Mar 31, 2016

Crunchy Iceberg Salad with Homemade Creamy Roquefort Dressing

Crunchy Iceberg Salad with Homemade Creamy Roquefort Dressing from Karen's Kitchen Stories

This crunchy iceberg salad with homemade creamy Roquefort dressing is the perfect first course for a small dinner party.

One of my favorite things to do is have good friends or family over for dinner. While I don't get to do it as often as I'd like, when I do, I love making something elegant, but fairly easy to prepare. This way, I'm not too stressed out when our friends arrive, nor am I stuck in the kitchen.

Mar 28, 2016

Quiche Lorraine Muffins | #MuffinMonday

Quiche Lorraine Muffins

These quiche Lorraine muffins are pretty incredible. They are reminiscent of the quiche craze of the 1970s, in a good way. The combination of lots of bacon and my favorite magical baking cheese, Gruyere, is classic and delicious.

Mar 27, 2016

Simple Tomato Soup

Simple Tomato Soup from Karen's Kitchen Stories. 30 minutes from start to finish.

This Simple Tomato Soup is just that, super simple. To the list of adjectives, add nutritious, low calorie, satisfying, and easy... plus, it's incredibly delicious.

Mar 23, 2016

Stir-Fried Bagels with Cabbage and Bacon | Wok Wednesdays

Stir-Fried Bagels with Cabbage and Bacon from Karen's Kitchen Stories

The recipe for these Stir-Fried Bagels with cabbage and bacon is an invention of the staff of Lejen Chen's bagel shop in Beijing. Entrepreneur Lejen Chen was born in Taiwan, raised in Brooklyn, and wanted a taste of New York when she moved to China. Her bagel shop is called Mrs. Shanen's Bagels.

Mar 22, 2016

Easter Egg Cookies | #CreativeCookieExchange

Easter Egg Cookies from Karen's Kitchen Stories

I had big plans for these Easter Egg Cookies. Big plans. After all, I had confidently purchased three cookie decorating books after my first innocent attempt at cookies with royal pain icing.

Next, I saw some adorable egg cookies in one of the books. The cookies had a baby chick peeking out of a cracked egg. The chick even had airbrushed cheeks!

Yeah right.

Let's just go with sprinkles. I did decide to practice outlining and flooding the cookies with royal icing. After some failed attempts at "wet-on-wet" techniques, I decided to toss on these adorable Easter sprinkles I found. One step at a time. The outlining and flooding went just fine.

Mar 17, 2016

Honey Soy Sriracha Tilapia en Papillote | #FishFoodieFridays

Honey Soy Sriracha Tilapia en Papillote

This honey soy Sriracha tilapia en papillote was so delicious and fresh, and incredibly easy to make. I love the combination of the sweet honey and the spicy Sriracha.

En papillote you ask? The term traditionally means "cooked and served in paper." It's an especially wonderful and foolproof method for cooking fish. The fish is gently steamed in the parchment paper, and is infused with the flavors of the ingredients you have added.

Mar 16, 2016

Pain aux Noix - Auberge Walnut Bread

Pain aux Noix - Auberge Walnut Bread

This Pain aux Noix, loaded with toasted chopped walnuts, is incredibly delicious. What I mean is, it is jump-up-and-down, I-can't-believe-how-tasty-this-is, delicious. The bread is wonderful spread with butter or a soft cheese such as brie. Try topping the cheese with a bit of prosciutto or even a little honey. So good. The bread stays nice and fresh for a couple of days, perhaps from the ground walnuts in the dough. It also makes amazing toast.

Mar 11, 2016

Gruyere, Caramelized Onions, and Watercress Buns

Gruyere, Caramelized Onions, and Watercress Buns

I'm pretty thrilled with these savory vegetable buns with Gruyere, caramelized onions, and watercress.

First, Gruyere cheese is a wonderful thing. It's a hard cheese with a fairly mild flavor, and is totally amazing when melted. Then, how can you resist caramelized onions? Combined with the Gruyere, it's kind of like French onion soup in a roll. I added a handful of watercress for its peppery flavor. These were very tasty.

Mar 9, 2016

Stir-Fried Chicken with Black Bean Sauce | Wok Wednesdays

Stir-Fried Chicken with Black Bean Sauce

This stir-fried chicken with black bean sauce is exceptionally tasty. It's also really easy to prepare.

As a participant in Wok Wednesdays, I'm trying to stir-fry my way though Grace Young's James Beard award winning book, Stir Frying to the Sky's Edge. I can't believe how much I've learned about wok cooking, Asian ingredients, and the Chinese diaspora since embarking on this adventure.

For example, fermented black beans. Even though the name of the recipe includes "black bean sauce," you actually make the sauce yourself with fermented black beans. In this post, I describe how I found the fermented black beans with the help of the Wok Wednesdays community.

Mar 8, 2016

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pocket Bread | #BreadBakers

Dark Chocolate Cherry Pocket Bread

While these Dark Chocolate Cherry Pocket Breads may look like muffins, they are actually little crusty sourdough rolls baked in a muffin tin.

The flavor in these mini loaves is distinctly sourdough, and the cherries and the dark chocolate unexpectedly play so well together with the sourdough flavor in these tiny babies.

Yes, they could be shaped into regular loaves or rolls, but aren't these way cuter?

Mar 3, 2016

Country Bread with Liquid Levain

Country Bread with Liquid Levain

This country bread with liquid levain is crusty on the outside and soft and moist on the inside. I love the airy and most interior of this bread, which is made from 78 percent hydration dough.

"What does she mean by liquid levain?" you wonder.... It's a sourdough starter that has an equal ratio of flour to water. If you only maintain one starter, this one is the most commonly used in sourdough recipes, is easy to maintain and feed, and can be converted to a levain with a different hydration percentage.

Mar 1, 2016

The Waterford Blaa | Irish Breads

The Waterford Blaa

The Waterford Blaa is a large, soft, and fluffy roll that is exclusive to Waterford City, Ireland. It is also distinguished by it's floury crust. It has achieved PGI (protected geographical indication) status, which is a big deal in the European Union. Any bread sold as a Waterford Blaa must be made by one of the certified bakeries.