February 24


Love, your four favorite Seattleites 

February 23

24th St. NW - Seattle, WA

February 22

24th St. NW - Seattle, WA

February 21

Hail - Seattle, WA

Spinach and Muenster Mac and Cheese

Did you know there's an entire website of solely macaroni and cheese recipes? There is. Check it out here. Normally I don't endorse recipes requiring a specific brand (in this case Wisconsin cheese products), but cheese is cheese and you can use any brand. Plus macaroni and cheese is awesome and worthy of making exceptions to rules (like dinner not consisting solely of dairy?).

Spinach and Muenster Macaroni and Cheese

1 tbsp butter
1 tsp garlic, minced
1/4 C green onions, minced
2 tbsp flour
2 C milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 C muenster cheese, chopped
1/3 C parmesan cheese, grated
2 C fresh spinach
4 C cooked small pasta (elbow, shells, etc.) - this is about 2 C uncooked
1/2 C breadcrumbs 

Preheat oven to 350. Grease an 8x8 inch pan. Melt butter in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add garlic and onions. After one minute, add flour and stir constantly. Whisk in milk (pour slowly, cold milk doesn't like hot pan!), salt, and pepper. Bring mixture to a boil. Allow to boil until mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Turn the heat to low and add the cheese, stir until all melted. Turn off the heat and add the spinach, stir until wilted. Stir in the cooked pasta. Turn into your prepared pan and sprinkle with bread crumbs. Bake for 15 minutes.

FYI: I'm eyeing this recipe next, but have decided to justify purchasing truffle butter I need an occasion. If you would like to be that occasion, let me know.

February 17

Stewart St. - Seattle, WA

Chocolate Caramel Crack

This was my thought process yesterday: What do I want to make tonight... I should really use up that escarole I have left over from soup... oh my god, I want chocolate.

And so I came to the chocolate caramel crack recipe. I've known about it for a while, Danielle made it once a few years ago and it's seen its way around blogs. I usually don't even have that much of a sweet tooth, but yesterday I needed chocolate caramel crack (crackers technically, but I prefer crack).

Chocolate Caramel Crackers
1 1/2 sleeves of saltine crackers (matzo can also be used)
2 sticks unsalted butter
1 C packed brown sugar
Pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 C semi or bittersweet chocolate chips or chunks
Handful of chopped toasted nuts of choice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350. Cover a baking sheet completely in foil, and then cut a piece of parchment paper to fit the bottom. Line the entire bottom with saltines or matzo, Like this: 

In a sauce pan melt the butter and sugar together over medium heat. When the mixture starts to boil, cook for 3 more minutes stirring constantly. Take the pot off of the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla. Pour the caramel over the crackers and spread out to cover all of the crackers. Bake for 15 minutes, watching closely to make sure the edges don't burn. Take the pan out of the oven and immediately sprinkle with the chocolate. Let sit for about 5 minutes, and when the chocolate is melted, use a knife to spread over the caramel. Sprinkle with nuts. If you have room in your fridge, throw the sheet in there to allow the chocolate to set, if not, it'll just take longer. When the chocolate is firm, break into pieces.

Did I get up at midnight to eat more of this? Did I have chocolate caramel crack for breakfast? 

... Remember, crack kills.

Pressed Sandwich Maker

No recipe today, but I did want to tell you about a recent goodwill kitchen appliance purchase that has changed my life. Ok, maybe not changed my life, but still, I LOVE my sandwich press. It's kind of like this, but older and jenkier, and cost me about $4.99.

Here we have homemade bread, provolone, and salami. Yum.

February 12

Thai Tom - Seattle, WA

Italian Wedding Soup - kind of

I've been wanting to make Smitten Kitchen's Escarole and Orzo Soup with Meatballs for years now. I finally got around to making it today. It's simple and delicious, a perfect Sunday dinner (plus leftovers for the whole week!)

Escarole and Orzo Soup with Meatballs

1 large egg
2 tbsp water
1/4 C plain breadcrumbs
12 oz lean ground turkey
1/4 C fresh grated parmesan cheese (+ a little)
2 tbsp chopped parsley
2 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
8 cups + chicken broth
1 C peeled and chopped carrots
3/4 C orzo
4 C coarsely chopped escarole

Whisk together the egg and water. Stir in bread crumbs and let sit for 5 minutes. Add the turkey, parmesan, parsley, garlic, salt, and pepper by massaging with your hands. Using wet hands (prevents sticking), form mixture into 1 inch round balls. Place on a baking sheet, cover, and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Bring 8 cups of broth to a boil in a large soup pot. Add the carrots and orzo, reduce heat and simmer for 8 minutes. Add meatballs and simmer 10 more minutes. Finally, add chopped escarole and simmer for 5 more minutes, or until everything is tender. I served with a little extra parmesan cheese sprinkled on top. 

Also, when you let an orzo soup sit, the orzo will continue to soak up the broth and will make your soup thicker. I added soup extra broth to my lunch portions to make up for this.

I'm so glad I finally got around to making this soup. Lunch for the whole week!

February 12

24th St. NW - Seattle, WA

February 11

24th St. NW - Seattle, WA

February 10

24th St. NW - Seattle, WA

February 9

24th St. NW - Seattle, WA

February 8

Sunset from my office window - Seattle, WA

Just Bread.

A note about bread machines: I love my bread machine. I know it's kind of an obscure appliance and this recipe will be irrelevant to most of you. I was fortunate enough to inherit a long forgotten bread machine from my parent's kitchen, and I've made a promise to myself to take better advantage of it. A few weeks ago I made some Italian bread loaves, which came out great, and this time I wanted to make just a standard loaf of white bread. I used this recipe from All Recipes.

(Please take note of my BEAUTIFUL new Henkels knife... thanks Dad!)
(Also, please don't take note that I can't cut a straight line...)

Basic White Bread

1 cup of warm water
2 tbsp white sugar
1 package - or 2 1/4 tsp - yeast
1/4 C vegetable oil
3 C bread flour
1 tsp salt

Place the water, sugar and yeast in the bottom of the bread machine pan, and allow the yeast to foam for about 10 minutes (BTW - this is very different from standard bread machine yeast placement practices). Set the bread machine to the basic or white bread setting.

Do something else for a few hours.

Enjoy the smell.

Done, eat.

Bread machine's are that easy!

To be honest, I didn't love this recipe. I was lured by all of the comments on All Recipes stating that this was everyone's "go to" bread machine bread. However, after making and eating it, I remembered that I don't really eat white bread. That being said, it does have a really good soft texture and firm crust.

Hoping to have more exciting bread machine recipes to review and post soon!

February 7... I'm back

Hello readers of Aprons and Apertures! Over the past few months I've been busy moving my entire life allll the way across the country to Seattle, Washington. I absolutely love it here, and am very excited about my new home, but am sorry that my life upheaval caused a lag in blogging time. 

Now that I'm settled, I'm back at it! I have a whole new city to capture and a brand new kitchen to fill. Check back tomorrow for notes on the delicious (hopefully!) smelling bread I have baking right now!

24th Ave. NW - Seattle, WA