Feb 282013

So a few people asked me for the Corn bread recipe that I mentioned in the Heavan and Hell Cake post. It was silly of me to talk about how I was obsessed with the corn muffins, that I tracked down the out of print book for the recipe and then did not share the recipe! My apologies. Now I haven’t found blue cornmeal here so I can’t make them- but hope you have it where ever you are, enjoy!

Blue Corn Bread/ Blue Corn Skillet Stars Recipe

1/4 pound of unsalted butter

8 Tablespoons Shortening

4 Serranos, seeded and minced

3 garlic cloves, minced

1 Cup of All- Purpose Flour

1 1/4 Cups of Blue Cornmeal

2 Tablespoons of sugar

1 teaspoon of baking powder

1 1/2 teaspoon of salt

3 large eggs

1 1/4 Cups of Milk, room temperature

3 tablespoons of chopped fresh cilantro

Olive Oil for brushing

Makes 50 stars

Preheat Oven 400 F

Place a well seasoned cast-iron star mold in the oven to warm for at least 5 minutes. (A cast -iron skillet or muffin pan will work as well)

Gently melt the butter and shortening in a small saucepan over low heat.  Add the serranos and garlic, and sauté for 10 minutes.  Sift together the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt in a large bowl.  Beat the eggs lightly in a medium bowl.  Add the serrano mixture and stir in the milk.  Pour the liquid ingredients into the dry ingredients beat just until smooth.  Add the Cilantro.

Remove the cast-iron cornbread mold from the oven and brush generously with the oil.  Reheat the mold for about 2 minutes, then fill with the batter.

Bake in the center of the oven for 20-25 minutes or until the cornbread is lightly browned but still blue and springy to the touch!

I hope you enjoy them as much as I did!

Feb 262013

If you can’t tell, I love bacon. I made this last night as a side dish to some Pho Soup. Neil was a big fan of it and I was a fan of how simple it all came together.


3/4 Cup of Lardons (or thick pieces of bacon)

1 whole Cucumber de-seeded , cut lengthwise into quarters and then into 1/2 inch slices

1 teaspoon of Sichuan peppercorns

1/2 of a red chilli without seeds sliced

1 star anise

1 Tablespoon of ground nut oil

1 Tablespoon of Shaohsing rice wine

1 Tablespoon of toasted Sesame Oil

2 Tablespoons of rice vinegar

Right before serving

Juice of 1 Lime

1/4 Cup of fresh Cilantro

1/4 Cup of honey roasted peanuts

Heat a wok with the ground nut oil and add the peppercorns, star anise, and red chilli and let cook for about 1 minute. Then add the lardons until nice and crispy. Add the Shaohsing rice wine, rice vinegar, and sesame oil and cook for 30 seconds and add the cucumbers and cook for another 30 seconds. Remove from wok and place in a bowl, drizzle with lemon juice and top with Cilantro and roasted peanuts. Serve warm or at room temperature.



Feb 122013

I think ratatouille is such a great addition to a meal. Although, tonight I am using the ratatouille as a filling to Crepes. Check out tomorrow how I plan to use the leftover ratatouille as an appetizer inspired by my recent trip to San Sebastian.




4 Cups of Matchstick Pieces of Eggplant ( About a half an Eggplant)

4 Cups of Matchstick Pieces of Zucchini ( about 1 1/2 Zucchini)

2 Small Yellow Onions sliced thinly

2 Red Bell Peppers Sliced into 1/4 inch slices lengthwise

4 medium size tomatoes seeded cut in half and cut into 1/4 inch slices lengthwise

5 Cloves of Garlic Chopped

2 Bay Leaves

3 Sprigs of fresh Thyme (Remove leaves from branches)

1 Tablespoon of chopped Flat Leaf Parsley

6 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

Salt and Pepper

In a large pot, (I used my Le Creuset dutch oven). With 1 tablespoon of Olive Oil a 1/4 of the chopped garlic, 3 tablespoons of water sauté the onions until cooked for 5-10 minutes. Remove the onions from the dutch oven and add the eggplant and zucchini with 1/4 of the garlic and 2 tablespoons of olive oil and and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Remove eggplant and zucchini from pan.  Now add with 1 tablespoon and 1/4 of the garlic the peppers and sauté for 3-5 minutes. Finally add remaining ingredients and the zucchini, eggplant, onions back into the dutch oven. Mix with a spoon until all well combines and let cook with a lid on low heat for 30 minutes. Ready to serve.

This goes great inside crepes, or as a side to really any meat or fish dish, and honestly I just like to eat it on its own. Tomorrow as I mentioned I will show you something to do with the leftover inspired by my recent travels to San Sebastian.


 Posted by at 5:01 pm
Jan 162013
Roasted Vegetables and Barley Salad

Roasted Vegetables and Barley Salad

Barley is something I recently, have started cooking a lot with. It is a healthy alternative to add a carb to your meal. Since it was a trainer coming over for dinner, who  pre-holidays put me on a no potato carb free diet, I couldn’t make potatoes to go with the roasted fish as I would have liked. But sometimes having limitations actually provides for more creativity!  This salad is loaded with different flavors and lots of color. So as my Nanna would say “If it is colorful then it is healthy.”  I made it one day in advance and added the cheese before serving.

Roasted Veggies

1 small Eggplant cut into 1/2 inch pieces

2 Medium sized Carrots cut in half lengthwise and then in 1/2 inch pieces

1 Zucchini quartered lengthwise and then into 1/2 inch pieces

1 1/2 Cup of Broccoli Florets

1/4 Cup of Olive, Salt and Pepper


2 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1 Cup of Chopped Scallions

1 1/2 Teaspoons of Ground Cumin

1/2 Teaspoon of Ground Coriander

1/4 Teaspoons of Cayenne Pepper

1 1/4 Cup of Barley

1 3/4 Cup of Chicken Broth


3 Garlic cloves chopped finely

2 1/2 Tablespoons of fresh Lemon Juice

3 Tablespoons of Olive Oil

1/2 Teaspoon of Sugar

Fresh Ingredients

1 Cup of mini plum tomatoes, quartered

1/2 Cup of thinly sliced Red Onion

1/2 Cup of Flat leaf Parsley Chopped

1/4 Cup of Fresh Mint Chopped

3/4 Cup of 1/2 inch cubes of Fresh Mozzarella


Preheat the over 425 degrees.

Place the Eggplant, Zucchini, Broccoli and Carrots on a baking sheets, toss with Olive Oil then Salt and Pepper. Roast of 10 minutes and remove and toss veggies followed by another 10 minutes of roasting. Let cool and place in large  salad bowl/ desired serving dish.

In a Sauce pan heat olive oil with scallions and spices- Cayenne, Coriander, and Cumin. Saute for 3-4 minutes and add Barley. Cook for 2 minutes mixing well and add the chicken broth. Cook for 20 minutes until all the liquid is absorbed and remove from heat. Add Barley to the serving dish with the roasted Veggies.

Once cooled add the fresh ingredients.

In a small bowl mix together all of the dressing ingredients and mix together till combined.  Toss over the salad.

Serve at room temperature.