okie dokie artichokie » hey guys, i'm steph! i'm a personal chef by day and food writer by night. this blog is all about the food i love to cook and eat-- some sweet, some savory, all delicious. welcome to my realm! xo

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How to Make Homemade Mayonnaise with an Immersion Blender

Homemade Mayonnaise


Mayonnaise. Mayo. That creamy lusciousness we slather our sandwiches with and the stuff great aiolis are made from. For me, it is something that I cannot live without.

I just finished making my weekly batch of homemade mayonnaise and realized I didn’t have a standalone post on how ridiculously easy it is to whip up. If you’ve never tasted homemade mayo, oh man…I don’t think anything I say here can prepare you for the awesomeness that you will experience when you finally try it. It’s incredibly creamy, smooth, lavish. Nothing at all like the kind you buy at the store. Nothing. And with this technique using the immersion blender, it’s totally simple and kinda fool-proof. But, freak accidents happen. I know. I seem to be a magnet for those– don’t fret. I have harnessed the special juju necessary to save your mayo if it does happen to fall to hard times. Come with me, young grasshopper…


First, you will need provisions:

1 immersion blender

1 large, wide-mouth mason jar


Next, ingredients:

2 large eggs, local fresh ones are the best

1/4 teaspoon Coleman’s ground mustard

1/2 teaspoon fine salt

1 teaspoon distilled white vinegar or rice vinegar (Today, I used rice vinegar and it blew my socks off)

Pinch black pepper

2 cups canola oil


Your mission, if you choose to accept it:

Crack the eggs into the mason jar, followed by everything else. Pour the canola oil in last, gently. Grab your immersion blender. Stick it at the bottom of the mason jar, turn it on, and watch as it slowly starts to create the mayo right before your eyes, emulsifying the oil with the eggs. Slowly, make your way up along the sides and up to the top, incorporating the oil. You may not be able to get all of the oil at the top. That’s okay. At this point, turn off the immersion blender and finish mixing it with a spoon. I have discovered that the mayonnaise does not break this way. I know this may sound foreign, weird, unclear to those that have never made mayonnaise. And a bit scary, too. So, I made a video on how to make it:



I hope the video clarifies some things and shows you how dead simple it is to make mayonnaise! Years ago, I posted a method on making homemade using a food processor. That works splendidly too, but requires just a teeny bit more work. Find it here! If you come across any trouble or problems making mayonnaise, please leave me a note at the bottom and I’ll help you out. Peace and love, mayonnaise lovers.


Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s Cha Cha Sriracha Flatbread, Boosted Smoothies + a Giveaway!

Tropical Smoothie Cafe


Hi folks! I hope you’re all doing well. I’ve been a busy bee lately but the sun is finally shining today and it’s forecasted to be 70 degrees this weekend so that makes me feel happy.

My tastebuds and I just had the pleasure of trying out Tropical Smoothie Cafe’s newest menu item– the Cha Cha Sriracha Flatbread, a super delicious, super flavorful snack available for limited time only (until April 23rd!!!) that comes packed with juicy grilled chicken, mozzarella cheese, romaine lettuce, shredded carrots, pineapple salsa, cilantro, scallions, and an unworldly caramelized pineapple sriracha sauce. Every nibble was an incredible balance of savory and sweet.

It. Was. To. Die. For.

Alongside that, I sipped up one of their new Boosted Smoothies– the Chia Banana Boost. This, you guys, was heaven in a cup. They asked if I wanted strawberries or peanut butter in it. Um, I said peanut butter. Thing is dangerously good. And it’s good for you because chia seeds and stuff.

So because I want you guys to fall head over heels in love with all of the yum offered at Tropical Smoothie Cafe, I’m hosting another giveaway!

Two lucky winners will each get a $50 Tropical Smoothie Cafe gift card, a whirly cup, and a Sriracha bottle keychain! To enter this giveaway, leave a comment below sharing your favorite thing to drizzle sriracha on– eggs? Noodles?? Smoothies??? This giveaway is open from April 7, 2017 – April 10, 2017. U.S. residents only, please. 

Good luck, everyone!


Amie Martin - I love to drizzle it on my farm fresh eggs! Yum!

Anna - I like to put just a little on sweet potato fries.

Kathy - I like to drizzle Sriracha on my chicken schwarma sandwiches! With a cooling side of fattoush, it’s delicious.

Youri - Thank you for your awesome blog! and for being awesome!

David - I like to put it on oven baked macaroni and cheese. You have that golden brown layer of cheese with that kick of sriracha.

Robin Hilliker - Sriracha is my favorite addition to a bloody mary!

Ensalada Rusa

Ensalada Rusa


Ensalada Rusa, or Russian Salad, is a Peruvian side dish my family always makes for holidays such as Thanksgiving and Christmas. This fuchsia-forward salad is comprised of finely-cut jewels– potatoes, green beans, hard-boiled eggs, carrots and celery; but the main gem here is the beet.

Earthy and slightly sweet, beets bring life (and extreme color) to this salad. Composing all parts together in a bowl is nothing short of delightful, watching the purple stain grow from a whisper to a shout, bleeding dominance.

Ensalada Rusa is fairly straight-forward to make but it can take some time to prepare the vegetables. You can hunker down and do them all in one fell swoop or carry the load out over the course of a couple days, which is what I did. Either way will produce a wonderfully tasting salad that will feast your eyes and hunger.


Ensalada Rusa

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 1 hour

Category: Peruvian, Side Dish, Vegetable

Servings: 6-8

Ensalada Rusa


  • 1 1/4 pounds beets, washed and trimmed
  • 1 1/4 pounds red potatoes, peeled, diced
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/4 pound green beans, washed, trimmed, and blanched; chopped small
  • 3 small carrots, peeled and diced, about 1 cup
  • 3 stalks celery, diced, about 1 cup
  • 2 cups mayonnaise, preferably homemade
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Wrap beets tightly into a pouch of aluminum foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake for 50-60 minutes or until a toothpick easily pierces the middle of the fattest beet. Unwrap from aluminum foil and let cool for 30 minutes. Peel skin under running cool water, and cut into small dice. Put in a large bowl.
  3. Add 2 quarts of cool water into a large pot with 2 tablespoons of salt, sugar, and white or rice wine vinegar. Add the diced potatoes, and bring water to a boil. Let boil for 10 minutes or until a toothpick easily pierces the middle of the potatoes. Drain, and spread out on baking sheet to cool. Add to large bowl with beets.
  4. Add 3 quarts of cool water into a large pot and bring to a boil. With a slotted spoon, carefully submerge the eggs. Let them boil for 30 seconds, then turn the heat down to a simmer and cover with lid. Cook for 11 minutes. Shock in ice water for 15 minutes before peeling under cool, running water. Chop.
  5. Add the blanched green beans, carrots, celery, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper to large bowl and combine. Add chopped eggs and combine gently.


// More Peruvian salads and things: 




Marie - Just made! I did without the carrots and celery due to constraints of time. It was still really good!

Kit Lang - Looks delicious! I’m going to try this soon. 🙂

Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin with Brie

Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin with Brie


I’ve been thinking long and hard about spaghetti squash lately. Long strands of amber, delicately tangled; the soft chew before it melts in my mouth. This daydream was all-consuming.

Soon thereafter, I began formulating the plan for turning my spaghetti squash fantasy into reality. I wanted to preserve its’ natural earthy flavor but also pair it with something mildly sweet, like red garnet potatoes. And, without argument, it would all bathe in a luscious, ambrosial liquid of cream and cheese. What I wanted, what I really wanted, was a gratin.


Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin with Brie


When everything was said and done I took a bite.

It was. Incredible.

The spaghetti squash was tender, yielding effortlessly beneath the weight of my spoon. Deeper still were the soft layers of potato– a duo of red and sweet, submerged in an herby cream sauce, a luxurious layer of sliced triple cream brie separating the two. I’m going to say this at the risk of sounding very cliché, but…it was an orchestra of flavors. I think I cried.


Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin with Brie



Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin with Brie

Cook Time: 2 hours, 30 minutes

2 hours, 30 minutes

Category: Side Dish, Vegetable

Spaghetti Squash and Sweet Potato Gratin with Brie


  • 3 1/2 pound spaghetti squash (about 4 cups spaghetti squash strands)
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/4 cup freshly chopped parsley
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 pound red garnet sweet potato, peeled
  • 3/4 pound red potato, peeled
  • 8 ounces triple cream Brie cheese, rind removed, sliced


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and line a baking sheet with aluminum foil.
  2. Pierce the spaghetti squash all over and put on the baking sheet; bake for about 60-80 minutes or until fork tender. Let cool before cutting in half lengthwise and scooping out the seeds. Shred flesh with a fork to make strands.
  3. Butter a 9x13 baking dish.
  4. In a medium-sized saucepot set over medium-low heat, pour in the heavy cream, evaporated milk, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, parsley, garlic, butter, salt, and pepper.
  5. Using a mandolin set to 1/8\" thickness or a knife, slice the potatoes thin and place into the saucepot with the cream. Let this come to a slight bubble; approximately 5-7 minutes.
  6. Layer the bottom of the baking dish with the sweet potatoes. Add half of the spaghetti squash. Scatter Brie slices all over. Add a layer of red potatoes, and then finish with last of spaghetti squash. Pour in milk mixture until just barely covering top of gratin. Sprinkle with remaining Parmesan cheese.
  7. Bake in the oven for about 60-80 minutes, until sauce is bubbly, top is golden brown, and potatoes are super fork tender.
  8. Let stand about 5 minutes before serving. Add additional parsley, if desired.


Recipe adapted from Food Network and New York Times Cooking

If you choose, you can omit the evaporated milk and use all heavy cream or vice versa.


// More gratins, quiches, and tarts: 




Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)


I am fully prepared to receive any contempt for writing a recipe featuring corn in the dead of winter. And not just ordinary corn, but frozen corn. Am I digging myself into a deeper grave? *pauses shoveling*

Please hear me out.

I realize we are about 5 months beyond the pinnacle of fresh corn bounty, with its plump, sticky sweet kernels and messy strands of silk that we find irresistibly difficult to not throw into everything we eat in late summer. But.

I’m human. I have needs and desires. And sometimes, just sometimes, I bear a yearning for something that isn’t in season. That’s when I turn to frozen vegetables.

If you can find an excellent quality of frozen vegetable (hell, if you managed to freeze your own from summer’s harvest even better), and the recipe adapts to it, trust when I say the dish will turn out pretty fantastic regardless. Esquites, this Mexican corn salad, is a beautiful example.

Sometime last year I discovered that you can buy bags of frozen, fire-roasted corn at the grocery store. Since then, I’ve been buying them in bulk to stash in the freezer because they are absolutely terrific to toss in at a moment’s notice. They work wondrously for esquites– sweet and juicy with a definite bold, charred flavor.

I go crazy for elotes, Mexican corn on the cob slathered with garlicky, lime mayonnaise and rolled in Cotija cheese and chile powder. Esquites is basically that in salad, bowl form; it is less messy for sure (a good alternative for first dates because who really wants to exchange likes and dislikes with mayonnaise and corn kernels plastered on face…?) but no less delicious. The flavors in this thing are jolting in a great way.

The corn is tossed in a pungent garlic and lime laced mayonnaise sauce and then anchored together with the herby, bright flavors of cilantro and scallions. The morsels of queso fresco distributed throughout provide a welcoming delicate quality to the esquites that softens the bite some.

The flavors in this Mexican corn salad deepen and enhance the more it sits at room temperature, so restrain yourself from eating it for at least 30 minutes after preparing, difficult as it may be; the experience of tasting this will be worthwhile I promise you.


Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Category: Appetizers, Side Dish, Vegetable

Servings: 4 as a side, 2 as a meal

Esquites (Mexican Corn Salad)


  • 1 - 1 pound bag frozen fire-roasted corn kernels, thawed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons mayonnaise, preferable homemade
  • 2 medium garlic cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons minced seeded and deveined serrano chile
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced scallions
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • Zest of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon New Mexico chile powder
  • 3 ounces queso fresco, crumbled


  1. In a large bowl, add the corn and mayonnaise. Mince the garlic with 1/4 teaspoon salt and crush with side of knife to make a garlicky paste. Add garlic paste, serrano chile, scallions, cilantro, lime zest and juice, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and chile powder to bowl; mix. Lastly, add queso fresco and combine gently. Let this sit at room temperature for at least 30 minutes if you can help it as this helps develop the flavors even more.


Adapted from Serious Eats

When corn is in season, I'd use fresh, local corn and roast them myself on the grill. For this method, bank on using about 4 ears of corn.


// Other corny things:




Karly - Oh Mexican Corn, how I love thee. This has me drooling and daydreaming of summertime, and I’m loving every bit of it!