Lemon Ginger Honey

I owe you all another HUGE apology. I have completely neglected you all yet again! I got the flu (which was horrible, I am feeling like I am still attempting to recover from it) and things got crazy busy at work. But I am back and I promise your instagrams (@louisesgfkitchen) and internet will be full of delicious and tasty things to eat!

Now the flu has been ravaging New England over the past few weeks, and the one thing that got me through was tea with lemon-ginger honey. The ginger added heat and an extra layer of flavor while the lemon was soothing and comforting. Okay and I also may or may not have been adding shots of my good friend bourbon to each cup... I was having trouble sleeping okay? Remember this is a no judgement zone!

This lemon-ginger honey is not only perfect for when your sick it is also a great for when you are cold and want to cuddle up with something that is not as rich as hot cocoa (although if you want hot cocoa, make my

Mexican Hot Cocoa

)

Stay Healthy!

xx

L

Lemon Ginger Honey... with Bourbon

  • 1 c water
  • 1 inch piece of ginger peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoon honey
  • the juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 shot of bourbon (I prefer Makers but whatever floats your boat)
  • 1 chamomile tea bag (optional)

In a small pot over medium heat, heat the water, ginger, lemon juice, and honey. Once at a rolling bubble, strain into a mug. Here you can add the tea bag (if you like), if not add the bourbon.

** this recipe makes one serving, you can easily double it etc.

Last Night I Had Popcorn For Dinner...

I don't know what it has been but this week has been horrible. Every. Single. Thing. that could go wrong at work has. Last night it really got to me and I had zero energy. No energy to fold the three loads of laundry sitting on my floor. No energy to do the work I was supposed to do last night. No energy to make the delicious dinner I wanted to make and post for you all. So I decided to put on a movie, I watched This is Where I leave You, pour myself a glass of wine, and make popcorn.

I did however find the energy to make a "foodie" popcorn and I honestly don't think I can ever go back. I made a rosemary infused butter (Thanks mom for the rosemary bush I got for Christmas) and sprinkled it with truffle salt. I died. It actually made my night, fingers crossed this popcorn will turn the rest of this hell week around.

Hopefully you are having a better week than me! If you are in New England stay warm!

xx

L

Rosemary Infused Popcorn with Truffle Salt

  • 1/2 c popcorn kernels (if you don't have an air popper just use a bag of regular unsalted and unbuttered popcorn) 
  • 1/2 stick unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary 
  • 1 tsp truffle or regular salt 

In a small sauce pan over low heat melt 1/2 a stick of butter. Sprinkle in the rosemary. Allow to sit and get to know each other for about 20 minutes. After that either turn on your air popper and pop 1/2 c of popcorn kernels. OR using the microwave pop a bag of popcorn. In a large bowl drizzle the butter over half of the popcorn, sprinkle with truffle salt. Toss to combine, add the rest of the popcorn, drizzle with the rest of the butter, and sprinkle with truffle salt. Toss again to combine and sit down and enjoy!

** 1/2 a cup of kernels makes enough for about 3-4 people depending on how hungry they are. For 1-2 people I would make 1/4 a cup of kernels. 

Please Forgive Me... I Made Creme Brulee!

HAPPY 2015! I feel so horrible for neglecting you guys, I spent my holidays catching up with family and friends and neglecting my poor readers! I promise promise that I will be better for the rest of the year. I have been asked a bunch at work what my New Years resolution is, and to be honest I really didn't have one. But turns out my New Years resolution is going to be making sure not to leave you all without recipes for such a long time again!

But anyway back to the reason that you read this blog, the food! I. LOVE. CREME. BRULE. I am obsessed with it. First of all I love how they are individual, anything that is just mine where I don't have to share is always a plus. Secondly I love cracking the top with the spoon, it is very satisfying and also fun. Third, they are just damn good. 

Creme brulee is also incredibly easy to make, I think some people get intimidated about making custards, I know I used to. But this recipe is totally fool proof, and I promise that you will be impressing all your friends.

xx

L

PS I make my creme brulee in miniature mason jars, they are oven safe, and it is easier to cool them in the fridge because you can easily cover them with their lids. Also they are adorable for presentation. 

Le Cirque's Creme Brulee

  • 4 cups heavy cream
  • 1 vanilla bean split 
  • pinch of salt
  • 8 egg yolks
  • 3/4 c plus 2 tbs granulated sugar 

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a sauce pan over medium heat, heat the cream, vanilla bean, and salt until the top begins to shimmer. In a large bowl combine the yolks and sugar. Whisk until well combined. Slowly stream in the hot cream mixture, while whisking the egg and sugar mixture. Line a mesh strainer with cheese cloth and strain into a 4 cup measuring cup. 

Arrange between 8 and 10 shallow baking dishes on a roasting pan Fill each of the ramekins up 3/4 of the way. Carry the tray to the oven, and place on the shelf, then pour in water to fill 3/4 of the way up the ramekins. Cover with tin foil and bake for 1 hour or until the custard is set (it should not be wobbly). 

Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven (there might still be water in the pan so be careful not to slosh). Then cover and chill the custards for at least 2 hours and up to 2 days. 

Sprinkle with sugar, if you have a hand torch caramelize the sugar on top until dark. If you do not have a hand torch, preheat the broiler put the ramekins as close to the top as possible, broil for about 30 seconds. Serve and enjoy!

A Trip to NYC & Baby Kale Salad

Just realized this post never never went live : ( here is an update on what I did before Christmas!!

I just spent the most fabulous weekend with my sister in NYC, it was so much fun! We danced, ate, exercised, and drank. The dancing was covered by going to see an epic 80s cover band and by going and seeing the Nutcracker. The eating was covered by restaurants in her neighborhood and Spice Market. We went to exercise classes at Refine and Flywheel (my ass will never be the same). And lets be honest, we all know how we managed the drinking. This was one of my first visits to NYC that didn't cause me huge amounts of anxiety. It felt very relaxed, maybe I'm staring to get a hang of the big apple? who knows.

There are two highlights to this trip:

ONE:

Getting to go on stage with the 80s band (called Jesses Girl) for Girls Just Want to Have Fun. The singer yelled out, "lets get all the hot girls on stage" and before she had even finished her sentence my sister and I were up there. We had the stage to ourselves for about 30 seconds before other girls came up and joined us. It was epic.

TWO:

I ended my time in NYC with a trip to Eataly. I follow them on instagram and I was absolutely dying to go there in person. It was insane there were people EVERYWHERE. But we had a fabulous time eating mozzarella, amazing fresh ricotta, cured meats, and oysters. We drank red wine and made friends with the people around us. Even though it was totally crazy it definitely made you feel like you weren't in New York and had a great European feel.

So anyway back to the reason you read this blog, the food! Theres this mustard, that you can get in Vermont. It is a molasses based mustard. It is called

Fox Hollow Mustard

. It is amazing. I put it on hot dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches, and keilbasa. Now my friend K, made a warm bacon vinaigrette and used this mustard. This was a full on mind bomb for me. I frequently put whole grain mustard in my vinaigrette. So as you wonder why you are reading about my thoughts on mustard, I shamelessly copied my girl K, and made a baby kale salad with a warm bacon vinaigrette (using fox hollow of course) and topped it all off with a fried egg. I can actually see myself eating this for breakfast, or dinner, or lunch.

Make it for yourself or someone who you want to love you because trust me after this they will.

Merry Christmas!

xx

L

Baby Kale Salad with Warm Bacon Vinaigrette & a Fried Egg

  • 3 slices of bacon, minced in lardons 
  • 1 tablespoon fox hollow mustard (or whole grain)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/3 c olive oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • Baby Kale

In a large sauté pan over medium heat render the bacon until crispy. Using a slotted spoon remove the bacon, add the mustard and olive oil whisking until well combined. Add the bacon to a large bowl with the baby kale, toss with the vignette until coated.

In another large sautee pan over medium heat melt the butter. Once it is sizzling crack the eggs into the pan. Season with salt and pepper. Allow to cook for 2 minutes, flip the eggs. Cook for 1 more minute. The whites will be cooked through but the yolks will still be runny.Place eggs on top of salad. Eat immediately! 

DIY Christmas Gifts -- Mexican Hot Cocoa

I have to apologize, I feel like I am the worst. I have sucked at posting this week. Things have been crazy busy at work but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel! Last year I made snickerdoodles for my homemade christmas gifts, which was fun for a little while, but when you triple the recipe you find yourself rolling out little cookie balls for hours. I decided to do something a little more low maintenance this year. I decided to make my own hot cocoa mix, Mexican hot cocoa to be exact. It is rich and indulgent; the heat from the cinnamon and ancho chile powder help to cut through all the chocolately goodness. I ordered chalk board labels online, from

Evermine

 (It was quick, easy, and inexpensive), and put the mix into mason jars. I used 2 inch round labels. They made a very cute and easy gift for my family, friends, and coworkers!

It has taken me a little while to get on board with christmas this year. But something happened this week and I am christmas crazy! Maybe it has something to do with going to NYC this weekend to visit my sister, we are going to go to the Nutcracker and eat our way around the city. I am not a huge NYC fan (sorry NYC peeps), it just makes me so anxious. But it is pretty magical at Christmas time! My new Christmas energy could also be attributed to all of the menu planning my mom and I have been doing.

Anyway I suggest you make some of this hot cocoa this weekend, share it with someone you love (or hog it all yourself), and watch White Christmas or Home Alone (my two go to choices)!

Enjoy!

xx

DIY Mexican Hot Chocolate Mix

(makes 3 cups) adapted from Americas Test Kitchen

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 6 ounces unsweetened chocolate 
  • 1 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 3/4 tsp ancho chile powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a food processor, grind until you have a fine powder (about 1 minute). Transfer to an airtight container and keep at room temperature.

Don't like it hot? leave out the ancho chile powder, cayenne, and cinnamon! 

For one serving: heat 1 cup of milk over medium heat until it starts to steam and bubbles appear around the edge. Add 1-3 tablespoons (depending on how strong you like it) of the mix to the saucepan. Whisk constantly until simmering, pour into a mug and enjoy! 

Awesome extras

: marshmallows, khalua, boozy whipped cream, whipped cream, or a scoop of ice cream. 

Al Forno's Baked Pasta with Cream, Tomatoes, and Five Cheeses

I don't know about you guys but the struggle is very very real on this Monday morning. I woke up and the first words I hear is my best friends saying "But Mom I don't want to go to school." That actually could not be be more accurate. Is it christmas yet? Can I  sleep soon? I mean it is 100% my fault that today is such a struggle, I may or may not have stayed up a little too late last night. Whoops! You're only young once right?

Last night I had an awesome dinner party at P's house with my brother and some good friends. We had an absolute blast and the food was of course amazing. My friend P and I love to cook together, its funny because we are both kinda control freaks and you would think that we would step on each others toes a little too much BUT we don't thank goodness! We made my roast chicken, duck fat brussels sprouts (to.die.for), baked pasta, and a big ol salad. Cooking with friends is so fun and way cheaper than going out!

So this baked pasta is a recipe from Al Forno, a restaurant in Providence RI. It is freaking amazing, like mac and cheese on crack. There are five cheeses (FIVE!) and it is super easy to put together. It also reheats really well. When I first discovered this dish I made it 5 times in one week. I promise that you will be obsessed with it too.

Enjoy!

xx

L

Al Forno's Baked Pasta with Cream, Tomatoes, and Five Cheeses

  • 2 c heavy cream
  • 1/3 c ricotta 
  • 1/2 c shredded fontina cheese
  • 1/2 c shredded pecorino romano cheese
  • 1/4 c crumbled gorgonzola cheese
  • 1 c chopped tomatoes 
  • 1/4 lb sliced mozzarella cheese
  • 1/2 a stick of butter, sliced
  • 1 lb short pasta
  • 1/2 c basil 
  • 3 scallions chopped
  • salt 
  • pepper

Preheat the oven to 500 degrees. Put a large pot of water on the stove and bring to a boil. In a large bowl combine the cheeses, heavy cream, half of the basil, and the tomatoes. Par boil the pasta, about 4 minutes. Combine with the cream tomato cheese mixture. Spread in individual ramekins or a large casserole dish. Try to spread as thing as possible. Bake for about 10 minutes, until browned, bubbily and crispy on top. Finish with basil and chopped scallions. 

Carbonara

I got back from florida yesterday, and let me tell you my transition back to real life has been a little rough. Partially because I returned to my apartment to find it a complete disaster zone (granted it was my own doing) and I had almost no food in the fridge.

After unpacking, cleaning, and beginning the process of organizing my life I started to think about dinner. I searched my fridge and found bacon, eggs, frozen peas, and parmesan. Most people would say, "L you idiot make bacon and eggs!" But I don't know if you have figured this out yet but I am not like most normal people. My mind immediately jumped to one of my favorite things, carbonara! This italian classic is probably my most quintessential comfort food. Luckily I am a crazy person who spends their free time perfecting dishes like this one.

Plus since it was the weekend after thanksgiving I made it "healthy" by adding in frozen peas! The peas actually add some really nice pops of freshness in all of the creamy amazingness of the pasta.

Anyway if you need a dish to fight off the sunday scaries or something to cuddle you and make you happy, this is the one for you.

Enjoy!

xx

L

Carbonara 

  • 1 lb gluten free or full Spaghetti
  • 4 ounces of bacon or pancetta 
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly graded parmesan cheese
  • red pepper flakes
  • 2 cloves of garlic smashed
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 1 cup peas 
  • 1 cup reserved pasta water

Put a large pot of VERY salty water on the stove and bring to a boil. Meanwhile, in a large sauté pan over heat olive oil and a pinch of red pepper flakes. Dice the bacon into small lardons and sauté until crispy. Add in the smashed garlic cloves (leave them relatively whole you will pull them out later). Once the water is at a boil cook your pasta to the packages directions. 

In a small bowl combine the eggs and graded parmesan cheese, whisk until well combined. Season with salt (be careful with the salt, both bacon and parmesan cheese are both very salty so be conservative) and pepper. Pull out the cloves of garlic. Once your pasta is cooked, add it to the sauté pan. Toss the peas in as well. Coat the pasta with the bacon grease and olive oil. Remove the pan from the heat and toss in the cheese and egg mixture. Toss the pasta with tongs in order to slowly heat the egg mixture (you don't want scrambled egg pasta). Toss for about 2 minutes until well incorporated. 

EAT IMMEDIATELY : ) 

Going Rogue on Thanksgiving, a Birthday Tribute & Chocolate Mousse

I am going to apologize in advance for the fact that I am going to suck at posting this week. I am on vacation with my family in Florida and honestly am not planning on doing too much cooking. My plans currently revolve around spending time with family, sleeping, doing a little work, and hopefully catching a few rays.

We have been coming here for the past two years, and instead of making Thanksgiving dinner, we go out to this absolutely fantastic Inn. This is actually the first year that I miss cooking Thanksgiving dinner, partially because I wont be able to share it with all of you! But at least my mom and I always do it on another day (ie Turkey, stuffing etc.) so that we can have leftovers for sandwiches. Next year I am putting my foot down and we are doing a traditional Thanksgiving and I am going ALL OUT.

In other news today is my best friend in the entire worlds birthday. "S" is the best and most awesome person I know. We have been through so much together from pushing me off the chairlift (I deserved it), to bowl cuts, to girl talk man drinks, to dixie chick sing alongs, to heartbreaks, to triumphs, and to every ridiculous shenanigan in between. She inspires me to be better every day. Thank you for being my best friend, partner in crime, voice of reason, and the bear to my goose!

Okay enough touchy feely stuff... This chocolate mousse recipe that I am about to share with you is probably our favorite thing ever. It is so light and airy but also rich and indulgent at the same time. It was my birthday "cake" this year and I gave her sister and law the recipe so it can be her this year. This is also a recipe that "S" knows even better than I do, so I am going to have to give her props on this one. 

This mousse although a possibly unconventional Thanksgiving desert, it is great because you can make it so far in advance. And I promise it will be the highlight of whatever meal you choose to serve it with, especially if that meal is occasionally breakfast. 

Anyway I hope you all have amazing Thanksgivings filled with food, wine, family, and love. This year I am most thankful for: my family, friends, dogs, and you all! I have really enjoyed writing this blog and sharing my food with you all, so thank you for listening to my ramblings and hopefully (fingers crossed) liking my food.

What are you thankful for?

xx

L

The Best Most Amazing Chocolate Mousse Ever. 

Adapted from "S" & The Fundamental Techniques of Italian Cuisine

  • 5 ounces bittersweet chocolate 
  • 1 3/4 heavy cream
  • 3 large egg whites (at room temp)
  • 3 tbs granulated sugar
  • a pinch of salt

Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water (be careful that the bottom of the bowl doesn't touch the water, you want the steam to do the work). Stir the chocolate gently as it melts. In another bowl (preferably attached to a stand mixer) beat the whipped cream until it forms soft peaks, set aside. In another bowl (again attached to a stand mixer) whip the egg whites, when you have soft peaks, add the salt and sugar, whip to firm peaks. You want them to be smooth and shiny (do not over whip them). Then using a whisk fold the chocolate into the egg whites. When the whites are almost completely incorporated fold in the whipped cream. Cover and refrigerate for at least 6 hours and up to 24 hours.

PRO TIP: make boozy whipped cream to go along with the mousse, take 2 cup heavy cream, 1 tsp vanilla, 1 tbs granulated sugar, and 1 tsp booze ( My go to's are dark rum or bourbon). Whip together on medium speed (cover mixer with a hand towel to keep the cream from splattering all over you) and whip to soft peaks. Serve with the mousse OR in your coffee