Doing what we do best... dining

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Miller... we have a problem.

The last post, with the Creme Brulee recipe, created a problem. It wasn't an overly surprising problem (as I noted it at the end of the post), but an unfortunate problem, nonetheless. My waistline seems to have vanished. It's gone to the waistline graveyard with a tombstone reading"Here lies what was once Kristin's respectable waistline. Damn you, Creme Brulee."
It certainly wasn't a difficult or long, drawn out death. By my estimation, it only took about 4 weeks and approximately 15 servings of Creme Brulee (and an unmentionable number of other desserts here and there). That stuff is dangerous.

So now, back to exercising, and (hopefully) my road to recovery from my sweets addiction. Having just completed my first work out in waaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too long, I would like nothing more than a glass of wine and some burnt sugar atop light, fluffy custard. I'm settling for the glass of wine and blogging about my compulsion with confections. Spare tire be damned! I will see my waistline again soon!!!

On to food.... thanks for allowing the rant....

There has been a great deal of good cooking happening in the Miller Home. Birthdays and BBQ's have had Brian cooking all sorts of delicious fare. The recipe that follows is inspired by a dish at one of our favorite restaurants in Columbus, Cameron Mitchell's Marcella's. It's a great appetizer or first course. While not exactly heath food, it's excellent... enjoy in moderation.

Baked Brie with Apples & Honey

You'll need:

1 round of Brie cheese (do not remove rind)
1 small loaf of sourdough bread or brioche cut into small pieces
1-2 tart apples, thinly sliced
1/4 cup honey or agave nectar
Olive Oil (for the bread)

The steps:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place the bread on a cookie sheet. Lightly brush each piece olive oil. Just a sheer coating will do.
Place the Brie wheel, rind and all, on a cookie sheet. Bake on the top rack for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is oozing out of the rind a bit.
Remove and let stand for about 5 minutes.

While the cheese is cooling, place the bread in the already-to-temp oven. Toast them for about 5-7 minutes, until the tops are just browning.

Schmear the Brie on a toast, top with an apple slice, and drizzle with the honey or agave nectar. And wow do you have an amazing dish.

Eat and enjoy!

Monday, July 12, 2010


It's Ohio Brew Week in Athens! Which, obviously means all things Ohio Brews. To us, however, it's also all things food. We have the pleasure of judging the Craft Brew Cooking-Athens Cuisine Showcase and Competition this Tuesday. Then the Brew-B-Q Cook-Off Competition on Friday. This will be our third year judging the Craft Brew battle. Each year the entries have really wowed us. Always unique; always delicious. We always leave with new ideas for cooking at home and extremely full bellies.

Since it's a foodie week for us, it seems appropriate to get crackin' on the food blog. I'm going to get as many recipes up this week as I can, including a Feta Spread that's been getting a request or two.

But first - the glory that is Creme Brulee. I'm in love with Creme Brulee. In fact, I'm having an affair with Creme Brulee. Scratch that, Brian & I are BOTH having an affair with it. I ask for it... he cooks it... and we both devour it. Back in June, I bought him a very self-serving gift. A Creme Brulee kit complete with 4 ramekins and a mini-blowtorch. The latter being the main reason he so enjoys cooking it, I might add.

So we've made it numerous ways so far and served it with various fresh fruits. Here is the basic recipe we've been using.

Creme Brulee (4 servings)

You'll need:

1 pint heavy cream
1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
1/4 cup sugar, divided
3 large egg yolks

The steps:

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

Place cream, vanilla bean (and pulp) into a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. NOTE: Should you want flavored Creme Brulee, add something! This is the time to do so; while your cooking the cream & vanilla. We've added lemon zest, juice & zest of orange, and almond extract. They've all been delicious.

Remove from heat, cover, let sit for 15 minutes. Remove vanilla bean.

Meanwhile, in a medium sized bowl, whisk together sugar and the egg yolks until well blended and begins to lighten in color. Temper in the cream - going very slow making sure the eggs don't scramble, stirring continuously.

Pour the mixture into ramekins (approx. 7-8 oz size). Place the ramekins into a cake pan or roasting dish. Pour enough hot water into the pan to come halfway up the sides of the ramekins.

Bake until the creme brulee is just set - still trembling in the center (40-45 minutes).

Remove the ramekins and refrigerate for at least several hours.

Just before serving:

Remove creme brulee from refrigerator for approx. 30 minutes.

Sprinkle a layer of sugar on top of the creme brulees. Make sure it's an even covering. Using a torch (Brian's FAVORITE part), melt the sugar to form the crispy top.
Allow to sit for about 10 minutes before serving.
Top with fresh fruit. Blueberries, blackberries, wineberries, Clementine slivers, or whatever is fresh at the farmers market.


CAUTION! Making this recipe just one time can severely screw your diet. I believe we've made it 4 times since mid-June. I feel only slightly guilty about that. Oops. Sorry waistline.... I'll see you again soon.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Summertime... and blogging hasn't come easy.

I love writing. Brian loves cooking. Yet we've been terribly lax with our food blogging. We've been eating... just not blogging. Several people have asked where we've gone, and when the next blog will appear, so here we are. Glad to know you're enjoying!

Another post will be coming this week. And here's the early disclaimer -- it WILL NOT be a healthy one. But one I've become addicted to eating. And Brian has become addicted to making. Seemingly because he gets to use a mini-blowtorch.

This, however, is a health one. And quite tasty also. It's a great summertime chicken dish that is rather quick to prepare. Happy reading and eating!

Chicken with Honey-Orange-Garlic Sauce

You'll need:

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts, trimmed
2 oranges
2 tablespoons flour
salt & pepper
1 cup chicken broth
3 garlic cloves, chopped
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 cup white wine (use a mild, fruity wine)
2 tablespoons honey
1 cinnamon stick
Assorted micro-greens


First, zest and juice one orange. Keep in a small bowl. Peal and pith the other, then halve and slice.

Combine flour, salt & pepper in a shallow dish.Dredge chicken in the flour. Transfer remaining flour into a small bowl, add broth and whisk to combine.

Heat oil in a large, non-stick skillet over med-high heat. Brown the chicken (3-4 minutes per side). Remove from pan. Add wine to pan to deglaze (about 1 minute). Add flour/broth mixture, orange zest & juice, honey cinnamon and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer.

Return the chicken to pan. Cook, turning once or twice until cooked through. Sauce should thicken. (10-12 minutes)

Remove cinnamon stick before serving.

Plate chicken, spooning sauce over it. Top with orange slices and micro-greens.

Serve with your favorite veggie. We paired it with lemon-basil carrots (recipe later).