Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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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!”


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.


Cabin Fever Flautas and Homemade Toothpicks PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie & Jedd Kettler   
Thursday, 13 March 2014 17:45


Hoo boy. As much as I hate super hot weather in summer (a lot) and can generally tolerate cold weather, this winter is getting a little ridiculous. Seriously ridiculous. From ice storms to a blizzard, we're ready for weather that doesn't involve long underwear.




(Note, it's March 13 and there have only been a couple of days above freezing this month – if that.)


And I think it's safe to assume that cabin fever has kicked in around our little kitchen. But yesterday, hubris did too – and it ended hilariously.


Because it was so cold and blustery and blizzard-ey yesterday, I was craving Mexican food – flautas in particular. I hadn't counted on that craving during the pre-bad-weather run to the grocery store, but I was feeling a little smug because I could make everything from scratch without needing to leave the apartment.


No cilantro or tomatoes for homemade salsa? Well that was just fine. I had one remaining bag of frozen cherry tomatoes in the freezer that I'd put up during the summer, and I had parsley in the fridge along with dried chilies in the cabinet. Boom. Problem solved.


No tortillas? Ha! That's not an issue for someone as super duper clever as this woman! I had flour and baking powder to make my own. Boom. Problem solved.


And then I remembered something horrible. Silly and small, but huge at the same time.


We were out of toothpicks to hold the flautas together while frying.


Nooooo! My dinner plans were ruined!


Then I started giggling. Giggles turned into guffaws. The whole thing just seemed so silly. Still laughing, I called Jedd and told him about my inflated sense of competence during a blizzard – and my undoing.


He didn't laugh at all. Sounding a little perplexed he said that was no problem – he'd just whittle me some toothpicks when he got home.


He'd. Just. Whittle. Me. Some. Toothpicks. When. He. Got. Home.


Needless to say that undid me. I was crying with laughter.


But sure enough. Jedd whittled me some toothpicks - see his "recipe" below - and we had flautas for dinner.



I'm still not sure if the whole situation was as hilarious as it seemed at the time, or if I just REALLY needed to laugh. But after Jedd finished his small woodworking project, he got the giggles too.


Cabin fever is real, ya'll.

3 A.M. Pasta PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Sunday, 09 February 2014 17:06


We have a nine-year old, eighteen-pound cat who loves me to the point of embarrassment. Where I am, is where Max wants to be. On the couch, in bed, in the kitchen - he loves to be near me. Max also has the dulcet purr of a Sherman Tank.



And sometimes that means when he snuggles up next to me when I'm asleep,  I wake up.


That happened at about 3 a.m. the other morning. Snuggle, snuggle, PURR, PURR, TRILL, TRILL. I scratched him under the chin until he was content, and I rolled back over but I couldn't fall back asleep. Then my stomach started rumbling, so I slowly eased out of bed.


And Max scrambled after me, by using Jedd's head as a springboard for the floor.


So now everyone was awake. Our other cat, Coop, made a beeline for the food bowl anxiously awaiting some kibble.


It was time for a very early meal.


I asked Jedd if he wanted some pasta.


“I could eat,” he said.


When it's that late at night (or that early in the morning depending on where you fall on the agrarian time schedule) commonsense goes out the window. Instead of olive oil, the butter came out. Instead of water, chicken broth made an appearance.


Needless to say, as unhealthy as the pasta was – it was most excellent.


Sweet Pepper and Fennel Chicken with White Wine Sauce PDF Print Write e-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Friday, 17 January 2014 19:00


I love meals like this. To me, they're “mic drop” dinners.


As in, “Womp, there it is!” (mic drop)


It's so simple to make, that you can start it a half an hour before your favorite television show and be sitting down by the time the credits roll. So, so, simple!


Granted, fennel might not be for everyone because of its anise flavor, but Jedd and I would happily eat it twice a day. The fennel is a little sweet so it pairs well with the bell peppers, and it loves a little heat which is why this saute has a decent amount of hot smoked paprika.


Use a good quality wine that you would like to drink for the dish. Enjoy the rest of it with the meal.


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