Sunday, May 27, 2012

Kale Chips

I adore kale in any and all forms, but making chips out of the leafy green is certainly up there on the list of preferred prep methods. They're lovely little things, kale chips... delicate and fragile, with an enticing crunch and darkly savory flavor. And, as I found out while picnicking at Marsh Creek State Park over the holiday weekend, they add a delicious dimension when slipped into turkey and Havarti on rye sandwiches. The seasoning possibilities extend infinitely, but I usually use harissa-infused olive oil from A Taste of Olive and a pinch of cracked pink Himalayan salt.

Kale Chips

*1 bunch curly kale
*1 glug of infused olive oil (about a tablespoon)
*A pinch of good salt

Set the oven to 300. Remove the ribs from a bunch of kale and chop the leaves roughly; wash and thoroughly dry. Toss the chopped kale with the olive oil and salt (or whatever seasonings you wish to use), and arrange on a large baking sheet (depending on the size of the bunch, you may need to do two batches for all the pieces to fit). Bake for 20-22 minutes, or until nice and crispy (but not burnt!).

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Jalapeño Margarita

I was rooting through my fruits & veg today for my cache of limes and found one lonely jalapeño tucked in with them, and decided to incorporate it into a margarita. This concoction goes down very smooth, and the lips tingle and swell from the spice sting. An excellent drink and drinking experience; I'll be simmering jalapeños in simple syrup for its cause all summer long.

Jalapeño Margaritas
Makes one drink, with leftover infused syrup

*1/2 cup water
*1/2 cup sugar
*1 jalapeño
*1 lime, juiced (about an ounce of juice)
*1.5 oz tequila resposado (I use El Espolon)
*1/2 oz triple sec

Bring water to a simmer in a small pan and dissolve 1/2 cup of sugar within while bringing to a boil. Reduce back to a simmer and add the sliced jalapeño, seeds and all. Simmer for 10 minutes, strain, and then pop into a small mason jar to cool in the fridge. In a shaker combine the lime juice, tequila, triple sec and 1/2 oz of the infused syrup, and shake with ice. Strain into a glass. Feel free to rim the glass with sugar or salt and garnish with a reserved slice of pepper and lime... I threw my garnish in the drink after photographing, and it got progressively spicier as I neared the bottom of the glass, much to my delight.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Bakers At Red Lion

If your weekend travels take you down the bucolic backroads where Kennett Square and West Chester rub elbows, then you've probably seen these bright French flags fluttering in the breeze and the friendly sign inviting you inside with promises of fresh-baked bread. If you've stopped, then you're a convert and I'm preaching to the choir...but if you haven't yet tasted the wares from the Bakers at Red Lion, I urge you, IMPEL you, to do so at the earliest weekend convenience.

Two mature ladies, one bespeckled in adorable Ben Franklinesque frames, got together and purchased the lovely home on the corner of Doe Run and Folly Hill, and then in their retirement decided to put their esteemed baking talents to good use and crank out loaves for the local folk at their leisure. This weekend hobby has gone on for years and years and they have built up a considerable following, yours truly included. They bake the 4 dollar French loaves per the sign, but they also bake smaller French loaves, little boules cracked open with a pat of butter slipped inside (my favorite), brownies, cheesebread, and more. All cranked out over the most quaint-looking stove by the bespeckled Miss, who usually has a batch going when you stop in during the A.M. The smell wafting through the air in the charming kitchen beyond the door marked "open" is divine, truly one of the greatest scents ever to pass by the nostril's vibrissae. Prices range from a dollar to the aforementioned boules 'n brownies to six or seven for specialty loaves, and payment is by the honor system and deposited into a coffee can on the table. Check 'em out on Fridays and Saturdays (and maybe Sundays? I work on Sundays, so never have the luxury of driving down then).

The Kennett/West Chester border is dotted with a number of other such glittering gems, which I'll surely note in posts to come. I adore this area and am happy to share its wonders with others! If you the reader know of any other special nooks in this neck o' the woods, do let the secret slip.


Thursday, May 17, 2012

Banana Bread

The massive bag of bananas that I bought at Produce Junction...the same haul whence sprang the Roasted Banana Ice Cream, dwindled down to a motley collection of 5 overripe and deeply freckled fruits over the week. Perfect pickins for banana bread. I have cobbled my recipe together from many bits and pieces of recipes gleaned over the years, but decided to sub some of my usual allotment of brown sugar with maple syrup. The good stuff, straight from the mighty tit of a Québecois maple. The flavor is definitely improved by its addition, but certainly just use brown sugar if you don't have any of the good stuff on hand.

Banana Bread
Makes one 4x8 inch loaf

*4 extra-ripe bananas (I used the whole bunch [5] because they were on the smaller side)
*6 tablespoons melted butter
*1/2 cup light brown sugar
*1/3 cup good maple syrup
*1 scant teaspoon vanilla
*1 large egg, whisked
*1 glug of bourbon (a tablespoon, I'm guessing, if you don't adhere to the glug system of measurement)
*A pinch of salt
*1 scant teaspoon cinnamon
*1/4 teaspoon allspice
*A pinch of ground cloves
*1 teaspoon baking soda
*1 1/2 cups flour
*A handful of walnut pieces (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350. Smash the bananas in a bowl with a fork until no large chunks remain, and stir in melted butter. Mix in the sugar, syrup, egg, vanilla, bourbon, salt, spices, and baking soda. Add the flour in 1/2 cup additions, stirring well after each. If you want to throw in some nuts, go for it. Pour the batter into a greased loaf pan and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Cool for a spell, and then remove the bread from the pan.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Buckwheat-Bock Crêpes with Mushrooms

I've made a gazillion different crêpe batter variations in my lifetime, but I keep returning to this buckwheat-bock recipe that I adapted from the cooking section in a BeerAdvocate magazine a number of years ago, because it makes such a damn good tender and flavorful crêpe. I stuffed these particular ones with a mushroom mix, but there is no end to what you can stuff yours with.

Buckwheat-Bock Crêpes
Makes a lot. 12-15? 
*2 eggs, whisked
*3/4 cup bock beer (Troegs' doppelbock, Troegenator, or Victory's St Victorious are excellent. Yuengling's bock isn't too shabby either)
*1/2 cup milk
*1/3 cup buckwheat flour
*2/3 cup all-purpose flour
*3 tbsp melted butter
*A pinch salt

Combine the crêpe batter ingredients and blitz in a blender for 10 seconds or so. Pop it in the fridge for at least an hour or two to settle. To make the crêpes, heat a shallow non-stick skillet with sloping sides over medium, and as the pan grows hotter, give it a quick sheen of butter (I take a stick, unwrap it slightly, and gloss the pan all over with the butt of the butterlog). Using a 1/4 measuring cup, scoop a scant 1/4 cup of batter and with one hand on the panhandle, gently pour it into the middle of the pan, rotating the pan as you pour to evenly coat the bottom with the batter. Let it sit untouched for about a minute. You'll start to see the sides of the crêpe begin to pull away from the pan. Take a very flexible rubber spatula around the sides and under to ensure better flipping. Flipping can be done in different ways: If you're special, you'll manage the wrist-flick method. My preferred method for flipping is to carefully grab one of the edges that is pulling away from the pan and curling in slightly, and flip it over with my fingers. You can use a spatula, but these are delicate discs and prone to tearing!

Let it cook another oh, 30 seconds or so before removing it from the pan. Fair warning, your first crêpe will be a disaster, and serves only to set the stage for the rest to come. For some reason, the pan is -perfectly- prepped the second that first one comes off. Stack 'em and cover with aluminum foil as you go along, or recruit someone else to doctor them for you as you keep flipping 'em out.

Mushroom filling

*Olive oil
*1 small shallot, minced
*1/2 lb mixed mushrooms (I used shiitake and hen-of-the-woods [awww])
*2 cloves of garlic, somewhere between chopped and minced
*A handful of walnuts, chopped into small pieces
*A dash of red pepper flakes
*Herb butter (Smash a tablespoon of minced herbs (thyme, rosemary & parsley, I did) into a couple tablespoons of softened butter with a fork)
*A slice of lemon

Remove the stems and wipe your mushrooms off with a damp paper towel; slice. In a wide pan, heat a bit of oil over medium and then add the shallots. Sprinkle with salt and saute a couple minutes before adding the mushrooms, making sure that they are not too crowded in the pan. Cook for a couple minutes, then add the garlic, chile pepper flakes, and some shakes of salt and pepper. Saute gently another 3 or 4 minutes. Add a knob of the herb butter, a spritz of lemon juice and the walnuts, and toss well.

Not a full 1/2 lb. If I cook mushrooms in this house, I eat them alone.

To assemble the crêpes, I take a pat of the herb butter and melt it on the crepe when its cooking in its final stage in the pan, take it out, and then fill it with a couple spoonfuls of the mushroom mix. Feel free to grate some cheese over top (gruyère is a great choice) and add anything else you'd like. Fold and gobble it down.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Herbed Turkey Burgers with Kale Pesto

On a particularly excellent episode of FOX's animated series Bob's Burgers last week, Bob's burger special of the day was "If Looks Could Kale", and I found myself desiring a fictional punny foodstuff something fierce. I devised my own "If Looks Could Kale" burger tonight, although the kale aspect was only a hit with 1/2 of the household, namely me. Other household half proclaimed the pesto to be too "raw", unsurprising as he views all non-basil-based pestos as an abomination. I happen to love the raw, darkly vegetal flavor of kale, though. I look forward to stirring the leftover pesto into some toothsome whole-wheat linguine down the road.

Owlbert plate by Rachel Kozlowski

Kale Pesto
Makes about 1/2 cup
*Overflowing handful of chopped kale leaves, ribs removed
*1/4 packed cup of baby spinach
*1 garlic clove
*2 tablespoons raw pepitas
*1/2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
*1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (or enough to thin out to desired constancy)
*A squeeze of fresh lemon juice

Parboil kale for about 6-7 minutes, shock with cold water, drain, and then squeeze kale dry of any liquid. Whiz kale, spinach, S&P, pepitas and garlic in a mini food processor and add olive oil in a steady stream until you've reached desired consistency and taste.  Add Parmesan cheese and pulse until combined, and then mix in a squeeze of lemon juice.

Herbed Turkey Burgers
Makes 4 patties

*1 lb ground turkey (the best ground turkey I've found locally is from Lindenhof Farm, who frequently sends envoys to the West Chester Growers Market).
*A couple teaspoons finely minced or grated shallot
*2 pressed or finely minced garlic cloves
*Heaping teaspoons a'piece of minced rosemary, parsley and thyme
*Slices of good Swiss cheese
*Hamburger buns of your choice

In a bowl, gently squelch together the turkey meat, shallot, garlic, herbs, salt, and pepper. Try not to overwork the meat, though. Shape into 4 patties and crack some more pepper + a sprinkle of kosher salt over them as they sit. Heat a cast iron pan to between medium and medium-high and add a good slick of high smoke point oil. Once the oil is hot, lay the burgers in and cook undisturbed approximately 5 minutes per side or until just cooked through. With one minute left, add the cheese slices on top to melt and then toast your buns lightly.

I spread about a tablespoon of the pesto on the bottom bun, laid the cheesed burger on top, and then topped with some sliced avocado. I realize that adding another greenstuff compromises the integrity of "If Looks Could Kale", but I advocate for avocados as choice topping for every turkey burger. Other household half used his favorite BBQ sauce. To each his own!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Olive Oil Bundt Cake

I received this recipe from a good friend and my main culinary mentor, Michael G. I find it to be one of my favorite unfussy cakes; it's delicious with a serving of berries and a barking cuppa coffee. Make sure to use a good-quality olive oil since it's the star ingredient here. West Chester has a great specialty shop, A Taste of Olive, in which you can sample a wide variety of high-class oils and pick the one you fancy most - they've keep me happily well-lubricated in fine EVOO for years.

Olive Oil Bundt Cake

*5 eggs
*Orange zest from 2 small oranges
*1 1/4 cups sugar
*2 cups high-quality extra virgin olive oil
*2 cups flour
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*1 1/8 teaspoons baking powder

Set the oven to 325 degrees. Combine the eggs, zest and sugar in a bowl. Beat with your mixer on medium speed for about a minute, then reduce speed to low and beat while adding the olive oil gradually in a steady, continuous stream. In another bowl stir together the flour, salt and baking powder, then add to egg mixture in three additions, mixing at low speed the entire time. Continue to mix just until batter is smooth and even.

Rub the inside of a 10 inch Bundt cake pan with a bit of olive oil and fill with batter until the pan is nearly full. Bake 45 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into its thickest part comes out dry.

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Roasted Banana Ice Cream

I can't not buy a huge bag of bananas whenever I go to Produce Junction. They're so cheap. Plus, swimming in a banana surplus reminds me to make this tasty treat, which is almost as enjoyable to make as it is to eat. Let me tell you, there are few olfactory delights greater than the smell of roasting bananas in your apartment.

This recipe is tweak'd from Monsieur Lebovitz's Perfect Scoop. If you own an ice cream maker, but not this book, then I don't know what you're doing with your life.

 Roasted Banana Ice Cream
Makes about a pint

*3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced
*1/3 cup dark brown sugar
*1 tablespoon butter, cut into small nubbins
*1 cup whole milk
*1/2 cup half & half (you can just use 1 1/2 cups whole milk; I had some H&H to get rid of)
*2 tablespoons vanilla sugar
*1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
*Pinch of kosher salt

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place banana slices in a baking dish with the brown sugar and butter, and roast for 40 minutes, stirring once, until the bananas are nicely browned and sticky in bubbling sugar syrup. Scrape all the contents from the baking dish into a blender and add the remaining ingredients. Puree until smooth, then chill thoroughly and freeze in your ice cream maker for about 20-odd minutes or according to the manufacturer's instructions. Scrape the ice cream into a container and place in your freezer to firm up for a few hours before serving. You may refer to my post on Chocolate-Chile Sherbet for tips on how to chill the mixture, what exactly "vanilla sugar" is, and my recommended storing method.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Tequila-Thyme Lemonade

While attending some garden event held at terrain a couple summers ago on a particularly sweltering day, I was handed a cupful of tequila-thyme lemonade poured from a large, sweating jug stuffed with lemon slices and bundles of thyme. One sip and I was hooked. When I got home I immediately started tinkering to get the proportions right on my own version, and its been a summer staple ever since. Luckily thyme spreads like wildfire in my garden, so I'm never wanting for the herb.

Tequila-Thyme Lemonade
Makes 2 servings

*2 cups lemonade
*3-4 oz of tequila (I use Espolon resposado because that's usually what I have on hand but you can definitely get away with using cheapo tequila in this)
*1 small bouquet of thyme
*Lemon slice

Pour the lemonade and the tequila into a shaker. You could make your own lemonade, but I'm lazy and go with Simply Lemonade, which is delicious and a fine stand-in for fresh. Tie your bouquet of thyme together with a bit of thread and steep in the shaker for 10-15 minutes or so before removing. Strain and pour the drink over ice. You can divide the bouquet between the glasses for presentation's sake if you wish. Garnish with a slice of lemon.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cavatappi with Sausage, Kale & Tomatoes

A superquick, supertasty weeknight meal. My husband had some credit with Amazon that, if I have the story straight, could only be used on Groceries (?) so he bought a pallet (!) of De Cecco cavatappi (and, quaintly/weirdly, a pallet of UK-style Heinz baked beans in cans that look like Mad Men props) so pretty much any pasta dish I've cooked up in the past couple of weeks has incorporated this corkscrew style. It works well here but that's not to say your favorite pasta shape wouldn't work just as well.

Cavatappi with Sausage, Kale, & Sundried Tomatoes
Serves 2 + modest leftovers for lunch

*3/4 lb cavatappi (or pasta of your preference)
*1/2 lb hot Italian sausage, casings removed or in patty form
*A couple large leaves of kale
*1/2 cup sundried tomatoes in oil, drained and sliced
*3 tablespoons butter
*2-3 cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
*1 lemon
*Red pepper flakes
*Chopped parsley (optional)

Put water on to boil for the pasta. In a small pan melt 3 tablespoons of butter, and lightly saute the garlic. Wash, dry and slice the lemon and place all the pieces but the ends in the butter and simmer over low heat for the duration of the pasta's cooking process. Remove lemon pieces (and strain if you'd like).

Meanwhile, brown the sausage until fully cooked, breaking it up into bite-size pieces, and then set aside. Remove the ribs from the kale, chop into manageable pieces, and saute softly in a stolen spoonful of lemon butter. Add some red pepper flakes, a crack of pepper and some salt, and a little bit of the pasta water to further wilt the kale. Set the kale with the sausage after about 6 minutes. After pasta has cooked to al dente, drain casually (you don't need to shake every last drop out of those coils) and return to the pot. Mix in the sausage, kale, lemon butter, and sundried tomatoes. S&P to taste. Squeeze the ends of the lemon over the mix to get the last drops of juice from the teensy bits of fruit flesh left. Garnish with chopped parsley if you please.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Chicken, Shrimp & Andouille Gumbo

My friend Dr. John'll help to set the proper mood for this post; gumbo always tastes better with some hippie bayou psychedelia stirred into the roux. Speaking of, making the roux is always a slightly thrilling affair. There's a heightened tension while the roux darkens as you swiftly whisk it around the pot, and, when you've achieved a perfect rich brown hue without having burned it, the satisfaction is intoxicating. 

I've been making this recipe for years, it's one of a prized handful that I have soaked into my bones and can make by memory and intuition now. Honestly, I don't have a hard-and-fast origin for it...I'm sure some aspects were cribbed from tips on Chowhound threads, perhaps others from Paul Prudhomme, but it has since evolved into something more or less my own. Now it's yours, too.   

Chicken, Shrimp and Andouille Gumbo
Serves 4-6

*1-2 lbs bone-in, skin-on chicken parts (thighs are my go-to parts), trimmed of excess fat
*4 cups chicken stock
*1 1/2 cups water
*5 bay leaves
*1 generous tablespoon of Cajun seasoning. I highly recommend making your own; store bought just doesn't cut it. I loosely follow Emeril's Essence recipe, which is great. I lessen the salt and the thyme somewhat and add a smidge of home ground mulatto chile powder.
*1/2 cup fat (in order of personal preference - duck fat, bacon fat, neutral oil, butter. Butter burns the easiest, but sure is tasty. Use what you will.)
*1/2 cup flour
*'Holy trinity' - one cup each of diced yellow onion, celery, green bell pepper. Try for a dice that doesn't exceed 1/2in.
*3-4 minced cloves of garlic
*Half a small can of diced tomatoes, partially drained
*Tabasco hot sauce
*Healthy pinches of dried thyme, oregano, paprika, red pepper flakes, cayenne, salt & pepper
*2-3 andouille sausage links
*1/3-1/2 lb shrimp
*Cooked rice

Bring a large pot of water to a boil, add the chicken, and boil for a minute or two before draining and rinsing the chicken off - this step removes some impurities from the chicken. Rinse the pot out and add the stock, water, bay leaves and seasoning, along with a sprinkling of salt, and bring to a boil. Add the chicken back to the pot, reduce the heat to medium-low, and poach for 25-30 minutes until the chicken is just cooked through.

Remove the pieces and set aside; strain & skim fat from 4 cups of cooking liquid to reserve for the gumbo. Once the chicken is cool enough to handle, loosely shred chicken meat, tossing the skin and bones. I recommend using the oh, cuppish or so of leftover cooking liquid to supplement the water for the rice - gives the rice an added boost of flavor. I also usually make a side of macque choux, which uses some up, too.

 Make the roux- heat your fat in a large dutch oven or heavy-bottomed pot over medium-high to high heat, and when it gets hot sprinkle in the flour, whisking constantly. Continue to whisk thoroughly and constantly - and quickly! until roux cooks to a deep reddish-brown color. No lighter than the caramel color of peanut butter allowed - I usually go for the color of milk chocolate but have been known to call it quits a little before that if my hands are screaming at me. The time this takes really depends on how high you’re comfortable with placing the heat. I usually whisk for about 15 minutes at medium-high heat before the darkening starts to quicken, and then a couple minutes more until it's at the desired level of doneness, but if you set the heat to a comfortable medium, you might be whisking for 30+ minutes. Feel free to modulate the temperature if that makes it easier. If you see black specks, the roux is burnt and you’ll need to throw it out and try, try again. Don't go burning yourself whilst whipping up a maelstrom in the roux; it is as hot as its nickname, 'cajun napalm', would suggest.

Remove the pot from the heat once the roux looks right and immediately stir in the trinity and minced garlic. A grand sizzle will resound as applause for a roux well done. Return pot to medium-low heat and cook, stirring frequently, until vegetables are starting to soften, about 4-5 mins. Slowwwwwly stir in the reserved 4 cups of chicken liquid and the diced tomatoes, making sure to adequately blend the mixture after each liquid addition. Add two bay leaves, a couple shakes a'piece of dried thyme and oregano, a scant half-teaspoon of cayenne (or whatever you’re comfortable with, heat-wise), a few healthy dashes of Tabasco, salt & pepper, a few shakes of red pepper flakes, a good dash or two of paprika, a spangling of Cajun seasoning and a pinch of sugar. All of this is to personal taste, so adjust accordingly. Turn heat to high and bring to a boil. Immediately after it boils bring the heat down and simmer for at least an hour, or indefinitely. I usually let it go for about 2, but I've sometimes transferred it to a crock pot after that point and kept it on low for half a day. 

Meanwhile, brown one or two bias-sliced andouille links or other sausage of your choice (andouille is best, of course) in a pan and then add to the gumbo along with reserved chicken about 30-45 mins into its simmer. A few minutes before soup's on, throw the shelled, deveined shrimp in the gumbo pot until they are just cooked through. Fish out the bay leaves and then ladle the gumbo over rice and garnish with some chopped scallions or parsley if you'd like some green.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Chocolate-Chile Sherbet

Sherbet ...sherbert...sorbet. I'm settling the score.

Sherbet, which a misguided but endearing contingent misspells as sherbert, is a frozen treat that may contain modest amounts of milkfat. Sorbet is the French word for sherbet, and is commonly used interchangeably, but it is worthwhile to note that true sorbet contains nary a wee drip of dairy. Fruit juice, pulp, liqueurs, sweetening agents, water, but no milkfat.

Pedantry aside, may I now introduce you to my favorite summer treat?  I present Chocolate-Chile Sherbet, adapted from sweet treat demi-god David Lebovitz's recipe for chocolate sherbet in The Perfect Scoop. You can very easily jettison the spice element in this by just using regular dark chocolate, but where's the fun in that?

Always anglin' for a lick
 Chocolate-Chile Sherbet

*2 cups milk, whatever % you have on hand. It's generally always skim pickin's for me.
*1/2 cup vanilla sugar (stick a spent v-bean in a little mason jar with sugar to keep for a while and voila)
*1/2 cup  unsweetened cocoa powder
*4 oz of chocolate cut with chiles; I always use Dagoba Xocolatl 74% Dark Chocolate, which I find at Whole Foods, but there are tons of specialty spicy chocolate bars out there.
*Scant 2 tablespoons of Chocolate Vodka; alternately, a chocolate or coffee-flavored liqueur would work. You don't have to include this, but adding a touch of alcohol makes it freeze niiiice 'n smooth.
*Pincha salt, pincha cayenne

In a pan, gradually bring half of the milk, sugar, pinches of salt & spice and cocoa to a boil while whisking subtly, then reduce heat to a simmer for 30 seconds before removing the pan from heat. Chop the chocolate and stir it in with the alcohol, followed by the other half of the milk. Use an immersion blender to smooth the mix out once all the chocolate has melted. Chill thoroughly (very important), then freeze in your ice cream maker for about 25 minutes or according to the maker's instructions. I usually chill my mix in a zip-lock bag submerged in a bath of ice water for a spell while I'm bustling around the kitchen, and then pop it in the fridge for a number of hours longer before freezing it (about 5-6 hours). Or, I chill it in the fridge overnight. I highly recommend storing it in these paper ice cream containers. The sherbet probably will need a bit of time in deep freeze to firm up after being churned in the maker, so make sure to have a good container on hand.


Hi! I'm Lisa Q. DeNight. Welcome to Zou Bisou Beef Stew, a shared space for me to deposit delicious recipes, local establishment recommendations and other flotsam & jetsam! I started blogging in 2012, essentially to have all my recipes in one readily accessible, non-soup-stained place, but I have found that it pushes me to be more culinarily creative and adventurous as I explore new and delectable content for my stomach, and for the internet! I am always learning and honing though, so if you, reader, have any questions/comments you'd like to share about recipes I post, I'd love to hear them. 

If you would like to contact me, feel free to shoot an email at Lisaqvarnstrom [at] I'm also active on Twitter; my handle is @MinouLQ. Same handle for IG. The lovely header art was designed by my awesome pal Rachel Kozlowski...go check her out!

Thanks for reading!