Trial and Error

My Kitchen Loves My Birthday

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As of October 15th I am yet another year older.  Not sure about the wiser part, but I’m working on it.  And thanks to my incredible friends and family, I made out with a good haul this year!!!  My kitchen is definitely full-er (not a word) and I am a very happy Kelsey.  I thought I’d share some of the awesome things that I and my kitchen are going to benefit from. Also I got a Disneyland pass!! My kitchen isn’t going to benefit from that, exactly, but my happiness will. That’s important.


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I have a really good excuse, I promise.

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So there’s not a recipe this week, and I hope you’ll understand why as I’m pretty sure this reason will pop up more than a few times in the near future.

I was in Disneyland and it was amazing.

I had an Annual Passport last year and I decided to give it up this next coming year. It expired in March and it was awful and slightly traumatizing. Well, lucky for me, tomorrow (October 15th) is my birthday and after seven months of being pass-less I decided I was done being without one. My oh-so-kind mother indulged me, and I am now the proud owner of a Disneyland Annual Passport again!!!

Kat (my photographer), Rhonda, Lisa and myself got back yesterday from the happiest place on earth, after two days of running around for 12 hours straight.

It. Was. Amazing. AND!! The second day we were there was declared treat day. My favorite treats in Disneyland hail from Pooh’s Corner in Critter Country, but it was way too hot (105-ouch) for chocolate-y treats. Despite the heat, I was inspired to recreate some of my own favorite Disneyland treats, so prepare thyselves for next week’s Disneyland inspired post!!!

In the meantime, as a consolation prize for waiting, enjoy this.

I’m so jealous of her life.

Risotto Stuffed Peppers

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Sometimes I choose to cook things based solely on how fancy they sound.

I guess I should expand.

Summer is over in San Francisco.  Here, we have two seasons.  Two. Sunny and warm or cold and foggy and/or rainy.  That’s all we got.  No pretty leaf changing, no light spring breezes, just the warm or the cold.

Remember last week’s post in which I talk about how it was sooooo hot and the only cure was more barbecue? Right, well last week is over and as I stare out my window all that greets me are gray skies and rain. You had a good run, summer.  It was a solid two weeks and I will miss thee.  In the meantime, I think some cold weather food is in order to help us pass the time.

And to be fair, winter is the keeper of my favorite dishes. It’s the season for rich, hot foods and what better way to kick it off than a risotto? I love risotto because it’s made with a few simple ingredients that combine to make the perfect cold-weather meal. Also I feel fancy whenever I make it- it’s just one of those dishes.

Might as well stuff it in a pepper and bake it, right?! Right!

Then you can feel SUPER fancy.

Make sure to click on the orange drop down box at the end of the post for the recipe!
 


Let’s do this, party people. (more…)

Pulled Pork Sliders

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So yesterday, my friend and amazing photographer Kat turned her living room into a pirate ship. This is not unusual.

I decided that the new renovations to the place along with the scorching September San Francisco heat called for something special. Something delicious. Something slow cooked and smothered in barbecue sauce. Something like pulled pork.

Pulled pork has got to be one of my favorite meals on the planet and I’ve got my friends hooked as well ever since I made it for them on Easter. It requires short hands-on time, but a lot of waiting. It’s a slow cooked meal that takes all day, but the crock-pot does the work for you and it is beyond worth it. Trust me on this. Have I lied to you yet? I deserve your trust by now.

And while I don’t own a crock pot (although it’s on my wish-list), a friend’s mother is kind enough to let me borrow hers when I get a craving. I’m sure if you don’t have one, someone you know does and if you compensate them with a few of these sliders, they’ll never hesitate to let you borrow it on a whim.

Make sure to click on the orange drop down boxes at the bottom of the post for the recipes!
 


Enough talking! Let’s get to it. (more…)

Bailey’s Irish Cream Scones with Honey Poached Berries

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I’ve done it y’all.

Well actually I’ve done a couple things I consider to be a success. First- after some testing I’ve found a way to make scones that don’t require four hours of drowning in hot liquids in order to be edible. Second- I’ve found a way to combine booze and breakfast.

And I realize that mimosas have already done this, but you can’t eat a mimosa for breakfast. I’ve made booze edible and I’ve made it breakfast acceptable. You’re welcome.

PLUS I’ve made it healthy by adding fruit! Who cares if it’s cooked in boiling hot honey that strips it of most its nutritional qualities? It’s really really really delectable. The blend of rich moist Irish Cream pastry and tart, honey glazed blueberries will quickly help you forget any nutriton that might have been lost. You’ll be just fine. Pinky promise.

Make sure to click on the orange drop down boxes at the bottom of the post for the recipes!
 

It’s also incredibly easy. So let’s get to it! BLUEBERRY TIME!
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Bacon Beignets and Maple Mousse

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Like many of my life ventures, a couple years ago a culinary curiosity was piqued by a Disney movie.  ”The Princess and the Frog” puts beignets on display in such a way that I couldn’t help myself.  I needed to try one of the french doughnut squares, fried and rolled in powdered sugar.  And then once I had one, I of course needed another.  And another.  And another.

By now I’ve made beignets more times than I can count.  My friends, knowing it to be a specialty of mine, often request it.  I kept making them, but they needed tweaking of some kind.  Fried dough? Yes. Rolled in powdered sugar? Delicious.  How could it possibly improve you ask?  Very much like improving anything else: add bacon.

And what better to compliment the warm, salty/sweet bacon-y fried square of dreams than a cool, creamy and light maple mousse.

Make sure to click on the orange drop down recipes boxes labeled “Maple Mouse” and “Bacon Beignets” at the end of the post!
 

Let’s do this.
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Allow me to introduce myself.

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Hi there. I’m Kelsey.  How’re you?  I’m great, thank you!  I’m great for a few reasons: 1. As I’m writing this it’s Friday; 2. I just discovered Blue Planet was narrated by David Attenborough and 3. I’m starting a food blog!

I suppose one could say that I was always comfortable in the kitchen, especially after watching my father, who was a professional chef and successful restaurant owner, cook nightly for my brother and myself.  But I’ll be the first to admit I got a little lazy, because when you have someone like my father in the house, one is not so inclined to cook when that man could plate pure culinary gold instead.

Unfortunately for me, society dictates that it’s not entirely acceptable to live with your father past a certain age.  And trust me- I pushed that date as far as I could.  The day finally came when my father bid me an enthusiastic adieu and I silently wept inside.

With my meager kitchen supplies, I set out to eat well on a tiny student budget, which isn’t too difficult to do in San Francisco with the abundance of fresh and dirt cheap produce that surrounds me.  I began concocting nightly masterpieces and quickly remembered my love for time spent in the kitchen.  I’ve been going ever since, cooking not only for myself but mainly for my lovely group of hungry friends.

My style of cooking is very much trial and error- followed by a generous amount of tweaking and (hopefully) improving.  I’ll typically start with a base recipe or concept and work my magic.  It’s rare that I’m entirely happy with a finished product the first few times around.  The second I plate something and taste a dish I’m about to send out to the table, I’m stirring over in my head ways to improve and perfect.  But that’s how cooking should be right?  It should be a giant wonderful experiment.  Even if it’s not so wonderful sometimes.  Maybe even a little burned.

I also believe that you don’t need fancy kitchenware to cook well.  I don’t have a KitchenAid or even a hand mixer; my doughs, crusts, whipped creams, frostings, and everything else are done by hand.  If you have the pretty appliances I lack, by all means use them as you know how, but keep in mind I will be posting recipes from my po-dunk, appliance-less perspective.

I hope to post my weekly adventures and share photos, videos and recipes along with my plentiful trials and errors.

Cheers!