Thursday, December 13, 2012

Chicken and Dumplings

The other night we were craving comfort food. We had just returned home from a weekend with my mom... funny how visiting your mom can make you crave things you ate growing up. After tossing around a few ideas we settled on homemade chicken and dumplings. In an effort to keep it easy, quick, and healthy, we used boneless skinless chicken breasts, whole wheat flour in the dumplings, and some veggies and herbs from our garden (post coming on this project soon!). I baked the dumplings like biscuits, then added them to the chicken soup before serving to keep them from becoming too dense or soggy. The batch made enough for dinner and lunch the next day for both us.


1 lb boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into bite sized pieces
1 shallot
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 cups chicken stock
1 cup baby carrots
1 cup Swiss chard
1 Tbsp fresh sage
salt and pepper
Parsley for garnish


1 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
2 Tbsp butter, cut
1/2 cup buttermilk


Preheat oven to 350 and prepare a baking sheet with non-stick spray.

In large pot, cook shallots with olive oil until they start to become translucent. Add chicken and cook until browned on all sides. Add chicken stock, scraping along bottom.

Add the carrots and bring to a boil. Add chard and sage and reduce to a simmer for 15 minutes, or until carrots are tender and chicken is cooked through.

While soup is simmering, make the dumplings. Mix the flour, baking powder and salt. Then blend in butter until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs (your hands work best). Stir in buttermilk until you have a thick batter. Spoon the batter into 6 mounds on the baking sheet and bake for 12-15 minutes.

Spoon soup into bowl and place dumpling on top. Top with parsley and enjoy!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Banana Pecan Whole Wheat Pancakes

We are so excited for the holidays this year! The house has been decorated since Thanksgiving, and on Saturday we went to get our Christmas tree. We rented a ZipCar and drove to a local tree farm to cut down our own tree, something I haven't done since I was a kid. Our tree is definitely the prettiest tree I've ever had (not that I'm biased) and it brings such a cozy feeling to our apartment.

Sunday morning I woke up early and was in the mood to make something yummy, healthy, but sweet (shocking, I know). Banana bread sounded perfect, but I was too impatient to wait an hour for it to bake. So I decided on banana pecan pancakes, with whole wheat flour and flax seed. Let me tell you, these little gems were so delicious and very satisfying. Best of all, we froze the leftovers so we can enjoy them any day of the week.


1 cup + 2 Tbsp whole wheat flour
1 Tbsp ground flax seed
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1 ripe banana, mashed
1 egg
1 cup skim milk
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup chopped pecans
serve with chopped pecans, sliced banana and maple syrup


In small bowl, combine flour, flax seed, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

In another bowl, mash the banana then add the egg, milk and vanilla and mix well. Add in the dry ingredients and mix until just combined. Stir in pecans.

Heat a skillet and spray with non-stick spray. Pour 1/4 cup of batter per pancake and let cook until small bubbles form. Flip and cook for another 2 minutes. Top with more pecans, sliced banana and maple syrup.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Turtles and Beaches and Beer, Oh My!

Aloha! We recently took a much needed vacation to the Big Island of Hawaii. 9 days allowed us to circle the whole island. Snorkeling, Volcano hikes, beautiful beaches, waterfalls, and sea animals galore... Hawaii has it all! If you have never been to the Big Island, we definitely recommend it.

While we enjoyed many meals out (see below for our favorites!), we also took advantage of the abundance of fresh ingredients to cook a few meals of our own. One of our favorites was done entirely on the grill, something we never get to do in San Francisco. And of course, we drank lots of yummy beer. After all, isn't that what vacations are for?

Here are some of the highlights from out trip...We can't wait to go back.


First Stop: Kona Brewing Co!

Sunrise the first morning. With the time difference, we were up for the sunrise most mornings, with a big cup of Kona coffee of course. 

Hiking in Volcano National Park. We were able to hike out to the 2003 lava flow that now blocks the road. We found this Road Closed sign among all the lava!
Night tour of Mt. Kilauea, a volcano that is currently erupting. 
Kulaniapia Falls- the private water fall at one of the B&Bs .
The Inn at Kulaniapia Falls was on a Macadamia Nut orchard. We learned how to pick them and crack them open. 

After driving around the island for a few days, we settled into our condo in Kona. We got some yummy local fish (Ono, aka Wahoo) and steaks and BBQ-ed by the pool. 

Lindsay's FAVORITE place.. Kukio Beach. One day we saw a total of 8 sea turtles while walking the beach. Some eating algae off the rocks, others  relaxing on the beach. 

 A few of our favorite things:

Macadamia nut waffles at Inn at Kulaniapia Falls (must be a guest, but we recommend that too!)
Pacifier IPA and pizza from  Kona Brewing Company
Poke from Da Poke Shack
Kukio Beach for turtle sighting and relaxing on the beach
Kealakekua Bay near Captain Cook Monument for snorkeling with dolphins
Tour of the Mauna Kea Summit by Hawaii Forest and Trail 

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Pumpkin Bread

HAPPY HALLOWEEN!! Even though the calendar says it has been fall for over a month, we have had some beautiful, warm, summer-like days lately. While I will take a warm day in SF any month I can get it, I have been really craving all things fall.  The crisp air, darker evenings, and pumpkin flavored things.

Over the years I have tested out numerous pumpkin bread recipes, and while all have been delicious, I was never committed to one recipe. Until now, that is. This year I was given the Tartine Cookbook as a gift, and I decided to test out theirs. Oh. My.Word. This bread was rich with flavor and had the perfect moist vs crumb ratio. I have found my recipe, and I'm sticking to it. Of course, I changed a few things, like using a mix of butter and applesauce instead of oil, and eliminating the cloves (I think my cupboard ate my jar of them).  Thank you Tartine (and Soph for the book!).

Makes 1 loaf
Adapted from Tartine 


1 2/3 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking Soda
1 Tbsp + 2 tsp cinnamon
2 tsp nutmeg (fresh if you have it, I used dried)
1 cup + 2 Tbsp pumpkin puree
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
3 large eggs
2 Tbsp sugar for topping (I used 1 Tbsp each brown and granulated)


Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Lightly butter the bottom and sides of a 9x5 inch loaf pan.

In a small bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda and spices and set aside.

In a larger bowl, mix together pumpkin, butter, applesauce, sugar and salt using a whisk or hand mixer. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each one. Add in the flour mixture and mix until just combined. Be careful not to over mix!

Pour into loaf pan, sprinkle sugar on top, and bake for about an hour, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.

Let cool on a baking rack. Slice and serve!

Here are some pics from a few weeks ago when we took advantage of the great weather to visit the pumpkin patch in Half Moon Bay. I picked my almost-larger-than-I-could-carry pumpkin and Kevin picked a more appropriate sized one :) Happy Halloween!

Monday, September 10, 2012

Veggie Pizza and Caesar Salad

Hello, friends! It has been a busy summer. Two great friends got married, another is expecting their first baby (yay!) so we have had showers and parties galore!  While we may have taken a brief break from the blog, I assure you, there was no shortage of brewing or baking, so we have lots of catching up to do!

Up first- a veggie pizza and Caesar salad with homemade croutons. Pizza and salad is a great, quick meal any time of year, and it an easy way to use ingredients that you already have on hand. Artichoke hearts, kalamata olives, red onions and bell peppers topped with Feta and Parmesan cheeses made for a light, Greek-inspired pizza. We served with a side of greens topped with homemade croutons. Easy as pie!


1 pre-made pizza dough (we used whole wheat)
1 bell pepper, sliced
1/2 red onion, sliced
1 can artichoke hearts, sliced
1/4 cup kalamata olives, sliced
Feta cheese
Parmesan cheese

Romaine lettuce
1/4 loaf french bread, cubed
olive oil
caesar dressing


Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Croutons: slice the french bread into bite sized pieces, drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bake in oven for 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside to cool.

Pizza: Slice all your veggies roll out your pizza dough. Drizzle a little olive oil on the bottom of the dough and layer on the veggies and cheese. Bake 12 -15 minutes in preheated oven, or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted.

While the pizza is baking, chop the lettuce, top with croutons, Parmesan cheese and dressing.


Monday, July 30, 2012

Smoking Stove IPA

Time for another beer post! Our last few batches of beer have been Belgian-style ales, so we decided it was time for a good ol' hoppy (make that VERY hoppy) IPA. A fellow brewer was kind enough to share some home-grown hops, and we were excited to brew with them.  Thanks Jay Thayer!

The Smoking Stove IPA was loosely based on a recipe for a clone of the Dogfish Head 90 minute IPA, but rather than using the hops called for in the recipe we replaced most with the home-grown Chinook hops. We used a LOT of hops, adding in just under 1/2 ounce every 7  1/2 minutes for 90 minutes. The aroma was amazing, but  we had to watch the wort constantly to make sure it didn't boil over (which it did) and make a huge mess (which it also did, hence the name).  This one was truly a labor of love, and we can't wait until it is ready to drink!


2 lbs Pilsner malt grain
8 lbs dried malt extract
3.2 oz Chinook hops
2 oz Amarillo hops

Friday, July 20, 2012

Cinnamon Streusel Cake

A few weeks ago we were having one of those Sundays. You know the kind, where you just want to curl up inside and hang out with friends and family. Cooking (and eating!) comfort food. The foggy summers here in San Francisco will do that to you...

We were hanging out with Kevin's sister (yes, the lucky recipient of this birthday cake) and she and I decided to bake. While searching for a recipe, she and Kevin started reminiscing about a cake their mom used make. Cinnamon Streusel Cake. Layers of cinnamon and brown sugar on top of fluffy yellow cake. It was perfect for this lazy day, and we had to make it.

The cake from their childhood was from a specialty box mix, which we were unable to track down at the local corner market. So, we found this recipe, and got to work. We omitted the glaze and served with homemade ice cream. Mmmm. Just like old times!

Ingredients: Adapted from

1 box yellow cake mix without pudding
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup oil
4 eggs
1 cup buttermilk
2/3 cup packed brown sugar
1 Tbsp cinnamon
Optional: ice cream


Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

In a large bowl (or your stand mixer) combine cake mix, sugar, oil, eggs, and buttermilk and beat 2 minutes on medium speed. While the batter is mixing, combine brown sugar and cinnamon in a small bowl.

Sprinkle 1/2 of the sugar mixture in the bottom of a greased bundt pan. Top with 1/2 of the batter. Repeat with the last 1/2 of each. Bake for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 

Slice and serve with ice cream, or you could make the glaze from the original recipe... but I recommend ice cream!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


One of our favorite brunches in all of San Francisco is a big plate of Chilaquiles from the Primavera stand at the Ferry Building Farmer's Market on a Saturday morning.

Before Kevin and I moved in together, he lived close to the Ferry Building and we would get there a lot more often than we do now. So, we had to learn to recreate them. If we make them for breakfast, we'll add an egg- cooked over medium so the yolk runs over top. For this recipe, we've omitted the egg and used chicken, as we were making them for dinner. Either way, the dish is divine!

We make our own chips by baking corn tortillas. We have substituted store bought chips in a pinch and it works great, too! If you do this, you can skip the first two steps in the directions.


Makes 2 servings
6 corn tortillas, quartered
2 cups fresh salsa
1 large chicken breast, cut into bite-size pieces
1/2 - 1 bell pepper (any color), cut in strips
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
Olive oil
Salt & Pepper
diced tomato, cotija, avocado and fresh cilantro for garnish
Optional: 2 eggs


Preheat oven to 400 degrees

Place quartered tortillas on a greased baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with salt. Bake for 15 minutes or until the are golden brown and crispy. 

While the chips are baking, cook your chicken, pepper and onion in a skillet until chicken is cooked through. 

Turn the heat to low and add your chips and salsa to the pan, making sure to cover the chips completely. Let cook together for 3-4 minutes until the chips start to absorb the salsa.

Spoon chip and chicken mixture onto plates. Top with diced tomato, cotija cheese, avocado, fresh cilantro and egg (if you want). Forks optional :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Funfetti Cookies

Oh, Funfetti, how do I love thee? Let me count the ways! Cake, cupcakes, ice cream, and now cookies?! I am SO in love!

Happy Friday the 13th! Whether you are superstitious or not, I have something for you that is guaranteed to make your day a good one...Funfetti Cookies. Yup, no joke.

Ever since I stumbled upon this recipe a few weeks ago I have become completely obsessed with making these cookies. Thank goodness for birthday parties, wedding showers and summertime holidays for giving me a reason to bake them. Otherwise, from the looks of the stacks of cookies in my kitchen, it might look like I have a slight problem. Seriously. They are that good.

Adapted from Fat Girl in a Skinny Body (don't you just love the name of her blog?!)


1 cup butter, room temperature
1 1/4 cup sugar
3 tsp vanilla extract
1 whole egg
2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
3/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup rainbow sprinkles
2 Tbsp nonpareil sprinkles (the small round sprinkles)


Preheat oven to 375 degrees

Cream the butter and sugar, then add vanilla and egg and beat until well combined.

In a separate bowl, sift together dry ingredients (except the sprinkles). Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Stir in the sprinkles (I used a wooden spoon) until just mixed so the sprinkles don't bleed.

Drop by tablespoons onto cookie sheet, about 1-2 inches apart. Bake 12-15 minutes, until they are just starting to brown on the bottom and sides. These are sugar cookies, so you want them to be soft and fluffy. Cool on a wire rack.

Who are we kidding?! Dig in! They are sooo good warm!