Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Repurposed Pillow

There are these two pillows on my couch that well, are not so loved. The numbers, the letters, idk. Thankfully I know my way around a sewing machine and happen to have a full box of fabric and scraps hanging around.

The humble (ugly) pillow became the focus of my renewed attention to quilting and will soon be joined by another.

I used my new iOS favorite app Quiltograhy to design the block and after a few choice words got the hang of piecing a complex design.

Armed with a seam ripper I set out to release the component of the existing pillow, realigned the binding and zipper and walah! New seaonsal throw pillow.

I'm Gonna Be a DOCTOR!

The light at the end of the tunnel is getting brighter, and while I'm still convinced its a train....at least I can see it!!

And its official! All the hard work thus far is paying off and I will be embarking on the next leg of my grand adventure: Residency.

June 23rd I begin training at Henry Ford Hospital in Macomb, MI in General Surgery!

Thank you everyone for your support, patients and love. I wish my grandmother was here with me, but I know that somehow she knows and is proud of me (even if I haven't won the Nobel Prize yet).

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Let the Stress Cooking Begin!

A favorite blogger of mine asked the question "How do you survive the winter?" 

The answer in this blogger's world is simple, and the same answer for how do you survive boards? How do you get through finals week? or how do you live?

I Stress Bake - to the demise of the neighbors' waistlines, I cook and bake everything in times of stress. Especially when the weather inhibits outside activities like running, cycling or existing - thanks Missouri winds.

For the next couple of weeks while we bunker down for the worst of the winter weather and the worst waiting period of my life - taking about you match day - follow along as I proceed to cook, bake, broil, baste and flambé everything in my path.

Phil Hall, if you're out there - this one's for you.

Citrus & Thyme Chicken Thighs

While I can't read, hear or think of the word "thyme" without starting to sing Simon and Garfunkel's classic Scarborough Fair.... "parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme...." I'm sure you can.

This recipe brings together the flavors of lemons, orange zest, fresh thyme and baked dark-meat chicken to fill the house with wonderful smells and the dinner plate with delicious fare. Fall-off-the-bone, juicy and mouthwatering chicken.

  • 4 Chicken Legs (thigh and drumstick)
  • Handful of Thyme Sprigs
  • Salt & Pepper Grinders 
  • 1 Lemon (cut in thick slices)
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion (cut into huge pieces)
  • Orange Zest (fresh or dried works fine)
  • 2 Tbs Unsalted Butter 
Arrange the chicken quarters in the pan, here we used two pie pans instead of one larger roasting pan. Coat the skin of the chicken in the orange zest, liberally crack fresh pepper all over the chicken and just two salt grinder twists on each quarter. Toss in the large chunks of onion around the legs.

Place the lemon slices around the quarters and arrange the thyme springs evenly. Bake the chicken in a preheated 350 degree oven for 45minutes, then place 1/2 Tbs of unsalted butter on top of each quarter and continue baking at 350 for another 45 minutes. 

This chicken pairs great with honeyed carrots and wild rice, enjoy!

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Crispy Thin Crust Pizza

You can take me out of New Jersey, but you cannot take away my pizza! 

Even if I have to make it myself. For everyone away from the culinary greatness that is the corner pizzeria, here is a recipe for you. Enjoy this crisp, fresh and easy to make pizza from dough to toppings.

Love in the Oven
For the pizza dough I love starting out with a simple night-before recipe by Jesse and Christa found HERE on FeedingMyLove. (check out all their great talent for cooking and sarcasm)

Lovingly highjacked from HERE
Next you're going to need a sauce worthy of eating, and I don't mean the kind that comes in a jar. 
  • 3 Roma Tomatoes (diced)
  • 4 leaves Fresh Basil (chopped)
  • 4 Cloves Garlic (chopped)
  • 1 Tbs White Onion (finely chopped)
  • Fresh Ground Pepper 
  • 2 Tbs Olive Oil 
  • 1 Tbs Tomato Paste (optional)
Salute the garlic and onion in the olive oil, if desired add the tomato paste. Add the diced tomatoes and turn down the heat to a simmer, add the basil and ground pepper and cover. Allow the sauce to simmer while you prepare you're toppings and roll out the dough. 
Homemade Sauce, ready to go
So fresh, so delicious 

Toppings, oh the possibilities! Just remember that too much water leads to mushy, soggy crust. For mushroom loves I recommend using baby bella mushrooms, they hold less water than their white cousins and have a more robust flavor. Searing the pepper, onions, garlic and mushrooms prior to topping the pizza can help eliminate some water and save your crust too. 

For this masterpiece I seared baby portobello mushrooms, bell peppers, onions, and garlic. Diced lean ham was a perfect choice to keep the moisture down and the flavor up!

The toppings are prepped, the sauce is smelling great and its time to roll out the dough. On a floured surface use a floured rolling pin to "encourage" the dough into your desired shape, I often find myself using kitchen items to hold the rolled out dough down, and avoid it creeping back into a smaller shape. The olive oil bottle works great for that!

An oiled cookie sheet is your best friend to avoid sticking, combined with the floured bottom of the crust you are looking at a future of easy to transfer tastiness opposed to fighting with a stuck blob of awful. Transfer the dough to the oiled sheet first, then assemble your pizza to perfection: sauce, a mixture of low moisture Italian cheeses, toppings and here a few super thin slices of Roma tomatoes just because. 

Pop this bad boy on a rack in the middle third of a 425 degree oven. Everyone's oven cooks differently, I watch my pizza like a hawk through the oven window, after about seven minutes I'll check the bottom of my crust and if its cooked and holding I like to transfer it directly to the oven rack for a little extra crisp. 
You won't find this in Missouri.