around 15 minutes but I wanted them a little crispier, so I set the oven rack on the top rung and turned up the heat to broil for a minute or two. But if you don’t want them super crispy, I think 12-15 minutes is enough time.

While these are cooking, go ahead and puree your kimchi. Put it in a bowl and set aside for when the brussels sprouts are ready.

DSCF4591DSCF4589Bacon is added back in with some butter, mmmmm. Then off to the kimchi, hello Korean goodness!


DSCF4593Serve aside this delicious slow-roasted salmon!





Thomas Keller’s WHOLE Roasted Chicken with Root Veggies



To some, a pantsuit means growing up. And by some, I am definitely including myself in that category. But I’d also like to add whole roast chicken to that category. Pantsuits and whole roast chicken. We made roast chicken a few weeks ago, and to be honest this was easier. So why do I feel way more accomplished? I think it’s the feeling of being able to put together one shining masterpiece as opposed to integrating a few small dishes into a cohesive meal.

That time you first tied your shoes all. by. yourself. Going completely across the monkey bars in one full swoop without having to stop. That time when your secured place to crash on the drive from Charlottesville to Miami falls through and you figure out how to desperately book a hotel at 11PM on your own in college. We can discuss later the relevance of each of these in the context of roast chicken.

But seriously, I’m proud of this accomplishment!!! As I have been watching the Olympics lately, it seems appropriate to feature something that requires precision and focus. If you can keep the few key important tips in mind, this comes together quite easily and with little mess. These are the ways to win the Gold medal if you ask me. Think: SALT, meat thermometer, patience. Too simple? Ok you can go study molecular gastronomy.

Salt: You need to be uncomfortable here. Roasting chicken requires a LOT of salt, and to make yourself more comfortable here, just keep massaging it into the skin and into the cavity. It’s really the main way to flavor here, don’t be shy.


Meat thermometer: You don’t want overcooked chicken here, so if you follow the temperature suggested (160 F in the meatiest part of the bird), be WATCHING your chicken towards the end once you’ve stuck in the meat thermometer to check

Patience: One, because it takes about 1 hour and 10 minutes to cook all the way through. Two, because after the chicken comes out of the oven, you need to wait for it to cool before slicing. Slicing too early will let out the juices and thus let out flavor (or so I’ve been told).

No, I am not going all It’s Complicated on you and cooking Alec Baldwin’s favorite feast with mouth-watering cake involved. This is literally the whole dinner in one pan. So great. Especially if you’re into putting rich chicken on your salads, soups, and making leftover chicken sandwiches!

I followed the Amateur Gourmet’s directions for cooking Thomas Keller’s chicken and watched this video to learn how to truss a chicken. It’s worth watching, friends. I was a bit wary of rutabagas, so I replaced them with more red potatoes. I don’t have any kitchen twine so instead used regular white sewing thread that I doubled up around two or three times to make it thick enough.

One thing I did differently was to drain the pain juices after the chicken was done and return the veggies to the oven to get crispier. For me, it took desperate measures of the broiler but for you, it might only take a few extra minutes at 400 ish. Pan juices = yummy gravy.

New fave: CRISPY LEEKS. I can’t tell you how delicious the leeks were after coming out of the oven.

Veggie heaven: Very rough chop of carrots, red potatoes, a large onion, two leeks, and two turnips.


Hi caramelizy roasty thyme garlic veggies

DSCF4618Make a gravy at the end with the leftover pan juices, some BUTTAH, and flour


Maple Bacon Biscuits and BRUNCH


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That six letter word, ladies and gents. Brunch. I think I speak for allthesingleladies when I say that brunch is THE best six letter word out there. Whether you’re a boozy brunch person, a quiet tea and crumpets kinda brunch person, or a Carrie-Bradshaw-swanky-NYC-bruncher, it’s always the best.

This past Saturday, the reason for celebrating was nothing, really. Just another attempt at making my life a Nora Ephron movie, these maple bacon biscuits and my soul sistah Claire made it a wonderful morning. Claire and I used to have this blog which you should totally check out called lachansondusoleil where we shared thoughts and art while attending different universities (<- ok am I British?)  We spent the night before poring over cookbooks when of course the obvious answer was in the SmittenKitchen book.

Here’s something to remember. If you are supposed to use bacon fat as part of the shortening to make the biscuits, don’t use turkey bacon. You don’t really get pan drippings :/. But that’s ok! Because it just means you get to use more butter 🙂

When you make these, take up Deb’s suggestion to freeze the biscuits you won’t eat BEFORE baking them. Biscuits are absolutely the best the day they are made, so I would follow her suggestion and freeze the pre-baked cut out biscuits you don’t want in a freezer bag. Key part to this recipe: soaking the cooked bacon in the maple syrup for a few minutes. Um, yum!

Flippppiinnnn bacon

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Cutting the butter into flour, baking powder, salt. Big debate over whether to use a pastry cutter or our hands. Our hands won the debate.

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Claire, professional bacon chopper

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Oh yeaaaa. This took a little bit of work, I must say. Claire was really smart to add some more of the buttermilk and ice water to get our dough to come together. While we used the rolling pin to even out the dough, I think Deb is really on point by telling you to flatten out the dough with your hands. It makes it less likely to become tough and keeps the shape relatively compact. We made them a bit thinner than she suggests!

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Creating a BFF for your coffee: Chocolate Almond Biscotti


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Coffee is coffee is coffee. Or is it? I must say that I was NOT in the biscott-lovers boat as of even a few months ago, but once I changed my mind, coffee hasn’t been the same since. We can all agree that unless you are eating toast, dry is a terrible thing for bready foods. And that’s how I have judged you all these years, biscotti. A few weeks ago, I visited my fabulous artist grandma in Florida and spent way too long hanging out next to the biscotti tin. Maybe I’ve only tried boxed biscotti all these years, but my first taste of homemade chocolate-dipped biscotti changed my mind!

They ended up being fantastic on their own but seriously are they better with coffee or is coffee better with them?!?! I CANNOT tell. Sometimes I feel that way about my best friends. Do we become better people from knowing the other person or is it the friendship that makes us better people? All I know is I’m never looking back. While I was stuck inside during Atlanta’s 1inchsnowstormofthedecade, biscotti got me through! I started from the Cooks Illustrated Almond Orange Biscotti, a version of this recipe but hello, almonds are always better with chocolate chips!!

Chocolate chip Almond Biscotti

makes around 35 little biscotti cookies

1 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

4 TBS softened butter

1 cup sugar

2 eggs

1/2 tsp vanilla extract

1/4 tsp almond extract

1 cup toasted whole almonds

3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips

1. Whisk together dry ingredients. Set oven to 350 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.


2. Cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Then add eggs one at a time, adding both extracts. This is the best part, it smells so yummy!

DSCF45453. Chop up those almonds after toasting them for a few minutes either in a dry saute pan or the toaster oven.


4. Add the dry into the wet and mix until a cookie-like batter forms. Dump in your almonds and choco-chips until evenly distributed. Skilled at Play-dough formations? It’s your time to shine next.


5. Cut the dough in half and starting with the first, shape it into a 13 by 2 inch loaf. This recipe is sort of mini biscotti so if you wanted to make those really long ones, I would use the whole batch to make one large loaf. If the dough gets a bit too sticky, add some flour and continue shaping. Do the same with the second half of batter, and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown and crackly.


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6. After the first lil bake sesh is over, slide the logs over to a cutting board and slice on a bias with a serrated knife. Then place the biscotti cut side down on the baking sheet and bake for another 15 minutes, flipping them over halfway through baking.

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Serve with a hot cup of coffee and never break up this friendship!!!