Sunday, December 30, 2012

Split Pea Soup

Is anyone else out there superstitious... or is it just me? I mean, I don't go around avoiding ladders or umbrellas, but I'll participate if it brings me good luck (and possibly freak out if a mirror breaks). Why not... riight? Growing up, my mom always made black eyed peas or split pea soup for New Years. It is supposed to bring good luck for the year to come. Good deal, considering split pea soup is one of my fav's. I was reading somewhere that it is a German tradition that started because the green split peas resemble money. The best part comes next. As the split peas cook they swell and... drum roll please ... represent your overflowing fortune. Who couldn't use that kind of luck???

Apple Spiced Ginger Ale

It is almost New Year's and while Christmas is long gone the seasonal tastes are still here. I honestly can't get enough cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice... the works! This drink is perfect. It is also a great non-alcoholic drink for New Year's. Trust me... if you have someone coming over who doesn't want to drink, this will satisfy them completely. I've already had one. Okay... two.  :-)

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Chicken and Green Chile Posole

Lets get this straight... I live in Southern California. It doesn't rain. Misting, drizzling, sprinkling, or dripping... maaayybe.I know, I know, people call it raining... but it's not. Of course I am currently looking out my window and it just started actually raining. I think I pissed mother nature off. Oh well... works for me. I LOVE the rain. Which is possibly why I am eventually moving to Seattle. Ohhh I cant wait. SO in the spirit of the rain my dreams of moving to Seattle... I made soup. Glorious, delicious, spicy, soup. Its the perfect thing to eat while watching the rain mist.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Baked Pear and Ginger Overnight French Toast Casserole

I love french toast-- and I mean real french toast. Not the stuff you get at the local diner (you know... sandwich bread dipped in egg and milk cooked on a griddle). I mean the huge chunks of bread soaked in spices and the typical egg/milk concoction, full of fresh and in season fruit. UGGGHH... sooo good. This is the stuff every breakfast wants to be. It also doubles great as dessert.  Next time you want surprise your family with breakfast, whip this up the night before and just throw it in the oven in the morning.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Caprese Salad Panini

Here at my house, we have been on quite the vegetarian kick. I have been trying to find some new recipes and the other day I thought of something brilliant (if I might say so myself). Caprese salad paninis. Right around the same time, I remembered watching at least two different food network shows about roasted tomatoes. What could be better!?!?! Suddenly I had to make these that night. What happened that night was awesome. These are so good and don't take long to make. Perfect for those busy week nights.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Spicy Black Bean Burgers

Tay is always wanting me to make vegetarian food. Lately she has really wanted black bean burgers. When I started thinking of how to make them I decided that I wanted them to be SPICY. I have been waiting to make these for weeks now and finally had the time. One thing I really love about these burgers is you could easily double the recipe and have them in the freezer ready to go! Quick and easy dinner for the weeknights.

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Easy Refrigerator Pickled Veggies

I will eat pickled A N Y T H I N G. Okay, okay... maybe not anything, but just about any vegetable. I personally love love love pickled cauliflower, but you can NEVER find just pickled cauliflower. So what started off as a journey to pickle some cauliflower ended with me pickling the whole produce department. It made for some super awesome snacks.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Slow Cooker Spicy Beans

My FAVORITE meal as a kid was rice and beans. I loved it so much that I made special requests on my birthdays. Weird?  Probably. I was interesting.  Regardless, my mom made the best beans. I started out on a mission to re-create them, but ended up making something all of my own. Not ONLY did they turn out amazing... they were incredibly easy. See for yourself...

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Easy Meat and Cheese Lasagna

Why is it that lasagna seems so difficult to make? In reality... a simple lasagna is crazy easy. I even made the sauce. The other really awesome thing about lasagna... you can freeze it if you want to bake it for another day. I am a HUGE fan of freezer meals. I love coming home from work and being able to just throw something in the oven. Home cooked meals that are easy as 1, 2, 3... SIGN ME UP!!!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Fried Mozzarella Sticks with Marinara Dipping Sauce

WHOA!! Where have I been?!?!?! I know... its been a while, almost a month. So... on to the FOOD. The idea for mozzarella sticks came up pretty randomly. I was in the kitchen getting ready to make some grilled pizza (which might I add gets better every time I make it) and my wubby wanted something to go with them. I opened up the freezer and there, staring me in the fac,e was a huge pack of string cheese. Instantly I thought.... FRIED MOZZARELLA STICKS!!! I have never made mozzarella sticks before, but the concept seemed easy. Cheese, breadcrumbs, egg, flour, and oil. It doesn't get more simple than that. So here we go to the awesomeness!

Portobello French Dip

I am going to tell a story. This is a story that involves me and my dislike previous dislike for mushrooms. I don't know what it was or what finally clicked, but I seriously did NOT like mushrooms. Ask my parents... I wouldn't touch dinner if it had mushrooms. I guess I did get better over time... simply picking them out of my food(like a non spoiled brat),but I never liked them. Have I said I didn't like 'em? Then all of a sudden, out of the blue I thought ...what the hell... I'll give it another go. And a like was born. A like? Really? Yes... sadly I am still not in love, but maybe one day. Anyway... why all this talk about mushrooms? Weeelllll... Wubby and I have a friend who really wanted me to blog a vegetarian dish. This friend (Leah) even told us of restaurants in Seattle that she likes to eat at. After talking about it for two days Wubby and I settled on a Portobello mushroom french dip. We found the recipe and off we go!

Puff Pastry and Eggs

Breakfast is BIG in our house. I think I could make it three times a day for my Wubby and she would be just fine! For this reason... I am forever looking for new breakfast ideas. That’s why when I got my FOOD NETWORK MAGAZINE (I am just a little excited... can you tell?) I immediately looked for a good recipe. Turns out I didn’t have to look too far as this one was on the cover. Not only does this recipe look awesome... It’s easy peasy lemon breezy (which is a must first thing in the morning.) Take a look…

Stout Corned Beef

I have many fond memories from childhood about corned beef. On Sundays, my Dad used to make my brother and I corned beef and egg tacos (seriously try it)! Every St. Patty's Day he would make corned beef with cabbage, onions, carrots, and potatoes. We would make everything into sandwiches with mustard on rye bread. I honestly CRAVE this now. So... now that I am all grown up and moved out I must keep this meal going. In honor of St. Patty's day, I am going to make a corned beef. This won't be your ordinary corned beef. I am going ultra Irish. Guinness and all... :-)

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Curry Chicken Salad Sandwich

Chicken Curry Salad

I love curry.... and I love chicken salad. So I wanted to combine them. I looked around on the internet for a good recipe, but didn't find anything that was perfect. I did however find some great ideas. The recipe makes a huge portion, so it is great for parties or to make on Monday for lunches during the week. A great thing about chicken salad is that it can be COMPLETELY customizable. Want more grapes or no apple? How about celery and shredded carrots? Whatever you want in the salad can be added. Follow your buds! This is how I like my curry chicken salad... I think you will enjoy it just the same!

Spaghetti and Meatballs

A few years back I took a trip to Europe. I loved everywhere I went, but one thing that was absolutely AMAZING was the food in Italy. I mean.... what? My palate was on overload! I went to these itsy-bitsy cafe's where 80% of the restaurant was outside and eat some delicious food. The menu's weren't big and at most places you had a choice of red or white house wine. It was so simplistic... yet soooo good. I have always been a firm believer that you can learn a lot about a culture through their food. So what did I learn? Italians have an intimate relationship with food. It is not so much about who can make the biggest BADDEST dish or use the most fancy ingredients. All the restaurants are making the same food and using their family recipes. It's not so much about being a chef or owning a restaurant, but instead its about a family tradition. Bringing EVERYONE together...through food!

I thought I would take a bit from my trip and use it as inspiration for my next blog. Spaghetti and Meatballs! Who doesn't love it!? Time to dig in... :-)

Chicken Tikka Masala

Indian food. So many people have a fear of Indian food. What many of them don't realize is that a lot of Indian food uses ingredients that everyone has heard of before. I'm not saying that the stories we have all heard are false.... The food can be pungent and its spicy as hell, but if you ask me good food has its side effects. I have known that I wanted to make Indian food for a while, but I couldn't find the right thing. Finally I did. It was a few weeks ago that the Wubbster (my partner) and I decided to get some Indian food from Trader Joes and have a mini feast. Most of it was good, but the Chicken Tikka Masala was the best. Then when her and Marcoco (Marcus for those of you who know him) decided to go to a Bollywood flash mob (oh I am jealous! ) I knew that this was the week. So the adventure started. I must warn you now... The food is spicy and delicious! It is an ethnic rollercoaster that you want to ride again and again.

German Chocolate Cake

I was trying to think of what to make for my next blog post. I figured I would make a dessert since I have not blogged one yet. While discussing the multitude of options with my Wubby I learned that she HAS NEVER HAD GERMAN CHOCOLATE CAKE. Seriously? I don’t know how this happened. I don’t really know why it seemed so shocking to me. There are plenty of things that I have yet to try that many others already have. Maybe it’s just because I have had this cake on many occasions. I don’t know. The one thing that I am sure of is my mind was made up. I was making a German Chocolate Cake.

Why is it that German Chocolate cake is called such? While tasting my brilliant creation (I am VERY modest) we had this discussion. I never really thought about it, but Germany doesn’t have coconuts… at least that I know of. So I did some research. The cake is actually named after a Sam German. It was named after him in 1852. Why for him… I know that now too! He developed a dark, baking chocolate that was used in this cake. There you have it. The German Chocolate Cake is anything but German. Who knew.
Now onto the recipe…

Friday, September 28, 2012

Grilled Pizza

Grilled pizza is one of those things that you hear about, but have never tried. When you really think about it, making a pizza on the grill makes sense. It simulates a brick oven and let's face it...brick oven pizzas ROCK!! So a fast, super easy way to recreate a Brick oven pizza? Here it is. Say good-bye to take out and frozen pizza. This is how its done...

Blueberry Lemon Scones

Blueberry Lemon Scones
Scones... Yum!! There is nothing better than smelling something being freshly baked first thing in the morning. It was a couple of days ago that I woke up with an INTENSE craving for blueberry scones. I quickly scoured the internet and found the best recipe. It was only after buying all the ingredients that I realized... HOLY COW I have never made a scone before. Of course when I was young, I remember my mom making them (and I must add that they were delicious), but I had no clue where to start. So here started my adventure!!



Makes 1 Serving:
  • 2/3 cups chilled Prosecco (or any other Italian sparkling white wine)
  • 2 tablespoons chilled Grey Goose vodka (or vodka of your choice, Grey Goose just seems to keep the taste crisp)
  • 1 tablespoon frozen lemon sorbet
  • A pinch of chopped fresh mint leaves
First, pour the Prosecco into a champagne flute followed by the vodka. Scoop the tablespoon of lemon sorbet and drop into the flute. Chop fresh mint and sprinkle on top. Serve immediately.

*Although this cocktail seems light, it definitely packs a punch. Please drink responsibly.

Cran Champagne

Cran Champagne

 Makes 1 Serving:
  • 2/3 cup Veuve Clicquot Champagne (or your choice of Champagne, preferably a Brut)
  • 3 tablespoons Cranberry Juice
  • 1 to 2 blackberries
Fill champagne flute with 2/3 cup champagne.  Next, slowly pour in cranberry juice and top it off with either 1 or 2 blackberries (based on your preference). Serve immediately.

*Please drink responsibly.