Yam Fries

 

Yam fries are currently my favorite side dish and snack.  I’ll usually make a double batch of these babies and use a portion to go with whatever I’m making for dinner that night and use the rest to snack on in the coming days.  They taste great served hot or cold straight out of the fridge! Really!

This recipe is a DG creation.

kitchen tunes: drop it like its hot/ snoop dog ft. pharrell

 

INGREDIENTS:

3 medium yams OR 2 large yams

1/4 C premium olive oil

1/4 tsp fresh ground black pepper

1/4 tsp garlic powder

1/4 tsp nutmeg

cayenne pepper (to taste)

salt

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  • Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
  • Wash yams and slice into fries
  • In a large bowl, mix together the olive oil, pepper, garlic powder, nutmeg and a sprinkle of cayenne pepper.  (Use more or less according to your personal preference).
  • Toss the yam fries into the olive oil mixture and coat evenly.
  • Transfer to a large cookie sheet in a single layer making sure that the skin side is up.
  • Bake for 22-25 minutes.
  • Sprinkle with salt upon removing from the oven.
  • ENJOY!

 

 

Beef & Snow Pea Stir Fry

 

Quite often, something in the grocery store will catch my eye and almost in a compulsive manner, I’ll toss it into my cart unknowing of what will come of it.  That was pretty much the case with these snow peas.  I love snow peas.  And I love stir fry.  It just made sense!

kitchen tunes: You Found Me/ The Fray

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

1 LB lean beef, cut into 1/4 in thick strips

3 TBSP soy sauce

2 tsp.  toasted sesame oil

1/4 tsp kosher salt

1 LB snow peas

1 onion, sliced thin

1 red bell pepper, sliced thin

2/3 C chicken broth

2 1/2 TBSP sherry

1 TBSP corn starch

3 TBSP olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

sesame seeds, toasted

garlic chili sauce

steamed white rice

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  • Mix beef, 2 TBSP soy sauce, sesame oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Set aside.
  • In a separate bowl, mix the chicken broth, sherry, 2 TBSP water, remaining 1 TBSP soy sauce and the cornstarch.
  • Heat a wok over high heat. Add 2 tablespoons oil. Stir-fry the beef until browned, this takes only a few minutes. Transfer the beef and any liquid to a plate.
  • Add the remaining TBSP oil to the skillet.  Add garlic, onion, bell pepper and sugar snap peas and stir fry until slightly softened but still crunchy to the bite.  Next add the chicken broth mixture, lower heat to medium and simmer for 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the beef and juices back into the skillet and stir-fry 2 minutes.
  • Serve over rice, garnish with sesame seeds and garlic chili sauce.
  • ENJOY!

Buttery Banana Muffins

 

Having two growing boys with insatiable appetites and minimal time to grocery shop, I often tend to go over board on the healthy items that I know they are willing to eat.  Hence the reason that I brought home six pounds of bananas last weekend!  The mister warned me that they’d go brown before they had a chance to get consumed, I of course had other plans….like smoothies and BANANA MUFFINS! 🙂

kitchen tunes: The Next Episode/Dr. Dre

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

1.5 C all purpose flour

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt

3 large bananas, mashed

3/4 C sugar

1/3 C butter, melted

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  Prepare a muffin pan by coating with a non-stick cooking spray.
  • Sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
  • In a large bowl combine the mashed banana, sugar and melted butter.
  • Fold the dry ingredients into the banana mixture.
  • Scoop into the muffin pan.
  • Bake at 350 for approx. 25 minutes or until golden.
  • ENJOY!

 

Vanilla & Chocolate Conchas

This recipe takes a rather long time to prepare, but believe me, its worth it.  These pastries are a little more dense than what you would purchase in a Mexican market, but the flavor is almost identical  I’ll definitely be making these again.

kitchen tunes: Destiny’s Child/Bug A Boo

recipe from BH&G/May 20017

INGREDIENTS:

 

1/2 C lukewarm water (110 degrees)

2 TBSP active dry yeast

3/4 C, plus 1 TBSP granulated sugar

3 1/2 C all-purpose flour, plus 1/4 C for dusting

4 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/2 tsp. salt

3 TBSP. unsalted butter at room temp

1/2  TBSP extra-virgin olive oil

1 C all-purpose flour

1 C powdered sugar

8 TBSP unsalted butter, chilled and cut up

2 TBSP unsweetened cocoa powder

 

DIRECTIONS:

  • In a large bowl, combine the warm water, yeast and 1 TBSP granulated sugar.  Let it stand until foamy, about 10 minutes.
  • Place 3 1/2 cups of flour on a clean working surface; make a well in the center.  Pour in the yeast mixture, the remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, the eggs and salt.  Using your fingers, mix until dough comes together.  (Dough will be very sticky; use remaining 1/4 C flour and a dough scraper to help knead until you have a well-formed dough ball.)
  • Add 3 TBSP butter; knead until elastic and very smooth, about 10 minutes.  Grease a large bowl with olive oil; place dough in the bowl.  Cover with plastic wrap; allow to rise about 1 hour.
  • Transfer dough to a lightly floured surface.  Divide into twelve 2 inch pieces.  Roll into balls.
  • Place balls on two greased baking sheets.  Cover with plastic; let rise until double in size, about 1 hour.
  • Meanwhile for sugar topping, in a large bowl combine 1 C flour, the powdered sugar, and 8 TBSP butter.  Mix with hands until a moist dough forms.  Divide in half.  Add cocoa powder to one half; mix until well incorporated.  Divide the plain and chocolate dough into six balls each.  Flatten to a 1/4 inch thick disk; place on each concha.
  • Using a sharp knife cut through sugar topping.  Flatten each concha slightly; let rise 1 hour.
  • Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Bake 20 minutes or until puffed and edges are golden.
  • ENJOY!

Grilled Artichokes

Hey guys!  Man does time fly when you’re having fun!?  It’s been over three weeks since my last recipe post, and probably even longer than that since I made this recipe for grilled artichokes.  I must admit, I did have some help.  While I did all of the prepping and steaming, by brother-in-law did the grilling.  And what a fine job he did!

 

These grilled artichokes would go well with whatever dipping sauce you choose. My go to is a quick chop of cilantro, maybe 2 TBSP mix it into a cup of Mayo, stir in the juice of one lime and you’re good to go!!

Kitchen tunes: How Do I Live?/LeAnn Rimes

 

INGREDIENTS:

 

4 large artichokes; halved

1 lemon, quartered

3/4 C olive oil

4 cloves of garlic, minced

1 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

 

DIRECTIONS:

 

  • Remove the outer leaves then trim the tops, stems and tips of leaves from the artichokes, cut in half lengthwise. Place the halves into the bowl of lemon water, this will prevent them from browning.
  • Fill a large pot with 1 inch of water, bring the water to a boil
  • Using tongs, place the artichokes into the bottom of the pot.
  • Reduce to simmer and simmer for approx. 15 min. then drain.
  • Squeeze the lemon wedges into a medium bowl.  Stir in the olive oil, garlic and season with salt and pepper.
  • Grill the artichokes on an outdoor grill for 5-10 minutes, brushing the garlic dip on during the last couple of minutes.  Serve immediately with the remaining dip or a dip of your choice.
  • ENJOY!!

 

TIP: Using a stainless steel or an enameled pot will prevent discoloration or off flavors of the artichoke

Rainbow Chard with Sausage & Beans over Polenta

For Mother’s Day, the boys and I spent the day in the city. We had a few things in mind for our itinerary, but decided we’d do what we do best and wing it for the most part. 

We started our morning off at the Fort Mason Farmers Market. We arrived early enough to score an awesome *free* parking spot (which is a pretty BIG deal in San Francisco!). Since the vendors were still getting set up, we decided to walk across the street to Starbucks for a caffeine fix and an excuse to use their restroom!
It worked out to be perfect timing. We got to the farmers market just before it became too crowded. While there I picked up some shallots, rainbow chard, fresh (not dried) garlic, and a head of orange cauliflower. All organic. 

I was a little hesitant to buy too much produce since I knew that whatever I’d be purchasing would be sitting in a cooler in the back of the car all day. Also because we have two baseball games scheduled for the upcoming week, which means I won’t be doing a lot of heavy cooking. 

After the farmers market we headed to see the “painted ladies”. This famous row of houses is probably known best for their appearance in the intro to the television series “Full House”.  Which I wouldn’t doubt that I have seen every single episode of!

Next up we headed to North Beach A.K.A “Little Italy”. (And again, another amazing FREE parking spot!) Every time I’m in North Beach I have to stop at Stella Pastry & Cafe. This time we ordered a cannoli, an Apple turn-over and some Italian butter cookies with sprinkles. Yum!

 

As if that wasn’t filling enough, we then walked around the corner to a little hole in the wall known as Golden boy Pizza. We arrived just minutes before they opened for the day. We watched them slide their pizzas into the window display just as they unlocked the front doors.  We made their first order of the day!


Four slices of pizza, a sprite, a water, and a tall glass of beer for $21! Yes, please! 

The crab & garlic pizza is to die for! 


The server was kind enough to give us a clean pizza box even though I offered to pay for it. We told him we were headed to Seward Mini Park to slide down the cement slides and that we needed the cardboard to slide down on. He admitted that was an excellent reason to need a pizza box and refused any payment for it. So, I slipped an extra tip into the jar for his kindness. 😉


As if we hadn’t come across our share of luck so far into our trip, we were ecstatic to discover that we had the park to ourselves! The mister and I took advantage of it and let our inner child out while we took a few turns sliding down ourselves!
After that, we drove back down to the marina in hopes that the tide would be a little bit higher than it had been in the morning. We again parked the car in the free lot and took a short stroll down through the Golden Gate Yacht Club parking lot. Just past the lot is a jetty and at the very end is the Wave Organ.  The Wave Organ is constructed of cement pipes in various degrees that use the echos of the crashing waves to amplify the sound resulting in an amazing ocean melody. 


The views from the jetty are fabulous! The city skyline sits in one direction while the Golden Gate Bridge sits in the west and lonely Alcatraz stands alone in the center of the bay.  

We were lucky enough to get there in time to watch a sailboat race just as they passed the shore.  


We were pretty worn out after that and decided to call it a day!  All in all it turned out to be a pretty fantastic day! The weather was beautiful, the kids had a blast and we hardly spent a dime! 

kitchen tunes: champagne supernova/oasis

*this recipe was created by: The Daily Garlic.*



INGREDIENTS:


for the chard, sausage & beans:

1 lb Italian sausage; casing removed
1 bunch rainbow chard

1 14.5 oz can great northern beans; drained

2 TBSP olive oil

1 shallot, minced (aprox 2 TBSP)

4 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 C white cooking wine

1 C chicken stock 

Salt & pepper 

For the polenta:



1 1/2 C milk

1 1/2 C chicken stock

1 C polenta 

2 TBSP butter

Fresh cracked pepper 

DIRECTIONS:


For the chard, sausage & beans:

  • Prepare the chard by first washing it then removing stems from leaves. 
  • Chop the stems and set aside.
  • Roughly chop leaves and set those aside as well. 
  • In a large cast iron pan brown the Italian sausage over med-high heat while separating into large chunks. When cooked through, remove and set aside. 
  • In the same pan, heat olive oil and sauté the chard stems with the shallot, garlic, salt & pepper. 
  • Once the stems begin to soften, remove from pan and set aside with the cooked sausage. 
  • Deglaze the pan with the white cooking wine and add the chard leaves. Sauté just until wilted. 
  • Return the sausage and chard stems back into the pan. Add in the beans and chicken stock. Salt & pepper if needed. Lower heat and simmer for 5-10 minutes. 

For the polenta:

  • Heat the milk and chicken stock until it starts to come to a boil. 
  • While whisking, slowly pour in the polenta. 
  • Continuously whisk until thickened. 
  • Stir in the butter and pepper. 
  • ENJOY!

Chocolate Chip Cinnamon Scones

As far as imagination and creativity goes, my brain sometimes severely lacks. Although I will say that I do have a pretty decent ability of being able to take a basic recipe (such as Betty Crockers “Scones”) and revising it, thus turning it into something of my own. As long as I stick close to the same dry/wet ingredient ratio, I can have so much fun swapping out ingredients and adding my own spin on it, often based on what I already have in my fridge. Most of the time it works, occasionally it doesn’t. With this mornings breakfast, I’d say it went very well!

Kitchen tunes: I’m yours/ jason mraz

INGREDIENTS:

1 3/4 all purpose flour

3 TBSP granulated sugar

2 1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/3 C firm unsalted butter

1 large egg, beaten

1/2 C mini chocolate chips

6 TBSP heavy whipping cream

DIRECTIONS:

  • Heat oven to 400 degrees
  • In a large bowl, sift together the first five ingredients listed.
  • Using a pastry blender, cut in the butter until the mixture looks like fine crumbs
  • Stir in the egg, chocolate chips and heavy whipping cream (dough will be slightly dry)
  • Knead lightly 10 times.
  • On an ungreased cookie sheet, pat the dough down into an 8 inch round and using a sharp knife cut into 8 wedges.
  • Bake for aprox 15 minutes.
  • ENJOY!