Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Monkey Bread

Since it's just the beginning of the semester, I am not yet completely overloaded with work. In my free time yesterday, I baked. I saw a recipe for a chai spiced monkey bread; I decided to attempt it because it sounded delicious (I LOVE chai), and I've never made monkey bread before. 

The bread was a bit time consuming because it has to rise two separate times for an hour each, but the result was definitely worth it. I used 100 percent whole what flour instead of the combination that the recipe called for, which resulted in a slightly denser bread, but it was still wonderful. The bread is rolled in brown butter before the brown sugar and chai spice mix, which is delicious and compmements the spices so well. 

I gave it to some friends as a dessert, but as you can see it was also a great snack to accompany some afternoon coffee. 

Monday, January 27, 2014

Soup for a Cold Day

This week for my Sunday cooking - which generally provides me with some food for the week, as I usually only cook for myself, was a delicious soup inspired by a blog called TasteFood. The original recipe is a soup with kale, miso, barley, and mushrooms. I followed the recipe exactly, except for substituting bok choy for kale and farro for barley, because I already had those ingredients. The end product is full of amazing flavors and is very satisfying - especially on a cold day, of which there are many here in Wisconsin during the polar vortex.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Chicken Kiev

This is my rushed attempt at Chicken Kiev, based on a recipe from Food52. (As well as brown rice and sautéed zucchini). For Chicken Kiev, you pound a chicken breast until it is very thin, and then wrap butter, herbs, and garlic inside the chicken. While my chicken still tasted wonderful, I did not get the full effect because I was pressed for time and therefore did not pound the chicken thin enough, and the butter melted out a bit. I hope to attempt this recipe again in the future, and with enough time! 

Friday, January 17, 2014

Family Dinner Party

I love having dinner parties, and I love them even more when I get to enjoy them with good friends. There isn't as much pressure to get everything perfect or the timing exactly right, which is always the trickiest part, and of course the company is great. Last night, my best friend Molly and her family came over. The Bell-Cox Belinsky family dinner parties began in high school, and have transformed into a goodbye dinner tradition whenever Molly and I have to go back to school. I made a Food52 recipe for the main course - chicken with onions, fennel, lemons, and olives in a delicious tomato and wine sauce. I cooked up an easy pot of rice to go with the sauce, and Alice Waters' butter and honey carrots as another side. The carrots are so simple, cooked quickly in water flavored with butter and salt with honey added towards the end, but only opinion they were the best dish of the night. To start, I made a citrus, ricotta, and watercress salad with oranges from our backyard. For dessert, Molly brought sweet rose ice cream (my favorite!!!) to go with my homemade chocolate chip cookies.