May 25, 2011

Roasted Brie

Serve 4-6 for a starter
Time 25 minutes

1 BRIE or Camembert cheese
2-3 tablespoons red wine
3 sprigs fresh Thyme
1 clove garlic

Take a knife and make 6-10 little incisions in the top of the brie or Camembert, just going in ¼ of an inch. Slice the garlic into slithers and place a slither in each hole.
Sprinkle with the thyme and pour over the wine

Place on an oven proof serving dish and cook at 400 degrees for around 10 minutes or until the cheese is ready to collapse

Serve with crusty bread to dip it in, like a fondue, or with crackers as a spread.

Twin Cities Live Kitchen Takeover

Producer Kerry getting ready to shoot the show

Kerry shoots b-roll
I met Chef Daniel Green last July at an event and we have been friends on Facebook and Twitter since that meeting. He recently posted on Facebook that he was looking for a kitchen to take over and I thought it would be a great idea to promote cooking for one person.  I started talking with producer, Kerry K, to plan the show and she thought it was a great concept.  

Chef Daniel Green came to my condo last Monday to tape a segment called Kitchen Takeover for Twin Cities Live (KMSP-TV, Channel 5).  The segment usually is about people who cannot cook or sometimes have a kitchen that is a disaster. On the contrary I am I am a wonderful cook with an amazing kitchen. This Kitchen Takeover was inspired by my Small Serving blog (Make sure you sign up to follow my blog.)

Daniel sets up kitchen
Daniel arrived and we created a quick strategy of what he was going to make based on what was in my refrigerator and pantry. The first thing he noticed was Presidential Brie cheese; I found out that he writes recipes for them.  I use Presidential Brie all the time and this was the first time I tried the low fat version-it tasted just like the regular brie. He decided to make a baked brie and an arugula salad with homemade dressing, prosciutto,tomato and olives. (Recipes on my blog)

I loved having Daniel come into my kitchen.  I will admit I was nervous for a chef to be in my kitchen, but would welcome him or any other chef anytime!  I also have to thank my mom for telling me to clean my fridge. (Thank you!!)

May 23, 2011

Spring Rolls with Chicken

A little homage to my guest chef, Daniel Green.  Spring Roll with chicken, rice noodles, cucumbers, orange pepper, jalapeño,and cilantro with a spicy almond butter garlic-chili sauce.
  • 1 Chicken Breast
  • 1/2 Cucumber
  • 1/2 Orange Pepper 
  • Rice Noodles -broke in half before cooking
  • 1/2 Jalapeno
  • Rice Paper Wraps
  • 1/2 c Creamy Almond Butter (or Peanut butter)
  • 1 Tbsp Garlic-Chili Sauce
  • 2 Tsp Low Sodium Soy Sauce
  • Cilantro
Bake chicken breast in the oven at 350 until cooked and then shredded it.

While chicken baking julienne the cucumber, orange pepper and jalapeno. Cooked rice noodles according to package and set aside.  In a bowl,  combined almond butter, garlic-chili sauce and soy sauce.

Submerge rice paper wrappers one at a time in hot (not boiling) water until completely pliable, about 15 seconds. Wrappers will become fragile, so I recommend using your hands for this. Remove from water and lay one wrapper on a flat surface

You can fill the rice paper in any order.  Add about 2 tablespoons of your filling horizontally on your wrapper, just below the middle.

Fold the bottom of the wrapper up over the filling and gently press down.

Fold in both of the sides of the wrapper and gently press to seal.

Continue rolling the spring roll up towards the top of the wrapper.

You can use just about anything you’d like as a filling for spring rolls. I try to make sure vegetables are cut to similar size. If you’re using noodles, I find it works best to break them in half before cooking so they’re not too long. Fresh herbs are wonderful to use in spring rolls as well.

    May 22, 2011

    Pork Schnitzel


    • 2 boneless pork loin chops (about 5 to 6 ounces each), I buy the thin ones.
    • 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
    • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
    • 1 large egg or egg substitute
    • 1/4 cup milk
    • 2 cups plain dried bread crumbs
    • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 tablespoons butter
    • 1 sprig thyme or 2 TBSP of dried thyme.


    If you did not buy the thin pork loins at the store.  Begin by placing each chop between 2 sheets of plastic wrap or wax paper and gently pounding them out with the flat side of a meat tenderizer until they are an even 1/4-inch thick.
    Put the flour in a shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Whisk the egg and milk in another shallow dish and season with salt and pepper. Put the bread crumbs in a third dish and again season with salt and pepper. Lightly dredge each piece of pork in flour, then in the egg and finally into the bread crumbs, pressing the bread crumbs onto the pork gently so they have a nice even coating.
    Lay the breaded pork cutlets in a single layer on a plate lined with parchment and refrigerate, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes to allow the coating to dry out a little and adhere to the pork.  This is a great tip I learned while looking at recipes.
    Heat oil and butter in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add the thyme sprig and let it fry for about 1 minute to infuse the oil. Remove the thyme sprig and reserve. If using dried thyme, just leave it in the pane.  Gently lay the cutlets into the pan and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 3 minutes per side. Remove and transfer to a serving platter while still hot.  If the cutlet looks greasy you can set it on a paper towel. 

    Sweet Potato Purée



    In a medium saucepan add stock, brown sugar, 2 tablespoons sea salt, 1 tablespoon cracked black pepper, and pinch of nutmeg. Stir mixture and bring to a boil.
    Meanwhile, peel sweet potatoes and cut into medium-sized cubes. Add to the stock and cook for 15 to 20 minutes until soft.
    Once potatoes are soft, place potatoes in a food processor. Reserve the liquid and set aside. Add Greek Yogurt and blend until smooth. If too dry, add reserved potato liquid. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve.

    May 16, 2011

    Apricot Ginger Beef and Broccoli

    1/4 lbs Beef- Stir-Fry Cut
    2 c Broccoli Florets
    1/4 c Water
    1 Tsp Canola Oil
    3 Tbsp Sugar Free Apricot Preserves
    1 c Rice (white or brown)
    Fresh Ginger
    2 Tbsp Low-sodium Soy Sauce
    1 Tbsp Cilantro chopped
    1/2 Tsp Carlic-Chili Sauce, such as Huy Fong

    1. Place Broccoli in a microwave safe dish (or steamer).  Add the water and cover. Microwave on high for 3-4 minutes or until the florets are tender. Set aside.

    2. Heat a large non-stick pan over medium-high heat.  When hot add 1/2 Tsp of Canola Oil and Beef.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Cook until about medium rare, about 2 minutes.

    3. Move the beef to the outside of the pan and add the other 1/2 Tsp of Canola Oil.  Add the Ginger into the oil and saute until fragrant, about 1 minute.

    4. Add the Apricot preserve and soy sauce, stir together and bring to a simmer.

    5. Drain Broccoli and add it to the pan. Add chopped Cilantro, Garlic-Chili Sauce. Toss

    I make my rice in my rice cooker so I start it before I start anything else.  The Apricot Ginger Beef and Broccoli takes only about 8 minutes.  Your rice would be cooked according to package directions and times.

    Kitchen Takeover Filming Today in my Kitchen

    Chef Daniel Green is coming over today for a Kitchen Takeover.  I am not the typical person who cannot cook with a kitchen that is a disaster, on the contrary I am a wonderful cook with an amazing kitchen. Kitchen Takeover was inspired by my Small Serving blog.

    The show will air tomorrow on KSTP Twin Cities Live and will post a link.

    I look forward to having Daniel in my kitchen.

    May 15, 2011

    Moxie's Cold Cure-All

    I found this wonderful drink in the book "Food Trucks" by Heather Shouse.  It is from Moxie Rx which was located in Portland, OR, but I found closed in April 2011.

    Serves 1
    Juice from 1⁄2 lemon
    1 teaspoon freshly grated ginger 
    2 teaspoons agave nectar or honey (I used honey) Pinch of cayenne pepper 
    1 dropper full of Super Echinacea
    Soda water (optional)

    Combine the lemon, ginger, honey, cayenne, and echinacea in a mug if making hot, glass if making cold. Stir ingredients to dissolve honey.  For hot beverage, add hot water to fill the mug and let steep for a minute.  For cold beverage, add enough ice to fill half the glass and top with soda water.

    Even though this is called a "cold cure-all" I think it is a wonderful drink either hot or cold. I love the ginger and spice of the cayenne. 

    Food Trucks - Dispatches and Recipes from the Best on Wheels

    I never thought when I went to dinner in Kansas City, MO that I would come across an event called "First Fridays".  It is a local art crawl that happens in the various areas of Kansas City; we were in the Mid-town area. Amongst the crowds of musicians and local artist was author, Heather Shouse, signing her book Food Trucks - Dispatches and Recipes from the Best on Wheels.

    Food trucks have been around for decades, but have become more popular because it eliminates the overhead of having a full restaurant.  Heather found owners who invested $20,000 to $50,000 to start their food trucks verses $400,000 to open a restaurant.  Even the U.S. government has added a page on their small business website titled "Tips for Starting You Own Street Food Business".

    Shouse's book travels the country in search of local food trucks.  She even visited Oahu, Hawaii and talks about Giovanni's which my parents make a stop at when they visit Oahu.  I cannot wait to share the rest of the Hawaii section with them for their next visit.

    Minneapolis is represented in the book by Chef Shack started by Carrie Summer and Lisa Carlson in 2007.

    The book not only tells the story of these rolling restaurants, but also includes recipes of some of their tasty creations. I am excited to try the food trucks as I travel and the recipes when I am at home.

    May 13, 2011

    Mini Chicken Stir Fry

    1- 4 oz. Julienne Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast
    1/8 C. Pea Pods

    1/8 C. Julienne Yellow Onion
    1/8 C. Julienne Bell Peppers

    1/8 C. Round Sliced Carrots
    1/8 C. Sliced Celery
    1 C. White Rice 2 Tbsp. Teriyaki
    1 tsp. oil (your choice)

    First, put the 1 C. of Rice into a medium saucepan with 2 C. of water and boil covered until done on medium heat.
    While the rice is cooking, in a large sauté pan cook the julienne chicken breast with 1 tsp. oil and 1 Tbsp. Teriyaki on medium heat (approx. 5 minutes). When the chicken is almost finished, put in all of the vegetables and remaining teriyaki and continue to sauté until vegetables are tender.

    Once the rice is finished, put the rice onto a plate and top with the chicken and vegetable mixture

    Roasted Turkey Wrap

    ¼ lb. Fresh Roasted Turkey (from the deli is fine)
    1 C. Spring Mix Lettuce
    2 Sliced Strawberries
    2 Tbsp. Walnut Pieces
    2 Tbsp. Strawberry Vinaigrette
    1 12” Wheat Tortilla

    Begin by warming the tortilla in a microwave for about 10 seconds.

    Place the tortilla open on the counter top and add all of the ingredients into the middle of it stretching from left to right with about 1 inch left from the sides. 

    Next, fold the tortilla sides in about 2 inches and then begin rolling from the closest to you to the farthest away.

    Cut the wrap in half and serve.

    Brussels Sprout Au Gratin

    I love making this recipe for family events.  I have made it just for me by cutting  it in half; it allows me to have two servings.

    1 lbs Brussels sprouts, trimmed of the tough leaves and woody stems and quartered
    3 strips bacon, diced
    1 cup of sliced leeks
    1 Tablespoon all purpose flour
    2 teaspoons minced garlic
    1/2 cup low sodium chicken broth
    1/2 cup heavy cream
    1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    1/2 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese

    Crumb Topping:
    1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
    1 cup dry bread crumbs
    1/4 cup chopped walnuts
    1/2 cup grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
    2 teaspoons minced lemon zest
    Kosher salt and black pepper to taste

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 2-quart casserole dish with nonstick spray.

    Blanch the sprouts in a pot of boiling salted water for 5 minutes; drain and set aside.

    Saute the bacon in a skillet over medium heat until crisp - use a slotted spoon to remove bacon to a paper towel lined dish. Add the leeks to the skillet; cook over medium heat until softened.

    Stir in the flour and garlic, cook for 1 minute.

    Stir in the chicken broth, cream and lemon juice; bring to a simmer and cook until thick - about 2 minutes.

    Remove mixture from heat; stir in the sprouts, bacon and 1/2 cup Gruyere or Swiss. Transfer the mixture to the prepared baking dish.

    Heat olive oil for the crumb topping in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Stir in the bread crumbs and walnuts; cook until crumbs begin to brown. Remove mixture from heat to a bowl; let cool 5 minutes.

    Stir in 1/2 cup Gruyere or Swiss, the lemon zest, salt and pepper.

    Top the Brussels Sprouts mixture with bread crumb mixture and bake until crumbs are brown, 25-30 minutes.

    Recipe idea source: Cuisine At Home Magazine - December 2009 issue

    Coconut Oatmeal Cookies

    * 1/2 cup self rising flour 
    * 1/4 teaspoon salt
    * 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
    * 1/3 cup sugar
    * 1 large egg
    * 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla 
    * 1 1/2 cups sweetened shredded coconut
    * 1/2 cup oatmeal 

    1. Preheat the oven to 375°. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper. 
    2. Using an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar at medium-high speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the egg and vanilla. Beat in the flour on low speed. Stir in the coconut and oatmeal
    3. Place rounded teaspoons of dough about an inch apart on the prepared cookie sheet. Bake until the edges are golden, 12-15 minutes. Let cool on a rack.

    I automatically double the recipe.

    May 11, 2011

    It Happens to the Best of Us

    "I don't cook because every time I do I burn the food in my pan." 
    ~My Friend

    My immediate reaction was to tell my friend 
    "Turn down the heat." or "Pay attention"; 
    instead I said, "It happens to the best of us." 

    I will admit: "My name is Kelly and I have burnt food to the bottom of a pan."  I remember times where I would scrub and scrub and scrub a pan to try to get the remnants of my dinner out of my pan.  I once thought about just throwing the pot away because there was no way the burnt mess was ever coming off.  One day I was reading a favorite magazine of mine "Cuisine at Home" and saw a tip that makes it easy to clean up a minor disaster such as burnt food. 

    Take the pot or pan, fill it with water to cover about an inch or two over the the charred remains.Put pan or pot on the stove and heat the water to a boil. You should be able to scrape the burnt pieces off.  Remember not to use metal on coated pots and pans, I use a wood spatula to prevent scratching my pots. Once the majority of the burnt pieces I am able to wash the pot.

    This also works on other containers, but if they are not stove top safe, use the microwave.

    May 6, 2011

    Westin Hotel KC

    We arrived late last night. Nick at the front desk greeted us and quickly got us checked in. I worked with Kellie Christopher, Group Coodinator, prior to our arrival to see what could be done to make our trip more special. We went from a standard room to room on the 18th floor; this floor is home to the State and Presidential Suites. The room is beautiful and has a view if the Liberty Memorial.

    My mom and sister were shocked to see 3 wine glasses and the cheese and fruit tray Kellie had waiting for us.

    Our beds are comfortable with lots of fluffy pillows (which I love) and a down comforter. Even though I had to share a bed with my sister I was comfortable and slept wonderful.

    I see the sun is shinning bright today, something the Minnesota weather hasn't seen much of lately.

    Our breakfast arrived via room service. The fresh fruit was a great compliment to the large slices of whole wheat toast and yogurt.

    We were excited to see we are right across the street from Union Station. We cannot wait to put our hats on and walk over for tea and the exhibit.
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    Mother/Daughter Weekend

    My mom, sister and I have an annual Mother/Daughters weekend; we pick a new city every year. While this isn't all food related it is how I like to travel.

    On our trips we have a few rules:
    1. No visiting other family members or friends.
    2. No chain restaurants.
    3. Eat and/or have drinks at the highest point.

    This year we chose Kansas City,MO. We chose it because there is an exhibit at Union Station of Princess Diana's dresses. It brings back memories of our first girls weekend to Chicago to see the Jacqueline Kennedy dress exhibit at the Field Museum.

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    May 4, 2011

    Why I Love My Silpats

    My friend, Ross, introduced me to the wonders of the Silpat.  Sure, I had seen them used before, but I didn't actually use one until I helped Ross make over 200 6" cookies for an event.
    So what is a Silpat?  "The most popular non-stick baking item ever invented," according to their website ( It turns your cookie sheet or counter in a non-stick surface. It saves a lot of time cleaning up because the pan doesn't have any sticky mess on it. I simply wash the pan and Silpat with hot soapy water.

    I used to us parchment paper all the time, but now I pull out my Silpat instead because it not only saves clean up time, it saves waste and money.  I still use parchment paper from time to time, just not as much.  

    Silpats can be used in an oven up to 480°F. They can also be used in the microwave and freezer.

    May 2, 2011

    Bacon Grease Chocolate Chip Pecan Cookies

    This recipe comes from my friend Ross Sveback. Ross is a lifestyle expert who also teaches cooking classes. I have a link to his website on my blog too.

    I wasn't quite sure what to expect when I first tried these cookies, but bacon seems to be trendy in food lately. You can find chocolate covered anything these days including the popular chocolate covered bacon. Also, I have not found anything Ross has made that I didn't like.

    1/2 cup rendered bacon grease
    1/2 cup butter-flavor shortening (butter if you like)
    1 1/2 cups packed brown sugar
    2 eggs
    2 tsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
    1 tsp. maple flavoring. (I didn't have flavoring so I used maple syrup.)
    1 tsp. baking powder
    1 tsp. baking soda
    1/2 tsp. salt
    2 cups flour
    1 cup chocolate chips (Ross uses guittard dark chocolate)
    1/2 cup chopped pecans
    fine sea salt for sprinkling on top - if desired

    In the bowl of an electric mixer cream bacon grease, butter and brown sugar together scraping bowl if necessary to combine.  Add egg, vanilla bean paste or extract, baking powder, baking soda and salt - mix on medium low to combine.  Add flour and stir to incorporate - scraping bottom of bowl to ensure all the flour is mixed together.  Add chocolate chips and nuts, then stir again.  Let dough rest for a half hour.

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

    Using a 1/4 cup ice cream scoop, place dough onto silpat lined baking sheets. (If you do not have silpat, you can use parchment paper or spray pan.  I recommend a silpat, they make clean up easy). This recipe should yield two dozen cookies.  Bake for 16 minutes, turning pans or rotating them bottom to top if necessary depending on your oven halfway through the baking time.  Remove from oven and allow to cool on a rack.

    Thank You Ross for another great recipe!!!