Food and Drink

October 28, 2014

Crosseyed and Painless Cupcakes


In the first of a two part tribute to the Talking Heads, I present an apple walnut cake, cored with apple cider fleur de sel caramel and topped with a Maker's Mark buttercream, candied walnuts and smoked fleur de sel.


C A K E  I N G R E D I E N T S

  • 2 1/3 cups White Whole Wheat Flour
  • 1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Apple Pie Spice or 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon + 1/4 teaspoon each ground ginger and ground nutmeg
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, softened
  • 4 cups peeled, cored, chopped apple, about 1 1/3 pounds whole apples
  • 1 cup diced toasted walnuts or pecans


C A N D I E D  W A L N U T S  I N G R E D I E N T S

  • 1 cup toasted walnut halves/pieces 
  • 1/4 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1 pinch sea salt
  • 1 Tbsp butter



  1. Frosting

    1. Follow directions for the Jameson Italian Meringue buttercream, substituting the following:

      1. Brown sugar for Castor/Superfine sugar
      2. 2 tbsp Maker's Mark instead of Jameson
  2. Salted Caramel Filling
    1. Follow directions for the Fleur de Sel Caramels, however make the following changes:
      1. Use 1 cup apple cider or apple juice, and reduce on low heat to 1/4 cup.  Cool.
      2. During the second heating phase (after cream and sugar mixtures are mixed), take the mixture to 238-244 degrees instead of 256.  This will allow the mixture to be less stiff and more liquidy
  3. Cupcakes
    1. Preheat oven to 325
    2. Line tins with cupcake liners for 16 cupcakes.
    3. In one bowl, beat sugars and eggs until combined, then add eggs one at a time.
    4. In another bowl, whisk (or sift) flour, spices, salt, baking soda.
    5. Add flour to butter sugar mixture in two parts, mixing until well combined.
    6. Fold in apples and walnuts, letting the apples release thier juices.
    7. Fill the prepared tins with batter about 3/4 full.
    8. Bake for 20 minutes or until a cake tester or toothpick inserted into the center cupcake comes out clean, or with just a few wet crumbs clinging to it.
    9. Store in airtight storage, preferably refrigerated, until ready for use.
  4. Candied Walnuts
    1. Heat medium non-stick skillet on medium heat.  Prepare a piece of parchment paper that is 16 inches wide.
    2. Add sugar, butter and walnuts, mixing frequntlyt.  As the sugar starts to melt, stir constantly until all sugar is melted and walnuts coated.
    3. Immediatly transfer the nuts to the parchment paper, and break up any clusters into individual nuts.  Cool and transfer to airtight storage until ready for use.





May 26, 2013

Memorial Day Whiskey Glaze


This glaze works great with beef and turkey, or any meat really, and will compliment any Memorial Day BBQ spread.



  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 large vidalia onion, minced
  • 1.5 large garlic cloves, peeled and minced 
  • 1/4 cup Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 2.5 Valencia oranges
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup Jameson Irish Whiskey (or any whiskey of your choosing)
  • Caster sugar (Optional)
  • 1 tbsp Grand Marnier (Optional)



  1. Place minced shallots, onions and garlic in 1/4 cup olive oil, salt, pepper and 1/2 cup water on a skillet, and cook on high heat heat until the vegetables are brown and well caramelized, about 25 minutes.  Stir frequently.
  2. Add brown sugar to the onion mixture.
    1. When the sugar melts, mix into the onions. 
    2. Taste, and add more brown sugar if a sweetness isn't detected
  3. Remove mixture from heat and allow to cool.
    1. Add the juice from 2 1/2 oranges
    2. Place in blender, and puree until there are no chunks.
  4. Add whiskey and Grand Marnier.
    1. Taste to ensure that the whiskey flavor is present.  If not to your liking, add more.
    2. Add a tablespoon of caster sugar if mixture doesn't have enough sweetness, and repeat.  Caster sugar is another name for super fine sugar, and will dissolve more quickly than regular granulated sugar.
  5. Enjoy warm or cold.  The glaze will last for 3 -4 days in the fridge.

August 19, 2012

Watermelon, Cherry and Peach Salsa

Nothing says "Summer" better than Watermelon, Cherry and Peach salsa.  The fruit provides a lot of natural sweetness, and this recipe does not require sugar.  Add jalapeno to taste.  Serve chilled with chips, and enjoy!

This recipe makes about 3 cups of salsa.  Give or take.


  • 1/2 pound of fresh cherries
  • ~2 pounds of fresh watermelon
  • 1 large peach
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, minced
  • 1/2 of a red onion, minced
  • 1 garlic petal, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, minced
  • 3 shallots
  • 3 petals of garlic
  • olive oil
  • himalayan salt
  • pepper
  • 2 limes


  1. Roast the shallots and garlic:
    1. Chop shallots into quarters, and roast in olive oil until brown and caramelized.
    2. Remove garlic skin and roast in olive oil on 350 for about 10 minutes.
    3. When cooled, puree in food processor.
  2. Chop the fruit:
    1. Chop the watermelon into little cubes, almost like it is a tomato.
    2. Remove the seeds from the cherries and process in food processor.  Repeat with the peach.
  3. Mix together:
    1. Mix all vegetables and fruit together.
    2. Add salt and pepper to taste, along with jalapeno.
    3. Add juice from 1 1/2 limes.  Taste, and add the remaining lime juice if needed.
  4. Tips:
    1. Add more fruit or sugar if the salsa becomes to hot.
    2. Add more onion if the salsa is too sweet.

May 26, 2012

Salmon Burgers


With summer just around the corner, salmon burgers are a great way to welcome the season.  This recipe uses a roasted veggie puree, egg and panko to give structure to the burger.  Fresh dill, lemon and parsley add an invigoratingly fresh touch.  The burgers can be cooked on a grill, in the oven or stove top.


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May 15, 2012

Healing Turkey Veggie Soup with Wilted Spinach


Its funny how a simple event like changing jobs can flip your world inside out.  In my case, my new coworkers decided to share a delightful cold with me.  The office is small, everyone is in one room, and apparently, the germs run the office.  Half the gang has taken a sick day in the time since I started.

I rarely get colds.  It is extremely unusual to be coughing up a lung on a tuesday, after calling in sick to a new job no less.  Certainly my new coworkers are questioning my proclaimed super immune system.  Enter the healing soup.  Rich with nutrients from root vegetables, this soup is very soothing and grounding.  This recipe might not cure the common cold, but it will certainly prevent it.  In the future, I plan to make healing soup before entering into any new, strange germ pool.

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May 13, 2012

My Mexican Pizza


In honor of Cinco de Mayo, here is a fresh take on a classic comfort food.  The pizza starts with a whole wheat base and fire roasted salsa.  Next, the pie is dotted with a southwestern bean dip, caramelized onions and roasted corn.  Finally, turkey chorizo sausage, pepper jack and cheddar cheese take the pizza to a whole other dimension.  Fortunately, this is one pie that you can turn to like a lost'll want to eat My Mexican Pizza once again.

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February 11, 2012

Roasted Red Pepper Soup with Turkey and Fingerling Potatoes


This is perhaps the best soup I have ever made.  My only regret was skipping the fresh basil.  It has a minestrone flavor, yet the feel of a chicken soup.  The organic fingerling potatoes really added pizazz.

Fingerling Herbs

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Baked Onion Rings


Onion rings are a timeless comfort food classic, yet do not exactly fit in well with "healthy eating".  However, I am here to inform the world that non-fried, tasty onion rings do indeed exist!  Here is a recipe that can be made two ways: All buttermilk or half buttermilk, half egg whites. 

The all buttermilk version is easier, and tastes great.  The use of egg whites does add an extra element of crunch, but also is trickier to pull off without a helper, as the egg whites loose volume quickly.  Keep this in mind.  Also, make sure to coat the onion rings with panko well, even if it means manually pressing panko into the onion ring.  You'll thank me later!!

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February 01, 2012

Cornmeal Encrusted Sockeye Salmon



  • 2 tbsp mango or peach preserves
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 (6-ounce) center-cut sockeye salmon fillets with skin
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil 


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January 09, 2012

Roasted Shallot with Spinach Dip


Shallots are an easily forgotten, yet delectable cousin to onions and garlic.  This recipe showcases their brilliance while providing an alternative to boring, predictable onion dip, and can even make you the hero with the best snack at the Super Bowl Party.  Well, lets not get crazy.


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