Pork and Bacon

Friday Instagram Round-Up 7

I am so ready for the weekend, how about you?  Shawn and I got a Blu-ray/DVD/Streaming Netflix device for our birthdays, so this past week has been a blur of work, cooking and Arrested Development episodes (SOOOO good).  Plus, a little time for Instagram.

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Working from home because of the BART strike.  Nice to final put that office to use after a year.

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Leftovers from dinner the night before resulted in this breakfast delight: herb and mashed potato omelette.

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Emily and I threw a girl’s cocktail party with small bites; super fun!

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Quick dinner: dry rubbed roasted pork, peach and basil yogurt wrap.  So, so good.

Also, for all you bloggers out there, Nichole from Vanilla Extract is organizing her Blog Brunch on Sunday, July 21.  Visit Vanilla Extract to RSVP!

Blog Brunch

Have a great weekend!


Friday Instagram Round-Up 6

Oh, Friday. You know what that means…Instagram round-up! And weekend. Oh, I love me the weekend. The weather has been so beautiful lately here, I can’t wait to get out in the sunshine. Our yard is definitely in need of some de-winterizing (i.e., get rid off all the brown), but we already have blossoms on the plum tree and jasmine bushes. The jasmine smell in the morning is enchanting; great way to wake up. I also have a Prohibition-themed birthday party for some friends this weekend… Post to follow next week!

In the meantime, let’s get to Instagramming, shall we?


Celeriac and artichoke heart soup with some crusty bread. Perfect winter to spring transition dinner.


Working on my presentation: grilled chicken, sautéed Brussel sprouts on a baked polenta cake.


Discovered in my make-up case: Jane brand cosmetics circa 1998. Hello my name is Jillian and I’m a hoarder.


Reinventing the wheel, or rather, the rice bowl; broiled salmon and steamed asparagus over rainbow quinoa.


Dinner at The Vine, a wine & tapas bar in San Leandro. Those beans are ridic.


Avocado-chocolate mousse, recipe courtesy of A Cozy Kitchen. Super creamy and rich. You must make this.


The little things in life: opening up my dictionary at work to the EXACT page I needed. I may have squealed in excitement.


Fried brown rice, roasted pork tenderloin and soft boiled egg yolk. Delish.

Friday Instagram Round-Up 5

Hello! So, I missed last week’s round-up. But, I only had a couple of photos (what with a week of late work nights and eating out), so I thought I would roll last week’s into this week’s. So here we go!


I am currently trying to grow out a pixie cut while trying to avoid that whole Justin Beiber/mullet look. I find dark red lipstick helps.


Sunday movie night: Bernie with Jack Black and curried kobucha squash and quinoa and kale soup.


Easy Dinner 1: chicken and sweet pepper stir fry over rice.


Easy Dinner, The Sequel: penne and pork tenderloin in tomato sauce.


Saturday night, couple’s dinner with Kat and Kris: veggies with hollandaise.


Me. Instagramming Kat. Instagramming dinner. Meta.


Pork and cucumber meatballs with yogurt sauce. The best.


And, of course, boeuf bourguignon to finish us out.

Have a great weekend friends!

Follow me on Instagram @thehumblegourmet

Sunday Brunch

Orange-Cinnamon Rolls

First things first, I must apologize for my absence last week. Shawn and I got our loan pre-approval (yay!) and have been hitting the “we’re-buying-a-house” work pretty hard. It’s been almost 2 years since we moved in with my parents to begin saving for a home; WE ARE READY. So, I apologize for the neglect last week, and also any future neglect that may happen in the coming weeks/months while I try to balance this work/blog/home buying/life thing.

Last Sunday, we had a brunch. My cousin Mike and his family were up from Bakersfield visiting his wife Jen’s grandparents, and they stopped by on their way back down Sunday morning. I love brunch (doubt that I’m alone in the sentiment). There is so much bread and cheese and powdered sugar involved in brunch, am I right? I generally don’t really like breakfast too much (typical breakfast food is much to heavy for me first thing in the morning), and yet I love brunch. Go figure.

Pancetta and Cheese Strata
Spiced Potatoes and Peppers

My mom and dad decided that the best course of action would be for everyone to make a different dish. My dad made strata, a baked casserole-like dish consisting of egg, pancetta, cheese and crusty French bread. Insane. So, so good, especially the crunchy, toasted bread on top. Yum. My brother Ryan made a dish of potatoes and peppers; incredibly flavorful and just a little spicy. Really great savory dish considering the amount of sweet we had going on.

My mom made Dutch pancakes. These are, and I cannot understate this enough, THE GREATEST BRUNCH FOOD YOU WILL EVER EAT. A spongy, very eggy baked pancake filled with fruit and eaten in slices. So insanely delicious, like a bite of pure happiness. She made one with fresh strawberries (my favorite) and one with apple compote for the filling. Mike and Jen’s 2 little kids, upon seeing the Dutch pancakes, both proclaimed “breakfast pie!” and immediately dove in. Super cute kids.

Strawberry Dutch Pancakes

I decided to go with a brunch classic: cinnamon rolls. Who doesn’t like cinnamon rolls?

I had made a batch of these the day before as well. Emily and I decided to have a Scarlett O’Hara marathon by watching Gone With The Wind and the first half of the mini-series Scarlett. We both went through simultaneous Scarlett O’Hara obsessions recently, with me reading the original book and Emily seeing GWTW for the first time and reading the sequel. Such an iconic and classic story, though we both agreed that the mini-series sequel was laughably bad. Timothy Dalton as Rhett Butler? Clark Gable you are not, my friend.

So, I made a batch on Saturday and then made two batches on Sunday. Yes. 3 batches. It’s amazing I’m not currently in a bread and sugar coma right now.

I based the recipe on the Neely’s. I decided to forgo the nuts and instead I added orange zest and orange juice to the rolls and the glaze. Orange-cinnamon rolls are such a great combination, with the heavy spice of the cinnamon and that little zip of freshness and tartness from the orange. Yummers.

What’s your favorite brunch food? And, more importantly, Clark Gable or Timothy Dalton?  THG

Orange-Cinnamon Rolls

Mike’s Cheese and Pancetta Strata (adapted from this recipe)

6 oz. pancetta, cubed

1 loaf crusty sourdough French bread

1 lb. sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded

8 eggs

3 1/2 cups milk

1/2 tsp. Tabasco sauce

1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard

1 pinch pepper

Butter a 9×13 inch glass or ceramic baking dish.  In a frying pan set over medium-high heat, fry pancetta until brown and crispy.  Drain on paper towels and allow to cool to room temperature.

Cube bread into 1” pieces and put into prepared baking dish.  Add pancetta and cheeses, mixing with hands to distribute evenly.  In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs, milk, Tabasco, Dijon mustard and pepper.  Pour mixture evenly through baking dish.  Cover and refrigerate at least 12 hours, or overnight.

Bake at 350ºF for 1 hour until strata is set and crispy on top, golden-brown.  Serve immediately.

Serves 10-12

Laura’s Dutch Pancakes (from the Culinary Arts Institute Encyclopedic Cookbook)

4 eggs

1/2 cup all-purpose flour, sifted

1/2 tsp. salt

1/2 cup milk

2 Tbsp. butter, softened

3 cups strawberries, sliced

powdered sugar for dusting

Preheat oven to 400ºF.

In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs.  Sift in flour and salt together in a small mixing bowl.  Add flour mixture to eggs, alternating with milk, until a smooth batter has formed.  Butter the bottom and sides of a cast iron skillet.  Pour batter into skillet.  Bake in the middle of oven for 20-25 minutes, gradually reducing heat to 350ºF.  The pancake should puff up along the sides and be crisp and golden-brown all around.  Remove from skillet.  Fill with sliced strawberries and sprinkle with powdered sugar.  Cut into slices and serve.

Serves 8-10

Orange-Cinnamon Rolls (adapted from this recipe)

1/2 oz. (2 packages) dry active yeast

1/2 cup warm water

4 eggs

1/2 cup sugar

2 tsp. salt

5 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted


3 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted

3/4 cup brown sugar

1 Tbsp. ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg

zest of 1 large orange


1 1/2 cups powdered sugar

1 Tbsp. milk

1 tsp. vanilla extract

2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice

In a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook, combine yeast and warm water.  Let stand for 5 minutes to soften yeast.  In a small mixing bowl, whisk eggs, sugar and salt until well combined.  Whisk egg mixture into bowl of yeast until well combined.  Whisk in 1 cup of flour, then melted butter until smooth.  With the mixture set on low, add remaining flour 1 cup at a time, waiting until each cup is completely combined.  Mix well until strong dough is formed and springs back when tapped.  Place in a greased bowl and cover with greased plastic wrap.  Let rise until doubled in size in a warm place, about 1 hour.

In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and orange zest.  Punch down raised dough and dump out on a floured surface.  Roll into a 12×15” rectangle.  Brush dough with melted butter.  Pour sugar mixture evenly over dough.  Working on the longer end, roll somewhat tightly into a log.  Cut off the ends.  Cut log into 8 even pieces.  Place slices in a greased 9” round baking pan.  Let rise in a warm place until doubled in size again, about 1 hour.  Bake at 400ºF about 30 minutes, until rolls are puffed up and golden brown.  Allow to cool to room temperature.

In a small bowl, whisk together powdered sugar, milk and vanilla extract.  Whisk in orange juice until smooth and at a good, thick consistency.  Pour over cinnamon rolls.  Serve at room temperature.

Makes 8 rolls


Croque-Monsieur Ingredients

This week has been CRAZY.


Committee meetings, website tutorials, newsletter layouts.  Sushi with a good friend, beautiful musical performance by another good friend, quality documentary-watching time with my love.  In the middle of all the HTML code, raw fish and show tunes, I couldn’t find any time to post this recipe until now.

I’m sorry my friends.  Will you forgive me?

Green Salad with Creamy Balsamic

This week called for a quick, throw-it-together-in-30-minutes dinner.  Hearty.  Cheesy.  With a healthy dose of carbs (quick note: I never shy away from carbs.  They are one of the things that make life magical). 


Hello croque-monsieur.

Open-faced French sandwich.  Thick sliced sourdough bread, ham, Gruyere cheese, béchamel sauce.  Some mashed fingerling potatoes stacked on as well.  Cuz it wasn’t feeling quite filling enough as is.

Winking smile

I also added a little green leaf and creamy balsamic on the side.  For color.  And to pretend like this is a healthy and nutritious meal (spoiler alert: not so much

).  BUT, it’s delicious.  And easy.  And filling.  And if you have a completely insane week full of stage readings and inDesign files, this is going to hit the spot.  Yum.  THG



2 lbs. fingerling potatoes

1/4 cup olive oil

sea salt and pepper to taste

1 loaf day-old sourdough bread

1 garlic clove, smashed

1 cup béchamel sauce (recipe below)

1/2 lb. thin sliced ham

1/2 lb. Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced

Béchamel sauce:

2 Tbsp. unsalted butter

2 Tbsp. flour

1 cup milk, at room temperature

Sea salt and pepper to taste

In a small saucepan, melt butter over medium heat.  When melted, whisk in flour until a smooth paste develops.  Do not allow flour mixture to brown.  Whisk in milk, sea salt and pepper.  Whisk over medium heat until mixture thickens, about 3-5 minutes.  Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 450ºF.

In a medium-size bowl, toss fingerling potatoes with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.  Arrange on a baking sheet in a single layer.  Roast until fork-tender, about 20 minutes.  Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly, about 10 minutes.  Lightly mash potatoes until just mixed but not completely smooth.  Set aside.

Cut sourdough into 8 1” slices.  Toast lightly in a toaster.  Rub each toasted slice with smashed garlic clove.  Spoon approximately 2 Tbsp. of béchamel sauce onto each slice of bread and spread to even consistency.  Top with ham slices.  Spoon about 1/4 cup of mashed potatoes on top of ham and smooth.  Top with Gruyere slices.  Arrange sandwiches on a baking sheet.

Turn on your oven broiler to low and place the rack directly below.  Place sandwiches underneath flame and broil until cheese is bubbly, about 8-10 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through.  Serve sandwiches immediately topped with Dijon mustard.

Makes 8 sandwiches

Creamy Balsamic Dressing

1/4 cup plain Greek yogurt

2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar

1 tsp. honey

1/4 cup olive oil

black pepper to taste

In a measuring cup or small bowl, whisk together yogurt, vinegar, honey and pepper.  While whisking, slowly pour in olive oil to emulsify.  Refrigerate until ready to use.

Makes approximately 3/4 cup dressing

Pancetta Quiche with Spinach and Mushrooms

Pancetta and Mushroom Quiche

I’ve been having food dreams lately.

Quiche Crusts

I dream I’m on a show like Cupcake Wars, but I don’t know what I’m doing, and everyone keeps taking my supplies, and my dogs keep coming into the kitchen and messing everything up.  And the show is being hosted in the house I lived in when I was little.  I’m starting to think I’m either cooking a lot, watching a lot of cooking shows, or both.

Quiche Ingredients

My husband and I are currently living with my parents while we save to purchase our first home.  My sister is also living with my parents while she saves to move to Sacramento.  Basically, my parents’ house has become a giant waiting room for their children.  Poor, patient Mom and Dad.

Pancetta and Spinach

So because there are now 5 people living under one roof, I’ve been having to cook for a lot more tastes than just Shawn’s and mine.  Shawn likes this, Mom dislikes that, Dad can’t eat these, Caiti won’t eat those.  It’s actually been an interesting challenge to try and find recipes every week that will work for everyone.  So when Caiti asked me to make quiche for dinner, I knew that was a perfect opportunity to specify to everyone’s different palette.

Pancetta Ingredients

I made a basic quiche recipe, which is eggs, cheese and half and half.  I fried up some pancetta, delicious and salty and crunchy.  I love using pancetta in recipes that call for chopped or crumbled bacon, and Trader Joe’s has some great pancetta for a really good price.  After adding it to the quiche batter, I split the mixture in two and began to customize.  Caiti wanted mushrooms in hers, but Shawn doesn’t like them, so I did mushroom, feta and pancetta quiches for Caiti and me, and spinach, Fontina and pancetta quiches for Shawn and my mom (she doesn’t care for feta).  My dad, who had no problem with any of the ingredients, got a combination of the two.  I used my basic flakey pie crust recipe (you can find it here), but I substituted half of the all-purpose flour for whole wheat flour.  It added a great nutty, natural taste to the crust the complimented the savory filling really well.  I topped all of the quiches with the leftover Fontina cheese to add a bubbly, crusty top to the smooth and eggy filling.

Quiche with Roasted Veggies and Apples

Salad and Roasted Veggies with Apples

I made a simple side for the quiches by chopping up carrots, purple potatoes and honey crisp apples to bite-sized pieces and roasting them with olive oil, salt and pepper.  They were totally delicious; something I could easily eat and entire bowl of by myself.

Quiches Before Baking

Easy dinner that is quickly customized for everyone at your dinner table.  Happy family, happy Humble Gourmet.  And no Quiche War dreams afterwards either.  THG

Quiche Dinner

Pancetta Quiche with Spinach and Mushrooms

Whole wheat pie crust, baked in individual ramekins and cooled to room temperature (recipe here)

3 large eggs

2 egg yolks

1 1/2 cups half and half, at room temperature

1 8 oz. package pancetta

2 cups Fontina cheese, shredded

1 cup feta cheese, crumbled

1/4 cup fresh sage, finely chopped

2 cups button mushrooms, rough chop

1 package (4 cups) fresh spinach

salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 375ºF.

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.  Add pancetta to hot skillet.  Fry, stirring occasionally, until brown and crispy, about 8-10 minutes.  Transfer to a paper towel lined plate to drain and cool.  In the meantime, heat a large skillet over medium heat.  Add spinach to skillet and wilt, stirring occasionally, about 2-3 minutes until spinach has significantly reduced in size and is bright green.  Place wilted spinach between paper towels and ring out.  Give the spinach a rough chop and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine eggs, egg yolks, half and half, pancetta, 1 1/2 cups of the Fontina cheese and sage.  Mix well to combine.  Divide batter into two bowls.  In one bowl, add feta cheese, mushrooms and salt pepper; mix to combine.  In the second bowl, add the wilted spinach and salt and pepper; mix to combine.  Pour batters into the prepared crusts about 3/4 full.  Top quiches with remaining Fontina cheese.  Bake in center of oven until quiche is set all the way through and cheese is golden brown and bubbling, about 60-75 minutes.  Serve immediately.

Serves 5-6