Pumpkin Pancakes with Spiced Maple Walnut Brown Butter

I have a terrible habit of waiting too long to eat.  Usually by the time I do, I’m pouring ketchup on my shoe.

When I do that, things tend to go down like this:

Stage One

I notice I’m hungry, but too engrossed (okay, obsessed) in whatever it is I’m doing and forget.  Yup.  Forget.

Stage Two

I notice that I’m really hungry and think for a moment this time that I should do something about it but — much like a squirrel — I get distracted and then forget.  Some more.  But — unlike a squirrel — I don’t go get me some nuts. Continue reading

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Moroccan Chicken Tagine with Vegetables over Couscous

Friends?  Confession.

I’m kinda one of Those People.

Those People who have a thing about people laying down on their unmade beds with the same jeans they happened to wear out into the world all day.

Just the thought turns me into an eye-ticking germaphobe.  Maybe it’s the years of riding public transportation but it skeeves me out like no other.

The way I see it, you never know what your butt has been in. Continue reading

Quick Maple Cinnamon Rolls with Maple Cream Cheese Glaze

Ah, fall.

The very word conjures up visions of fallen leaves in glorious color.

Cozy fires crackling in the fireplace.

Fluffy, puffy comforters.

Best-ever sleeping weather.

And … colds.

Yup, it’s official.  I’m sick.  And not just me, but poor Christopher too.  And his mom back in Minnesota. Continue reading

Christina’s Ultimate Double-Chocolate Chip Cookies with Pecans

I love you guys.  I really do.

I love that you stop by during your busy days to read what I write, look at the pictures I take, and leave some love for me to find.

Like benevolent fairies that put the Tooth Fairy to shame, you take time out of your own lives to touch a big part of mine, and for that I thank you.

There was a time not so long ago, where I wondered if anyone read my blog, when four out of the five hits I received in a day were my own. Continue reading

Best-Ever Brined Pork Chops with Spiced Apples and Raisins

This past weekend, the honey and I hightailed it to Seattle for a movie night and super-dinner get-together over my brother Niko’s house.

Replete with the best of friends — Sarah and Jon — we celebrated over salmon, mashed potatoes, caprese salad and wine and finished it all off with the best chocolate cupcakes ever (you rock, Sarah)!

I don’t have a picture of them ’cause they’re in my tummy.

We shaked our bon-bon, had a dance off, repeatedly tried not to accidentally step on the cat, and sang a very loud, out-of-tune rendition of “Happy Birthday to You” to Jon.  Baring the early birthday tune, pretty much “the usual” for us. Continue reading

Best-Ever Baked Doughnuts

Life’s little successes.

Life is all about celebrating them — the little yet huge milestones in life that most often pass unnoticed without a single “woot!”

We often think that successes are all massive ones, like when we:

  • Find “The One”
  • Get That Promotion
  • Buy That Dream House

But it’s the little successes that add up to a whole tanker-full and that often matter the most.

Let me elaborate. Continue reading

Roasted Carrots with Spiced Orange Brown Butter

I love pauses.

I didn’t always.

Okay, maybe I should explain.

I used to be afraid of the pauses between sentences, in conversations between two people.

Specifically, between boys I was just getting to know and kind of liked, and people I really wanted to like me.

I used to fill those natural spaces in conversation like one would grout a tub — filling every crack, making sure not a single inch of space remained. Continue reading

Brazilian Shrimp Stew with Coconut Milk

With Fall just around the corner, Summer becomes much more important.

We in the Pacific Northwest wait for it like some wait for Christmas.

We hold our breath, afraid that if we blink a few too many times — due to the what-the-what-is-that?! blinding orb in the sky — we might miss it.

It arrives crazy-fashionably late, like a flaxen-haired princess on the back of a chariot.  All too soon, her ride turns the corner and we find ourselves holding a half-eaten corn dog and nothing but a faint, Vitamin-D memory of her. Continue reading

Best-Ever Pecan Waffles with Bacon

I must admit, Tuesdays are not my favorite thing.

It’s the day of the week when the Lawn People come to tend to my apartment complex’s green stuff.

They descend upon it like a swarm of weed-whacking locusts and hang out from 8:00am – 3:00pm to drive me nuts, and make me want to go jiu jitsu on the next nearest living thing.

They add to the already omnipresent noise of yowling little toddler residents, and the frenzied “Go potty, come on, go potty, go potty…don’t eat that!” of dog-crazy people waiting for their dogs to poop just below my kitchen window.

I know that the Lawn People are here to at least make things pretty for me, but it all just makes me want to go ballistic. Continue reading

Top 15 Things Every Small Kitchen Must Have: Part III

Today we’re wrapping up with our final 5 on our list of Top 15 Things Every Small Kitchen Must Have.

*sniff*

Okay, I’m done…

You’ve waited long enough, so let’s get right to ’em!

10.  Your most-used items all within arms’ reach.  This includes your spices, oils, and go-to utensils that you find yourself using all the time.  ‘Cause, let’s face it, you don’t want to be digging through a cluttered drawer in the middle of flipping pancakes.

11.  A cook that cleans and “puts away” as they go.  Almost as huge as Tyler Florence‘s clean counter space concept (see Part II).  When Niko and I were real little, my mom would put on an Ernie and Bert album so we could “pick it up and put it away, put it away, put it away”. Continue reading

Cuban Roast Pork

There’s this amazing place called Paseo.

If any of you have ever been to Seattle, you may have heard it talked about in not-so-subtle-ways when asking locals if they knew of any good, cheap-eats sandwich places ’round here.

Now, those in-the-know will mention Paseo.  And inevitably, the reactions to the mention of Paseo will most certainly go something like this:

“Oh, my god, their Cuban Roast sandwich is amazing!”

or

“Holy, f___ s___, isn’t their roasted pork sandwich f___ amazing?!”

And, yes, I know I am repeating myself, but people tend to do that when talking about Paseo’s Cuban Roast sandwich.  I have seen otherwise mellower-than-snail-persons practically lose their bleepin’ minds talking about this sandwich.  It’s that freakin’ good. Continue reading

Parsley-Arugula Pesto with Pasta and Crispy Bacon

Parsley is a sleeper.

It may grow like gang busters, but not something I’d ever viewed as a main ingredient to, well, anything.

I was wrong.

A few days ago, last Friday to be exact, I made my way — read: a few stockinged-feet — to my apartment balcony to the place where my garden grows.

It is a veritable jungle out there, thirty-five square feet of sunflower, chive, rosemary, thyme, sage, mint, lavender, Frontenac grape-growing mania. Continue reading

Spiced Yogurt with Peaches and Candied Ginger

Fellow food blogger, Amelia Crook of Simple Provisions got me to thinking recently.  Her M.O. is:

Food does not need to be fancy to be celebrated.

To that I say, “Speak the word, sister, speak the word!”

Fussy does not mean good, and yummy does not necessary have to be complicated.  Sometimes the most satisfying eats don’t even involve cranking up the stove or whipping yourself into a cooking frenzy.

Sometimes they involve a simple, perfectly ripe peach. Continue reading

Roasted Banana and Cardamom Paletas (i.e. Mexican Ice Pops!)

Summer always arrives super fashionably late here in the Pacific Northwest.  She takes the scenic, scenic route and doesn’t show her sunny face until the eleventh hour on the Fourth of July.  But when she gets here, all tops break loose and we PN’ers just lose it.

Paletas are my way of welcoming Sister Summer to this here neck of the woods, and encouraging her to kick off her flippie floppies and staying a while.

These paletas just very well might. Continue reading

Top 15 Things Every Small Kitchen Must Have: Part I

A big part of Small Kitchen Chronicles is for and about the small kitchen cook, as well as cooking and living big in the small spaces we’ve got.

So, it’s always the perfect time to talk about great, small kitchen must-haves.

Though it’s a very personal thing, here is my Top 15 List of things this small kitchen cook can’t live without.

So, without further adieu…

Christina’s first five!

1.  Good, quality ingredients, preferably organic, local and in-season.  If you buy anything, this is what you should spend your hard-earned change on.  A pauper can live (and cook) like a king on quality over quantity.  Even if it’s in an aluminum pan, it’ll make all the difference.

Continue reading