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Monday, September 10, 2012

Cooking with the Husband

Saturday Mr. Scott really was bored, possibly beyond bored. He therefore decided he wanted a snack. I was not feeling the greatest so I was changing up dinner plans but needed a side dish to go with dinner. While we were watching one of Jamie Oliver's shows (I think it was like his version of 30 minute meals) he was making a risotto. Wha-Bam! Side dish idea! Mr. Scott also has been talking about making calamari at home for basically all eternity. Saturday was the day that is finally happened. Off to the store we went to acquire the needed items for our snack and the rest of dinner.

Now I do have a fondness for some fried calamari but like shrimp, I am clueless/scared to cook it at home. I however am not afraid to Google and look up a garlic aioli recipe! So that became my task while Scott handled Mr. Squidward. Here is where I pat myself on the back for my skills in whipping up a nice thick homemade aioli!
oooo look at that lovely quality aioli made by yours truly!
Mr. Scott determined after cutting up Mr. Squidward that we should have gotten Mrs. Squidward and possibly Little Squidward Jr. to make a better snack. Oh well, it was our first time and now we know that to have a more sizable snack that we need more than one!

Fry away Mr. Squidward!

Our snack... See we needed more...
Oh boy oh boy! That was some tasty calamari! Cooked perfectly with a lovely aioli to dip it in! Go Team Wondrasek!

That's right we had a little white wine going on with it :)

Ignore my horribly unmanicured hands

He wasn't supposed to start eating it before I took a picture of it dipped in the aioli
Now onto dinner... Since I wasn't feeling the greatest, I was also a little lazy. I was lazy in the fact that I bought a risotto pack so that my risotto was not totally from scratch. I know shame on me for not being super woman in the kitchen every day. I did saute some extra mushrooms to add if that counts for anything? For dinner we had Mushroom Bruschetta Chicken. Basically the chicken replaces the bread in the bruschetta factor. This turned out to be a very satisfying foodie kind of day!
My plate before I dived into it

My plate after I inhaled half of it.
Recipe time!

Roasted Garlic Aioli (adpated from Aunt B on a Budget)

1 head of roasted garlic
1 egg yolk
1/2 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
Pinch of salt
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp lemon juice

Either in a blender (with the removable cap off but lid on) or with an emulsion stick blender, add egg yolk and slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the aioli reaches the consistency you like. More oil for thicker, less for thinner. Next add the garlic, mustard, salt and lemon juice. Blend until incorporated.

*Side note! We've made this before with balsamic vinegar in place of lemon juice for burgers. I just happened to master the getting it thick factor :)*

Mushroom Bruschetta Chicken (adapted from Kraft Foods)

1 lb mixed fresh mushrooms, sliced or chopped
1 onion, finely sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
1 to 3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 lb chicken breasts (2 pounded thin or 2 cut thinly)
1/2 cup Italian blend cheese
Olive oil

Cook the mushrooms and onions in a large nonstick skillet, with enough olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan, for about 10 minutes. Stir occasionally.

Add balsamic vinegar, garlic, and thyme. cook for about 5 minutes longer. Either transfer mushroom mixture to a bowl and keep warm or push to the sides to make room for the chicken.

Add the chicken and cook for 5 min. on each side or until done. Make sure to stir mushrooms occasionally to keep from sticking to pan.

Cover chicken with mushroom mixture and melt cheese on top. Serve while hot.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Branching out!

I don't like shrimp... On occasion I'll eat some of those little tiny baby ones that you put on like a salad in the summer time... Those are basically the only ones I find tolerable what so ever... I know, I know, I know...... What the hell is wrong with me? Who the hell doesn't love shrimp that isn't allergic? Well that's this girl right here!

Last night for dinner I made this delicious tomato-Alfredo pasta from Kitchen Trial and Error. To qualify it as a dinner in this house, I had to add meat. I did some chicken in there for myself. Now here is where the branching out comes in. I bought shrimp for the husband. Due to my major dislike for the shrimps, we basically never have shrimp in this household.

I had to ask him how to remove the shell because I am 100% clueless as to what to do with them. I did have to ask him how long they take to cook. He offered to cook them himself, but to me that defeated the purpose of this "surprise". Part of it was my stubborn self wanting to do cook everything that we were having for dinner with no help. I will not be winning any awards for my shrimp shell removal skills (I'm not the fastest but I didn't destroy them) but I will say that for a non-shrimp eating person, I cooked some damn good shrimps.

Now how on earth would I know if I cooked some damn good shrimps??? Because I ate one...... That's right  you read that correctly.... I ate a shrimp. Oh and that's "a" as in one (I'm not that crazy that I would go off the deep end and eat more than one). While that shrimp wasn't the worst thing I've ever had, it wasn't my most favorite. I would almost go as far to say that it was the BEST shrimp I've ever had.

Where does this leave us on the no shrimp in my household factor? I may allow them in the house more often and might even let them "cross-contaminate" with my chicken in the same pan/meal.  Miracles do happen people. Sometimes they are small ones and sometimes they are big... I'd count this as a small one since I am somewhat over my hatred for shrimp but I still don't love them...

Oh! I almost forgot! The rest of the meal was fantastic :) I seasoned up the tomato sauce part more than the original recipe but the Alfredo was heavenly all on it's own (I may or may not have been licking the whisk).

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Borderline Obsession

This may or may not be a good thing?  I think I have developed a borderline obsession with these beef empanadas I made. They make me question my judgement in cutting the recipe in half so that I wouldn't have an unmanageable amount of leftovers. I'm currently living in a state of regret. I kind of felt bad for the leftover won ton soup that had to live up to the expectations of my taste buds after that last bite of empanada. They make me wish I had an empanada dispenser on the fridge. Think of an ice dispenser but instead it dispenses ready to bake empanadas. Yeah I know, horribly obsessed.

While these weren't the prettiest looking empanadas to grace this earth, they were some of the tastiest. I would like to thank Pinterest again for delivering this tasty recipe into my life. For the delicious recipe, I shall send you to Handle the Heat and then leave you with a picture of one of my not so great looking, but overly delicious empanadas.
Mmmmmm empanada and diet coke <3

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

No, I think we'll just stay in instead

We have one good Thai restaurant down here. Siam Thai... Typically, Scott and I don't care to deal with the traffic to get there just for some Pad Thai. So on those nights when some delicious Pad Thai sounds great and traffic is a big turn off, I refer to this handy book called Cooking The Thai Way (I was able to get mine in paperback for like $8). There is only one Lima Limitation in this recipe that I have to substitute for, which is awesome! It's just as good as most Thai restaurants I've been to and definitely as good, if not better, than Siam's.

You will need:
1/2 lb narrow rice noodles
3 to 4 Tbs fish sauce***
6 Tbs sugar
6 Tbs white vinegar
1 Tbs Ketchup
1/2 lb chicken, pork or shrimp (you know whatever the hell you like)
1/3 cup vegetable oil (I use less and usually it's olive oil instead)
2 to 3 cloves of garlic
2 eggs
4 green onions
12oz fresh bean sprouts
3/4 cup ground peanuts
red pepper flakes
lime wedges

*** I can't find fish sauce down here so I substitute 2 Tbs soy sauce and 2 Tbs Fish stock, but you could do all soy and I think it would be fine***

Cook the rice noodles according the package directions. Meanwhile in a small bowl, mix the fish sauce, sugar, vinegar, and ketchup. Set aside. Cut meat into bite size pieces.

Heat a wok or large skillet and add the oil. Carefully tilt the wok so that the oil coats the inside. Add garlic and stir-fry until golden. Add the meat and cook until no longer pink.

Meanwhile in a small bowl, beat the eggs with a fork. Pour eggs into meat mixture in woke and stir to lightly scramble the eggs.

Add the fish sauce mixture while continuing to stir. Next add the softened noodles and toss with the meat and eggs. Next add the green onions and 2/3 of the bean sprouts, cook and toss the mixture until the sprouts are tender but crisp.

Garnish with the remaining bean sprouts, ground peanuts and lime wedges. The book says to have everyone add their own red pepper flakes, but I know about how spicy Scott and I like it so I just add those in when adding the green onion.

Sorry for the slightly poor quality photo. Forgot I used the iPhone to take it.

Now doesn't that just look yummy and like you ordered take out!?

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Mmmmm..... Cupcakes!

Awhile back I had pinned this little cupcake recipe from How Sweet It Is... Hadn't gotten around to making this until I think it was last week when I all of the sudden really wanted a cupcake.... I followed the recipe except for the fact I didn't have regular all-purpose flour and I only had some whole wheat... Also mine took around 20 minutes to bake not 10-12... But guess what folks?! They turned out deeeeee wait for it.... licious! (I've been watching too much "How I Met Your Mother"... Thanks a lot Barney Stinson) Slightly different texture with the flour but who cares... It was like a lovely vanilla heaven descended into my mouth.... No pictures of those two cupcakes because Scott and I totally ate them and I forgot.... But not to worry! I had the brilliant idea of we need to turn these into some delicious chocolatey heaven! As a precautionary measure, I did take pictures right after frosting so that if indeed they did taste like the chocolatey heaven I hoped for that I would blog them...

Oh so yummy!
I'm thinking that these need to get made again (tonight!) to use up that leftover frosting in the fridge..

Chocolate Heaven Cupcakes for 2

1 egg white
2 Tbs sugar
2 Tbs melted butter
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp chocolate extract (optional)
1 tsp cocoa powder
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tsp (heaping) baking powder
1 1/2 Tbs milk

Whisk melted butter and sugar together. Add egg white and whisk. Add extracts and cocoa powder and whisk. Next add flour and baking powder and whisk to combine. Add milk and whisk. Pour into two cupcake liners.

Bake at 350 for about 20 minutes (ovens and pan types may vary cooking time). Let those tempting little chocolate cupcakes cool completely, then frost.

Finally hide them out of site until after dinner, otherwise you may eat them. Well that could be okay too. It just depends on if you are trying to have a lovely dessert with your significant other.

and I'm off to go make those cupcakes again!

Friday, May 11, 2012

I am going beyond an acceptable measurable amount of slacking

Horrible blogger of the year right here! But that's okay, because it's a nice day outside. I have an extreme love for soup. I can eat soup in almost any weather and any time of year. I also have a moderate obsession with Pinterest. With these two things uniting, I bring you Chicken and Wild Rice Soup. Thanks to Pinterest, I found this little gem here at Moms By Heart. I liked that it was simple enough and looked amazingly delish! I also thought how on earth can I make it that much better. So here we go!

You Will Need:
a little olive oil
1 pkg Long Grain Wild Rice
1 cup Shredded Chicken
1/4 cup Diced Onion
2 stalks Celery
1 medium/large Carrot
3 1/2 cups Water
3 Tbs Butter
3 Tbs Flour
1/2 cup Milk
3/4 cup Chicken Stock
1/4 tsp Sage
pepper to taste

Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know my ingredient list is like 10 times longer than the original, but that's okay and it's for a good reason. Also, Scott does not like crunchy veggies in his food so I have to make sure the carrots and celery are nice and soft. Hopefully you all have done your mise en place cause we are getting started!

Like usual, I get out that big soup making pot and splishity splash a little olive oil up and get it heating up in there for the veggies. Then I added the onion, carrot and celery.
This looks familiar
I cook that for about 8 to 10 minutes and then I shoved it all to the side of the pot making room to make my cream of chicken soup from scratch... Now if you wanted to be lazy and not as cool, you could just add 1 can of cream of chicken soup now.

Alrighty so melt that butter, add the flour, mixing the two together and cook for about a minute... Slowly add your milk and chicken stock, constantly stirring and incorporating everything together! Sprinkle the sage and a little pepper in there.

Now this is where things get complicated..... Toss in your chicken, wild rice (the seasoning packet too), and the water... Stir it all together.. It should be looking a little like this now
Mmmmmm... Yummy!
Now just let that goodness simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes... Take a fabulous picture of yourself in the meantime...
Not bad for no makeup that day :) 
Get ready! It's time to scoop up that soup and enjoy!

Holy Moly! That looks great!
Close up! Don't you just want to dive right in?
Oh and was this ever some delicious soup! This made about 4-6 servings I'd say... Which was perfect for the two of us... Both got to enjoy big bowls of it and then well Scott had like 2 lunches out of it... No leftovers for this girl... Frowny face! :( That was probably my own fault for not having other meals with a good amount of leftovers for Scott to take to work.......... Next time though..... I'm going to advocate my rights to some leftovers!

Friday, April 27, 2012

I've been quite the slacker!

I'm so busy cooking and enjoying life that I just have had an epic fail with blogging about all the wonderful cookings and going ons! Since I had a friend ask me how do you do Mongolian Beef in the slow cooker.......... well here is how! I found the original recipe over at Notes from the Heartland... I had to make some changes because I refuse to spend $10 on a little bottle of cooking sherry and some of the things I had on hand and it's worked out every time just fine...

Crock pot Mongolian Beef
1 1/2 lb. ball tip steak or flank steak
3 cloves garlic, minced
4 sliced green onions
1 t. onion powder
1/2 c. soy sauce
1/4 c. white wine
1/8 c. red wine
1/8 c. balsamic vinegar
1/2 T. white wine vinegar
1 t. olive oil
1 t. toasted sesame seeds
1 t. molasses
1 t. powdered ginger
1/4 t. black pepper
1 t. red chili flakes
1/2 T. peanut butter
3 T. brown sugar
1/4 c. cornstarch

1) Slice meat thin, toss with cornstarch.
2) Put all liquid and dry spices into crock pot, add PB, mix well.
3) Add garlic and green onions.  Put meat on top, toss gingerly.
4) Cover and cook on low 4-6 hours (mine took around 4).

I also like to slice up half of a medium/large onion and then serve it over white rice. Since the husband doesn't really care for broccoli, I roast some asparagus to serve on the side...  If I remember I'll take a picture before I tear into it later! Otherwise check the original source for a scrumptious looking picture :)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Winner Winner Chicken Dinner

The theme this week seems to be chicken, aside from the Mongolian beef I plan to make... Yesterday was Chicken Parmesan the way my mom always made it with some wild rice, asparagus for the husband and broccoli for me... Tonight I adventured into chicken pot pie making... I didn't give a rats ass, a cows ass, a spiders ass (etc., etc. etc.) if the husband says he doesn't like chicken pot pie... I have not had one in like a year (basically since  before I moved down here to Lima) so god dammit we were having a chicken pot pie!!! I chose to try out this recipe from Annie's Eats... Instead of 6-8 little ones I did two larger (one for tonight and one that I'll freeze for the future) and experimented with a mini full crust one...
We ate half of this one

Plenty of left overs!!!
Good news is that the husband, Scott, did enjoy the chicken pot pie... He just doesn't have a fondness for them like I do... And as I told him, I can't help that Marie Callendar made delicious little microwaveable convenient little chicken pot pies for the "server on the go" (more like poor morning time management)... These I would have to say were more delicious... less convenient (and who cares, I have the time since I don't work), but much much more delicious!

Now that I've started a gaggle of leftovers going, I'll either make tomorrow a left over night or make some crock pot Mongolian beef and I've got plans for whipping up some chicken pad thai this week too!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Getting In Touch With Our Inner-Italian

Although neither of us have any Italian what so ever... Scott had been wanting a pasta maker for a long time, so we bought one with some of our wedding money... Last week was definitely a learning experience and a very late dinner as a result... Our spaghetti and meatballs (everything made from scratch!) was good none the less and looked like we were going to feed all of Lima with it... This week we adventured into flavored pasta, tortellinis and raviolis.... We again probably over did it on the product but have chosen to freeze some and go with a jar of alfredo sauce rather than doing that from scratch today... Well here are some picture highlights of our adventure today! Who knew I was a natural born tortellini making machine!

Scott rolling the dough

My first tortellini
That's a chicken, garlic, parsley, oregano filling for the tortellini
This is how I assemble my awesome tortellinis
Cut off the excess
fold up
And then fold the other two ends together and ta-da!
The camera battery died between then and now! But again we made a feast!
 Because we had so much chicken filling we used that for tortellinis and took our cheese mixture and made 4 cheese raviolis.... And why is our pasta orange? That's because it's tomato pasta!!! Next time we are going to try and make spinach pasta :)

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dibble Dabbling!

I'm dipping my toes in the waters of meal planning... I find I go to the store almost every freaking day!!! I mean I guess it's good because it gets me out of the house but I guess my tolerance for dealing with mentally challenged drivers and people at the store is dwindling.... I kinda meal planned half way through the week last week and this week I think I've got a fairly decent plan in place...

Tonight: Southwest Chicken Salad (adding some corn and avocado)
Tuesday: Slow Cooker Salsa Chicken
Wednesday: LEFTOVERS! We have a ton of spaghetti and meatballs from our pasta making adventure last night
Thursday: Taquitos! Except I'm using our leftover pulled pork from Saturday instead of the chicken
Friday: Dijon Chicken Linguine this could be another pasta maker adventure

I'm imagining this will result in plenty of leftovers for the husband for work and possibly the weekend.... I also like to leave the weekend open for Scott to have some cooking/grilling fun!

Monday, January 16, 2012

This little piggy went to the market...

And came out in the form of a pork tenderloin smothered in peanut orange sauce... So during one of those moments when I had this brilliant idea and motivation to eat healthier and get in shape, I was browsing and scouring the Shape magazine website for workout ideas and found they had a few recipes.... This one caught my eye and turned out to be rather delish! I did do a little Lima Limitation change to theirs (you can find theirs here.)

1/2 cup orange marmalade
1/4 cup orange juice
2 Tbs reduced-fat peanut butter
1 Tbs Dijon mustard
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp vegetable oil
a dash or two of salt
a few dashes of cayenne pepper
a couple dashes chili powder
a pinch of red pepper flakes
1lb pork tenderloin, trimmed of fat

I gathered all ingredients and they say to process everything but the pork in a blender or a food processor, but I found some good ol' fashion man power (or in my case woman power) with a whisk works just fine... and seriously it's not like you have to whisk hard to blend it all....

Now at first it's going to look totally like a baby shit in your bowl which seems totally unappetizing.... but trust me it's safe to add your little piggy into that shit looking mess.... The piggy will be happy, it's like being back in its natural environment when it was alive....
The little piggy can go ahead and bathe in what will be later some delicious filth for about an hour....

When that hour is about up, preheat the oven to 400°F and place the tenderloin on a foil lined baking sheet... Don't toss that marinade!!! Instead put it in a little sauce pan... Bake the little piggy for about 20 to 30 minutes and in the mean time boil that marinade for a few minutes and turn it down to low while the pork cooks....

Ding! The pork is done, let it rest of a minute or two and then slice it up!!! Pour some of that goodness in the sauce pan on top and enjoy! I served it up with some wild rice...

See it really did go from looking like shit in a bowl to deliciousness on a plate ;)

Monday, January 2, 2012

Feliz Año Nuevo!!!!

Ok three things... Thing 1 is spinach and artichoke dip that was really damn good... Thing 2 is some awesome pasta I just made and ate.... Thing 3 is that both I can't take any credit for the goodness of the recipe {but I can take credit for making it and it turning out totally awesome as per what the recipe and their bloggers said would occur}

For New Years Eve I made up this spinach and artichoke dip from Annie's Eats.... I'm really sure it would have been totally devoured if there had been less food around and we weren't all so busy drinking... The plus to it not being totally devoured means leftovers for me! and well Scott too...

Tonight we decided to do a beer can chicken and I remembered this lovely pasta from The Pioneer Woman that we could do as a side to go with the chicken! And that was one smart decision made by me! Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeelish!!!!

In short, Happy New Year and Happy Cooking everyone!