Homemade pickles that are great alone or paired with a sandwich!

1 cup white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
2 Tbsp salt
1 tsp crushed red peppers
1 tsp thyme
2 cucumbers, sliced

Place all ingredients in a jar and shake lightly to thoroughly mix.  Let sit for at least an hour. These keep for two weeks and get better with age. Easy and quick! 

Recipe from CSJ


Gingerbread Muffins with an Orange Zing

1 small/medium ripe banana
1 large egg
1 tsp vanilla
zest of 1/2 and orange
1 tsp orange extract
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/3 cup molasses
1/3 cup milk
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 1/4 cups flour

Preheat oven to 400℉. Grease 12 muffin cups.

In a large mixing bowl, mash the banana  and egg together using a fork until only small lumps remain. Use a spatula to stir in the vanilla, orange zest, orange extract, spices, and salt.

Add the oil, molasses and milk, incorporating fully between each ingredient. Add the sugars and mix. Stir in the baking powder and soda. Fold in the flour just until combined. Don't over mix.

Pour into 10-12 muffin cups. Bake for 10 minutes at 400℉ and then reduce temperature to 375℉ and bake for 7-9 minutes more until a toothpick comes out clean. For moister muffins, remove muffins from oven when toothpick comes out with just a bit of crumbly batter.

Cool for 5 minutes. These tasty muffins are best served warm and are delicious with butter.

Adapted from recipe from Fork Knife Swoon.


Warm Moroccan Chicken and Sweet Potato Salad

For the Chicken:
3 bone-in, skin-on chicken breasts (1 1/2 to 2 lb. total)
1 tsp. mild curry powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. salt

For the Salad:
2 tsp. mild curry powder
1 Tbs. ground cumin
7 Tbs. extra virgin olive oil
1 1/2 lb. sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch dice (about 3 cups)
1/4 cup whole almonds, coarsely chopped
1/3 cup pumpkin seeds
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 large tomato, seeded and diced
4 green onions, thinly sliced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Remove the skin from the chicken and discard. Place the chicken in a large saucepan with the curry powder, cumin, and salt. Cover with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to low and simmer until the chicken is tender, 20 minutes. Remove from the pan and discard the liquid. Let the chicken cool.

When the chicken is cool, remove the meat from the bone and tear into pieces. Set aside.

Heat the oven to 375℉. Mix the curry powder, cumin, and 1/12 tsp. salt. Toss half of the spice mixture with 1 Tbs. of oil and the sweet potatoes. Spread in a baking pan and roast until tender, 30 minutes.

Toss the almonds and pumpkin seeds with the remaining spice mixture and 1 Tbs. of oil, place on a baking sheet, and toast in the oven until the almonds are seeds are golden, 10-12 minutes. Set aside.

For the dressing. whisk the vinegar, garlic, and remaining 5 Tbs. of oil.

When the potatoes are done, add the chicken pieces, almonds, pumpkin seeds, tomatoes, green onions, chopped cilantro, and dressing. Mix well.

Serves 6


Pasta with Brussels Sprouts, Gorgonzola, and Brown-Butter Pecans

10 oz. Brussels sprouts, trimmed (2 cups)
1 1/2 Tbs. olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 lb dried ear shaped pasta (the recipe I followed asked for orecchiette, but you could use medium shells)
1 Tbs. unsalted butter
1/4 cup coarsely chopped pecans (walnuts will also work)
1 large shallot, minced (may substitute with a couple cloves of garlic)
1/2 cup cream or milk
1/2 cup Gorgonzola, crumbled
1 Tbs. fresh lemon juice

Position a rack in the lower third of the over, set a heavy rimmed baking sheet on the rack and heat the oven to 500℉. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to boil over high heat.

In a food processor, slice the Brussels sprouts. Transfer them to a large bowl, drizzle with the olive oil, sprinkle with salt and pepper and toss until well coated. Remove the baking sheet from the oven and spread the sprouts on it in a single layer. Roast, stirring once halfway through the cooking time, until the sprouts are tender and flecked with charred bits, 10-15 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the package directions.

In a medium heavy-duty skillet, melt 1/2 Tbs. of the butter over medium heat. Add the nuts and cook, stirring frequently, until the butter is deeply browned and the pecans are toasted, about 3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside.

Melt the remaining 1/2 Tbs. butter in the skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots (or garlic) and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 2-3 minutes. Add the cream/milk and bring to a simmer. Off the heat, add the Gorgonzola and stir until melted.

Drain the pasta and return to the pot. Add the Brussels sprouts, Gorgonzola sauce, and lemon juice and toss well.


Adapted from recipe in CookFresh



I learned how to make this recipe from an Indian friend of mine and it is amazingly easy and very delicious.

1 cup flour
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
 1 cup milk
1 egg
1 Tb vegetable oil in a bowl to moisten fingers when forming bread

1. Mix flour, baking soda, salt, and sugar together.
2. Whisk milk and egg together.
3. Slowly add milk/egg mixture to dry ingredients to form a dough.  It should not be too sticky.  If so, add more flour.
4. From dough into golf size pieces.
5. Roll out dough balls thinly and cook over skillet on the stove.  Flipping after about 2 minutes.
6. Brush butter over the top, if desired, and serve.


Lemon curd

This curd is great with tea scones.  The flavor is intense and so fresh!

2 large lemons, juiced
3/4 cups sugar
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 and 1/4 tsp lemon zest (from lemons above)
pinch of salt
1/2 cup cold butter, diced

1. In a saucepan combine the lemon zest and the sugar.
2. Whisk in the yolks and then the whole eggs.  Add salt.
3. Slowly add the lemon juice from the lemons. The mixture will be thick.
4. Put the saucepan over medium heat and stir continuously, until thickened. The mixture will physically change from just thick and light to more bubbly and thick.
5. Remove from heat and add bits of butter while whisking until all butter is added and melted.
6. Let cool and enjoy!

This recipe is simplified and based off of the recipe at cafejohsonia.