What have you been up to in the kitchen?

Wednesday, December 28, 2005

Remnants pizza

So the fridge is brimming with leftovers, and basic turkey, mashed potatos and cranberries is getting a bit old.

Grab a bag of TJ's 'Almost Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough'. Shred some meat off of the turkey carcass that is taking up most of the bottom half of the fridge. Extricate the almost-empty jar of pasta sauce from behind the shelf-o-condiments. Take several leaves of fresh basil and chop them coarsely. Halve a few handfuls of cherry tomatos (and still wonder what you're going to do with the rest of the econo pack that fills most of the veg drawer).

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly oil a cookie sheet or pizza stone. Roll the dough in a liberal amount of flour (I'm using whole wheat these days) and knead with knuckles into approx. a 12 inch round. Spread with what will turn out to be too much sauce.

Crumble the barely-a-serving-left chunks of cheese you've accumulated in the back of the cheese drawer. I went with feta and goat cheese, but I don't think there's a cheese that isn't good on pizza.

Top pizza with everything. Feel free to throw together any combination of cheese, sauce, veg and meat you feel is appropriate. While I wanted to clean out more of the fridge, I decided that pate was not likely to be a good choice. Be as artistic as you like with the scattering of your toppings...make your pizza pretty.

Bake pizza in oven for 8-10 minutes - if you use too much sauce like me, leave it in an extra couple minutes to crisp the crust. Remove from oven, cool a little, slice, eat. Go back for seconds.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

M&Egg Nog


His favorite Holiday Beverage

Tuesday, December 20, 2005

Cherry Mistmas

Delicious Jose Cuervo Christmas cookies, recipe sent to me by my mother

1 cup of water
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup of sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup of brown sugar
4 large eggs
1 cup nuts
2 cups of dried fruit
1 bottle Jose Cuervo Tequila

Sample the Cuervo to check quality. Take a large bowl, check the Cuervo again, to be sure it is of the highest quality, pour one level cup and drink.

Turn on the electric mixer... Beat one cup of butter in a large fluffy bowl. Add one teaspoon of sugar. Beat again. At this point it's best to make sure the Cuervo is still OK, try another cup..just in case.

Turn off the mixerer thingy. Break 2 leggs and add to the bowl and chuck in the cup of dried fruit, Pick the frigging fruit off the floor.. Mix on the turner. If the fried druit gets stuck in the beaterers just pry it loose with a drewscriver. Sample the Cuervo to check for tonsisticity.

Next, sift two cups of salt, or something. Who giveshz a sheet. Check the Jose Cuervo. Now shift the lemon juice and strain your nuts. Addone table. Add a spoon of sugar, or somefink. Whatever you can find. Greash the oven.

Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over. Don't forget to beat off the turner. Finally, throw the bowl through the window, finish the Cose Juervo and make sure to put the stove in the dishwasher.


Monday, December 19, 2005

Monday night resourcefulness

I'm always talking about getting my act together and planning meals like my mother does so know, to make better use of my food budget and eat more balanced meals. But mostly because standing shivering in the glow of the fridge trying to piece together a meal from random ingredients is not much fun after 8 hours of work.

I tried Cody's crab wontons a few weeks ago (with mixed success...I think i used too much cream cheese) and have had some of the 'wrappers' leftover in the fridge. Grabbed some tomatos, pesto, and feta (these are about half of the items remaining in the fridge) and after chopping the tomatos, mixed equal portions of each in a bowl. Using egg on the edges of the wrappers, I put what was usually too much filling in the center, folded it over, and then bent the corners back and twisted them around - my approximation of The Joy of Cooking's advice on fresh pasta. Throw the pasta in boiling water, sautee some chicken in rosemary and garlic, pour some wine, and I think dinner is served.

Homage To Trader Joe's

I love Trader Joe's. LOVE!! One finally opened here at my end of Virginia...and all I gotta say is WOOOHOOO!!

So tell me:
What is YOUR favorite TJ's recipe?

Thursday, December 15, 2005

Better than sex cake

What you need:

one box of devils food cake mix
one can of eagle brand sweetened condensed milk.
one jar of caramel or butterscotch ice cream topping
one big vat of cool whip
6, 7, 8 skor bars, (heath is ok-ish)

What you do

Put skore bars in freezer. make the cake in a 13 x 9 or so pan. When you take the cake out, lightly stab the top with a fork so the top is sort of broken up and crumply. If dont want your cake goo-ey, wait for it to cool. Otherwise, pour on condensed milk all over. Pour ice cream topping all over. Put in fridge for an hour or so. Then take it out and cover with lots of cool whip. Then take the skor bars out of the freezer. and crumple them up while still in wrappers. Spread the skor bar chunks on top. The more the better. put in fridge for a bit.

When you eat it, your toes will curl.

Stuffed Camel

Stuffed Camel

1 whole camel, medium size
1 whole lamb, large size
20 whole chickens, medium size
60 eggs
12 kilos rice
2 kilos pine nuts
2 kilos almonds
1 kilo pistachio nuts
110 gallons water
5 pounds black pepper
Salt to taste

Skin, trim and clean camel (once you get over the hump), lamb and chicken. Boil until tender. Cook rice until fluffy. Fry nuts until brown and mix with rice. Hard boil eggs and peel. Stuff cooked chickens with hard boiled eggs and rice. Stuff the cooked lamb with stuffed chickens. Add more rice. Stuff the camel with the stuffed lamb and add rest of rice. Broil over large charcoal pit until brown. Spread any remaining rice on large tray and place camel on top of rice. Decorate with boiled eggs and nuts. Serves friendly crowd of 80-100.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Apple-Cranberry Crisp

I haven't made this, but I know how much people enjoy making Apple Crisp so I thought Apple-Cranberry might be a good addition...

Ingredients for filling
12 large Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and sliced
8 oz. fresh or frozen cranberries
Juice of 1 lemon
1/3 cup brandy
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 tablespoons whole wheat pastry flour

Ingredients for topping
1 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1/2 cup toasted wheat germ
3/4 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
1/3 cup canola oil or grapeseed oil
1/3 cup maple syrup

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
To make filling, toss apples in a large bowl with cranberries, lemon juice, brandy, brown sugar, cinnamon and flour. Place mixture in a 10 x 8-inch baking dish.
To make topping, mix rolled oats, wheat germ, salt, cinnamon, brown sugar, oil and syrup. Spread over apple mixture. Cover dish with foil, and bake 20 minutes. Uncover, and bake 40 minutes longer, until apples are soft.

Makes 12 servings

Thursday, December 08, 2005

My Gross Confession

Ok, so I haven't gone grocery shopping in...well, forever. And I am sort of avoiding it until after my xmas vacay back home. Which means I have to be creative with dinner. And by creative, I mean lazy.

Tonight for dinner:
Leftover pasta salad
baked beans I found in the back of the cupboard
spinach (raw, with a touch of dressing)
little ice cream nuggets (like bon bons but smaller

I would have made mac and cheese, but I don't have any milk, and I don't think the cheese sauce will dissolve in pure butter.

Tuesday, December 06, 2005

Christmas Cranberry Tea

1 quart of Cranberry Juice Cocktail
1 quart of water
1/2 cup of honey
1 Tablespoon Instant Tea
6 cloves
1 cinnamon stick
1 sliced orange
heat and serve.


Sunday, December 04, 2005

This soup needs a name

This is a soup I made of things I had in the house.

1 box of trader joe's creamy potatoe leek soup
beef bacon
ground turkey
frozen corn
russet potato

Put the soup in a pot on low heat. Toss the potato in the microwave to cook for 6 minutes. Cook 4 slices of beef bacon (bought because I wanted to try it out) until crispy. Save the bacon fat in the pan. (This is the good part) Cube the potato (skin it if you don't like the skin) and drop it in the pot. Add "some" frozen corn from the freezer. Pause to wonder how long corn has been in freezer, and if it will go bad. Brown your ground turkey in the bacon fat. Dice bacon and toss into pot. Dice chives and add to concoction. Note that the soup is already flavored so you might not want to add extra seasonings. Lastly add the ground turkey and let the whole thing simmer until it starts to smell good. For me, it was about as long as it took to unload the dishwasher and wash the rest of the dishes. Serve. Eat.

I created this thinking of what a good baked potato with all the fixings would be like in a soup form. Tasted pretty damn good. Chowder-y. But without the milk. Suggestions for names?

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

The end to Butter Misery

LONDON (Reuters) - Ever get frustrated with fresh-out-of the-fridge butter that is too hard to spread?

A UK-based company has launched a portable, temperature-controlled butter dish, ButterWizard, which keeps butter at what it says is the optimal spreadable temperature of 65 degrees Fahrenheit.

It has a built-in fan and a chip which together control the temperature, adjustable for different textures, be it super-soft bread, crusty toast or delicate biscuits. "We were trying to find out what people's frustration with butter was. It's either too hard or too soft," said David Alfille, managing director of East Sussex-based company Alfille Innovations Limited.

"ButterWizard heats or cools the butter and you can adjust the temperature to suit yourself."

Nutritionist Fiona Hunter said: "There are over 16 million UK households buying butter on a regular basis, but one complaint I hear time after time is the lack of spreadability of real butter."

"Butter has been part of diet for thousands of years. The important thing is to spread butter thinly," she added.

Thanksgiving in Costa Rica

I made thanksgiving!!! Cynthia, another American in Costa Rica, who also goes to my school, and I made it....we are so proud. Well...this is how it went:

Cynthia came to my house at about noon. We started by cooking my potatoes for the MAshing process. That went lovely. Cynthia and her sister Paola peeled the Yams. For the record, Yam in Spanish is √Ďame. Anyway, they then cooked the Yams while I peeled apples and the crumbly part of an Apple Crisp. Cynthia then made her Baked Mac and Cheese. I privately rejected that as Thanksgiving food but whatever.
Well, my Apple Crisp turned out perfectly and everyone loved it. Everyone being My host family and Cynthia's host family. I liked the Yam pie but no one else did. Everyone got itchy because supposedly yams give allergic reactions. Bull if you ask me.
Cynthia's mom made a Chicken with potatoes and many yummy spices. Don't ask me what spices because I haven't the slightest.
My mom lent us her kitchen, house, and also made a meat and rice dish.
My sisters each made a type of custardy flan thing. Very delicious.
My mashed potatoes were yummy. yay!
We forgot to make drinks so we sprinted to the store to buy sodas....we then served and everything was perfect...

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Flamin' Yawn

So, I was craving a hunk of red raw meat. On my way home from work I picked one up. Went home, heated some olive oil in a pan, salted and peppered the hunk, and threw it in the pan. 4 minutes per side. Let it "rest" a few minutes (that seems to be important, at least according to the folks on the food network), and CHOWED DOWN! It was sooooo gooooood!

Sunday, November 27, 2005

The First Leftovers Post

So...You are armed with large quantities of leftover turkey. What to do? Here is what I did.

Turkey Tortilla Soup

This started out as Turkey and Potato soup, becauase I had plenty of both. After stripping the bird carcass of most of it's meat, we stuck it in a large pot with some water, and boiled it for a while, effectively removing the rest of the meat, and making an ubertasty turkey stock.

I put some of this stock into a pot with chopped potatoes, onions, turkey meat and a corn. I added salt, pepper, bay leaf, garlic, and cumin. Then, because I didn't know what else to do, I threw in a can of Rotel diced tomato and pepper. After the potatoes were cooked, I scooped them out and threw them in the food processor, pureed them, and dumped it all back into the pot.

To serve, put soup in a bowl, and crumble tortilla chips on top. I prefer to crumble only so much chip at a time, because I like it to have a little crunch left to it when I eat it.

Saturday, November 26, 2005

The Thanksgiving Post

Well, ladies and gentlemen, I hope that Thanksgiving treated you well, and that you got to spend it with loved ones. My Thanksgiving was excellent as I got to spend it with my mom, our very own Chiquita. While we ate with friends on the day itself, we prepared a turkey and the affiliated tasty goods so we could have leftovers of our own.

The Turkey:
This was the first time I have ever prepared a turkey. We bought a 12 pound fresh bird from the market (we didn't have the time to allot for defrosting one of those bad boys). We went home, and Mom rested her eyes while I started the bird. I did the rinse and pat-a ritual which I don't fully understand, but who am I to tell the recipe books they are dumb? Then, in a small food processor I mixed salt, pepper, lemon zest and rosemary. I rubbed down my bird in oil, feeling as though I were preparing it for some sort of bizarre muscle show, then liberally sprinkled it with the salt mixture.
I shoved a couple quartered onions in its cavity, and then fretted at length about how I was supposed to "bend the wings up and behind the back to prevent from overcooking." My worry was that I would break the poor birds arms, forever crippling...wait a minute. It's already dead. Twist and bend, and just like that, the arms were doing their thing, and the Turkey vaguely looked as though he were getting ready to sun himself at the beach: arms back and legs kicked up.
At this point, my four recipes all have different ideas about what temperature I should start my roasting at, and then for how long I should cook it. I went with the old preheat to 425, throw the fowl in, and immediately decrease to 325, then cook for 4 hours. I modified this by putting a piece of foil over it like a small tent. It worked. Like a charm. The bird was AWESOME. While it was cooking, we threw caution to the wind and went into town for coffee and shopping.
Once fully cooked (you can tell by wiggling its leg. I don't really understand this concept, but my grandfater, the godfather of turkey cooking, has always checked it this way, and when mom did and said it was done, I wasn't going to question her), pull the bird out and let it rest. It is rather tired.

This birdy siesta is a good time to prepare your cranberry sauce. There is NOTHING like fresh cranberry sauce. And its easy. Boil water and sugar, and add cranberries. Throw in a little orange zest for an extra kick.

We also had a super delicious salad. Mom brought me an EXCELLENT avocado, which we chopped up and threw together with some clementines, pomegranate seeds and pear, tossed with a little raspberry vinegarette. It was so good. The whole meal was awesome. And who knew I could cook a Turkey??

What did YOU do for Thanksgiving? What are you going to do with the leftovers?

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Crab Wontons

I made these a few weeks ago. They turned out pretty good, but I would suggest not using quite as much crab as they call for... it was a little too fishy tasting for me.

1 Package of Wonton Wrappers
1 Egg (Beaten)
1 Package of Cream Cheese (Softened to Room Temperature)
1 Can of Crab Meat Drained (Lump-Style) or *1 Pound of Crab Legs
2 Tablespoon of Flour or 1 Piece of Toast
Oil for Frying
Sauce for Dipping

In a large bowl, mix the cream cheese, the flour (or toast), and the crab meat until well blended. Place one tablespoon of the crab and the cream cheese mixture in the middle of the wonton wrapper. Brush the egg around the edges of the wonton. Bring top corner over and press down the edges to seal. This will make a triangle shape. Bring both corners of the wonton to the top and pinch together to make final seal.

Heat oil in deep frying pan (I used a deep fryer and that worked really well). Oil is ready for frying when you place a wonton in it, and the outside wrapper starts to bubble. Fry wontons until golden brown, approximately 2 1/2 minutes.

Sunday, November 20, 2005

Mac and Chizzle, fo' Rizzle

I got this recipe from a friend, who I believe got it from a cookbook.

You will need:
1lb pasta (macaroni, rotini, etc.)
1/2 cup butter
1/2 cup flour
1 qt milk (4 cups)
20 oz cheese (I used sharp and white cheddar. The recipe called for cheddar and guyere, but thats wicked expensive)
Salt, pepper, nutmeg
Every dish in the house

Boil your pasta.
In a pot that will fit a quart of milk, heat up your milk. Don't let it boil, just let it get warm.
In another very large pot, melt 6 Tbs of your butter (this should leave 2 Tbs).
Once melted, whisk in your flour.
When the flour/butter mix is nice and pasty, dump in all that hot milk, followed by all the cheese (i suggest shredding the cheese-it helps the melting process).
Season with salt and pepper, and a dash or so of nutmeg. Less is more in the nutmeg arena, FYI.
Follow this with all your pasta (this is why the pot must be large). Mix this all together and dump it into a 3 qt. baking dish, AKA your 9x13 inch pan.
Use a bunch of bread crumbs mixed with the last 2 tablespoons of melted butter, and dump on top. I toasted 5 piecces of bread, and in the future, I will likely only use 3 or 4.
Pop that bad boy in the oven at 375 for 30 or so minutes, until brown and bubbly.

Steam some veggies while you are waiting and toss with a bit o' EVOO and salt/pepper.

Thursday, November 17, 2005

Fowl Curry

Heehee. I crack me up.

Take one cornish game hen (or chicken, or whatever). Put it in your crockpot with a touch of oil. Add carrots (baby, or baby cut, or cut up), potatoes, whatever.

Dump a jar of Trader Joes Green Curry Simmer Sauce on top. Set on low. Cook forever. Or 10-12 hours. Or 14 if your co-workers offer to take you out to dinner with the gift certificate they won to a really good resturant not far from work which means that your curry will have to be consumed the next day.

Make rice in your Oh La La rice cooker. Or the caveman way if you are still living in the stone age. If you left your curry in the fridge because you went out for dinner, heat that in the oven.


The Rice Cooker

This is a rice cooker.

They are cheap.

They are small.

They cook rice perfectly every single time.

You can throw the rice and water together (1:2), hit the button, and forget about it while you prepare your dinner.

It will keep the rice warm while you do what you do.

You needn't worry about burning things.

You will wonder how you ever survived without one.

Tuesday, November 15, 2005

Lunch for one

Yesterday, after a morning of household productivity, I needed an easy meal, and currently have an excess of leafy greens in my fridge. 'Joy of Cooking' can take credit for my treatment of the veggies, and the tuna was just my using whatever was on hand...

I washed some ruby chard and baby bok choy, shaking off most of the water but letting some of it carry over to the pan, on low-medium heat. While the greens started to cook, I opened a can of tuna, mixed it in a bowl with a squeeze of mayo, some chopped green onions, the juice from half a lime, and salt and pepper to taste. When the greens started to wilt and darken, I tossed in a capful of soy sauce and mixed it around. Pile the cooked greens on a plate, dump the tuna on top, and enjoy!

Thursday, November 10, 2005

F-Expletive-Deleted-You Swanson's Chicken Broth!

I got home not wanting to cook so I tossed in some TJs Taquitos. Beef. Good. I rummage through the fridge and doctor up my salsa with some green onions and corn. Then I browse the pantry. I spy a can of refried beans and I have brown rice. And chicken broth. I have a lot of chicken broth. I don't know why, but I do. In fact, I have a can of Swanson Chicken broth that confuses me because I don't buy canned chicken broth. I'm a TJ snob now and if it doesn't come in a box, I don't want it. Cans are so last year.

Moving along. So I've got the taquitos in the oven, my beans are heating and I make rice. I am not a rice cooker-user. In fact, I've never owned a rice cooker. I'm not even sure how to use one properly. I cook rice in a pot. This time, I want to be clever, so I toss in 1/2 cup of brown rice in and 1 cup of chicken broth. I add some taco seasoning, I do my thing. Normally I bring it to a boil, I turn the heat down and put the lid on a bit askew to let the steam escape. This is how I cook rice. This is how I've cooked rice for YEARS. So when I check the rice and it is still uncooked, I'm not shocked, sometimes I guestimate wrong on the water:rice ratio and I added some more chicken broth. Time passes, I'm getting tired of waiting for rice, and eat the dinner without it. Now I'm slightly peeved that my plan of making a complete protein by mixing rice, beans and cheese has failed. I check the rice. Still not done. What the hell, I think to myself, I added the rest of the chicken broth. Note: this is 14 oz can. I let it cook. I check when it's done, I give it a stir. I even go so far as to let it steam itself for a few minutes. I do one final check. It still, was not done.

It's now living in the trash.

I'm blaming the chicken broth. I'm blaming Swanson's high sodium content, but actually I have no idea. Any suggestions?

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Easy Chicken Chowder

Since it's finally starting to get cool (lol, although it was 82 here today), it's time for soups and stuff. This is a good filling one I take out alot when I'm dredging. Cook it before hand, back some in, put it in the jetboil and 2 minutes later warm chowder, can't be beat. Also good for putting in thermos for work.
This takes about 1/2 hr to cook.
2 cans cream of chicken soup
1 can boneless chicken breast chunks
1/2 cup nibblet corn (either frozen or canned is fine)
1 large white or red potato
1 cup milk

Peel and cube the potato put it into a pot of water and boil it on medium heat for about 15 minutes. Pour off the water. Mix in the 2 cans of cream of chicken soup and cup of milk. Drain and rinse the chicken chunks and add them, and the corn (if it's canned drain the liquid it's packed in out, you want just the corn, not the juice). Bring to a low boil, reduce heat and let simmer for about 10 minutes.

It's good with crackers or a grilled cheese sandwhich on the side. Makes about 4 servings.

Monday, November 07, 2005


Laurel's Taco Salad - The vegetarian version....

Alright so it's Saturday night and I've got a friend coming over. I used to be a mean vegetarian cook. The whole nine yards. My boyfriend at the time was vegan and both roommates were vegetarians, so if I was cooking - normally it was meat free. Otherwise I was eating by my lonesome. This unfortunately was several years ago. Now I'm a big meat eater and couldn't actually think of anything worth cooking that was veggie friendly. Ha! So I recalled my tried and true well mastered taco salad recipe. I modified it for m'veggie friend:

1 bag o salad - you're choice - normally I'd say butter lettuce or well whatever you like.
1 avocado diced
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can of corn drained and rinsed (unless you're a goof like me and accidentally buy creamed corn and have to use defrosted frozen corn)
1 thing of Gimme Lean ground beef style soy product
1 packet of taco seasoning
green onions (2-3)
tortilla chips
your favorite salsa = dressing
some carrots - diced
grated cheese - I like cheddar

Alright so it's pretty easy to make, first thing is first cook your ground beef, or ground turkey or ground beef style soy. Lemme just say it was my first time cooking gimme lean in a long time. It's dry as hell, so toss in some EVOO or just some VOO or whatever, I also added some water to the taco seasoning so it wasn't so powdery. Let that cook until it's done. Set aside.

In several small bowls - place the rest of the ingredients that are diced. I personally used grape tomatoes and that was good. I also used baby carrots because I was lazy. When dicing the green onions, I use the whole thing. I like the whites and the green parts. Toss that in there. I put each thing in its own bowl. I did this for two reasons, one because it looked pretty, and two because I couldn't remember what my friend liked and didn't like. This is useful if you want your friends to serve themselves. This way they can make their own. Warm up your beef mixture if it's not already and then mix the whole business together and added the cheese, meat and crunched in some tortilla chips. I like to dress the salad with the salsa, but my friend used ranch. Works either way.

Serve and eat. Yay! You will have left overs. We did.

Fat Ass Noodles these are quite delicious, but somewhat time consuming. Sort of.

1 bag of those really really big macaroni noodles. Seriously, the ones that are like 3 inches by and 1 1/2 inches
Ground Beef
2 Sweet Chilis
1 Onion
Worchester Sauce (or balsamic vinager)
Bread Crumbs

Cook the noodles. Cut up the veggies and the ground beef and cook them until nice and lovely. Then, roll the noodles in the bread crumbs. Put a spoon full of the meat/veggies mixture in each noodle. Fry the noodles on each side. Enjoy.

Im sorry but the recipes are sketchy.

Not So Great Pasta

Well, I made pasta last night...and it was a classic example of what happens when you only sort of pay attention to a cooking show, and then try to modify what you DO remember, and you don't have all the ingredients.
Don't get me wrong. It was edible. It just wasn't great.

So, I put some EVOO in a pan with some minced garlic. The recipe doesn't call for any meat, but I had some spicy Italian turkey sausage, so I cooked that in the olive oil. I chopped up some tomatoes and threw them in. About this time I realized that there was waaaaay too much oil in the pan, but what was I to do?

The recipe I saw on TV called for me to toss in some cubed fresh mozzarella and fresh basil. ~snicker~ Well, I threw in the cheese, but didn't think to turn down the heat. And I didn't have basil, so I threw in some chopped spinach.

So there I am with a pot of pasta, some meaty tomatoey sauce with a huge glob if melted cheese swimming in a large pool of olive oil. I did what any college grad home alone would do: I threw it all together, tried to fish out the cheese blob, and ate it anyways, taking the leftovers for lunch today.

My suggestions: Less EVOO, more tomato, real basil, and toss the mozzarella in last. Oh. And add seasoning. And if you see the "Everyday Italian" episode this was in, please, let me know what the recipe REALLY is.

Meatless loaf - mmm mmm good and guilt free

This is one of my favorite things to make. I can't get the recipe to copy and paste for some reason, but if you follow the link, make sure to click on the nutritionl info and note how there is no saturated fat, relatively low calorie, no cholesterol, and then compare to an equal serving of meaty meatloaf. Weight and health management has never tasted sooo good.;skin=morningstar

Monday, October 31, 2005

What is your favorite marinade?

What is your favorite quick marinade?

I really love the Annie’s dressings. My tops favorites would have to be:

Tuscany Italian dressing
Roasted Red Pepper Vinaigrette - great to BBQ with!
Artichoke Parmesan dressing

I love to marinade chicken with these. They add a lot of fanciness to what would be a really dull dinner. Last night I tried the Green Goddess dressing for the first time. I thought it was okay- Jack really liked it.

Their site also has recipes, although some of the ingredients are not things I typically have on hand.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Super Easy Meal

All right, so check this out. Tasty. Easy. Quick. WOOHOO!

This is Thai Style Chicken and Pasta.

Start some water boiling. While this is going cut up a cup or two of cooked meat (I used leftovers from Lemon Rosemary night). Throw this into a colander in the sink. Add some halved snap peas. About this time you water is likely boiling. Throw in your pasta (I used fresh fettuccini, so my cook time was only a couple minutes).

While this is cooking, in another pan add 1/4 c. of chicken broth with 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter. I had creamy, but I think crunchy would have added a nice touch. I also added a touch of fish sauce, because I had it, and it tastes "authentic". Whisk around the peanut butter until it melts. Throw in a minced clove of garlic, a tsp of lime juice, a tsp of soy sauce and a dash of crushed red pepper.

When your pasta is done, pour it and all its hot water into the colander. This should be sufficent to heat the meat and peas. Put all this back into the hot pasta pot, throw in a cup of crushed pineapple, and then toss in the sauce.


Now, before this, I made clean out the pantry apple crisp.

I had a bag of apples, which I effortlessly sliced in my trusty cuisinart. I threw those bad boys in a 9x13 pan, and sprinkled a bit of sugar, flour and cinnamon on. I then dribbled about 1/3 c. of water on top. We had some (about 4) single serving packets of oatmeal, which I combined with 1 c. flour, 1/2 c. brown sugar, and 1/2 c. melted butter. I think crumbled this all over the top of the apples and threw it all in the oven for 45 minutes at 350.

Serve with vanilla ice cream. If timed correctly, the apple crisp is going into the oven as you start the pasta, and comes out just in time to eat.

Pumpkin Pie Cake

This is a wonderful alternative to pumpkin pie, especially if you have pie-crust-o-phobia like I do. The crunchy topping on this is really delicious.

Pumpkin Pie Cake

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 large can pumpkin
1 13-oz. can evaporated milk (or use half-and-half)
3 eggs
1 Tb. pumpkin pie spice, or a mixture of 2 tsp. cinnamon and 1/2 tsp. each nutmeg, cloves, and ginger
1/2 tsp. salt
1 Tb. flour
1+1/2 cups sugar
Blend ingredients, beat well, and pour into 9 x 13 inch pan.

1 package yellow cake mix
1+1/2 cups chopped walnuts or pecans
1 cup (2 sticks) melted butter
Sprinkle dry cake mix over pumpkin mixture and gently pat down with an implement; sprinkle nuts on top. Drizzle melted butter over nuts. Bake in 350 degree oven for 50-60 minutes or until done. Allow to cool for 2 hours. Serve with whipped cream.

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Lemon Rosemary Chicken

I had a couple friends coming over after work tonight, and I was faced with a choice. I could stop by the store to pick up some grub, thereby leaving my house a disaster area. Or, I could clean the house, and pray to god I had some food. I opted for the house was pretty messy. Luckily, I happened to have the ingredients for a personal favorite.

Careful now, this recipe calls for some pretty precise measurements...

Put 'some' olive oil in a pan.
Put 'some' chicken in the same pan.
Add the juice of 'a lemon or two', 'some' garlic, 'some' rosemary (fresher is better), and 'some' salt and pepper.
Cover with foil. Bake at 350 for an hour or so.

Pairs well with rice. If you don't know how to make rice, you're on your own.

Wednesday, October 26, 2005


That's what Mrs. Mo calls it, so that's what it must be.
This makes enough for about 4-5 people usually with some leftover.

What you need.
1 pack hamburger buns (I like wheat, or potato bread ones, but plain is good too).
1 lb hamburger.
1 can cream of onion soup
1/3 cup sour cream
2-3 potatos
1/2 of a medium onion (some type of sweet onion like vadallia).
1 can pork and beans
2 tablespoons brown sugar
dash of worchestishire sauce

Quick Burgers.
Take 1 lb ground beef/chuck/whatever and brown it, drain off the fat as well as you can. Take out about 1/2 cup of the hamburger and sit to the side. Mix in 1 can cream of onion soup, and 1/3 cup sour cream and bring to boil. Serve on buns, I dont add anything to mine, but you could put pepper rings, onion rings, etc, lett/tom prob wouldn't go good with this..

Diced Potatos.
Either wash 2-3 medium sized potatos really well and leave the peelings on, or peel then cut the potatos up into blocks of about 1/2 inch squares. Take 1/2 of a vidallia onion and cube it up into 1/2 inch cubes then break it apart to make little 1/2 inch sized slivers of onion. Heat a skillet with just enough oil to cover the bottom of it till it's hot and add in the onions and potatos. You'll have to stir it from time to time to flip the potatos over to cook on all sides and to make sure the onion browns.

Quick Baked beans.
Empty the can of beans into a small pot, mix in the brown sugar, the left over hamburger from the quickburgers, and the brown sugar, bring to a slow boil, add in just enough worchestishire sauce to change the color of the liquid slightly. As it's boiling mix in the brown sugar and let it disolve, reduce heat and let simmer while you finish up the Diced Potatos.

Beef & Squash Slowcooker recipe

This is not the best recipe. I think it has to do with the amound of onion and the diced tomato. The meat though was the best! I think next time I will just follow a regular beef stew recipe and add acorn squash. I found that the melon baller was instrumental in gutting the squash. If you try this recipe let me know what you think.

Beef with Acorn Squash and Potatoes (Crockpot)

Ingredients2 pounds lean beef, such as round, cubed about 1-1/2-inch
1 acorn squash, peeled, seeded and cut in 1-inch pieces
2 large red potatoes, cubed in 1-1/2-inch pieces
1 large onion, quartered and sliced 1/4-inch thick
1 package dry mushroom gravy mix.
1 can (14-1/2 ounces) diced tomatoes with juice
1/4 teaspoon allspice
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon pepper
2 large bay leaves salt to taste

InstructionsCombine all ingredients in crockpot. Cover and cook on low for 8 to 10 hours.
Yield: 6 servings

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Birds in the Nest

This is a childhood favorite, and a quick breakfast that is satisfyingly self-contained.

Take a piece of sliced bread, butter both sides. Cut out a small-medium sized circle from the center of the bread using a cookie-cutter (I use the rim of a small glass). Toast the bread and it's cut-out on one side in a pan (or on a skillet thingy). Turn the bread to toast the other side, and crack an egg into the hole in the slice of bread. Cook to your desired doneness of egg. Eat and enjoy!

P.S. Shameless plug - B. and I are moving next week into our new apartment down by the beach. We're leaving behind a lot of kitchenware that, due to communal use with roomies incapable of not scratching up the non-stick and melting the spatulas, we'd rather replace with new things. So, at Mo's suggestion, I've made a housewarming registry on Bed Bath and Beyond's website. Hey...any excuse for new gadgets!

Useless Kitchen Gadgets

As I was reading and responding to Ms. Rollans' post on garlic, I got to thinking about useless kitchen gadgets.
So lets share out useless kitchen items!
So far, the only one I can think of that I own is a pot large enough to boil a couple human heads in.

Sunday, October 23, 2005

The horror of too much garlic

I know that most people do not believe in "too much garlic." Let me tell you its true. Last night I tried Allison's alfredo recipe. Since I love garlic I added some and then tasted, it needed some more. Needless to say that I repeated the taste and add way too much. I added so much that after brushing my teeth and then using Listerine I could still taste and smell the garlic on me. Following dinner we met up with some people for a friend's birthday at a bar. There is nothing worse than waking up with a hangover as your house reeks of too much garlic. Lesson here: beware of the taste and add!

Thursday, October 20, 2005

Microwavable wonders i recommend never eating microwavable Chicharron. For those of you who don't what it is, it's pig rind. ew. A common treat here is dehydrated chicharron. Rather disgusting, I must say. Now, take that, microwave it, and you've got hell's afternoon snack. Sooo icky. However, I really like the pan relleno. It's really smooth bread with ham, cheese, and jalapenos in the middle. I could eat an entire loaf.

Ok...Here is a recipe for empenadas...they dont really use recipes this was the best I could do:

3 cups of flour
1 Pinch of salt
Some Chicken or beef...actually anything you want.

Ok, add the salt and water to the flour and smoosh (techinal words I know) with your hands until the dough is smooth but firm. Then for the filling. You can add pretty much anything you want. You can add fruits (I like strawberries with sweetened condensed milk), meats, rice. Ok. Then, take a ball of dough about the size of a baseball (maybe a little smaller) and pat it out into a circle. It's easier if you do this on a plastic bag or something plastic that you can bend. Then put a large spoonful of your desired filling in the middle of your flat doughy circle. Then flip over one side to make a half moon shape and seal the edges of the empenada. Use a frying pan and fry that bad boy until its a nice golden/dark brown color.

Note: make sure the filling is completely cooked (if you're using meats or rice) before you put it the empenadas. Also, they're good with potatoes.

So, thats one Costa Rican recipe for ya.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Chicken Casarole

This is really good, and with side dishes of corn and peas, or carrots, etc, it's a simple complete meal.

You'll need:
Chicken to broil, 4-5 pieces I prefer to mix white and dark meat to give it a little added flavor, but you can make it with all white if you want.
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 box egg noodles.
Several slices of bread cut into cubes.

Take the chicken and broil in a pot of water untill done, remove the chicken and shred it into little pieces. Add the egg noodles to the pot of water and cook them untill tender, drain off all but about 1/2 inch of water in the bottom of the pot. Mix in the cream of mushroom and cream of chicken soup and mix well. Pour the mixture into a casarole dish and heat the over to 425. Take a skillet, put in a little butter and mix in the bread cubes (you just want to get the bread coated with butter so it'll toast in the oven). Place the bread on top of the casarole mixture and place in the oven and cook until the bread is toasted.

If you hurry you can fix the side dishes while the casarole finishes up and everything will come off the stove at one time. It's really good.

Acorn Squash FYI

Harvested when fully ripe, the average acorn squash weighs from one to three pounds. Any larger and you risk getting a dry, stringy squash. It's difficult to judge an acorn squash by its outward appearance. It should feel heavy for its size with smooth, dull skin and absolutely no soft spots. Shiny skin indicates it was picked before fully mature, unless the producer has applied wax. Look for some partial orange on the skin as a sign of maturity. On the other hand, too much orange coloring on the skin indicates an overripe squash which will be dry and stringy. A good balance between green and orange coloring is optimum. When comparing, know that lighter weight ones have lost moisture through the skin and will be drier.

Winter squash will last up to a month in a cool (50 to 55 degrees F.) dark cellar or storage area, but only two weeks in the refrigerator. Ideally, only cut or cooked acorn squash should be refrigerated. They will suffer chill damage at temperatures below 50 degrees F. Dry hot air will cause loss of moisture, resulting in a shorter shelf life. Squash with a bit of the stem still intact will help slow down moisture loss. Plan on using acorn squash within two weeks of purchase, since you never know how long it has already been in storage and under what conditions. If you grow your own, you have more control and thus a longer storage time (two to three months). Once cut, wrap raw pieces in plastic wrap, refrigerate, and use within four days.

Cooked acorn squash can be sealed and refrigerated up to four days. Before freezing, acorn squash must be cooked. Cook squash and remove the pulp from the skin. You can leave it in chunks or mash it. Place in airtight containers and freeze ten to twelve months at 0 degrees F.

Heart-stopping fettucine alfredo

B.'s birthday was a couple months ago, and upon finding out that this was his favorite dish, I emailed my mother for the recipe that was long a treat of my childhood. It tastes nothing like the kind of alfredo you might buy jarred, and everything like cheese and cream and decadence.

Of course, there is absolutely NOTHING healthy about this recipe. But that's hardly the point.

Fettucine all'Alfredo (fettucine tossed in butter and cream)

for 5 or 6 people

1 cup heavy cream
3 tablespoons butter
fettucine (the recipe recommends fresh, but I am not yet that industrious)
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
fresh ground pepper (4-6 turns of the grinder)
a tiny grating of nutmeg (according to my mother's notes, absolutely KEY to this recipe)

1. Choose an enameled cast-iron pan, or other flameproof cook-and-serve ware, that can later accommodate all of the cooked fettucine comfortably. Put in 2/3 of the cup of cream and all of the butter and simmer over medium heat for less than a minute, until the butter and cream have thickened. Turn off the heat.

2. Bring 4 quarts of water to a boil. Add 2 tablespoons of salt, then drop in the fettucine and cover the pot until the water returns to a boil. If the fettucine are fresh, they will be done a few seconds after the water returns to a boil. If dry, they will take a little longer. (Cook the fettucine a little bit firmer than usual because they will be cooked some more in the pan.) Drain immediately and thoroughly when done, and transfer to the pan contained the butter and cream.

3. Turn on the heat under the pan to low, and toss the fettucine coating them with sauce. Add the rest of the cream, all the grated cheese, 1/2 teaspoon salt, the pepper and nutmeg. Toss briefly until the cream has thickened and the fettucine are well-coated. Taste and correct for salt. Serve immediately from the pan with a bowl of additional grated cheese on the side.

Amazingly, the first time I tried this recipe, it came out just as I remembered it. :)

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

A southerns efforts to go low soduim

A co-worker of mine has been having really high blood pressure. Now being that she is from a small town in the south, sodium is a large part of her diet. In an effort to improve her heath she has begun to read food labels. She swears she will never serve her son Pizza Pockets again. We have spent sometime brainstorming ways to reduce her sodium intake. In our last session we found that the American Heart Association has a fabulous low sodium cookbook, just wanted to pass it along.

Monday, October 17, 2005

Lots of Dishes

For those of you who know me, you know that it has been a rough couple of months. For those of you who don't - it's been a rough couple of months. Now that I am back on my feet (literally) and back in my own house, I realized I should get back to cooking. Sorry - no pictures. I can draw some in paint though. I decided that I should make chicken, mashed potatoes, zucchini and a strawberry cobbler.

Part I - Chicken
Defrost chicken breast and find a marinade. I personally like using what I already have - fancy Italian dressing that needed to be used up. Dump chicken in marinade and let the flavors cohabitate - or marry as our lasagna friend said.

I sauteed onions until they turned invisible like Wonder Woman's airplane. Then I tossed in the chicken and marinade and cooked on a medium heat, covered. After a while I got impatient and cut the breasts into smaller pieces, which worked for me.

Part II - Potatoes
I like mashed potatoes. If I wasn't taking blood thinners, I'd of added garlic. In any case I peeled myself two russets and quartered them. Boiled some water and waited until I could fork them easily. Forking is something I don't do very often these days. It is important to remember while cooking though.

Drain potatoes and add copious amounts of butter and a little milk. Salt and pepper to taste and use the Kitchen Aid mixer you got at your wedding, or hand mixer if you'd rather. Note: Blender mashed potatoes are not a good idea, although just using a fork will do in a pinch.

Part III - Zucchini
Given that I can't eat large amounts of Vitamin K - this veggie has become one of my favorites. I simply cut mine into circles and put about an inch of water in the pot, and waiting until they got nice and done. I don't like them super soft, but I do like them with some cheese on them. Drain and sprinkle cheese of choice (I like Parmesan)

Part IV
- Strawberry Cobbler
I stole this recipe from some website, which of course I can't find again, but it went something like this
1 c flour
1 c sugar
1 c milk
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
1 and 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 lb butter
1 quart strawberries

Preheat oven 400 degrees. Hull strawberries and set aside. Melt butter in the bottom of a 8x11 dish in the oven for about 4 minutes.(or if you're like me you use something similar - but I used a bowl because I didn't have the right size pan). Remove dish from oven and add ingredients. Stir until just mixed, place back in oven and bake for about 25 minutes. Cool and serve. Makes about 4 servings.

Alright - first off - it took way longer than 25 minutes with my bowl usage. But that is A- Okay. Secondly - Four servings if you are a giant. It makes a lot more if you cut it smaller. (obviously).

Over n Out.

The wonders of BB&B!

For all of your cooking purchases I highly recommend shopping at Bed Bath and Beyond. Their return policy cannot be beat! For instance as a wedding gift we were given a crock-pot that was not calibrated correctly. By the time we figured this out we had thrown away all the packaging and did not have any sort of proof of purchase. Bed Bath and Beyond exchanged it with no questions asked. Also, BB&B sends out coupons worth 20% off anything in the store. The same night we returned the crock-pot we bought a rather expensive item forgetting we had a coupon at home- not a problem! BB&B will credit you the worth of the coupon if you bring the receipt back with the coupon. In addition, their coupons do not expire and they will match any competitors’ coupons or sale prices.

On the other hand if you return an item to Linens ‘N Things without a receipt they will give you the lowest price that the item is being sold for in the nation.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Julie and Julia, and Julia

Well, I picked up a copy of Julie and Julia, and I have to say, it is HILARIOUS. I especially enjoy when Julie refers to Julia as JC-as is appropriate, I suppose, for her own Culinary Goddess.
I am also adding a little more Julia in my diet via NetFlix. I'll report back with my ever so informed review once I have recieved the first disc.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Quick Peanut Butter Cookies

Here's a simple PB cookie thingie, takes about 15 minutes from start to cookies!

Turn oven on to 400 degrees.
Get out cookie sheet.
Combine 1 cup peanut butter, one cup sugar, 1 egg in a bowl and mix well.
Spoon out mixture onto cookie sheet (makes 12 cookies) leaving about an inch around each cookie.
Bake for 12 minutes, cookies will still be soft when they're done.

Friday, October 14, 2005

The Drunked Italian Food Post

Hello friends. Please set your ovens to 350*.

Dinner. It is a time of sharing. Of laughing. Of eating. Of drinking. And with out fail, all of these things have happened in abundance when I made-- drum roll please-- Mama Chiquita's Famous Lasagna!!

First order of business: Steam spinach!


In a mixing device of sorts, combine a chunk of feta cheese, a 15 oz container of ricotta, some italian parsley, an egg, salt, pepper, ground nutmeg, and the steamed spinach:

( this point, especially if you are cooking with friends, you should be a glass or two in to that bottle of wine)

Now, in a bowl (or other container capable of holding liquidy stuff) combine a small quantity of EVOO (i'd like to give a shout out to Rachel Ray), a jar/can/watever of spaghetti sauce, and 1 (one) cup of the spinach water. What I usually do is pour the spinach water into the container that previously held the spaghetti sauce to help remove stubborn sauce from said container (totally forgetting that recently this same water was 212* F, which is then usually followed by a precarious game of "hot potato" and excessive swearing) and then pour it all into the bowl with the sauce and EVOO (woot woot, RR!).

The time has come to assemble the dish (and pour another glass of vino). Throw down some EVOO into a 9 x 13 pan. Add 1/3 of your red sauce, a layer of UNCOOKED lasagna noodles and 1/2 of the greenish cheesey goop. Rinse, and repeat (1/3 red, noodle, 1/2 green). Slap on one last layer of lasagna, dump on the rest of the red sauce, and sprinkle your favorite cheese liberally on the top (I suggest pepper jack).

(You're almost there!!)

Cover that bad boy with some foil, throw 'em in the oven and bake-a-rooni for 45 minutes. Perhaps build a salad (rip that bag open!). Or maybe make garlic bread (thank god for the bakery section). After 45 minutes, pull off the foil, and cook an addition 10-15 minutes so the cheese can brown.

You could melt army men with this thing, its so freaking hot when it gets out of the oven. For the love of god, and all those you are feeding, LET IT REST!!

(this is a good time to consume yet more wine with your culinary co-horts.)

A wise woman once said "Sometimes it's best to make this dish the day before so the flavors can really marry, rather than simply co-habitate". All I gotta say to that is "WORD!"

Enjoy, my friends. This dish has served me well. I hope it does the same for you!

And that you have someone to do the dishes for you...

Thursday, October 13, 2005

One Hundred Meals of Solitude

You're home alone and need something to eat. What do you make? This is one of my favorites.

Raw Beef

1 cast iron skillet
1 bottle of olive oil
1 package of lean hamburger meat
Salt & pepper

Heat skillet on burner on high heat. Add some olive oil. Put the hamburger meat in the skillet and sear quickly on both sides so that it is still raw in the middle. Sprinkle with salt and pepper; devour, right from the skillet.

If you have a fresh tomato or an avocado, slice it and eat it right off the cutting board as a side dish.

For Mo

Something simple and easy to cook with crockpot and take to work.
This is for a load of people like a party or an office lunch.

You'll need
3 Packs Hotdog weenies.
2 cups of grape jelly
1 cup of mustard
2 tbsp brown sugar

Mix the jelly, mustard and brown sugar together in the crockpot and turn up the heat to high, stir it till the jelly melts and mixes into the mustard and then turn down to low heat. Cut the weenies into like 1/2 inch long pieces and put them into the mix and cover. Just check back every 15 minutes or so and stir them around to make sure they're mixed in good. Once they swell up they're done. You can do this about 45 minutes before lunchtime and everyone will love you for them. You can also sub cocktail smokies for the weenies, and just about any flavor of jelly grape, apple, blackberry, etc. I've also seen it made with a cup of bbq sauce as well to alter the flavor.

Easy Breakfast

Hamburger and Eggs.
Brown some Hamburger (hot sausage is great too), drain it well, mix up scrambled eggs as normal. Put them in pan mix in the browned hamburger and cook till the eggs are done. Serve with toast and ice cold ketchup on the eggs.

You can also mix in green/red peppers to spice it up some if you want, also makes pretty good breakfast burritos if you add a little cheese to the peppers and some onions.

Pulpusas in Cooking Class

Hello...ok. So a few weeks ago in my AgroIndustria (cooking) class we decided to make pulpusas. These are baby tortillas with cheese then another tortilla. So the cooking was going along great when a classmate dropped the enormous bowl of grated cheese into the sink spilling half of it and soaking the other half with water. But that didnt stop us from continuing to make 36 of these bad boys (2 for each of the 18 kids). Then I, being a genius, dropped the plate of pulpusas....sure there were only six but that was good fun anyways. We gave those ones to the kids we dont like...

By the way...I am quite aware of the incident to which the title of the blog refers...ha. ha.


Little muffin tins

I love little muffin tins! Beware though it is easy to eat way more than you planned, especially if you make brownies in one. Making little muffins looks like you took a lot more effort than just adding an egg and oil to a mixture. Take them to work and you'll earn yourself the right to be late!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The Book of Blog

This item appeared in today's Press Democrat:

"Julie Powell was bored with a dead-end job and living in a tiny apartment in Queens, when she took up a deranged challenge: cooking all 524 recipes of Julia Child's 1961 classic, "Mastering the Art of French Cooking," in one year. Powell turned the project into a hilarious blog, and eventually, into a book, 'Julie and Julia: 365 Days, 524 Recipes, 1 Tiny Apartment Kitchen.'"

Readers were then invited to join the author for lunch at the Santa Rosa Junior College Culinary Cafe, which will prepare a special meal using recipes from Julia Child's classic. I called right away to reserve a spot, but of course it was already full.

Perhaps we should all read the book. It might be some kind of food blogger's bible.

Beyond the basics

Not knowing how I wanted to cook the snapper last night, I picked my flavors at the last minute and realized in the process that my usual standby ingredients are fairly specific to my tastebuds. Yellow curry powder (I prefer paste for making curry, but for a dash of flavor to the pan while cooking chicken or some couscous, the powder is the way to go), fresh ginger (grated, sliced, always good) and garlic chives from the garden (freshly chopped on top of anything).

From what I've seen, anyone who cooks always keeps a few secret ingredients on hand. What special flavors can't you live without?

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

The Food Network spurs another unnecessary shopping trip.

Tomorrow's attempt: saute green and yellow pepper with red onion, sliced portabello mushroom, and a little garlic in extra virgin olive oil. Eat with butter and herb mashed potatoes. Unfortunately, I was in a rush and did my shopping on the way to the YMCA, spur of the moment menu choice (inspiration ala the bane of every girl I know, the perky and annoying Rachel Ray) - I didn't take the time to plan out my potatoes, so they're packaged. But I might have enough stuff on hand to try a homemade garlic and herb butter, and I think there are some baby reds to test that out on.

I thought about buying some cooking wine because I love when a chef sautes something, then dumbs in wine to soak up the brown carmalized stuff on the bottom of the pan.

Finally, I like to go here and pretend I can make some of this. Let's just say I need about five more attempts before I get the spicy black bean burger the way I like it.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Peanut Butter and Banana sandwich a la Winnie the Pooh

Yesterday I was craving a mean peanut butter sandwich. I don't normally eat peanut butter sandwiches, but exceptions have to be made. So I took some good wheat bread, I spread some peanut butter on it. I like chunky. Then I sliced some bananas on it. Then the Piece de la Resistance was the honey. Warning!! My honey was put in the fridge. MISTAKE! I put it in the microwave for a mere 15 seconds and then checked the consistency. Much to my dismay I poured a good amount of honey down the counter and onto the kitchen rug. In any case - careful with the honey and microwave. Drizzle honey on banana and pb and press bread together. Cut to your desired shape. Voila.

Fit for a queen.

Chili Monster

Chili Monster
Originally uploaded by Allmightymo. I leave the house at 7:30 and get home at 6. So I decided I should look into this "crock pot" thing that is so damn popular out here in the south. I like the idea that dinner is waiting for me.

1 lb ground meat (beef, turkey, etc)
1 chopped onion
1 big ass can o' crushed tomato (29 oz)
1 wee can o' "zesty" tomato with green chilis (14.5 oz)
1 can each o' black, kidney and garbonzo beans (15 oz)
3 tbs chili powder
Minced garlic (use as much as you want. I like garlic).
Some salt, pepper and cumin.

Brown the meat and translucify the onion. Throw everything in the crock pot and let on low for 8-10 hours or high for 3-4. (the assembly can be completed the night before for lazy asses like myself that don't want to do it in the morning-just throw it all together and toss it in the fridge).
Serve with desired toppings.

OK. I woulda added more spicy stuff. It's missing something and I don't know what. But its tasty and warm, and most importantly, READY when I got home.
Well. Kinda. I took a bite and immediately burned off the roof of my mouth. So let it cool.

Would likely be tastier with garlic bread.

Grilled-cheese dressed up

Spur-of-the-moment blog startup...welcome!

Just got the call, B. is on his way home for lunch, with a quick turnaround to class. Luckily, I'm prepared. Grilled-cheese, but spiffed up thanks to some random cooking show on TV.

Instead of regular sliced bread, use sourdough rolls, or sections of a baguette - slice them open, but leave a 'hinge' of crust, and toast inside-out, with the cheese on the crust side, the bread toasting on the pan. Butter or a similar substitute gets that perfect golden brown...

Maybe include sliced tomato or some fresh leaves of basil, and it's a perfect quick fix!

P.S. Just remembered...I cook mine on a flat skillet thing usually, and to help keep the thick bread closed (that 'hinge' makes it tough sometimes) I put a plate face down on the closed sandwich to add some helps the cheese melt faster than the bread toasts too.

Testing 2

still testing