Category Archives: Emily Favorite

Spice-Rubbed Salmon with Herb-and-Pomegranate Raita



If you can believe it, we also had fellow couple in our group of friends who were due one month after we were. Cue December 3 (five days after Lila was born) and their baby was here and 28 days early! I will always be so thankful for the group of friends we have and our friend Kari, brought her A+ game. She did a lot for us those first few weeks, including organizing a friend cooking group to bring us meals each night that first week. Not only is this a fantastic way for your friends to see your new little bundle of joy, but it is so helpful to be around friends and family those first few weeks and you get to enjoy  delicious homemade food! So, I volunteered to cook for our fellow new parent couple and wanted to pick something simple, delicious and healthy. Enter this salmon dish from Food & Wine magazine – YUM!

I will admit that while I was pregnant, carbs and sweets were my BFFs. Normally, I don’t indulge in either very often, but I was snarfing breads and pastas and had to have a dessert almost every night (good thing I co-own a pie company eh?). Carbs and pastas and chocolates are a hard habit to break, but I’m trying to get back to my old self and this dish was definitely a step in the right direction. I loved it because I made enough for our friends and for us and it was still quick to make – bonus when you are recovering from a C-section. David and I thought it was perfectly balanced and definitely a keeper, but I knew it was good when I received a text from our friends saying it was delicious! Hooray!

A Winning Night

Yowza! I don’t care what side you were on last night, that was a nail biter at times huh? I wanted to make something quick and simple so we could get back to watching the pundits dissect and predict every single swing state for hours upon end until the polls actually closed and the good stuff got started. I chose this Butternut Squash and Mushroom Tart from Cooking Light with a simple spinach side salad drizzled with my homemade Lemon Oregano dressing.

First, the crust. You know I make crust for a living so I was intrigued by this one with its salt, pepper, baking soda and olive oil as the fat to bind. Interesting. It was like a shortbread crust but savory, and yummy! The combo of butternut squash, eggs, Gruyere cheese, bacon and mushrooms was simply divine. Added bonus, I’m so super duper pregnant right now that I was thankful this was a quick and easy recipe. I’m telling you I can’t stop cooking, I love it too much!

This soared passed any predictions we had and won the popular vote in our house. For picky eaters or if you are in need of a quick crowd pleaser, this definitely has the ability to reach across the aisle and make everyone happy. Oh dear, I’ve been watching way too much CNN.


“A David Favorite”


These are three words I love hearing during or after a meal from my adorable husband David. One of the many things I loved about him right off the bat was his love and appreciation of food which was very important to me when I was looking for “the one”.  I love exploring new foods, restaurants, wines and cocktails and David is always right there with me having the same great time. What I’m even more excited about is that we get to pass this love and appreciation for food on to our daughter (10 more weeks if you can believe it!). I can’t wait to share baking tips with her, or the right way to balance a dish, or heck, how to enjoy a good ol’ slab of chicken fry.

I know it’s been a while since I posted, and in between being insanely busy with The Pie Society (check it out! to getting ready for baby, it’s been a whirlwind past few months. Who knew that preparing for a thing so small could be so much work? Between appointments, getting the house ready, hospital details, I feel a bit like I’m getting off a Tilt-A-Whirl sometimes. Any advice from marathon moms out there?

Back to food! We had a lot of these “A David Favorite” moments going on in the house when I did have time to cook and let me just say, all of these are Emily favorites too. What I appreciated about all of them was they were fast, easy-to-follow, and very, very tasty. If I had to pick a favorite, it would probably be the Summer Beef-and-Rice Casserole from Everyday Food. We had leftovers for days and it kept getting better and better each day. Here’s our round-up of all of them and next up, my new favorite restaurant in Austin!

Everyday Food’s Summer Beef-and-Rice Casserole: YUM with amazing leftovers for days or an hour if you are pregnant.

Everyday Food’s Gnochhi with Quick Meat Sauce: Fast and easy. I used pre-made gnocchi from Whole Foods Market because they do amazing with those little potato pillows and that meat sauce is fantastico! Look it’s a demo video!

Bon Appetit’s Kerla-Style Beef Stew: reserve this for a night when it gets a little chilly and enjoy with some buttery toasty bread. You’ll thank me later. Oohh this was a stunner!

Cooking Light’s Crisp Chicken Marina: This felt like a fun spin on chicken Parmesan that was healthy to boot. I stirred in a cup of spinach until it wilted for an additional veggie oomph. You’ll be glad you had leftovers lambs.


Friends, Foodies and Corn Lovers, Lend Me Your Ears

Every food magazine I thumbed through this month has featured golden, delicious, fresh corn. I have always loved me some corn so I didn’t mind some outside-the-box ideas with this crunchy, sweet vegetable and two recipes that piqued my interest were in Cooking Light magazine including Corn Pancakes with Salmon and Lemon-Chive Cream ( and Saucy Crawfish with Whole Corn Grits (

I just adored both of these for their creativity and combination of flavors in each dish. With the corn pancakes, I definitely have a new entertaining dish I can serve when we have friends over. This is an impressive looking and well, more importantly, tasting dish. It’s elegant and refined and heck, y’all, it’s a corn pancake! We loved the fresh salmon and the absolutely perfect pancake. Put a dollop of the lemon-chive cream on top and it was mouth-wateringingly good. I served with a fresh side salad of arugula, feta and lemon-oregano dressing.

Mmmm, moving on to the grits recipe. I’m such a Southerner when it comes to food and this reminded me of my childhood in a big way. When I was little we would go to this super fancy place called Johnny Cace’s in Longview – still one of my Mom’s favorites. This place is an institution in East Texas and and they can serve up some serious Creole y’all: At first glance it can seem like there’s a lot going on but this dish came together quite quickly. Those grits are to DIE FOR with the fresh corn, as is that sauce…yum, yum, yum. I substituted shrimp instead of crawfish but could see this being killa with some mudbugs. I urge you to make both of these before the summer fresh corn is gone.

Oooh the new Bon Appetit and Cooking Light have uploaded to my Kindle – must go read!

Glazy Afternoon

Last Sunday I wanted to make a fun Sunday chicken dinner but with a little oomph. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good roast chicken but I really just wanted to try these Maple-Soy Chicken Thighs and Miso Grilled Vegetables ( as soon as possible. Yumeh ya’ll! If you like applying the brush to your food then these two recipes are for you. I really enjoyed them together on the plate since you have a bit of Asian influence in each to make each other sing. It’s funny, I was talking to another friend who is also pregnant and she mentioned that she is now just cooking to her whims and cravings instead of having any real reason for making her meals each night. I’m trying to hang on to the thinly veiled mask of things making sense together but who wants to place the first bet that stops in a few weeks? I bet you my husband will be first in line. He’ll probably double down on that it will specifically be spaghetti and meatballs with a side of mashed potatoes and red bean mochi to top it off.

Back to the glazing! Gosh, these Maple-Soy Chicken Thighs ( from Cooking Light were insanely good and easy to boot. David liked them because of the maple syrup factor (of course) and I loved them paired with my favorite Asian ingredient miso in the grilled veggies (also from Cooking Light). Plus, you get to sit and glaze the heck out of stuff. I think kids might have a good time doing this in the kitchen with you if you’ve got an avid little cooker at your knee. This was simple, healthy, and filling enough to be a perfect Sunday family dinner. I know David and I both made it one of our favorites!

Boy? Girl? Let’s Find Out!

284967_395016050552859_1805443785_nOK, I’m going to admit that I completely dorked out over the gender reveal party for our baby. Massive, massive dorkage.  Maybe it’s because I was so tired in my first trimester and wanted to get my food groove back on or I’ve been fatigued and haven’t been able to spend as much time with friends as I’m used to, whatever it was, I was pumped pandas. Never mind the fact that we were about to start calling “it” her or him instead! David and I got to see baby Kealey that Friday on a sonogram (such a cutie) and then proceeded to give the sealed card to Tyler, my niece’s super gentle chef boyfriend. Alex, my niece, created a blueberry and a strawberry pie filling, the super cute cutouts and then gave Tyler directions on how to make the pie once he opened the card. We got back from lunch and Tyler had done such an awesome job with the pie…look at that, he SHUT IT DOWN. I kept swearing up and down the color looked blue underneath and David thought so too. Not until tomorrow would we know!

So down to the food geeking out part. I wanted to make foods that represented our very different backgrounds including something that embraced my East Texas/Southern roots and his Canadian/Northeast ones. Obviously, my Mama’s chicken fried steak and creamy gravy was on the menu and as was poutine –  the national dish of Canada. David requested tomato soup and grilled cheese since he loved that as a kid and fried mac ‘n’ cheese because it’s “just so awesome” in his words. I also served a kale salad for those trying to eat healthy (weird, but it does happen here sometimes) plus Devils on Horseback because bacon, dates and cheese are never wrong, a cheese plate and crackers. I thought earlier in the day that I had bitten off way more than I could chew, but actually, it wasn’t that bad making all this food!

Continue reading Boy? Girl? Let’s Find Out!

Potato Gnocchi with Pastrami Ragu

BLESS this dish, bless, bless, bless.

Best new chefs Rich Torrisi and Mario Carbonne created this Potato Gnocchi with Pastrami Ragu and like an old Italian grandmother, I want kiss both of them on the cheek. I honestly don’t have much to say about this one except make it and snarf it I guess. One thing I did do and that’s because I’m kind of a tired bones panda at times and didn’t feel like making from-scratch gnocchi (I know you won’t judge me for that) I bought the chilled version from Whole Foods Market and followed the directions for perfect pillowy gnocchi. This made it extra splendid in my eyes  because it was so fast to make after a long night in the kitchen and got me in front of the TV quicker to geek out of over So You Think You Can Dance. Yes, I used to be a dancer (obviously not the caliber of those lovely ladies and gents) and lurve that show. I know, I’m a serious nerd. Don’t even get me started on Star Trek, comic books or Star Wars. Reason #4,567 why David and I are such a good match. Oh and speaking of, this is a David favorite and I remember that because he said it about 10 times; 8 while eating it and twice while getting seconds. If that doesn’t compel you I don’t know what will.

Rub A Dub Dub

Ok, ok, I know I can’t just skim over the fact that I haven’t posted in a month and a half but lambs, it’s for a very, very, very good reason…we’re cooking up something that can take oh, give or take nine months. YAY! A baby Kealey! Can you believe it? I know we can’t, and this might get a little personal but I hope this can inspire other couples, since I was told it would be unlikely for me to conceive. I have endometriosis, which as any woman with it knows you’ve probably been told it would be difficult, if not impossible, to have children. David and I had embraced the fact that it probably wouldn’t happen for us, so you can imagine our surprise when we found our little EPT test turned out with a plus sign instead of negative.  We are over the moon but alas things have been busy, busy around here getting ready for him or her…more on this next week.

So now that I have the energy to start cooking again, I’ve been going bananas in the kitchen especially with a coffee. Maybe it was the first trimester no coffee policy but I’ve been enjoying java again in the second and it seems like on everything. One oldie but a goodie I made for a dinner party this past Sunday was the Coffee-Rubbed Cheeseburgers with Texas Barbecue Sauce. I knew it wasn’t just me who thought these were amazing, as everyone loved them.  I’m telling you that rub would be amazing on anything but with the smoked gouda, barbecue sauce and coffee-rubbed hamburger patty it is a trifecta of flavor happiness in your tummy:

Next up, and I’ve made this twice in two weeks so take that for what you will, is the Coffee-Cured Pork with Sunchoke Pickle Relish from Food & Wine magazine. Oh goodness lambs. This was amazing. The baby is kicking me right now as I type this, haha, I love it and maybe it’s recalling how good this was? David was a HUGE fan of this one. What I liked about it was it’s very easy to make and then you just sit it and forget it until you pull out the nom, nom, nommy pork. Now the sunchoke pickle relish is a wee bit more intense but is fun to make or at least I thought so. I guess I’m just a Southerner at heart since I love canning and pickling. This was awesome on top of the pork since it had a hint of vinegar and sweet to it, kind of like a South Carolina style-pulled pork sandwich. I have jars of it to last for a while, unless I sit and eat it all with a spoon this week, which is highly likely.

I’ll be back up and writing a little more frequently now poodles, I promise you that. Big hugs.


Sometimes there are recipes that from reading it for the first time, to prepping and cooking and finally enjoying it at the dinner table, it  just makes you incredibly happy. Last night I had the pleasure of this experience which I must say is rare. Let me clarify, that all the recipes I put on this blog I love for many reasons and would never lead you astray lambs, but it’s kind of the equivalent of seeing a double rainbow when you have one that gets it juuuuuust right on every single front if you know what I mean. Enter this Roast Chickens with Pistachio Salsa, Peppers and Corn from Bon Appetit and Chef Jeff Cerciello from FarmShop in Los Angeles: This was the bomb in so many ways, let’s start counting why shall we?

(1) It’s roast chicken which never sucks in my opinion, especially when the chicken is smothered in a killer marinade and then stuffed with thyme and lemon. The recipe called for the perfect temperatures and cooking times for these little beauts (45o for 30 minutes then 350 for 30 minutes) that led to super-moist and flavorful chickens. All David kept saying last night was “You NAILED this chicken!”

(2) A nut salsa! A while back we made a flat-iron steak with an herbed-nut salsa that we loved: This got us thinking that we need more nut salsas in our lives and we were more than happy to give this one a try and rate it a 10 out of 10 on the nut salsa scale.

(3) Peppers and Corn! “Really,” you might be saying, “you’re excited over peppers and corn? You might need to get out more.” Well maybe, but still. This was a perfect complement to the moist, delicious chicken, nutty/spicy salsa and the pitch-perfect heirloom tomatoes I served alongside to round out the meal.

(4) This might seem like a lot of prep, but alas, it wasn’t. In fact, I felt it was kind of fun to put it all together and it’s a stunner when it’s plated and ready to go. I think this would be an amazing crowd pleaser for summer picnics or dinner parties since it would be easy to do large batches of chicken and the pepper/corn mixture.

(5) If it’s possible, the leftovers the next day were just as amazing as our dinner. I snarfed it in fact.

As I said, PERFECTION. Please try this one, in fact, I’m making this for Sunday family dinner this week. Can’t wait to try it again, yes, twice in one week!

Fantastic Farinata

What is a farinata you ask? Don’t worry, I didn’t have a clue either but I thought the recipe sounded delicious. Hailing from Genoa, a farinata is a sort of pancake made with chickpea flour. Bonus to all of you gluten-free eaters out there.

This was skosh on the prep side, but I breezed through it pretty quickly and talk about getting your veggies. I felt healthy just by looking at this dish on my plate, let alone eating one, OK two, helpings of this. We both liked the dish for it’s freshness and the farinata was something totally new and unique that it felt like we were having a little bit of food fun for a typical weeknight meal. I could see this being perfect for a wedding or baby shower, or a brunch where you can do the basic farinata recipe and then do a veggie topping of your choice and a meat option with crispy pancetta, onions and cheese. Nom, nom, nom. Mangia y’all and give this one a try, it’s going in as an Emily and David favorite, I guess I should just start saying Kealey favorite eh?