Posts Tagged ‘Girl Time’

From Dish Deanna:


During the holidays I always find myself over-doing it with food. I look forward to Christmas and New Year celebrations being over because I know that I can start fresh. This year I was so overwhelmed with cookies, cakes, chocolate, and dinners that I thought I was going to explode. I knew it was bad when I started wearing bigger sweaters.  Bigger sweaters made me realize that I needed to immediately start eating smaller portions. Mini Tacos are a great way to control your portion size and can be served in many settings. I find they are easy to make for a simple night in or even if you’re entertaining a group of people.  For this recipe I enlisted the help of my best friend, Jodi!  We had a great time making these.

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2 cooked chicken breasts

Juice of 1 lime

1 tablespoon chili powder

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 teaspoon ground cumin

Salt and pepper, to taste

24 (3-inch) corn tortillas

Shredded cheddar cheese

Shredded lettuce

Hot sauce (optional)

Sour cream (optional)


Yields: 24 mini tacos, but can certainly be cut down if only meant for one or two people

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Start by finely shredding the chicken by hand and place into a medium bowl. Add lime juice, chili powder, paprika, cumin, salt and pepper. Toss the mixture until it is thoroughly combined. Next, shred the lettuce.

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Lay the tortillas out for stuffing! If you can’t find mini tortillas, use a 3 inch round cookie cutter and make cut outs from larger tortillas. Place some cheddar cheese on the bottom, a big pinch of chicken, and some lettuce on the tortilla. Wrap up the tortilla and pierce with a toothpick.

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Right before you serve, stick the tacos in the oven at 350 degrees for 10 minutes or so until the tortillas are soft and the cheese is melted.

These mini tacos are so good you’ll want to eat them all!


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Ed.’s Note: We’re trying something new at SLD! This month, the Dishes have each agreed to flip through the archives and cook another girl’s recipe, with modifications to reflect differences in her own taste preferences and/or cooking style. The idea is to feature some of the terrific recipes we’ve collected in 2+ years at Saucy Little Dish, and also to show by example the way that these posts are just guidelines that can inspire new dishes, with just a dash of creativity.

From Dish Jodi:

My college roomie is coming into town this weekend, so when searching for a SLD recipe to “revisit” I immediately went to breakfast. What better way to host a good friend who arrives late at night,  than crunchy, sweet pancakes waiting for her in the sunny LA morning. And, not to take anything away from Erin’s brilliant idea, I could add to the SLD archives with a basic pancake recipe that you can make on your own. (read: I didn’t have any Aunt Jemima mix on hand.) Because it’s summer in LA, strawberries are EVERYWHERE – even soon to be in my garden!

What better start to a great weekend? Pancakes in the AM, then a drive up the coast for a wine festival in Santa Barbara. Yes please.


8 oz Milk
2 Large Eggs
2 Oz Butter (Melted and cooled)
1 tsp Vanilla
8 Oz Flour (I used half all-purpose, half whole wheat)
2 Tbsp Sugar
2 tsp Baking Powder
1 tsp Salt
Fresh Strawberries diced small
Fingerfulls of Crunchy Granola

Mix the wet ingredients, then the dry ingredients separately. Combine and mix gently.

Put quarter cup or so scoops on your hot and lightly oiled griddle and after it spreads sprinkle the granola and berries on top. Cook the way you cook pancakes. You know, til they puff and the bubbles pop to leave holes in the top. Flip, cook some more, enjoy with your favorite syrupy syrup.

Please note that instead of one of me eating these pancakes, I include a photo of Cheryl and I from of our FRESHMAN YEAR of college. NOT NOW. 1998. I SWEAR…ALSO – Why are we posed like that? Why was my face so fat? Does Cheryl still have that killer leather jacket? (I’ll report back on the last one after this weekend.) Ah, being 18 and lame.

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From Dish Danielle:

There’s nothing better than a bright spring-y PUNCH when having your best gals over for a night of clothes swapping. It’s finally the perfect weather to start introducing all things bubbly back into your beverage repertoire, and festive PUNCH cocktails for a night with the ladies seemed reason enough for me.

I wanted kumquats and Prosecco, but wasn’t quite sure how to make it happen in a light & balanced way. Luckily, with a little guidance from my cocktail slinging, Whisk & Ladle bartending roommate Nicholas Bennett, I was able to make my PUNCHY vision a reality. The finished product was bright and delightful, packed the perfect amount of PUNCH– but most importantly–was springtime sippable.

¾-1c kumquat simple syrup (recipe below)
¾ fresh squeezed lime juice, (about 8 limes worth)
1c white rum
½c Hawaiian dark rum, (I used Koloa, which is pretty darn sweet & vanilla-y)
1½c Prosecco
2c club soda
tbsp agave nectar (if needed)
handful of iced cubes

Kumquat simple:
3c water
3c sugar
2½c rinsed & sliced kumquats (you don’t need to de-seed cause you’ll strain it later– and the seeds are actually the sweetest part!)

First make your simple syrup: Throw above ingredients into a small saucepot and let boil for a while. You want the liquid to reduce to about half. Once it’s reduced strain it, and let it come to room temp. You’ll wind up with enough to make a double batch of the punch, or you can have it around the fridge for later use, (you can also save candied kumquats for snacking/ice cream topping purposes).

Now for assembly. This is really tough. Are you ready? Pour all ingredients except agave into a pretty punch bowl and stir. Here’s the most important step: taste it.

Does it need a touch more sweet? If so, add a bit of agave. Feel free to add more/less to your own liking. I wound up fiddling with my initial proportions and the above is pretty in keeping with the final ratio I settled on. It can certainly be tweaked for an even boozier batch for the right occasion.

Garnish with some lime wheels and kumquat slices, throw your best gals a pound and PUNCH it out.

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From Dish Danielle:

Pineapple upside down cake happens to be one of Dish Amelia’s favorites from back in the day. I think it has more nostalgic value than anything, but when the Aries time of year heads down the pike and I’ve got the time, I try my hand at this traditional dessert for her birthday. Another important reason for me – a Pisces – to honor Aries this year is because Jupiter happens to be hanging out in Aries right about now. Jupiter is the planet of good fortune: it expands opportunity and benefits while providing wisdom to the beholder (or so says Susan Miller). I‘m all for offering a little something sweet up to the universe in thanks for the supposed ‘financial gains’ I am due to experience this month expressly because of Jupiter’s position. Here’s hoping Jupiter sticks to the grand cosmic plan, and of course, a happy belated birthday to all the Arieses out there.

This recipe was adapted from The Cake Book, by Tish Boyle and John Uher.

Ingredients for the Brown sugar/Ginger topping:
1 large can of pineapple rings, drained
1c boiling water
4 jasmine tea bags
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp butter
½ c brown sugar (this recipe called for light)
4 tbsp crystallized ginger

Boil water, mix in sugar, and allow tea bags to steep for 5 min. Pour tea over pineapples and let sit for 20 min.

Preheat oven to 350. Place butter into cast iron over low heat to melt. Stir in brown sugar, remove pan from heat. Arrange pineapple rings in a nice circular pattern, overlapping them if need be. Sprinkle ginger over fruit. Now make your cake batter:

Cake Batter Ingredients:
1½ c flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp salt
9 tbsp butter, softened
1 c sugar
2 large eggs
1½ tsp vanilla extract
1 c whole milk

Sift flour, baking powder, ginger & salt into medium bowl. Whisk to combine and set aside. In the bowl of a stand mixer, using paddle attachment, beat butter at med-high speed until creamy. Gradually add sugar– mix at high speed until light in color. Reduce speed to med and add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition and scraping down the sides. Add the vanilla extract. At low speed, add the dry mixture.

Now spoon batter in large dollops over the pineapple arrangement and smooth it into an even layer. Bake for 45-50 min until cake is golden brown and springs back when gently touched. Allow cake to cool for a bit before inverting.

Once ready to invert, run a thin bladed knife around the edge to loosen the cast irons grip on the cake. I lay a large cutting board flat over the pan’s opening, and pick up the pan, placing one hand directly underneath the pan with the other firmly atop the cutting board. Now flip!

Bang on the bottom of your cast iron for good measure and hope once you pick it up, it’s left you a gorgeously golden Pineapple Upside Down Cake!

Arrange a candle or two atop and warm up your birthday vocals….

This cake was also served with leftover beet gelato… heh. An SLD bday dessert indeed!

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From Dish Jodi:

The husband was out of town this weekend, so I hosted a handful of ladies at our house. I’m a dinner party addict and have gotten the routine pretty well down. Don’t make anything that needs active attention as guests arrive, clean up the cooking and prep dishes and start the night with as spotless kitchen as possible (because it will be filled with dirty dishes and wine-glasses in a few hours), put away leftovers, but tackle the real cleaning the next morning, while hungover.

Further taking advantage of my day alone, I tried out new LA butcher shop Lindy & Grundy and though I’d called the day before to reserve my leg of lamb, they’d been so busy they hadn’t had time to prep it for me. Owners/butchers/bad-ass chicks Amelia and Erika were so attentive, they said they’d butcher it for me right then and there…so out of the walk-in came a whole lamb, and one of their apprentices hacked it up special for me, even cutting it exactly to the size that would fit in my pot. What a great way to kick off a meal.

I served the lamb with a spread of dips, grape leaves, olives and other middle-eastern inspired fare. I kept the flavors in the lamb within the same theme, but you can use rosemary, thyme, etc…any profile you want.

This dish will totally impress your friends, but is so easy – it’s the perfect dinner party trick.

1 5 or 6 lb leg of lamb (you will probably have to have the shank cut depending on the size of your pot.
Olive Oil
1 bottle of dry white wine
1 head of garlic
4 or 5 sprigs of thyme
4 or 5 sprigs of oregano
a dozen or so cardamom pods
1 T cumin seeds
1 cinnamon stick

Preheat oven to 300 degrees.

Heat oil in a large dutch oven. Smear leg of lamb with olive oil and salt and pepper all over generously.

Sear the entire leg on all sides until brown and crispy. Remove to plate.

Pour entire bottle of wine into pot and scrape up all the yummy brown bits. Break up the head of garlic and put it and the rest of the ingredients into wine.

Bring to simmer then put lamb back in, cover and put in oven for FOUR HOURS, basting occasionally.

When your guests arrive, remove lamb to platter and pull apart with spoon and fork to serve in melty piles. If you’re feeling industrious, you can strain the cooking liquid and reduce it into a sauce, but I’d rather chat with friends and eat appetizers.
Note – also makes good leftovers…

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I’ve said before that I’m not too fond of baking, but there is one exception: I love making birthday cakes. Something about brainstorming the perfect flavors to celebrate a friend’s special day makes me happy, and feels creative in a way that I enjoy. I also appreciate that since moving to New York, my group of friends has never let a birthday go by without someone volunteering to bring the super-sweet piece de resistance. Among us we’ve made cake sandwiches, boob cakes, garden cakes, Hostess cupcake cakes, Princess cakes, American flag cakes…Ok, I’m starting to sound like Bubba from Forrest Gump.

So – for my girl Dish Paige’s 30th birthday this past month, I volunteered to bring the cake, and I instantly knew what I wanted to make, even though I’ve never tried it before. If there’s one cocktail – can we call it that? – that P! loves, it’s the Irish Car Bomb: a half-pint of Guinness with a half-and-half shot of whiskey and Bailey’s Irish Cream. For those of you who don’t know, you drop the shot into the beer and then chug it, fast, before the cream curdles. I would describe what it takes like but I’ve never had one. I’m a square! Even still, I love going along on the bar crawl when tiny P! knocks back the I.C.B.’s, keeping up with guys twice her size.

It turns out that I’m not the first one to try making Irish Car Bomb cake. Recipe from The Biscuit Pusher – with some modifications – who got her inspiration from Smitten Kitchen.

For the cake:
1 cup Guinness or other good quality stout
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
2 cups all purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 large eggs
2/3 cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 350°F. Over medium heat, bring 1 cup stout and 1 cup butter to a simmer. Add cocoa powder and whisk until mixture is smooth. Remove from heat.

Whisk together dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another large bowl, and using electric beaters if you have them, beat eggs and sour cream together. Temper the egg/sour cream mixture by slowly incorporating the stout/chocolate liquid and beating it together as you go (it helps to have a buddy around for this step).

Add flour mixture and give a quick pulse to combine. Finish by hand to make sure everything is smooth.

Pour batter into a well-greased pan (I used a 9×13 Pyrex but two smaller round pans would work as well – just adjust the bake time). Bake until a toothpick comes out clean, about 30-35 minutes.

Let cake cool.

While it’s cooling, make the whiskey and Bailey’s frosting:
3(ish) cups confections sugar
1 stick (1/2 cup or 4 ounces) unsalted butter, at room temperature
Bourbon (or Whiskey) and Bailey’s to taste

Partially beat together the sugar and butter to make buttercream frosting, and then – in tablespoon measurements – add “shots” of bourbon and Bailey’s until you’re satisfied that both flavors cut across the sugar and fat. Beat to combine the liquid. It can be spread on the cake immediately.

KEEP IN MIND that the alcohol has not been cooked off, and that this cake will have a “proof”!

I’m not going to win any awards for cake decorating, but that’s really Dish Amelia’s territory.

Happy Birthday, P!

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From Dish Paige!:

There’s not much I can say to introduce this sandwich other than I made it because I thought it might be dude-ly enough for the Super Bowl. It’s got some fried stuff, some spicy stuff, and it’s messy. That sounds about right, doesn’t it? Obviously, you don’t have to wait until next year to make it if you want, I’m sure it’ll go well with other events like…lunch.

For the slaw:

1/4 head of red cabbage, thinly sliced
1/4 head of green cabbage, thinly sliced
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 carrot (peel and the keep peeling to make ribbons)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 tablespoons of sauce from a can of Chipotle in Adobo
1 small lime, juiced
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon cumin
salt & pepper

Directions: Mix the mayo, chipotle, lime, honey, cumin, salt & pepper together and pour over the veggies. Toss to coat and let sit in the fridge for at least half an hour.

For the chicken:
1 package thinly sliced chicken breasts
1 cup buttermilk
1 tablespoon spicy brown mustard
3 or 4 dashes Tobasco sauce
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup coarse ground corn meal
salt & pepper

Directions: Mix together the buttermilk, mustard and tobasco sauce, then set the chicken cutlets in the liquid and let them soak for a half an hour. Mix together the flour, corn meal, salt & pepper and dredge the chicken cutlets in the mixture.

Fry the chicken cutlets over medium heat in a lightly oiled pan until done (sorry I’m not great on the timing here, but I bet you can figure it out) and set aside.

For the sandwich:
1 loaf Italian bread
1/4 pound Monterrey Jack cheese, sliced
Chicken Cutlets

To assemble: Slice the bread in half, lengthwise, and remove some of the innards of the bread (there’s a lot of stuff to try and cram in to the sandwich, so you need as much room as possible). If you want, you can spread the bottom with a little bit of mayo and some of the leftover sauce from the Chipotle in Adobo. If you’re like me, you’ll get a little bit of it on the top of the bread but we’re not all perfect. Lay down the chicken cutlets, overlapping slightly so there’s as much of an even distribution as possible. On top of that, place slices of cheese in a similarly overlapping fashion. For the last layer, heap a bunch of slaw on top and then try to gently smush the sandwich closed. Put on the TV and eat.

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