Tuesday, April 8, 2014

New Blog!

Hey guys!

I'm moving my blog over to tumblr, so if you want to see my posts, check out http://megan-cooks.tumblr.com/.

All the best!


Wednesday, October 9, 2013


Hi Guys! I am currently on my second of nine days off, and I completely forgot it was even Wednesday today! I'll post tomorrow!


Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Beef Stew For Two

Alright guys, as promised we are making beef stew today. I love anything that requires little effort, lots of inactive cooking time, and makes your house smell amazing for hours, so beef stew is the perfect dinner on this gloriously dreary October day. I'm adding chanterelle mushrooms to give it a really nice earthy flavor, and to really make it taste like fall.

As most of you know, there are only two people in my household, but I still wind up cooking enough to feed a small army. (Case in point, the giant tub of butternut squash soup I have left over in my fridge right now. I'll post that recipe soon). That's why I'm calling this recipe beef stew for two; I'm trying to make a conscious effort to cook smaller portions of food. I always tell myself I'm going to take the extra to work when I make a giant portion, but I am a total space case about things like that and it ends up just going bad in the fridge, and I end up throwing my money in the garbage. (Not to mention being super wasteful, yuck.) 

So here we go, a combo deal of good cold weather comfort food, and my attempt at not making too much food: Beef Stew for Two. (Of course if you are making this for more people the recipe can be easily multiplied, and the cooking times should be the same.) 


1)2/3 pound chuck, cut into cubes (sold at most supermarkets as stew beef) 
2) 1/2 cup flour
3) one half onion, diced
4) three cloves garlic, minced
5) one carrot, peeled and sliced into rounds
6) One cup chanterelle mushrooms, sliced 
7) one sprig rosemary
8) two Yukon gold potatos, peeled and cut into one inch dice 
9) 1 cup red wine
10) 1.5 cups beef broth 


1) Place flour in a bowl and season with salt and pepper, and coat beef cubes in flour.

2) Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a stock pot or Dutch oven on medium heat and brown beef cubes on all sides. Don't worry if you're getting lots of brown bits stuck to the bottom, this will give you good flavor. 
3) Remove beef from the pot, and set aside. Add one more tbsp olive oil, and sauté onion, garlic mushrooms and carrot about three minutes. 
4) Add wine and stock to the pan, and using a wooden spoon, scrape those brown stuck on bits from the bottom of the pan (deglazing!)
5) Place the beef back in the pot along with that sprig of rosemary, place the lid on and allow to simmer on low heat for two hours. 
6) After the stew has simmered for two hours, add the potatoes and allow to simmer again for one half hour to one hour, or until the potatoes are cooked through and soft. 
7) Once the potatoes are cooked, you're done!! Serve this beautiful masterpiece with a crusty loaf of bread, and be sure to remove the rosemary before you serve it.

Thanks for checking me out once again, and I'm looking forward to sharing all of my favorite fall foods with you. 

Xoxo Megan 

Wow, it's been a while!!

Hi guys! First off, some super exciting news! My dear and incredibly talented friend Katie Parra had me over a few weeks ago to do an Oktoberfest themed food shoot, and today we've been featured on Style Me Pretty Living! Here's the link: 

Second of all, It's been over two months since I've posted because this summer was incredibly busy. That's the way summer always goes though. I think there are going to be lots of opportunities to sit outside and read a book, take a walk on the beach, work on a tan (yeah right), but time fills up with family visits, weddings, and for me personally, lots and lots of work events. 

So I am always ready for fall, I welcome it with open arms. I'm ready to cook a stew and wear a sweater and sit inside watching movies all day without feeling bad about it.  So in the spirit of fall I'm going to kick my blog bak I to high gear, starting with the beef stew recipe I will be making and posting later today.

Sorry for the extended hiatus, folks, but I'm back for good this time.

XoXo Megan 

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Roasted Potato and Cauliflower Salad

Hey dudes! Sorry I haven't posted in so long, things have been kinda busy and the weeks are just getting away from me.  I'm taking this whole week off and not going anywhere (I can't handle "staycation"), and so I'm back in action!

Today I'm posting the recipe for the potato salad I brought to a BBQ on the Fourth of July. Most people who know me well will be surprised by this, as I really hate potato salad (most potato salad). I'm just really not fond of any kind of "salad" whose main ingredient is mayo. I don't like mayonnaise very much at all as a matter of fact.  I'm also not a huge fan of boiled potatoes, unless I'm going to mash them. So between the mushy potatoes, the gloppy mayonnaise and the dill pickles (another one of my least favorites - I know - weirdo alert!) the traditional American potato salad is just really not my thang. The other thing about a mayonnaise based potato salad is that unless you're keeping it over a bowl of ice or in the fridge, it's just really not food safe. A few hours sitting out in the heat of summer, and it's basically just a giant bowl of food poisoning, and no one wants to spend the fourth of July barfing.

I do, however, love potatoes, love lemon, and love smoked bratwurst (specifically from Bavarian Meats in Pike Place Market - they're SO GOOD you guys!) so these are the things I used to make my own potato salad. Ditched the mayo, roasted the potatoes, and added a nice stone ground mustard and lemon vinaigrette. I also added cauliflower, just because I looked at some cauliflower when I was buying the  potatoes and thought it would taste good in there too (spoiler alert - I was right!). Since I am one of those lucky bastards who works on the Fourth of July, I made the whole thing the night before and it really benefited. The resting time gave the dressing time to soak in and all the flavors to meld together, and it came out tasting damn good if I do say so myself. So here you have it:

Roasted Potato and Cauliflower Salad with Smoked Brats:

What you need:


  • 3 pounds red or yukon gold potatoes, cut in one inch pieces
  • 1 head cauliflower broken down into smaller pieces
  • 1 package Bavarian Meats Smoked Bratwurst.(I used three out of the five that come in the package, and we ate the other two for dinner)
  • 2-3 tbsp Olive Oil 
  • 2 sprigs fresh Rosemary
  • A few generous pinches salt. I always always use this stuff when I roast veggies, I swear I can't live without it.
  • Large handful (probably about 1/2 cup) parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Juice and zest of two large lemons
  • 1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  •  2 cloves garlic, finely minced or grated
  • 4 tbsp good quality stone ground mustard
  • Salt and pepper to taste
What you need to do:

  • Preheat oven to 375
  • Wash and chop potatoes and cauliflower (I don't peel my potatoes because I like potato skin, but if you don't, go ahead and have at it)
  • Place the potatoes and the cauliflower in different roasting pans (they take different amounts of time to cook - as I learned the hard way). Drizzle both with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt and roast until they look like this (about 45  minutes to an hour for the potatoes, about half an hour for the cauliflower)

  • While the veggies are roasting away, you can deal with the bratwurst. Slice each sausage into aprox 1/2 inch slices, and place in a pan on medium heat. Let them cook until they're nice and browned and possibly a little charred around the edges. Like this:

  • To make the dressing, whisk together the lemon, mustard, garlic, salt and pepper, then slowly drizzle in the olive oil while whisking (you can do this with a whisk or with a fork). 
  • Let your potatoes and cauliflower cool slightly, then place in a bowl with the sausage,. Add the dressing, and place into fridge to cool completely (bonus points for letting it sit overnight!).
  • Add the cheese and parsley once the salad has completely cooled and it ready to be served.
It should look a little something like this:

Thanks for checking back in, I've got another few recipes stored up, so I'll probably be seeing you all before next Wednesday!

xoxo Megan

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Well guys, today I don't have a pie.

Sometimes when you're cooking, things just don't turn out the way you had planned. I did something wrong in the process of making my strawberry rhubarb ginger pie, and it turned out to be a sort of a gloppy mess. I think my mistake was cooking the strawberry rhubarb mixture before putting it into the crust, so the bottom crust got really soaked through while baking. I mean, it still tasted really good, if you only ate the top crust and the filling, it was bright, cirtusy, a little spicy from the ginger, and I used very little sugar so it wasn't overly sweet. I also added a bit of goat cheese to the crust so it would read a little savory, because pies tend to be a little too sweet for me. Someday, this is going to be a really good pie. But alas, it needs more work and the recipe is not quite ready to share yet. Sorry, dudes.

Here's a photo, it definitely looks "rustic":

and my super cute maxi dress from h&m.

That's the thing about cooking though, the thing that I love. Even though my pie turned out to be a little less than stellar, it's not the end of the world. Next time, I'll bake it differently, and life goes on. If I had made that for a party, I would have just scooped out the filling and the top crust and served it on top of ice cream or something. No one but me (and my internet friends, now), need to know that the bottom layer of crust was completely soaked through and had the consistency of Elmer's Glue. As long as you're not selling it (or posting about it on a blog), there's no reason things have to be completely perfect. Striving for complete perfection in your food is the reason I ended up crying over the pies I took to Christmas dinner (that everyone loved and were delicious). Not to say that I don't love it when something comes out and it looks like it should be on the cover of a cook book, but if not it's still (probably) going to taste fantastic, and things can always be salvaged. It's a lot more fun to cook when you're relatively relaxed, and things always turn out better when you aren't stressing yourself into oblivion.

I truly believe that everyone can cook, and it's such a rewarding thing to do. But sometimes, shit happens, and your pie turns out like shit but you eat it anyways. Then you have to write a blog post about how sometimes even the girl with the blog fucks up her pies. So don't let it put you off forever, try, try again (or pie, pie again, in this case). We all mess up sometimes, but in this day and age where so few people truly make things from scratch, your effort will still impress. Your cake is a little flat? Oh well. Life goes on, kids. The fact that you tried, and are trying is what truly matters for the home cook. That's my two cents anyway. So many amazing things have happened this week for immigration, women's rights, and marriage equality. There's no way a bad pie could put a damper on the beauty of progress.

Thanks for stopping in again, pals. I hope you all have a great weekend. Go do something fun for Pride! Hopefully next week I'll actually have a recipe to share, if not....oh well.

xoxo Megan

Sunday, June 23, 2013

Sneak Peek: Local Strawberries!

Hey guys!  Surprise Sunday post!

Summer is a beautiful time of year in the PNW, obviously, and it's also the time of year when I bite into a local strawberry and realize every other strawberry I've eaten the rest of the year was total bullshit. You can fool yourself a little, macerating them in sugar or dipping them in chocolate, but when it comes right down to it, nothing compares to something picked that morning and grown less than a hundred miles away. They'r red right down to the middle and so incredibly juicy that all the dry and white centered berries I've eaten throughout the year circle through my mind and I vow to never subject myself to anything other than utter strawberry perfection.

With this in mind, I'm dedicating this week to all things strawberry and will (hopefully) have some lovely recipes to share. The best thing to do with a nice ripe berry is just to eat it, but a nice cocktail isn't a bad way to enjoy them either. Strawberry rhubarb basil margarita?! Don't mind if I do (or you do either).

To make this little beauty I just took a handful of strawberries and a handful of chopped rhubarb and stuck it in a pot with the juice of one lemon, a little water, and a couple tablespoons of sugar. Let that cook down for a bit, until it's nice and juicy and you have a syrup (not so long that it turns into jam, although I did that by accident and all hope was not lost). Strain it to take out the chunks and seeds, and then mix it with about a quarter cup lime juice, a tablespoon of agave nectar, and pour over ice. Add your tequila, I did about a shot, but use less or more to suit your taste (or mood, I'm not judging). The final step is to add a few leaves of chopped basil, stir it up and drink it! (Note: If you cooked most of the liquid out of your strawberry syrup, you can just add a bit of water).

Another super simple thing you can do with strawberries is to throw them in a salad. This is something my mom makes, and despite how incredibly simple it is, people will die for it at a dinner party or barbecue. I don't much believe in bottled salad dressing (not because I'm pretentious, but because it's so easy and cheap to make your own), so I just use nice balsamic and olive oil, whisked together with garlic, salt and pepper. Pour that over spinach or mixed greens, and top with sliced strawberries and crumbled goat cheese and toasted nuts (almonds, walnuts, hazelnuts, GO NUTS!) and you have it. Here's mine, there's not much artistry to the photo, because it was sitting next to a steak, and I was hungry.

Thanks for coming back again, and I'll see you Wednesday for some more things to do with all those local berries.

xoxo Megan