Sharing the Table: Mixed Greens with Parmesan, Croutons, Bacon, and Red Onions in Herb Vinaigrette; and MTK’s Tortilla Soup with Tortilla Crisps

Even with our state re-opening we’re continuing to utilize local businesses for as much food as we can. We have a plethora of vegetables and it’s been so much fun to try and use them up.

One of our McClendon’s Select boxes.

I have so many great cookbooks and a few that have really been great for what’s available right now. One of my favorites is Sharing the Table at Garland’s Lodge. Everything I’ve tried from this book has been worth making.

The lodge still exists but is now called Orchard Canyon on Oak Creek.

This week we made a meal of the mixed greens with parmesan, croutons, bacon and red onions in vinaigrette and MTK’s tortilla soup.

We started out the day before making some croutons.

Anyone else ever seen Adam’s rib? I’m starting to feel like Scott and I are getting into a Pinky and Pinkie rhythm in the kitchen.

The tomatoes aren’t technically part of the recipe but they did have them in the featured pic and it looked great so we added them too.

We picked up some bacon at a local butcher shop the other week and once that and the croutons were baked up there wasn’t much to putting this together.

All the dressing ingredients get whirred together.
The Parmesan would look great shaved too.

Simple salad that’s both satisfying and light.

Couldn’t resist using a little leftover bacon fat to get my carrots, leeks and celery started in.

While putting our salads together I started with a trinity of flavors to get the tortilla soup started.

Tomatoes and spices getting added in.

This recipe doesn’t use a stock starter so the flavors really build as you go.

So hard to get good pics with all the steam coming out of the pot.

Once the tomatoes and spices have settled in some water gets added. After that zucchini, sweet potato and jalapeño get added and cooked until the sweet potato is soft. Orange juice (blood orange in our case), like juice and cilantro get added at the very end.

Scott did a great job frying up the tortilla strips.

Soup is topped with tortilla strips and cheese. We added avocado to the recipe.


We really enjoyed making and eating both of these. Both could easily be made both vegetarian and vegan. I’m hoping the produce boxes continue for the foreseeable future and we can continue to find new favorites recipes.


Baking Chez Moi: Green Tea Sablés and Honey Pots de Crème

Honey Pots De Créme

I had written my post for the green tea sablés and thought I had posted it so I was surprised when I found it sitting in my drafts. Luckily, both the sablés and this week’s recipe use my favorite tea. Figured it would make an appropriate double post.

My cream is in a fun container because we’ve been utilizing local shops that have turned into mini markets. Thank goodness my chickens are still producing on the heat. Hopefully everyone is able to find eggs right now-this needed quite a bit.

This tea is so pretty and it smells amazing. I’m not much of a milk drinker these days but this was a little tempting.

Lots of egg yolks for this. I’m going to have to look for another recipe for the whites.

After mixing up the egg mixture and I slowly poured in the cream and proceeded to splash a small but painful amount on my hand. Scott was right there so he grabbed a towel and got my hand and somehow I didn’t spill the rest of the cream. Everything ended up mixed without scrambling and made it into the water bath and oven. They turned out so green!

My roses are in full bloom right now so the flavor seemed right. I used half the called for rose extract because my tea was fairly strong. The combination of honey and rose is nice.

Green Tea Sablés

I feel very lucky to have had the ingredients for this recipe on hand still. Flour has been hard to find and I still had enough left. Luckily, a local eatery/bake shop has gotten creative with weekly provision boxes and we’ll be getting a small restock of flour this Friday. I’m so concerned for all of our local small business and particularly the restaurants.

The sablés were great in their simplicity and short ingredient list. I chose my favorite green tea from my favorite local coffee/tea shop. This has a wonderful rose and cherry flavor and I like to make a little pot in the morning to start my day hot and keep going iced.

The tea leaves are so pretty with little bits of roses. This tea also has a few chunks of cherries but I didn’t use any since I wasn’t sure it would grind well.

Once the tea was rubbed into the sugar and salt my kitchen had a lovely rose smell. A little flour and butter later and the dough was ready to be rubbed together.

I’ve always hated rubbing in butter for some reason and probably should have worked with this dough just a minute or two more. I made one log using hand forming and one using Dorie’s wax paper trick. The cookies cut from the trick log had much better density and form and I would definitely use that technique in the future. Hopefully I get better with practice.

The sablés turned out lovely and delicate with the perfect amount of tea and rose flavor. I would love to play around with some of the other tea flavors that I have and see how those turn out.


Super Tuscan: Stuffed Zucchini with Ricotta and Herbs, and Tuscan Country Toast

We’ve been getting some great local produce lately. It’s inspired me to look through our cookbooks for matching recipes.

Super Tuscan is one book I’ve been meaning to try more from and had some great recipes for my available ingredients or at least something similar.

Our summer squash varieties are just blooming now but our local farms already have this readily available and was included our McClendon’s Select grab and go box this week.

A country loaf of Noble bread was also in this week’s box. They’ve been a long time favorite in our house but have taken on a new connection with the stay at home orders. When everywhere was running out of bread they were baking extra and partnering with local shops. They’ve had weekly guest chef sandwiches. They’ve also been providing free loaves to local food service employees unable work. I guess it’s a little strange that bread can be so meaningful but seeing our local food industry band together has been a source of hope.

So for lunch I decided to make some stuffed zucchini and garlic toast.

As simple as it gets.

The garlic is technically optional for this recipe but it’s hard for me to imagine skipping it.

This recipe is about as easy as it gets. Slice some good bread. Toast it up under the broiler. Rub a garlic clove and finish with olive oil. Simple and delicious.

Queen Creek Olive Mill is another local place providing essentials right now and we typically buy our olive oil from them by the gallon. While they do sell young and fruity varieties meant for finishing as specified in the recipe, I just went with what I had on hand.

I’ve been staying mostly at home the past few months. I feel super lucky that Scott has been great at getting the few things we can’t get to-go from local places. Luckily the parmesan and ricotta was well stocked at our local Sprouts and he was able to find some flat leaf parsley since my basil isn’t quite ready to be picked yet. Herbs are one of the items that has been difficult to find. The recipe called for plain bread crumbs but I had panko on hand.

The one trick to this recipe is to start early. The zucchini needs to be salted and left to drain about an hour before you’re ready to bake them up.

The zucchini insides scraped from the little boats gets browned. Finely chopped onion and garlic get softened. My house was smelling pretty good at this point.

The veg filling gets mixed in with the cheeses and seasoning. I think you could really play around with this based on what’s available to you.

Stuff the boats and drizzle with olive oil. They go in the oven to bake and then brown. I broke some of my zucchini when I was cutting and hollowed them out anyways.

Finish off with a little flat leaf parsley and add your Tuscan toast to the plate. Great light lunch.

Really happy with how these turned out and looking forward to trying a few more things from this book.

Are you pulling out any of your cookbooks? Where are you finding your inspiration?


Baking Chez Moi: Martine’s Lemon and Apple Tart

I feel very lucky that I was able to find everything for this recipe. We have just a few lemons left on our tree. I’ve been able to source a few baking ingredients from a wonderful local bakery and eatery that is making market baskets.

This was a breeze to put together. The toughest part was pre-baking the crust.

This tart definitely has quite the look before going in the oven.

Anyone else’s book falling apart? Mine is crazy beat up and my dog’s ate the jacket too. I’m thinking of buying a new one when I’m through every recipe and copying my notes but I’ve been through a lot with this book.

The tart did come out quite tart and with a good texture. I added some whip cream to eat it. It’s nice to have a lemon tart that has some substance to it and doesn’t feel creamy.


Baking Chez Moi Rewind: Spiced Honey Cake; Profiteroles, Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce, Benoit Style; Lavender-White Chocolate Pots de Crème; Carrément Chocolat, the Simple Loaf; Rice Pudding, Strawberries and Spiced Hibiscus Syrup; Martines Gâteau de Savoie; Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers; Brown Butter-Peach Tourte; Pear Cranberry Roll-Up Tart; Apple Pielettes

An epic catch up on my part.  Some of these I’ve been making at home recently due to the Corona virus and some I made quite a while ago and just never got around to writing them up.  Sorry if some of these are brief but there are quite a lot 😉

Spiced Honey CakeDSC_0426.jpgSometimes it’s nice to try something a little different and Dorie’s spiced honey cake seemed to fit that bill.  I had all the ingredients called for either in my cupboards or growing on a tree but I can’t say that I’ve ever put them together before.DSC_0429.jpgBoiling all the spices together made my house smell pretty great.  I’m tempted to try a similar blend for some mulled wine in the future.DSC_0431.jpgDSC_0433.jpgStraining and blending the liquid, melted butter and honey was interesting.  It reminded me of a molasses bread recipe I love.DSC_0435.jpgDSC_0438.jpgThis recipe really reminded me more of bread than a cake. DSC_0439.jpgDSC_0441.jpgThis reminded me quite a bit of a lot of older American recipes I have.  Something about the reliance on baking powder, dried fruit and small amounts of sugar.DSC_0442.jpgDSC_0448.jpgThe cake came out looking beautiful if still homey.  The taste is definitely something I refer to as Old World.  Dense and flavorful without the richness of eggs.  I liked it but I’m not sure I loved it.  I have a few similar recipes that I might like just a smidge better.  I did really love the unusual combination of spices and will definitely be looking for a way to utilize the flavor combination in the future.

Profiteroles, Ice Cream and Hot Chocolate Sauce, Benoit Style

This recipe was made up of other recipes throughout the book.  I had dreaded this initially because of all the components.  Now that I’ve made it I regret waiting.  Everything can be made ahead and assembled later.  Every part is delicious.  I particularly liked the ice cream.


Lavender-White Chocolate Pots de Crème

I love when I enjoy something more than I thought I would and this was the case for these.  While not something I would crave everyday it was a wonderful use lavender and a nice treat.


Carrément Chocolat, The Simple Loaf

Great little chocolate cake.  Absolutely love the salted chocolate.  It seemed a little fussy while I was making it but the end result was lovely.


Rice Pudding, Strawberries and Spiced Hibiscus Syrup

This rice pudding was great and easy to make.  If I ever get a rice pudding craving this would be on the list.  I have to say that I love the strawberries and spiced hibiscus syrup too but I think I would choose the coconut tapioca in the book to pair with it almost every time.


Martines Gâteau de Savoie

Great simple cake, perfect with a little jam and cream.


Pistachio and Raspberry Financiers

These were super delightful.  Love the tart berry in the middle of the buttery and nutty dough.  Definitely makes enough to share.


Brown Butter-Peach Tourte

Arizona has great peaches and I’m always looking for good recipes.  I also really love brown butter in just about everything.  This makes a beautiful tourte that is a touch fancier than the average pie.  While nothing will ever compare to my grandmother’s peach pies, it is fun to try something new.


Pear Cranberry Roll-Up Tart

One of my favorites that has taken me so long to post!!!  It’s my favorite because my sister Carrie came to visit and majorly helped.  I had been incredibly sick and would not have been able to get this done without her.  By the time it came to post I was having some illness rebound and never got a chance.  I remember that she loved this recipe!  It was so much fun making it together.DSC_0298.jpgDSC_0312.jpgDSC_0315.jpgDSC_0328.jpgDSC_0332.jpgDSC_0337.jpgDSC_0352.jpgDSC_0358.jpgDSC_0359.jpgDSC_0373.jpgDSC_0377.jpgDSC_0382.jpgDSC_0384.jpgDSC_0388.jpg

Apple Pielettes

This is one of those recipes that looks so cute and I’m glad that I made it but it is quite a lot of effort and I don’t really see myself making it again.



Baking Chez Moi: Nutella-Banana Panna Cotta

This recipe gave me a great opportunity to try a Nutella alternative that doesn’t contain palm oil. It is just as delicious even if hard to find.

I found the Nicciolata at a local specialty grocery called AJs.

I always keep gelatin on hand nowadays. I don’t worry too much if there’s a couple lumps since the mixture gets strained.

Gelatin: dry, soaking, and liquified

I went a little overboard combining the banana and hazelnut cocoa spread; I ran the banana through a garlic press. I probably should have broken out the food mill but it wasn’t too bad.

At this point the panna cotta was almost done. Combine the milk, cream and gelatin mixture with the banana mixture and strain.

There was so much stuff in the strainer! I was a little worried but it ended up being fine.

I used a variety of ramekins with a little oil to help get them out.

I topped the panna cotta with a little plain and chocolate-covered cacao nibs.

This was a hit in my house. Definitely an intense banana and Nutella flavor with a smooth and creamy texture.


Baking Chez Moi: Coco Rochers

Not only is this a limited ingredient needs recipe but it appears to be gluten free as well. I’ve had versions of these dipped in chocolate but there was something kind of nice about how simple these were.

Only 4 ingredients!

Only four ingredients to these, unsweetened coconut, egg whites, sugar and vanilla. Hard to get easier than that.

Egg whites, sugar and coconut get cooked on the stovetop till hot.

The dough goes in the fridge for at least a few hours. Apparently this is good in the fridge for 5 days which makes it a great pre-planning dessert.

I made a half batch so it was easy to scoop out a single sheet.

A bit of time in a low temp oven and a lovely looking, lightly toasted coco rocher comes out.

These were wonderfully simple and had a great coconut flavor without being overly sweet. I would enjoy them with coffee or tea. I’m definitely going to keep this recipe in my back pocket as an easy-to-make gluten free treat.


Baking Chez Moi: Candied Orange Peel and Chunky Chocolate Fruit and Nut Bars

It’s citrus season here in Phoenix so I was super excited the chunky bars called for candied peel. The oranges were a little small so I upped the amount called for. They were perfectly ripe and sweet with sun kissed peels.

I was surprised the recipe called for the pith and a little flesh since all the other recipes I’ve tried had me scraping pith to get just peel. This was so, so much easier.

A couple boils to remove bitterness and then a very long bath that turned the peels to candy and the sugar water to syrup and these were done.Absolutely thrilled with how these turned out and I can’t wait to try this method to candy some of the other citrus we have right now.

On to the bars. I have to admit I wasn’t really looking forward to this besides the peel. Fruit, nuts and chocolate, pretty basic stuff. I made a nut mixture of slightly salted cashews, pistachios, and smoked and salted almonds. The fruit consisted of Turkish figs, Turkish apricots, tart cherries and candied peel all fixed fairly small. I pieced together leftover bits of semi and bitter sweet chocolate. A little dried coconut and cocoa powder and that was it.

A little roasting of the nuts, chopping of the fruit and melting of the chocolate and the mix was good to go.

Everything was mixed and put in a pan. Didn’t look all that amazing but it was super easy.

The resulting bars were so dang good. Something about the mixture of salty, sweet and savory with crunch and chew just hits the spot. These are dangerous little things. Such a surprise, I just didn’t see the resulting pleasure of this combination coming. Possibly one of my favorite recipes in the book. It really showcases what I’ve loved about cooking through this book.


Baking Chez Moi: Cannelés

So I actually made these way back when I was first starting out and figuring out blogging along with this book. I decided to make them again and it’s crazy how much more confident I am and how much technique I’ve gained from going through this book.

in a lot of ways this recipe really encompasses what I love about this book. Simple ingredients transformed through technique to create something new and surprising. I got some nice blackened bottoms on these although my sides probably could have been a little darker. These have such a great combo of texture and flavor. I’ve also come to appreciate the deep bakes on a lot of these recipes and the more complex flavors that it brings. Fun to make these again.


Baking Chez Moi: Rewind: Cream Cheese and Toast Tartlets

This is the kind of recipe that really makes Baking Chez Moi standout. Every day ingredients in completely new ways.

I really wanted to try this with ciabatta from Noble Bakery but they were down to country loaves. The bread is really what makes this recipe so special.I’m not feeling 100% so I had a major assist from Scott with this one. I cut my bread pretty tiny to begin with. The little roasts are made by browning with butter and then caramelizing with sugar. Afterwards they go into a cinnamon and cocoa dry bath. My house still smells amazing.Once the tarts were baked and the toast was chopped up the only thing left was making a simple cream cheese filling. I couldn’t find actually mini tart pans so I used mini pie pans which weren’t quite as cute but worked out ok. Such a unique and interesting dessert. The little toasts really add interest and elevate the dish. I can see how they could be used in a variety of ways.