Pollo a la Poblana con Hongos (Chicken with Poblano, Mushrooms, and Cream)

One of the nice things about running this site is that it forces me to try new things all the time (since you wouldn’t keep coming back to see the same set of dishes each week). With all the variety, I’ve come to appreciate how much more there is for me to learn, and on my agenda for this year is to learn more about Mexican cuisine (something I’m always drooling over). So today, I thought I’d share a chicken recipe with you that is topped with mushrooms and a really tasty poblano cream sauce.

Pollo a la Poblana con Hongos

This dish comes from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen. In flipping through the book, somehow, this was the first thing I turned to and I was instantly intrigued. The only pepper cream sauce I’d ever had before was with red bell peppers. Poblano cream seemed a lot more interesting, especially combined with mushrooms.

And sure enough, it really was something–the… click to read more…

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Vanilla Extract — easy to make and cheap

I hate buying vanilla extract. You get a teeny tiny bottle, it tastes so-so, and it costs way too much. That’s my stump speech for when I run for president. Needs work, right? Anyways, what to do about this dilemma? I mean if you do any amount of baking, you’ve come to appreciate how essential a bit of vanilla extract is–it seems to be in just about everything. Well here’s one small improvement to your grocery budget: make your own vanilla extract!

Vanilla Extract

Of course, if you’ve ever bought vanilla beans from your grocery store, you might be questioning how on earth this could possibly save you any money (e.g. I often find ~2 shrivelly looking vanilla beans in a jar for about $10…yeah, wtf?!). This seems in line with vanilla being one of the top three most expensive spices in the world. A while back though, I had ordered a much larger quantity of vanilla beansclick to read more…

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Orange Party Cake

Like I’ve said before, my wife and I are cake people. I thought I’d try to get us out of our chocolate cake rut and go for something completely different. Since its citrus season here in Florida, I thought I’d try to highlight the variety of lemons and oranges in a cake.

Slice of Orange Party Cake

So before I go into how it tastes, I should let you know what’s actually in the cake. The cake itself is flavored with both lemon and orange, and wedged between all four layers is a sheet of orange marmalade, orange flavored buttercream, and bits of candied citrus (I candied a variety of fruit–more on this later). The cake was then frosted with more buttercream and decorated with more candied citrus.

Flavor-wise, the cake was truly spectacular and texturally, light as air. The flavor was light, citrusy, and fresh in that way you only get from lemon (if that makes any sense). The buttercream was… click to read more…

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Potato Ricotta Gnocchi with a Tomato Basil Cream Sauce

I have a love-hate relationship with pasta-making, but with the passage of time, whatever my last experience was, the idea of making pasta sounds better and better to me. So like a moth to the flame, I come back to it. Plus, it had been so long since I last tried my hand at gnocchi, so it seemed like it was time for me to try it again. Plus, after having the most spectacular gnudi when I was at The Spotted Pig a few weeks back, gnudi and gnocchi have been on my mind. So today, I’ve made a potato and ricotta based gnocchi (and some day in the future, gnudi!).

Potato Ricotta Gnocchi

With gnocchi on the brain, I looked to see what some of my favorite fellow food bloggers had done in the past before my heart was set on this particular rendition from the Zenclick to read more…

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Shahi Korma (“Royal Lamb” with a Creamy Almond Sauce)

When I eat out, I tend to avoid ordering chicken. There’s lots of spectacular chicken dishes out there, but to me, its the least exciting of meats. But when I go to Indian restaurants, its usually another story. Often, I’ll encounter lamb (or mutton)-based curries, but what this has usually amounted to for me is tough meat, no distinct lamb/mutton flavor, and the dish is swimming in a pool of grease (on that note, I wish there were better Indian restaurants around here!). I thought I’d try my hand at it this at home to see how I would fare.

Shahi Korma ("Royal Lamb" with a Creamy Almond Sauce)

If you’re like me, the name of this dish seems a bit confusing when combined with the photo. Creamy almond sauce evokes images of a delicate, light-tannish colored, velvetty sauce. Well, it started out that way, but the end result is a lot thicker, almost to the point of adding a tacky crust to the meat (which I was… click to read more…

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Devil’s Food Cake with Praline Buttercream and Fudge Frosting

I don’t make cakes terribly often. My wife and I love eating them, but it can take a bit of work, and given how infrequently I make them, the two of us never tire of a good chocolate cake (not that you’ve ever noticed, right?) And since its been a while, here we are again…another chocolate cake, as if anyone could possibly ever get too much chocolate cake.

Now after you get past how evenly I layered my cake (fine, no slice for you, then!), the richness of it can begin to sink in. I went with an old favorite for the cake part: devil’s food. Aside from being chocolatey, it has a really dark, complex taste about it that I always enjoy. Of course, since I’ve made devil’s food cake before, I thought I’d keep things interesting by changing the other components of the cake. In between each layer… click to read more…

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