Thursday, November 26, 2009

So Thankful.

Storm on the Horizon, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

Ha., originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

How to Eat a Pizza, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

sunday morning, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

Monkey, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

Boo, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

Orange Ottoman Ollie, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

Trapped in a Bug, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

Beautiful Moments, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

There is so much in my life I am thankful for. So many people. Some that remain, some that are gone. Every single one has impacted me. Some small, some greatly. For me, some of life's greatest joys are the little moments, the bits and pieces that make up the bigger picture, that which is almost entirely intangible. There is meaning and goodness in everything, you simply have to recognize it.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Chicken Paprikash

Chicken Paprikash, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

I know, I know. I don't even have to say it. The dish pictured above is clearly not the prettiest of dinners. But as your mother used to say 'you can't judge a book by it's cover'. And frankly sometimes looks have nothing to do with whose got it going on, and let me assure you, this dish has it going on. I actually didn't realize it was so ugly until I started taking photographs and editing. Hungarian chicken paprikash is considered, by far, one of my top three favorite comfort foods. I've swept many a discerning palates off their feet with this hungarian staple. It's got that warm, earthy, down home good cooking taste to it. The kind that warms your belly and your bones. It's the culinary equivalent of a thick fleece blanket. Upon serving I've had some diners look at their plates excitedly others questionably. To the concerned I usually smile, nod, and say something pseudo-reassuring like "it's Hungarian stroganoff with chicken", because I figure everyone had a mom or an aunt who made a kick ass slow roasted stroganoff. It's an american classic stroganoff. It's not frightening (well, not to most), therefore I always feel that comparing it to a classic dish helps the eater feel at ease, and so far it's done just that for those who seem skeptical upon first glimpse. The ingredient that imparts the smoky unique flavor the dish bursts with, Hungarian Paprika, is not hard to find in your groceries spice aisle. You should not have to go to a specialty store to seek it out. It is a gorgeous vibrant red with a much more intensely flavorful kick than your standard paprika. Some call it sweet, some call it smokey, I call it 'delicious'. In fact, I've replaced Hungarian Paprika for most recipes that call for it (I particularly love it sprinkled over deviled egg salad). The wonderful thing about this dish is it's simplicity. You simply grill up some chicken, onion, and sweet bell pepper, dump a healthy serving of Hungarian Paprika all over, cover with chicken stock and reduce until chicken melts in your mouth like butter. Finish off with a healthy dose of sour cream and a side of mashed potatoes and you've got yourself an incredibly satisfying dinner in no time flat!

Recipe: Hungarian Chicken Paprikash


2 Tablespoons of extra virigin olive oil
1 1/2 pounds of boneless skinless chicken breast cubed
1 very large sweet onion roughly cubed
1 bell pepper of your choosing (I prefer red, orange, or yellow because they're sweeter)
4 rounded tablespoons of Hungarian paprika (start with about two, I prefer a LOT of paprika, probably even more than the recipe calls for, it's really a matter of taste, you can add more when the dish is finished if it's not paprika-y enough for you)
1 1/2 cups of chicken stock (or enough to cover, see below)
1 cup of full fat sour cream (you can use light, but not fat free, I like full fat because it's thicker, producing a thicker sauce in the end)


1. Heat oil in a large skillet on medium heat.
2. Place cubed chicken breast in skillet. Grill until chicken has browned.
3. Throw in cubed onion and sweet pepper, season with salt and pepper. Once the onions have become translucent (about 5 minutes) add hungarian paprika and saute for about a minute.
4. Pour enough chicken stock into skillet to cover the chicken and vegetable mixture completely. Reduce heat to medium-low.
5. Cook down for about 30 minutes. Liquid should reduce to to 1/4 of it's original. The more liquid before you add the sour cream, the less thick the paprikash will be.
6. Remove from heat and add sour cream.
7. Serve with mashed potatoes.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009


Stuffed Shells Bolognese, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

Bolognese is good poured, dumped, or slathered all over just about anything in my book. I'm a simple girl at heart, so my all time favorite application has to be pouring it on top of hot, freshly boiled spaghetti. But I think these stuffed shells bolognese come in at a close second. Probably partially due to the fact that I'm cheese's number one fan. If cheese got in an accident on a snow ridden highway I might be tempted to kidnap it and keep it tied up in my guest room reminding it daily 'I'm you're number one fan'. (Sorry, I couldn't help the Misery reference there, my love of cheese might border on sick at times, thus the reference). Needless to say, I'm a fan of cheese in every and all forms. Soft cheese, hard cheese, stinky cheese, light cheese, perfectly aged cheese with those little crunchy bits littered throughout it's tart flesh. Swoon. I truly don't believe I could live without it. So, pouring my beloved bolognese over giant shells filled with copious amounts of ricotta cheese speckled with fresh herbs? It just doesn't get much better than that in my book. I've already raved about my bolognese. I would make it every week if I could justify it, I can't, so I don't. But it is on a bi to tri-weekly rotation. When you've got a kick ass sauce, or recipe in general, you can play with in just about anyway you want and it remains just as satisfying, if not better. From time to time I break free from spaghetti noodles and try it in new dishes, a few weeks ago it was (at least an 8 pound) lasagna bolognese, this Sunday stuffed shells. Both were out of this world. Probably because both were loaded with cheese. These stuffed shells dish is quite possibly the epitome of comfort food for me. Cheese, noodles, bolognese, and more cheese. A recipe fit for a slow, dark, chilly Sunday.

Stuffed Shells Bolognese


First you'll need a batch of Bolognese
1 box of giant shells (about 30 shells per box)
2 LB whole milk or part skim ricotta cheese
1 large egg
1 Tablespoon fresh Rosemary finely chopped
1 Tablespoon fresh Thyme finely chopped
2 medium sized Sage leaves finely chopped
1/8 cup finely chopped Italian Parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper (if you don't have white, black will do just fine)
6 oz freshly grated parmesan
6 oz. freshly grated pecorino


1. Boil noodles according to package until they are al dente. Should be about 8 minutes. You're going to bake them so you want them to be al dente to ensure that they do not turn to mush in the oven. Drain, rinse with cold water and set aside.
2. In a medium sized bowl mix ricotta, egg, rosemary, thyme, sage, salt and pepper until well combined.
3. Pour a shallow layer of bolognese sauce over the bottom of a large casserole dish.
4. Fill a large pastry bag with the cheese mixture (if you do not have a large pastry bag you can put the cheese into a large ziploc, seal it, and cut one of the bottom corners off). Pipe and fill, with equal amounts of cheese, each cooked shell, placing filled shells in the sauce prepared casserole.
5. Once all the shells have been filled and placed in the casserole, top with remaining bolognese, parmesan, pecorino and a sprinkling of italian parsley.
6. Bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 15-20 minutes until cheese is melted hot and bubbly.
7. Serve and enjoy!

Stuffed Shells Bolognese, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Autumn Salad with Caramelized Pears

Caramelized Pear Salad, originally uploaded by miss.mallory.

I can't believe it, but I'm about to blog what I ate for dinner. . . . tonight! Quick huh? Less than two hours ago I was gobbling this tantalizing salad down. It may seem odd to some, but I like salads in the fall and winter. Sure, they're fairly synonymous with warmer seasons like summer, but, add the right ingredients and you can have a hearty, warm, chilly day worthy salad. One of my favorites has large chunks of slow oven roasted pumpkin, kale, and lentils. One of my other autumn salad go to's is this salad. A slice of bread, oven toasted with olive oil and parmesan is topped with peppery baby arugula, chunks of english cucumber, thin slices of sweet red onion, crowned with gorgonzola and pears that have been slowly caramelized in brown sugar and cider vinegar. Warm bread on the bottom, hot sweet and tangy pears on top with a lot of good stuff in between. It's simple to whip up in 20 minutes or less, it's warm, and it's exciting (to my tastebuds at least!)

Alright readers, back to my hot mug of chamomile, Property Virgins and Top Chef I go. . .

Recipe: Caramelized Pear Autumn Salad

Serves 2


4 thin, long slices of artisan bread
1 Tablespoon olive oil
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
2 cups Baby Arugula
Sweet Red Onion thinly sliced (use as much or as little as you'd like)
1/2 English Cucumber diced or julienned
1 Organic Anjou or Bosc Pear thinly sliced (I like the skin, that's why I buy organic, but if you prefer, you can 'skin' the pear)
1 Tablespoon Butter
1 Tablespoon Dark Brown Sugar
1 Tablespoon Cider Vinegar
Gorgonzola crumbled to garnish


1. First make your bread. Brush both sides of slices with olive oil, sprinkle one side with parmesan cheese, bake in preheated 350 degree oven for 5 minutes or until cheese has melted and the bread is golden and toasted.
2. While breads are cooking caramelize your pears. Heat a small pan on medium/high, add butter, brown sugar, and pears. Allow to cook 'tossing' (I flip the pan around) for 5 minutes. Once the mixture is nice and hot throw in your apple cider vinegar. Continue to caramelize for another 5-10 minutes until pears have browned up (caramelized) and the vinegar has reduced.
3. Place bread at the bottom of a salad bowl. Stack veggies on top of warm bread. Scoop equal portion of pear on top of cold veggies, drizzle with pan juices and finish with gorgonzola.