"Downton Abbey" Cake

Made with a combination of all-purpose flour along with ground almonds and espresso, slathered in chocolate, sour cream icing.

My aunt is visiting from Detroit—her birthday is coming up soon, so we celebrated it with this. An old cake recipe popular around the Edwardian era, hence the Downton Abbey reference.

  1. Camera: iPhone 4S
  2. Aperture: f/2.4
  3. Exposure: 1/40th
  4. Focal Length: 4mm

Pumpkin Waffles!

I like pumpkin. I like fall. I like breakfast most of all.

These were awesome. But since I didn’t have a Belgian waffle maker, which, apparently, makes monster gigantic waffles, I halved the recipe and it still fed us and then some.


(Follow the link in the title for recipe)

Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Mushroom, Sage Cream Sauce

I completely forgot about this draft. It was a delicious recipe collaboration and possibly the best food photo I’ve taken with my meager photographer noob means. We made the sweet potato gnocchi from the first recipe and combined it to the sauce in the second + peas.

It’d probably be a good idea to try the pumpkin gnocchi in the second recipe as well :}

Anyways, it was scrumptious. The recipe for the gnocchi made tons, and they can be frozen, so I thought about making some sort of Moroccan sauce to add with them later on for an Italian and North African lovechild dish.

  1. Camera: iPhone 4S
  2. Aperture: f/2.4
  3. Exposure: 1/15th
  4. Focal Length: 4mm

Woo, Fall! Stuffed Pumpkin Time!

Pumpkin Stuffed with Everything Good from Cheese and Chocolate. ‘Nuff said.

Using the first listed recipe, I used a Macintosh apple (my favorite.) This amazing blogger has two variations of this dish. I’ll have to try the second one with mushrooms next time :D

  1. Camera: iPhone 4S
  2. Aperture: f/2.4
  3. Exposure: 1/17th
  4. Focal Length: 4mm

Rice’s Rum Raisin Rice Puddling (The R.R.R.P.)
It’s like RP but with a sexy ‘rrrrrrr’ roll in front. Adapted from Recipe.Com. Serves 3.

No Joh-Makes-Dinner night last week, but I did make breakfast this morning. So I break the rules of my Saturday morning foodie post.

I never had rice pudding before—and really wanted to try it, and being born on national rice pudding day, highly unacceptable. The last few tablespoons of rum looked sad, too, so I used it up so it would stop gloomily staring at me.

The result? Breakfast risotto that was extremely tasty. Perfect for fall and very easy to make.

Twenty minutes of stirring sounds like a hassle, but it’s actually quite pleasing as the smells of almond, cinnamon, vanilla and rum waft up from the pan as you wake up, sipping coffee as you go.

  • 2 1/4 cups of almond milk (I used unsweetened vanilla)
  • Slightly less than 1/4 cup of brown sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract
  • Pinch of salt
  • A splash of maple syrup
  • A few gratings of nutmeg
  • 3/4 cups of Arborio rice
  • 1/3 cup of raisins
  • 2 tablespoons of rum (I used D’Aristi)
  • Creme Fraiche for serving
  • Banana for serving

Allow raisins to soak in rum overnight in a covered bowl.

Put almonds milk, brown sugar, cinnamon, vanilla extract, rice, maple syrup, raisins (with left over rum) and salt into a large saucepan. Bring to a boil by turning the burner to high, make sure to keep the rice moving with intermittent stirring so it won’t stick to the pan. Steady it to a simmer on low heat. Simmer Arborio rice for 15 to 22 minutes, until tender, yet firm, continuing to stir constantly.The almond milk will almost have a syrupy consistency. The rice will continue to absorb the almond milk and become firmer as you eat it, so remove from heat when its a bit runnier than you would like.

Top with creme fraiche, sliced banana and grated nutmeg.

Zucchini Rice Gratin: Deep-dished, Doubled and Over-Thymed

I’m thankful I doubled this recipe on the fly. For the three of us, it equaled two nights of dinner, and for the work that it was, it was well worth it.

This dish is further proof that vegetarian recipes can be hearty and satisfying. Using fibrous components like squashes and eggplant or meaty fauna like mushrooms is all you need. I might just try this with eggplant swapped in instead of zucchini next… hm…

And this takes summer’s offerings to their full advantage. The roasted tomatoes and zucchinis were great and the rice made a great texture between the layers.

Smitten Kitchen is my homegurl .

Cardamom Banana Bread from Palate/Palette/Plate

Ahh, Cardamom—my favorite spice. Be careful though, either it must be reduced in this recipe, or the banana increased, because the banana flavor turned out to be overpowered by cardamom’s awesomeness.

A Familial Collaboration

Grilled Polenta and Balsamic Mushrooms

The marinade pretty much makes the portobellos into filet minion. Mom and I did the general prep, dad did the grilling. We added some spring onions into the mix for kicks.

  1. Camera: iPhone 4S
  2. Aperture: f/2.4
  3. Exposure: 1/20th
  4. Focal Length: 4mm

A Collaboration to a Massacre: French Toast with Bloody Nectarines

Mom and I were busy in the kitchen last Sunday morning. She made the French toasts and bacon and I made the sautéed nectarines. I used the recipe from The Red Spoon as a guide for making my own, adapting the proportions to suit only two nectarines instead of the five to six originally called for.

Bloody Sautéed Nectarines

Adapted from The Red Spoon

  • 2 nectarines—peeled and sliced (I used both a yellow and white)
  • 3/4 cup of strawberries—thickly sliced lengthwise
  • 1 tablespoon of unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon of lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla extract

Melt butter in a small skillet over medium heat, then add the nectarines and strawberries. Wait until they are sizzling and the juice they release becomes thickened before adding the sugar, lemon juice and vanilla extract. The strawberries, depending on their ripeness, may not survive intact. If you’d like your strawberries to remain in whole slices, add them later on with the lemon juice, sugar and vanilla. However, their breaking down into a sort of preserve made the nectarines really pretty :D

Cannellini Beans with Swiss Chard

I used Rainbow Chard for the recipe instead and served it over some Basmati rice. Your body will pretty much do this after eating:

  1. Camera: iPhone 4S
  2. Aperture: f/2.4
  3. Exposure: 1/15th
  4. Focal Length: 4mm