Archive for the ‘Home Cooking’ Category

Cake Cake Cake Cake!!

Hope everyone is enjoying the new season. To kick off fall I’m adding to my baking repertoire. One of my favorite sweets is pound cake so that’s my focus through the end of the year. I baked Chef Art Smith’s lemon-sour cream version and it got good reviews. It was a beautiful cake and I look forward to making it again soon. I didn’t quite get the lemon syrup right – too tired and distracted from a busy day – but I will try it again. So instead of the lemon syrup I covered it with a lemon glaze courtesy of Ms. Martha Stewart’s web site.


The adventure begins with having the right tools. Wilton makes quality baking pans so I set out to find mine at A.C. Moore. After a round of discussion with favorite-college-roomie Emily I printed the online coupon (50% off), headed to A.C. Moore and scored my first bundt pan.

If you try this recipe make sure you take your time preparing the pan. Those grooves need butter and flour to keep the cake from sticking. I used the wrappers from the sticks of butter after I put them in the large bowl. You can have that little technique tip for free.

First Pound Cake

The cake smelled delicious and I was transported to childhood. My grandma Frances used to bake for us and we weren’t allowed to come in the kitchen for fear of making the cake fall. So I was in my apartment tipping around slowly and hoping for the best.
I had a touch of anxiety waiting for the cake to cool. Would my cake make the cut? Should I have used Baker’s Joy?

The result was beautiful and tasted good too!!


Categories: Home Cooking

My Veggie Lasagna Adventure: Part 1 of 2

August 7, 2012 2 comments

Made this over the weekend


Saturday I had a friend over and we made the veggie lasagna in this picture.  I frantically searched for the recipe and could not find it.  I’d written it out by hand months ago during a phone call with my wonderful girlfriend Emily.  All day I called & e-mailed trying to track Emily down.  I could not reach her and I was nervous.  Made it a couple times before, but with the recipe at hand.  I was concerned because when using no-boil noodles it is important to get the liquid measurements correct.  If you don’t have enough liquid you’ll end up with crispy noodles.  Well as soon as we got the lasagna in the oven Emily called.  Turned out great and I was so relieved.  My friend paid me the ultimate compliment by saying it’s the best lasagna he’s ever had.  I was over-the-top then.  I’ll post the recipe for you later this week.




Whole Juicing

In my efforts to kick it up a notch health-wise I made myself a green smoothie.  It was Coconut-Grapefruit and I used it to replace dinner last night.  The texture is a bit thick because of the greens.  I took some in for my co-workers this morning and one noted that it looked a lot like pesto.  We agreed the taste was not half bad. .  I’m also doing two-a-day workouts as I count down to my cousin’s wedding next week.  I’m a bridesmaid and want everything to fit just right.

Coconut Grapefruit Smoothie

Here’s the recipe:

Coconut-Grapefruit Smoothie Recipe

  • 1/2 red grapefruit, peeled and deseeded
  • 1 kiwi, peeled
  • 2 cups kale, chopped
  • 1 banana, peeled
  • 2 cups fresh baby spinach
  • 1/4 teaspoon dulse flakes (optional)
  • 8 ounces unsweetened coconut milk

Add all the ingredients except for the spinach and kale to your blender and hit the “pulse” button a couple of times. Now add the greens and blend on high for 30 seconds or until the smoothie is creamy.


Found this on the Incredible Smoothies site.

Let me know if you try it!!


Just Like Busboys & Poets Makes

I’m doing a co-blogging piece today.  My cousin Leslie (our mother’s are twins) came for  a visit a few weeks ago and we went to one of my favorite spots in the city – Busboys & Poets. The name comes from the early days of  Langston Hughes life.  The talented poet worked as a busboy at a Washington hotel.   Owner Andy Shallal has created a great place to take guests and give them a true DC vibe.

The Busboys menu has food for everyone – vegetarians, meat lovers and everything in between.  It’s good for  brunch, dinner or dessert.  You can even order cocktails that help raise money for charitable causes.  The service tends to be casual, but friendly.  They have a few locations and I’m partial to the one at 5th & K, NW if I’m driving because there is a bit more street parking.  If I’m trying to see and be seen I hit the one at 14th & V, NW. Right off of the bustling U Street area it’s fun with a bit of social justice mixed in.

Leslie loved the harira soup that she had that day so much that she found a recipe and recreated it at home.

It’s a delish Moroccan bean soup. If you’re in DC try it at the restaurant. But if you live a little farther away do like Leslie and make some at home.



Red Snapper Take One

April 30, 2012 3 comments

I’m ramping up the  GFP – Get Fine Plan as I countdown to my cousin Charyl’s wedding in June.  Part of that is adding more fish to my diet.  Here’s my first time making red snapper.  Picked up the fillet from here:

Captain White's at The Wharf

Used fresh lemon juice, salt, oregano, basil and some white pepper.  Baked it at 400 degrees for about 15 minutes.

Baked Red Snapper

Here it is plated with my sides. Tasty, quick and healthy dinner.

Red snapper, spinach pasta & steamed carrots

Categories: Home Cooking

Cooking at Home

Trader Joe’s can be your most reliable friend at dinner time. Last night, I made Lemon Pepper Pappardelle and Shrimp.  Used the recipe from the pasta package and it was beautiful and tasty.  My modifications include using fresh shrimp and infusing the oil with a couple garlic cloves.  I chopped the garlic, added it to the warm olive oil and let it cook for a few minutes.  I removed the garlic and discarded it before sautéing the shrimp.

Dinner Solution

I’ve bought the pasta before – it is so flavorful that you can just add a drizzle of olive oil and it’s ready.  Well adding the shrimp, fresh lemon juice and fresh parsley took it up a notch as Emeril Lagasse would say.  Love the elegance of the pappardelle – beautiful color that looked great on the plate.  Peeling and deveining the shrimp was the most time consuming step.  I steamed broccoli for a side dish and that was dinner.

Get Fine Plan Cooking

December 14, 2011 Leave a comment

Do you love Mediterranean flavors?  I found this recipe for chicken marinated in Greek yogurt. I made a few modifications – using chicken breasts (bone in) and roasting instead of grilling.  Like the author I didn’t have Aleppo pepper, but used Hungarian paprika and red pepper flakes.  Don’t worry if it seems like a lot of pepper – the result is flavorful without much heat.  Try this out if  you’re looking for something new to do with chicken.

This recipe is also helpful if you’re trying to multi-task – you mix everything together for the marinade, allow the chicken to sit for a couple hours – or overnight, then roast the chicken in the oven.  You can stick to your cooking schedule without standing over the stove.

Here is a shot of the marinating chicken with the lemon slices.  Make sure you shake off as much marinade as possible to allow the skin to crisp.

Here’s the final product.  This dish did well for taking lunch to work.  When reheated in the microwave it still had good texture and stayed moist.


Let me know if you try it out!!