recipe: penne & cheesse


It’s ok, you can hate me. This is one of favorite ways to throw calories into my body.

This is enough to sauce up a package of cooked penne,

  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup flour
  • 3 cups milk
  • 2 cups grated cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Melt the butter in a medium sauce pan. Add the flour, and cook the mixture for several minutes. Add the milk, and bring to a simmer. Add the cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir until completely combine, and melted together.

recipe testing: black goo

I had a big fail. Eight times I failed to be exact. When I failed, what I created looked something like that weird black stuff that made Spiderman evil. It kinda crawled down the garbage disposal. I’m not being dramatic, it was an odd whatever-you-wanna-call-it.

I was trying to make something along the lines of a hard carmel (details you may not know, until you are holding a copy of my book). And I could not get it right. Over about two weeks I kept testing this recipe. And every time the candy would resolve in a separated butter and burned sugar mixture. That was not the carmel I was looking for.

I noted that I was using unsalted butter. Maybe that had to do with the molecules in the butter reacting to the heat? So I tried salted butter, I tested that another three times. Nope. Still fail.
Finally my mother decided she would show me how it was done. I was game, if she could school me in candy making at least we could have a result. Nota. She failed too. Twice, actually.
But it wasn’t my Mother’s master candy making skills that scared the butter into separating, and the sugar into burning.

It was the stupid pot I was using.

Eight times I tried, and my mom tried twice! Finally on my last attempt, I used my cast iron skillet. It worked like a charm.

So I guess the thin semi cheap pot I was using somehow burned the candy before it could even get the chance to cook together. Weird, huh? Taught me a lesson: Cast iron skillets are way underrated.

Do any of you have an idea why the cheaper pot did that? I have no idea, and just guessing that it’s because he bottom was thinner?

recipe: fleur de sel chocolate chip cookies

Sweet and salty? Word.

Slightly adapted from this recipe.

  • 2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup butter
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 large egg
  • 2 cups chocolate chips
  • a couple tablespoons fleur de sel

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine flour, baking soda and salt in small bowl. Beat butter, granulated sugar, brown sugar and vanilla extract in large mixer bowl until creamy. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Gradually beat in flour mixture. Stir in chocolate chips. Drop by rounded tablespoon onto ungreased baking sheets.

Bake for 9 to 11 minutes or until golden brown, as soon as they are out of the oven sprinkle a light amount of fleur de sell on the hot cookies.

p.s. that’s my sister-in-law

happenings: writing a cookbook


I have some news.

I’m writing a cookbook. This is by far the craziest, strangest, hardest, endeavor that I have ever been on. I have been testing, and photographing for weeks. I haven’t wanted to tell you until I had more of an idea of what this strange thing called writing a cookbook is all about. But now I am excited to share my failures, wins, and melt downs that I have had, and will have with my “cookbookery”. Stay tuned for more info, and to stay updated on what’s new with the “book”.