Sweet Dee's

sweet and savory


Hello friends!  It appears as though SweetDee’s is moving!  I hope you’ll check out the new and improved site so you can continue to watch me cook my way through young adulthood and oggle all things food-related.  Ciao!

Garden Update

Remember how little they used to be? My little plant babies are becoming big plant babies.  Big, tasty plant babies with babies of their own. 

Okay, that was kind of a gross analogy.  I’d apologize, but since I do have every intention of eating all my plant babies this summer, I won’t.

Check out that tomato!  Does this mean I’m a grandma?  A garden grandma?

And I’ve got more little tomatoes coming!  More garden grandchildren?  I’d say yes.

My strawberry plant is getting HUGE (granted, I have tiny hands), but sadly, I see no signs of strawberry grandmothership in my future.  Anyone know when the little guys will start to grow?

Basil-Infused Wine

There’s a reason why I think the French are such wonderful people.  Rosé wine infused with fresh grown basil is one of those reasons.  The result is like basil leaves dancing the Charleston in your mouth, while sipping on glasses of rosé in the middle of a Savannah summer.  At least, that’s how I picture it in the food-obsessed part of my brain.  Which might be most of my brain.  I’m okay with that.


Is it wine or magic?  Magical wine? Quite possibly, yes.


                                                   basil from my garden


                                       basil + sugar + rosé = best friends


Basil-Infused Rosé Wine

-1 750ml bottle of rosé wine

- 12 basil leaves

- 2 tbs sugar (less if wine is very sweet)

Making basil-infused wine is simple.   Pick out any ol’ bottle of rosé (doesn’t need to be super fancy) and uncork.  Wash and dry basil leaves and insert in bottle.  Funnel in sugar (or make a handy dandy funnel from a brown paper bag like I did).  Recork bottle and place in fridge, on its side if possible, for 24 hours. Serve chilled.

youcantseeeemeeee asked: Why do you do torture me with your delicious photos that make me want to eat my my computer?

because it’s my way of feeding you even though you’re 6,308 miles away. 

Accidentally Healthy: Portobello Mushroom, Onions, and Lettuce

I can haz healthy food?   Really?  And vegetarian too?  No.  Wait—and it’s yummy?  I just don’t believe it.

No wait.  I do.  Because that’s what I made tonight. Purely accidental, I promise.

First slice up a portobello mushroom.   Because it’s beautiful and so are you.  Then half a vidalia onion.  Because they are beautiful and so are you.

Add a couple of cloves of garlic.


See that green stuff?  Not beautiful.  It’s slightly poisonous.  Take that stuff out.  You won’t die if you eat it, but do you really want to eat poison?  Really?

Then do your magic on the stove.  Top with Gorgonzola crumbles.  Eat.  Eat it all.  I did.

Sliced Portobello Mushrooms with Onion and Lettuce

Makes two small servings or one large serving

- 1 tbs. olive oil

- 1 portobello mushroom, sliced

-1/2 vidalia onion, diced

- 2 cloves garlic, minced

- 5 leaves bibb lettuce, ripped in chunks

- handful Gorgonzola crumbles

- salt and pepper to taste

In a large pan over medium heat, heat oil.  Add mushrooms and onion.  Once soft, add the garlic and lettuce, and cook until lettuce is slightly wilted and soft.  Plate and add Gorgonzola crumbles.  Salt and pepper to taste.


It’s true.  I’ve found a new love and its name is Señor Gazpacho.  Romain understands.  I promise, he does. 

So yes, I’m smitten.  I can’t help it.  Gazpacho is cool, refreshing, hearty, and **ba ba da daaaaaha!** healthy. 

There’s an episode of the Simpson’s where Homer is hosting the biggest barbeque Springfield has ever known right at the pinnacle of Lisa’s vegetarian epiphany.  As guests are shoving piles of burgers and hot dogs down their throats, little Lisa offers them an alternative of gazpacho, which she describes as “tomato soup served ice cold”.  I’ll admit, when 10-year-old me heard this, I cringed.  I vowed never to eat this cold tomato concoction.  But then, one day while visiting Romain’s cousin in San Franciso a whole decade later, I met Señor Gazpacho.  I’ve been in love ever since.


Adapted from Betty Crocker, makes 6-8 servings

- 1 can whole tomatoes, undrained

- 1 medium vidalia onion, chopped

- 1 green pepper, chopped

- 1 medium cucumber, chopped

- 2 or 3 sprigs of curled parsley

- splash of white wine

- splash of olive oil

- splash of white vinegar

- 1 tablespoon ground cumin

- salt and pepper to taste

In a food processor or blender, add the whole tomatoes, half the onion, half the green pepper, half the cucumber, and the rest of the ingredients.  Blend on high until smooth.  Refrigerate gazpacho for at least one hour or until chilled.  Use the remainder of the onion, green pepper, and cucumber as toppings. 

Carrot and Radish Salad

I have this friend Addie.  She makes pretty things and laughs a lot.  She’s vegan and she’s the best.  I made this dish because 1.) I love carrots and radishes, and 2.) Addie is awesome and I want to share vegan recipes with her.

Sometimes I make vegan things.  Usually, it’s purely accidental.  This is one of those things.



I sliced up some carrots, radishes, and plum tomatoes.  Oh yes, and curled parsley happened too.  But not just any curled parsley.  Homegrown curled parsley.

Sauce also happened.  However, pictures of sauce happening did not happen.

Final picture pre-shoving-it-in-my-face did happen. 

Carrot and Radish Salad

Makes 1 large serving or 2 small servings

  • 3 medium carrots, sliced
  • 4 small radishes, sliced
  • 1 plum tomato
  • 1 sprig parsley
  • 2 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 3/4 cup rice (or substitute with pasta or couscous)
  • salt and pepper to taste

Prepare rice (or substituted grain) as per usual and allow to cool to room temperature.  Slice carrots, radishes, and tomato and put in a small bowl.  In another small bowl, combine oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, and pepper until emulsified.  Pour over veggies and toss.  Serve over rice and garnish with parsley.  Can be served warm or cold.

Chicago: Yelle, Hot Dogs, Fancy Brunch, Punk Bakeries

I love Chicago.  These are a few reasons why:

Yelle concerts in cool hipster bars.


Gourmet hot dogs.  This place in particular, Hot Doug’s, is known as the Encased Meat Emporium and Super Store. 

Check out all the dogs!  We got nine different sausages between the six of us, each of them wonderful and meaty and perfect in its own way.  We also got three pounds of duck-fat french fries (purely accidental, I assure you).  I ate about half of them.

Fancy brunch at Tweet.  Crabcake hollandaise, thank you very much.

Bleeding Heart Bakery yumyums.

Punk Mother’s Day cake. 

Frenchies + sister enjoying fabulous cake balls.  If only the name wasn’t so awkward to pronounce…

More eating, more walking, more shopping.  Both nights there ended up like this.  Oh Chicago, how I love thee.  Let me count the ways.  One, two, three, four….

Cake Decorating Update: Fourth and Final Class

I did it.  Fifty drop flour stars.  Half a dozen sugar cookies, half a dozen beautifully flowered cupcakes, a melty but buttery hamburger cake, and now, a fully filled marble graduation cake. Wilton’s Decorating Basics class is now over but I still have a lot of work ahead of me.

First, I leveled the cake and and outlined the edges with buttercream.

Then I filled it with homemade chocolate pudding.

Stacked it up. 


Iced it.

Filled in the center for those fifty drop flowers I was freaking out about earlier this month.

It turns out fifty drop flowers fit on one baking sheet.  Not nearly as dramatic and taxing as I’d made it out to be.  Pffft…I could drop flowers all day if I wanted.

Then I put it all together and piped on some leaves.  Behold, a sugary gem of butter, cake, and pudding!  It’s far from perfect, but hey, it’s a start. 

Katzinger’s Deli

Can I confess something?  Yes?  Really?  Okay, even though I love fancy Frenchy meals and noodly dishes with creamy shrimp sauce, I can’t help myself when it comes to a good, meaty sandwich.  I can’t help it, it’s like falling in love for the first time.  One time when Romain and I were driving across the country and living out of a cooler, we ate nothing but cream cheese and turkey sandwiches, ramen noodles, and gummy bears for two weeks.  I could have cried, I was so happy about all those delicious sandwiches.

On a recent trip home for my grandpa’s birthday, my Aunt, an alumna from OSU, insisted I go to Katzinger’s deli before I graduate.  So I did. OH MY GOODNESS THANK GOODNESS I DID.  IT WAS THE GOODNESS.   I got turkey and prosciutto with scallion cream cheese (in other words, the dressed-up version of my favorite road trip sandwich).   And Romain got something with meat, meat, more meat, some veggies, and potato salad.

This place was like a dream come true.  They had a deli, small grocery, fresh baked bread counter, a bounty of cheeses, and of course, a serve-yourself-pickle container.



It was so beautiful, I could have cried a single tear.  Maybe I did.  Is that really so terrible?