Saturday, October 29, 2011

Aunt Jo's Homemade Kahlua (by CM Herold, eHow Member)

I first have to mention where I got this recipe before I get on with it, last year I was looking for something to make for Christmas gifts. My sweet grandma Little Polly was in the hospital and between being with her and my family I was at work, so I needed something I could make for gifts when I had some time at home. I did a search for homemade Kahlua and this is what I found and even though I don't know Aunt Jo I was so thankful for this recipe, it made my gift giving easy when my life was so hard. Thanks Aunt Jo where ever you are- Cheers! I just got done making two batches of this for the upcoming holidays (it take 10 weeks to cure), I'm getting a head start this year. Enjoy!


10 tsp. instant coffee
3 c. sugar (this time I used organic powdered sugar, it's the only sugar I had in the house)
3 c. water
3 tsp. vanilla
1 quart vodka


1. In a large saucepan combine the instant coffee, sugar, and water, whisk together. Simmer, make sure the mixture does not boil. Simmer on low for two hours. Let cool.
2. In a mixing bowl combine (whisk) the vodka and vanilla. When the coffee sugar water mixture is cool add it to the vodka and vanilla. Stir or whisk to combine.
3. Pour into bottles, let age for 10 weeks before gifting.

- We like Kahlua in our coffee during the holidays, it's also good over ice with a little milk with dessert. Another great way to enjoy Kahlua is with Homemade Vegan Eggnog (recipe is on the blog).

Coconut Pumpkin Ice Cream w/ Toffee

So naughty but so nice. I made this recipe a few weekends ago when I was needing some cheering up. I just happened to have these ingredients laying around and thought to mix them all up- Voila! A sweet treat perfect for the season and it also worked in cheering me up. Enjoy!


2 cans organic canned coconut milk
1 package of Pumpkin Ice Cream starter mix (I bought this at Williams Sonoma)
1 1/2 c. toffee, chopped into smaller pieces (I used toffee from V Chocolates, it was gift from someone Billy works with and was just sitting around begging to go into this ice cream)


1. Open and pour the two cans of coconut milk into a mixing bowl, pour in the package of Pumpkin Ice Cream starter and whisk until it feels like the mix has dissolved. Refrigerate this mixture in until completely chilled.
2. After the mixture has chilled (maybe 2 hours) take out of the fridge and mix in the toffee.
3. Pour the coconut pumpkin toffee mixture into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer directions. I think I processed mine for 20-25 minutes.
4. Pour into freezer safe containers and freeze for at least one hour before serving.

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup on the Food Network- Soup and Salad Night

Broccoli-Cheddar Soup on the Food Network

I posted the link above for the soup, there is only two things that I did different and here they are...
1. I used 4 c. veggie broth (in their recipe they use 2 c. chicken stock and 2 c. of half and half)
2. I sauteed some bacon in the soup pot before I started making the soup. I scooped out the cooked bacon and about 2 T. of the bacon oil for my salad dressing. I left the rest of the bacon oil to saute the vegetables for the soup.

-Bacon Avocado Salad- Makes 2 servings

1 head of butter lettuce, torn into pieces and rinsed and spun in a salad spinner
1 avocado, diced
4 strips of sauteed crispy bacon, chopped
2 T. reserved bacon oil
2 T. red wine vinegar
2 T. veganaise or regular mayo
salt and pepper

1. Start with the dressing, whisk red wine vinegar into the reserved bacon oil, next add the veganaise and whisk again. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
2. Place the torn clean lettuce into a large mixing bowl, pour over half of the dressing and toss lightly.
3. Plate your greens and top with diced avocado and chopped crispy bacon, drizzle the rest of the dressing over the two salads.

Tart Dried Cherry Quinoa Salad w/ Walnuts, Parsley and Olive Oil

I love this dish! It was a perfect side dish for lunch with my Market Squash Soup (recipe on the blog). Delish! Easy, healthy and totally gourmet. You can mix in different dried fruits and nuts to suit your taste. Enjoy!


2 c. cooked, cooled quinoa (quinoa is a great source of protein and it's gluten free, a major staple in the Cosmo Hippie Chef kitchen)
1/2 c. tart dried cherries, chopped (I got mine at the Farmers Market, but you can find them in the bulk section at the grocery store)
1/2 c. fresh parsley, chopped
1/2 c. walnuts, chopped
2 T. olive oil
salt and pepper


1. Cook quinoa according to the directions (Simple: Boil 2 c. water and a pinch of salt, when boiling add 1 c. quinoa, rinsed, to the boiling water. Bring to boil and then turn heat to medium and simmer for 15 minutes until all the water is absorbed.) Let cook completely.
2. Scoop cooled quinoa in a large mixing bowl, add all the rest of the ingredients- tart dried cherries, parsley, walnuts, olive oil and salt and pepper (salt and pepper to taste). Mix all together. Taste to check salt and pepper.
3. Let chill in the fridge for a least one hour for flavors to mell together. Serve as a side dish, snack or for lunch.

-A drizzle of Sesame Oil just before you eat puts this dish over the top. (Thanks Brenna for the idea)

Market Squash Soup

This photo says it all-EASY! Just a few other ingredients are missing but it is really this simple. I had some leftover squash hanging out in the fridge and bought some at the Farmer's Market, they all came together for this lushish, warm, grounding soup for my lunch this last week. Enjoy!


1 c. leftover roasted pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c. leftover baked sweet potato
2 c. diced kombocha squash
1 c. diced carrots
1/2 large onion, chopped
1 T. chopped fresh sage
1 quart veggie broth
2 tsp. chipotle in adobo
olive oil
salt and pepper (I used a smoked salt)
*the juice and zest of one orange, add just before you serve
-optional: top w/ toasted pumpkin seeds or walnuts, drizzle w/ olive oil or any other flavored oil


1. Start by heating your favorite soup pot over medium heat. Drizzle in some olive oil and add the onion, carrots and kombocha squash. Season with salt and pepper, stir and cover and with lid and cook for 15 min. Remove the lid, add the sage and saute for 5 minutes.
2. Add the pumpkin  puree and baked sweet potato, stir to incorporate. Cook for a minute just to warm through. Season with a bit more salt and pepper. Next add the veggie broth and simmer the soup with the lid slighty askew for 15 minutes.
3. After you have simmered the soup, turn of the heat and blend the soup. (You can use a blender, food processor, or I like my hand held immersion blender). Last but not least add in the chipotle and orange juice and zest and stir to mix in.
4. Serve right away topped w/ toasted nuts and a drizzle of your favorite oil, or portion out in your lunch containers and store in the fridge for later. You can also freeze for a when your in a pinch.

-If the soup is too thick just add a bit of water to loosen it up.

Zuppa e Councesze: Soup with Mussels

Honestly this is on of the best recipes I've made in awhile, maybe because the first time I saw this recipe on David Rocco's Dolce Vita show on the Cooking Channel I've been waiting for the best time to make it, well last night was the night and this recipe didn't disappoint. Fresh, easy, seasonal and healthy- all the things this Cosmo Hippie Chef looks for. I served it with a crisp white table wine and slices of baguette topped with black truffle butter- totally gourmet and we didn't have to leave the house. Maybe I should start charging Billy for dinner, Kidding! Enjoy!

TOTAL TIME:45 minPrep:20 Cook:25 min YIELD:4 to 6 servingsLEVEL:EasyIngredients

1/2 cup/125 ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 cloves garlic, crushed
1 fresh chile pepper, chopped (I used a fresno chile, they have a sweet heat. A new ingredient in my kitchen.)
2 pounds/1 kg fresh mussels, cleaned and debearded* (I only used a pound)
1 cup/250 ml white wine
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 onion, chopped
10 ounces/300 g butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes
7 ounces/200 g ditalini pasta
2 cups/500 ml water (I used veggie broth)
1/2 cup/125 ml Parmigiano cheese

*I used the juice and zest of an orange,  I mixed those in right at the end

Cook's Note: To clean fresh mussels, rinse under cold running water and rip off any beards. Discard any that do not close when tapped.


Heat up 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil in a deep saucepan. Add the garlic and chopped chile pepper and cook for 1 minute. Add the mussels, wine, salt, pepper, and stir together. Cover with a lid, allowing the mussels to steam open. Cook until all the mussels are fully opened. Discard any unopened mussels.

In another saucepan, heat up 1/4 cup olive oil. Add the onion, butternut squash, salt, and black pepper. Cook for a few minutes. Then add the pasta and mix together. Add the water and allow the mixture to cook for 15 minutes or until the squash is fork tender. Cook's Note: To give the soup a creamier consistency, mash 1/2 the squash with the back of a fork.

While the butternut squash and pasta are cooking, shell the mussels and place them back into the saucepan. Transfer the mussel soup to the butternut squash soup. Mix together and add the Parmigiano cheese.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

See Ya Later

I am not good with 'Goodbye's' it feel so permanent and I just don't like it. So yesterday at the last Downtown Farmer's Market I chose to say 'See Ya Later' instead of goodbye because my hope is that those paths will cross again. I am so grateful for all those hard working dedicated farmers that show up every Saturday morning- rain or shine. I did my best to do the same, we only missed one Saturday due to our EPIC camping adventure. Time to hang up my bag until next year...until then- See Ya Later Farmers Market, you'll be missed.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

Summer of Fun- Summer of Love

When I look back at all the photos from this summer I can't believe we had that much fun. On our road trip to Portland and the Oregon Coast for our five year anniversary in May we expressed to each other that we wanted to have a "summer of fun", mostly because this is when we decided to make a serious decision regarding the future of our family, so just in case this was our last summer alone we wanted to live it up, and let me tell you we did! Even though our summer ended with a loss it certainly didn't over shadow the fun and love we experienced the last few months. Most of all thank you to my sweetie for the most amazing summer we shared as a couple but a huge thanks to our family and friends who added to the fun and most of all the love.

Here a some highlights from our summer, Enjoy!
 Me and Mom at Big Mike's god son's wedding @ Log Haven. (Big Fat Greek Wedding)
 The Dudes: Big Mike and Billy at the wedding- good lookin' dudes! (P.S. Beautiful setting and alot of alcohol)
 After or trip to Portland in May we came home with the biking bug.
 Thanks to our friends Don and Kim we had bikes to play around on all summer.
 Mom and Big Mike at our second Big Fat Greek Wedding in June, this one was fatter than the last one! Don't Mom and Mike look handsome?
 Me- flying solo at that second wedding because Billy was on a biking trip in Moab with our buddy Charlie. I'm wearing this super cute vintage dress I got at my friend Missy boutique: MISC.
 Ahh... my first batch of jam- Cherry Rhubarb. I can't tell you what a hit this jam was with a little Drake Family Farms Goat Cheese and crackers. It was a super saver for all the get togethers we went to.
 This jam even got me a early pass to a vintage bikini sale at MISC Boutique before anyone else! I worked that little deal at the party pictured below.
 This is our friends Charise and Chantelle's sister soiree party, about a week before Chantelle (pictured third from the left) and I discovered that our mom's used to work together back in the day, AND her grandpa and my grandma Little Polly used to ride the bus together! Small world!
Pictured from left to right: Charise, her mom, Chantelle, Me and my mom.
 June also marked the beginning of the Downtown Farmers Market- YAY!
This is EPIC beer, we drank alot of EPIC this summer. It was a reacquiring theme.

Fourth of July: This day started with a very rainy bike ride in which Billy and I laughed the whole way through. This picture is the fix ins for the Bruschetta I took to the Cordray family party. (recipe is on the blog)
 Ravioli Salad (recipe is on the blog) I mentioned in the blog post for this recipe that each season it can be made with what's in bloom, July brings tomatoes, basil and zucchini.
Psst... did you notice the EPIC? *)
 Our first concert of the month (we went to Chris Isaak but we didn't get photo's), Bruce Hornsby and Bella Fleck. Billy requested these tickets for his b-day. We had a blast.
 I made a special cocktail for the concert, The Leland Palmer- Yum! (recipe is on the blog)
 The best part of Red Butte Concerts is that you can bring your own food and drinks. We had white wine that we brought back from our road trip to Oregon, Greek salad and salmon. Delish.
 This is Miss Olive, she belongs to Sadie and JD our friends who used to live here but moved to San Jose last fall. Lucky for us they came for a visit in July for their second daughter Adalae's b-day.
 This is Miss Adalae- the b-day girl. Sadie and JD's second baby girl. Don't you just want to eat her cheeks?
 This is Mr. Soren (Nate and Alisa's first boy) and Miss Olive taking a break from being super heroes, they had on matching capes, so stinken cute!
 Mr. Soren, the oldest child of all our friends.
 Baby Jude, (Nate and Alisa's second baby boy) him and Miss Adalae were born on the same day. Crazy!
 Every one's favorite brotha's. From left to right: Jeff (Nate's brother), Charlie (every one's brother), and Chris (Alisa's brother).
 Our Crew: From left to right- Sadie and JD (and Miss Addy), Nate and Alisa, Billy and Brooke, and the empty chair belongs to our friends Don and Kim who are off in France having their year of fun.
 This is a picture from Billy's secret b-day party we had a Squatters. Shh...
 This is Billy and hie sister's favorite Christmas tradition- their dad's Eggs Benedict, but since his sister was here for his b-day Big Bill made a special batch. Featuring, Clifford Family Farm eggs, and Creminelli ham. This is a classic.
 Peanut Butter and Jelly thumb print cookies I mad for a Slow Food Utah pot luck.
 This is a pasta dish I made for the pot luck with fresh tomatoes, basil and mozzarella.
 Sausage and Grapes (Gwen Crist, the new president of our Slow Food Utah Chapter made this dish), the recipe came from a book we read for Slow Food Book Club, A Thousand Days in Tuscany.
 Evey one enjoying each other's company, the house we were at was magnificent.
 Billy's pregnant sister Michelle was visiting so we took her with. She said this food was some of the best food she has ever eatin. I should mention that Michelle lives in one of the food capitals of the world- NYC!
 Gwen Crist (the Pres of Slow Food Utah) and her niece Ashia enjoying the party.
This is what I whipped up with the leftover pasta from the potluck. I chopped up some fresh spinach and tossed in the leftover pasta, VIOLA dinner!


Bathroom remodel- Our nasty old bathroom
Let the work begin...
New floor, new tub and tile
New cabinets that Billy and Charlie built, they are gorgeous and work so well. Billy had to have that vessel sink and cool faucet. Good picks sweetie.
I waited 4 years for this new bathroom and I love it. It was totally done the day before my birthday. Happy Birthday to me!

 SLC Bites is like the new little sister of Slow Food Utah, these get together are a way for the younger generation to get involved in all things food.
Mr. Matt Caputo was in charge of apps.
These are the apps, all local ingredients.
The Queens of Slow Food Utah, Gwen Crist-the Pres, and Chantelle Bourdouex-the Vice Pres (well that's what I would call her), these ladies work their butts off for Slow Food.
These are all the people who made SLC Bites happen, it was one of the memorable nights we got to experience. Good job!
This photo is for Kimmy, our friends Nate and Alisa are the King and Queen of camping and since Kim couldn't be on our camping adventure she wanted me to take a photo of this.
Baby Jude is ready for camping.
Canoe time... every one had a turn, it was a beautiful lake.
Billy and his buddy Jude.
Our first meal, local chicken sandwich on great harvest bread, classic Lay's potato chips, dried mango's and EPIC beer.
 Kimmy! Look at Alisa's kitchen, can you believe it? She is the Queen.
 Mama bear and baby bear (Alisa and Jude).
 It was an EPIC camping trip. The boys enjoyed games of horse shoes.
 Chow! Taco night, I made nachos- they were soooo goood!
 Billy and his other buddy Miles, and his best friend that weekend EPIC beer.
 Alisa's sister Laura and her sweet kids, Ryan and Tommy. Sweet family, papa bear was playing horse shoes.
These last two photo's are of the wonderful Ries family, they made this whole camping trip a reality. The photo above is Nate and Soren in the canoe, Soren loved being in that boat with his dad. The last photo is Nate, Alisa and Jude relaxed and bellies full. Thanks again you guys this was the highlight of our summer, we can't wait till next year.

Truly the summer of a lifetime, full of fun and tons of love. What could be better?