Perfect day for the cherry blossoms, the bees are humming, the sun is shining, and all is calm.  Now, what to bake for Easter? Perfect day for the cherry blossoms, the bees are humming, the sun is shining, and all is calm.  Now, what to bake for Easter? Perfect day for the cherry blossoms, the bees are humming, the sun is shining, and all is calm.  Now, what to bake for Easter?

Perfect day for the cherry blossoms, the bees are humming, the sun is shining, and all is calm.  Now, what to bake for Easter?

Beautiful day at Tower Grove market and some beautiful bread from Red Fox Baking and Catering!
—j Beautiful day at Tower Grove market and some beautiful bread from Red Fox Baking and Catering!
—j Beautiful day at Tower Grove market and some beautiful bread from Red Fox Baking and Catering!
—j Beautiful day at Tower Grove market and some beautiful bread from Red Fox Baking and Catering!
—j Beautiful day at Tower Grove market and some beautiful bread from Red Fox Baking and Catering!
—j

Beautiful day at Tower Grove market and some beautiful bread from Red Fox Baking and Catering!

—j

Finally, the warmth, the flowers, the farmer’s markets, and the salads!

This is probably my favorite go to salad.  Baked chicken, feta cheese, tomatoes, artichokes, olives, mixed salad, salt, pepper, olive oil, and balsamic vinegar.  Yum.

Get out there and enjoy the sun!

—j

Springtime, thunderstorms, and pizza… nothing goes better.  Other than pizza with pesto, chicken, artichoke hearts, bell pepper, tomatoes, kalamata olives, goat cheese, mozzarella, and arugula (sprinkled on top after baking).
Here’s to the spring love,
j Springtime, thunderstorms, and pizza… nothing goes better.  Other than pizza with pesto, chicken, artichoke hearts, bell pepper, tomatoes, kalamata olives, goat cheese, mozzarella, and arugula (sprinkled on top after baking).
Here’s to the spring love,
j Springtime, thunderstorms, and pizza… nothing goes better.  Other than pizza with pesto, chicken, artichoke hearts, bell pepper, tomatoes, kalamata olives, goat cheese, mozzarella, and arugula (sprinkled on top after baking).
Here’s to the spring love,
j Springtime, thunderstorms, and pizza… nothing goes better.  Other than pizza with pesto, chicken, artichoke hearts, bell pepper, tomatoes, kalamata olives, goat cheese, mozzarella, and arugula (sprinkled on top after baking).
Here’s to the spring love,
j

Springtime, thunderstorms, and pizza… nothing goes better.  Other than pizza with pesto, chicken, artichoke hearts, bell pepper, tomatoes, kalamata olives, goat cheese, mozzarella, and arugula (sprinkled on top after baking).

Here’s to the spring love,

j

Busy week. Self-care is important. Enter. Hot. Chocolate.
Yum.
—j Busy week. Self-care is important. Enter. Hot. Chocolate.
Yum.
—j

Busy week. Self-care is important. Enter. Hot. Chocolate.

Yum.

—j

Its officially spring, but with the cooler weather forecasted, this may be the last soup of winter.  A delicious parsnip and ginger soup by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.  A carrot got thrown in to give it a little extra color and a boost of vitamin A (Why, I don’t know, because I wanted to!).  Puréed soups are also quite easy because it doesn’t require much precision; just chop, cook, boil, and purée and you’re done.  I use my immersion blender to make soup like these, but you could also use a food processor or blender.  I recently tried a vitamix for the first time which did an amazing job.  (Anyone want to send me one?!)
First chop one large onion, mince 2 garlic cloves and 2 inches of peeled fresh ginger, dice 1+ lbs of parsnips and 1 carrot.
For the spices I used whole spices and ground them up in a mortar and pestle.  I used ½ tsp cardamom, 2 tsp cumin, ½ tsp cayenne pepper.  I threw in a pinch of salt and a few peppercorns into the mixture to help grind it all up.
Heat up 2 tbls of olive oil and 2 tbls of butter in a pan and sauté the onion first for about 10 minutes, then add in the garlic and ginger along with the ground spices.  Continue cooking for a few minutes then add in the parsnips and carrots.  Stir until everything is well coated.  Pour in 1 qt vegetable stock  and simmer until everything is well cooked, about 10-15 minutes for me.
Turn the heat off, let cool briefly, then purée, turn the heat back on and begin warming it back up.  Check the seasonings and add more salt and pepper, and finally stir in ¾ cups of whole milk.  Once the soup is exactly where you want it to be serve with some sour cream and pepper on top.
Enjoy,j Its officially spring, but with the cooler weather forecasted, this may be the last soup of winter.  A delicious parsnip and ginger soup by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.  A carrot got thrown in to give it a little extra color and a boost of vitamin A (Why, I don’t know, because I wanted to!).  Puréed soups are also quite easy because it doesn’t require much precision; just chop, cook, boil, and purée and you’re done.  I use my immersion blender to make soup like these, but you could also use a food processor or blender.  I recently tried a vitamix for the first time which did an amazing job.  (Anyone want to send me one?!)
First chop one large onion, mince 2 garlic cloves and 2 inches of peeled fresh ginger, dice 1+ lbs of parsnips and 1 carrot.
For the spices I used whole spices and ground them up in a mortar and pestle.  I used ½ tsp cardamom, 2 tsp cumin, ½ tsp cayenne pepper.  I threw in a pinch of salt and a few peppercorns into the mixture to help grind it all up.
Heat up 2 tbls of olive oil and 2 tbls of butter in a pan and sauté the onion first for about 10 minutes, then add in the garlic and ginger along with the ground spices.  Continue cooking for a few minutes then add in the parsnips and carrots.  Stir until everything is well coated.  Pour in 1 qt vegetable stock  and simmer until everything is well cooked, about 10-15 minutes for me.
Turn the heat off, let cool briefly, then purée, turn the heat back on and begin warming it back up.  Check the seasonings and add more salt and pepper, and finally stir in ¾ cups of whole milk.  Once the soup is exactly where you want it to be serve with some sour cream and pepper on top.
Enjoy,j Its officially spring, but with the cooler weather forecasted, this may be the last soup of winter.  A delicious parsnip and ginger soup by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.  A carrot got thrown in to give it a little extra color and a boost of vitamin A (Why, I don’t know, because I wanted to!).  Puréed soups are also quite easy because it doesn’t require much precision; just chop, cook, boil, and purée and you’re done.  I use my immersion blender to make soup like these, but you could also use a food processor or blender.  I recently tried a vitamix for the first time which did an amazing job.  (Anyone want to send me one?!)
First chop one large onion, mince 2 garlic cloves and 2 inches of peeled fresh ginger, dice 1+ lbs of parsnips and 1 carrot.
For the spices I used whole spices and ground them up in a mortar and pestle.  I used ½ tsp cardamom, 2 tsp cumin, ½ tsp cayenne pepper.  I threw in a pinch of salt and a few peppercorns into the mixture to help grind it all up.
Heat up 2 tbls of olive oil and 2 tbls of butter in a pan and sauté the onion first for about 10 minutes, then add in the garlic and ginger along with the ground spices.  Continue cooking for a few minutes then add in the parsnips and carrots.  Stir until everything is well coated.  Pour in 1 qt vegetable stock  and simmer until everything is well cooked, about 10-15 minutes for me.
Turn the heat off, let cool briefly, then purée, turn the heat back on and begin warming it back up.  Check the seasonings and add more salt and pepper, and finally stir in ¾ cups of whole milk.  Once the soup is exactly where you want it to be serve with some sour cream and pepper on top.
Enjoy,j Its officially spring, but with the cooler weather forecasted, this may be the last soup of winter.  A delicious parsnip and ginger soup by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.  A carrot got thrown in to give it a little extra color and a boost of vitamin A (Why, I don’t know, because I wanted to!).  Puréed soups are also quite easy because it doesn’t require much precision; just chop, cook, boil, and purée and you’re done.  I use my immersion blender to make soup like these, but you could also use a food processor or blender.  I recently tried a vitamix for the first time which did an amazing job.  (Anyone want to send me one?!)
First chop one large onion, mince 2 garlic cloves and 2 inches of peeled fresh ginger, dice 1+ lbs of parsnips and 1 carrot.
For the spices I used whole spices and ground them up in a mortar and pestle.  I used ½ tsp cardamom, 2 tsp cumin, ½ tsp cayenne pepper.  I threw in a pinch of salt and a few peppercorns into the mixture to help grind it all up.
Heat up 2 tbls of olive oil and 2 tbls of butter in a pan and sauté the onion first for about 10 minutes, then add in the garlic and ginger along with the ground spices.  Continue cooking for a few minutes then add in the parsnips and carrots.  Stir until everything is well coated.  Pour in 1 qt vegetable stock  and simmer until everything is well cooked, about 10-15 minutes for me.
Turn the heat off, let cool briefly, then purée, turn the heat back on and begin warming it back up.  Check the seasonings and add more salt and pepper, and finally stir in ¾ cups of whole milk.  Once the soup is exactly where you want it to be serve with some sour cream and pepper on top.
Enjoy,j

Its officially spring, but with the cooler weather forecasted, this may be the last soup of winter.  A delicious parsnip and ginger soup by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.  A carrot got thrown in to give it a little extra color and a boost of vitamin A (Why, I don’t know, because I wanted to!).  Puréed soups are also quite easy because it doesn’t require much precision; just chop, cook, boil, and purée and you’re done.  I use my immersion blender to make soup like these, but you could also use a food processor or blender.  I recently tried a vitamix for the first time which did an amazing job.  (Anyone want to send me one?!)

First chop one large onion, mince 2 garlic cloves and 2 inches of peeled fresh ginger, dice 1+ lbs of parsnips and 1 carrot.

For the spices I used whole spices and ground them up in a mortar and pestle.  I used ½ tsp cardamom, 2 tsp cumin, ½ tsp cayenne pepper.  I threw in a pinch of salt and a few peppercorns into the mixture to help grind it all up.

Heat up 2 tbls of olive oil and 2 tbls of butter in a pan and sauté the onion first for about 10 minutes, then add in the garlic and ginger along with the ground spices.  Continue cooking for a few minutes then add in the parsnips and carrots.  Stir until everything is well coated.  Pour in 1 qt vegetable stock  and simmer until everything is well cooked, about 10-15 minutes for me.

Turn the heat off, let cool briefly, then purée, turn the heat back on and begin warming it back up.  Check the seasonings and add more salt and pepper, and finally stir in ¾ cups of whole milk.  Once the soup is exactly where you want it to be serve with some sour cream and pepper on top.

Enjoy,
j

I knew this recipe made a lot, I could just tell by the list of ingredients.  But baking them in my mini muffin tins meant that it made a lot of muffins.  8 dozen to be exact.  Thankfully I have many people and places to share with, so they will be easily eaten up!  These Morning Muffins, as I explained to others is almost carrot cake, but a little less sweet.  I also added some whole wheat flour in to make it ever more hardy.
First sift together:4 cups flour (half white and half whole wheat)4 tsp baking soda4 tsp cinnamon1 tsp salt
Next mix together:6 large eggs2 cups vegetable oil2 1/2 cups sugar2 tsp vanilla
Then add into the wet ingredients:2 cups grated carrots1 cup raisins1 cup chopped pecans1 cup shredded coconut2 grated tart apples
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix until just barely combined.  You don’t want to stir it too much so that the muffins have a nicer texture.  Then spoon the batter into muffin tins, make sure its greased or use muffin papers.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F.  If making normal sized muffins, bake for 30-35 minutes.  If making mini muffins, bake for 12-14 minutes.  Once finished baking, make sure you let them cook on a rack.
Enjoy,j I knew this recipe made a lot, I could just tell by the list of ingredients.  But baking them in my mini muffin tins meant that it made a lot of muffins.  8 dozen to be exact.  Thankfully I have many people and places to share with, so they will be easily eaten up!  These Morning Muffins, as I explained to others is almost carrot cake, but a little less sweet.  I also added some whole wheat flour in to make it ever more hardy.
First sift together:4 cups flour (half white and half whole wheat)4 tsp baking soda4 tsp cinnamon1 tsp salt
Next mix together:6 large eggs2 cups vegetable oil2 1/2 cups sugar2 tsp vanilla
Then add into the wet ingredients:2 cups grated carrots1 cup raisins1 cup chopped pecans1 cup shredded coconut2 grated tart apples
Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix until just barely combined.  You don’t want to stir it too much so that the muffins have a nicer texture.  Then spoon the batter into muffin tins, make sure its greased or use muffin papers.
Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F.  If making normal sized muffins, bake for 30-35 minutes.  If making mini muffins, bake for 12-14 minutes.  Once finished baking, make sure you let them cook on a rack.
Enjoy,j

I knew this recipe made a lot, I could just tell by the list of ingredients.  But baking them in my mini muffin tins meant that it made a lot of muffins.  8 dozen to be exact.  Thankfully I have many people and places to share with, so they will be easily eaten up!  These Morning Muffins, as I explained to others is almost carrot cake, but a little less sweet.  I also added some whole wheat flour in to make it ever more hardy.

First sift together:
4 cups flour (half white and half whole wheat)
4 tsp baking soda
4 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp salt

Next mix together:
6 large eggs
2 cups vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Then add into the wet ingredients:
2 cups grated carrots
1 cup raisins
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup shredded coconut
2 grated tart apples

Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, mix until just barely combined.  You don’t want to stir it too much so that the muffins have a nicer texture.  Then spoon the batter into muffin tins, make sure its greased or use muffin papers.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350°F.  If making normal sized muffins, bake for 30-35 minutes.  If making mini muffins, bake for 12-14 minutes.  Once finished baking, make sure you let them cook on a rack.

Enjoy,
j

After having been out of town, I went to the grocery store with no plan, no inspiration just hoping an idea would be calling out to me from the shelves.  This is a risky endeavor because then you end up with more than you need and spending more money than you intended.  But I was tired and didn’t have the energy to make a plan.  So aimlessly I wandered the store; employees stopping me asking if I needed any help.  Did I look that hopeless?

Finally after the circling the store for a second or third time or… how long have I been in here?  There waiting for me patiently was a bunch of asparagus.  From across the room plans began spilling out of my mind on how to enjoy this fresh springtime vegetable.  In the past month I’ve gravitated towards making pasta, more than I have for the past year.  Is it a spring thing?

A mixture of asparagus, chicken, sundried tomatoes, whole wheat penne pasta, and pesto makes for an enjoyable, welcoming, and restorative meal for the weekend!

Birthday celebrations call for a special treat!  I was asked to make these bite-sized Pecan Tassies for a dessert and cocktail party for L, so I was happy to oblige.  In addition to my contribution, there was also creme brûlée, an amazing flourless chocolate cake, snicker doodle cookies, chocolate dipped macaroons, and carrot cake cupcakes.  I haven’t eaten this many sweets for a long time!

First, in a mixer blend together 3 ounces softened cream cheese and ¼ cup + 3 tablespoons softened butter.  Then mix in by hand 1 cup flour.  You are essentially making a ‘pie crust’ so don’t mix too well, but feel free to get in there with your hands to ensure the dough comes together nicely.

Then combine ¾ cup light brown sugar, ¾ cup chopped pecans, 1 egg, 1 tablespoon butter softened, 1 teaspoon vanilla, and a pinch of salt.  Mix together until well incorporated.

Finally use a generous teaspoon of the dough, form it into a ball by rolling it in your hands and then flatten it into a disc by using the palm of your hands.  This pie crust is then placed into a mini muffin tin gently, so that it forms a “tassie” or cup.  Then use a generous ½ teaspoon of filling so that the shell is approximately ¾ of the way full.  This is because the egg mixture will rise a little bit.  Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.  Pull out of the tin and let cool on a wire rack, then dust with some powdered sugar.

I honestly have no clue where the recipe is from and wish I could give credit to came up with this tasty combination.  So if anyone knows, let me know so that I can give them credit.

Enjoy!
—j