Welcome to my blog. My blogging journey began about in August 2009 as a photo-a-day blog which has since transitioned to combine my love of good food and photography. Today, using as many local and fresh ingredients as we can, my boyfriend and myself spend time researching recipes, making our own adaptations, cooking, taking photos, eating, and finally reflecting on all or part of the above listed process here. I hope you take the time to not only read and look at our photos, but please cook some of the recipes yourself. You are invited and encourage to leave feedback as we continue our culinary journey!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Slow Cooker White Chicken Chili

I guess it's needless to say that I am  slightly obsessed with the slow cooker right now. I love how I can simply dump all the ingredients in, go about my day, and come home to a wonderfully smelling prepared meal. This White Chicken Chili recipe was one of our favorites...

White Chicken Chili
3/4 pound bonless, skinnless chicken breasts cubed
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 onion, chopped
1 green pepper, chopped
1 teaspooon ground cumin
2 tablespoons olive oil
4 minced garlic cloves
2 canes (15 oz) white kidney beans, rinsed and drained
3 cups chicken broth
parmesan rind (optional)
shredded cheddar cheese and sour cream

In a large skillet, cook the chicken cubes in a touch of olive oil. Gradually add the salt, pepper, onion, green pepper, oregano, and cumin and cook until chicken is browned and vegetables are crisp. Add garlic and cook for another minute before transferring everything into your slow cooker.

Pour broth and drained beans into the slow cooker, cover, and cook for 4 hours until the chicken is tender. If you have parmesan rind this is a great addition to the soup and you can add it at any point while the soup is cooking.

Serve warm garnished with sour cream cheddar cheese.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Slow Cooker Chicken Athena

Another one for the slow cooker from the cookbook my mom bought me for Christmas. Mediterranean chicken with a twist.

Chicken Athena
3 boneless chicken breast halves
medium onion, chopped
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
1/3 cup pitted Greek olives, chopped
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt

Place chicken in slow cooker and add all the remaining ingredients. Cover and cook on low for 6 hours. Serve over rice.

Our evaluation of this recipe is that it was very tasty, but we wish we had added more olives and sun-dried tomatoes. Next time we make the recipe we will add more like 1/2 cup of each.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Double Chocolate Oreo Cake

If you have been following this blog for very long, you have probably noted that I rarely cook desserts. There are many reasons for this. One, I am simply not very good at baking. I can never get the timing and ingredients just right and when I compare myself to other people I know who regularly make bake goods mine just don't compare. The second reason is that I simply don't' have a sweet tooth. Don't get me wrong, just like everyone else I get the occasional craving for chocolates, ice cream, and candies but if I have to make a choice between cheese and crackers or a piece of chocolate cake I would almost always go with cheese and crackers.

But, some occasions do call for a really well made cake and one of those occasions is BIRTHDAYS! You may have noted from my last entry that D's mom was in the photo-his family came for a visit two weeks ago and while they were here D's sister celebrated her 24th birthday. I prepared an Oreo cake to celebrate, and it was a hit. And the best part was that this recipe gave me an excuse to buy Oreo cookies, which we now have leftover in the house. If you at all like Oreos, give this recipe a try at your next celebratory occasion.

Double Chocolate Oreo Cake
1 pkg. (2-layer size) devil's food chocolate cake mix
4 squares  BAKER'S Semi-Sweet Chocolate
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) butter
1 pkg.  (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups  thawed COOL WHIP Whipped Topping
12 OREO Cookies, crushed 
Prepare and bake cake batter in two round pans. In the meantime, prepare the filling and frosting. Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer. Stir in cool whip and crushed cookies.
When the cake is cooked and has cooled, place the cream cheese filling in between the two layers. For the topping, melt butter and chocolate in the microwave or on the stove. Let the mixture harden for about 5-10 minutes and spread on the top of the cake. 

Keep the cake in the fridge until serving. Happy (now late) birthday Jo!


Monday, January 17, 2011

Passatelli Soup

Last October, D and I cooked a traditional Italian Passatelli Soup. The soup is simple and tasty (especially for you Parmesan lovers out there) but I noted in the previous entry that we did not have the correct tool for making the noodles.

For Christmas, D's mom gave us the kitchen utensils needed to make this recipe correctly. Enjoy the photos of us making this recipe and I hope you give this simple and filling soup a try on one of these cold, winter days.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Tasty Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Potato Soup

Hi blog, it's been awhile. I apologize to all of my loyal fans out there who have been anxiously sitting at home waiting for me to update my blog. (I'm sure you're out there!). Things have been busy in Chicago and between holiday travel, out-of-town visitors, a job search, and an apartment search there has been little time for updates, or for cooking new recipes for that matter. But we hope to get back into the swing of things soon and in the meantime, we have a few recipes we cooked and enjoyed at the tail end of the holiday season.

For Christmas, my mom gave me a crockpot cookbook so I have been testing out a few recipes from there. Of course, nothing cooked in a crockpot tastes less than wonderful. My favorite so far has been this very easy potato soup. Sounds simple, but the soup is perfect for a cold, relaxing day and makes great leftovers.

Tasty Vegetarian Slow-Cooker Potato Soup
  • 5-6 cupes cubed peeled potatoes
  • 1 medium-sized chopped onion
  • 2 celery stalks chopped
  • 1 1/2 carrots thinly sliced
  • 5 cups water
  • 1/4 cups butter
  • 4 teaspoons chicken bouillon
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 can (12 oz) evaporated skim milk
  • fresh parsley
  • chives
  • Parmesan rind
Combine the vegetables, water, butter, bouillon, salt, and pepper. Cook for 7 hours on high. Add the milk, parsley, and some fresh parmesan as well as parmesan rind. Let the mixture cook together for about one more hour.

Serve warm and top with chives.

We hope to try out some of our new kitchen gadgets in the upcoming weeks-Daniele is particularly excited about the pasta maker and we will be making our own noodles at some point this week, so be looking for updates.