Thursday, May 21
I’m back in the kitchen! Yay! Today I have a fun seasonal recipe for you – rhubarb simple syrup!
Whether or not you like rhubarb you’ll like this syrup. With all the sugar involved it is anything but tart, and it adds a nice, subtle flavor twist to lemonades, punches, cocktails and more. You could even just drizzle a bit over ice cream or plain yogurt!
I will have a recipe on Babble soon for Raspberry Rhubarb Sangria (including a alcohol-free version) that I will for sure share a link to when it goes live, and next week I just might have a Strawberry Rhubarb Lemonade recipe for you, too. (Okay, I do, but you have to wait!)Rhubarb Simple SyrupPrep timeCook timeTotal timePerfect for flavoring drinks of all kinds!Author: Jane MaynardServes: ~9 ouncesIngredients
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup water
- 1 cup chopped fresh rhubarb, ½" pieces (about 2 stalks)
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (optional)
- Combine sugar, water and rhubarb in a medium pot. Bring to a boil over high heat.
- Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer mixture for 25 minutes.
- Strain mixture though a fine mesh sieve.
- Store in the refrigerator. Makes a little more than 1 cup of syrup.
Thursday, April 23
You guys. Candied pistachios. How have I never eaten or contemplated their existence before? As much as I want to talk about these delectable little nuts, we first need to talk about where I discovered them.
A few days ago I received a text from my dear friend Mindy inviting me to be her date for dinner at Club 33 in Disneyland. I’ll admit, I had to Google it. I had never heard of Club 33 and, as I read about it, I found out why. It’s a “secret” restaurant in Disneyland located directly above the Blue Bayou restaurant and the Pirates of the Caribbean ride. As I kept reading I realized that I absolutely needed to accept Mindy’s invitation, drive to Anaheim, pay to get into Disneyland and join her for a 5-star dinner at this mysterious restaurant for fancy mice.
Walt Disney had Club 33 built so he could have a quiet and elegant place to host sponsors of the park. He took great care in planning the details, including replicating a Parisian elevator that he and his wife loved dearly. Sadly Walt passed away before the restaurant was completed, but it opened nonetheless. It has a “secret” entrance with a doorbell that you ring to announce yourself. And, if you ask Disneyland employees about Club 33 or where the entrance is, they’re supposed to act like it doesn’t exist. Kinda fun, huh? It’s also the only place at Disneyland that serves alcohol…very expensive alcohol, I imagine!
The windows in the second story of that building in New Orleans Square are the Club 33 lounge. Now you’re in on the secret, too.
Mindy’s parents are members of the club and they were kind enough to have me join them for dinner on Tuesday night. (I’m super glad Mindy’s husband had to work this week! Thanks, Tyler!). Club 33 was updated a few years ago so now it includes a lounge and bar area in addition to the restaurant. The lounge and bar are stunningly beautiful, with all kinds of fun details, like paintings that magically change over time.
When Mindy and I arrived, she let me ring the doorbell (hence, the “ooooo!” face I’m making). We were then escorted up a beautiful staircase to the lounge area. When it was time for dinner, we entered the dining room, where the tables were set with Club 33 china. Everything was beautiful (I know I already used that word a million times, sorry), with great art on the walls and “fanciness” abounding.
The food was delectable. Truly. We had 6 courses and dinner was 3 1/2 hours long. Even after eating over that long time period we were still STUFFED. Everything we ate really was beyond delicious (hello, tender filet mignon, I am in love with you) and the waitstaff was lovely. My meal consisted of such goodness as cornbread coated fried portobello mushrooms, scallops on a bed of deliciousness that I have no idea what it was made out of, filet (I already professed my love), molten lava cake that was as good as what I make at home (that is the highest compliment I can give a lava cake) and more. It was a fantastic dinner!
Side note: the bathroom wasn’t anything to sneeze at, either. In fact, I could live in it. Happily. Forever.
One of our favorite parts of the night was when it was time to leave. The park had been closed for almost 2 hours at that point, but we soon learned that all the lights stay on at Disneyland through the night (insert everyone making the same jokes about electricity bills and solar panels). One of the Club 33 employees had to escort us out of the park, I presume so we wouldn’t get into any mischief with Goofy or something. Walking through the streets of Disneyland with everything aglow and not a person to be seen was, well, magical! (Come on, I have to use the word magical at some point in this post, right?) When we walked by the Mary Poppins cafe, I half expected Julie Andrews and the penguins to come dancing by. And, no, we were not allowed to take photos, which was killer!
I owe Mindy and her lovely parents a huge THANK YOU for a wonderful evening I won’t soon forget! I even came away with a special treat for you, too – candied pistachios! My second course for the meal was frisée salad with avocaodos and strawberries, which was topped with a wonderful buttermilk dressing as well as candied pistachios. How have I never thought to candy pistachios before? They are, hands down, my favorite candied nut and should be served on all salads from now until the end of time.
Enjoy your candied pistachios and know that this is what the fancy mice eat.
Candied PistachiosPrep timeCook timeTotal timeInspired by the candied pistachios served on my frisée salad at Club 33 in Disneyland.Author: Jane MaynardServes: 1 cupIngredients
- 1½ cups raw, shelled, unsalted pistachios
- 6 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Mix together the sugar, water and salt. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350º F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.
- When oven is heated, stir sugar mixture well then add pistachios. Stir to coat all the nuts very well. Spread pistachios evenly on the baking sheet, spooning them onto the tray rather than pouring straight from the bowl to minimize extra sugar mixture pooling on the tray.
- Bake for 8 minutes. The sugar should be bubbling on the tray.
- Remove from oven and immediately stir the nuts around on the tray with a rubber spatula, making sure all those nuts get a nice coating of bubbly sugar. Spread the nuts back out evenly so they are either not touching each other or just lightly touching. Let cool completely.
- Serve over salad or ice cream or cake or whatever suits your fancy! At Club 33 they served these nuts on a salad with avocado and strawberries and a buttermilk dressing I wish I could replicate.
Posted by Jane Maynard at 2:24 pm 8 Comments
Categories: featured recipes, Recipes, side dishes, simple side dishes, sweet things Tags: candied nuts, candied pistachios, club 33, disneyland, pistachios |
Thursday, April 16
Last weekend when we were driving through Southern Utah seeing the beautiful sights, the kids and I stayed at my Uncle Mark and Auntie Barb’s house in St. George. We had been driving all day long and, when we arrived at their house, they had a big pan of beer brats on the stove. It was so nice to have dinner waiting, especially a dinner as delicious as this one!
Barbara explained how she and Mark cook their brats and I made them myself just two days later! This is definitely my new favorite way to cook brats. And it’s super easy, with just three ingredients!
There are few notes throughout the recipe with hints and tips. I figured it’s better to just put all that info right into the recipe instead of here in the blog post. Enjoy!!!Mark and Barb's Beer BratsPrep timeCook timeTotal timeMark and Barbara are my aunt and uncle and they make the best beer brats ever.Author: Jane MaynardServes: 6Ingredients
- 6 Brats (Barbara used Johnsonville; I went shopping at Sprouts this week and bought the brats at their meat counter, which were GIANT, so I only cooked 4. I actually preferred the Johnsonville brats.)
- 2 onions, cut in half then sliced into ½" - ¾" slices
- 24 ounces beer, or enough to cover the brats and onions in the pan (Barbara used Miller High Life; I tried the recipe with Negra Modelo. Both beers were delicious - the Miller has a lighter flavor, the Negra yields a darker, stronger, richer flavor...I don't have a favorite, they're both fabulous!)
NotesBarbara mentioned sometimes they'll make these ahead of time and refrigerate or freeze them. When it's time to eat them, if frozen be sure to defrost, then heat the brats up on the grill and heat the onions in the microwave or on the stove.3.2.2925
- Place the sliced onions and the brats in a high-sided skillet. Pour beer over the brats and onions until they are covered.
- Heat over medium-high heat to bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 30-60 minutes, until the brats are cooked through (internal temperature 170º F). Make sure brats are simmering, not boiling, but you don't want the heat too low so that they're not cooking.
- Remove the brats from the pan and set aside on a plate.
- Cook onions until beer is almost completely cooked off, leaving you with saucy onions.
- Add brats back to the pan, raise heat to medium and keep them on the heat until they are hot again.
- Serve brats smothered in the onions on buns of your choice with mustard of your choice.
Thursday, April 2
For Anna’s birthday dinner last December we went to Benihana. The kids absolutely loved it and are always asking to go back (they have expensive taste!). One of our favorite food items that night was, surprisingly, the fried rice. It was a simple dish but so tasty and watching the chef cook it up inspired me to go home and try making it myself.
I’ve tried making fried rice a few times now and I think I have it down, although I’m sure it will continue to evolve! The trick is you need to be willing to cook everything in batches – the rice “fries” much better this way. I’ve also discovered that fried rice is a great “everything but the kitchen sink” recipe – whatever meats and veggies you have lying around can totally work!
I don’t know why I haven’t tried making fried rice earlier in my life, it’s such a great dinner idea. I know some of you are fried rice aficionados, so please feel free to share your own tips and/or recipes in the comments!Homemade Fried RicePrep timeTotal timeA great dinner idea and a great way to use up leftovers!Author: Jane MaynardServes: 6-8Ingredients
- 6 cups cooked rice (leftover rice is best, but you can cook the day of as well)
- Soy sauce
- Sesame oil
- Canola oil
- Ground ginger
- 1 onion, sliced thinly
- Veggies - chopped small (I use frozen corn, frozen peas chopped green onions, chopped carrots (small or in matchsticks) - you can use whatever veggies you like or happen to have lying around)
- Cooked and chopped chicken or pork (I like to use grilled chicken)
- 4 eggs, lightly beaten
- Salt and Pepper
- In a large, deep frying pan or wok, heat a tablespoon or so of canola oil over medium heat. Add sliced onions and cook until soft and translucent. Transfer to a very large mixing bowl.
- Place pan back on heat and turn it up to medium-high. Add about 2 tablespoons of canola oil, 1 tablespoon soy sauce and 1 teaspoon of sesame oil to the pan and heat.
- Add about a third of the rice to the pan, stirring well to coat evenly in the oils and soy sauce. Sprinkle evenly with ground ginger, a bit of salt and some pepper. Cook until rice starts to brown and, if you like, gets a little fried in parts. Transfer to the large mixing bowl with the onions.
- Repeat steps 2 and 3 and until all the rice has been cooked.
- Once rice is all cooked, add a bit of canola oil and soy sauce to the pan and then cook the meat and veggies until heated through. Add to the large mixing bowl.
- Pour lightly-beaten eggs into the hot frying pan. Let the eggs spread out in the pan and start to cook, then sort of flip the egg, and then chop with your spatula, so it's more "chopped" scrambled egg rather than "scrambled" scrambled egg (am I making sense?). As soon as the eggs are cooked through (not too long!), dump into large mixing bowl.
- Stir everything together well. Taste and add any salt and pepper if needed.
Wednesday, March 25
When I linked to Pat’s Asian Chicken Salad recipe on my menu earlier this week, I was surprised to discover that I had never actually written a post about it before. I decided it was about time!
I love this salad. It is one of my favorite go-to dinners and it’s super tasty. As with many of my great go-to dinner ideas, this one comes from my mother-in-law Pat. I don’t know what I would do with her! So, seriously, this is a great go-to dinner. Just last night I was convinced I didn’t have time to make dinner but was able to pull this together faster than if we’d done take out. And everyone in the family loves it!
Wednesday, March 4
I am SUPER excited about today’s post. First off, I get to brag about one of my very lovely food blogging friends. Second, I get to share an AMAZING recipe with you. Third, I get to do a giveaway. So much goodness in one place!
Aimée Wimbush-Bourque is a friend I met through blogging that I am beyond grateful to know. She is lovely and talented and I am lucky to have her as one of my people. Her blog Simple Bites is wonderful and she is truly an inspiration to me. The woman pretty much makes everything from scratch. When you grow up on a homestead AND you’re a professional chef you tend to do that sort of thing. I know I will never be an “Aimée” myself, but one can always dream…and at least I try!
Aimée just published Brown Eggs and Jam Jars and I am so happy to share this beautiful cookbook with you today! (Congratulations, Aimée!) My friend Allison came over this morning and we made a couple of Aimée’s recipes from the book. It was such a lovely morning, spending time with a friend making recipes written by another friend. I’m feeling all aglow with cheesy friend-i-ness!
Today I get to share Aimée’s recipe for Crispy Rosemary Roast Potatoes with you. Holy HANNAH, people. So good. Allison and I basically ate the entire batch. (We won’t talk about how many potatoes that was!) The technique for cooking the potatoes coupled with a cornmeal coating made for truly perfect roast potatoes. Perfect and dangerous. I wasn’t kidding when I said Allison and I ate an ENTIRE BATCH. At 10:30 in the morning, mind you. SO GOOD.
Anyway, Aimée’s book is filled with similarly wonderful recipes and I highly recommend you buy the book immediately! Right after you enter today’s giveaway, of course!
We are giving away a copy of Aimée’s beautiful book to one lucky, randomly-selected winner! Simply leave a comment telling us your favorite thing to make from scratch and you’re entered! Aimée is all about going homemade, so I think chatting about our favorite from-scratch recipes is the perfect way to celebrate her book launch! So, to recap, to enter the giveaway please leave a comment telling us your favorite thing to cook/make/bake from scratch by Midnight PT on Wednesday 3/11/15. Prize needs to be shipped to a U.S. or Canadian address.
And with that I give you Aimée’s recipe for some of the best potatoes you’ll ever eat. Enjoy!
Crispy Rosemary Roast PotatoesThis recipe is from the book "Brown Eggs and Jam Jars" by Aimée Wimbush-Bourque and makes some of the best roast potatoes this side of anywhere!Author: Aimée Wimbush-BourqueServes: 6Ingredients
- 2 pounds red potatoes (about 6-7 medium), peeled (Please note that I totally did NOT peel the potatoes, whoops! Sorry, Aimée! They still came out perfectly)
- 2 teaspoons salt, divided
- 2 tablespoons cornmeal
- ½ teaspoon black pepper
- ¾ cup olive oil
- Leaves from 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, minced, plus more chopped for garnish (I also forgot to mince the rosemary leaves...can you tell Allison and I were chatting while making the recipe? Again, everything tasted great.)
- 8 fresh garlic cloves, peeled
- Position a rack on the lowest level of the oven and preheat oven to 425ºF (220ºC).
- Cut each potato in half, then in half again, until you have 4 evenly sized chunks per potato. Place in a medium pot with 1 teaspoon of the salt, cover with cold water and set over high heat. Bring potatoes to a boil, then reduce heat slightly and boil for 2 minutes.
- In a large bowl, mix together cornmeal, remaining 1 teaspoon salt and pepper. Drain potatoes, then transfer to the bowl with cornmeal and toss gently to coat.
- In a 12-inch cast-iron pan or heavy skillet, heat olive oil over high heat. When small bubbles begin to rise (but before oil is smoking) and oil is very hot, add rosemary and garlic. Stir carefully with tongs for a minute to infuse the oil.
- Carefully add the cornmeal-crusted potatoes all at once to the hot oil and arrange them with your tongs so that they are evenly distributed around the pan. Place the skillet in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. Carefully remove pan from oven and turn each potato so the crispy side faces up. Roast for another 20-25 minutes or until golden all over.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer potatoes to a serving platter. Sprinkle with chopped fresh rosemary and a sprinkling of sea slat if desired. Serve at once.
Posted by Jane Maynard at 3:49 pm 72 Comments
Categories: fab faves, featured recipes, Giveaways, Recipes, side dishes, the goods, way gourmet Tags: brown eggs and jam jars, cookbook review, cookbooks, potatoes, roast potatoes |
Thursday, February 26
Happy Friday! I have a TON of great food links for you today, but before we get to that I wanted to talk about something dear to my heart. Last October I had the chance to attend ONE’s AYA Summit in Washington, D.C. I have yet to write a post about the conference because there is just too much I want to share. I’m planning to do a series of recipes posts to tell the stories, but until then…
Pictured: Ginny Wolfe (ONE), Patricia Amira (The Oprah of Africa…she was AWESOME.)
Video from the AYA Summit has been posted on Flipbook. Click here to see the videos (you’ll need to set up a Flipbook account – it’s worth it!). I don’t even know where to tell you to start, but all of it is fascinating/informative/inspiring – that I can promise!
One of the women we heard from, Marquesha Babers, wrote a post for the ONE website. Please read it. Marquesha is an amazing young woman I was blessed to meet at the summit.
Pictured, left to right: Holly Gordon (Girl Rising), Patricia Amira, Danai Gurira (Playwright and, yes, Michonne on The Walking Dead), Marquesha Babers (Poet)
If you want to DO something right now to support ONE, click here! One of the reasons I love ONE so much is that they aren’t asking for our money, they are asking for our voice. Right now you can send a letter to your congresspeople urging them to reintroduce the Electrify Africa bill. It’s super easy and will make a difference.
Okay, on to some delicious food!
This week on Babble I shared a recipe for a Deconstructed Chicken Club. I’m finding that deconstructing foods is one of the best ways to get my kids to eat it!
On Parade’s Community Table I have 2 posts this week!
And, lastly, if you’re pregnant or have just had a baby, be sure to visit the Solly Baby Blog to get ideas for Healthy, EASY Snacks for Nursing Moms.
Show and Tell time! Please share your own stuff!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 8:28 pm 8 Comments
Categories: babble, Community Table, food for thought, healthy eats, Lunchtime, ONE, Pregnancy and Babies, show and tell, solly baby blog Tags: aya summit, babble, community table, ONE, solly baby, solly baby blog |
Tuesday, February 24
Two summers ago we stayed in Falmouth, MA for our annual Cape Cod family vacation. One night we ordered pizza from a restaurant called Stone L’Oven and every last pizza was delectable. My favorites were the fig and prosciutto pizza (which I already created a recipe for) and a wonderful sweet potato pizza. Nate’s cousin Sara and I went back and forth endlessly about which one we liked more. In the end we couldn’t decide, they were both amazing!
I have finally recreated the sweet potato pizza in my own kitchen and it was delicious! This pizza has all kinds of wonderful ingredients, from salty bacon and gorgonzola cheese to sweet caramelized onions and sweet potatoes. Top it all off with a balsamic glaze and you’re in heaven!
A note on the balsamic glaze – I used to make it myself until I discovered STAR’s Modena Creamy Balsamic Glaze. Their glaze is the perfect consistency for drizzling on pizza, so that’s what I use now. I highly recommend it.Sweet Potato and Bacon PizzaThis pizza is the perfect combination of salty and sweet!Author: Jane MaynardIngredients
- Pizza crust of your choice (I use this recipe or good naan bread for my crust)
- olive oil
- 1 fresh garlic clove per pizza you make
- caramelized onions
- fresh mozzarella cheese, sliced (regular shredded mozzarella cheese works, too, but I love fresh)
- gorgonzola cheese, small chunks
- sweet potato, cubed
- bacon, cooked and chopped
- fresh spinach
- salt and pepper
- balsamic glaze (if you want to make your own, click here for instructions. STAR makes a bottled balsamic glaze that I love - click here for more info.)
- Preheat oven to 400ºF.
- Toss cubed sweet potatoes in olive oil and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper. Spread in a single layer on a cooking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, until soft.
- Roll out pizza crust then brush on a thin layer of olive oil across the surface. Push fresh garlic clove through a garlic press then spread with your fingers over the oiled crust. Top pizza with caramelized onions, gorgonzola cheese, spinach, sweet potatoes, and bacon. Finish with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake pizza how you normally do it for your crust recipe.
- Remove from oven, sprinkle with a bit of salt and pepper then drizzle with balsamic glaze. Serve!
Thursday, February 19
I think it’s time for another Crazy Easy Chicken Recipe! Today’s “recipe” is one of the first things I ever cooked. Even though this non-recipe recipe is beyond easy and simple, it’s incredibly tasty and versatile. In fact, I don’t know why I don’t cook chicken like this more often.
Italian dressing is kind of magical. It’s one of those ingredients that can quickly add flavor to all kinds of recipes. My favorite uses are in potato salad and for marinating chicken, which brings us to today’s recipe!
All you need is chicken and Italian dressing. That’s it. You’re done. Be sure to stab your chicken as directed. That is the key to making your chicken extra tender and filled with that Italian dressing flavor.
Italian Dressing ChickenThis chicken is great topped on salad and served on a sandwich!Author: Jane MaynardIngredients
- Boneless, skinless chicken breasts
- Italian dressing
- Preheat oven to 350º F.
- Stab the chicken breasts on both sides a TON with a fork.
- Put chicken in a small bowl and cover with Italian dressing, flipping chicken to cover completely. You can cook immediately but letting it marinate for about 30 minutes in the fridge is even better!
- Place chicken in a baking dish, pouring any remaining dressing in the bowl over the top.
- Bake for about 30 minutes, until inside of chicken is no longer pink and the internal temperature reaches 160º F. Don't overcook to keep it moist and tender.
- I didn't provide measurements because this is a CRAZY EASY recipe and you don't need them! Just eyeball it, you can't mess it up!
Posted by Jane Maynard at 12:35 pm 6 Comments
Categories: Crazy Easy Chicken Recipes, featured recipes, main dishes, Recipes Tags: chicken, chicken recipes, crazy easy chicken recipes, italian dressing |
Tuesday, February 10
I love Penzeys Spices. In fact, one of the things I miss most about living in Menlo Park is having a Penzeys store just down the street. Since the nearest store is now about 45 minutes away, I really appreciate getting the catalog that much more. And, unlike the store, the catalog is filled with all kinds of great recipes.
Nate got his hands on the latest catalog and requested that I make three of the recipes in it, so we’ve been doing one Penzeys recipe a week. I started with a recipe for Chicken Kai Pa Lo, a Thai soup served with rice and soft-boiled eggs. Kai pa lo is traditionally made with pork, but this particular recipe called for dark meat chicken.
This dinner was GOOD. Nate and I loved it and the kids all liked it, too. In fact, 7-year-old Anna was especially enamored with this dish and practically licked the bowl clean. Nate and I both agreed that this kai pa lo tasted as good as anything we’ve eaten at a Thai restaurant. I am so glad Nate got me to try this recipe. Penzeys once again for the win!
For the eggs, I highly recommend you follow my friend Irvin’s technique for making soft-boiled eggs. Our soft-boiled eggs came out perfectly. The soup itself has a wonderful Asian flavor that is very comforting, and the recipe is surprisingly simple to make. You won’t have to slave in the kitchen to make an impressive meal!
Chicken Kai Pa LoPrep timeCook timeTotal timeThis recipe originally came from a Penzeys Catalog and was submitted by one of their customers Jennifer Sombutmai. I have modified the recipe by adjusting measurements and making them more specific, and I changed the meat used to speed the cooking process.Author: Jane MaynardServes: 6-8Ingredients
- 1 tablespoon canola oil
- Half of a medium yellow onion, diced
- 4 fresh garlic cloves, minced or pushed through a garlic press
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon ground white pepper
- 4 boneless, skinless chicken thighs
- 1 tablespoon chicken soup base (Penzeys sells this, I also use "Better Than Bouillon" from the store)
- 6 cups water
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 soft boiled egg per serving
- 1½ tablespoons Chinese Five Spice
- Chopped green onions (optional)
- Heat oil in a large sauce pan or dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.
- While the onions are cooking, mix together the soy sauce, garlic powder and white pepper. Rub this mixture on both sides of the chicken pieces.
- Once the onions are translucent, add fresh garlic to the pan and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Push the onions to the side of the pot a bit and add the chicken pieces to the center of the pot. Brown chicken on both sides, about 4 minutes a side.
- Add the soup base to the pot then pour in the water. Bring to a boil then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let cook uncovered until chicken is cooked through, about 10 minutes. I use a thermometer to check for doneness - chicken is ready at 160º F.
- Remove chicken from the pot and shred/cut into bite-sized pieces. Add the five spice and brown sugar to the pot, stir well, then return chicken to the pot. Simmer 5-10 more minutes.
- Serve soup in a bowl with jasmine rice and a soft-boiled egg. Top with green onions if using.