Category Archives: Lengthy recipe but worth all the whisking, sweat and tears

Recipe Reviver: Part II

Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage
Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage from Bon Appetit Magazine

So, I wanted to let you know that I had a slew of new recipes for you, but then my blog was hacked and temporarily disabled…so this time I was not a lazy panda. First up, is my reviews from the gloriousness that was the new Bon Appetit. Well, did I call it or did I call it gang? So far we have tried the three recipes below and none have disappointed. My favorites in order and a brief description of each:

  • Braised Beef with Red Onion and Gremolata: Jeez Louise, this was ALL kinds of good. No seriously, absolutely amazing and would be a great crowd pleaser at a dinner party.
  • Winter Squash Carbonara with Pancetta and Sage: Did you know you can make pasta feel like a cheesy dish with winter squash? Well you can, and this dish is a perfect example of easy, cheesy, breezy it is. My mind is racing with where else I can apply this method…so many opportunities!
  • Chicken and Dumplings with Mushrooms: This was really good. David liked it more than I did as it was a little heavy on the mushrooms for my liking. While I think mushrooms have their place in this world, in my stomach is not one of them.

More to come poppets from Real Simple and Cooking Light including one that had us bickering over the larger leftovers!


Seduced by the Slow Cooker & Christmas 2013

Cooking Light hit my sweet, er savory spot with not one, not two, but a whole section devoted to the sultry workhorse of the kitchen – The Slow Cooker.  In their Slow Cooker Recipes to Feed a Crowd feature I made four of the recipes including the Classic Slow Cooker Beef Stew; Slow Cooker Chicken Tagine; Tangy Italian Beef Sandwiches and Sweet & Tangy Short Ribs.  Most of these were knock your socks off good, but the hands down winner has to be the Chicken Tagine. Nom, nom, nom. This is a new go-to when I don’t feel like doing much in the kitchen but want something spectacular when I get home.


David and I made the short ribs together, followed it to the letter and boy, we were not fans. The Sambal Oeelek (which usually we can both handle) was HOT. I mean on fire, I was choking a bit hot. Not sure what happened, but we are going to try again and see if it was user error. David and I are still both scratching our heads on what went wrong. Regardless, give the the other three a try. They are simply delightful and easy to prep. I just love coming home to the smells of something in the slow cooker don’t you?

Now on to the BIG DAY – CHRISTMAS! I am one of the biggest nerds on the planet for Christmas and last night, David and I were talking about why. On the surface, I love all the smells, colors and flavors of the season – it’s all up my alley. But more importantly I feel this time of year is when things are a little slower and people are just a bit kinder towards one another. Goodness, I sound just like the opening to Love Actually don’t I? But I truly do believe it!

Enough of this gushy stuff, let’s get to the food. So I had to make this perfect roast chicken again and yes, once again, it turned out perfect. So, so, so perfect. I don’t think I will ever follow another roast chicken recipe again. I also made this Stupid Simple Roast Beef with Horseradish Cream from Food & Wine magazine – jeez, this was outrageously delicious. It was perfectly medium rare and juicy to boot. Was it stupid simple? You bet! We smeared and smothered the spicy, creamy horseradish sauce all over the meat and ate with abandon. I also roasted some red potatoes along with meat and then tossed them in the pan drippings when done. These were cracktastic. At one point, Lila had eaten all of her potatoes and when David asked the table if there were any more, one of guests was trying to hide his – he didn’t want to share, hahahaha. I also served a simple side salad of roasted beets, kale, shaved parmesan and roasted hazelnuts with a lemon infused creme fraiche sauce.  Easy, breezy and mostly healthy – it has kale and beets, come on!

Stupid Simple

The only misstep for us was the Dark Chocolate Pudding with Pretzels from Bon Appetit. I followed this to the “T” (as I always do duh, but especially so since it’s a pudding and those can be tricky) and it was waaaay too rich for the table; even with the salty pretzels. People took a few bites and then kindly set it to the side. Good thing we had cheesecake as a backup! Overall, Christmas 2013 dinner was a success but more importantly, we were so grateful to be with amazing family and friends. Hope you and yours had happy holidays and who is ready for 2014?

Guess Who’s Back?

Oh no pandas! It’s been two months since my last post. Yoikes! While I have been doing some serious Cooking Inside the Lines my poor little blog has suffered at the hands of new and good things from a new gig (at Wellington Group – love those ladies over there!) and of course, our awesome kiddo Lila who is now one. One! Can you believe it? I have to admit I was crying like a big old baby when we sang her happy birthday. Who knew you could feel such sweeping emotion of happiness and being totally overwhelmed in the span of two minutes. Parents, you’re feeling me right?

So, let’s get to some of the great dishes we’ve had in the past few months. I will admit, there was a two week span where everything I made was meh and since “meh” just won’t cut it, I will not share here. I will say David and I were praising the recipe gods because the drought of just ho hum dishes was starting to feel like a curse upon our house.

Oddly enough, my first recipe comes from BuzzFeed (Really???!!!) for the hands down best way to roast a chicken by the one and only Chef Thomas Keller (I feel like I should put “bow down” between Thomas and Keller every time I type his name). Now, I’ve roasted some chickens in my day because, as the hubs knows, it’s one of my favorite things to make…ever. So when I saw “How To Make The Best Roast Chicken Of All Time” roll-up in my Facebook feed I gave a look to the computer screen and said “BRING IT!” (that might be a bit over exaggerated. Who me?). Well, they brought it and all that was left were some chicken bones and empty plates. This was simple, delicious and perfect. Heck, use the best way to cook a steak post and you will have your chicken and steak bases covered for forever. Seriously though, I do think I will use this method until the sun explodes. Loved it.

Photo from Buzzfeed


Moving on!

This Gardener’s Pie from Cooking Light was fantastic to the max. It was so good that I made it on a Monday night and David requested it for the next week’s lineup to try it again. And yes, it was still fantastic to the max. It’s creamy, ooey, gooey with delicious roasted vegetables that are all cooked and season juuuuust right. Make this. Inhale your dinner. Inhale the leftovers. Repeat.

Finally, a super fast and family friendly meal was this Tandoori Chicken Drumsticks with Cilantro Shallot Relish from Food & Wine. We only had six thighs so the cooking time was a lot less than 45 minutes and we had just enough time to make the Cilantro Shallot Relish, heat up some Naan and boom, dinner was done. I did have some Greek yogurt mixed with lemon juice and Garam Masala and we found ourselves mixing the greek yogurt blend and cilantro shallot relish together and dipping our warm, delicious (store bought as I’m not making that from scratch) Naan. Yumm. The chicken was super, duper moist and had just enough oomph from the spice blend without being too overpowering (I mean it looks like it could have that potential right?). Oooh man, I will make this again.

Photo from Food & Wine Magazine
Photo from Food & Wine Magazine

I promise to not be away for this long again – seriously!  Love to you all and have a wonderful holiday season and break…ahhhh, a break. Can’t wait to spend it with our amazing family and friends.

Southwestern Cobb Salad with Sweet Onion Dressing

A conversation about this amazing Southwestern Cobb Salad with Sweet Onion Dressing.


Emily: “It’s defnitely the toasted pecans that make this salad awesome, definitely.” Chomp, chomp, chomp.

David: “Oh really? See, I think it’s the eggs and bacon.”  Chomp, chomp, chomp.

Emily: “Maybe the pecans with dressing? That dressing is manna from heaven.” Chomp, chomp, chomp.

David: “My favorite dressing you ever made for sure. But I still think it’s the eggs and bacon. And maybe the bleu cheese.”  Chomp, chomp, chomp.

Emily: “Don’t even get me started on the sprouts, such a great addition. And I love the tomatoes and corn.”  Chomp, chomp, chomp.

David: “Wow, I just figured out why this salad took you so long to make! There’s so much to it! Are you going to check this under ‘lengthy recipe but worth the whisking, sweat and tears?'”  Chomp, chomp, chomp.

Emily: “Yes honey…I still say it’s the pecans.”  Chomp, chomp, chomp.

Seriously, this salad did take a while since there are so many components but, this was one of the top five favorite salads that I’ve ever made in this house. Definitely give it a try and don’t leave out the pecans.  Chomp, chomp, chomp.

Ratatouille Tian

They are so many food blogs I love on the intertubes but one of my favorites is from Clotilde Dusoulier (I also love her name) of Chocolate & Zucchini. From the recipes to the photography and her writing, I am so inspired by what she does and now she has a cookbook! I can’t wait for it to arrive at our house and I didn’t have to wait to try one of her recipes since Daily Candy had a sneak peek of a few of them, including her delectable Ratatouille Tian.

This dish, made famous by the Pixar movie Ratatouille, has been one of my favorites for a long time. I love the blend of zucchini, tomatoes, onions and eggplant. Yes, even eggplant, the one veggie that I really don’t dig, but in ratatouille, I can do it (so can David since he hates eggplant too). Also, I didn’t know that Tian translated into any kind of casserole-style baked dish, thank you Yumsugar.

I will say this dish took a long time. From cutting the vegetables on the mandolin to roasting for a good hour and a half. Speaking of, have you ever cut yourself on a mandolin? YOWZA. I did one time and from then have worn safety gloves after one small cut. I thought I was going to pass out from the pain and the cut was deep. Sorry, I went on a mandolin rampage but it seriously hurt so bad. This is my PSA for you to be careful with those things, OK?

So, after cutting all the veggies, and layering and roasting and more roasting, I thought my love for this dish might be slowly dwindling, but we took one bite and it really was like the scene from Ratatouille when Anton Ego takes one bite and is shot back to his childhood memory of him having a rough day and his mama making this dish for him. Happiness wells up inside him and tears begin to flow. Well, I’m from East Texas and definitely don’t have that memory, but I was shocked at how delicious it was and happiness did well up! It was perfectly balanced, cooked to perfection and so deliciously satisfying, just as this dish should be.

Tasting the ratatouille
Anton Ego taking the first bite of ratatouille from Pixar’s film, Ratatouille

This can be a bit of work but it definitely is worth the prep and time. Lovely, lovely, lovely, Coltide. I can’t wait to try more of your delicious work.

Let’s Talk Tikka

Mind blowing is the only phrase I can think of for this Tikka Masala recipe from Bon Appetit. My husband and I love Indian food but don’t typically make it at home (as you can tell from this blog), but after making this it will go on heavy rotation in our house.


This was a bit of lengthy recipe with a bunch of steps but the end result was well worth it. We loved the deep, rich and spicy flavors the marinade and sauce provided. We also made the Cilantro Yogurt Sauce and Spicy Sautéed Spinach. I loved the surprising addition of mustard seeds in the spinach, YUM! The only thing I didn’t make in their fabulous Indian food smorgasbord was the onion naan. Seriously, HEB store bought works just fine. :)

David was taking the leftovers for lunch and when he was about to leave them behind, I almost didn’t say anything so I could have them all to myself. Haha, that’s so wrong. If you are up for a unique dish for a crowd, this line-up is definitely an excellent choice. Make this now!

Chile Braised Short Ribs



It’s no secret that The Hubs and I like short ribs, heck, we had them at our wedding (bless you Primizie, bless you) and when I see a recipe for them I have to make it, it’s like an itch I gotta scratch!

With that, I just had to make these Chile Braised Short Ribs from Bon Appetit because of our aforementioned love of short ribs and because I randomly had a ton of dried New Mexico chiles in our pantry. What an odd thing to have a lot of huh? I was worried that this dish was going to be too spicy for my gentle husband, who loves spice but let’s just say it doesn’t love him back. Actually, the weren’t spicy at all but instead had a great smoke flavor and they were perfect in the falling off the bone department that all great short rib dishes require. We also loved the addition of the fingerling potatoes, carrots and the salty olives. I served this over some braised collard greens since it is my goal for us to eat a leafy green each day. We will be healthy damnit!

I would recommend this for people who have been around the short rib block a few times and want to try a new avenue of short rib deliciousness – you won’t be disappointed, trust me!

Food & Wine Week!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved recipes from Food & Wine magazine but I’ve noticed as of late that they have really inspired me to want to cook. Like these whimsical Garlic Bread “Fries” with Marinara “Ketchup” or the three bomb diggity dishes I made the past two days.

Lila just started daycare and while she’s fine, I’m the one losing it with worry and well, missing the heck out of her. So, while I was waiting for her and David to get home, I did what I know will help calm me down and keep my mind off of things…COOK! What better way than to honor the Chef who found sheer joy in cooking than the one and only Julia Childs. I tried this Julia’s Favorite Roast Chicken recipe from Food & Wine and to start, it was divine! Roasted chicken always sounds so simple but to nail it, it takes great timing, and a few simple ingredients to really make it shine and shine this one did. I’m not going to lie, there’s a lot to this but I didn’t mind the effort given the return when it was done. We both raved about this and I followed the instructions to a “T” to ensure I honored Miss Julia. As recommended, I paired it with the Bread Salad with Currants and Pine Nuts.  This was bonkers good and perfect with the roasted chicken. I would recommend a smidge more dressing than it calls for since I felt it needed it at then end to dress it up and add a little more flavor. Otherwise, perfect.

For tonight’s State of the Union speech we made this Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade from another icon of women chefs, Nancy Silverton. Simple should be this recipes middle name and out-of-this-world delicious would be its last. YUM. We snarfed this down in no time, and while I was hoping for leftovers the next day for lunch that was just not the case. The only thing I added was toasted bread to add a bit more crunch and texture to the salad.

I’ve got to say that roast chicken recipe was probably my favorite. It’s lengthy and a bit more of a food workout than normal but worth it! As Julia would say, Bon Appetit!

Antipasto Salad with Bocconcini and Green-Olive Tapenade

© John Kernick

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!