Saturday, February 24, 2018

Last Post

Hey folks! Thanks for watching : )

I feel like in a lot of ways my palate grew up entirely on this blog. Blossomed from a know-nothing vegetarian to a fully-fledged foodie. While I will continue to refer to this blog's recipes and improve them, it will be on my new blog, ChezAnn.

If you've enjoyed this blog, I encourage you to subscribe to ChezAnn.

- Ann <3

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake

This is a great easy take on the classic. I highly recommend watching the video before making. Honestly with slicing, I would say this recipe makes about 6 servings.

Made this for my friend and her family, and the picky kids ate it up! Will definitely make again in the future.

Chicken Cordon Bleu Bake
from BuzzFeed

4 chicken breasts, boneless, skinless
salt & pepper
1 Tbs. garlic powder
1 Tbs. onion powder
16 slices Emmental cheese
8 slices ham
2 sheets puff pastry
1 egg

1. Combine salt, pepper, onion powder, and garlic powder in a large bowl. Toss in all four chicken breasts, and coat each well with the spices.
2. Lay out a long stretch of plastic wrap and put one breast on the wrap. Pull side of wrap to cover breast, such that there's space to expand all around chicken. Using a rolling pin, pound chicken breast until 1/2" even thickness. I found pounding lengthwise, and then widthwise was easiest. Do this for all 4 breasts.
3. Take one flattened breast, peel back the plastic. Place 2 slices of cheese on the flattened breast to cover length-wise, 2 slices ham the same, then another 2 slices cheese. From one end, firmly roll up chicken breast keeping the slices in their position. Recover breast with plastic, and roll holding two ends of the plastic wrap to wrap chicken tight. Do this for all breasts. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
4. Take one sheet of puff pastry, cut down middle to make two equal pieces. Take one of the pieces, and roll out with rolling pin until wide enough to completely cover a chicken breast roll. Do this with each of the pieces of puff pastry.
5. Pre-heat oven to 400F.
6. To finish assembly, take one of the rolled out pieces of puff pastry, lightly brush on mustard on entire surface. Place chicken breast in the middle, and wrap with puff pastry, pinching seams together in middle and folding edges underneath. Place on cooking pan. Do this for all of the breasts.
7. Lightly score puff pastry on tops with a fork. Beat egg in a small bowl, and brush all exposed puff pastry with egg.
8. Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until interior temperature is 165F.
9. After taking out of oven, let cordon's sit for 10-15 minutes before cutting into. Slice thickly, and serve fanned out on a plate with a light salad.

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

3 lb Country White Bread

This is a recipe that Raymond has tinkered with. Originally used for bread machine-bread, I much prefer cooking bread on sheets or pans vs. bread-machine. This is a good solid loaf bread, great structure for sandwiches, soft enough to eat on it's own with butter.

Pro-tip: you can make bread kits by combining just the salt, sugar, cocoa, espresso, and dried milk into little baggies and keep them on hand to speed things up.

3 lb Country White Bread

1 tsp salt + pinch
1 Tbs sugar
1/2 tsp cocoa
1 Tbs instant espresso powder
3 Tbs dried milk
5.5 cups flour

1 Tbs honey
3-4 Tbs salted butter
scant 1 tsp yeast
2 cups water, luke-warm

1. In small bowl, combine honey, butter, yeast, and luke-warm water. Let sit for 10 minutes until top is foamy.
2. In a large bowl, combine salt, sugar, cocoa, espresso powder, dried milk, and flour in a large bowl.
3. Add liquid to dry ingredients and combine well. Once ingredients are incorporated, dump onto a counter and knead bread for 5 minutes, until smooth and tacky.
4. Cover bowl with warm damp tea towel and let sit until dough doubles in size (~1 hour depending on the temperature of your home and how happy your yeast is).
5. After your bread has doubled, punch it down, give it a minute or two of kneading on a lightly-floured surface, then place into 2 buttered loaf pans. Cover both with a damp tea towel, and let both rise again until doubled in size.
6. Pre-heat oven to 350F, and bake loaves for 30 minutes.
7. Once finished baking, remove loaves from baking pans and let rest on drying rack for 30 minutes to allow inside to finish cooking.

Serving suggestion: fresh sliced thick and drizzled heavily with sweetened condensed milk and melted chocolate/nutella.

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Classic Peach Pie

I generally don't spend time making sweets in the kitchen, but apparently this summer peach pie is the exception. I made this pie a total of six (6!) times this summer during the height of peach season. I did cheat and use Trader Joe's frozen pie crust, but I'm quite fond of it and it's the rolled pie crusts like what they have in France. Most places only have the pre-pressed uncooked pie crust in an aluminum pie plate in the frozen section and I've been chronically unimpressed with. However, if you are feeling so inspired, you can of course make your own (double) recipe of pate brisee.

Note: This pie releases a lot of liquids as it cooks. Either place a tray lined with parchment paper or a non-stick pad underneath the pie as it cooks, or be prepared to go through your oven's self-cleaning cycle after making this pie.

Classic Peach Pie
makes 9" pie or larger
from America's Test Kitchen from Garlic and Zest 

- double batch of rolled pie crust
- 3 lbs. peaches (or more if you want a larger pie)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 Tbs. corn starch
- 1 Tbs. lemon juice
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 2 Tbs. cream or egg wash, for brushing on crust
- 1 Tbs. demerara sugar

1. Peel peaches (or don't) and slice how you wish in a bowl. Add the sugar, stir well to combine, and let sit on counter for 1 hour.
2. Roll out pie crust and place in pie pan or tart pan. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate while peaches rest with sugar.
3. Once peaches have rested with sugar for 1 hour, start oven preheating to 425 F. Then drain off liquid from peaches, reserving 1/4 cup. Combine 1/4 cup reserved peach liquid, corn starch, lemon juice, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Stir well to combine.
4. Take pie crust out of fridge, unwrap, and pour peach mixture into the crust. Roll out second crust, and make desired design on top of pie. I did lattice crust, there are lots of options out there.
5. Brush crust with cream or egg wash. Sprinkle the demerara sugar on top of the pie. Wrap edges of the pan with foil such that the crust is shielded, being careful not to let the dough come into contact with the foil.
6. Cook at 425 F. for 25 minutes. Reduce heat to 375 F and cook for another 30 minutes. Take foil off and cook for another 10-15 minutes or more if you used a larger tart pan.
7. Let pie sit for at least 2 hours before cutting into.

Note: the remainder of the peach liquid makes a killer peach bellini when mixed with bubbly.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Broccoli Bacon Salad

This salad is incredibly un-healthy. I know, not my usual, but my fiance loves it and requests it every time he's down. I'm making it slightly healthier every time, so we'll get there but here it is so far. I highly recommend making the night ahead.

The pictured salad has a three dashes of Chinese black vinegar, no mozzarella, and honey vs granulated sugar (I find it combines easier with the dressing) but other than that it is the exact recipe below.

Broccoli Bacon Salad
adapted from

- 2.5 lbs. fresh broccoli florets, chopped small (I recommend Costco bag of florets)
- 1 cup sweet red onion, chopped small
- 1/2 lb. bacon
- 1/4 cup vinegar
- 1 cup mayonnaise
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 4 oz. mozzarella, shredded

1. Cook in microwave until slightly firm, then chop bacon into 1/2" pieces. Drain fat.
2. Mix together broccoli, onions, bacon, and mozzarella in a large bowl.
3. In a small bowl, combine vinegar, sugar, and mayo.
4. Pour mayo mixture over broccoli and stir well to coat.
5. Let marinate overnight in refrigerator before serving.

Sunday, May 28, 2017

Slow Cooker Carnitas

No-fail carnitas. Delicious and makes enough for a party. Even more delicious if you reduce the meat amount and remove the broth/beer. No need to change spice levels.

Slow Cooker Carnitas
from Buzzfeed

4 lbs. boneless pork butt/shoulder, cut into 6 equal pieces
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. pepper
1 Tbs. oregano
1 Tbs. cumin
8 cloves garlic, crushed
3 bay leaves
1 cups broth or beer (not necessary is using smaller amount of pork)
1 lime, juiced
1 large orange, juiced (save juiced halves)

1. In slow cooker, combine all ingredients (including spent orange juice halves) and combine until meat is well coated.
2. Cover and cook low for 8-10 hours, until meat pull apart easily.
3. Remove pork, and transfer to foil-lined baking sheet. Shred pork and spread across the baking sheet in single layer.
4. Pour 1 cup remaining slow cooker liquid over shredded pork. Broil for 5-10 minutes until meat is brown with crispy edges.
5. Serve and enjoy.

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Thai Iced Tea

The delicious Thai iced tea that seems only available at Thai/Vietnamese restaurants for $3-4 a pop is incredibly inexpensive and easy to make. If you have an Asian grocery store nearby, you will likely be able to find the exact Thai iced tea mix that 99% of places use for ~ $4/lb.

Next time you can get your Thai as take-out and make the drinks at home. My version is much less sweet than the Southern-sweet-tea level of sweet restaurants generally serve. If you want it sweeter, add more sugar to the tea when it's steeping and/or more sweetened condensed milk at serving time to taste.

Thai Ice Tea
Inspired by Cooking is Messy

5 cups water
1 cup iced tea blend
1/2 cup sugar
Sweetened condensed milk

1. Bring water to a boil in a pot. Once boiling, add tea mix and simmer for 3 minutes on medium heat. Give the tea a good stir in the pot.
2. After the 3 minutes of simmering, turn off heat and let tea steep for 30 mins.
3. Using a fine mesh, strain tea and store liquid in a pitcher or mason jar. Refrigerate.
4. To serve, put a small handful of ice in a tall glass. Fill 3/4ths with tea, 1/4th with half-n-half and stir in a tablespoon of sweetened condensed milk. Enjoy!