Teeny Tiny Kitchen

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TeenyTinyKitchen - Big Recipes, Tiny Kitchen - Jedd & Launie Kettler
Blackened Chicken with Sweet and Spicy Bell Pepper Salsa PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Monday, 17 June 2013 17:35

 

 

You know you come from a family that loves food, when you can have a completely excited and animated conversation with your mother about baby bell peppers.

 

That happened to me a couple of weeks ago. Jedd and I were visiting my parents when somehow baby bells were mentioned.

 

My mother and I both squealed like school girls.

 

“Oooh! I love those!” Mom said.

 

“I can't get enough of them!” I chimed in.

 

Jedd and my father looked patient and amused, as they listed to us extol the virtues of those small little peppers.

 

Granted, Mom and I had enjoyed a cocktail with dinner which may have made us a little giddier than usual – but baby bell peppers are extremely cool. They're inexpensive, they come in a variety of colors and they have very few seeds to contend with.

 

How can you not love them?

 

And I've been making us this salsa every chance I get. It takes a little longer to make than something in a blender (and by a “little” longer, I mean about half an hour) but it's worth it.

 

Because it's pretty.

 

Oh, and it tastes fantastic. Also, instead of the traditional lime juice, I use lemon juice and I expand on cilantro by using parsley too. It's equal parts sweet and spicy, which makes it the perfect condiment for blackened chicken.

 

So, put on your favorite podcast and start chopping*. You'll thank me after you've cleaned your plate.

 

And your spouse's.

 

 
Orecchiette Salad with Fresh Basil and Capers PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Sunday, 02 June 2013 00:00

 

 

Wow, I don't have my heat sea legs under me quite yet. But it's not my fault. Today it's 90 degrees, and last week it was in the 40's.

 

That's a big jump.

 

And now it's definitely pasta salad weather.

 

Looking in the fridge (or what I like to call the “facial-air conditioning unit”) I noticed that we had basil and a big jar of capers.

 

A Mediterranean-style salad it would be!

 

So with a full box of orecchiette in hand and a few fresh ingredients, I made this salad to keep us cool until saner temperatures have the good sense to reappear.

 

 
Green, Garlic-less, Sriracha-Type Sauce PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Friday, 31 May 2013 16:54

 

One of the few times Jedd and I have squawked at each other in the kitchen, was the first time I made pesto.

 

I refused to put in a certain ingredient, because I just really don’t like it.

 

“Launie, you can’t make pesto without garlic.”

 

“Well, I’m going to.”

 

“Pesto needs garlic.”

 

“No it doesn't.”

 

“Yes it does! It's one of the rules.”

 

“Forget that.”

 

“It’s going to taste wrong.”

 

“Well, if you don’t like it you don’t have to eat it. You can make your own batch. We have plenty of basil to play with. But this is what I’m having for dinner. Garlic-less pesto with linguine.”

 

And we both loved it. Without the garlic, the basil had a chance to really shine along with the parmesan and nuts.

 

Fast forward many years, and I tasted sriracha for the first time. I loved the heat – but I bet that you can guess what I didn’t love about it.

 

It was filled with garlic, which is the Newman to my Seinfeld.

 

So, I decided to make my own using shallots instead. A perfectly reasonable substitute in my mind because shallots, are garlic’s nicer cousin. I realize, however, that I’m one of the few people in the world who has this particular food phobia. So please feel free to substitute in garlic or even do a shallot/garlic combination.

 

This sauce is spicy, but it’s not a psycho killer heat. You don’t need to try it on a dare. Just try some alongside grilled chicken or steak. Jedd loves it on eggs and I’ve been known to try some on a sandwich. And it makes the best bloody mary you can imagine. So, give it a shot, even if you love garlic.

 

 
Garam Masala Almonds PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Saturday, 25 May 2013 20:10

 

 

 

I know, I know. Current wisdom dictates that we're supposed to ditch our spices after a year. However, that's a rarity for the two of us. Some spices we'll blow through in less than a month – other spices linger long past their aromatic phase.

 

For instance, I'm not going to tell you how long I've had my opaque bottle of garlic powder.

 

But generally we use spices long before the 1-year mark, because we live near a bulk spice store and can buy as much (or little) as we need every few weeks.

 

Or so I thought.

 

The other day our spice drawer was jammed, and I couldn't figure out what the obstruction was. So I contorted my arms and finally pried loose a little tin of garam masala that I had received as a gift ... about 5 years ago. At the time I wondered what had happened to that little mix of cardamom, cinnamon, cloves and other spices that make up the lovely Indian spice mixture. Now I knew, it had been lodged in the upper recesses of our spice drawer.

 

However, in theory, because it was old I should have thrown it away.

 

But, that's something I couldn't bring myself to do. My mother has instilled the concept of “use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without” deeply in me. And both she and my grandmother still firmly believe in that practice.

 

None of us are fanatical – no one's wearing a pair of cutoff jean shorts or turning old curtains into skirts – but there's no woman in my family who would ever throw away an unopened bottle of spice.

 

And my equally frugal husband, Jedd, would have given me a hairy eyeball for ditching an expensive little tin of flavor.

 

Since I had the spice, I thought that it might be fun to toss some of the garam masala with some sliced almonds that I had just purchased. The initial batch was small because I didn't want to waste the nuts in case the sample batch went south. Once I pulled them out of the oven, I knew I had made a mistake.

 

The batch should have been tripled.

 

 
A Dream Realized: Baby Artichokes with Lemon and Fresh Basil PDF E-mail
Written by Launie Kettler   
Friday, 10 May 2013 16:29

 

 

 

It was April, 2002, when a tentative and occasional home cook saw baby artichokes in the grocery store for the first time. She bought a package of them and brought them home. Because she was a little nervous by nature and was working long hours, she kept putting off trying to solve the mystery of how to cook them.

 

They went bad in the refrigerator before she opened the package. Funny what intimidation can do to ingredients.

 

But every spring that woman went back to the same grocery store, searching for another package of those little globes. They haunted her dreams. She wanted to cook with them!

 

Yesterday she found them. After 11 years of searching.

 

So she snapped up 2 packages. And coincidentally she's had “It Takes Two” in her head for the last 24 hours.

 

Wooh! Yeah! Wooh! Yeah!

 

She knew what to do with them this time, though. She had researched those little artichokes for years. She had wanted to be prepared if they ever crossed her path again.

 

It was worth the wait. These little guys were perfect.

 

They were lemony and luscious. Oh, and completely adorable too.

 

Wooh! Yeah!

 

 
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