Monday, June 15, 2009

It's Been Way Too Long...

I was at a barbecue with my parents yesterday and my mother mentioned to another attendee that I had a foodie blog that I hadn't made a post in since (Gasp) May! So today I sat down and decided I would attend to said blog. But then I noticed my dogs pacing in circles around the kitchen and dining room and realized it was nearly 6 pm and they hadn't had their evening walk. So, again, I walked away from the lap top... and the blog. I've been busy, doing what exactly, I have no idea.

The dogs have been walked and fed and now I'm on on my patio with a pale ale and my lap top and I'm ready to rock. The point is that I'm back, and possibly in full effect.

Unfortunately I don't have an idea for an "official post" but here are some photos to let you know what I've been up to in the last few weeks.

Poor Man's Coq au Vin

Turkey Spinach Meatloaf with Mashed Red Potatoes and Zucchini

My Husband's Grilled Chicken

Spinach Ricotta Stuffed Pork Chop Over Polenta with Chardonnay Gravy

Enchilada Suizas with Refried Black Beans and Basmati Rice

Wild Mushroom lasagna served with Filet and Broccolini

Thai Pork 2 ways with Yellow Curry and Sesame Lime Jus

Breakfast of Cranberry, Orange & Pecan Scones with Cherries

Above Scones with Homemade Blackberry Cherry Jam

Tonight with Happy Dog and Lap Top

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sausage and Greens

My blog program has been acting up lately so I haven't posted because I haven't had the time or want to deal with it. I actually tried to post yesterday but the formatting got totally screwed, so hopefully I can muddle through it today.

This year is the first year my husband and I have had a real garden. It's our first home and the first time we've had space to do anything more than some potted tomatoes and herbs. We have mountains of zucchini that are nearly ready for harvest and lots of tomatoes and herbs. We also have collard greens, and lots of them. They were actually a mistake, my husband hates greens and I meant to plant broccoli. So I have been trying to find ways to use them so my husband will eat them and enjoy it.

I found this recipe for a sausage and collard green pasta a few weeks ago and I tried it on myself. I love collard greens and pretty much any type of greens for that matter, so this was right up my alley. The pairing of the sausage gave the dish enough flavor so that the greens were not too bitter or overpowering. I'm going to try this dish on my husband tomorrow, hopefully with good results.

1 bunch collard greens, about 1 lb. stems removed, cut in half lengthwise, then sliced crosswise into half inch slices ( I remove the full vein out because I think the texture is better)
3 T olive oil
1 T minced garlic (I used 2 cloves and will use 3 next time)
1 t hot pepper flakes (she says this is optional, but I think it is a must)
5 links hot turkey Italian Sausage 12 oz. ( I would say 1 link per person is about right, so I'll use 2)
Pasta (she uses 3/4 of a box or about 6 servings, I will probably use 1/2 a box)
salt-pepper to taste
Grated parmesan
Bring small pot of water to boil, add sausage and cook at low boil 10 minutes
Let sausage cool and slice
Bring large pot of water to a boil, add sliced collards and boil 5-7 minutes, until tender
Remove collards from water, keep water in the pot and bring back to a boil
When water comes to a boil, add pasta and a small amount of salt and cook 9-10 minutes
Reserve 1 cup pasta water then drain pasta
While pasta cooks, in large skillet, heat 2 T olive oil and add sliced sausage and brown until well browned on both sides
Remove sausage and add remaining T olive oil and garlic and red pepper and cook 2 minutes, scraping bottom of pan to get browned sausage bits
Add collards and saute 2 minutes, then add pasta and enough cooking liquid to moisten dish, and cook 2 minutes more
Taste and season with salt and pepper
Serve hot with freshly grated parmesan cheese.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Flexible Caserole Recipe

I love so much, even more so when they feature recipes or cooking tips. The feature today was on an easy and flexible casserole recipe.

Flexible Casserole Ingredients:

1 cup main ingredient (protein)
1 cup second ingredient (vegetable)
1-2 cups starchy ingredient (pasta, rice, etc)
1 1/2 cups binder (sour cream, milk, canned soup, etc)
1/4 cup "goodie" (cheese, nuts, butter, etc)
seasoning (salt, pepper, garlic, etc)
topping ( french fried onions, breadcrumbs, etc)

You can read the full article and cooking instructions at and the simple dollar.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Epicurious Top 30 Cake Recipes

So I decided to start a little diet yesterday and this morning my boss sent me an article, Thirty Top Rated Cakes from She's the devil. By cake number 2, I was literally salivating. Coconut cake... I pine for you.

But Seriously, how good does that look. I'm thinking about trying a healthier version of a carrot cake for a dinner I'm having this weekend. Substituting whole wheat flour and then applesauce for some of the oil. I'll still do a yummy cream cheese frosting, just with less sugar. I'd love to try to make a coconut cake healthier, but even in theory, it just won't work.

I'll let you know how everything turns out.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Diet!!! Yuck

So I want to lose 14 pounds and a lot of my recipes don't exactly fit into the diet category. Almost everything I make is nutritious, I'm lucky that I love vegetables and whole grains, but it's not exactly diet-worthy. So now I have to somewhat overhaul the way I eat, which is no fun. I feel like my bread making hay day may be coming to a standstill.

I know that cutting out the sugar is my first step. Sad, that means no more honey pecan pork chops... Is a tablespoon of honey okay? I was thinking of maybe doing a citrus garlic pork chop instead. That might work. Then there's carbs, ugh.

I like to run, so I am a strong believer in carb loading on bread and pasta. Oh, and beer. I cut out the beer last weekend, so I'm a step ahead of the game. Now I just need to find a good substitute for pasta and bread. But I still need to get my fiber. I love spaghetti squash, so I think I'll be eating much more of that. I'll let you know what I find as a good substitute for bread.

If you guys have any good suggestions for healthy, high fiber desserts and breads, help me out. I know I'll need it.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Honey Pecan Pork Chops

A few nights ago I made a delicious and easy meal. We're talking under 10 ingredients, very little prep, and maybe 15 minutes total in cooking time. I think this dish will definitely be a repeat in our household. I found the recipe here.
I love pork and tend to do the same old meal over and over with it. I just started grilling it a few months ago which has helped to liven up the dinner repertoire. I love this meal because I'm really interested in 10 item or less meals now. I may have to add that as a new category because we all need a go to place for great quick and easy dinners.

4 pork chops- pound thin with meat tenderizer
1/2 c flour
s & p to taste
2 T butter
1/4 c honey
1/4 c chopped pecans

Melt butter in saute pan over medium heat
Mix flour and s & p and dredge chops so they are lightly floured on both sides
Add pork to pan and cook until browned ( 5-7 minutes on each side)
Remove pork from pan and add honey and pecans to the left over drippings
You can just pour the honey sauce on the pork chops, but I returned them to the pan to caramelize them. It was just great. I highly recommend this easy dish.
As you can see I served mine with mashed yams and steamed broccoli. The mashed yams just have a little butter, milk, and salt and the broccoli is steamed in water so total number of ingredients is exactly 10. Not too shabby.

Easy Substitutes When Baking

This happens to me all the time, I'm all set to start cooking and realize I've run out of eggs or milk. I've remedies this by keeping powdered milk and vegan egg substitute on hand at all times. Here is an awesome article from that lists substitutes for those things we may run out of.

I've listed a few great tips below, but go here for the full article.

Buttermilk Substitute: You can substitute 1 cup of buttermilk with the following quick recipe–In a one cup measuring cup, add 1 TBS of vinegar or lemon juice, then top up the rest of the measuring cup with milk. Set aside for 5 minutes, stir, then use as buttermilk in the recipe.

Baking Powder Substitute: Try 1/4 tsp baking soda & 1/2 tsp cream of tartar to substitute for 1 tsp baking powder.

Chocolate Squares Substitute: 3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa & 1/4 cup melted Crisco (Substitution for 4 ounces unsweetened chocolate squares).

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Fool Proof Pie Crust

Here's a pie crust recipe from that claims to be foolproof. I haven't tried it myself, but I think we all need fool proof recipes in our arsenal. Also, pie crusts are so versatile, you can make a savory or sweet dish. And the ingredients for pie crusts are normally in our cupboards or refrigerators so it's one of those things we can easily whip up and fill with something yummy. Maybe quiche or a vegetable pie would be nice for spring. Be creative.

Ingredients and directions from
To make two 9-inch crusts * 2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour * 1 teaspoon table salt * 2 tablespoons sugar * 12 tablespoons (1 1/2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, cut…

Process 1 1/2 cups flour, salt, and sugar in food processor until combined, about 2 one-second pulses. Add butter and shortening and process until dough just starts to co…

Sprinkle vodka and water over mixture. With rubber spatula, use folding motion to mix, pressing down on dough until dough is slightly tacky and sticks together.

Divide dough into two even balls and flatten each into 4-inch disk. Wrap each in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 45 minutes or up to 2 days.

Once your dough is thoroughly chilled - as firm as a cold stick of butter - it's ready to roll out. Roll the dough out between two pieces of plastic wrap to prevent dough …

My New Obsession... Onion Marmalade

My boss made meatloaf sandwiches on Monday and one of the condiments she used was onion marmalade mixed with a bit of mayonnaise. It was like heaven; slightly sweet, slightly tart with that wonderful earthy oniony taste. So I've been addicted ever since. Yesterday I had to have a grilled cheese sandwich with the addition of the marmalade.

I know I could go out and buy the stuff, but I've made jam before, so I decided to take a crack at it. I combined a few different recipes to fit my tastes. Onion Marmalade Recipe

Group Recipes Onion Jam Recipe

Recipe Zaar Red Onion Jam Recipe

Here's what I did

Red Onion Marmalade:

2 Large red onions (chopped)
4 cloves garlic (chopped)
1 bottle white wine ( I used Charles Shaw Chardonnay because I think $2 wine is more than enough for a condiment)
1 c water
1/2 c sugar
2 T red wine vinegar
1 T olive oil
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper


Heat medium, non reactive saucepan to medium low heat and add olive oil
Add chopped onions and garlic and saute, stirring often, until they become translucent, 10-15 minutes
Add remaining ingredients and cook covered for 30 minutes
Turn on exhaust fan, this can get stinky
Uncover pan and turn heat to medium
Cook an additional 45-60 minutes, stirring periodically to make sure nothing is sticking to the bottom, until the liquid has reduced and sauce seems syrupy
This will thicken more upon cooling as well

This should keep for a few weeks in a closed container. It can be used on a variety of meets as a condiment or addition to a sauce. I like it mixed with mayo, but it can also be mixed with cream cheese for a dip. Enjoy

Chocolate Powered Race Car

Seems like a waste of chocolate to me, but I guess it is sustainable... Thanks to via Geekologie for information on this edible vehicle.

A Warwick University-based team has unveiled a Formula 3 race car built using sustainable materials. Its body is made of potatoes, the steering wheel is carrots, and the fuel is derived from chocolate. Delicious.

Chick here to read full article