Friday, December 31, 2010


This past year has been full of many changes. I finished my graduate degree, passed boards and officially became a registered dietitian, got my first real job, did a bit of traveling, moved to DC, said goodbye to some great friends and made lots of new ones. One thing that didn't change: my passion for cooking and food. I thought I would end 2010 with a collection of some of my favorite cooking and food adventures of the year. Enjoy.

4th of July with Katie

homemade manicotti

Pineapple Upside Down Cake

Abby's Birthday Cake

Dinner at Founding Farmers- amazing flatbread

Cupcakes for Tom's Birthday

Strawberry Rhubarb Pie

Dinner with Kyle in Lafayette, LA

Rebecca and Andrew's wedding cake

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Under the Weather... Over the Moon

The soup that my wonderful boyfriend made me tonight because I am not feeling so hot. He wouldn't even let me help so I could rest. And keeping me out of the kitchen is not an easy thing to do. I am pretty lucky.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

You Say Frittata

One of my favorite things to do on the weekend is to sleep in a bit, and then get up and make a delicious breakfast. I was on a frittata kick earlier this year- with lots of fresh veggies from the farmers market. I made my first one with a cast iron pan- which turned out pretty good. It is important to have a pan that can go into the oven for the last few minutes of cooking time.

I decided to add Amish potatoes into my second frittata, and it was great.
This week we decided to try some scones. I used a recipe for scones, and added dried cherries, pistachios and dark chocolate chips. It was a great combination- not to mention colorful. Buttermilk and not over-mixing are the secrets to good scones.

Happy Breakfasts!

Monday, November 29, 2010


I can't believe that Thanksgiving already came and went. I love gathering with family and friends, but I also love all of the fall foods together at one meal. The celebration started last week with a friendsgiving celebration at the guys house. Lots of food, people and fun. I decided to make 4 dishes: apple and sage dressing, homemade butternut squash ravioli with brown butter sage sauce, mixed greens and beet salad, and pumpkin whoopie pies.

I couldn't find a recipe I liked for the dressing, so I just made it up. The turkey was also hogging the oven, so I had to be a little creative and work with my new favorite pan- the cast iron skillet. True stovetop dressing I guess you could say.

Farmers apple and sage dressing

1 1/2 cup chopped onion
1 1/2 cup chopped carrot
1 cup chopped celery
2 tablespoons butter
2 cup chopped apple
6 cups cubed whole-wheat bread
vegetable stock (2-3 cups)
1/2 cup fresh sage
salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Melt butter in skillet over medium heat. Add onions, carrots, and celery and cook until tender. Add apple and saute for 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Add sage, bread, and 2 cups of the vegetable stock. Heat on medium-low heat for about 30 minutes, adding more broth if needed. Before serving, place in 400 degree oven for 10 minutes to brown the top.

I didnt get a good picture of the butternut squash ravioli, but it was tasty. It was a process making the ravioli, but worth it. I just love using my pasta maker.

Mixed Greens Salad with fresh beets, red onion, feta, toasted pecans, clementines with a balsamic vinagrette. I actually really loved this salad. Simple, healthy and delicious.

And finally for dessert: pumpkin whoopie pies. I used Martha's recipe, but changed the filling a little bit to be a tad healthier by using reduced fat cream cheese and skipping out on the butter.

This is only what I contributed to the party- but everyone made great dishes and we had a tasty turkey. Good friends, good food.

Friday, November 5, 2010


It has been a long time since my last post, so I have a lot of catching up to do. I guess I was just too busy enjoying the beautiful October weather, and all that came with it. I was able to visit two farms. The first one, Montpelier Farms in Upper Marlboro, was for a staff retreat for work. Ya, I know. My job is tough- I had to spend a Friday afternoon taking a hayride and exploring the agritourism that this farm had to offer.

My second farm venture was to Homestead Farms northwest of DC. The gang and I went for a Sunday afternoon filled with apple picking, pumpkins, farm animals and lots of fun. The day was topped of with some chili, cornbread, and apple pie back in the district. Adam did a fabulous job of making cornbread. The chili was alright, I added too much tomato sauce so it had a strong tomato flavor which wasn't ideal.

We carved pumpkins and ate pumpkin seeds later in the week, and I also introducted a few folks to spaghetti squash. What a simple fall dish. Baked spaghetti squash served with tomatoes, basil and a little butter. We also recreated a fabulous flatbread we all had a Founding Farmers. We cheated a little and used naan topped with apple and onion relish, brie, and apples. Yum.

I redeemed myself by making southwestern veggie chili and corn bread pudding last weekend (see recipe). For the corn bread pudding, I made corn bread batter according to the directions on the corn meal package. Then added 1 can of creamed corn, 1/2 cup diced onions, 1/2 cup diced peppers, and about 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. These were both pretty good- and definitely ones to add to the recipe book. There is no better way to spend a cold Sunday evening in the fall than with football, chili, and cornbread. The black bean burger in the chili really made it stand out.

Southwestern Veggie Chili
1 medium onion, diced
1 cup chopped bell pepper (red, green and yellow if you have them)
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 tablespoon garlic
1 can chili seasoned diced tomatoes
1 can low sodium black beans
1 can kidney beans
1 cup vegetable broth
2 spicy black bean burgers (I like morningstar farms)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 cup corn
chili powder, salt and pepper to taste

Directions: Saute peppers, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Defrost black bean burger and cut into small pieces. Add to vegetables. Add tomatoes, beans, broth, corn and spices. Let simmer for 30 minutes- 1 hour. Serve with cheddar cheese, sour cream, and onions if desired.

I love fall and getting out of the city a little bit to truly enjoy the beauty of this time of year. I think that it is important for people to really take the time to explore where their food is coming from and to appreciate all that goes into producing it. Buying from local farms is good for the local economy, and allows the consumer to get fresher, usually higher quality produce at a decent price. So if you didn't get the chance to check out a farm this season, you should definitely make it a must do next year. Heck, if our country spent even a fraction of the time at a farm, getting to know the food system as we do on Farmville on Facebook- we might be in a different shape. Literally- a slightly smaller one to be precise.

And to leave you with some pictures:

The southwestern chili and cornbread pudding

The pumpkin Daniel carved for us

Wishing you a healthy, delicious week.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Good Eats

So, I immediately thought of Daniel when I saw this recipe for quinoa burgers about a month ago and I knew we needed to make it. What is quinoa you ask? Well, it is actually a grain-like crop related to spinach and beets. It is unique because it is a complete protein, meaning it has all of the essential amino acids needed by the human body. We used red quinoa in this recipe, which was combined with great northern beans, carrots, scallions, egg, breadcrumbs, and a few other things. They could have probably used a little more egg or breadcrumb to hold them together a little better, but they tasted good. A little like falafel, especially when served in a wheat pita with homemade cucumber yogurt sauce and fresh, local tomato slices. Also- roasted up some sweet potatoes, parsnips, yukon potatoes, and red onion that I picked up at the farmers market that evening.

This was probably the cooking highlight of my week. Peach butter and marscapone cheese stuffed french toast. Yum. No recipe on this one. It came to me in a dream. Not really, but I did wake up and decide that the peach butter I purchased friday at the farm would be good with marscapone and french toast. Luckily there is a gourmet market a block away where I got fresh baked whole wheat bread, marscapone and new milk (the kind in the glass bottle- exciting). Made pretty standard french toast with thick slices of the wheat bread, then stuffed it with the mixture of peach butter and marscapone and baked in the oven for about 10 minutes. Then topped off with a little powdered sugar and agave nectar. I really want a bed & breakfast.

Next post: Farmville...... Have a healthy and delicious week!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Why I love my job...

Why my job is cooler than yours. So, I guess that is just my personal opinion, but days like these make me love my job. I think that it is really important to teach food prep skills with nutrition classes. Most adults learn better by doing than by listening to a lecture (studies have shown). Those of us who love cooking take for granted the fact that we know how to cut up a pepper or make a sauce, but cooking and basic food prep seems to be becoming a lost art. I was surprised when I went to college and I had friends who didn't even know how to make kraft mac n'cheese. We need to teach young people how to do basic food preperation. Giving them the confidence to prepare their own tasty, healthy meal is an important step towards reducing the obesity epidemic facing our country.

Confetti Spaghetti (whole wheat pasta, spinach, red pepper, purple cabbage, cauliflower, carrot, italian dressing). Eating the rainbow at its finest.

Pumpkin Pie Pudding- I love making this with kids and adults

MyPyramid Wraps- All of the food groups in one wrap.
Enough of my rant, but I do love that I get paid to cook and teach people to cook. It makes all of the boring days in the office worth it.

Monday, October 18, 2010

What came first?

Let's start off with a little Miss Shirley's brunch. Yum- a great place in Baltimore. Pumpkin Cheesecake Stuffed French Toast. Lauren and I shared this and an omelet- you know a little sweet, a little savory. Good breakfast with good friends.

Last night I was really exhausted from an awesome reunion weekend in Baltimore, but I still love making Sunday dinner. Fish tacos of sorts. Cod coated in cornmeal and pan fried it along with some green peppers and onions. Served with homemade corn tortillas, purple cabbage slaw, tomatoes, salsa, pepperjack cheese and avacado. This photo is actually from tonight- leftovers.

Last week was pretty busy, but I did manage to do a little cooking. I picked up a butternut squash at the farmers market last week so I decided to make some soup. I had tried this once last fall and it was pretty good. No recipe- just in my head. Its pretty easy- squash, vegetable broth, onion, garlic, thyme, nutmeg, touch of milk. Topped off with homemade croutons and pear slices. It actually turned out pretty good. (These pics were taken with my phone so they aren't the best.)

Much more to come....

Sunday, October 10, 2010


Why do I consider myself a foodist? Well let's start off with my first word- ca ca. Or cracker- meaning all food really. I have always had a passion for all things food- cooking, farmers markets, eating, nutrition, the whole nine yards. And I am even lucky enough to have a career that involves all of these things.

This blog is for sharing my passion with you all as well as my numerous food pictures and cooking adventures. Bon Appetit.