To Everyone who is looking for a blog to read:

Hello,
If you like food. If you like to laugh. If you don’t mind a bit of sarcastic humor… and if you can handle the fact that I’m just learning how to write down recipes for the food that I make ( i’ve never followed recipes), and… if you don’t mind getting a throw in, life story, about something very humorous…. YOU SHOULD SUBSCRIBE TO MY BLOG!!! I’d love to have you as a guest!

I’m always cooking, and I’m always trying new things. I hope you join me on this adventure.. It is fun!!

Writtenwell or well, written.


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Biscuits with Rhubarb lightly drizzled with love….

A dinner is never complete without Dessert. Tonight we enjoyed Homemade Biscuits with Fresh Rhubarb and a cinnamon sugar glaze, compliments of our good Friend Leah.
Biscuits
Brown Sugar
Water
Vanilla
Cinnamon
Homemade biscuits, or you can use the always consistent and delicious store-bought brand.
Flatten each biscuit and place chopped rhubarb in the center. Wrap edges over the top and seal.

Biscuits with Rhubarb and a kiss of brown sugar

Flip over and place sealed side down in a baking pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon, and pour mixture of water, brown sugar and vanilla over the top of the biscuits. Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes or until golden brown. Serve immediately!

These were quite a surprising treat. Light, flakey, buttery pillows of bread, stuffed with semi tart, fresh rhubarb, and the perfect accent of a brown sugar glaze with the added hint of vanilla and just a kiss of cinnamon. Yum!

Writtenwell or well, written.


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Chicken au poivre ( ah – pwav) and Adult Bubble Tea

Good evening! I have to start by saying that I’m not trying to be condescending when I write out the pronunciation for a name. I just want you to be able to say it the way it’s supposed to be said.

Tonight we had dinner with a group of lovely friends of ours! They are each truly a blessing in our lives. We had sort of a pot luck theme, so I’m just going to go ahead and give you two of the stars, though there were many.. I will save the others for another time.
Chicken Au poivre:

Chicken Breast
shalots
Demi Glace
Heavy Cream
Cognac
Peppercorns
Butter
salt

Drizzle chicken with olive oil, lightly season, place in baking pan, and cover with foil. Bake Chicken breast in 350 oven for about 35 minutes.

While chicken is baking, melt 2 tablespoons of butter in a saute pan add about 2 tablespoons of shalots, and 2 tablespoons of crushed peppercorns. Simmer until the shalots soften ( 5 minutes)
Add 1/2 cup of cognac and turn up heat until most the alcohol has cooked off.
Add 3 tablespoons of Demi Glace, and 3/4 cup of water, bring to a light boil and stir until all the demi glace is incorporated.
Add 3/4 cup of heavy whipping cream and bring to a light boil, turn down to a simmer and stir in well, and let thicken.

Once it’s thick, add salt to taste… you shouldn’t need much, be sure to test before you start salting ~
And now you should have a VERY, VERY, rich and tasty, sauce… I’m telling you… it’s good!

Lightly top your chicken, or whichever dish you’re planning to serve it

with and, do the inevitable… ENJOY!!

We also got to enjoy a special treat form our friends Jamie and Suzanne, We’re going to call it adult bubble tea. I guess with the word ‘Adult’ in there you’re going to be expecting something alcoholic, or just ‘adult’.. not really the case. I was just so excited to have a ‘punch’ of sorts that was actually worth making and even more worth drinking, that I had to give it a fun name. In fact it doesn’t even have tapioca balls in it… it’s better, it has raspberries!
Raspberries
raspberry sorbet
Ginger ale
Pineapple juice
Lemonade concentrate
This fantastically fun Adult beverage, packs a refreshingly fruity, citrus flavor, with the soft and slightly tart raspberry zing! I’m just telling you I’m a pretty big fan! It was Awesome!
Nothing though, is better than making some great food and being able to share it with good friends, no matter where you are, or what you may be sharing, or whether or not it’s really Adult Bubble tea! 🙂

Writtenwell or well, written.


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Bruschetta pronounced bru-sketa

This is one of the best Italian appetizers that anyone can prepare. It’s quick, beautiful, and so full of fresh delicious flavor… I highly recommend it!

What you’ll need
Italian Bread or French Baguette ( your choice) If you’re feeling especially motivated and creative you can make your own homemade bread, I usually do. However that recipe is for another time so for now we’ll just use the lovely Italian Bread provided by Kowalski’s Market!
Olive oil
Heirloom tomatoes ( if you can find a few different shades of red,orange and yellow it will be most visually pleasing)
Fresh Basil
Garlic
Balsamic vinegar
salt and pepper

Chop tomatoes, peel and chop two cloves of garlic, ( you want to chop it pretty finely) chop a few leaves of basil too ( use your discretion , meaning it’s not called basiletta, the basil is to accent the other flavors)
Place tomatoes and garlic in a mixing bowl, add a nice drizzle of olive oil, a splash or two of balsamic vinegar ( no more than two splashes) toss together to incorporate. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Preheat oven to 325
Slice baguette or bread about an inch thick, and brush lightly with olive oil.
Place bread on baking sheet and bake for about 5 -7 minutes or until bread is slightly toasted.
Remove from oven and top with tomatoes…. serve immediately!

That is my recipe for the day, I hope you enjoy! I know I always do.

Wait, I have to mention one more thing. I said I like to cook, and I do it quite well. I also said I like to write, and you have seen the way I sign off… ( if you haven’t noticed my signature, please take a minute to scroll down and look at the end of this entry) meaning, I like to write I didn’t rate my ability to do so. I never mentioned photography as a strong suit of mine. I did realize that taking and providing photos might help out for the sharing aspect of this… Please just note: I’m using my iphone, no enhancements, or perfect lighting, I’m not even doctoring anything in photoshop…. I’m just a girl who loves to cook and wants to share it with you, whoever and wherever you are. Thank you!

Bye for now,


Writtenwell or well, written.


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Breakfast, quick, healthy and good!

I recently mentioned that I enjoy cooking and writing. I also mentioned that part of my reasoning for starting this blog was to keep me doing both of these things, while sharing or documenting them ( well the cooking part anyway) I did say I would make an effort to write every day. Since food is a part of my life every day this should be easy right?

I planned Last night to wake up early to actually prepare breakfast… Just so I could share with you a healthy and fairly quick way to fuel your body for the day! And so that I could keep my word.. so here you go~

Open Faced Egg Sandwich, spinach and tomato.

Eggs
Spinach
Tomato
Whole Wheat Bread
Bacon
Butter

Whisk three eggs with 1/4 cup of milk. Pour ingredients into skillet and cook on medium heat until eggs are cooked through.
Microwave a few slices of bacon ( yes I said microwave, I also said this was a quick breakfast Microwave=quick)
When bacon is a little crispy ( 3-4 minutes depending on microwave) blot excess oil with paper towel.
While eggs/bacon are cooking slice tomato ( 3 to 4 slices per sandwich)
Set spinach aside enough to lightly top sandwich
Toast Bread and lightly brush with butter when finished.

Remove eggs from pan put on Toasted bread, layer a bit of leafy green spinach ( think energy, vitality, strength) add bacon ( don’t give it a second thought) add sliced tomato (think antioxidant, vitamins, health) .
Viola!

Open Face Breakfast Sandwich

Bon appetite!

Seriously, this takes a total of 10 minutes, and I guarantee you we are all worth at least an extra ten minutes in the morning!

Bye for now!

Writtenwell or well, written.


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Review of a restaurant

I love to cook, which invariably means I love to eat. My husband and I like many fortunate others are able to enjoy the liberty of dining out. I do see this as a luxury as so many go without even the basics, yet we consistently have the opportunity to pick and choose how we feed our bodies. So before I begin, let’s just consider ourselves blessed.
We recently branched out to a new dining establishment. When I say branched out, I mean it. We live in Minneapolis, and this restaurant is located in Arden Hills. Like I said, we live in Minneapolis, and there is more than just a sense of city pride that I carry over the fact that we don’t live in the suburbs. In fact, I don’t like the suburbs. I don’t like anything about them. I don’t like the strip malls. I don’t like the mega-plexes. I don’t like the cookie cutter chain restaurants. I don’t like the homogenized neighborhoods, some even called by numbers, each one bearing the same un striking resemblance of it’s predecessor. I don’t like the tedious drive from my perfectly imperfect city, which somehow makes my skin itch whenever we leave Minneapolis proper and venture in to suburbia. However, I do like food, and for that mere fact am willing to suffer the suburban rash to experience what could be a perfect ten dining experience. Well, nine really, as being stationed in suburban America, I have to consider the path to arrive and you already know how I feel about that.
I read about this Steak house which serves Prime Beef. Not only do they serve Prime Beef, but apparently they only serve two different steaks, and one seafood dish. I though I had uncovered one of the cities best kept secrets. If you are a restaurant, and you only do three different steaks ( all of which are broiled) how can your food be anything but amazing? Let me describe to you how amazing it actually was.
We arrived at Lindy’s after a long and windy ride in to the fine City of Arden Hills. The restaurant didn’t look like much from the outside. It sort of resembled a trailer house type of exterior, except this definitely had an addition put on at some point. I’d probably have to say it was at least a double-wide in size. Any one who has ever been to, or lived near a trailer court knows exactly what I’m referring to. The rest of you who don’t know what I’m referring to… just consider yourselves more blessed. The entry was nothing more than a wooden porch with a Menards window door on the front. I thought for sure with the shabby exterior, we were in for a culinary delight. ( they clearly waste no money in design or decoration, it is all poured in to the three basic menu items they have surely perfected! I couldn’t wait to order. Our server arrived and cheerfully explained our three entrĂ©e options. Prime steak, Prime chopped steak, or broiled shrimp. We opted for the prime steak. All of the entrees come with “family style garlic bread, mixed greens salad, and greaseless hash browns” We also decided to add-on one additional side and one of my favorites, sautĂ©ed mushrooms.
Family style garlic bread and salad arrived. The salad was square chunks and wilted brown pieces of iceberg lettuce joined by shreds of purple cabbage. The Garlic bread was… get ready for this, toasted white hot dog buns. Yes, and not because they ran out of the regular bread, they just serve good old white hot dog buns. Nothing much more to say on that except that I was now certain we were in for a taste sensation. They don’t even waste time with lettuce or bread because their main course is so far above and beyond that anything else is simply unimportant. Steak arrived, it was sizzling, and that’s about as exciting or flavorful as it got. It was cooked to a perfect medium rare, sadly having little or no flavor. Along with the steak came the greaseless and flavorless hash browns and the freshly canned, heated and then served mushrooms. I tumbled from a hopefull nine to a four quickly, and decided surroundings and location considered, we were at a stable two… oh the pickled watermelon may have nudged me up to a two and a half, but I didn’t try the recommended accompianment for the already lackluster offerings.
I have to say we probably won’t make the drive to Arden Hills anytime soon. I guess, I expected that if you do one thing, and have the kahones to advertise that you’re only doing one thing, you should probably do it pretty well. Once again, I’ve explained how I feel about that.
It wasn’t all a loss; we got to have dinner in a new place. We shared a meal that was average at best, but we shared it together… and we shared a lovely conversation which is always, priceless.

Until later,

Writtenwell or well, written.

Great Things About Cooking

No matter how crappy my day was, I can always look forward to sharing some quality time at home with my husband,  our pets,  myself, and my kitchen.    You see, for someone who really likes to cook, there can always be a success at the end of a rotten day…  maybe the success has nothing to do with that work day, but a success is a success, so I’ll take it.   I’m not saying that every time i’m in the kitchen it’s a success however, every time I try something new, It either works great and I feel like a culinary genius or, it doesn’t work, and we go out for dinner.

I am  just saying, there are some really great things about cooking.   Especially when you nail a beurre blanc,  or in this case whisk a beurre blanc into  silky smooth, creamy, light perfection.  I came home from a “Monday” needing a success… I’m happy to report, I made one.

November 30,

Tilapia with lemon beurre blanc

Green Beans with garlic, and creamed potatoes.

Beurre Blanc:  or “white butter

2 tbsp shalots

2 tbsp white wine vinegar

1/2 cup dry white wine

6 to 8 tsp of butter ( the more the better, but really it’s your call)

salt to taste.

Add shalots white wine, and white wine vinegar to saute pan, raise heat to simmer for about 8 minutes or until most of the liquid has been absorbed ( there should be a little liquid left in the pan) add butter 1 tsp at a time and whisk or stir with a wooden spoon consistently until it’s melted.  keep adding the butter one or two pieces at a time, and as you’re getting down to the last two pieces taste to see how buttery it is, and decide if you want more or not.  If you’re pleased with its flavor and consistency, add a pinch of salt, to taste and viola, you have BEURRE BLANC!

Serve immediately, with fish, chicken, or any thing your heart desires… Beurre blanc, is a lovely compliment to almost any dish.

Enjoy!  I know we did!

Bye for now,

Writtenwell, or well, written.

One Jar of Homemade Sauce FREE

Hi Everyone!

If you read my second post you saw that I make a special homemade spaghetti sauce…  I’m telling you, it’s pretty good, and once I give this url address to my friends and family ( which will be tonight, as I’m now newly committed to doing this blog, which is also in my second entry) they will tell you just how good it is… Point being, I am willing to send a jar to the first 100 people who subscribe to my blog.  So, go ahead, SUBSCRIBE to writtenwell’s blog!  I promise you good recipes, great stories, some laughs… and  drum roll please, a special, FREE jar of my very own delicious homemade sauce!

Okay, now I’m going to wait to see how many more jars I have to make…

Ciao!

Dinner from Italy… in Minneapolis ( It’s a stretch, but I’m trying)

So, I decided to start a blog.   I have been having such a hard time trying to figure out exactly what it should be,  or how it should be written, that I realized… I wasn’t writing anything.  A week had passed and I had the blog set up but no content.  Beyond the ambiguous barrage of a few words initially intended to explain why you were here reading, and why I was in fact writing…  I had done nothing.  What I wanted to do was share my experiences, with life and cooking and write about it.  So, now I’m going to do that.  Not in any specific order, as apparently that  idea stresses me in to a paralyzed state,  where I do absolutely nothing.    And I really do have some really great stories to share.  SO, On with it.

It’s Sunday, November 29th.  I have spent the day with my husband running errands ( one of my favorite pastimes) and cooking…  easily my FAVORITE pastime, hobby, form of inexpensive therapy( actually anyone who cooks, knows the inexpensive part isn’t all that true, but when the result is SO great, who’s counting) Anyway, I’m in the middle of making a giant cauldron of my families very own spaghetti sauce.  It’s actually become my recipe, as I have tweaked it over the past few years…  in lieu of ever really being given the actual recipe I’ve had to go on memory, and largely trial and error….  to finally discover what I consider  to be close to perfection.  Anyway, I’m making a giant batch of it to give  as part of a christmas gift.  So while that’s simmering for the 8th hour, I decided to make my husband’s favorite,  homemade pizza.

Homemade Pizza Dough:

2 cups of  white flour ( you can use any kind you want, just know that with a thicker heavier flour, you may need to add more water)

1 tsp yeast

1 tsp salt

1 tsp sugar

1 tbsp  olive oil ( use your discretion, some like more, some like less but 1 tbsp is safe , again you don’t want the dough too wet)

3/4 cup of warm water ( you want it hot, but not burning, test it on your finger, washed of course and don’t burn yourself)

Mix the dry ingredients together to evenly incorporate them.  add in the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients.  Mix  with a heavy spoon ( wooden works well) until a ball forms.

If the dough is  too dry ( flaky and not forming into a ball very well) add water, 1 tsp at a time until a nice moldable  ( not sure about that word) ball does form.  Adversely, if the dough is too wet ( really sticky )add flour, pinches at a time.  Once you have a nice ball formed, knead the dough for about 5 minutes ( this will help it to rise once the dough is resting)

Set dough aside on floured area for 45 minutes to an hour

The dough should about double in size within an hour.

On the floured surface, push the risen dough down to get most air bubbles out of it.  So, now you’re sort of kneading it again.  Shape it into a ball and begin to flatten it to make a pizza pie.  You can work the dough into a circle pushing out from the middle and when you feel ready to use the rolling-pin, roll away.  this is where you can make the crust you choose.  Paper thin crispy, cracker like crust, or a thicker, heartier crust, the thinner you roll the thinner it will be.   I must warn you here, it’s really annoying to roll the dough too thin and then develop holes because of it.  So again, use your discretion.

Once you have the desired thickness, move your pizza to your baking stone, or pizza pan.  I use a pizza pan, some people prefer a stone, it comes down to preference.  You can either move it by picking it up carefully with your hands or a pizza peel works great.  Now, add your sauce ( whatever sort of sauce you like) and then layer your toppings.  Usually you would do cheese, pepperoni, onion, etc… in that order.  Again, this is your pizza.  You are the master designer and creator, have fun with it!

Bake it in the oven at 425 for about 18 minutes. Watch for the cheese to get a nice golden brown, and once again, use your discretion, like I said, it’s your pizza.  I like mine crispy so I opt for more time.  Watch and you decide when it’s done.

Making pizza is  really fun and you can get really creative with it…. and your friends, family, whomever you’re sharing it with,typically  will love  it!   So try it a few times,  a few different ways,  and see which way works best for you.  You’ll find a pan, an oil, a cheese and toppings you will use again and again, I know I did!

If you have any comments, questions, concerns, or requests… please leave them.  I’d love to hear from you!

Until later,

Written Well… or well, written!

life stories

My name is Lisa. I am a woman with about twenty years of life experiences, who just happens to enjoy cooking and  writing. I enjoy writing however, unlike my username suggests, I wouldn’t necessarily say I do it well. I guess I’ll let you be the judge of that.  I prefer to look at this as a way to possibly relate to, or maybe even help someone, somewhere, who is going or has gone through similar situations as me. I’ve really  been around for more than twenty years, I just think as far as relevant stories or experiences, only twenty of the years are probably important enough to  write or to read. So what this blog is, or is planned to be,  is a way for me to communicate my life, my struggles, my cooking adventures, my thoughts, my successes, my failures,  and hopefully along the way someone will find comfort, understanding, and even humor in the life we all share.  We’re all people going through life, experiencing similar things at different times. It’s so great to share, connect and laugh, in the best and worst of times.  I must warn you however, I can be a very sarcastic person.  Please enjoy my life stories and recipes, written well, or well… written.

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