make ahead

How To Make Violet Syrup

This is my third year making violet syrup, and last week I had to dig deep to find the energy to do it. I was upstate for just a tiny bit of time—less than 36 hours. It was a quick roundtrip to take measurements for some furniture I need to buy before we move back. We arrived under the cover of night and rain, and I hadn’t expected to do anything outdoor-related since the forecast was rain the whole weekend.

When I woke the following morning, though, I blinked twice, as a sliver of sunshine peeked through my bedroom windows. It was the perfect prescription for prying my tired bones from bed. I splashed some water on my face, brushed my teeth, and threw on some jeans and a t-shirt to inspect the violet situation. On my last visit, four weeks earlier, the buds were just starting to sprout across the yard. I was fully expecting them to have bloomed, or withered away from the erratic temperatures we’ve had. Continue reading »

Ginger, Parsley & Pistachio Pesto

I’ve gotten into this habit of eating soup for breakfast. I find starting the day with a warm, soothing bowl of broth is a gentle way to wake up my body. It makes sense, if you think about it. Some people drink hot tea, so what is the difference between that a hot, brothy soup? Some days I add rice noodles; I try to keep some cooked ones in the fridge as an easy add-in. My freezer is usually stocked with broth from my slow roasted chicken soup, although I used the last bit of it before heading upstate. Time to restock when we get back to Maryland in a few days.

This Ginger, Parsley & Pistachio Pesto adds a refreshing flavor to soups, salad dressings, and stir-fries. Plus, it's dairy free!

This Ginger, Parsley & Pistachio Pesto adds a refreshing flavor to soups, salad dressings, and stir-fries.

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homemade crema

I’ve had crema a few times but none have inspired me to try and make it until eating at Diego’s in Kingston, NY. Now, how this little gem of a restaurant was sitting under my nose all the time I lived upstate is beyond me. Well, actually, it’s not that surprising. I live 18 miles west of Kingston, and with it being on the other side of the reservoir, it’s not exactly my first choice, location wise, for eating out.

I ordered cauliflower tacos two ways. Much to my embarrassment, I can’t remember both preparations. I choose to believe it’s because the fried cauliflower taco with crema blew me away so hard, knocking the memory of everything else I ate that day. To be so in awe, you have to be a cauliflower addict like myself. The taco was dressed with a zingy slaw and a drizzle of the crema. The simplicity is what elevated the crema, letting it play a strong supporting role in a very uncomplicated dish. Continue reading »

dark chocolate brownies

Recently, I began playing around with cassava flour. A reader whom I had the pleasure to meet in person a few months ago mentioned it as a good grain-free, gluten-free alternative. I’d been meaning to Google it ever since. Then I happened to see a bag of it at my local health food store. Talk about sticker shock when I saw the price ($17 for a 2-pound bag!). I wondered how many people like myself were curious about it, but too scared off by the price tag. Into my cart went the bag, delegating myself the official taste tester, and risk taker, for all of us collectively.

Cassava flour isn’t a perfect fit for every recipe, and it certainly isn’t an even swap, regardless of what the packaging says. I’ll do a more detailed post on this in the coming weeks. I still have a bit more playing around to do with it. I’ve shared a recipe for grain-free brownies before, and hot dang they are amazing. But you can taste the almond flour bits in them (I don’t mind that), and since they have nuts, they’re not well, um, nut-free. Which is what prompted me to develop another grain-free brownie recipe last week using the cassava flour. Continue reading »

homemade vegetable egg rolls

Before we go any further, I owe an apology for the RSS feed if you’re a subscriber (if you’re not, click this link). The last couple of weeks the images have been wonky, and not exactly matching the actual post. There’s so much admin work to do when you’re a one-woman shop like myself. Much as I try to dot every “i” and cross every “t”, something falls through the cracks. It kills me like you can’t imagine.

Sooo, until I can sort out with my web developer why the image doesn’t auto fill when a new post goes live, I have to manually go in and change it. Even worse than having to do it manually is I have to remember to do it. My apologies, and I hope it hasn’t deterred any of you from clicking through and reading. I will try to get better about it! Continue reading »

2-ingredient duck sauce

Chinese food may very well be the official language of NYC. If you grew up in Brooklyn, chances are you were weaned on Chinese take out. Now, when I refer to Chinese food, I’m referring to Chinese-American food. Much like Italian-American, it’s not considered part of authentic Chinese cuisine. Still, some foods just pull you back into your childhood, and for me, walking into an old school place, with a heaping bowl of fried noodles, and bowl of duck sauce feels like traveling back in a time machine. A time when food was less fussy, when people didn’t snap the perfect photo before digging in.

I’ve managed to master my wok, teach myself to make dumplings, fried rice, wontons, and more recently eggrolls (coming soon!), but one very important thing was missing to reclaim a bit of my childhood: duck sauce. More than once I reached for a jar of it in the supermarket, and I just couldn’t go through with it. The ingredient list was too daunting. I tried a few passes, making my own, using dried apricots. Eh. Better to forgo it all together. Continue reading »

slow roasted chicken soup

I know. You’re not sure it’s soup weather exactly. My little one wore shorts to school yesterday, but don’t count winter out yet. Spring doesn’t officially arrive until March 20th, and as past years have proven, even that isn’t a definitive when it comes to temperatures. Besides, we’ve already discussed my love for soup. It’s a meal that knows no seasonal boundaries as far as I’m concerned.

This Slow Roasted Chicken Soup is so good, it’ll leave you craving a bowl in the middle of August (I’m souper serious here, folks).

A pho craving kicked in a few weeks ago. I wanted a hearty, rich stock, to slurp up with rice noodles. Rather than mess up the stove top with grease splatter to make my regular stock, I decided to take my stock to oven. Now, let’s just get this out of the way before you begin (and not at all to discourage you). The first hour or so, is a bit all hands on deck. This is because we’re building the flavors, and that means adding ingredients in stages, so be patient. Trust me on this one. I promise the resulting soup/stock/broth will make your knees weak. Once you get it going, you can walk away from the stove, and let the stock do it’s thing. Continue reading »

homemade almond milk

In putting together a Pinterest board for National Almond Day yesterday (yeah, there’s pretty much a food holiday for every day of the year), I came across an old recipe that I wanted to share. I used have it on another site, but realized yesterday that it wasn’t over here on In Jennie’s Kitchen. So, here you go—my recipe for homemade almond milk! Continue reading »

14 of my best soup recipes

Update: You can now listen to my posts! I’m working on figuring out how to make them into a podcast, but in the meantime, just click below.

I’m a soup fiend, as you’ll see on reading the stories that go with my best soup recipes below. My love affair with them has nothing to do with the weather, either. Hearty soups, filled with pasta, veggies, maybe some beans are the ultimate one-bowl meal in my book. For some, my Mikey included, a bowl of tomato soup and a gooey, grilled cheese sandwich is as comforting as a hug when you’re not feeling well. And then there are the soups that bring us back to your childhood, like one I recently made from Rachel (see the pasta & potato soup). While the soup of my childhood wasn’t exactly the same, her recipe, and more importantly, the way she wrote about it, reminded me of the pastina and broth I used to love.

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gingerbread hot cocoa

I know. Another gingerbready kind of recipe (and I’m sure that’s not even a real word, so forgive me, Ilina). It’s okay if you’re rolling your eyes; everyone else in my house is fed up with my obsession, too. The good news is that this recipe for gingerbread hot cocoa is the last of its kind that I’ll be sharing for 2015. Don’t worry—I already have a few gingerbread recipes in the bank for 2016!

It’s hard to believe today is December 21st. There was this quiet moment, just after Thanksgiving, where I felt like there would be time to savor this holiday season. I remember letting out a huge exhale (much as I just did while writing that sentence), and pressing the mental slow motion button. In hindsight, I’m especially thankful for that relaxing Thanksgiving weekend. Slowing down for those few days helped shore up energies for what has been a very busy December. We’ve clocked more than 1,500 miles this month to visit friends in Woodstock, Brooklyn, and North Carolina. And this weekend, we shall make one last visit to our house in upstate NY to unwind for a few days before welcoming a new year, and new possibilities. Continue reading »