bear with me [for an amaretto fruit salad recipe]

so, this poor little food blog. i left her sitting here all alone, left you all sitting here, waiting for limoncello cupcake recipes, flatbread recipes, tortilla soup and mediterranean sweet potato pilaf recipes….
i had the best of intentions, truly.

but something happened.

life.

you might be familiar with it. the way it changes everything, sneaks around corners with the unexpected, sometimes even with delightful surprises…
never predictable, always crazy. crazy good. but crazy nonetheless.

oh, life.

i have ebbed off of blog posts for a long, long while for many reasons. i confess a lot of that had to do with the eerie silence around here – i wonder sometimes if there is anyone really reading my ramblings [i know you do. really.], i wonder if anyone is benefitting from my recipes, adding to them, changing them, or inspired in any way by the years and heart i have poured into this blog. i don’t leave comments on every blog i read, though i do on most – and i am not pandering for comments by any means!! i am just being honest. sometimes i just wonder if it is all worth the research, the minutes/hours spent preparing pretty dishes, styling, photographing, uploading, editing, choosing the best sequence of photographs, changing my mind, deciding again, writing, editing, deleting and starting over, giving up and starting over again. and then again.

well, i do believe it is indeed worth it.

i love this. i love food. i love shopping at thrift stores for unique little dishes, and reading through old recipe books for new inspiration. i love encouraging you all to truly enjoy good food, to take the time to care for yourself. i hope that comes across here.
i am not a chef, an expert, or employed by anyone but myself [which i think is pretty darn awesome anyway]. i am just a girl who is passionate about good eating, who loves people, and who loves to tell stories through the lens of my camera. i don’t like doing dishes, or capitalizing my letters. or mushrooms. i really don’t like mushrooms.

anyway.

like the recent arrival of spring, i hope to grow a new passion for this little blog and watch it bloom and grow.

i thought i would begin [again] with a refreshing amaretto fruit salad i created just yesterday, and loved so much i made more again today. i hope you will enjoy it too. feel free to substitute other favourite fruits, especially as the seasons change! but don’t skimp on the amaretto, or quality of said amaretto. i personally love Disaranno liqueur. 🙂

amaretto fruit salad

amaretto fruit salad

1 deliciously ripe pear
8 or so strawberries
handful dried [unsweetened] cranberries
a few squeezes fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup organic [unsweetened] coconut flakes
teaspoon cinnamon sugar [plus extra for dusting]
2 tablespoons amaretto liqueur [the good stuff]
1 banana

core pear, cut into eighths, then cube slices. hull and slice strawberries. place with dried cranberries in a medium mixing bowl and toss with fresh lemon juice. stir in amaretto, coconut flakes and cinnamon sugar. just before serving, peel and slice banana into 1/2 inch slices and very gently mix in.

garnish with a little extra dusting of cinnamon sugar.
[a few sliced almonds would be a delightful addition here as well!]

i hope you enjoy.
i cannot wait to share more deliciousness with you soon.

love,
chanelle

[all photos copyright chanelle richardson/@iamchanelle]

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potato+thyme frittata.

i thought you might get a kick out of the behind-the-scenes of this shot here.

hee!

and i know i promised you a certain limoncello cupcake recipe, but i wanted to be sure you all knew how to make an easy, tasty frittata to tide yourselves over until then.  😉

i make them differently every time, depending on my mood/ingreds on hand/etc.

this one was particularly tasty!

Potato + Thyme Frittata

[you will need a large, oven-safe skillet]

preheat oven to 375 degrees fahrenheit.

sautée 4 red potatoes [scrubbed but not peeled], quartered and thinly sliced, in olive oil until tender.

isn’t the word “sautée” such a pretty one?  i love saying “sautée”.

sautée”

ok, i’m done now.  wait.

sautée”

*ahem*

while the potatoes are in the skillet [sautéeing], whisk 8 eggs, about 1/4 cup heavy cream [or half & half], several cracks of black pepper, a few generous pinches kosher salt, and the leaves from three sprigs of fresh thyme.

once potatoes are tender, pour egg mixture over the potatoes and let cook for just a minute.

remove from the stovetop and place in the preheated oven.  bake for 15 minutes, or until golden and set.

i loooove to top my frittatas with crumbles of goat cheese and sometimes a drizzle of Sriracha.

frittatas make GREAT leftovers for lunch.  and dinner.  and for a snack in between lunch and dinner.

sautée”

ok, now i’m really done this time.

love,

chanelle

cranberry pistachio icebox cookies

cranberry icebox cookies, originally uploaded by iamchanelle.

oooooooh! these cookies are AMAZING. and deliciously crumbly and messy. and so buttery and crisp. and perfect.

seriously.  i have gotten up from the computer three times now to sneak some.  oooh, make that four times now.  shhhh, don’t tell.

i made a batch exactly as the recipe directed, with fresh orange peel, pistachios and sweet tart dried cranberries….and then also decided to make a cinnamon cranberry version, sans pistachios and orange peel.  just in case someone wasn’t fond of nuts. [cue me sending a glare in the general direction of the huzband]
cranberry pistachio icebox cookies
i try to please.

this recipe is rather simple to assemble, but requires a little foresight, as you need to chill the dough for a couple hours prior to baking [i chilled mine overnight].  after the dough chills, there is an egg wash and sugar dipping step, for which i recommend a shallow baking dish.  makes cleanup muuuuch easier.
cranberry pistachio icebox cookies
cranberry pistachio icebox cookies

i don’t know if i sliced mine a bit too thin, but they are rather crumbly.  my first bite nearly exploded across the entire kitchen.
cranberry pistachio icebox cookies

oh, but all that crisp buttery goodness is sooo delicious.  truly.
cranberry pistachio icebox cookies

i would not recommend shipping these to Aunt Esmerelda all the way back in Idaho, but they would be super sweet to gently plate on Christmas morning with coffee -and i am sure Santa would appreciate some left out the night before. just sayin’.

*wink*

i hope your Christmas Eve preparations are going well.
i sure do love you all dearly.

xo
chanelle

Gratin Dauphinois

Gratin Dauphinois, originally uploaded by iamchanelle.

Scalloped potatoes made with Gruyère. Oh MAN. Delicious.
I made this in a matter of 10 minutes (excepting the bake time, of course), and you can too!!! This is an excellent accompaniment to a roasted chicken, and really frees up the chef to go enjoy her family while dinner practically makes itself in the oven.

Thanks to my flickr friend Cat for the inspiration, and the recipe link, which I am now passing along to you!!!

love,
chanelle

Autumn is here…let’s eat it!!!!

YAY!

Autumn is here!  Let’s wrap it up in a cupcake and eat it!
I am so excited to give you this recipe, because, well first of all I LOVE the Fall.  Love love love.  Second, this is my very-first-totally-invented-by-little-‘ol-me recipe.  Yep!  No altering, no modifying, just creating something to celebrate my favourite season.  Seriously, I really love eating baking being easily excited about simple things Autumn.  🙂

And if you’re afraid (uh oh, chanelle’s mad with power again, making up stuff, who knows how it’s gonna turn out, she even forgets to include the flour measurements, as in, completely leaves it out when she sends me recipes….YES I have done this…), I’ll have you know I’ve made these three times now and always received tasty reviews. These suckers are MOIST, sweet but not sickeningly so, perfectly spiced…oh, and the frosting!!!!  Oh man, I hate to talk myself up here, but my FROSTING is the shizzle.  Fo rizzle.

Pumpkin and Spice Cupcakes

with Cinnamon Cream Cheese Frosting

recipe and photos by chanelle richardson
makes about two dozen (and i had a little extra for mini muffins!)


To make the cupcakes:

4 oz butter, softened to room temp
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 c brown sugar
2 large eggs
1 cup pureed pumpkin
2 teaspoons vanilla
2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
(to make your own spice mix:  1 teaspoon cinnamon, 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger, 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, scant 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice.  Double or triple as needed.)

2 1/2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.
Line two baking tins with paper liners.

Cream together butter and sugars.  Add in eggs one at a time until well mixed.  Add pumpkin, vanilla and pumpkin pie spices and mix well.

In a separate bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt.
Alternate adding the flour mixture and the milk to the pumpkin mixture by thirds, ending with the milk.

Fill each muffin liner 3/4 full.

Bake in preheated oven  20 minutes, or until tester inserted into the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.

Cool in the tin 5 minutes, then remove to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store in an airtight container once completely cool until ready to frost and serve.

To make the frosting:


~I originally used 4 ounces of cream cheese in this recipe, but have since discovered that I wanted MORE!  So I upped it and YUM.  Just thought you should know.

4 oz. butter softened to room temperature
8 oz. cream cheese softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 lb. powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
small splash of milk, optional

Sift together the sugar and cinnamon and set aside.
Cream the butter and cream cheese until smooth.  Add vanilla and mix well.
Slowly incorporate the sugar, a little at a time until creamy and thick.
You may need to add a TINY splash of milk if the frosting gets too thick before the sugar is all incorporated.

Frost completely cooled cupcakes and NOMNOMNOM away – Happy Fall!

love,
chanelle