Pot De Creme with Mint Cream

Pot de creme has always reminded me of my dad. He typically serves this dessert when he has a dinner party, or people at his house he wants to impress. Everyone gets their own ramekin filled with smooth, chocolate creme with a dollop of homemade whipped cream and a small mint leaf to garnish.


If you’ve never had pot de creme, imagine an adult chocolate pudding cup. It’s rich, creamy and the perfect dish to serve at a dinner party. If you like to party. If you don’t, you should still make 6 servings and just eat them all yourself.


There’s a part in this recipe where it calls for simmering water. Make sure you’re super careful when you’re pouring the  water into the pan. I was a little too eager and spilled a bit of water into one of the ramekins. If that happens to you, just take a spoon and gently skim the water off the top. It should be relatively easy to remove.


I hope you enjoy, friends!

Chocolate Pot De Creme

serves 6

2 cups heavy cream

6 oz. semisweet chocolate

4 large egg yolks – at room temperature

1/2 cup white sugar

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

In a medium sized saucepan, bring the heavy cream to a simmer. Once the cream is slightly bubbling, remove from the heat and add the chocolate in thirds, continually whisking as you go. Once all of the chocolate is melted, set the pan aside.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks and sugar together until they turn a pale yellow color. It shouldn’t take longer than a minute or two. Once the yolks and sugar are properly mixed, start to slowly add the chocolate and cream mixture into the bowl. Mix thoroughly, but don’t whisk too hard or you’ll add too much air to the mix.

Take six small ramekins and fill them evenly with the chocolate mix. Gently tap the bottom of each ramekin on a hard surface, to make sure no bubbles form. Place each ramekin inside a cake pan with tall enough sides for the water. I used a 9X13″pan.

Fill a tea kettle with water and let it sit on high heat until the water is simmering. Once the water is simmering, pour it into the cake pan, up to one inch on the side of each ramekin.

Wrap the pan in aluminum foil and poke several small holes in the top to let steam escape. Bake for 22 minutes.

Carefully remove ramekins to a cooling rack and let them sit for a few minutes, until they’re cool enough to touch. Transfer the ramekins to the fridge for 2 hours, or until they’re completely chilled.

Top with whipped cream (mint whipped cream recipe below), and fruit and/or nuts of your choice.

Will keep in the refrigerator up to 4 days.

Mint Whipped Cream

2 cups heavy whipping cream

3 tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp mint extract

Combine all ingredients in a stand-up mixer, or use the whisk attachment on a hand mixer. Mix on high until the cream is light and fluffy.

Kale Salad with Warm Breadcrumbs and Parmesan


It’s trendy, healthy and everywhere. Any hip restaurant offers their version of a kale salad and any health nut you encounter most likely blends it into their morning smoothie. When I first tried kale I wasn’t a huge fan. I thought it tasted like a banana does before it’s ripe. Then I went to Sotto, an amazing Italian restaurant not far from our apartment, and my opinion of kale changed forever.


Sotto’s kale salad consists of black kale, homemade bread crumbs, homemade caesar dressing and giant parmesan shavings. I tweaked mine a bit and made a homemade balsamic dressing, and used grated parmigiano- reggiano instead. I sprinkled the breadcrumbs on top while they were still warm, so they wilted the kale a bit, which I loved.



This dish isn’t groundbreaking, but it’s perfect for a light lunch and you could double (or triple) this recipe to serve as an appetizer at a party.

Kale Salad with Warm Breadcrumbs and Parmesan

serves 1-2

Balsamic Dressing:

one garlic clove, minced

1 tbsp mayonnaise

1 tsp dijon mustard

6 tbsp balsamic vinegar

1/2 c. olive oil

1 lemon

salt and pepper, to taste

Whisk all the ingredients together in a medium sized bowl except the lemon, salt and pepper. Squeeze a bit of the fresh lemon into the dressing, and whisk again. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.


3 leaves of kale, stalks removed (your preference on what kind of kale. I wanted to find black kale,but I couldn’t, so I ended up using dinosaur.)

1 dinner roll, preferably a day or two old

1 tbsp butter

1 tbsp olive oli

1/4 c. parmigiano-reggiano

salt and pepper

Roll the kale leaves up into a cigar shape and then slice into thin ribbons. Set aside.

Tear up the dinner roll into bite size pieces and pulse them in a food processor until they are the consistency of sand, but also have a few chunks left. Place a medium skillet on medium high heat and add the butter and olive oil. Once the oil and butter are melted together, pour in the breadcrumbs. Keep the breadcrumbs moving frequently, as they will burn quickly. Once they’re lightly browned, about 4-5 minutes, start assembling the salad.

Pile the kale ribbons high on a plate. Drizzle the balsamic dressing on top, followed by the parmigiano and the warm breadcrumbs. Season with salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve immediately.

*Note: you’ll probably have leftover dressing. It will keep in the fridge up to 3-5 days, if you do have leftovers.



I miss posting here. I miss recipes, photos, even the writing, which is honestly my least favorite part. Not that I don’t enjoy writing, but 9 times out of 10 I sit here wondering what the hell I’m going to say, and I end up deleting 90% of my thoughts. Kind of like when you’re too embarrassed to write in your diary.


Instead of continuing to miss this blog and feeling like it’s an old friend I’ve been avoiding, I decided to post a snack. A simple snack that is colorful and beautiful.


I took smoked salmon, a 6-minute egg, radish, creme fraiche, baby dill and capers, and piled it all on top of a triscuit. Sean took one look and decided there was no way he was eating it, but I happily ate all 6 and decided it was good enough to share.

Six Minute Egg Stack

makes 6 crackers

6 crackers ( I used triscuits, but I’m sure Wasa crackers (or any kind you like) would be good too)

1.5 oz smoked salmon

3 tbsp creme fraiche

1 6-minute egg

ice bath (for the egg)

fresh baby dill

2 tbsp capers

1 radish (rinsed and thinly sliced)

salt and pepper, to taste

Take your egg and gently set it in a medium sized saucepan. Cover the egg with one inch of cold water, and place saucepan over high heat. Let the water come to a rolling boil, then immediately take the pan off the heat. Cover for 6 minutes, then remove the egg with a slotted spoon. Gently crack the egg, then immediately place in the ice bath for one minute. After a minute, remove the egg, dry the shell, then crack and peel. Slice the egg into 6 slices. Set aside.

Lay out your six crackers and evenly distribute the smoked salmon. Top with a spoonful of creme fraiche, followed by a slice of egg for each cracker. Add the radish, capers and a sprinkle of dill. Finish with salt and pepper.

Serve immediately.

Curried Eggplant Dip

I woke up this morning knowing I wanted to post a recipe today. I went to the store, walked around like a moron because I didn’t have a plan or list, then came home with an eggplant, one onion, fresh basil, a lemon and some naan.


I decided to make a smoky curry dip with the eggplant and onion, and served it with some toasted naan. Now, this is not the most beautiful dip, but it is delicious. I caramelized the onions first, which made everything a bit sweet, then added in some curry & dijon mustard and let the onions cook down until they were soft and sticky.


Curried Eggplant Dip

makes about 1 1/2 cups

1 eggplant

2 cloves of garlic, smashed

1 yellow onion, peeled and thinly sliced

2 tsp curry powder

salt and pepper

2 tbsp butter

1 tsp dijon mustard

2 tsp brown sugar

olive oil

fresh herbs (I used basil) for the top

Poke holes in the eggplant with a fork all the way around. Rub olive oil all over the skin, and season with salt and pepper. Place eggplant on a baking sheet and broil for 2 minutes on all sides, until charred, but not totally burnt.

Reduce oven down to 375 degrees, (keeping the eggplant in the oven), and continue cooking for 20 minutes, or until the eggplant is completely soft. Remove from oven and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt 2 tbsp of butter over medium-high heat. Add onions, brown sugar and smashed garlic cloves,and cook for 10-15 minutes, until the onions start to take on a light brown color. Add salt and pepper and curry powder, and cook for 3-4 minutes. Add dijon mustard and continue cooking for 5 minutes.

In a blender or food processor, add onions and garlic, and pulse until combined, but still a bit chunky. Just make sure there are no big pieces of garlic or onion. Discard the top of the eggplant, but add the rest, including the skin, to the food processor. Pulse again, until just combined. Taste for salt and pepper.

Serve immediately with fresh herbs on top, and hot naan or pita bread.





I snapped some photos while I was working at my internship last night, and thought it could be fun (maybe?) if I posted some pictures from the kitchen.





Don’t bother using a toaster. Grill your bread.



Plucking fresh mint leaves. (Not my hands).



my list



Sips: A Drink Series

Lord help me. I want to start a drink series.


I never make cocktails at home. I always envy people who have amazing bar carts filled with glass tumblers and perfectly square ice cubes. While I don’t have a bar cart, I do have a burning desire to make more of an effort to make restaurant style cocktails at home. Sometimes I feel guilty going out to eat and spending a chunk of money on dinner and drinks. Like, I want to be chef, so shouldn’t I just make all this at home? So with that in mind, I wanted to start Sips. A way to document my thoughts and experiments with mixology.

Over the weekend I was playing around with whiskey concoctions. I rarely drink whiskey, so this was definitely challenging for me. I didn’t want to make a drink that was too sweet, but I also knew I had to add something to cut through the bitter Maker’s Mark. With that criteria in mind, I decided to try my hand at making an herb infused simple syrup. I used thyme for my herb, but you can honestly use whatever kind you want. I just steeped 3-4 sprigs of thyme in the simple syrup for about 2-3 hours, and then strained the syrup in a sieve.

After all that, I came up with something that I thought was worthy of a Sips post. Maker’s Mark with fresh orange juice, bitters and thyme simple syrup. A bit of a warning: this drink is semi strong. If you aren’t a whiskey fan, I would probably sit this one out.


I happened to be making pasta dough while I was mixing this drink. Hence the fucking flour thumbprint. :(


Maker’s with Fresh Orange Juice, Bitters and Thyme Simple Syrup

makes one drink

3 oz. Maker’s Mark (or whatever whiskey you prefer)

2 oz. fresh orange juice

2-3 dashes of Angostura Bitters

1.5 tbsp thyme simple syrup

4-5 ice cubes

cocktail shaker (with ice)


Combine ingredients in the cocktail shaker. Shake vigorously for 10-15 seconds, then pour over ice. Top with a sprig or two of thyme.

Serve immediately.


Thyme Simple Syrup

makes about 3/4 cup

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup water

3-4 sprigs of fresh thyme

Bring sugar and water to a boil over high heat. When the sugar has dissolved, remove from heat and add the thyme. Let the herbs steep in the syrup for 1-2 hours, then strain the syrup through a sieve. Keep syrup in a (tightly capped) jar in the refrigerator, up to two weeks.






Photo Heavy

Whoa, whoa, whoa. It’s been too long. I don’t even know how to start this post after my 4 month blog silence….

I’ll start out by saying that this summer was great. I traveled, worked tons, started the most amazing internship at a local restaurant, found out I’m going to be an aunt come February 2015, and just tried to concentrate on life, my relationships, happiness and where I’m going.

However, I do feel like I’m in a weird transition right now. I’m 25, and between school, work and my internship, I just feel like I’m literally pulled in 5 different directions, with no clear idea of which way I want to go. But isn’t that life? Isn’t everyone, regardless of their age, wondering what the hell is going on and where they’re going to end up? Maybe, maybe not. I guess I’m just trying to make sense of becoming an adult and what I want my life to be. For so long, we have our parents to make decisions for us and tell us which way to go, and sometimes I feel like I’m a fish out of water when I’m making big life decisions.

Anyway, without rambling on about who even knows what, I have some photos from the past few months that I want to share. This post is photo heavy, so in the words of Kenny Powers, hold onto your dicks.


photo credit: Kaity Ayres

We drove south to Asheville, North Carolina back in August. It’s our favorite place to camp, and we always leave there wishing we lived in a house nestled in the mountains. While we were there, I had the chance to meet my blog friend, Kaity and her fiance, Alex. Kaity is the definition of a beautiful person inside and out, and I’m so happy we were finally able to meet. She’s an insanely talented photographer and we all met up to take photos, hike and enjoy the ridiculous scenery.



k and a

Kaity and Alex ^^



The most beautiful garden behind this little breakfast place we stopped at.



Changing gears….we headed west earlier this month to see my brother and SIL in Denver. They’re expecting their first baby girl (!!!!!) this winter, and my family is beyond excited. Like, we have her first beach trip planned for next summer. And her bathing suit already laid out.

lake 2

Rocky Mountain NP!

mountains 4

mountain 2

tree 3

tree 2

I also have some recipes up my sleeve and I’ll be sharing those soon. I’m also  hoping to get permission to post some photos from the restaurant I’m interning at, so I’ll definitely throw those up if/when I have them.

It feels great to be back. <3



Salt Bake

Five years ago, I was sick in bed watching re-runs of Top Chef. It was a reunion episode, where they bring back a few chefs from each season, and they all cooked and made a beautiful dinner. Marcel’s (anyone remember him?) contribution was a whole fish baked in a salt crust, then cracked open and served with a squeeze of fresh lemon. It was super simple, but it was so unique. I had never seen anything like it before. I grabbed my journal, wrote “SALT BAKE” in big, black letters, and didn’t get around to trying one until yesterday afternoon.

As I mentioned, a salt bake is incredibly easy. Six egg whites, three cups of salt and a hot oven will give you the best fish of your life.


I chose Branzini for my fish, but you can use any firm white fish you love. I asked the guy behind the fish counter to clean and gut the fish for me, so all I had to do when I got home was stuff the cavity with fresh thyme, and get it into the oven.


egg whites

Egg whites/salt pre-bake.


The aftermath.



1 whole Branzini – cleaned, gutted, scales and fins removed

1 bunch of fresh thyme

1 lemon, cut into wedges

3 cups kosher salt

6 egg whites

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

Stuff the cavity of the fish with the fresh thyme sprigs. Refrigerate until you have finished the egg white mixture and the oven is preheated.

In a a medium sized mixing bowl, beat egg whites until stiff peaks form. Carefully fold in the salt, a little at a time, until it’s all combined.

Spread a small amount of the egg white mixture onto the bottom of a shallow baking pan, nestling the fish on top. Gently scoop the egg whites on top of the fish, covering it completely.

Bake for 30 minutes, until the egg whites are hard and golden brown.

Let the fish sit for 10 minutes, then gently crack the crust with a wooden spoon, discarding the salt crust. Remove the fish, and serve with a squeeze of fresh lemon.

**Cooking a whole fish means there will be bones. Branzini bones are relatively big, so they’re easy to pick out. Just be careful!**


Chicago: A Food Tour

Over the weekend I went to Chicago with my friend Jessica to embark on a mini food tour. We both love to eat, and wanted to enjoy all the food/drinks we could within 72 hours. Did we succeed? Hell yes. My bank account is doubled over in pain, but my belly is full, and it was the best weekend I’ve had in a long time.

We went to Girl and the Goat Friday night,followed by Little Goat Diner Saturday morning, then Green Street Smoked Meats for dinner, with a final brunch at Grange Hall Burger Bar Sunday mid-morning.





I have to be honest. I was really psyched about this picture when I took it, and my OCD brain is now going crazy looking at it on here, noticing the blurry thyme.


Cutest lil’ mimosa.



Smoked fries.


Braised beef, havarti, picked peppers & onions and spicy mayo.




Strawberry basil chilled soup.


Fish tacos.