Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Winner Winner chicken dinner!!


So after a very dramatic past few days, I came to find out this morning that I had won the Shabby Apple design contest! And by dramatic, I mean that I have been sick, plus there was major confusion about the votes through Instagram. (Didn't I mention before that it should not have been determined by a popular vote?) Turns out people can buy (yes, BUY) "likes" on Instagram and Shabby Apple had to figure out which likes were legitimate. They used a third party auditing group. Still, what a mess! I was feeling pretty good on Saturday night when the voting was closed and I had the most votes, but I still wasn't sure what the final tally would be. So I spent Sunday and Monday completely ill at ease. Then I woke up this morning to Micah calling me, telling me to check my instagram.

The winnings of this contest are having my design produced and sold on Shabby Apples' Summer 2015 line, naming the dress, and earning 1% of the royalties.

So what I have for you in thanks for your support is a recipe! Micah made this for dinner on Sunday and it was just what my tensed up soul needed! What is it? It's America's Test Kitchens


America's Test Kitchen - season 8, episode 20, Indian Favorites, Simplified

serves 4 to 6



1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tbsp grated fresh ginger
2 tbsp vegetable oil
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tsp)
1 cup plain whole-milk yogurt [you can use low-fat if you don’t have whole]
2 lbs boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed of fat

Masala Sauce

3 tbsp vegetable oil
2 tsp grated fresh ginger
1 medium onion, diced fine (about 1 1/4 cups)
2 medium garlic cloves, minced or pressed through a garlic press (about 2 tsp)
1 fresh serrano chile, ribs and seeds removed, flesh minced [you can keep the seeds for added heat which is what I did or use a jalapeno if you don't have a serrano chile]
1 (28-oz) can crushed tomatoes
1 tbsp garam masala
1 tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp table salt
2 tsp sugar
2/3 cup heavy cream [We used a combination of cream and yogurt]
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves


1. FOR THE CHICKEN: Combine salt, cayenne, coriander, cumin and in small bowl. Sprinkle both sides of chicken with spice mixture, pressing gently so mixture adheres. Place chicken on plate, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for 30 to 60 minutes. In large bowl, whisk together ginger, garlic, oil, and yogurt; set aside.

2. FOR THE MASALA SAUCE: Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat until shimmering. Add onion and cook, stirring frequently, until light golden, 8 to 10 mins. Add ginger, garlic, tomato paste, chile, and garam masala; cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 3 mins. Add salt, sugar, and crushed tomatoes; bring to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer for 15 mins, stirring occasionally. Stir in cream and return to simmer. Remove pan from heat and cover to keep warm.

3. While sauce simmers, adjust oven rack to upper-middle position (about 6 inches from heating element) and heat broiler. Using tongs, dip chicken into yogurt mixture (chicken should be coated with thick layer of yogurt) and arrange on wire rack set in foil-lined rimmed baking sheet or broiler pan. Discard excess yogurt mixture. Broil chicken until thickest parts register 160 degrees on instant-read thermometer and exterior is lightly charred in spots, 10 to 18 mins, flipping chicken halfway through cooking.

4. Let chicken rest 5 mins, then cut into 1-inch chunks and stir into warm sauce (do not simmer chicken in sauce). Stir in cilantro, adjust seasoning with salt, and serve.


I believe Micah used an immersion blender for the sauce to make it extra smooth. I highly suggest doing this, if you have one.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Dress designer!

Hello, everybody within the sound of my blog!

Yesterday was pretty exciting for me. My dress design was chosen as a finalist for Shabby Apple's #daretodesign dress design contest!

If it were up to me, the final winner would be chosen by a real, professional dress maker, who knows about design and how fabric drapes and what fabric to choose etc. But, as it turns out, the winner is whoever


I like Instagram, mostly. I didn't have a lot invested in it but now, all of a sudden, I do. And I have to ask everybody I know to either use their current Instagram account to vote, or create an account to like from this link:


So my fate is in the public's hands. I know what a politician feels like now. I also know that I do not want to be a politician.

Please, if we be but friends, share this with anybody who has an Instagram, or who likes Shabby Apple, or who might like to wear this dress. If I win, it will be created and sold on Shabby Apple, and I will receive 1% of royalties. The contest ends Saturday (Valentines Day).

In the end, I am glad I gave this a shot. Who knows if I have a future in dress making. I know I enjoy the designing part.

Thanks for your support. See you in 2016. Yes we can. Bla bla bla.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Goat Cheese Cheesecake.

The very second I read about the idea of using goat cheese in cheesecake I decided I HAD to try it.

That was this week.

But I knew better than to have a whole cheesecake in my house so I had Micah take most of it to work on Friday.

I kindof regret it.

I stole the recipe from Anne Burrell but as long as I giver her credit I feel okay posting her recipe here.

For this trial run I used a graham cracker crust but I bet the spiced wafer crust is delicious.

6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for the pan
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs, such as Nilla
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
2 grates of fresh nutmeg
Pinch kosher salt

Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
One 12-ounce log goat cheese
1 1/2 cups sour cream sour cream
4 large eggs
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract

For the crust: Butter a 9-inch springform pan. In a large mixing bowl, combine the butter, wafer crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt. Stir together until well combined and homogenous. Use your fingers to press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the pan and about halfway up the sides. Reserve.

For the filling: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In an electric mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese and goat cheese together until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream and continue beating until combined. Add the sugar and vanilla and begin to beat. Add the eggs one at a time, beating in each until thoroughly mixed before adding the next one.

To assemble: Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 30 minutes. Rotate the baking sheet and bake until the filling is set, another 25 to 30 minutes. If the filling starts to color, tent the pan with aluminum foil. Remove the cake from the oven and let cool completely before the serving (it continues to set as it cools).

The cake will continue to set as it cools, but it's best served after it has been refrigerated overnight and has really firmed up.

Recipe courtesy Anne Burrell

Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/anne-burrell/goat-cheese-cheesecake-with-spiced-wafer-crust-recipe.html#lightbox-recipe-video?oc=linkback

Tuesday, November 4, 2014


Growing up I was never really into chocolate chip cookies, even though for most American kids it's an essential food group. Perhaps it was Chips Ahoy, or the lack of consistency in texture from different recipes (Soft! Crunchy! Chewy! Doughy! Cakey!) or just that I loved the cookie itself WITHOUT the chocolate chips (Sin!). I just didn't see it. 

The trend I am noticing is that once people have a recipe they like, they guard it with their lives as the ONE AND ONLY RECIPE THEY WILL EVER USE. Which is fine, I guess, but I am always up for experimenting. 

Which brings us to these. Do chocolate chip cookies always use browned butter? Because if they don't, THEY SHOULD. Oh whoops, I just joined the herd. I guess this is the ONE recipe for me. Well I guess that makes life easier. Good job people! Way to streamline your life!

These cookies made me understand the hype. 

Source: Cook's Illustrated (Of course.)


Avoid using a nonstick skillet to brown the butter; the dark color of the nonstick coating makes it difficult to gauge when the butter is browned. Use fresh, moist brown sugar instead of hardened brown sugar, which will make the cookies dry. This recipe works with light brown sugar, but the cookies will be less full-flavored. For our winning brand of chocolate chips, see related tasting.


1 3/4 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (8 3/4 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
14 tablespoons unsalted butter (1 3/4 sticks)
1/2 cup granulated sugar (3 1/2 ounces)
3/4 cups packed dark brown sugar (5 1/4 ounces) (we used regular)
1 teaspoon table salt
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1 1/4 cups semisweet chocolate chips or chunks (we used Guittard)
3/4 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, toasted (optional)

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 large (18- by 12-inch) baking sheets with parchment paper. Whisk flour and baking soda together in medium bowl; set aside.

2. Heat 10 tablespoons butter in 10-inch skillet over medium-high heat until melted, about 2 minutes. Continue cooking, swirling pan constantly until butter is dark golden brown and has nutty aroma, 1 to 3 minutes. Remove skillet from heat and, using heatproof spatula, transfer browned butter to large heatproof bowl. Stir remaining 4 tablespoons butter into hot butter until completely melted.

3. Add both sugars, salt, and vanilla to bowl with butter and whisk until fully incorporated. Add egg and yolk and whisk until mixture is smooth with no sugar lumps remaining, about 30 seconds. Let mixture stand 3 minutes, then whisk for 30 seconds. Repeat process of resting and whisking 2 more times until mixture is thick, smooth, and shiny. Using rubber spatula or wooden spoon, stir in flour mixture until just combined, about 1 minute. Stir in chocolate chips and nuts (if using), giving dough final stir to ensure no flour pockets remain.

4. Divide dough into 16 portions, each about 3 tablespoons (or use #24 cookie scoop). Arrange 2 inches apart on prepared baking sheets, 8 dough balls per sheet. (Smaller baking sheets can be used, but will require 3 batches.)

5. Bake cookies 1 tray at a time until cookies are golden brown and still puffy, and edges have begun to set but centers are still soft, 10 to 14 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through baking. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack; cool cookies completely before serving.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Khao Soi 1.0

Khao Soi (ข้าวซอย) is a delicious Northern Thai Noodle dish. It was actually difficult to find in Thailand when I was there, except for in the Northern Provinces. I have found a few Thai places that offer the dish, and fewer that make it well (My favorite Thai Restaruant, Pok Pok in Portland is one of them!) I have made a few attempts at making Khao Soi, hopefully getting closer to the real thing every time.

In honor of my good friend Daniel’s birthday, I am sharing my current recipe. Happy Birthday, Dan!

Kao Soi 1.0
1 knob of ginger, chopped
2-3 shallots, coarsely chopped
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp of vegetable oil
1 Tbsp Yellow curry Paste
1 Tbsp Red curry paste
1 can of coconut milk
1 cup of chicken broth
1 lb. of chicken (traditionally uses thigh quarters), sliced
1 Tbsp of sugar
1 Tbsp soy sauce

2 1/4 cup flour
2 eggs
1 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
1-2 Tbsp Water
Oil for Frying

I have a pasta maker, but if you would like, you certainly can buy Asian egg noodles and use those instead. I have not tried frying those to make the crispy noodles, but it might work!

Pickled Mustard Greens

1. Place chopped ginger and shallots in blender (or food processor) with ~2 Tbsp of water. Blend to make a paste

2. Heat 1 Tbsp of vegetable oil in large sauce pan
3. Add ginger/shallot paste and cook 1-2 minutes until fragrant

4. Add the yellow and red curry pastes (1 Tbsp of each) and cook for 1-2 miinutes

5. Add 1/2 can of coconut milk (~6-7 oz)

6. Add chicken and cook until cooked through
7. Add 1 cup of chicken broth (can add more if desire thinner soup)
8. Add 1 Tbsp sugar and 1 Tbsp soy sauce

9. Before serving, add the remaining 1/2 can of coconut milk

For the noodles:
1. Mix the flour, eggs, salt and baking soda. 

2. Add water, 1/2 Tbsp at a time until dough comes together.
3. Knead dough for ~30 seconds

4. Cover and let sit for ~30 mintues

5. Make noodles

6. Boil for around 3 minutes

For crispy noodles, I take around 1/6 of the dough, make spaghetti noodles and deep fry them in about 4-5 batches.

Putting it all together:
1. Place noodles in a bowl
2. Cover with soup
3. Add chopped pickled mustard greens, shallots, and lime

4. Top with crispy noodles

5. Enjoy!