Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Filet Mignon with Garlic and Herb Roasted Potatoes

This is the perfect dish to serve when you're craving steak and have a nice bottle of red wine that you want to open. It's also a tasty dish to serve if you're having company. Or maybe even for New Year's Eve!

I happen to have a little herb garden on my patio with just the right herbs which made this a nice dish to make. Of course if you live in the great white North it's hard to have an herb garden in December. Here in N. California it's easy peasy. I don't even have to water the pots thanks to mother nature.

Filet Mignon and Whole Grain Mustard Sauce 

4 (6oz) beef filets
1 T butter

Mustard Sauce

3 T butter
1/2 onion, diced
2 T shallots
1 T whole grain mustard
1/4 cup red wine
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 1/2 cups low sodium beef broth
2 T olive oil
1 T fresh tarragon, chopped
1 T fresh sage, chopped
1 T corn starch
1 T water

1. In a sauce pot over medium heat, add 1 T of the butter, onion and shallots. Cook until onions are lightly browned about 5 minutes.
2. Add the red wine, black pepper and thyme. Reduce by half.
3. Add the cornstarch mixture in the sauce.
4. Flavor the sauce with the mustard, butter chopped tarragon and sage.
5. Season finished sauce with salt and pepper to taste.

For the filet: grill the steaks 4-5 minutes on each side (depending on thickness) on a medium-high heat. Smear some butter on each steal and cover with foil for 5 minutes to rest before serving.

Garlic and Herb Roasted Potatoes

2 lbs fingerling potatoes halved and quartered
6 cloves of garlic halved or chopped
2 sprigs fresh thyme, chopped
1 sprig fresh oregano, chopped
2 T fresh rosemary, chopped
2 t. kosher salt
1 t. black pepper
1/4 cup olive oil

Preheat oven to 425º

1. In a large bowl toss potatoes, herbs and garlic in olive oil with salt and pepper. Place mixture on a sheet tray or baking dish and bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until potatoes are cooked through and light brown.
2. Remove from oven and season with salt and pepper.

Ok. Confession time. These plants are on my patio. But I adopted them (in this beautiful condition) from my neighbor Elaine who recently moved. She knows how much I like to cook and thought I would enjoy the fresh herbs. So I have a huge responsibility to keep them alive!!!  

I placed them right in front of the sliding glass door in the kitchen so I can keep an eye on them. 

Wish me (and the plants) luck.

Salmon with Honey Mustard Pan Sauce

Here's an easy dinner that you can make anytime. All you need to pick up is some fresh salmon. Or try the frozen salmon from Trader Joe's. The rest of the ingredients are pantry staples you should have on hand.

This recipe is easy, yummy and foolproof. You have to try it. And if you shop at Trader Joe's you're in luck. Because the recipe is right on the wrapper. And the best part? It's quick. Dinner in less than 30 minutes.

Don first discovered the recipe. And he usually makes it - which is so nice. I made it the other day and I'm happy to report it tasted just like when Don makes it. You know that's a good recipe when two people make the same recipe and it tastes the same. 

Now I'm not sure if kids will like it - or young kids anyway. Elli eats it. But she's a little more adventurous than the average nine year old. You know your kids. You'll have to be the judge.

I wanted to jazz up some brown rice so I made up a recipe (below.) It would have looked a little more colorful if I added in the parsley that I chopped. But I forgot. I steamed some broccoli to add some life to the plate - and to add a veggie. And dinner is served!

Salmon and Whole Grain Dijon Mustard from Trader Joe's.
De-glaze the pan with water and reduce.
This is the secret ingredient to make yummy, flavorful rice.
Steam some broccoli for 3 minutes.
Dinner is served!

Salmon with Honey Mustard Pan Sauce*

2 T olive oil
2 T unsalted butter
2 T Whole Grain Dijon Mustard
a few grinds of black pepper
1 lb salmon filets
1 T honey
1/2 c. water

1. Add olive oil and butter to non-stick skillet and cook over medium heat to melt the butter. Add mustard, stir to combine and cook for 1-2 minutes to toast the mustard seeds.
2. Add fish to pan, sprinkle with pepper and saute until lightly browned, about 3 minutes per side.
3. Turn fish, drizzle with honey and cover with a lid to complete the cooking. Fish should be opaque but do not overcook.
4. Remove fish, add water to deglaze the pan and heat over high heat. Reduce the sauce by about half.

5. Pour over fish and serve.
* recipe from Trader Joe's

Festive Brown Rice

1/2 onion diced very fine
1 garlic clove chopped very fine
drizzle of oil oil
1 T fresh parsley chopped (optional)
fresh jalapeno diced very fine (optional, to taste)
1 T Better Than Bouillon chicken base
2 cups water
1 cup brown rice (or white rice)
salt and pepper to taste

1. Heat olive oil in a medium saucepan. Saute onion on medium high until soft.
2. Add garlic and saute one more minute.
3. Add the rice and cook stirring one minute.
4. Stir in the water and chopped jalapeno (optional). Bring to a boil.
5. Immediately turn to the lowest setting. Simmer according to package instructions on rice. (25 - 40 minutes) Brown rice takes much longer than white.
6. Once cooked add the parsley, salt and pepper to taste and stir and let sit in pan another minute. Fluff rice before serving. 

I'm always on the hunt for easy weeknight meals. What's your favorite go-to meal?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Cheesy Breakfast Casserole

Everyone has their Christmas morning traditions. One of our long standing traditions is enjoying a hot cheesy breakfast casserole after all the presents have been opened and the kids are hyped up on Christmas candy at 9am.

We have two recipes. One with chiles and one without. We vary it depending on our mood - and who is there. The casserole is perfect because you assemble it the night before and just have to pop it in the oven in the morning.  It's also great to serve when you have company in town. Add a fruit salad and you have breakfast for a crowd.

It would also be perfect for New Year's Day when you're not quite ready to jump in the kitchen and need to feed people. Know what I mean?

Spicy Breakfast Casserole

4-6 slices wheat bread buttered, no crusts
1 cup Monterey Jack cheese, grated
1 cup cheddar cheese, grated
1 lb mild sausage, cooked
1 (4 oz) can diced green chiles, drained
2 t. diced jalapeno
9 large eggs (or 7 xl eggs)
1 c. milk
1 t. salt
1 t. oregano
1/2 t. paprika
1/4 t. garlic powder
1 t. prepared mustard
dash of fresh ground pepper

1. Grease 9 x 13 casserole dish
2. Place bread butter side down in 9 x 13 pan (use 4-6 slices)
3. Cover with jack cheese. Sprinkle sausage over cheese. Cover with cheddar cheese.
4. Sprinkle green chiles over cheese.
5. Combine eggs, milk and remaining ingredients. Mix well. Pour over mixture in pan.
6. Bake 325º for 50-60 minutes until firm.

Egg and Cheddar Breakfast Casserole

4 slices bread
1 lb bulk breakfast sausage
1 c. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
6 eggs
2 c. milk
1 t. dry mustard
1 t. salt
Pepper to taste

1. Grease 9 x 13 baking dish.
2. Brown sausage and drain off fat.
3. Tear up bread and put in greased baking dish.
4. Spoon sausage over bread. Sprinkle with cheese.
5. Beat together eggs, milk, dry mustard, salt and pepper.
6. Pour over mixture in baking dish.
7. Prepare the night before and refrigerate.
8. Bake at 350º for 35-40 minutes.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Thai Stuffed Chicken Breast

Still have company? Here's a great new chicken dish that will impress them. Of course it's so yummy it may make them want to stay longer. Which could be a good thing - or a bad thing. Depends on your company! Ha.

This is not a complicated recipe. But it's definitely not one that I would casually whip together on a week night on a whim. (Unless you are super mom.) Mainly because I wouldn't have these items on hand unless I planned it. So save it for when you have an hour and can drink a glass of Sauvignon Blanc while you're cooking it. Not that you can't do that on a week night - - but you know what I mean!

Thai Stuff Chicken Breast and Slaw

1 cup jasmine rice, cooked
1/4 cup shredded coconut
3 green onions, finely sliced
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves, finely chopped
4 T sweet Thai chile sauce
3 limes
4 large, boneless skinless chicken breasts
1 cup all purpose flour
1 t. kosher salt
1/2 t. black pepper
1 (14oz) can coconut milk
1 cup chopped roasted peanuts
3/4 cup Panko bread crumbs
1/4 cup white sesame seeds, toasted

Preheat oven to 350º

1. In a large bowl, mix the rice, coconut, green onion, basil, cilantro, chili sauce and juice from one lime.
2. Make a pocket in each chicken breast, using a spoon, gently stuff equal amounts of rice mixture in each breast half.  Close the opening with toothpicks.
3. In a plate mix together flour, salt and pepper
4. In a second plate mix together peanuts, Panko and sesame seeds.
5. In a third plate mix coconut milk and 2 T lime juice
6. Roll chicken breasts one at a time, first in the flour mixture, then in the coconut milk mixture, and finally in the peanut mixture, coating well.
7. In a shallow baking pan, arrange chicken, seam side down and place in 350º oven. Bake 30 minutes or until the chicken is cooked and the filling is hot.

Thai-Style Slaw

1/2 cup chunky peanut butter
1/4 rice vinegar
2 limes juiced
2 T sweet Thai chili sauce
1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
1/2 cup basil leaves, freshly chopped
6 cups green cabbage, finely sliced
1 carrot grated

1. Make the dressing by mixing the peanut butter, rice vinegar and sweet chili sauce in a large bowl.
2. Mix together all remaining ingredients and toss with desired amount of the dressing and refrigerate.

Serve with Sauvignon Blanc wine. The Hall Sauvignon Blanc or Williamsom Wines Sauvignon Blancs, or the Mezzacorona Pinot Grigio are all FANtastic choices.

To plate: Place slaw on serving platter, remove tooth picks from chicken and add chicken to plate.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Malbec Glazed BBQ Beef Short Ribs

Christmas is over. It's time to get back to the usual shtuff. So since I know a BUNCH of you are off this week. I'm going to post some new recipes for you. Woo hoo! So roll up your sleeves. It's time to cook people!

First up : Short Ribs

When I think of short ribs I think of Betelnut Restaurant in San Francisco. They have amazing, fall-off-the-bone, tender, short ribs. They are so yummy and craveable. We have to go a few times a year for the ribs, edamame and firecracker calamari.

We recently had short ribs when we were up at Williamson Wines in Healdsburg and they were pretty darn tasty too. And I have the recipe! This short rib recipe does not have an Asian flair, but they are just as good. And you can make them at home. But you might want to do it on the weekend when you have a few hours. 'Cuz these babies need to roast in the oven. This is a good Sunday night meal.

Malbec Glazed BBQ Beef Short Ribs

4 T vegetable oil
8 short ribs
2 medium onions, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
6 oz can tomato paste
1/2 bottle red wine (Malbec)
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
3 T molasses
1 cup smoky BBQ sauce
2 cups low sodium beef broth
1 t. dried thyme

Preheat the oven to 350º

1. Heat a large saute pan over high heat and add the vegetable oil.
2. Season the short ribs with salt and pepper. Sear the seasoned short ribs in the oil on all sides.
3. Remove the short ribs and place into a shallow roasting pan. Lower the heat to medium and add the onions to the saute pan and cook untily lightly caramelized about 10 minutes.
4. Add the garlic and cook for one minute. Add the tomato paste and cook until the vegetable mixture is well caramelized about 10 minutes.
5. Deglaze the pan by adding the wine, vinegar, beef broth, molasses, BBQ sauce and thyme. Add the ribs back in to the roasting pan.
6. Cover the roasting pan with a lid or aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours or until the meat is almost falling off the bone.
7. Remove the short ribs from the pan with tongs and keep warm.
8. Strain the sauce from the vegetable mixture through a fine mesh sieve.
9. Reduce the sauce in a medium sauce pan to desired consistency, about 10 minutes and reserve.

Whole Grain Mustard & Horseradish Mashed Potatoes

4 large russet potatoes, peeled, cut into 1/2 in cubes
1 pint heavy cream
1 stick butter
1 T whole grain mustard
1 T prepared horseradish
1/2 t Worcestershire sauce
2 t. kosher salt
1 t. black pepper
1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. In a large pot, add peeled potatoes and cover with cold water.
2. Bring potatoes to a boil and cook until tender with a fork, approximately 15-20 minutes.
3. Strain potatoes from the boiling water.
4. In a medium saucepan, heat the cream and butter.
5. Add the potatoes into a Kitchen Aid mixer (or return to pan) and mix with the paddle attachment (or a hand-held potato masher or mixer.) Add the heated cream and butter, Worcestershire sauce, horseradish, whole grain mustard, parsley, salt and pepper.
6. Whip until potaotes are smooth and creamy.
7. Adjust the seasoning to taste.

Serve with a nice Malbec. Tapiz Malbec from BevMo would be good. Or of course the Malbec from Williamson Wines. But you might have to order it from the winery.

Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas Eve

We're spending Christmas at home this year. It's going to be quiet. And we're going to miss being with our extended family. But it's what we have to do.

Elli is a trooper. Instead of being sad that she won't see her cousins, aunts and uncles, and grand parents, she's looking forward to having Santa come to her house this year.

I'm sure we'll have a SKYPE session or two to keep in touch. Because she's going to quickly realize at about 10am tomorrow that there is no one to play with and she's boooooooored. I better touch base with some of our friends that will be in town. I could have one cranky little monkey on my hands.

I hope you'll have a holiday weekend full of family, laughs and good food.

That's what we plan on doing. Even if it's only the three of us.

Painting ornaments with friends.

Decorating the tree.

The annual Christmas tree skirt dance.

The stockings are hung.

That's it. Time to enjoy the day and get ready for tomorrow.

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Dear Santa letter

Elli and her friend Lou Lou wrote their letter to Santa last week.

They used a cute template we found on the Macy's website. It has music while you're writing and cute decorations to jazz up your letter. Plus they force you to keep it to one page. And the best part? Macy's will donate $1 for every Santa letter received to the Make-A-Wish Foundation up to $1 million dollars. Pretty cool.

Lou Lou finished her letter. Then it was Elli's turn. She wouldn't let me see her list. Bah! Fortunately, she did let me take a peek at her notes. Lucky for me she put a red star by the things she really wants.

Yesterday we dropped off Elli's secret Santa letter at Macy's. Woo hoo!

Elli asked what I was going to ask Santa for. My list for Santa is really short. I just want one thing. A job. And I believe he'll deliver!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Merry Christmas!

Wishing all of you a save and joyful holiday season filled with family and friends, good food and spirits, and lots and lots of presents (did I say presents? I meant peace. Peace on earth!)  

ho ho ho!!!

Love you all,


Friday, December 17, 2010

What is the best gift you've ever given?

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So, are you like me and you've done some shopping but not everything and now it's the weekend before Xmas and you're like, Holy Moly. What am I going to do? There's so much pressure to get just the right thing for all the special people in your life. It gets even harder when you're on a tight budget.

What's the best gift you've ever given? Is there one thing that really stands out?


I can recall numerous great gifts that I've received. But only a few that I've given that I would categorize as a "best gift ever given".  Mainly because I am married to the BEST GIFT GIVER EVER. He is. Hands down. The best. Ask my family.

I try really hard to be a really thoughtful gift giver. But I'm always trumped by Don. He always manages to outdo me. Mainly because he spends more than I do so my gift comes across as less spectacular. So that doesn't seem fair. He always goes for it. I'm a conservative shopper. I always wimp out.
  • Our very first Christmas together (when we were dating) he gave me a Fendi purse and a super cool pair of leather boots. My parents were so impressed and we ALL decided he was a keeper.  I have no idea what I gave him. But I bet it was a sweater from Macy's.
  • For my 40th birthday he surprised me and rented a private home on Virgin Gorda for the week. I gave him a Gibson guitar for his 40th.
  • For his 50th birthday I treated him to a weekend at the Fairmont in Sonoma. It was great. Except that we got in a car accident the minute we left the resort. So it definitely put a damper on the weekend. Big time. (ok. THAT was not my fault.)
  • For Mother's Day in 2009 he treated the three three of us to see Wicked in SF and an overnight at the Ritz Carlton on the Concierge level. IT WAS AWESOME!!!! Elli and I still talk about it.
  • And this year for our anniversary he gave me (us) the cooking class at Cavallo Point. Loved it!
  • I could go on, and on, and on......
So what have I, Kris Mulkey, given to someone that they would say is THE BEST GIFT EVER? How do you define the "best gift ever given" anyway? How do you know what the recipient thinks is the best gift?

I'm pretty sure the best gift I've ever given was to Elli.

She had been begging, and begging, to get her ears pierced. I told her when she was 13 and more responsible we would do it. She thought this was completely unfair and way too long to wait.  She would beg every few months. And I would tell her "No. You're too young."  Most of her friends did not have their ears pierced. And I don't think they really cared too much about it. Elli was obsessed though. And did not like the thought of waiting until she was 13 - at all. So for her 9th birthday last year I surprised her and I let her get her ears pierced.

I will never forget the look on her face when she opened the little box and read the special certificate I made. She couldn't believe it. It was the best moment ever. For her, it was like a dream come true. It was the ultimate, unexpected surprise.

This certificate entitles you to get your ears pierced at Claire's. TODAY.
We made it a very special experience by taking our time at Claire's and then having lunch at the restaurant of her choice. It was one of those days neither of us will ever forget.

It's nice to be able to give someone something they REALLY want. Some people are easy (like Elli) she is very open with what she wants. Others are harder (like Don.) One of these days I'll give him a spectacular gift that will knock his socks off.  Probably won't be this Christmas. Unless I just happened to pick the right numbers on the Lottery Tickets. But maybe sometime soon. Wish me luck.

The end.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

Bloody Mary

'Tis the season for a spicy Bloody Mary.

I don't know why we only drink these during the holidays. But it's kind of tradition. And I guess it would seem weird drinking them any other time.

My dad is usually the king mixer of this spicy cocktail. But since he's a million miles away Don has taken over the Bloody Mary making duties.

We like ours spicy, with a squeeze of lime and of course a stalk of celery. A nice olive is good too.

Are you a fan of Bloody Mary's? What's your secret ingredient? Care to share your recipe?

I must confess. After I wrote this I REALLY wanted a bloody mary. But sitting alone in your living room drinking a vodka cocktail just doesn't seem right. So I poured myself a glass of the mix, with a squeeze of lime and a skewer of olives and it hit the spot. aaaaaaaaaah

It's like having a snack and a drink all in one. Quite tasty!

Ok. I'm not exactly alone. Don and Bentley are sleeping on the couch and Elli is playing with a friend upstairs. I'm sure mommy drinking vodka during a playdate is frowned upon. So a virgin mary is definitely the right choice.  But all this talk about vodka....... just kidding. I'm really not a fan. Wine is my thing.

I'm leaving now. I'm starting to talk crazy. You're going to start thinking I really did dip into the vodka. I didn't. I'm just giddy for olives.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday night pasta surprise (or making something out of nothing)

It's Sunday night. 7:30pm. I worked like a dog all day Saturday and Sunday. And I am exhausted.

We decorated the tree on Saturday. Which is not an easy task when the tree and all the ornaments are in a storage unit that's 25 minutes away. But Elli and I got it done.

Sunday just about did me in though. I was busy from the moment I woke up until the moment I went to bed. I wanted the house to resemble Christmas. Don was not as enthusiastic. So I took it upon myself to get it done. While he got some beauty sleep.
  • Made bacon and eggs for Don, Elli and her friend Courtney.
  • Vacuumed the living room
  • 5 or 6 loads of laundry
  • Baked a loaf of pumpkin bread with Elli and Courtney
  • Baked oatmeal cookies with Elli and Courtney
  • Swept my neighbors patio (we were borrowing her oven - dual baking)
  • Made everyone soup for lunch
  • Hung all the Christmas lights outside. (By myself.)
  • Put all the patio cushions and the rug in the storage closet for winter
  • Swept our patio
  • Cleaned the kitchen for the third time
  • Finally showered
  • Made dinner
  • Blogged
  • Watched Amazing Race finale with the family. (AMAZING)
  • Collapsed into bed
I don't know if this seems like a lot of stuff to the average joe or not. But it was a lot for me. And in case you're wondering where Don was for all this fun. He was horizontal on the couch. No, I'm not bitter. But a tall hand while I was stapling up all the xmas lights might have come in handy.

My neighbor Laura heard me talking to myself and cussing at the staple gun as I was getting started and kept missing the wire of the light strand. The minute she saw what I was doing - all was forgiven.

So by the time 5pm rolled around I was pretty tired. And really wasn't looking forward to the three words that I knew were coming "What's for dinner?"

I haven't been to the store in days. I've been trying really hard to cook all the miscellaneous things in the pantry and fridge/freezer before I just have to throw them out because they are expired.

So I opened the freezer. All I saw was miscellaneous ziplocks and tupperware containers. Ugh. Nothing easy. Nothing, nothing, nothing.

It's going to take some creativity tonight. Which frankly, I am not in the mood for, or remotely qualified to do well, and I'm sooooooo tired.

I'm a recipe girl. I'm not a wing it and it's oh-so-yummy girl. I have had some good luck lately with my improv in the kitchen - which is not normal. But I get all giddy like a school girl in art class when I've created something good. Which can get me feeling over confident like you are Bobby Flay and can do anything with all the crap in your fridge. Like those cooking shows where they give them three totally random ingredients like syrup, carrots and fish heads and they create a complete gourmet meal.  That is not me. I usually have a jar of pasta sauce somewhere as my back up plan. (Or my regular plan.)

So the freezer is lacking and the cupboards are pretty bare. What to do?????  I start pulling stuff out to see if something will inspire me.  Don walks in. Takes one look at the ingredients on the counter and says "looks like we're having pasta." Ok. Let me see if I can make pasta without any pasta sauce, or a can of tomatoes, or tomato sauce. My immediate thought was "I have ketchup. Will that work?" If you're Italian you're cringing. If you're a midwesterner like me, you're saying ""Allrighty then." Here's what I used:

Sunday night pasta surprise: olive oil, onion, garlic, Italian sausage, tomato paste, turkey broth, squirt of ketchup, carrot, marjoram, Italian seasoning, water, fresh thyme, fresh rosemary, and frozen peas + a little roux of butter and flour to thicken it up. Plus a box of whole wheat spaghetti noodles which have been there forever.

So here I sit. With a full tummy of pasta (and pumpkin bread.) A glass of wine by my side, and a smile on my face. It all worked out. Everyone's happy and I survived another day.

A hot tub for my aching back would be nice. But I don't have one. So I'm hoping the wine will do the trick. But maybe I should take some Advil as my back-up plan.

Time to tuck in the the little Christmas monkey.

Nighty night.

Friday, December 10, 2010

My favorite Pumpkin Bread (and a little story....)

I loooooooove pumpkin bread. It's good to eat morning, noon and night.

yummy afternoon snack
The recipe I have makes super moist pumpkin bread that is really more like a cake than a bread. In fact, I ate the last piece this morning with a big dollop of whipped cream on top and a cup of coffee. That is my kind of breakfast.

even yummier for breakfast
The Mr. left a very sad, little, broken piece in the Tupperware container.  (Which I oh-so-carefully photographed to look much nicer than the real thing.) And just the teeniest bit of whipped cream, too. Why he didn't just finish both last night is beyond me. I'm pretty sure I would have just polished it off. I mean really. But then I wouldn't have had a spectacular breakfast this morning.

mmmmmmmmm mmmm
So maybe he meant to do that?

As much as I would like that to be the truth. I'm pretty sure he just didn't want to do the dishes. Not to rag on him, but he has a thing about dishes and the dishwasher.

I used to tell Elli that daddy was allergic to the dishwasher. That's why he put his dishes in the sink instead of the dishwasher. She TOTALLY believed me. Then one day Don actually put something in the dishwasher. Elli started screaming with excitement and SHOUTING for me.

"Mom, mom, mom!!!! Dad's not allergic anymore! He's not sneezing or anything!!!!" she yelled.

"What are you talking about?" I asked.

"Look at dad! He's putting dishes in the dishwasher and he's ok!" She responded.

"HHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA HA HA HA HA!!!!!" was my mature, motherly response.

I pretty much died laughing. Of course Don didn't think it was funny. And Elli was totally confused by the whole thing. Because she totally believes everything I tell her. Why would mommy say something that isn't true? uhhhhhhh. 'Cuz it was funny? And it annoys me that daddy won't put his dishes in the dishwasher? And sometimes I forget that my sarcasm and 'tude isn't always appropriate for her.

Oh well.

So back to the pumpkin bread. Here's my recipe if you would like to bake some yourself.

Pumpkin Bread

1 2/3 cups flour
3/4 t. salt
1/4 t. baking powder
1 t. baking soda
1/2 t. cinnamon
1/2 t. ground cloves
1/2 t. allspice
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 cup pureed canned pumpkin
1/3 cup water
2 eggs beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil

1. Grease the bottom and sides of a 5 x 9-inch loaf pan. Line the bottom with waxed paper; grease the waxed paper.
2. Sift the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and allspice together
3. Combine the sugar, pumpkin, water, eggs and oil in a bowl; mix well.
4. Add the flour mixture gradually, mixing well after each addition.
5. Spoon the batter into the prepared loaf pan.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour or until the loaf tests done.
7. Remove to a wire rack to cool.

This is super easy to make. Moist and delicious. Trust me. It's good.

PS. I swear the above story is true. Mostly true anyway. Elli read it and proclaimed I got it wrong and shouldn't lie on my blog. But my tired old memory remembers it this way - so that's the way it is. I know this makes me sound like I'm as old as Andy Rooney. Which I'm not. But sometimes I'm so tired I feel like I am.

The end.

Click HERE for more yummy fall recipes.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Happy Trés Chic Wine Wednesday!

I love Wednesday. We're halfway to Friday. Which means we're closer to the weekend. Which means I can break from my regular routine of rush, rush, rush, rush, rush, and relax with my family and a glass of wine. Aaaaaaaah. That's what the weekends are for, right? Tell me this is what you do too.

It's all about my peeps.
Little miss Elli.
The Mr. at Tennessee Beach in Mill Valley.
And of course some of this!

XWinery, 2007 Pinot Noir, Carneros, Truchard Vineyard
Since it is Tres Chic wine Wednesday, I have to tell you about a new wine we found at Whole Foods that's ten bucks! It's the XWinery, 2007 Pinot Noir, Carneros, Truchard Vineyard. It was delish.

Yes, you read correctly. I, Kris Mulkey, hater of Pinot, am recommending a Pinot Noir. It's not often, if ever, that I like a Pinot. Ninety-nine percent of them smell, and taste, like barn. Stinky old goats and dirty hay. I swear. Most of them I cannot even drink because I can't get past the rancid smell. I know that sounds rather severe. But honestly that's what I think when I take a whiff. P......U....... STIIIIIIINKY.

Of course I seem to be alone in my barn-smelling-opinion most of the time. Apparently I have an overly sensitive nose when it comes to Pinot. And Chianti's from Italy. And most French wine......But this one is different!!!!

We wish we bought more than one bottle. The price is $10.99. And it is good. Stock up now before the Mulkey's buy it all. 'Cuz we're heading back to Whole Foods. Run. Don't walk!!

Here's another new wine we just tried, The HALL 2005 Merlot, Napa Valley.

Amazing wine. 95 pts $25 smoooooth and lush
It's not ten bucks. But it's gooooood. Don is doing a little project for the owner - so we bought a bottle to add to the wine wall in the store. I highly recommend it. In fact, it would be nice to serve at Christmas dinner. Or to give as a gift to a special someone. (Like me! ha. just kidding. ok. not really.)