leftover heaven

We had a very large bowl of leftover mashed potatoes and homemade cranberry sauce from our Thanksgiving (or, should I say, Thanksgivingukkah) feast and I like a little variety in my life so when I stumbled onto this recipe for Cheesy Leftover Mashed Potato Pancakes I smartly suggested to Ryan that it might be a great thing to try. What better way to celebrate the marriage of both Thanksgiving and Hanukkah, after all?

Instead of using scallions, we used shallots – because that’s what we had in the fridge. And instead of using sour cream to top them with, we used our leftover homemade cranberry sauce. It was delicious! In fact, to be honest, I actually liked the potatoes better in this form than I did in their original mashed potato form…shhh…don’t tell the mashed potatoes I said that.

by Valerie | 12.01.13 | Holidaze, Recipes | No Comments »

Savory Swirls (aka Ryan’s Rolls) and home fries!!!

Savory Swirls

When we lived in Austin one of Val’s co-workers brought something called savory swirls to a potluck once. From the very first bite we fell in love with them. Think biscuits rolled together with cheese, chorizo, and diced green chiles. We definitely didn’t come up with this idea, but I decided to share. The original recipe came from the Texas Home Cooking cookbook. We’ve made it a bit different here, but the concept is the same.

ingredients for the savory swirls:

  • 1 package of faux-rizo crumbled
  • 1 batch of biscuit dough (I add more flour and cut the apple cider vinegar to 1 tbsp)
  • a couple handfulls of shredded cheese
  • 1 small can of green chiles (Hatch chiles preferred)
  • 1/2 tsp of chipotle powder
  • 1/2 tsp of Mexican oregano
  • 1 tsp of ancho chile powder
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 tbsp of buttery spread

Pre-heat an oven to the temperature suggested by the biscuit directions. To make the savory swirls start by heating up a skillet to medium heat. Melt the butter and add the faux-rizo. Add the dried herbs and seasonings. Cook until heated through; salt and pepper to taste. Set aside. Make the biscuit dough. Dust a counter top with flour, and roll out the biscuit dough until it is about 1/4″ thick or slightly thinner and 10-12″ wide making a rectangle. Evenly spread the cheese, the faux-rizo, and green chiles across the dough; leave about 1/2″ to an inch along one of the short edges without any toppings, it will make it a bit easier to seal the roll. Roll the dough from one short edge to the short edge with nothing on it. If you need to, lightly re-wet the roll where the biscuit dough touches to seal it completely. Place on baking sheet and stick in the freezer for about 10 minutes. Remove from the freezer and cut the roll into 1″ slices. Place them flat on the baking sheet (or two) and cook about 1-2 minutes longer than the biscuit recipe suggests. When finished remove from the oven and let cool for a few minutes. Serve and enjoy! F-yeah!!!

home fries ingredients:

  • 2 russet potatoes quartered and sliced
  • 2 tbsp of buttery spread
  • 1 1/2 tbsp of chili powder (I used my  blend of smoked chili powder, la mesa dark chili powder, and new mexico red hot chile powder)
  • 1/2 tsp of butchers pepper (maybe a little more)
  • 1 tsp of Mexican oregano (it was out and I was too lazy to grab any other dried herb)
  • 1/2 tsp of cumin
  • 1/4 tsp of garlic powder

Put the potatoes in a microwave safe dish, toss in 1 tbsp of buttery spread, and nuke for 10-12 minutes (stir somewhere in between that 10-12 minutes. They will either be cooked  or near cooked. Heat a skillet up to medium heat, add the remaining buttery substance and melt it. Add the potatoes, dried herbs, and spices. Cook until the potatoes are fully cooked and start to brown, maybe even get a bit crispy here and there.

With the exception of the cheese that I used, it’s easy to vegan-ize this recipe; vegan cheese works really well with this. We cooked this down for our friends, Mark and Amy, at their vegan brunch a long while back.

by Ryan | 03.12.11 | Recipes | 2 Comments »

Faux-rizo Smashed Potatoes

Dinner plate

Val loves potatoes; I like them a lot too. I wanted to make them more than just plain potatoes, so with that our side dish for our Valentine’s day feast was born. Note that in the photo here, the potatoes are underneath our Mole Rojo con Seitan.


  • 2 baking potatoes (good Idaho ones), with the peel.
  • lots of buttery spread (2-3 tbsp worth)
  • 1 package of chorizo style seitan
  • 5 cloves of garlic minced
  • 4 tomatoes on the vine
  • 1 tbsp buttery spread
  • 1 tbsp chili powder (I used my smoked chili powder and La Mesa dark 50/50 blend)
  • 1 tsp of butcher’s pepper
  • 1 tsp of salt
  • some shredded mahon cheese (optional, but recommended)

Prepare the faux-rizo first. Heat an oven to 425 degrees.  Place the tomatoes (removed from the vine) on a baking sheet and into the oven. Roast the tomatoes until the skins begin to wrinkle and brown a bit. Remove from the oven and let cool a bit before handling. Once cooled to where you can handle it, core and deseed the tomatoes. Put the tomatoes in a food processor with the chili powder, salt, and pepper and puree. Heat a skillet up to medium heat, add the butter and melt. Add the garlic and sweat for a few minutes. Add the chorizo seitan and cook until it is cooked through. Add the tomato puree and cook until it is completely incorporated into the faux meat. If you need additional salt to taste you can add it.

Prepare the potatoes however you want – microwave, bake, or boil. Once cooked in a bowl cut them open (this cuts the peels into smaller pieces), add the buttery spread, and mash the potatoes to a texture of liking, I left ours somewhat chunky. Add in about a cup of the faux-rizo and mix into the potatoes until well incorporated.

When you plate the potatoes top with a fair amount of the shredded mahon (or for vegans find a good salty cheese substitute). Enjoy.

Note, this dish makes enough potatoes for 2-3 people with left over faux-rizo for the next day’s breakfast. Also if you wanted to make some rocking taco meat, this is a good first step in my attempts to deconstruct Rick Bayless’ taco skillet sauces. I’d add some additional things like mexican oregano and some kind of chile like a jalapeño or something if I went that route. More to come on that.

by Ryan | 02.16.11 | Recipes | 1 Comment »

Beezy’s @ home

Breakfast plate

One of my favorite breakfast meals is Beezy’s cafe’s Breakfast Eggel with a side of home fries and an iced tea. While shopping yesterday I picked up some delicious Barry’s Bagels (everything and vanilla cinnamon) so this morning when I couldn’t muster up the desire to go to Ypsi (sorry B) I decided to whip some up myself. There isn’t really much of a recipe here, but here’s how I cooked down some delicious “simple, honest food” for two this morning.


  • 4-5 small idaho potatoes cut in half then sliced thin-ish
  • 2 everything bagels from Barry’s
  • cheddar cheese
  • some leftover faux-rizo (we’ve been using Upton’s Naturals cooked in some harissa infused olive oil and seasoned with some extra chipotle & chili powders, and salt)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 tsp rosemary rapture (from Saugatuck Spice Merchants)* Oh and special thanks to Mark and Amy for the awesome gift that this was in.
  • 1/2 tsp paprika*
  • 1 tsp kosher salt and butcher’s pepper (I have a 50/50 blend that I use all the time)*
  • 2-tbsp butter (or non-hydrogenated oil)
  • Beezy’s salt (Miracle Blend)
  • 3 heaping teaspoons of Flower of Hawaii iced tea (from Tea Haus)

Breakfast plate

The Potatoes

Cut the potatoes in half and then slice them a bit thin (between 1/8 and 1/4 inch). Put them in a microwave safe cooking dish and heat them up in the microwave for about 5 minutes. This pre-cooks them a bit, if you have the time you could steam them, but this is much quicker. In a pan over medium heat melt the butter. Add the pre-cooked potatoes to the pan and cook some more. Add the rosemary blend, paprika, and kosher salt and butcher’s pepper mixture. Cook until the potatoes are cooked all the way through and until they begin to brown. When cooked, remove from pan and use the Beezy’s salt to season to your taste likings.

Fresh eggs

The Eggels

In a container whip the raw eggs and sprinkle in some butcher’s pepper (you can add a splash of milk if you have it). In a heated pan (medium heat), warm the faux-rizo then add the eggs and scramble them up good. If you have egg cooking skills you can actually form the eggs into a 2 patties perfect for placing on the bagels. While cooking the eggs toast the bagels, and slice some cheese. Once the eggs are cooked sprinkle a bit of salt on the patty to finish. Put it all together, I put the cheese on top and bottom and the egg patty in the middle. If you want to really rock the dish butter the bagel first.

Iced tea

The Iced Tea

Val made the iced tea using our Mr. Coffee Iced Tea Maker and a tea bag filled with 3 heaping teaspoons of the loose Flower of Hawaii tea. The iced tea maker is pure genius and makes making iced tea a breeze. When everything was cooked and ready we sat down to a delicious meal.

*I should also note that my spice amounts are just estimates, I need to get better at measuring spices when posting recipes so feel free to add more or less of the spices.

by Ryan | 02.05.11 | Recipes | 1 Comment »

Tempeh Philly with Oven Baked Fries

We had a hankerin’ for a philly cheese steak & fries; but, since I don’t eat steak, we thought it’d be fun to try this with tempeh instead. Also we usually just buy the frozen, bagged fries at the grocery store, but we figured it probably wouldn’t be all that hard to make these ourselves with fresh potatoes & bake them so that they’d be healthier. So, based on some other recipes we’d perused for this sort of thing & with Ryan’s kitchen wizardry thrown in, this is what we came up with…

Tempeh Philly Ingredients:
marinade (recipe below)
olive oil or Earth Balance organic buttery spread (enough to saute veggies)
1 bell pepper (we used green), cut into strips (think fajitas)
1 small to medium size onion (we used purple), cut into thin strips (think fajitas)
1 package tempeh, sliced thin
provolone (optional; we used mozzarella because it’s what we had on hand)
hoagie bread of your choice (we used a white, french baguette)

For the marinade:
1/2 cup + 1 tsp soy sauce (we use Tamari)
2 tbsp sake
1 tbsp + 1 tsp honey
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp ground white pepper
1/4+ tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp coarse ground black pepper

Marinade the tempeh for 30+ minutes (until it’s soaked up most of the marinade). In a pan over medium heat, heat about 1 tbsp olive oil/Earth Balance. Add bell pepper & onion to pan & saute for about 5 minutes or until they start to caramelize. Add tempeh & cook it through. Place tempeh philly mix on bread & top with cheese (we actually put our cheese on the bottom, before the philly mix – that way it melts well & helps to hold the bread together), if you like, salt & pepper to taste & enjoy! Note: This recipe is mostly vegan & you could leave out the cheese or use vegan cheese instead of course.

Oven Baked Fry Ingredients:
Russet potatoes (quantity is up to you), cut into 1/4 strips
Olive oil (enough to thinly coat potatoes)
Sea salt (to taste)
Coarse ground black pepper (to taste)

Cut potatoes into 1/4 strips & place in bowl. Add olive oil & toss. Place potatoes on baking sheet (we used aluminum foil on the baking sheet to keep them from sticking) & top with ground sea salt & coarse ground black pepper to taste & then toss once more; you could easily add additional seasonings or fresh herbs (rosemary or thyme would be nice) to these to spice them up a bit. Bake in oven at 450 degrees for approximately 45 minutes or until cooked to your taste. Enjoy!

Note: if you happen to be Ryan’s taste twin with a fear and dislike for vinegar, don’t worry you can’t taste the balsamic vinegar at all.

by Valerie | 01.21.10 | Recipes | No Comments »

potato faux-rizo hash


This is a fairly easy recipe for breakfast brunch goodness.

1 package soyrizo (or your preffered faux-rizo)
2 tbsp chili powder blend (ie use a combination of smoked chili powder, la mesa dark chili powder, cayenne, and chipotle)
1-2 tbsp dried herbs (oregono and thyme worked well)
2 or so lbs of yukon gold potato (diced into 1/4″ pieces)
1 jalapeño (diced)
2 cans green chiles (if you live in New Mexico or like my parents in El Paso and can get ’em fresh use those)
1 medium purple onion (diced into small pieces)
2 tbsp and 1 1/2 tsp of vegetable oil (I prefer canola)
salt (to you taste preference)

I used two pans for this recipe. In a large pan heat over medium to medium high heat 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil. Toss the potatoes in to start cooking. Cook them for about 20-25 minutes or so, until they start to become tender. Note: the time it takes might vary based on the size and depth of your pan and whether or not you make this covered or uncovered, I cook it uncovered. Stir often so that the potatoes don’t stick to the pan, if using non-stick cookware you may want to add oil if things start to stick. Once the potatoes have started to brown add the onions and jalapeño. Stir often again making sure everything is getting cooked.

In a smaller pan heat the remaining vegetable oil over medium heat. Add the soyrizo and chili powder blend and cook throughly. Depending on the brand that means until it starts to brown and break into smaller pieces. It took mine about 6-8 minutes. Add the soyrizo, dried herbs, and green chilies to the potato mixture. Cook for an additional 3-5 minutes so that all the flavors mix. Make sure your potatoes are cooked all the way through and add salt to your liking. All and all it takes anywhere between 35-45 minutes for things to cook properly in my kitchen.

For additional spiciness use more jalapeños, cayenne, or whatever pepper preference you may have. I tamed this one down for guests at a brunch, if it was for myself I would have added more spice to this one. Toss in some salsa, add in some eggs, maybe some black beans, throw it on a tortilla (or 4 or 5) and you have yourself a pretty nice breakfast burrito.

Sorry folks, no finished pics here, I was so hungry I forgot to take pics. But just look at it cooking on the stove nice a purty-like and use your imagination what it looks like when that delicious faux-meat substance on the right is added to the potatoes.

by Ryan | 01.18.10 | Recipes | No Comments »

Onion Gobo Potato Soup


So I screwed up the other day when buying ingredients for soup and ended up buying burdock root (also called gobo). It is the root of a thistle plant. According to wikipedia it has a “very crisp and has a sweet, mild, and pungent flavour with a little muddy harshness that can be reduced by soaking julienne/shredded roots in water for five to ten minutes.” Doesn’t sound too appealing but with further digging I found that often it is soaked in lemon juice because the root when cut, peeled, or shredded browns extremely quickly. Not wanting to throw it away I used it in the soup. So here things go.

3 gobos (Burdock Root)
1 medium purple onion diced
6 russet potatoes baking size (give or take), cut into about 1″ chunks
4 cups of vegetable stock
1 lemon (for lemon juice)
course ground black pepper
dried Basil
kosher Salt
2 tbsp butter (or vegan buttery spread)

Cut the lemon in half and juice 1-half of the lemon in a bowl. Peel and dice the gobo, then soak in the lemon juice. In a large pot over medium heat heat and melt the butter. Once heated saute the gobo and onion until tender (about 5-7 minutes). Add the vegetable stock, turn the heat up to medium high and bring to a boil. Once boiling add the potatoes, lower to a simmer, and cook potatoes until tender (about 20 or so minutes). Once cooked add the course ground black pepper, salt, and basil flakes. This is to your taste as a guide I fill up my palm with each one (about 1.5 tablespoons maybe). Squeeze the remainder of the lemon juice into the pot. Mash/puree the soup to a consistency of your liking. I used a potato masher in lieu of our emersion blender and things worked out fine.

I tasted the gobo while it was sauteing, it had a light earthy flavor that mixed really well with the onion and lemon juice. It seems like it would be a great slightly crisp/crunchy ingredient to add to a stir fry. Also, apparently burdock root has a slew of traditional medicinal uses from burn treatment to diuretic to blood purifier to scalp oil. So perhaps this soup recipe may prevent male pattern baldness. So eat up and enjoy my fellow aging balding friends and fight back that receding hairline!


by Ryan | 01.09.10 | Recipes | No Comments »

Thanksgiving Feast


Thanksgiving is a day to give thanks, spend time with your family, friends, & loved ones, & to fill your bellies with lots of delicious eats of course! Every family has their own special Thanksgiving traditions & foods that they always include on the Thanksgiving table; here are some that Ryan & I include on our Thanksgiving table each year…

Grilled Turkey Tenderloins with Spice Rub
When it’s dinner for two, you just don’t need a whole turkey, & we eat little to no meat anyway so this has been a great option for us at Thanksgiving as several turkey tenderloins do the trick & save us from eating turkey for the next year; this is pretty simple & also takes WAY less time than cooking a whole turkey, so it definitely has it’s advantages!

Boneless Turkey Tenderloins, Extra Lean
Olive oil
Rudy’s BBQ Turkey Spice Rub
Blackening Spice Rub (see recipe below)

Coat turkey tenderloins lightly with olive oil. Rub turkey tenderloins with your spice rub of choice – homemade or store bought will both do the trick (we like Rudy’s BBQ turkey spice rub – their BBQ sauce is excellent as well, I might add, & is also delicious on turkey!) & we usually also make a blackening spice rub; we make half the turkey with the Rudy’s spice rub & use the blackening spice rub on the other half of the turkey. Grill these outside on your charcoal or gas grill or grill them inside in a griddle pan on your stove top.

Blackening Spices
Dried Oregano
Coarse Ground Black Pepper
White Pepper
Cayenne (use lots of Cayenne to make it really spicy!)
Dried Thyme
Kosher Salt


Mama Talbott’s Mashed Potatoes
I LOVE my Mom’s mashed potatoes (the basil & coarse ground black pepper really give these a nice twist) & my Thanksgiving plate usually consists of a HUGE pile of these with a teeny, tiny, miniscule sliver of turkey on the side – I’m really all about the potatoes, people!

Russet Potatoes
Dried Basil
Coarse Ground Black Pepper
Kosher Salt

Clean, peel, & chop LOTS of Russet Potatoes (we REALLY like our potatoes, so we always fill a large spaghetti pot with these!). Boil the potatoes in a large pot of water until they are tender & easy to pick apart with a fork. Drain the water out of the pot. Add a couple sticks of butter (more butter makes it better!), a splash or two of milk (as needed – this helps to make them nice & creamy too), & blend with a hand mixer until smooth. Add in a generous amount of kosher salt, coarse ground black pepper & dried basil flakes (add to taste, I like LOTS of salt, pepper, & basil in mine, but this isn’t for everyone) & then mix again to incorporate.


Sauteed Green Beans with Tomatoes & Basil
This is a recipe I got off foodnetwork.com, by Giada de Laurentiis, & that we’ve enjoyed making for holidays; they’re really fresh & delicious!

Cranberry Sauce

Homemade Cranberry Sauce with Orange Liquor
If you aren’t a fan of cranberry sauce & you’ve never made it fresh, I urge you to give this a try; this will kick the stuff in the can’s butt any day – enjoy!

1 Bag Fresh Cranberries
1/4 Cup Water
3/4 Cup Fresh Orange Juice
1 Cup Sugar
Zest of 1 Orange
Dash of Cinnamon
Splash of Orange Liquor (i.e. Cointreau, Grand Marnier, or Triple Sec)

Rinse 1 bag of fresh cranberries well. Add water, fresh orange juice, & sugar to a sauce pan & bring to a boil. Add cranberries to the pot & bring back to a boil. Add orange zest & cinnamon. Stir & then simmer until most of the cranberries have popped. Add a splash of orange liquor, stir, & let simmer for about a minute more. Transfer to a serving dish & let cool in the fridge before serving. Garnish with a twist of orange peel on top.


Deviled Eggs – We Don’t Need No Stinking Mayo!
I HATE mayo & sour cream & I do my best to steer clear of these at all costs; so I’ve adapted & have a special place for these delicious, mustardy Deviled Eggs in my heart – I hope you like them as much as I do!

Dill Pickle Relish
Yellow Mustard
Stone Ground or Spicy Brown Mustard

Boil as many eggs as you’d like to serve in a pan of water; I add them to a pan of cold water, then bring to a boil & let boil for about 10 minutes – keep in mind that 1 egg = 2 Deviled Egg halves. Drain the boiling water & cover them with cold water to help speed up the cooling process. As soon as you’re able to, while they’re still hot/warm is best (doing this while they’re still warm will make it easier to remove the shells, believe me!), crack the eggs & remove the shells. Slice the eggs in half, length wise, & scoop out the cooked yolks, setting them aside in a separate bowl, & place the halved egg whites facing up on a plate or serving platter. Using a fork, mash all the cooked yolks up. Quantities of mustard & relish to add will vary, based on how much cooked egg yolk you have to work with of course, but you’ll then add a combination of yellow mustard, spicy mustard, & dill pickle relish to the cooked yolks & mix all together well. Scoop the yolk, mustard, & relish mixture into the cooked egg white halves & top with a sprinkle of paprika. Salt & pepper to taste.



Bourbon Whipped Cream

Pumpkin Pie with Bourbon Whipped Cream
This is a recipe I found online & we’re making for our Thanksgiving Feast this year – yum!

Our Thanksgiving feast will also include lots of rolls. Happy eating!

by Valerie | 11.26.09 | Holidaze, Recipes | 7 Comments »