Last weekend I was in Chicago for the 2009 BlogHer Conference, where I had a good time hanging out with blogging friends and getting a few blogging tips. This is the fourth time I've attended the BlogHer summer conference, and every time it's been a growing experience for me. I'm a huge fan of BlogHer, which you can tell because I write for BlogHer.com. I support BlogHer's mission of promoting women bloggers, and have utmost respect for the organization and its co-founders Lisa Stone, Elisa Camahort Page, and Jory Des Jardins. Right now there is a conversation going on about what worked and what didn't work at BlogHer '09, so if you were there and have opinions, please go to BlogHer.com and give your feedback. (So much more classy than writing some kind of rant on your blog about something that happened to rub you the wrong way.)
Friday, July 31, 2009
Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Every place has its own food culture, and if you live in Utah, Cafe Rio is a big part of that culture. I've loved Cafe Rio's creamy tomatillo salad dressing since the first time I tried it, and years ago my brother-in-law Kelly gave me a recipe for Cafe Rio Dressing, Chicken, and Rice, which I posted on my then brand-new food blog. All of those recipes are definitely copycat versions of the true Cafe Rio recipes, but the dressing does taste just like the famous creamy Cafe Rio dressing. I've made this so many times through the years it feels like it really needs to be added to the category for Recipe Favorites on the blog!
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 10:18 AM
Monday, July 27, 2009
(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites July 2009.) I've been away for five days attending the 2009 BlogHer Conference, but a few days before BlogHer I cooked this long-ago favorite version of grilled chicken, with a marinade that only has four ingredients. Some people might turn up their nose at a recipe like this with packaged ingredients, but if you're a busy mom who wants something easy that kids will eat, this recipe may become one of your favorites. Like the title says, it's completely foolproof, 100% delicious, and easy. You can also use the same marinade for kabobs or tin-foil dinners, so read after the recipe for those variations.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 9:15 AM
Friday, July 24, 2009
While you read this, I'm in Chicago attending the 2009 BlogHer Conference, where I'm having a great time hanging out with some of my best food blogger friends. I feel lucky that this is the 5th BlogHer event I've attended, and love having this chance to learn more about blogging. When I took these garden photos before I left, the garden had a healthy crop of weeds. I doubt I'll get many of those pulled until I get back, but luckily the veggies and herbs are still happily growing amid the weeds. Above is something I'm very stoked about; my Green Zebra heirloom tomatoes are really coming along. I'm not quite sure how to tell when they're ripe, but they're still pretty small so I think I'll give them a little longer before I try one.
Thursday, July 23, 2009
There's a very good reason I'm showing a nearly-empty bottle of Penzey's Ground Red Chipotle Chile Pepper for this edition of Kalyn's Kitchen Picks, and that's because I'm in Chicago where soon I'll be attending the 2009 BlogHer Conference, but first I'm going to buy more Ground Chipotle at a Penzeys store! For many years I've been buying spices from the Penzey's website, so you can imagine how excited I am to go there. I'm also thrilled to be at the conference, where I'm looking forward to seeing some of my favorite food blogging friends and learning more about blogging.
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
One time a few years ago my nieces Elizabeth and Amanda were spending the night at my house. We were eating breakfast on my porch, and I was trying, with no luck, to get Elizabeth to eat some kind of fruit, possibly a banana. She looked at me, and said, with all the indignation an eight year old could muster, "Aunt Kalyn, don't you realize that I've never been much of a fruit eater?" What I didn't tell her at the time (but will confess to now if she or her mom sees this on the blog) is that I've never really been much of a fruit eater either.
Sunday, July 19, 2009
As contradictory as it sounds, I had a much easier time eating a good breakfast every day when I was rushing off to work in the morning. On those days, grabbing some Peanut Butter Oatmeal or Cottage Cheese and Egg Breakfast Muffins and throwing them in the microwave was just part of the routine of getting ready for work. Now that my time is less scheduled, I get distracted from eating and sometimes notice I've been up for hours and haven't eaten a thing! I really do want to keep the breakfast habit, so you might see more quick breakfast options like these low-sugar blueberry muffins showing up on the blog.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 11:15 AM
Friday, July 17, 2009
I love taking photos of kids, but when I see these pictures on the blog it reminds me that Friday Night Photos started as a way for me to practice my photography. I have a lot to learn about taking pictures in different light conditions, especially sunlight, but no worries because you can't take a bad photo of these darling girls who stopped by to see my "new" house. Then a few weeks later the twins spent the night, and we had a great time! These girls are cousins, and grandkids of my sister Pam.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 10:25 PM
Thursday, July 16, 2009
One of the fun things about blogging that I never expected is that people who are faithful readers quite often send me recipes to try. Unfortunately, I have such a huge backlog in my own "recipes to try" folder that I often file them away and forget, but once in a while a recipe really strikes me. It was a nice coincidence that I had just noticed my dill really needed trimming when a reader named Robin Oliver send me this recipe for Strawberry Spinach Salad that included dill! I was intrigued with the idea of dill in a salad with spinach, and I also loved the sound of the slightly-sweet dressing that had a touch of dry mustard and onion powder. Robin told me she loved the salad, and absolutely, so did I! Thanks Robin, for a recipe that's a definite keeper.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
Chickpea flour is used all over the world to make thin flatbread crepes, pancakes, or crackers. Depending on where they're made, they can be called Pappadum (India), Farinata (Italy) or Socca (France). Farinata and Socca may or may not be the same, depending on which expert you ask, but they're definitely similar. When I found some chickpea flour at a middle eastern market in L.A., I experimented with Farinata, producing something that tasted great but seemed too thick and looked different than other versions of Farinata I saw around the web. At the time I had some e-mail discussion with David Lebovitz, who had loved the Socca he found in France and had been experimenting with making Socca. He told me there can be quite a lot of variation in different types of chickpea flour, which only made me more determined to try it again.
Sunday, July 12, 2009
(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites July 2009) This slightly different twist on chicken salad is something you should make when you have lots of basil in your garden, because through the years I've learned you just can't put too much chopped basil in this salad. I first made this years ago and really liked the recipe, but hadn't gotten around to taking a photo until recently when a reader left a comment saying they'd love to see a picture of it. Even though this kind of dish is a food photographer's worst nightmare, I aim to please, so I made it recently for my mayonnaise-loving dad and did my best at taking pictures!
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 7:13 PM
Saturday, July 11, 2009
There are people who love making homemade chicken stock, and then there are people who think homemade stock is just too much trouble. If you've looked around my blog at all, you know I'm one of those stock-making kinds of cooks. I love the way making stock leaves the whole house smelling great, and think homemade chicken stock really makes a difference in many recipes.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 9:26 PM
Friday, July 10, 2009
It's summertime, finally the rain has stopped, and the living is relatively easy around here. Although the house is still not done, you can see from this photo that I'm starting to do a bit of relaxing on the new decks. Tonight I had dinner on the side deck with Maria from Two Peas and Their Pod (who used to be my neighbor) and Chris from Mele Cotte (who's in Utah right now.) This is the first time I've been able to have guests for dinner since November, when the house project started, so as you can imagine, I was happy!
Thursday, July 09, 2009
|Tuscan Baked Eggs with Tomatoes, Red Onion, Garlic, Parmesan, and Herbs|
This is a dish with eggs, tomatoes, garlic, parmesan cheese, and fresh herbs. Doesn't that sound like a combination that would have to taste good? Of course, I love eggs, and they're something I cook several times every week. I've made a lot of baked egg dishes in the form of breakfast casseroles or egg muffins, but eggs baked on a bed of tomato sauce was a new idea for me. I confess, the desire to cook this was partly inspired by the two little casserole dishes I found at the thrift store, and they turned out to be perfect for individual servings. But even if you cooked it in a bigger dish to share with a few people, this would make an interesting and impressive dish next time you're making brunch and want something that's a little unusual.
Tuesday, July 07, 2009
(Updated and added to Recipe Favorites July 2009) I first made this recipe for marinated flank steak after a teacher at school asked for more beef recipes on the blog. Since then I've made this many times, often changing the marinade ingredients slightly, but always with good results. I've discovered that if you use a small ziploc bag to marinate, you can get by with a lot less marinade, so in this updated recipe I've used the same ingredients, but cut down the amounts from the original recipe.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 1:07 PM
Saturday, July 04, 2009
Happy Fourth of July to everyone in the U.S. I'm guessing lots of you will be cooking outside today. If you're looking for something to grill for the holiday, pictured above is Carol's Completely Fabulous Steak Marinade and Grilled Tri-Tip, one of the all-time most popular things I've posted in the Grilling Recipes on Kalyn's Kitchen. I also featured some of my favorite grilling recipes in Grilling Ideas for the Fourth of July 2007 and Grilling Ideas for the Fourth of July 2008. This year my grill has been packed away due to house renovations, but I finally got it back a few days ago and I'm excited to try some new grilling ideas.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 8:10 AM
Friday, July 03, 2009
With a long-awaited change to Utah liquor laws taking place on July 1, diners gained a lot of new restaurant options when fine dining establishments that had previously been private clubs became open to the public. One club I'd always been rather wowed by the few times I went there are someone's guest was The New Yorker, so when I got an invitation to try out their new fixed-price menu for lunch, it was an offer I couldn't refuse! Taking photos in dark restaurants isn't my specialty, but the beautiful salad above shows that there were some diet-friendly menu options. If you're a reader who's just starting the South Beach Diet, you may want to skip the rest of these photos, but when you're eating at one of the best restaurants in town, I believe that's the time to splurge on some things you may not normally eat.
Posted by Kalyn Denny at 8:00 PM
Thursday, July 02, 2009
This week there are big holidays for people who live in Canada or the U.S., and in my family a summer holiday celebration usually includes shrimp and macaroni salad. I'm not sure if I'll be making that one this year, but I'm guessing my shrimp-salad-loving dad would like this shrimp salad with mint, adapted from a recipe by Ellie Krieger. Truthfully, I'd never paid much attention to Ellie until my friend Lydia gave me The Food You Crave for a retirement present, but I'm enjoying the book, and finding that Ellie and I have some things in common when it comes to cooking style. I rarely make recipes exactly the way they're written, and I added a bit of cumin and Sriracha sauce for a slightly-spicy twist on Ellie's salad. I'm looking forward to trying some more recipes from the book soon. (Thanks Lydia!)
Wednesday, July 01, 2009
Kalyn's favorite phase one recipe for June 2009 was
Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad
with Basil Vinaigrette.
Tomato, Olive, and Fresh Mozzarella Salad
with Basil Vinaigrette.
I'm not sure which is harder to believe, that it's the end of June already, or that I'm retired! I can tell you, I definitely don't feel retired with all the work I've done this month getting ready for the house to be painted, and other chores related to house renovations. I'm thinking the reality of retirement will hit me in August when I don't have to go back to school. Meanwhile, it feels like summer, and it's time for another monthly round-up of phase one recipes I've made this month or spotted on other blogs.