Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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my foodgawker gallery


Appetizers
Dilled Asparagus, Leek and Parmesan Tart PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Saturday, 12 April 2014 22:07

 

I had a friend over for dinner the other night, and I had the joy of turning her onto puff pastry. It was like Christmas morning when we were kids.

 

“Ooooh, it's so pretty!”

 

Yes, it was.

 

Puff pastry is magical because it can elevate the simplest ingredients into a full-on art presentation. Oh, and it takes little-to-no time to come together.

 

Magic, indeed.

 

It's great to keep in the freezer for nights when you want a gorgeous meal that's light on prep. Sometimes I make puff pastry dishes for myself when Jedd has band practice and I'm craving an indulgent dinner. And that was how this tart came about. While he was rocking in the Cave of Legends, I was sipping a crisp malbec and diving into this crispy and lemony asparagus tart. And best of all was the look on his face when I gave him half this tart at midnight with a side salad.

 

“I was NOT expecting this!”

 

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Fried Pickles with Horseradish Habanero Dipping Sauce PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Sunday, 16 March 2014 20:22

 

A few years ago a group of us had a “fried dinner” party at a friend's house. Fried chicken, fried okra and fried pickles were served, along with copious amounts of beer and wine. Our friends are southern, and they know how to fry. And we all know how to drink beer. It was a most excellent dinner party.

 

As delicious as everything was, the fried pickles were a revelation. I'd never even heard of them, let alone tasted the wonder that is deep fried dills. I wanted to eat the whole batch myself.

 

I'm not a huge fryer myself. It's too much of a mess. But, every once in awhile – Lordy, Lordy – this woman craves a good fried pickle. And the joy of this recipe is that it gives you big taste, without a big mess. You don't need a gazillion tons of oil, like with fried chicken or even oven rings, so the house doesn't smell like a fryer for days.

 

Also, you can cater the spices in the batter to your taste. I like using a Cajun seasoning and seasoned salt. However, you could just use black pepper and Frank's hot sauce or whatever else you have kicking around in the spice drawer.

 

This is the kind of appetizer that can make a boring or bad day a little brighter. Because fried pickles are happy food.

 

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Wine Braised Fennel PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Saturday, 15 March 2014 16:58

 

 

What's your current food obsession? Baking? Frying? Grilling? For me it's braising vegetables. But don't the word“vegetables” lead you to think this is a healthy dish, because it's not. It's filled with butter, wine and salty chicken broth.

 

In other words, it's decadent perfection.

 

This recipe works for leeks, parsnips, broccoli or celery – and those are just the vegetables that I've used over the last two weeks. I can't get enough of this dish. In theory, it's a side. But it's so simple to make, that on more than a few nights it's been my dinner with a big salad on the side.

 

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Spicy Swiss Cheese and Green Olive Crackers PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Sunday, 02 February 2014 17:45


 

Hello, Superbowl Sunday! Although the closest I get to following a team is re-watching Friday Night Lights, the day does lend itself to festive party food – if only because it's still dark as pitch outside.

 

Bring on the snack food!

 

And these crackers are delicious, simple to make and the ingredients are probably things that you have in your house right now. Seriously. So if you have a crowd coming over to watch the game, and are nervous you're a little light on finger food, whip these together. No fuss, no muss.

 

Also, this recipe can be used as a blue print. If you'd rather make blue cheese and almond crackers, then swap out the olives and Swiss, and substitute in the blue cheese and almonds. Do it. You'll like it. I consider these “pantry and refrigerator” crackers because I make them all the time with what I have on hand. Parsley, dill, oregano and parmesan? Sure! Pickled jalapenos, cheddar and cilantro? Sure!

 

The only drawback to these crackers, is that they are so simple to make that it's easy to whip up a batch as a post-dinner snack before bed.

 

Bad crackers, bad!

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Inspired by Kim: Kale, Parsley and Basil Pesto PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Friday, 09 August 2013 00:09

 

 

 

Last week I was talking to my mother on the phone, when she happened to mention that my cousin, Kim had made kale pesto for the family over the weekend. I promptly filed that away in my head as “something I'd like to try.”

 

So, when Jedd and I went to Stone Hollow Farm's booth at the farmers market and loaded up on basil, parsley and huge-mongo scallions, I remembered Kim's pesto when Jedd started reaching for a bunch of kale.

 

“We need kale, right?” he asked.

 

Gulk.

 

I remembered that we had a bunch of kale (that was larger than our two heads combined) on the bottom shelf.

 

“Nope. We really don't need any more kale.”

 

And when I got home I quickly decided to jump into “pesto-making” mode. When I was done, we didn't even bother to make pasta go along with it. The pesto was so flavorful we just ate it slathered on crusty bread and called that dinner.

 

It was a good meal.

 

Kim, thanks for the inspiration!

 

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