pad thai

homemade veg pad thai for lunch – easier than you think to whip together!

recipe soon.





roasted veg

roasted veg, originally uploaded by iamchanelle.

i am telling you, nothing beats roasted vegetables on a “cold” winter’s day.  i say “cold”, because i am in Phoenix, where we pretend it’s winter for a couple weeks and then just give up the illusion and return to flip-flops and swimming and getting third degree burns just from getting into our cars and gripping the steering wheel.  and that’s even when the darn car has been parked in the garage all day.  not that i am bitter about it or anything.


ANYWAY, here’s how to make your very own super hott roasted veg for your actual cold winter’s day.  that is, unless you are here in Phoenix as well.  if so – uuuh, come join me by the pool.

uniformly chop the following:

sweet potatoes + russet potatoes + red onions + carrots + green beans + brussels sprouts + zucchini + anything else you like


a few sprigs fresh thyme
a few sprigs fresh rosemary
[strip the leaves off and discard stems]
a few whole garlic cloves

toss everything in some

olive oil + balsamic vinegar + kosher salt + freshly cracked black pepper.

roast at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about an hour.

after about 40 minutes, add one can of chickpeas that have been rinsed and tossed in olive oil and a splash of balsamic.
continue roasting 20 minutes more, or until the potatoes + veg are tender [but not mushy! ew.] feel free to add more balsamic and salt and pepper through the cooking process if you think it needs more!

so hott

this would be lovely served alongside your favourite roast, as a go-to holiday side dish, or as a main course with some crusty bread and butter on the side.
i personally prefer to scoop it straight out of the oven and into my face as is.

which is what i am doing right this minute, actually.  by the pool.  in my flip-flops.  i should have waited perhaps a few more minutes until they cooled off first, though.




love, chanelle

caprese melt

caprese melt, originally uploaded by iamchanelle. styling by The Urban tea Loft’s chef, and shot by me.  🙂

one of several great new lunch menu items from my recent photoshoot at The Urban Tea Loft.
i got to taste this one after the shoot and lemme tell you….

If you are local to the phoenix metro area, please give yourself a treat by trying this place out.  it’s hip, funky and sooooooo delicious.


presto pesto pizza

Ok, so I feel like I’m cheating somehow by even posting about this, as I did not make ANY of the ingredients from scratch, but I really had to tell you about this simple supper idea I had.  Because it ROCKS.

If I may say so myself.

Here’s what you should do, if you want to have a quick and easy supper that does not involve the words “hamburger” and “helper” in the same sentence, or “mac” n “cheese.  C’mon, we can do better than this, America!

Go buy yourself some naan (flat bread).  And make or buy yourself some pesto. (I bought mine from costco and L.O.V.E. it.) Make sure you have some mozzarella – the good, soft fresh kind.  And also some tomatoes and red onions if you like.  I like.

Turn your oven on to 500 degrees Fahrenheit.  Spread some pesto on the naan.  Slice the red onions and tomatoes and place over the pesto.  Thinly slice the mozzarella into circles and place a few on top of that. 

Bake on a baking stone or sheet for 15-20 minutes or until the crust is golden and crispy and the cheese has melted and turned golden.  Remove from the oven and let “rest” a few minutes, then serve!

Enjoy with a crisp white wine, such as Moselland Riesling.

Easy peasey presto pesto pizza!  One of the easiest and most satisfying meals I could have made for way less $$$ than takeout on a night I really did not feel up to cooking.  Well worth the effort.  If you can even call something so easy “effort”.






Lemon Basil Fettuccine with Kalamata Olives

As promised, the amazing meal of amazingness I enjoyed with my good friend the other night….


This meal was made possible by another friend who recently allowed us to come to her beautiful home and share in her abundant citrus bounty (thanks, lauri!!!).

I, of course, put the kids to work that day.

But I think they didn’t mind too much.


Flash forward to this week, and with all that wonderful lemon juice now stored in my freezer, this particular recipe choice was an easy one.  The simple “sauce” or dressing is more like it, consists of straight up lemon juice and olive oil and parmesan.  The End.   Does a simple weeknight supper get ANY better than that I ask you?  No.

Here, my dear readers, is the recipe:


Lemon Basil Fettuccine with Kalamata Olives

taken from Flavors, and hardly changed at all because she’s awesome: by Donna Hay

1 pound fettuccine

1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (or more to taste)

3 tablespoons good quality fruity olive oil (also, or more to taste)

1/2 cup grated parmesan

1 cup basil leaves, torn if they are rather large

1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives

sea or kosher salt

freshly cracked black pepper


Boil the pasta in salted water until al dente and drain.

Meanwhile, in a large serving bowl, whisk the lemon juice and olive oil together, then add the parmesan, basil, olives, salt and freshly cracked black pepper and stir to combine.  

When the pasta is drained, add to the serving bowl and toss with the dressing. (I added a bit more lemon juice and olive oil after mixing with the pasta, as it was not strong enough for me, and was also generous with the olives.)

Serve immediately and ooooh and aaaaah over the bright and comforting flavours about to hit your mouth.


This was enjoyed with a chilled glass of Jeckel Vineyards Gravelstone Chardonnay, many thanks to Luz.


Welcome in the summer months with this dish, and be sure to enjoy it in the company of good friends, new or old.  It’ll leave a good taste in your mouth.





Pssst! Want to know what to do with all those LEFTOVERS??!! (Turkey Wild rice soup)

Wondering what to do with all those turkey leftovers? 
Tired of reheated, overheated, overrated leftovers?  Nudge, nudge, know what I mean?
Did the weather outside turn from a warm and cozy 97 degrees to a frigid and withering 65 degrees overnight?  Are you typing this post in thermal underwear?  Oh, wait, not you….
Say no MORE!
Turkey and Wild Rice Soup
This recipe is my very own, and adapted only from memory of a really, really good bowl (or three) of soup made by my mom-in-law last year around this time.  I wanted to make some soup with all our leftover smoked turkey the other night, and my mom-in-law was not home right then for me to ask for her recipe, so I decided to try creating my own.  Nudge, nudge, know what I mean…say no MORE!  
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup wild rice
  • 4 cups chicken or turkey broth, divided
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed and stems discarded
  • 1 small bunch parsley, leaves finely chopped.  (reserve a small bit for garnish)
  • kosher salt to taste
  • 3-4 cups shredded turkey (let me say that our smoked turkey made this soup REALLY stand out – but whatever way your birdie was prepared, it will be good in this soup.)
  • 2 cups milk  (or you could add 2 additional cups broth, if you prefer no dairy)
Saute onions in a large pot for a few minutes over medium-low heat, until just tender.  Add garlic for the last minute. 
Turn up heat to medium-high and add rice.  Saute 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  
Pour in 2 cups broth and turn heat down to low.  Cover and simmer for 20- 40 minutes, until rice has absorbed all the liquid and is tender. (Check your package of rice for directions.)
Uncover and add thyme, parsley, salt, and turkey.  Bring to a boil over medium heat.  Add milk and stir until bubbling.  
Serve with fresh parsley sprinkled over top.
And that should be the end of your leftovers, nudge, nudge, know what I mean?

THE! Event! My Thanksgiving Game Plan!

Ok, I should be baking or cleaning something, but I wanted to get my thoughts in order before I start the final push.  So here I sit, procrastinating composing a productive list. 

  • 11 Adults (My parents – all of ’em, including the divorced ones. Together.  In my house. And My aunt and uncle.  And my stepdad’s sister, too.  Oh, and me and The Husband.  Woo hoo!)
  • 7 Not-adults (My bros and sisters and my kiddos.)
  • Ice water
  • Good Earth Iced Tea
  • Coffee
  • Italian Sodas
  • Stella Artois Lager
  • Fat Tire Ale
For Appetizers:
For Main Course:
  • Trader Joe’s Costal Merlot
  • Bear’s Lair Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Outback Chase Cabernet Sauvignon
  • More Beaujolais Nouveau!
For Desserts:
  • Asti Tosti Champagne
  • The yummiest French Bread Stuffing ever created, as made by my mom.  One of my moms.
  • Uncle Bill’s Famous Cornbread Stuffing
  • Sherried Sweet Potatoes (no mallows here…)
  • Garlic Green Beans
  • A Great Big Giant Awesome Really Good Salad
  • Smashed Red Potatoes
  • Homemade Cranberry Sauce
  • Warm Rolls
  • Butter
  • Gravy
  • Two Brined, Rosemary Garlic Smoked Birdies
And Just For fun:
  • A little surprise, too, but some of my fam read this blog, so mum’s the word for now, suckas.
And NO, I am NOT doing ALL this all by myself.  
Everyone is bringing something wonderful to the table, and I am so excited to see my family pull it all together like this.  Kind of monumental for me, in a way.  We are all actually getting along and working together!  After 26 years of NOT!  And now we are about to be all under my roof! Happy!  Together!  How is the weather?! 
And somehow, it’s not weird for me.  
Something to be thankful for.
So, what remains to be done between today, Tuesday, November 20th, and THE! EVENT! on Thursday, November 22nd:
  • Clean my house top to bottom: bathrooms, dusting, vacuuming and mopping floors, sweeping patios and clearing out the doggie doodoo (ick).
  • Sew the canopy for our outside seating.
  • Purchase stakes and hardware for hanging the canopy.
  • Pull all the decor, dishes and linens together: Platters, Serving Bowls, Plates, Utensils, Assemble gypsy lanterns, flowers in wine bottles, etc.

  • Pick up tables from one house, (thanks, mom and dad!) chairs from another friend and second smoker from still another friend (The Husband to do this, phew!)
  • Brine the Birdies Wednesday A.M.
  • Smoke the birdies Wednesday P.M. (The Husband’s Speciality!)
  • Make-ahead the appies:
  • Spiced Nuts
  • Gougeres
  • Crackers
  • Make ahead the cranberry sauce.
  • Make Ahead the desserts.  ALL of them.
  • Set up the Appetizer Table with a very special vintage tablecloth given to us by a very special auntie.  🙂
  • Set up the Main Course Buffet on the Kitchen Island.
  • Set up the Outdoor Seating:  chairs, tableclohs, place settings, flowers, candles, silverware and napkins, placecards, light gypsy lanterns.
  • Pass Out Cold.
Wish me luck, and the same to you in all your preparations!
I am really excited!  And overtired!  And excited!