Wednesday, December 29, 2010

January Seasonal Foods

The last few years I've been more conscious of what foods are in season and what foods are not.  This will be the 2nd year I've made more of an effort to eat seasonal.  Once I read more about the benefits of eating seasonally it was easier to be conscious....one main benefit is the vegetable or fruit tastes better, second  and most important to me is that it helps keep my body warm or cold depending on the season.  For example when I think of winter, root vegetables sound so comforting and warm....when thinking of summer, cucumber and tomatoes refreshingly come to mind.  Do you eat seasonally?

January Seasonal Fruits and Vegetables

Apples
Beetroot
Brussels sprouts
Carrot
Cauliflower
Celeriac
Celery
Chicory
Clementine
Grapefruit
Jerusalem artichoke
Kale
Kiwi fruit
Leeks
Lemons
Oranges
Parsnips
Passion fruit
Pears
Pineapple
Pomegranate
Potatoes
Rhubarb
Satsumas
Spinach
Swede
Tangerines
Turnips

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Cookie Decorating Party

Tuesday my girlfriend Denise & I hosted a cookie decorating party for our girls.  Denise asked me if I wanted to help throw a cookie decorating party for our little ones & I did not hesitate.  Great idea!   Denise has 2 girls & I one....each one invited 2-3 girlfriends. 
On Monday, Denise & I made the cookie dough and the icing.  Tuesday morning we rolled out the dough & baked.  Once cool we glazed each cookie.  We made a piping bag filled with glaze for each of the girls so that the decorations would adhere.  After decorating they snacked on grapes and beef hot dogs sprouted out like an octopus.  So many giggles echoed thru the house.  Intentionally delightful....





Sunday, October 17, 2010

Spooky Witch Fingers

Halloween is around the corner and my daughter, Carmella is thrilled. 
We made some spooky delicious sugar cookies.   We shared with the neighbors and friends.


Witch Fingers

1 cup butter, softened
1 1/2 cups organic cane sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
2 3/4 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt


Preheat oven to 350 F.
In bowl, beat butter and sugar.  Beat in eggs and extracts mix well.  Combine flour and salt, stir with fork.  Add to butter mixture.  Beat until well blended.
Lay an almond at the tip of each nail.  Press a little dough into each finger cavity...2/3 full.  Bake 7-9 minutes.  If the fingers get too brown the cookie will not be as soft.   Bake to your taste.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Coconut Curry Squash Soup

Purchased two acorn squashes at my favorite Mexican grocery store.  Squash is such a beautiful vegetable.  It's food art.  I love to buy it, display it for a week sometimes longer, then cook it.  This acorn squash was so gorgeous I couldn't help myself...I sliced it up and grilled it within the hour after buying it.  Love the scent...clean and hearty.  I scooped out the seeds, sliced it in rounds, brushed it with olive oil, salt, pepper and grilled it.  Added to the grill onion rounds, tomatoes & Mexican calabasita too.  So good.  With all the leftover grilled veggies I decided 'soup' is the perfect theme to consume all these good good veggies.

Coconut Curry Squash Soup

Leftover grilled acorn squash, onion and Mexican calabasita
1 Vegetable bouillon
1 garlic clove sliced
2 teaspoons of curry powder
2 cups of water
1 can of coconut milk
salt & pepper to your liking
lemon

In a dutch oven add all of the above.  When it comes to a boil, reduce heat and let it simmer for 20 minutes.  Puree with an emulsifier/hand blender.  Juice an entire lemon in the soup.  Serve.

So simple.  I will be serving the soup with a scoop of steamed rice...perhaps Basmati maybe sticky rice.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Homemade Yogurt

I did it!!!  I made yogurt!!!  Our household loves yogurt, I spend $50-60 a month on yogurt, sometime more.   We love the good yogurt by: Brown Cow & Bulgarian Yogurt.    Over a year ago I attempted to make yogurt...it never cultured...the result was liquid.  So of course, after being so disappointed the idea left my mind for a while.  Then after paying $4.68 for Bulgarian plain yogurt I thought "oh come on Darlene you have got to master this".  Well I'm not a master yet but that is my goal.  I made a gallon of yogurt with Whole Foods Whole Milk $3.58...this is $20 worth of yogurt.  So Happy.  So Satisfying. So Simple. So Real.  So Whole.  This is the beginning of a beatuiful delightful weekly ritual.  Yum.
Thank you Micheal from makeyourownyogurt.com the instructions were so simple.

Friday, August 13, 2010

About Honey Girl Kitchen

History Of Honey Girl Kitchen


I have been a lover of cooking since I was a child. As the seventh of eight children I can remember being as young as four helping set the table as well as having a chair propped up next to the sink to help wash dishes. My Mother cooked every meal…breakfast, lunch and dinner…my five sisters and I learned the skill and love of cooking early on.

The love of cooking is the only way of life I have known.

Honey Girl Kitchen caters the most intimate event in your life to the most casual party.

Contact us today.

Darlene Menu Planner 214.532.3510

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Lemony Ceasar Dressing

I love Ceasar Salads...Yum.  However, I am never satisified when I buy a bottle of "Ceasar Salad Dressing".  Problem Solved. 
I have served this on many occasions for brunch, lunch & dinner parties...guest rave.
Here is my no raw egg lemony ceasar dressing.  Hope you love it as much as I do.

Lemony Ceasar Dressing

Zest of one lemon
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
2/3 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
1 T mayo
2 anchovi, smashed or 1 t anchovi paste
1 minced garlic clove
Salt & Pepper

Top with Grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Wash lemon.  Zest it fully before juicing it.  Add remaining ingredients and whisk.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Frito Pie Chili

Frito Pie Chili

2 lbs ground beef or turkey
1 15 oz tomato sauce
1 15 oz stewed tomates
1 15 oz can water
2 med onions, chopped
1/2 cup chili powder
1/2 T garlic powder
1 T dried onions
1/2 T Cumin
1/2 T Oregano
1 t smoked paprika
1 t cracked pepper
1 t salt or to taste
1 T masa mix with 1/4 cut water
1/2 T cayenne

Add all ingredients except masa & cayene to cooked ground beef.  Simmer for 30 minutes.  Mix masa and water together, add to mixture.  Add cayenne.  Continue simmering for 20 more minutes.  Add more salt if needed. 
Optional: To the finished product I add 2 cups of beans.  Any delicious bean works.

This is our home favorite frito pie chili.  This recipe took me a few years to finally perfect it. 
We top our Frito Pie's with fresh onion, cheddar cheese, tomatoes and jalapenos.  Yum!

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Green Chile Stew...Yum


Green Chile Stew

3 T bacon fat or vegtable oil
2 1/2 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, cut in 1 inch cubes
2 cups diced onion
5 cloves of garlic
8 cups chicken
2 pounds of potatoes, cut 1/2 to 3/4 inch cubes
1 T tamari or soy sauce
1 t cumin
2 to 3 t salt, to taste
1 t pepper
1 1/2 cups roasted, peeled, chopped green chile
1 cup roasted tomatillo salsa
1/2 of a red bell pepper, diced
1 cup of cilantro

Heat fat/oil in dutch oven, high heat and brown the meat in 3 batches.  Set aside.  In same dutch oven, saute the onions until lightly golden.  Add garlic stir, return the meat to dutch oven along w/all juices that have accumulated.  Add broth, potatoes, salt cover and bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 1 1/2 hours, potatoes will break up and thicken the stew.  Add green chile, tomatillo salsa and bell pepper cook 25 more minutes.  Add cilantro and serve.

Top with fresh onion, fresh cilantro, dallop of sour cream & crunchy tortilla chips.

Roasted Tomatillo Salsa

2 onions, quartered
6 serrano peppers
3 garlic cloves
6-8 tomatillos
1/4 cup of Olive Oil
salt & pepper
1 cup cilantro
2 cups water

Place first 4 ingredients on baking sheet toss with oil, salt and pepper.  Broil till all sides are slightly charred.
In a sauce pan add water and cilantro, bring to boil.  Add broiled ingredients to sauce pan (oil too) and puree or chunk with emulsifier.

My husband was the main inspiration for this recipe today....yesterday he said, "we have not had chile in ages" (I think/know he meant the traditional red one but my palate craved the green...I hope he loves it).

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Onigiri (Rice Balls)

For my 40th birthday my girlfriend, Sandra, took me out for sushi at Tei Tei....which I looooove. We ordered a variety...all familiar except one item....Rice Ball....it was a ball of rice which had been toasted on the grill. Yum! Since that night I have thought about the rice ball often. When we were in Hawaii November 2008 at every ABC/7-11 convenience stores they had these rice balls in different shapes layered with Spam and wrapped in nori seaweed...I did not attempt one because they were in a heated lamp source...I should have been so brave but all I could think of was 'if they do not move them fast enough the lamp source is not hot enough to fight bacteria...just eat one!' Well I didn't...I should have. Recently I have been thinking about them more and more due to looking into Bento lunches for my daughter I see rice balls everywhere. With that said I made them yesterday. Sushi rice, nori wraps & toasted sesame seeds...I ate 2 with tamari & wasabi...YUM! They were so filling. I have a rice cooker, that makes the perfect sushi rice, made my process so easy.



Onigiri


2 cups of sushi rice
Toasted sesame seeds
Nori sheets cut in strips

Steam/cook rice. Add vinegar mix.

Vinegar Mix

1/4 cup rice vinegar

1 tbsp sugar

1/2 tbsp sake
1/2 tbsp salt

Mix till sugar and salt have dissolved. Warming helps dissolve (heat or microwave).
Add mix to cooked sushi rice.

I have discovered these two blogs that have helped tremendously.
justhungry.com and justbento.com the author of these 2 blogs is in the process of publishing a bento book, how exciting. Look forward to it.

Page that helped me with the rice balls.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Single, Double or Induction Burner

I would love an outdoor kitchen. I think it's important to have one in the summer so that you don't create heat or humidity indoors. I live in a 1931 home and the summer humidity seeps in on it's own. I have been comparing different brands & styles. I think I've decided on "THE ONE" .....the double burner by Waring Pro. I plan on setting up a stainless steel table top to hold the burner and a slow cooker. I will also use the burner when I fry seafood...I pan fried salmon croquettes yesterday and smell still lingers in the air this morning.
Once my outdoor kitchen is set up I'll share the photos with you. I should have it set up by May. I'm excited about this.