Archive for the ‘In the Kitchen’ Category

Cookin’ with Em -A New Book

Tuesday, June 25th, 2019

Now that Em is settled into her new apartment it is time to get back to our “cooking together” adventure.

You will find a blog about all of this here.

But a quick catch up is my daughter, Em and I, decided earlier this year to cook together even though we presently live almost 700 miles apart. Em is quite the cook (she takes after her father) and I am just a few seasons into my oneness with the kitchen. It is a way for us to enjoy discovering new recipes and really has been fun. We each take turns picking a weekly recipe out of a chosen book. Once we have both made the recipe we compare what we liked, didn’t like, what we could add or take out.

So, as I said now that Em is settled in her new apartment it is time to start again. And I think it is time for a new book. We spent approximately 4 months with MILK street and found some wonderful recipes will be repeating, But I say it is time for a new book. I am ready for a new book. I like new books. LOL.

But what book? Here is where you will play a part. I am going to put links to two books below. Just click on each book to get to their Amazon listings so you can peruse all the info easily available.

Afterwards just comment below which book you think we should tackle. On Monday, June 29th I will order which ever book decided and we will begin again the following week!


click on the book picture for more info


click on the book picture for more info

So thanks in advance for your comment and have a great day!

*MDQuilts is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites. By using these links I will make a small percentage of your purchase, even if you buy something else – and it won’t cost you anything.

Dutch Baby Breakfast

Wednesday, March 27th, 2019

I have been wanting to make a Dutch Baby pancake for breakfast for almost 2 months now. But every morning I put it into my plan, well the time involved in making it made it impossible.

But yesterday was the day. Even though Paul declared he was sleeping until 9am (again!) I gently asked if I made the pancake would he get up to enjoy it and then go back to bed around 7am. He said yes he would.

I was hungry and awake and afraid if I waited to make it wouldn’t happen again.

But it did! And just look at it! WOW! if I say so myself!

Dutch Baby Pancake with Fruit Compote

After sharing on Facebook & Instagram I have heard your request for the recipe so there it is.

Dutch Baby Pancake

  • 3 large eggs & one yolk
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp. sugar
  • 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 1/2 tbsp. butter
  • confectioners’ sugar
  • blueberries, strawberries and raspberries*

Combine effs, flour, milk, sugar, vanilla and salt until smooth. Let batter rest while oven preheats to 425. Place butter in an ovenproof skillet (note I used my Pyrex and it worked just fine as you can see) and place in oven for 1-2 minutes so it will melt. Remove from oven and swirl melted butter around dish/skillet to coat all sides and bottom. Pour in batter. Bake 18-20 minutes until pancake is puffy and deeply golden. Cool for 5 minutes. Then liberally dust with confectioner’s sugar and serve with fresh fruit.

*While my pancake was baking, since I was using frozen fruit, I chose to make a simple compote on the stove top vs fresh fruit which you would just place on the pancake before serving.

A plan to create a recipe tab on the website is on the “to-do” list and when it is crossed off I will announce it with a blog and will have a PDF downloadable copy of this recipe there. It is my own recipe as I tinkered with some of the ingredients and amounts so I feel comfortable sharing it.


Cooking With Em #3 – Milk Street Tuesday Nights Cookbook

Friday, March 8th, 2019

RECIPE: Page 328 – Paprika-Caraway Kielbasa Soup

Yesterday was a “Cooking with Em” Day. If your unfamiliar with what that is you can quickly catch up by clicking here and reading this blog.

Page 329 – MILK Street Tuesday Nights Cookbook

It was an Em’s choice week and she went with a soup. Perfect for the rainy weather she is experiencing in Arkansas. If you wish to see Em’s pics of her finished meals or pics of her artwork you can find her on Instagram under the name of applejuicedepre.

Here are all the ingredients. Note I did double up on the recipe’s called for amount of kielbasa. I wanted the skinless version for soup and the packaging meant more sausage then needed.

And you see a jar of sauerkraut there vs fresh. I thoroughly rinsed the kraut under hot water before adding to soup to mellow it’s taste. I used jar vs fresh because in 10 days time it is Reuben Sandwich week here after St. Patrick’s Day celebrations. Corned Beef and Sauerkraut – what’s not to love. And our local grocery had that large jar on sale for $1.99.

I also unintentionally doubled up on the tomato paste in error. Em’s one negative about the soup was it needed more tomato flavor, and we didn’t experience that, so I have noted to double the tomato paste from now on.

Chop and dice kielbasa, potatoes and onion into bite size pieces.

Next I added the caraway seeds. I really wish you could of smelled my kitchen and how wonderful the aroma was.

All the ingredients are in the pot and simmering away for at least 30 minutes. Like most soups – low and slow- is the way to go. Flavors melding is happening!

Paul walked in the door from work and the first words out of his mouth were – “Is it ready to eat?” It really smelled that good.

Dinner is served.

Someone ate two servings before I was finished with my one. He said “no doubt this is a 5 STAR notation in the book and a definite MAKE AGAIN recipe.

You will note that I am not sharing the recipe on this blog just giving our insights/tweaks and feedback. This cookbook is readily available to purchase or check out of your library. Giving a recipe that is not your own is much like posting another designer’s quilt pattern online. The author, publisher and all the people in between from photographers to delivery people need those purchase dollars to support their own households and families – so I wish to support them and I know you do also. Because without their creativity we wouldn’t have this great soup to enjoy. So if interested you can find the book here, or at your local bookstore or library and cook along with Em & I.

I will announce the week’s recipe on the MDQuilts facebook page and then do a follow up blog, as this is every week. We won’t cook our way thru the entire book, with 300+ recipes that would take awhile and several other cookbooks are calling to us, but I see us giving this book a few months of attention. It is definitely a winner on our shelves.

Next week is my pick…and I see chicken on the grocery list!

Enjoy the day,

Cookin’ with Em #2 – Milk Street Tuesday Nights Cookbook

Thursday, February 28th, 2019

RECIPE: page 209 – Palestinian Crispy Herb Omelet

Last night was a “Cookin’ with Em” night. And this weeks recipe is Palestinian Crispy Herb Omelet.

One thing that is absolutely right about this recipe and is addressed in the cookbook, the prep of the herbs will take longer then the actual cooking.

I am so happy that recently I purchased this nifty kitchen gadget to make cutting of herbs easier and quicker. These scissors saved this recipe as far as I am concerned. Chopping three different herbs is not something I would chalk up as great fun. My knife skills are still in development. So multiblade scissors are for me!

snip- snip-snip

Worth every penny!

I am putting a link to these scissors here. You can also find them at Bed, Bath & Beyond, not exactly the same scissors, if I remember correctly they didn’t have the soft grip, but a version is there. I have used them several times. But this recipe did give them a workout. I love my gadgets, quilting and now cooking!

We used 8 eggs per the recipe. But in hindsight I think 2 more were needed. Although our eggs were labeled Large, they were really “fluffy” Mediums.

Dinner is served.
We added a side of aspargus.

I also substituted half a poblano pepper for the serrano chilies the recipe called for. Personally, that would of been too much heat for me. But both Paul and I agree that next time, I will use the whole poblano.

And I substituted Naan bread for pita bread. Just a personal choice there.

All in all we are giving this recipe 3 Stars out of 5. It needs some more tweaking, 2 more eggs, more poblano and less greek yogurt in the sauce we feel . We did enjoy it and will make it again.

Going to spend some time today looking thru the book for the next recipe. Oh wait it’s Em’s turn to pick. Well, I will just pick out something to make the following week on my own as she will be away. There are so many recipes in this book that we will never get thru all of them together.

Here is a link to the book for additional information.

That’s it for now. Just a side note, I am working on a reading list page for those who have asked about a list of the books I share on Facebook. Hopefully that will get done and up in the next week or so. But for now I am signing off and heading to the studio to sew!

Have a great day,

Little Boy Britches – Quilt Ideas

Wednesday, February 27th, 2019

A quick post to share with you some ideas for quilts that happened with a little bit of play time on my hands.

This is a a straight set of the block with no sashing between the blocks. It mimics the antique top in my collection. But I played with the coloring and two toned the “britches” for some twinkle in the blocks.

Here is the block on point and again with no sashing between blocks. Look at the fun secondary circles that happen! I played with the coloring to mix it up a bit. By using three different colorway of blocks in the quilt and their placement, depth is created.

This final idea for a quilt is back to a traditional setting with skinny sashing between the blocks. This is Little Boy Britches and Tennessee Circles (Oct 2018) combined.

The pre order special of FREE SHIPPING (domestic delivery only) is ongoing and will expire at 11:59pm on Saturday March 3rd. Orders will begin shipping on Friday, March 8th in the order in which they were received. Online Facebook LIVE segments coverage hand piecing techniques and how-to’s will begin the week of March 18th.

On the home front, tonight is another recipe from MILK Street – Tuesday Nights cookbook. This week was my choice and I went with the Palestinian Crispy Herb Omelet. I am making two changes….using poblano pepper vs serrano chilies. And Naan bread vs pita. I’ll take pics and share tomorrow!

Enjoy the day,

Milk Street – Tuesday Nights Cookbook

Monday, February 18th, 2019

I am a cook.

This is a sentence I have never typed before about myself. Feels good. It has been a long time coming as they say. I didn’t catch the “cooking fever” until my late 40s. Now at 53, I find myself perusing the new releases of cookbooks as much as my beloved autobiographies and historical fiction.

A few weeks ago, Em and I, decided to pick a cookbook and work our way thru it together. Well ok, maybe not all the way thru it. We are both creative people and I highly doubt we could stick to one book for it’s entirety.

So we each complied our own Top Five list and compared. Immediately one book stood out, basically because it was on both of our lists.

Milk Street Tuesday Nights by Christopher Kimball

We take familiar ingredients such as ground beef and spice them up, add garam masala , ginger and garlic and you have keema mater. We dress pasta simply, but boldly, with ricotta and sage, for example.

Introduction of Milk Street Tuesday Nights

Two copies were immediately purchased.

If you flip thro these pages you will notice two things: simplicity and big flavors. That is how you get supper on the table quickly on Tuesday nights while also delivering great food.

Introduction of Milk Street Tuesday Nights

This is a BIG cookbook. At a smidge over 400 pages and well over 150 recipes (I stopped counting by chapter 5 of 9 in the book) it will be a book we may not cook our way thru entirely together but it will serve us both well.

Did I mention that my Em is a wonderful cook? She obviously didn’t learn from me. Paul Sr inspired her. I told her to pick the first recipe. Our plan is to make one recipe a week “together”. Meaning any day of the week that works in either of our busy schedules works. We may not even make it on the same day. But we will discuss it on Sunday.

This weeks recipe is on page 57 under the Fast chapter.

Tuscan Soup


I’m putting a link here and you will see a new AMAZON link box at the top of the right hand column of my blog. So many have been asking me to make a list of books I share on Facebook and other things that I have finally sat down and made this easy to access and refer back to list of links.

Ok, off to putter some more in my studio. Pictures are being taken for the next block release in the Mic’s Attic Picks series.

Watch for that this weekend!

Enjoy the day,

An Evening in the Kitchen in Paul & Mic

Saturday, November 17th, 2018

Lately there has been a whole lotta cooking going on at Chez Depre! 

We have fallen into a pattern of cooking up a storm one or two nights a week and then kinda coasting the rest of the week, sure maybe a steak or pork chop is grilled but all other parts of a well balanced meal are ready and just need a warming up.    This has really brought some freedom into our evenings and has kept us away from the easy…let’s get a pizza/Chinese/tacos pitfall. 

And it has become quite fun as we search out recipes to try.  Add to this a weekly delivery of produce from Imperfect Produce and the game is on to find ways to use it all and waste nothing.     About 7-8 weeks ago I spotted an add on Facebook for Imperfect Produce and immediately thought…wow that is a great concept.   Then a friend posted that she got her first box.  It looked great and I was in!  Imperfect Produce is basically  fruits & veggies that are deemed not perfect for store shelves but of course are yummy and good on all other fronts.  Of course the ease of picking out (yes you can customize your box weekly or let the people at Imperfect surprise you) of having these foods delivered is a plus with a busy life.  But what we really like and why we support it with our membership is it is a way for those in “food desserts” can obtain healthy food.   So while we can easily buy at our local store (and trust me we still do because there is always a need for more food with Paul in the house) our membership helps support this so that those who don’t have the luxury can still obtain them.

Friday is delivery day here and this was what was in this weeks box. 

Red Cabbage

Yellow Peppers



Green Apples 





Right off the bat I thought SOUP! with the Fennel. 

And a quick search of found this recipe for 

Zucchini & Fennel Soup

While I prepared the soup, Paul actually was making a Chuck Roast using up carrots, celery, onions and potatoes from last weeks box.  (with vacay, business travel and son travel we got a little behind) 


Sautee those veggies!  Very easy…simple and clean cooking.   While those sautéed I got busy wrapping brussel sprouts (also from last weeks box) in bacon that could share the oven with Paul’s dish. 

Veggies are done just as it is time to pop Paul’s dish and the bacon sprouts in the oven. 


Onward to using the blender to puree everything. 


I just wish you could taste and smell it.   So good.   I will be adding Fennel and Zucchini to our box for this soup at least once a month!

A little while later these came out of the oven. 







There were about twice as many as in the picture.  I had two.   That is all I am saying.   I am guessing more brussel sprouts need to be ordered.  LOL 

I forgot to take a pic of the Chuck Roast and Veggies…sorry.   It will be dinner tonight with Paul Jr after we pick him up from the airport.   

If you are interested in checking out Imperfect Produce you can do so here.  

I just went to get the standard link offering a $10 discount on your first order and found that they are running a special for a $20 discount!  if you sign up by November 27th!  So click and check it out! 

Now I am off to sew in the studio for a few hours.  

Enjoy your day!




Coffee Energy Balls – The Food Network Magazine

Wednesday, October 3rd, 2018

We love anything coffee flavored.   It is quite the passion here at Chez Depre.   So when the recent issue of Food Network Magazine came with this little “extra” recipe booklet we happily jumped in.  Several recipes called  to us, and will be made.  Such as Candied Bacon, Coffee Cake, Meringues, Stuffed French Toast…all featuring COFFEE.   

But it was the Energy Balls that Paul decided were going to be first.  He is working some long hours lately and these looked like they would be good to have in his lunch container. 

Here is the recipe exactly as it is written in the booklet.  



Simmer 1 cup each brewed coffee and chopped pitted dates in a saucepan over medium heat until paste-like, about 20 minutes.  Stir in 2 tablespoons each honey and peanut butter, 1 tablespoon each instant espresso powder and butter, and a pinch of salt.  Stir in 1 cup each rolled oats and graham cracker crumbs.  Drop tablespoonfuls (about 18) onto a parchment-lined baking sheet.  Refrigerate until firm, about 1 hour.  Roll into balls, then roll in unsweetened shredded coconut. 

Easy-Peasy and they are delicious. 

We will be making several batches to take with us for our trek to the Smoky Mountains. 

Watch for a blog on Friday featuring some block coloring and quilt ideas for the Tennessee Circles block.  And remember the pre-order special is only good until October 10th.  You can order your Tennessee Circles Block items here. 

Enjoy the day, 

Hot Cocoa Yummies!

Thursday, December 19th, 2013

DSC07609Success again in the cooking baking invention (well new to me) department of Chez Depre.

Hot Cocoa Yummies! are what these new cookies have been dubbed.

Really they are nothing over the top ingredient wise but they are super duper yummy according to my official cookie taster.  Note: I have had strong willpower and  have only eaten two cookies since BakingFest 2013 began on Monday.   (Did I mention there is a cruise in my future?).

You will find the recipe on my PDF page.

Here are some visuals to help you along.





Also finally got around to photographing my Sawtooth Santa Christmas table runner.

I will go over to Craftsy later this week and make the visual changes there.   You can find this pattern via the link on the sidebar.

Super simple….and if your snowed in this weekend (as we might be) you might even get it done for the table on Tuesday!




Baking up a storm

Wednesday, December 18th, 2013

Two years ago after some serious surgery I found myself unable to machine sew for about two months.   And while I was hangin on the couch working on the first Pieced Hexies I also felt a strange pull to the kitchen.

Now those who have known me for years know one of the great attractions to living in an urban environment for me is that there are many many MANY restaurants within in walking distance of my abode.  And they deliver.  No need to be friends with that room that the frig lives in.   Be friends with your feet and phone.  Problem solved. images

And thank goodness Paul loves to cook.  So we never starved.  (look I have burnt every breadstick I have ever tried to make in my life)

Truly I could burn boiling water.

But then I felt the call of the kitchen.   And miracles began to happen.  Edible food escaped.

And all of the sudden I was demanding asking for trips to Bed Bath and Beyond and new kitchen tools entered Chez Depre.

And then I started to bake.   Now my grandfather was a baker, owning his own bakery here on the southside of Chicago during the 40s/50s.   So I also say that these genes of mine have been infused.  I found my niche in the kitchen.

imagesFA0K1W57My recipes are super simple.  Yes I like the kitchen now but that doesn’t mean I want to be there 24/7.  I’m not a professional chef so your not going to get step my step instructions, calories (do we really want to know) etc.  A bit of “winging it” will be required.  And by all means…tweak them to your own taste buds.  Afterall that is how I made them up.

On the PDF page you will currently find the recipes for Ginger Crack, Chocolate Ginger Crack, and a newbie recipe: Salted Dark Chocolate Toffee Cookies.

I am spending today in the kitchen baking some more.  I am trying out a newly conceived recipe and if all goes well there will be a blog and new addition to the PDF page soon.

Bake On!

MickeySignaturevanilla sugar

p.s.  This is what Vanilla Sugar Packets look like.  This year I have bought a jar of Vanilla Sugar from Penzey Spices.  A packet weighs 1/3 of an oz.  I have a kitchen scale.  But I will probably wing it.  A little extra vanilla sugar is good for the soul.