Never entered my mind's Blog

A 20 something culinary school graduate. Lover of la cuisine, style, coffee and travel.




via oh pioneer & design sponge



Senses Intertwine

Wonderful things that somehow all link together &make my heart swell.

The ohpioneer tumblr, and all of its wilderness goodness.

The brilliant sound of The Head and the Heart in a quiet bay.


&Duck Consomme: The most satisfying soup to make on a chilled October afternoon.


For the duck stock:
1lb of Duck bones and scraps
2 carrots, med dice
4 stalks of celery, med dice
2 yellow onions, med dice
1 large orange, halved
Spice mix of cloves, ginger, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and star anise

Roast duck bones and scraps at 350 for about 30 minutes, periodically pouring off the rendered duck fat (and saving for future use..such as duck confit), until golden brown. Put into a large stock pot, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Skim off any impurities, reduce to a simmer, and add the mire poix, orange, and spices. Simmer gently for about 3 hours. Strain and cool.

For the Consomme:

2 carrots, med dice
4 stalks celery, med dice
4 onions, med dice
2 large tomatoes, large dice
3 chicken breasts, raw
5 egg whites

Puree the vegetables and raw chicken in a food processor, streaming in the egg whites, until smooth. Put the cold duck stock in a large stock pot, add the pureed mixture, stir and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer. The mixture will have formed a “raft” at the top of the stock. The acidity in the tomatoes work to draw the impurities to the surface, and the protein in the egg work to form the solid “raft”. Poke a hole in the top for ventilation. Simmer for 45 minutes to an hour. Carefully ladle out the clear liquid through the hole in the raft, and strain. The result will be a clear, flavor packed broth; or, quite frankly, love in a bowl.

Disclosure: The bottom photo is actually a chicken consomme, taken in the early days of my culinary school. But you get the idea:)


This video spotlighting the newest menu at Next makes me so nostalgic for simple meals like mac ‘n’ cheese and Campbells noodle soup. Chicago, why are you so far?


Found via Michael Ruhlman

Autumn things.

Ahh life is busy, isn’t it? We are nearly two months into fall, and I already feel it slipping away! (Yes, it slips away quite quickly here. There are approximately 13.5 lovely, crisp and bright autumn days until the miserable, rainy gloominess rears it’s ugly head.) Sigh. It’s really not that dramatic. There have been many lovely days of pie making and tea drinking and leaf-crunching meanderings. And life is about the moments, yes? There’s so much peace in finding contentment with those good moments. I’ve been doing my best to be intentional about pursuing that peace in this season, despite all the daily trivial battles. As always, so thankful for the inspirations here and there around the blogosphere!

Cool things we do in fall.


First kiss stories with Jo.

Went to this concert last week. Plainly put, they rocked it

Oh yum, a mouth-watering sticky-goodness slideshow.

Speaking of sugar, have I mentioned these brownies yet? ..Oh no. I really should have sooner. All brownies should be like these.

I cannot get enough of this guy! I need to go where he has gone.

I’m not usually a big jewelry fan, but good grief do these rings pull at the heartstrings!

&The beauty of being wordless.

Photo by emersonmade.

The Blue Dress

Loving these buttoned up blue dresses.

Via TheSartorialist and GaranceDore

CSA Week 1; Part ||

Asian Greens Saute over Quinoa with Soft Poached Egg

1/2 c quinoa, rinsed
1 c water
1 tsp olive oil
1 tsp red onion, finely minced
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1 tbsp garlic snapes, finely sliced
Good pinch smoked paprika
1 tsp rice wine vinegar
A few stalks&leaves each of kale, tatsoi, and bok choy, stalks 1″ dice, leaves kept whole
1 tbsp peanut sauce
1 tbsp minced green onion
1 egg

Cover rinsed quinoa with cup of water and good pinch of sea salt in a small saucepan with lid. Bring to a boil, reduce to simmer for about 12 minutes, or until seed is slightly translucent and germ curls off like a tail. Meanwhile, for poaching liquid, fill a separate small saucepan with water, a good splash of vinegar and a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, and reduce to a very low simmer so that the water is almost still. For the greens, heat olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add onion, saute for a few minutes, and add garlic snapes clove, and paprika. Saute until garlic is slowly starting to brown, and deglaze pan with rice wine vinegar. Reduce slightly, and add stalks of greens. Saute a few minutes before adding leaves and salt and pepper. Give a few tosses over heat until just wilted and stalks still have a bite. Toss in green onion and peanut sauce, take off heat, and keep warm while poaching egg. To poach, crack egg into small shallow dish, give water a good swirl, and slowly pour the egg into the center. The vinegar will hold the whites together. Let cook until preferred doneness, and remove with slotted spoon onto paper towel.

To finish, plate greens over bed of quinoa, and place egg on top.

CSA Week 1

Back in May, I started poking around the web searching for a local CSA program. I’d first heard about program on Ruhlman’s blog, and the idea of joining a CSA has stuck in my head ever since. Normally, the harvest boxes are given in exchange for money shares put into a farm at the beginning of the season. As a struggling cook…the up front finances were my only discouragement. That’s why there was much fist pumping when I heard that work shares were available as well! Come again? I can put in 4 hours a week learning how to plant and weed and harvest in exchange for 16 boxes of fantastic organic produce? I’m telling you, this is a struggling cooks dream. 

For many people, understandably, the regular system of weekly shares makes a lot more sense. And it’s still a wonderful alternative to picking up imported tomatoes from impersonal supermarkets. But from personal experience, I can honestly say that putting the weekly  hands-on hours into the land, getting your hands in the dirt, planting and transplanting beans and tediously weeding carrots is exceedingly rewarding. That being said, the following Strawberry Rhubarb & Raspberry Pie was the most satisfying pie I’ve had to date.

It’s going to be a good season. (coming up, week 1 part 2- Asian greens saute!)

Strawberry Rhubarb & Raspberry Pie

3-2-1 Sweet Pie Crust:

12 oz AP flour
8 oz cold or frozen unsalted butter, cubed
2-4 oz ice water
1 tsp salt
2 tbsp sugar


1 lb rhubarb, inch dice
1 lb strawberries(quartered) and raspberries, or whatever you have on hand
4 tbsp turbinado sugar (cane, brown, or white is fine too)
1 tbsp liquid honey
4 tbsp cornstarch
2 tbsp butter

Milk and sugar to brush lattice

For pastry, cut butter into flour using pastry cutter, hands, or food processor. When mix resembles pea-sized chunks, add sugar and salt and slowly add ice water until dough just comes together. Do not over mix. Portion into two disks, wrap tightly and let rest in fridge at least 15 minutes. Preheat oven to 400 F.

While the dough is resting, combine and toss all filling ingredients except butter. When dough is rested, roll out one disk on a lightly floured surface, turning and flipping after each roll so it doesn’t stick. Roll to about a 12″ diameter, so when placed on a 9″ pie plate there is a 1″ overhang. Roll out the second disk the same way, to about a 13″ diameter, and cut into 1″ strips. Fill the pie crust with the filling, dot with butter, and assemble lattice by weaving strips. Fold the overhang up, tucking in the excess lattice, and gently pinch around the edges. Brush lightly with milk and dust with sugar. Place on sheet tray in the bottom third of the preheated oven. Bake until golden brown and filling is tender and bubbling, about 45 minutes. Try to refrain from eating immediately. About 3 hours of letting the pie cool is as painful as picking through the end of season rhubarb bushes, but well worth it! (I clearly did not have the patience, see bottom picture of streaming juices)

Side note: earlier this spring, I made a fabulously strange basil ice cream- it paired amazingly with tartness of the rhubarb!

all that jazz

Today, I am dreaming of a jazz inspired law party, complete with shrimp po’ boysMiles, and a breezy summer evening cocktail.

“If you have to ask what jazz is, you’ll never know.” – Louis Armstrong

photos via from me to you

Food for Thought

Planeat is a new food documentary that is slowly being released around the world to raise awareness of the consequences of a meat based diet. The film discusses the benefits of whole, plant based dishes and the dangers of large scale factory farming. Even as a meat lover, the argument is hugely compelling.

Visit the web site for more info.

Quinoa for Breakfast, Quinoa for Lunch

How many times do I have to hear about quinoa’s amazing, nutrient-packed, protein-powered goodness before I make it a part of my diet? Honestly, in one ear and out the other. I know that I am years late to hopping on the energy seed band wagon, but better late than never! All it took was a little practical convincing over the past few days, and I am hooked. I’d like to thank Heidi and Sarah for staging the intervention, which they had no idea they were a part of.

I’ve never been a big fan of scones. Scones to me have always been big, flour-filled and flavor-lacking biscuits from large (and umm.. corporate) coffee houses. Always a mistake. I know, I know, I just haven’t had the right one. I’m sure that somewhere out there lies a bakery with the mother of all scones, glowing in buttery, fluffy goodness. But, honestly? After these maple syrup and quinoa beauties? My search is over before it’s begun. This recipe  literally took 10 minutes to throw into the oven, and within 30 minutes they were out and slathered in blackberry jam. Fist pump in air for healthy baking!

But really, what made my heart sigh with happiness was lunch. Simple, flavorful, packed with nutrients and just a tablespoon (or two) of all natural fatty indulgence.. The fluffy, herb packed quinoa made a perfect bed for the tender poached salmon, of which the caper tarragon aioli –seriously -melted into. Goodness on a plate. Take that old fashioned baked salmon and rice!

Herb and Sea Salt Quinoa

1 cup quinoa
2 cups water
1 tbsp good quality sea salt
1 tsp each of mint, tarragon and italian parsley, or whatever you have on hand
1 tbsp good quality extra virgin olive oil
Fresh cracked black pepper

Measure out the quinoa, and rinse thoroughly up to three times, or till the water is clear. Cover with water and sea salt in a saucepan, and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a simmer, cover, and cook for 15-20 minutes. When it’s finished it should be translucent with the germ spiraling off like a tail.

Perfect Poached Salmon

1 salmon filet (note the thickness, a smaller filet will take a lot less cooking time)
For court bouillon, or quick stock:
1 litre water
1 lemon, juice squeezed
1/2 tsp peppercorns
1/2 teaspoon cumin and coriander seeds
2 parsley stems
1 bay leaf
Tbsp sea salt
1 crushed garlic clove, skin on

Bring the water and all stock ingredients to a boil. Reduce heat to low, and when the water reaches poaching temperature (the water should be still,and  “ouch, that’s hot” to the touch), lower in the salmon filets. Depending on the thickness of the fish, cook for 5-10 minutes, and then remove with a slotted spoon to a plate with paper towel.

Caper Tarragon Aioli (I use Ruhlmans “Ratio” mayonnaise here as a base)

1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon water
2 teaspoons lemon juice, freshly squeezed, plus a few extra tsp if it needs thinning
1 cup sunflower oil
Scant tsp capers
1 tsp (or so) rough chopped tarragon

Whisk together the water, lemon juice and salt. Whisk in the yolk to combine, and slowly stream in the oil. Add more lemon juice if the mixture is too thick, and fold in the capers and tarragon.