Saturday, February 18, 2012

Lemon Poppyseed Pancakes

Last week I started my final semester of college before I go to culinary school. Having a routine and schedule has been nice, and has left me more time to cook, which has been a treat. I decided to make pancakes for breakfast one morning. I picked on this recipe for two reasons; I love lemons and I love poppyseeds. These turned out better that I could have expected. They are perfectly fluffy and light, with the perfect sweetness. I would suggest topping them off with fresh fruit and a bit of hot syrup (nothing ruins pancakes like COLD syrup...ugh). I used blueberries, and it was delectable.

// 2 C flour
// 1 t baking powder
// 1/2 t baking soda
// 1/3 C sugar
// pinch of salt
// 1/3 C poppy seeds
//zest of 4 lemons
// 2 C buttermilk
// 2 large eggs
// 2 T butter --- melted


I. Mix dry ingredients together.
II. In separate bowl, whisk together buttermilk, eggs, and butter. Add poppy seeds and zest.
III. Pour buttermilk mixture into flour mixture. Stir just until combined --- don't overmix!!
IV. Heat skillet over medium heat. Brush with butter. pour 1/3 C scoops of batter into the center of the skillet.
V. Place pancakes that are done on a baking sheet and place in oven heated to 'warm' until you have used up all the batter.
Vi. Remove pancakes from over and serve.

         :: Poppy seeds go rancid quickly, so store them in your freezer.
         :: Heat store bought syrup for about 30 seconds in the microwave and pour over warm pancakes immediately before serving.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Savory Sauteed Sausage and Veggies

Over the past few years of cooking, I've learned many things, but one of those things is that I love sauteed veggies and meat. Its a great technique to get a savory and flavorful meal.
Today when I got home for lunch I decided to saute some gourmet sausage with veggies, and then threw it on a toasted bagel with some cold cream cheese. This may sound strange, but the warm and tender sauteed veggies are perfectly contrasted by a crispy bagel and the coolness of cream cheese. The flavors melded well and I sooo enjoyed my lunch :)

+ 1 chicken and artichoke sausage; chopped into large pieces
+ 3 mushrooms thinly sliced
+ 1 tomato, cut into slices
+ 2 garlic cloves; pressed
+ 1 stalk of green onion, thinly sliced
+ 1/4 t saffron threads (about 5 threads)
+ pinch of salt
+ 1 sprouted wheat bagel, halved
+ 2 T light cream cheese

I. Pre-heat a medium sized iron skillet over medium heat. 
II. Add sausage pieces to pan and sear for about 3-4 minutes, or until outsides are a bit crispy.
III. Reduce heat to medium low. Add mushrooms, tomatoes, green onion, and garlic. Coat with a light layer of grapeseed oil. Saute for about 5 minutes, stirring 2 to 3 times. Meanwhile, put bagel in toaster, and toast until just slightly crispy
IV. Sprinkle salt over mixture and add saffron threads. 
V. Allow mixture to cook 1-2 minutes longer. Turn heat off when mixture is cooked to desired temperature/appearance.
VI. when bagel is toasted, spread with cream cheese. Top each half with sausage mixture.


Monday, January 23, 2012


This is my mother. 
If you already knew that, you also probably know that we are close. VERY close. 
I think our closeness is a product of a few things; We spend a lot of time together; We tell each other everything, and the Lord has just given us personalities that allow us to be unusually close knit. But undoubtedly the biggest reason we are so close is because over the past few years we have had to walk through the same trials together. By the Lords grace, He has used it to strengthen our love for Him and our friendship.
The past few months have been heavy laden with stormy seas. One of which has been with my grandparents rapidly declining health. For the past 5 days my mom has been up in Pismo Beach, taking care of my grandparents, until arrangements for full time care-givers can be made. Trust me when I say, it has not been an easy task to take care of them.
However, this has been quite an eye opening experience for me. I've stayed home and had to be responsible for cleaning, laundry, cooking, our animals, and other tasks around the house.
Today I spent the whole day cleaning, and getting things ready for her to come home. The thought that kept going through my head was about how thankful I am to my mother for sacrificing her time to be a faithful steward of our home, with far too little recognition.
I am so thankful to have been taught by her, how to keep a home, schedule, and priorities. 
Praise the Lord for my dear mother whom I love so much! She is truly a blessing.

"She looks well to the ways of her household 
   and does not eat the bread of idleness. 
Her children rise up and call her blessed; 
   her husband also, and he praises her: 
 “Many women have done excellently, 
   but you surpass them all.”

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Gourmet Spinach and Burger Salad (+seasoning)

The past few weeks, its been pretty warm here in LA., and I've found myself eating more salads. This salad is one of my all time favorite meals. Its so easy to make, yet interestingly gourmet, and a great alternative to just a plain 'burger and bun.' For the record, I think I also enjoy it so much because it includes three of my favorite ingredients. ;) This recipe makes a single serving.

Gourmet Spinach&Burger Salad

+ 2 C spinach
+ 1 turkey burger patty, seasoned (recipe for seasoning is below)
+  1 T slices Jalapenos
+ 2 T crumbled feta or blue cheese
+ 6  rings yellow onion
+ 2 T balsamic salad dressing

1. Cook burger patty in an iron skillet for about 4 minutes each side, over medium high heat. Set on a plate to rest when done.
2. In pan used to cook burger, melt 1 T butter. When butter is heated place onion slices in pan and allow them to get soft. They are done when the onion is transparent and starts to brown on the edges
3. Bed the spinach in a large bowl. Cut the burger into cubes and place meat on salad.
4. Top with jalapenos, cheese, and salad dressing.
[I also like to add alfalfa sprouts if I have them, for a yummy treat]


I use this every time I make burgers. It makes a frozen patty taste great, and adds a yummy smokiness to fresh turkey or beef burger.
+ 2 1/2 T paprika
+ 2 T table salt
+ 2 T garlic powder
+ 1 T porterhouse seasoning
+ 2 t black pepper
+ 1 T white pepper
+ 2 t ground mustard
+ 1 t cayenne pepper

Just rub a bit onto each side of the patty before cooking.

Friday, January 6, 2012

Hello/Goodbye: Looking Forward to 2012

Time truly does fly when you're having fun. This past year has come and gone by so quickly. Looking back at 2011 I see growth, grace, and fruit. I was such a young Christian at the beginning of last year, and it is amazing to look back and see how the Lord, has molded and shaped me, a sinful wretch, for His glory.  He is my first love, and He is so faithful, even when I fail.
2011 brings me so much joy, as I look at how full it was. I started meeting with a prayer group with 5 other women, finished my first year of college, started a small group with 3 other women, and cultivated friendships that will last forever. 
Gods grace has been evidenced to me each day that I have had to live this past year, and I am nothing but thankful.
But as much joy and fruit this year has brought, I look back and see my continued need for a Savior. Each and every day I HAVE to rely on Him to be my strength and portion, or else I will fail.......miserably. I see my own sinful heart and how many times I listen to it, and wander.
 My prayer for this year is the same prayer David prays in Psalm 139

"Search me, O God, and know my heart! 
   Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me, 
 and lead me in the way everlasting!"

Its important for me to always have a spiritual game plan and be prepared -- or else I will be easily distracted or lose sight of the true destination or purpose.
Some of my goals for 2012::
+ Cultivate a greater discipline with Scripture Memory
+ grow in evangelism
+ quick to hear and slow to speak
+ cultivate a more gentle and quiet spirit
+ be more discerning 
[and on the practical side...]
+ re-do my room
+ read 100 books
 + travel
+ finish my AA degree//start culinary school

But ultimately my only goal is to be more saturated with Christ each day

"To live is Christ and die is gain."
Philippians 1:21

Friday, October 7, 2011

a [warm] touch of fall:: Creamy Pumpkin Pasta (&&a playlist for rainy days)

Fall is without a doubt my favorite time of year. I love the weather, the food, the music, the clothing, the movies, and the fellowships that goes along with it. I love that we already have had a dose of rain here in Los Angeles, and i hope that it stays crisp and cool.
Below the recipe I listed my [rainyday] playlist. I love driving in the rain listening to good music :)

There was no better way to welcome in the first day of fall than by making a dish with pumpkin.
I love pumpkin in desserts, but this is the first time I ever cooked it in a main course dish, and it was fantastic. All the flavors melded together perfectly, and it looks and tastes like fall. I don't have a picture of the completed dish, because I was too hungry to stop and snap a photo of the final product. You'll just have to make it an see for yourself ;)

Recipe amended from www.momadvice,com
+ 3 garlic cloves, peeled and minced
+ 2 T olive oil
+ 1 pound chicken breasts; cut into long, thin strips
+ 2/3 C pumpkin
+ 2 C organic, no sodium chicken broth
+ 1/4 C half and half
+ 1/2 C sour cream
+ 1/4 t nutmeg
+ 1 t kosher salt
+ 1/4 t white pepper 
+1 t ground sage
+ 2 t fresh, flat-leaf Italian parsley
+ 1/4 C shredded Romano cheese
+ 1 Pound Penne Pasta 

I.Saute the garlic and olive oil in a large iron skillet over medium heat. Add in the chicken and cook, stirring occasionally, until the chicken is cooked through; about 6 minutes. Remove garlic and chicken from the skillet, place in a bowl, and set aside.
II. Pour the chicken broth into the pan and deglaze the pan, using the wire whisk, until all the flavors have been brought up.
III. Whisk in the half and half, sour cream, pumpkin, and seasonings until all the elements are blended. Simmer for 10 minutes. 
IV. While the pumpkin mixture is simmering, cook the penne pasta until it is the texture you prefer. Drain the pasta and stir it into the skillet with the pumpkin mixture. After the pasta is evenly coated, stir in chicken and garlic. Allow the pasta to continue to cook until the sauce has thickened. Stir in the parsley.
V. Plate the pasta and grate the cheese over the pasta.
     :: don't even think for a second about substituting black pepper for white pepper. They may have the same name, however they are not related. The white pepper adds a great hotness, that adds to the flavor, but doesn't overwhelm the dish. perfection.
       :: you don't have to use chicken, you can completely leave it out, making it a vegetarian dish, or use any sort of meat of your choice. I wouldn't recommend using a red meat or any type of seafood, however. Stick with white meats like chicken, turkey or even pork, or a type of sausage.

[rainy+day] playlist::

Artist | song [s]
Jamestown Story | Ashamed
Barcelona | Pease Don't Go
Owl City | Plant Life / How I Became the Sea
The Band Perry | If I Die Young
John Mayer | Dreaming With A Broken Heart / Half of My Heart / No Such Thing / My Stupid Mouth / Heartbreak Warfare
Mark Ballas | Light On (HurtLoveBox version)
Maroon 5 | Just A Feeling / Won't Go Home Without You / Sunday Morning 
Keane | Somewhere Only We Know
Katy Perry | Not Like the Movies
Kill Paradise | Beautiful Color
Lady Antebellum | Just a Kiss / American Honey
Lifehouse | Beautiful
Lykke Li | Possibility
Bobby Darin | Beyond The Sea
Michael Buble | Save the Last Dance For Me / Feeling Good / Home / L O V E / Everything
Mumford and Sons | Awake My Soul / The Cave / Little Lion Man
Nat King Cole | L-O-V-E
OneRepublic | Apologize
Panic! At The Disco | Sarah Smiles
The Pussycat Dolls | I Hate This Part
Rob Thomas | Ever The Same
The Rocket Summer | Save
The Script | Talk You Down / Before The Worst
Taylor Swift | Enchanted
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross | Hand Covers Bruise / In Motion
Adele | Set Fire To The Rain
Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zero | Home
Greg Laswell | Girls Just Want To Have Fun
Goo Goo Dolls | Better Days / Iris
Ellie Goulding | Lights
Frank Sinatra | Fly Me To The Moon
The Lion King | Can You Feel The Love Tonight? / The Circle of Life
Death Cab For Cutie | Summer Skin
Muse | Guiding Light

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


As I logged in to blogger today a sudden epiphany came to me:: I haven't blogged in a while. Almost 2 months to be exact. oops! I really intended to, however, things have just been so busy I haven't had time to put things down onto a blog post.

I have been cooking, a lot actually, and have lots of yum recipes to post:: as soon as I find time!
hope you all are doing well!