Addicting Orange Rolls

This. Was. Amazing.

So delicious, I really wish I was eating it now.

They were light, fluffy, with a hint of orange and the most amazing frosting (not glaze).  It tasted like an orange creamsicle!

Ingredients (Adapted from Little Sous Chef)

2 C warm water
2 Tbs active dry yeast (roughly 3 packets)
1/2 c sugar
1/2 c butter, room temp
2 tsp salt
2/3 cup nonfat dry milk
5-6 cups flour
1 egg

1/2 c semi-melted butter
1/2 c sugar
zest of 1 orange (we used a cara cara orange)

8 oz cream cheese at room temp
1 c butter at room temp
1 tsp vanilla
zest from 1 orange (cara cara)
3 1/2 c powdered sugar

1. Combine water and yeast in the bowl of stand mixer, let stand for 5 min.
2. Add sugar, butter, salt, dry milk, and 2 cups flour
3. Turn mixer on low and beat until smooth
4. Gradually add the remaining flour until it starts to pull away from the bowl
5. Beat for 3 minutes until smooth and elastic – we used the dough hook, scraping down a few times
6. Place dough in a greased bowl and let sit until it has doubled in size
7. Make the filling by combining the butter, sugar and orange, set aside
8. Make the frosting by creaming the cream cheese and butter, then add the vanilla and sugar.  Finally, add the zest.  Set aside – but also taste it, it’s delicious!
9. Split the dough in half, roll each piece into a rectangle, spread with half the filling, and roll lengthwise – you want a long log.
10. Cut rounds roughly 1″ long – we used string, but a sharp knife will also work.
11.  Place in a pan so they aren’t quite touching.  Let rise.
12.  Bake for 18-20 min at 350, until slightly golden.
13.  Spread with a generous amount of frosting and serve!

Note: these worked great as a make ahead.  Once they were placed in the pan, we put them in the fridge.  The next morning, we let them sit out for an hour or so before baking.  Delicious!

Potato and Sausage Galette

We had a hankering for something potato-y and crispy this weekend, so naturally we picked the most time intensive dish possible.  A potato galette.  Thinly sliced potatoes filled with sausge, onions and eggs.  Delicious.

But it’s not for the faint of heart.

Ingredients – adapted from America’s Test Kitchen

~4 Medium sized red potatoes, thinly sliced (1/8″ or less)
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 package of Jimmy Dean Sausage
4 eggs
4 Tbs of butter
1 Tbs cornstarch
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1. Move the rack to the bottom of the oven and preheat to 425-450F
2. Rinse the the thinly sliced potatoes and dry completely.  We spread them out on towels and patted dry.3.  Melt 4 Tbs of butter and combine with cornstarch, salt, and pepper.  Toss with dry potato slices (I know….this seems counterproductive, but it’s worth it!)
4. Begin heating a nonstick, ovenproof skillet over med-high heat.  Melt the remaining 1 Tbs of butter and spread around the pan.
5. Beginning laying down potato slices.  Start with 1 in the center and beginning working your way out and slightly up the side, continue layering the potatoes until you’re out – I was able to do approximately 3 layers.
6. Continue cooking the potatoes until they are a little translucent
7. Spray a piece of foil, lay on top of potatoes and place something heavy on top – i.e. pie plate with weights
8. Transfer the pan to the oven and bake for 20 minutes
9. While the potato cooks, carmelize the onions and cook the sausage
10. After 20 minutes, remove the pan of potatoes and add the onions and sausage.  Whisk the 4 eggs and pour over the top.
11.  Return to the oven and cook an additional 20 minutes.
12.  After 20 minutes, remove from the oven and serve!

Shepherd’s Pie

I made a version of shepherd’s pie last night and it was pretty tasty.


1 package of costco hamburger
1.5 c diced carrots2 bags of shallots (TJs)
1 bag sliced crimini mushrooms (TJs), chopped
2 strips of bacon, finely chopped
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
1 tsp worcestershire
1.5 tsp dried rosemary
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp pepper

1 head of cauliflower
3 Tbs butter
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/4 c shredded cheese (We used a parmesan/mozzarella combo)

1. Caramelize the shallots.  Finely chop and saute in about olive oil (1.5c shallots to 1/8c olive oil).  Cook for 4-5 min over med high heat, then reduce to low and stir – the longer the better.  I did this first and then prepped everything else, adding these at the very end.
2.  Brown the meat, drain the fat and set aside
3.  Saute the garlic in about 1 Tbs olive oil.  Then add carrots and bacon and saute for 3-4 minutes.  Add mushrooms and continue to saute.  Add worcestershire, rosemary, thyme, salt, better and beef and cook for an addition 2-3 minutes.
4.  Add the onions to the mixture.
5.  Pour into a 9×13 pan
6.  Break the cauliflower into florets, and steam until soft
7.  Combine steamed cauliflower and 3 Tbs of butter in a food processor.  Add the salt and garlic powder.  Process until smooth – you may need to add a little more butter or olive oil to get things moving.
8.  Spread the cauliflower over the beef mixture in the 9×13 pan.
9.  Broil until browned – OR refrigerate until ready to eat.  Then bake for 20 min at 350 and then broil to brown the top.

Thanksgiving 2014

2014-ThanksgivingHow was your Thanksgiving?  Ours was perfect!  We headed down to Anaheim to spend our 8th Thanksgiving with Caresse and Tyler (and new addition, Isla).  I clearly didn’t get the plaid/flannel message!  We feasted on our usual spread of turkey, potatoes, stuffing, rice, gravy, sweet potatoes, green bean casserole, corn bread muffins, and mac & cheese – and don’t forget our 3 pies 🙂

We shopping big and local and even snuck in a little Disney.  On the plane ride home, we were able to stream the Apple Cup and spent a Sunday getting the house back together – shopping, laundry, and decorating!  Talk about a great week/weekend!  What a way to kick off December!

Portugal, and that time I ate an octopus tentacle

After Madrid, we were headed for Portugal.  We landed in Lisbon, a torrential downpour currently underway.  After grabbing our little Fiat, we headed for the tiny coastal town of Nazare, known for it’s north-shore-like waves!  Hungry, or was that hangry, from an early flight and no snacks, we stopped in the town of Torres Vedras for lunch.  Midi had great reviews, and we were ready for our first Portuguese meal.  On a tip from a Portuguese co-worker, I ordered the octopus.  3 tentacles served over a bed of greens and boiled potatoes.  So. Darn. Good!

The octopus was not chewy at all.  It reminded me of shrimp in both texture and flavor.  If you closed your eyes, I bet you couldn’t tell the difference.  Aside from the severe oil drenching of the greens, it was an outstanding meal to begin our time in Portugal.

Nick claimed he could feel the suction cups while he chewed, but I think he was fibbing a little on that one 🙂


The Best Eggplant Dish I’ve Ever Made

Those may or may not have been Nick’s words.  Either way, he liked it!  Which is a far cry from the time I asked him to grab eggplant, pasta sauce, cheese, and bread crumbs (for eggplant parmesan) from the store, and he conveniently forgot to get the eggplant.

Sunday morning was our weekly-ish pilgrimage to Costco.  We live 2 minutes from the store, but must be gluttons for punishment.  We always go on the weekend.  When we’re hungry.  Without a list.

We headed to Costco with 3 things on our mental list: eggs, a chicken, and broccoli.  That’s it.  We only have to feed ourselves for a few days this week, so the list was light.

Naturally we walked away with: eggs, a chicken, broccoli, raspberries, avocados, snapea crisps, cheddar cheese, mozzarella, tomatoes and eggplant.

Don’t. Go. To. Costco. Hungry.

But this leads me to today’s post.  The tomatoes and eggplant.  It just sounded good.  Which is totally random.  But trust me, it’s probably the “meatiest” vegetarian dish I’ve ever made.  We ate it as a veggie side, but it would also be good as a sauce.

Here goes!


2lbs tomatoes (I like the campari)
4 medium sized eggplants (Costco sells a bag with 4, that’s what I used)
5 garlic gloves, crushed
1/2 cup diced onions
3 Tbs olive oil
5 or so leaves of basil

1.  Dice the eggplants (0.5-1″ cubes), salt (1-2Tbs) and let sit in a colander for at least 1 hr (fill a slightly smaller bowl with water or cans or anything heavy, and put it over the eggplant to help get even more liquid out)
2.  Dice the tomatoes and scoop out as much of the “guts” as you can, lightly salt (1tsp) and let sit in a colanger to drain
3.  When you’re ready to make the dish, rinse the eggplant well.  Then pat/squash dry with paper towels.  4.  Combine tomatoes, eggplant, garlic and 2 tbs of oil.  Layout on a jelly roll pan.  Bake at 375 for 40 min.  Toss half way through.
5.  Saute onions and remaining olive oil.  Combine with roasted tomato/eggplant.
6.  Serve with thinly sliced basil as garnish

Cauliflower Breakfast Pizza

I made this “breakfast” pizza over the weekend – it’s really just a pizza with an egg on it 🙂  A few friends asked for the recipe so I thought I’d post it.

A word about cauliflower pizza – it’s kind of a little biatch.  Sometimes it works great and sometimes it’s a little soft.  But I’ve tried to optimize the recipe for best results, so here it goes!

Pizza crust Ingredients (makes 2 large pizzas or 4 mini pizzas)

1 large head of cauliflower
1 can garbanzo beans
1 cup shredded, low moisture, mozzarella
1/2 cup shredded cheddar
2 eggs
2 large garlic cloves

1.  Put the cauliflower through a food processor (if you don’t have a food processor, use a cheese grater).  This should yield roughly 4 cups of  cauliflower bits.

2.  Divide the cauliflower into 2 microwaveable safe bowls.  Microwave the cauliflower bits for 8-10 minutes.  The longer the better.  Your goal is to remove the moisture.  I’ve also had really good luck baking the cauliflower on a jelly roll pan (I convect at 350, but others have baked at 350 and had good results).  Probably 15-20 minutes – just dry it out.  If you don’t do this, there is no chance your pizza will turn out….just saying.

3.  Drain and rinse the can of garbanzo beans and put it through the food processor.  Your goal is to get a mashed up ball of garbanzo beans – like a ball of garbanzo dough.

4.  Combine the garbanzo beans and cauliflower with the eggs, cheese and garlic.

Breakfast Pizza Ingredients (for 2)

Enough dough for 2 personal size pizzas, roughly 3/4-1 cup per pizza
Pizza sauce (I used TJs)
Italian Sausage (or breakfast sausage)
1/2 c shredded mozzarella (I go light on the cheese, totally up to you)
Italian seasoning (I have one that has some red pepper flakes)
2 eggs

1.  I use a baking steel, but I imagine a pizza stone will also work.  Put it on the top rack and preheat to 490-500F.

2.  Make 2 small crusts on a piece of parchment.  5-6″ in diameter.  I make them pretty thin – as thin as possible.

3.  Bake for 4-5 min – you want it to start turning golden.  Remove it from the oven and put it on a towel or a cooling rack

4.  Add the sauce, sausage and cheese

5.  Bake for an additional 4 min

6.  Add 1 egg to each pizza and bake for an additional 4 min.  It’ll run a little off the edge, you just want to be sure the yolk stays on the pizza.

7.  Remove from the oven and add the tomato, basil and avocado.



Zucchini noodles = zoodles

We try and stay away from carbs and gluten (but we do indulge in pizza and cake from time to time as well).  The one thing I miss is pasta.  This was a STAPLE during college and my early years in California.

I had been eying a spiralizer (yes, that’s what it’s called) on Amazon, when a friend mentioned she had just purchased one!  She said I could try it out before committing to my own (she actually said I could come over after work and spiralize whenever I wanted).  So last Friday I headed to her house with 6 zucchinis!  The results were a HIT!  And I purchased my own the next day.  If you’d like to try it, the recipe is below.

Bacon, Pesto Zoodles (I made it for some friends and the 6 of us gobbled it up as a side dish)

6 Zucchinis (mine were roughly 6″ long)
2-3 Tbs Pesto (I used the kind from TJs)
3/4 cup cherry tomatoes, diced
8 strips of bacon
3 green onions
2 cloves garlic

1.  Spiralize the zucchinis (this is super quick with the spiralizer I used and subsequently purchased)
2.  Toss with 2-3 Tbs of salt and place in a colander, let sit for 15-20 min
3.  After 15-20 minutes, rinse thoroughly with water and “wring it out” – pick it up and squeeze the water out.  I also cut them in half/quarters with kitchen shears.
4.  Prep your bacon – however you like.  You want it crispy.
5.  Add 2 Tbs bacon fat to a pan, and toss with the garlic, pesto and zoodles!
6.  Add the tomatoes, bacon and green onions at the very end.
7.  Toss and serve!  Someone suggested serving it cold as a salad – I think that would also be delicious!

FYI – The amount of zoodles is VERY deceiving.  I thought 3 was plenty for 6 of us, and then I thought 6 was WAY more than enough.  But after you salt and squeeze, it looks like much less.  So go big.



Italian Baked Eggs

On Sunday, Nick decided to go to 7AM yoga.  When he left, Mochi decided it was time to get up.  So much for sleeping in 🙂

I decided I wanted something tasty for breakfast and a friend had recently posted a picture of her Italian baked eggs.  I googled Italian baked eggs and paleo (I was trying to be healthy) and found this recipe.  I adapted it a little and it came out great (by adapted, I really mean, I added cheese – which makes it non-paleo, but whatever, I really like cheese)!  Nick said he could have had more.  It sounds like it takes a lot of time, but it was honestly pretty quick.  Try it out and see what you think!

Italian Baked Eggs, adapted from Against All Grain

Some sort of sausage (I used some leftover brats we had in the freezer – this worked really well and I was able to thinly slice the brats to layer in the ramekins)Tomato – around 2 romas is the right amount
Spinach – around 1 handful, chopped

1/4 coconut milk
1.5 tsp tomato sauce/paste (I had leftover pizza sauce)
1 tsp almond meal
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pizza seasoning (oregano works fine too)
Mozzarella cheese, ~1tsp/ramekin
4 eggs

1.  Spray 4 ramekins with something to keep things from sticking (I use olive oil)
2. Layer the sausage, tomatoes and spinach in the ramekin.  I filled mine about 1/2 way up.
3. Combine the coconut milk, tomato sauce, almond meal, salt and pizza seasoning.
4. Divide evenly into the 4 ramekins and add the mozzarella
5. Bake for 10-15 min at 350
6. Remove from the oven, increase temp to 400 degrees. Add one egg to each ramekin and return to the oven for 5-8 minutes – you want solid whites and gooey yolks 🙂
7. I sprinkled fresh basil on top of ours for a little color and flavor.  Yum!

Roasted Roma Tomatoes

Roma2Have you ever had a fresh tomato? Straight off the vine? Good god they are amazing.  I had no idea how flavorful tomatoes could be until I had them fresh.  Which resulted in every tomato thereafter tasting subpar.

Unfortunately, we eat tomatoes often in this house – on pizza, as part of a caprese salad, or mixed in with our favorite broccoli/italian sausage faux pasta dish – so having mediocre tomatoes is kinda tragic (yes, I’m being a little dramatic).

Then last week I read an article that suggested roasting tomatoes to help enhance their flavor.  Genius!

So I tried it this weekend as a pizza topping and it was delicious!  And people even commented that the tomatoes were extra tasty.  Want to try this yourself?  Here you go!

Roasted Roma Tomatoes Ingredients

3 Roma Tomatoes
1 large, crushed garlic clove
1-2 Tbs olive oil

1.  Line a small baking sheet with parchment
2.  Slice the romas lengthwise and scoop out the seeds/liquid (I just swipe the area with my finger to get most of the liquid out)
3.  Set the romas, cut side up, on the parchment
4.  Combine the garlic and olive oil and drizzle over the tomatoes
5.  Sprinkle with salt and pepper
6.  Roast at 350F for around 30-40 min, until they get soft and bubbly.

We let them cool and then cut them up for the pizza.  Delicious!  I’m sure they’d be an excellent addition to caprese salad or mixed in with a salad!