I am soooo backed up on my posting. I have two test kitchen recipes and sets of photos to share from back in October and I just haven’t found the time to post them. But I swear it’s not my fault.

It’s all her fault!!

That’s right. We got a puppy! Life was just too peaceful so we had to go and stir things up again. Meet Ginger. By now, she is almost 12 weeks old and she is a cross between a beagle and a lab. She was named for her ginger brown colors and, as a nice coincidence, Matt’s favorite soda, Ginger Ale. She has taken all my attention for the past three weeks. She’s currently a little under the weather, having just spent her first overnight at the vet for an upset belly, among other things. But she is home now and doing well. We just created a penned in area for her around the kitchen so she can hang out with us while we cook. Although, for a scent hound, I’m sure that can be torturous. Too many smells and no way to climb over the gate to investigate them. I pray she doesn’t get taller too quickly for I know she will be able to clear that gate with one jump in no time.

What you’ve been missing

Here’s a couple that I’ve been meaning to post. Between the puppy drama and Matt and I both coming down with the flu, there was just no time or energy for writing. Hopefully the worst is getting behind us and life will return to normal.

Southwestern Shepherd’s Pie

Okay, so it doesn’t photograph well, but mushy mish mashy comfort food recipes like this rarely do. It’s the taste and combination of flavors that’s important. I found this one on epicurious.com when looking for menu items for our comfort food-themed housewarming party. It’s easy, delicious and very flexible for adding your own modifications.

Our changes: We nixed the jalapenos and since Dad doesn’t care for sweet potatoes, we made it with Yukon Gold mashed instead. We also added the entire 6 oz can of corn, instead of just a 1/2 cup and almost the entire can of black beans. For a big finish, we sprinkled the top of the mashed potatoes with shredded Mexican Cheese and upped the oven to broil during the last few minutes to get it nice and melty.

What we’d do different: Perhaps the jalapenos would have added just a little more needed heat. Everything blended together really well, but tasted even better after a sprinkle of black pepper.

Pizza Bianca
with Chicken, Caramelized Onions and Fontina

Who doesn’t love pizza, but sometimes you need a detour from the norm. This recipe is the answer. A white pie topped with tons of sweet onions and chicken. Again another very flexible recipe to suit your own tastes and what you happen have in the kitchen at the time. The recipe calls for a ready-made store bought crust, but we used a refrigerated dough and rolled it out ourselves. We also used some leftover chicken breast that Dad had in the fridge instead of buying a rotisserie chicken (though I’m sure it would have been good that way, too.) We used dried thyme instead of fresh, but I would warn here to go easy with it. Just a pinch was very pungent and ran the risk of overpowering the flavor.

The key here is the onions. Make sure that you slice them thin enough and cook them long enough so that they are soft. Finally, we threw in a few chopped pieces of red and green pepper, just for color.

I suppose you could use mozzarella cheese for this white pie instead of spending the money on a block of fontina, but there’s something about the way that particular cheese melts with the softened onions that goes so great together.

Up close and personal with the meltiness.

Here’s the recipe, scanned from a past issue of Relish Magazine. I included the link above but sometimes the web site goes on the fritz. Enjoy!