Smoked Salmon with Apple Yogurt and Chive

When we were getting ready to leave for our Texas trip, Eric and I joked that we should pack stretchy pants. Looking back, we probably should have. If you've been following any of our travels throughout Austin on Twitter or Instagram or his Tumblr site, you may have seen some pictures of what we've deemed our "foodcation". We're pretty proud of ourselves... we've managed to hit all of the places on our list (and some food trucks along the way). Go us! But, yeah, we're getting back into a serious gym routine when we return.

There's a lot more planned these next four days as we head off to Dallas. There are some distilleries we want to check on our drive up and a few restaurants to stop at along the way. There's talk of going to the State Fair, where you can get just about anything deep fried (hamburgers, Oreos, butter... or so I've heard).  And we might just go to a shooting range on our last day. Seems like the thing to do in Texas.

Before we left, I whipped up this little appetizer, which won raves from the husband.  As we get closer to Thanksgiving, I've been trying out recipes that I'd like to serve. Thinking this one might make it on the menu.


Smoked Salmon with Apple Yogurt and Chive

Yield 4 servings

Tools Small mason jars or bowls

Ingredients 1/2 lb hot smoked salmon fillet, cut into four pieces (alternatively, you can use sliced smoked salmon) 1/2 cup full fat Greek yogurt 2 teaspoons chopped fresh dill 1/2 teaspoon ginger, minced into paste Kosher salt Black pepper, coarsely ground 1 honeycrisp apple, cored and cut into 1/4 inch pieces 1 tablespoon, chopped chives


1. In a bowl, mix together the Greek yogurt, dill, and ginger.  Season with 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt. 2. Spoon 2 tablespoons of Greek yogurt mixture into each jar or bowl. Sprinkle chopped apple on top. 3. Add the smoked salmon and sprinkle chopped chive over it.  Season with coarsely ground black pepper.


Honey, Ricotta and Berry Muffins

It occurred to me as I sat on the plane to Vegas that I hadn't read a book in a while.  Like, a really long time.  Articles in The New York Times or pieces in The New Yorker, yes.  But an actual book?  It'd been over a year.  Before our trip, though, I purchased the latest David Sedaris book, thinking that maybe he could set things right.  And, you know what, he did.  As always, I found his words engaging, his stories honest and hilarious.  Just what I needed to get back on the reading wagon.  As I finished the book and flipped the last page (or, in this case, tapped my phone), I gave myself a pat on the back.  And now I'm searching for another great piece of literature (any suggestions are welcome).

Memorial Day marked the start of my family's annual summer reading contest, where we see who can read the most books.  When it was just the four of us participating (meaning my parents and sister) the race was tight.  Over the last few years, though, we've invited other relatives and friends to join in and I've pretty much given up any notion of winning.  It's still a lot of fun, though, and I'm so happy that we've continued this tradition.

Books and breakfast seem like the perfect summer pairing.  Mornings are when I get most of my reading done, either in bed or sipping on a cup of coffee at our kitchen table, the windows open to let a warm breeze in.  Leisurely mornings like that make every day feel like vacation.  While I'm kind of a scone fanatic, sometimes a muffin is what I crave.  As we roll into berry season, I feel the need to pack all of my morning treats with them.


Honey Ricotta and Berry Muffins

Yield: 12 muffins

Tools Whisk Regular muffin tin (not mini)

Ingredients 2 cups all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons baking powder 1/2 cup sugar 1/2 teaspoon salt 2 large eggs 1/4 cup honey 1/4 cup, plus 2 tablespoons whole milk 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 1/2 cup ricotta cheese zest of 1 lemon 1 1/2 cups mixed fresh berries (chopped strawberries, whole blackberries, and blueberries)


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. with rack in the center position. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with fluted paper liners or grease the cups with butter.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and honey until they are blended together.  Whisk the milk and vanilla extract into the wet mixture.
  3. Mix the wet mixture with the dry ingredients and stir to combine.  Fold in the ricotta cheese and mix in the lemon zest.
  4. Fold in the berries.
  5. Spoon the mixture into the greased muffin cups so each is filled a little more than halfway.  Add a blackberry to the top of each and push in slightly with your finger.
  6. Bake for approximately 20 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.  Let sit for 5 minutes before taking out of the pan.  Transfer to a rack to cool before serving.


Rosemary, Lemon and Greek Yogurt Scones

Snow falls outside as I type.  As much as I dread this weather, I'm also grateful for it.  We're forced to take a break from running around and slow things down a bit.  On these days, Eric and I sit in front of our coffee table, reading the paper and nibbling on scones.  I like to use this time to get some cleaning done, but after a few hours, we hunker down for a midday nap.  These last few months (that is, since November) have been a bit hectic.  Any open days have been packed with trips, parties, and family visits (which I love, but---you know---once in a while it's nice to have a little alone time).  As miserable as it may be to trudge through three feet of snow, it's some much needed relaxation.

As you may have noticed, I'm a scone fan.  Some folks are into brownies.  Some are pie fanatics.  Some folks deep-fry everything they see. Me? I'm into scones. Kind of strange, I know.  So, if you're getting tired of seeing scone recipes on here... well, I'm sorry to disappoint you, but I'm not even close to being done with playing around with different kinds.  You're going to have to put up with them for a while longer.

This is the first time I've branched outside of my typical butter/milk/heavy cream combo and have included Greek yogurt (we had a few large tubs of plain Chobani in the fridge).  The tang it provides is something I should have expected, but for whatever reason it never occurred to me and I was pleasantly surprised when I bit into them.  They're a little less flakey than my previous incarnations (most likely due to the moisture for the yogurt), but, nevertheless, I'm sold on these and I've already made them a number of times.


Rosemary, Lemon and Greek Yogurt Scones

makes 8-10 scones


2 cups whole wheat flour

1/2 cup sugar

1 1/4 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp baking soda

1/4 tsp salt

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cold and cut into small chunks

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup milk

5 tbsps chopped fresh rosemary leaves

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

2 tbsps honey

All-purpose flour, for the work surface


1. Place rack in middle of the oven and preheat to 400 degrees.

2. In a large bowl, mix together the first five ingredients.  Add the butter to the bowl and, using two knives or a pastry blender (you can even just give it a couple pulses in the food processor), cut into the dry ingredients until the butter has mixed in, but there should still be a few pea-sized pieces of butter still in there.

3. Stir in the yogurt and mix until it is fully incorporated.

4. Slowly add the milk to the mixture, stirring to make sure it is fully incorporated.  If the dough looks like it is moist enough, you can leave out a little of the liquid.

5. Stir in the rosemary and lemon zest.

6. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead a couple of times.  Flatten the dough out until it is about 1 1/2 inches thick (should be about 8 or so inches wide).  Cut into 8 to 10 triangles and transfer the wedges to a baking sheet that has been lined with parchment paper.

7. In a bowl, whisk together the honey and lemon juice.  Brush the top of each scone with the lemon-honey mixture.

8. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until the tops are golden brown.  If they don't brown, you can place them under the broiler for a minute, but be sure to keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn.

9. Let cool on wire rack and enjoy!

Tags: Bake, Breakfast


Meringue-Topped Baked Grapefruit

We need a bigger bed! That's the first thought that pops into my head almost every morning; the first thought after a restless night of little to no sleep.  I don't have many regrets in life... but not getting a king-size mattress is one of them.  Because here's the thing: two good-sized guys fit on a queen comfortably. Throw a 52 pound boxer pup into the mix, though, and it's really tight.  Maki also has a tendency to spread herself out, positioning her body in a way that's perpendicular to ours, making it so her head and butt are pressed right up against our backs or legs.  In many instances, this results in one of us (usually me) getting pushed off the bed.  And I can't forget to mention the many times I've awoken to her moans, groans, ear scratching, and butt licking (her butt... though, once in a while she'll find an exposed foot or knee to go to town on).

Mornings can be a bit rough.  Coffee is always brewed and, depending on the amount of rest I got the night before, I'll go for one to three mugs.  When I'm in need of a special treat, I bake up some grapefruit topped with meringue and smear pats of butter on toast.  It's the fastest way to bring a smile to this face... and with the limited quantity of sleep I've been getting, I need it.

Baked Grapefruit with Meringue

serves 4


2 red grapefruits, cut in half

2 large egg whites

1/4 cup superfine granulated sugar


Grapefruit knife

4 Ramekins, large enough to hold grapefruit halves (see notes below)*

Stand mixer or hand mixer


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

2. Using the grapefruit knife or sharp paring knife, cut the segments away from the membrane, but keep them held within their sections.  Place grapefruit halves in the ramekins and then transfer ramekins to a baking pan.  *The ramekins will hold any liquid in and will make it easy for serving.  If you do not have ramekins, you can place the grapefruit directly on a baking pan lined with aluminum foil.

3. Place the eggs in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (alternatively, a hand mixer can be used).  Whip the eggs at high speed.  Once they become foamy, gradually sprinkle the sugar in (maybe a few tablespoons at a time).  Whip the mixture until it forms stiff peaks.

4. Top each grapefruit halves with heaping spoonfuls of the meringue.

5. Bake for 8-10 minutes, or until the meringue is golden brown.  If you want a bit more color on top, broil the grapefruit for an additional minute, being careful not to burn it.

6. Remove and let sit until they are cool enough to handle.  Serve.



Whole Wheat Carrot Bread

Love is a shelter.

Love is a cause.

Love goes on forever.

Yeah, love will lead us all.

Love! It is our honor.

Love! It is our all.

Love goes on forever.

Yeah, love it is our home.

That's What's Up//Edward Sharpe + the Magnetic Zeros

Carrot Bread3.2

Whole Wheat Carrot Bread

makes 1 loaf


2/3 cup vegetable oil

2 eggs

1 cup sugar

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

3/4 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

2 cups grated carrot

1/2 cup raisins

1/2 cup chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Grease a 9 x 5 inch loaf pan.

3. In a bowl, whisk together the oil and eggs.

4. In a separate bowl, sift together the sugar, flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon and nutmeg.  Mix in the oil and eggs.

5. Fold in the grated carrot, raisins, and chocolate chips.

6. Pour mixture into loaf pan. Bake in the oven for 50 minutes, or until a toothpick is inserted and comes out clean.