Author Archive

Sautéed Mustard Greens in Chile Pequin Anchovy Butter

You never know what winter in Texas will bring. Some years the bitter cold and ice encapsulates us in our houses for months and leaves our gardens a bitter brown. Other years, we’ll never see a snowflake and days are confused for spring. Today, my garden is abundantly overflowing, a sure sign of a mild winter (so far at least). I have three raised beds in my backyard. One is an herb bed and the other two rotate with the seasons. In the winter, I like to plant squash, broccoli, cauliflower, and dark leafy greens because they hold strong in cold

sausages_2_low_edited-1

Hello 2015! Usually, January/February is slow for me as everyone is still recovering from the holidays but no, I’m running around like a chicken with it’s head cut off. Good sign for 2015, perhaps? The start of the year has been packed with recipe development and photography campaigns for everyone from Ziploc to small wineries. Although I couldn’t be happier to be so busy, I’ve missed just cooking for myself and blabbing about it to all of you awesome folks who, for some reason, stumble upon this food-filled blog. So the other day, I was at the market filling up my basket

noodles_chicken_4_low

Let me paint you a picture. A young girl with shiny blond hair in a high side ponytail adorned with a neon pink scrunchee (it was the totally awesome 80’s) sits at the dinner table. Her eyes are big as saucers waiting in anticipation for the one thing she always craved — her grandmother’s goulash over egg noodles. That girl was me in all of my side ponytail glory and I loved my grandmother’s cooking. Just thinking about that tender beef goulash braised for hours in a red sauce and served over those silky thin noodles brings instant soul-satisfying comfort

mandarin-martini-2-web

Charred Mandarin Martini

10 | December 31, 2014

The warmth of the sun bursts through the winter clouds, past the curtains, and hits our faces as the kid and I share a moment at the breakfast table. We’re deep in discussion about how horrible the new songs on Just Dance 2015 are (excluding Let It Go, of course). You know, the important stuff. During these treasured moments that are so perfect my heart overflows and suddenly I feel like I’m in a ridiculous credit card commercial. This is when I tend to pop out the hard questions of life like… Mia, what would you do if you had 5 million dollars?

vanilla bean pear butter

Vanilla Bean Pear Butter

1 | December 29, 2014

In the summer, it’s all berries and watermelon but come fall, it’s time to break out the pears! A warm blanket, the yule log crackling on the tv (that’s what you do when you don’t have a fireplace), and a fresh flaky biscuit slathered contently with luscious pear butter is all this girl needs to enjoy a cold day. Comforting and delicious, this homemade pear butter is enhanced with the flavors of pure vanilla beans for a delightful treat on biscuits, bread, a cheese board, and more — it also makes for a great holiday gift. I created this recipe

pork tenderloin with bacon raisin chutney

Christmas dinner is in the planning stages this week, and although we’re planning for a very large crowd I thought we needed a small holiday dinner recipe for those nights we want to be festive with a more intimate sized group. You know, for when you want to have a holiday dinner for those people you actually like. Ha, I’m just kidding! I dearly love my family but there was this one time years ago when they served frozen store-bought lasagna for Christmas dinner — I never really forgave them for that. So, for times when you don’t want to

shortbread cookies

I don’t know about you, but I’m incredibly behind on my holiday baking. By now I’d be knee deep in a heap of cookies and spiced pecans but sadly, I just started. I can’t believe how hast this holiday has flown by this year and it seems the older I get the shorter the Christmas season becomes. Is it just me getting lost in the mayhem of the day-to-day or is this just how it goes? Whatever the reason, I plan on diving straight into the season even if it means wearing a santa hat on a daily basis — at

pot roast pizza

Crisp pizza crust cradles a bright tomato sauce, tender roast beef, creamy ricotta, briny green olives and salty shaved parmesan for a unforgettably delicious slice of pizza! This is just one of those things you’re going to have to trust me on — A happy accident colliding with a desperate attempt to feed a family fast with what I had on hand. We’ve all been there, standing with open doors in front of the fridge letting all the cool air out while frantically trying to put together a meal. The other night,  it happened to me. Stuck with no plan

black-walnut-old-fashioned-web

Black Walnut Old Fashioned

0 | December 5, 2014

Slightly sweet and smooth with notes of caramel, orange, and roasted walnuts, this cocktail is the ultimate way to enjoy the fall. The phone is off, computer’s shut down, camera is stowed away, and everyone is coming home… the day is coming to an end. Just before I start cooking for the family, I’ll pull out a small cheese or charcuterie board, gather with everyone, poor a drink, and catch up with how the day went. It’s this time of day I love the most. Hearing the excitement of the resident six-year-old’s new discoveries and the husband’s intel on who

Havarti Crostini with Cider Caramelized Onions

The holidays are here, and for us that means constant entertaining. Having an array of supplies to throw together for appetizers this time of year is a must and I find cheese is always a pretty good option to stockpile. From cheddar to triple creams, cheese is a bite most people adore. That’s why there’s always a board out on the weekends. This year, I was delighted to add Castello’s Aged Havarti to our rotation. Castello Aged Havarti combines the rich buttery aroma and taste of a creamy havarti with a slightly crunchy texture. It’s this texture that makes this particular cheese

Best Classic Eggnog

The Ultimate Classic Eggnog

1 | November 26, 2014

Creamy, sweet, and absolutely divine, this eggnog is infused with holiday spices for the ultimate classic recipe. The other day I was walking with my floppy-eared dog, Jack, whom we affectionately call The Labradork. My hands hid in my pockets from the bitter cold while I was talking to my neighbor who was stringing up Christmas lights. We spoke of the upcoming holiday and how we could convince everyone on our street to hang a plethora of lights this year so we could win the tackiest holiday neighborhood award; not that that award exists, mind you, but it should. Life

delicata squash salad

Menu lists and table settings — we’re all stuck in the throws of Thanksgiving this week, aren’t we? With all that there is to do and family packing the houses, it’s inevitable that we’ll become stressed and tense at some point this week (like any of us need more grey hair). Surprisingly, this year I’m completely cool and relaxed (so far) and focusing on what this time is all about, amazing comfort food being thankful. If you just take a half a second from every moment to find the good, I’ve found life becomes pretty easy. For instance, as I’m writing