Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Giveaway !

So, I can't actually hold it in any longer... Lookey what just came in...


That's right! It's the glorious and magical Williams-Sonoma garlic press and slicer that we use every, single day in the Rudder kitchen. You can use it for garlic (obviously), jalapenos, ginger, radishes, SO MANY things!

"What?!," you might be saying... "How do I enter the giveaway?!" Well I'm glad you asked! We've been discussing one simple question that I'd love for you to answer... reply in the comment box with your thoughts and name and I'll enter you in... but do it quick because the giveaway is closing in 48 hours! Woo hoo! Question is this:

Do you prefer to purchase e-books or hard copy books... especially when it comes to cookbooks? Why?

Still in Sydney... lots of love from down under and I can't wait to select a WINNER! Get excited!

Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Yeasty Jordan Rolls

I actually can't believe I'm admitting this but, back in the day you would have regularly found my family sitting around the breakfast table at Bob Evan's enjoying Sunday brunch (to be fair, we did live in Toledo, Ohio... not the most bustling food metropolis of all places and our favorite, swarthy lebanese restaurant sadly didn't serve breakfast, ergo, Bob Evans). Listen, their eggs are alright and the bacon is regular old restaurant bacon... but what kept us coming back for more...? The endless yeast rolls. Those puffy clouds of squishy flour with a perfectly crafted "peel me back" bubble top BEGGED to be smeared with butter and that old-fashioned uber-sugary honey. Somehow you'd eat one in it's entirety and feel like you just ate a puff of air and think it was perfectly okay to grab another. "this time i'll use it for my toast to sop up all that egg yolk." "oh, well... i can't just leave that jam on the side of the plate if there's a half eaten roll on the other side of the plate, besides, they're free!" And suddenly you're in a Bob Evan's coma and your pant legs are coated in hundreds of bread crumbs.

Yes, this does describe me... fairly well, actually. But it really describes my sister, Jordan. Boy, does she have a LOVE... a long-term, nostalgic, star-crossed love for Bob Evan's rolls. Problem is, we've gotten a little snobby in our old age and just can't seem to bring ourselves to enjoy those fluffy rolls in that giant red and yellow, half barn, half mountain cottage establishment with the heart healthy senior menu. And as you well know, I've been on a bit of a baking journey at home anyways... well I've done it, jord. I've really done it and we can really enjoy them any. time. we want. without sacrificing environment and without getting 10 day old kid syrup from the edge of the table on our sleeves. (gross)
So spark up, sparky! Get out your baking hands and serve these for breakfast, lunch, dinner, midnight snack, whatever. They're obviously best served straight out of the oven but we ate them again the next day and then used the 3 day old leftovers as personal pot-pie crust. Thanks be to Williams-Sonoma for the starting idea of this recipe.


  • 1/6 cup warm water (measure by filling HALF your 1/3 cup)
  • 1 & 3/4 teaspoons active-dry yeast
  • pinch of granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup buttermilk (i used 1/2 cup almond milk and soured it with 1/2 Tablespoon white vinegar)
  • 1/8 cup agave, honey or sugar... but I highly recommend the subtle flavor of agave in these.
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted (half stick)
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 & 1/8 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 & 1/8 cup bread flour

Pour the warm water into a small glass and sprinkle the yeast and pinch of sugar on top. Let it sit until foamy, about 5-10 minutes. Combine the buttermilk, agave, melted butter and beaten egg until well blended. Add in the salt and the warm water and yeast mixture. Blend well with your electric mixer. (or better yet, your standing mixer with the dough hook if you have one) Little by little, mix in the flour until your dough is sticky and fairly stringy. At this point, I like to use my hands instead of having to scrape down the beaters every few seconds. Knead the dough really well, form into a ball and place it into a bigger, lightly olive oiled bowl. Cover it with a dish towel or plastic wrap for an hour. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Lightly butter a round cake pan and set it aside. Once your dough has been rising for an hour, remove it from the bowl, punch it down and roll it into a big, long rope, long enough to cut 16 inch and a half segments from it. Cut the dough rope into 16 segments and roll each segment into a ball before placing into the cake pan. Squish them all in there side by side and bake for 18-23 minutes. Ours took the full 23 minutes but keep an eye on them. Once they're golden and perfectly rounded on top, they're ready to enjoy. If you'd like, brush over the top of them with 1 beaten egg to give them a shiny finish.
Feels a little strange to be sharing wintery recipes with you at the moment, considering it's just turned spring over here in the southern hemisphere... but I think tomorrow I might have to share that pot pie recipe with you. It was a glorious compilation of leftovers and and a desperate need to use up fresh ingredients before we left the country... which means it wasn't the prettiest of meals, but it was SO delicious... so make those rolls tonight and get ready to use them the next day for pot pie!

happy.....monday? to you... I think it's tuesday here.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

in sydney!

Just a quick post to let you all know James and I are in Australia! I've got a few foodie photos up my sleeve already for you and cannot wait to share them. We've only just gotten over the jet lag, been for four days and I'm all ready to go now... SO-

first: admire my handsome, angelic nephew

second: make sure to give your opinion in the "comment" section of the question I asked in this post here... that way I can ENTER YOU IN THE DRAWING FOR THE GIVEAWAY! But do it quick! I'll be drawing a winner in the next WEEK!

third: stay tuned... regular posting to begin again tomorrow!

LOTS of love to you all from down under!

Saturday, October 20, 2012

Mean . Green . Monster Machine Salad

I'm not gonna stress to you why this salad is so amazing and a "must make." I'm just gonna show you the list of RAW INGREDIENTS that I put in it... and you'll decide all on your own that you have to make it.

green pepper

Sold? Sold. Okay. Finely chop a bunch of kale. Thinly slice up a few carrots. Finely chop an entire green pepper. Shred some cabbage. Get out a bunch of frozen chopped spinach and let it drain. Slice up a few radishes and dice up some skinny bits of celery. Toss that all together in a big salad bowl.
In a smaller bowl, squeeze the juice of two limes and toss in 2 Tablespoons of zataar. (i've told you once and i'll tell you again... go buy some zataar and have it on hand. you will use it) Depending on how big your salad ends up looking, scoop out the flesh of one or two avocados into that same bowl. Pour in a small amount of cream and mix with your electric mixer until you've got a creamy "dressing" mixture. Pour that entire lot of goodness into the big salad bowl and fold it in until well blended. Serve up and enjoy.
Here's what else is so cool about this salad. If you were to toss in a little peanut sauce and sriracha, you'd have a KILLER asian slaw or salad if you want to top with chicken. If you eat it for dinner one night, you can have it for lunch the next day. If you ate it for the lunch that next day, you can use it as your "lettuce" in some homemade tacos that same night. That's what we did! And then if you're gutsy, like we are, you can use the very next morning again in your black bean breakfast burritos! Point being, there's so many ways to enjoy this salad and you can feel great about it because the only "iffy" ingredient in the entire thing is about 1 Tablespoon of cream. I'd say you can handle that. ;)

In case this salad wasn't enough, I'm gonna share with you my sister's amazing recipe that she commented to me the other day... i'm pretty sure this one will top mine... it was my inspiration! Thanks for sharing, Jordy! We can all benefit from your kitchen genius. ;)

  • 2 cups torn spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh mint
  • halved grape tomatoes
  • chopped sweet onion
  • cucumber
  • little shredded carrot
  • toasted bits of pita, as in small pieces that will be tossed IN WITH the salad.
Dressing: extra virgin olive oil from Trader Joe's, rice vinegar, one clove garlic minced and fresh lemon juice.

Spices: oregano, thyme, salt & pepper

People! These are some GREAT salad options! Give them a whirl and let us know what you think! Comment below or shoot me an e-mail.


Friday, October 19, 2012

Crock Pot Chicken & Momma's Mashed Potatoes

I'm pretty sure my favorite meal always has been and always will be chicken and mashed potatoes... my mom's mashed potatoes, to be specific. Not boxed, not garlic, not with skin, not fluffy and light, but MOM'S perfect, creamy mashed potatoes. And yeah, I always toy around with the idea of becoming vegetarian, because I know it'd be so easy for me... but even if I do, there will always be a  place in my nostalgic food loving heart for this particular meal. James just so happens to be 110% pleased with anything remotely like comfort food covered in gravy so this meal was for his sake, too. He is so good about eating anything I put in front of him and being supportive and cool with it, so sometimes you've just gotta give your man some 'man' food. And that's just what I did.

You'll Need:

  • two large chicken breasts
  • half an onion, finely chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • a splash of soy sauce
  • seasoned salt
  • paprika
  • fresh ground pepper
  • 1 & 1/2 pounds yukon gold potatoes, or less
  • 1 stick salted butter (you'll use 2 Tbsp of it in the gravy)
  • a splash of half & half or milk
judy's gravy-
  • chicken stock
  • all-purpose flour
  • more soy sauce
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • (the aforementioned butter from potatoes)
Alright so the chicken is the easiest part- let's start there. Also let's start this around 10am-12pm... because it's gonna cook for about 6 hours. Drizzle some olive oil in the bottom of your crock pot. Throw your frozen or thawed chicken breasts in the pot and drizzle with a little more olive oil. (yes it's okay to put frozen chicken in the crock pot because you're gonna cook it for SLOWLY for a very long time) Generously pile some paprika and seasoned salt on top. Toss the onion, garlic and soy over the top with a little more paprika and fresh ground pepper. Set it on low for 6 hours and put the lid on! woo hoo! Day continued as normal.

Now let's start the other part about 35 minutes before serving dinner. The potatoes have to boil. Get out your big stock pot and fill it with water, a little bit of salt and boil it. Peel and dice your potatoes, I usually slice each half into fourths because those size pieces are easier to boil faster. Once the water is boiling, toss the potatoes in and let them get soft. Turn the heat down just a tad and put the lid on... that'll help make it faster.
Cool, now let's start the gravy. This is not how I usually make gravy, but then again I suppose I don't ever usually make it. So I went with my mother in-law's recipe because it's my husband's favorite. I did change it just a little... :) Melt down your awesome, homemade, frozen chicken stock. You'll need about one cup. Warm it over a low-medium heat. Add in 2 Tablespoons of butter until well melted. Dust in 2 Tablespoons of all-purpose flour and stir well, making sure to smash out any flour lumps with the back of your wooden spoon. Once that's well combined, add in a little less than 1 Tablespoon of sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 2 Tablespoons of soy sauce. Stir away, turn the heat down and let it get thick and awesome. You do want to keep an eye on it though and stir every few minutes to keep that weird film from forming on top.
Check to see if your potatoes are softened yet but mashing one up against the side of your stock pot with your (other) wooden spoon. If it mashes pretty easily, go ahead and drain the potatoes into a big strainer.
Transfer them over to the serving bowl and toss in the rest of that stick of butter. (remember, you used 2 Tablespoons of it for the gravy) Let it sit on the potatoes until it's melty. Now here's the tricky part... it's not actually that tricky but it takes a little patience and care. With an electric mixer, start beating the potatoes and butter on low speed. When they're mostly creamy with a few clumps, turn the speed up a notch and add a little bit of cream or milk. Make sure to target the clumpy spots, don't just over mix the entire lot of them... this is where they can get sticky if you're not careful. The point is this: Over mixing is easy to do and will turn your potatoes to sticky mush. Don't do it. But listen, if you DO find them getting sticky, gently stir in a little more butter, 1 Tablespoon at a time until they're soft again. Fold them over onto themselves and top with a plate to keep the heat and moisture in until you're ready to serve.
Taste the beaters... chef's advantage! ;)
Whip together a nice, raw side salad. Ours consisted of kale (surprise, surprise), apples, radishes, tomatoes, dried cranberries and chevre. Drizzled with a little balsamic and voila!
Dish out a pretty bed of the mashed potatoes, top with your beautifully moist, flavorful chicken that you didn't have to touch ALL DAY, and make a pool of gravy over the whole plate. Dinner is served.
And friends... Don't forget about yesterday's post question! Leave a comment with your answer and I enter you in the drawing for the GIVEAWAY!

happy weekend start!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

the amazing rice salad

Quick Recitherapy Reader Participation Time: i've made the 'commenting' process much easier, now all you have to do is type your comment down below, select "name/URL," type in your name and enter in that crazy text code they give you and you're good. no more having to sign up. SO- my husband and I have been debating this... would you be more likely to buy & read an e-book or an actual paper book? Leave your name and answer below and I'll enter you in the drawing for our 1st GIVEAWAY!

So this is that amazing rice salad I told we had along side our sweet potato meatloaf. (and then along side our burgers another night and as lunch again the next day) It's such an easy thing to throw together and my favorite part about it is the texture. We threw in a few random bits and pieces so that every bite is different and better than the last. Also it's a plus to have on hand because it's really great served warm or chilled. Did I mention it's chocked full of goodness and really inexpensive to make? Well it is.

First step- boil some rice. I think we did one cup of jasmine... but brown would be amazing, too. Set it aside to cool while you prep the other goods. Toss one can of black beans and one can of whole kernel corn into a small saucepan and lightly season with salt and pepper. Let it simmer for just a few minutes.

Finely chop an entire bunch of kale. I like to do it lengthwise first, right down the middle and then skinny strips horizontally from there. In my opinion, that's the best way to eat lettuce... I know, it tastes the same no matter how you cut it but... c'mon it's like hospital ice, or Sonic ice... you know those awesome crunchy little ice morsels? SO much better that way, no? Yes.
In a big mixing or salad bowl, combine the rice, beans and corn until well combined. Drizzle in a little extra virgin olive oil and toss in the chopped kale. Dash in a generous amount of hot sauce, we used Frank's Red Hot to give us that vinegary kick, and mix it, mix it, mix it until it can't be mixed anymore.
Now chunk in some soft chevre (goat cheese... i want to start using that word more often) and gently toss your amazing salad. Voila!
There's that beautiful, wild, unsuspecting rice salad over there, perfectly complementing the main squeeze. Give it a try! But listen, don't just think of it as a side... top it with lime grilled shrimp, shredded mexican chicken, or serve it up a la carte! And beware... it'll haunt you a little bit. It's no ordinary salad... it is, in fact, a lot of rice, so it'll be in your fridge awhile. So instead of getting bored with it, get creative with it! Give it a second and third and fourth life... isn't that what good, creative cooking is anyways?
Happy Thursday dinner making, sweet friends!

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

hodge podge

Leftover mashed potatoes turned to glorious golden hash browns for breakfast...
 the way to make perfectly fried eggs by the way: crack them in and put the lid on top. when the yellow turns opaque, they're over easy... a little more white, they're over medium... white? cooked! no flipping required, friends.
 A total failed popcorn experiment... the flavor was just all wrong. Maybe you could master it? Butter, cocoa, sea salt and cinnamon.
My BEAUTIFUL fall farmer's market fresh produce loot...
 the prettiest, brightest radishes I've ever seen!
A big old Georgia Jet... just plucked from the ground... had to let it sit resting and untouched for a day before I could use it!

SO much going on at the moment, and so many recipes to share... so I'll see you tomorrow!