Tag Archives: cooking

A New Week!

7 Sep

Sciatica contained, I can now start a new week! Let me tell you, lately I have been majorly slacking! I got addicted to this Facebook game called City of Wonders and I can’t seem to focus anymore. And I thought Farmville was bad…

But now I’ve nearly conquered the game and I can focus back on what’s important cause the holiday weekend is over and I have to, or is it want to?

The weather sure sucks lately, huh?

Then again I was growing tired of the hot weather. My husband and I were discussing candles last night and how wonderful they are when it gets cold because muggy + candles doesn’t mix. I’m just happy to have a reason to mask the smell of his dirty clothes again, but that’s just me…

Book tour for Knight Angles: Book of Revenge starts October first. We will be visiting a whole ton of blogs in October. I will post the schedule as we get closer.

I love my bloggers 🙂

The sequel toy Book of Love is shaping up well. Looks beautiful so far. I love the actual page elements and layout, not to mention the ending! Gets me all excited for the third book and I think it will get you excited too.

What else????????

I made some cookies. It’s my famous Choc. Chip cookie recipe which isn’t much different from Toll House except the egg part:

Two sticks of salted Butter, room temp

One Two Tablespoons Vanilla

3/4 C. Brown Sugar

3/4 C. Sugar

1 tsp. Baking Soda

pinch of Salt

Whip furiously. And I mean furiously…

ADD:

One egg and one egg yolk.

Whip furiously some more. Think submission.

ADD:

2 C. Flour

One bag choc. chips (not the huge bag unless you’re nuts)

Bake 350 for 12-15 min.

Swear they keep you full for hours. Keeps my pregnant bestie pretty happy too.

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I Think I’m Turning Japanese? No, I Think I’m Turning French…

23 Jun

Well, at least that’s what I’ve been trying to do for the last week. I don’t know, you hear one Diana Krall song and you fall hopelessly end over end into the abyss that is french cafe`…

Allow me to elaborate.

Example One:

I made home-made Demi Glace`

Which requires also making Espagnole sauce…

Takes three hours, mind you…

Example Two:

Then, I took the Demi glace and made these delicious, tender little spare ribs with whipped potatoes, nothing better…

Example Three:

Wine

What more can I say? Even has a house on the label, and I’ve heard wine with a house means it’s good 😉

Example Four:

Diana Krall

 

If Only Hansel Had Listened To Gretel: Bread Crumbs Vol. 2

14 May

I looked at Hansel, nervously crumbling the bread between my fingers. “Are we going to die?”

Hansel gave me a half grin. “No, Gretel. We’re not going to die.”

I ventured my gaze into the looming forest, a set of hungry eyes staring back at me. I wanted to believe my brother, but I couldn’t. We were definitely going to die, but I didn’t need to tell him that. He may be my older brother, but I was the brains here, not to mention the only rational one of the duo. I dropped the doughy ball of bread on the ground, looking over my shoulder as I saw a fox run across the path, snatching the pieces up behind us – this was pointless, but Hansel refused to listen.

“Um… Hansel?” My voice was shaky as I tried again to tell him.

He hadn’t heard me, stopping abruptly. “Look!” He yelled.

His finger was pointed before him, his eyes so wide that I thought for a moment he’d seen our death, if not for the grin decorating his cheeks. I followed the angle of his thin finger, seeing a clearing up ahead. It was dark, and in the middle sat an oddly shaped gingerbread house.

“We’re saved!” he yelled.

I pressed my lips together, thinking that this didn’t look like ‘saved’ to me. There was a waterfall of blood, the stench of burning flesh in the air, but all Hansel could see was the candy canes and sugar – a perfectly set trap.

“I don’t know, Hansel…”

Again, Hansel hadn’t heard me as he took off at a run, the lust for food fogging his already damaged judgement. If only we had eaten the bread, then we wouldn’t be in this predicament.

I sighed. We were definitely going to die now…

Well, my bread baking experience yesterday turned out perfectly. If I were that fox, I wouldn’t have hesitated for this bread! My first successful home-made loaf!!

Bread Crumbs… I’ll keep them for myself.

yum.

I.O.U. Greek Salad Recipe: A Parody on the Economy…

12 May

After a satisfying italian meal on the deck last night, my husband turned to me and said:

“Man, I’m craving a Greek salad, and not just any Greek salad, but an I.O.U. Greek salad.”

My brows stitched together. “What’s an I.O.U. Greek salad?” I asked.

A half smile crept across his face. “What, you don’t know?”

I shook my head, feeling dumb for asking.

He sat up, placed his plate on the table and took a sip of wine. “Well, First you take over 100 billion American Tax-payer dollars and put it in a I.M.F. blender and blend until you can’t tell its American Tax-payer dollars anymore. Then, you mix it with a couple billion European Tax-payer dollars and you sprinkle it over a mound of Greek I.O.U.’s with feta, tomatoes, and cucumber, then garnish with a toasted pita.” He sat back, rubbing his tummy and licking his lips. “Sounds good, doesn’t it? Sure to be a global blowout.”

My eyes grew wide. “It does! But… it sounds a bit scandalous.”

He chuckled. “Well of course. That’s what makes it so tart and delicious, but I should warn you, though it looks healthy, it’s crammed with fat.”

I frowned. “Well, okay then. I’ll make it, I suppose.” I rubbed my tummy, not wanting to gain the weight of it.

He chuckled again, this time in a darker tone. “It’s not like you have any choice.”

A Chocolate Mousse Kind of Afternoon…

10 May

I love chocolate mousse, and what I love even better is home-made chocolate mousse. It’s a wonder I still venture to eat it after the butter and cream that goes into it, but when you’re looking to indulge, why not? Besides, it’s not like I’m going to saddle up to the whole bowl!

I was at the grocery store and saw that Jello came out with the fake-sugar, 60-calorie, B.S., plastic cups of chocolate mousse, and let me just say, what’s the point??

For me it’s all about the experience! A fancy glass, a good show on tv, and a tiny, tiny spoon (or cookie!) to eat it with…

Here’s my favorite recipe:

Dark Chocolate Mousse

Courtesy Bobby Flay

Ingredients

5 1/4 ounces bittersweet chocolate, coarsely chopped

14 ounces cold heavy cream

3 large egg whites

1-ounce sugar

Sweetened whipped cream, for garnish, optional

Shaved bittersweet chocolate, for garnish, optional

Directions

Place chocolate in a large bowl set over a bain marie or in a double boiler at a low simmer. Stir chocolate until melted. Turn off the heat and let stand.

Beat the cream over ice until it forms soft peaks. Set aside and hold at room temperature. With a mixer, whip egg to soft peaks. Gradually add the sugar and continue whipping until firm.

Remove the chocolate from the bain marie and using a whisk, fold in the egg whites all at once. When the whites are almost completely incorporated, fold in the whipped cream. Cover the mousse and refrigerate for approximately 1 hour or until set. Serve in goblets topped with more whipped cream and shaved chocolate, if desired.

Wednesday Meatloaf

31 Mar
What’s better than a little meat loaf?
NOTHING!
Especially when it’s not your typical meatloaf…
I like to cook with turkey as much as I can get away with (my husband LOVES beef).
SO I went to my favorite chef for answers, and she never fails to deliver something good!

Giada’s Pancetta and Turkey Meatloaf

Ingredients
1/2 cup plain dried bread crumbs
1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup grated Romano
1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes
3/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 pound ground turkey, preferably dark meat
10 ounces sliced pancetta, about 10 slices
Directions
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
In a large bowl, stir together the bread crumbs, parsley, eggs, milk, cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, salt, and pepper. Add the turkey and gently stir to combine, being careful not to overwork the meat.
On a baking sheet lined with parchment paper, lay out the pancetta, overlapping the slices, into a large rectangle shape. In the middle of the rectangle, place the turkey mixture, shaping into a loaf. Using the parchment paper, wrap the pancetta up and around the turkey loaf to cover completely. Squeeze the parchment-covered loaf with your hands to secure the pancetta and solidify the shape of the loaf. While still covered in parchment, bake the loaf until the internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F on an instant-read thermometer, about 45 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
Giada makes sandwiches out of it, but I like it just the way it is with a little Yukon Gold mashed potatoes. Why ruin it with Mayonaise and bread? Heck no!
I love the way it looks, too. The Panchetta makes a cool latticed pattern across the top, definately a good way to impress guests with somethin’ saucy!

Thirsty Thursday: Champagne, Croutons, and The Walrus

11 Mar
French Champagne that isn’t French?
 
I know what you’re thinking – Champagne is only Champagne when it comes from the Champagne region of France…
 
Well that’s true, but when considering this sparkling wine, it’s fun to pretend.
 
 
This sparkling wine comes from Karma Canyon Vinyards on the shores of Lake Chelan (up the street from my parents house, too!) The unique way they make the sparkling wine is facinating. They ferment it in the bottles on these racks, seen in the image above. This is a classic French tecnique, or so they tell me…
 
 
The winemaker is also trained in France, making it even better! And more French-ish. It was sweet, light, and super bubbly! So bubbly in fact, that I could only fill the glass halfway before it ‘boiled’ over.
 
 
I had this with my homemade croutons last night, so good! (recipe below)
 

Home-made Herb Croutons!

So I’ve had this loaf of bread kickin’ around my kitchen for a while now… Stale, old, perfect.

My husband and I enjoy going to this local pub where they make the most amazing and simple salad of cucumber, croutons, marinated onions and ranch dressing. I wanted to recreate that at home (especially since that simple salad cost a not so simple $6)

It’s really easy to do, and you can make a whole pile for the week!

INGREDIENTS
 
One Loaf Italian, Peasant, or Ciabatta Bread

 
Four to Five Tablespoons Olive Oil

 
1tsp. Italian Seasoning

 
1tsp. Dried Basil Seasoning

 
1/2tsp. Garlic Powder

 
Salt and Pepper

DIRECTIONS

Cube the bread into one inch chunks and put in a large bowl. Drizzle with two tablespoons of the oil and toss. Drizzle the rest and toss again. sprinkle with sesonings and toss a third time until all the bread looks evently coated with seasoning and oil. Pour bread onto a baking sheet and season with a little salt and pepper. Place in a 400 degree oven. Toast for 6 minutes then remove and toss bread. Toast for another 6-8 minutes depending on the crunch you want. I like a medium chewy crunch so I do 6.

Add to your favorite salad or eat right off the pan! Either way, it’s perfect!

looking for some mome-made Marinated Onions? That’s easy as well.

Slice one red onion and put in a ziplock bag. cover with a cup and a half of red wine vinegar, 1 tsp. sugar, salt and pepper, and seal bag. Let sit for at least 30 minutes but it’s best if left overnight… YUM!!!

 
 
The Walrus and The Carpenter
Lewis Carroll
(from Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There, 1872)
  
The sun was shining on the sea,
Shining with all his might:
He did his very best to make
The billows smooth and bright–
And this was odd, because it was
The middle of the night.
The moon was shining sulkily,
Because she thought the sun
Had got no business to be there
After the day was done–
“It’s very rude of him,” she said,
“To come and spoil the fun!”
The sea was wet as wet could be,
The sands were dry as dry.
You could not see a cloud, because
No cloud was in the sky:
No birds were flying overhead–
There were no birds to fly.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Were walking close at hand;
They wept like anything to see
Such quantities of sand:
“If this were only cleared away,”
They said, “it would be grand!”
“If seven maids with seven mops
Swept it for half a year.
Do you suppose,” the Walrus said,
“That they could get it clear?”
“I doubt it,” said the Carpenter,
And shed a bitter tear.
“O Oysters, come and walk with us!”
The Walrus did beseech.
“A pleasant walk, a pleasant talk,
Along the briny beach:
We cannot do with more than four,
To give a hand to each.”
The eldest Oyster looked at him,
But never a word he said:
The eldest Oyster winked his eye,
And shook his heavy head–
Meaning to say he did not choose
To leave the oyster-bed.
But four young Oysters hurried up,
All eager for the treat:
Their coats were brushed, their faces washed,
Their shoes were clean and neat–
And this was odd, because, you know,
They hadn’t any feet.
Four other Oysters followed them,
And yet another four;
And thick and fast they came at last,
And more, and more, and more–
All hopping through the frothy waves,
And scrambling to the shore.
The Walrus and the Carpenter
Walked on a mile or so,
And then they rested on a rock
Conveniently low:
And all the little Oysters stood
And waited in a row.
“The time has come,” the Walrus said,
“To talk of many things:
Of shoes–and ships–and sealing-wax–
Of cabbages–and kings–
And why the sea is boiling hot–
And whether pigs have wings.”
“But wait a bit,” the Oysters cried,
“Before we have our chat;
For some of us are out of breath,
And all of us are fat!”
“No hurry!” said the Carpenter.
They thanked him much for that.
“A loaf of bread,” the Walrus said,
“Is what we chiefly need:
Pepper and vinegar besides
Are very good indeed–
Now if you’re ready, Oysters dear,
We can begin to feed.”
“But not on us!” the Oysters cried,
Turning a little blue.
“After such kindness, that would be
A dismal thing to do!”
“The night is fine,” the Walrus said.
“Do you admire the view?
“It was so kind of you to come!
And you are very nice!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“Cut us another slice:
I wish you were not quite so deaf–
I’ve had to ask you twice!”
“It seems a shame,” the Walrus said,
“To play them such a trick,
After we’ve brought them out so far,
And made them trot so quick!”
The Carpenter said nothing but
“The butter’s spread too thick!”
“I weep for you,” the Walrus said:
“I deeply sympathize.”
With sobs and tears he sorted out
Those of the largest size,
Holding his pocket-handkerchief
Before his streaming eyes.
“O Oysters,” said the Carpenter,
“You’ve had a pleasant run!
Shall we be trotting home again?’
But answer came there none–
And this was scarcely odd, because
They’d eaten every one.