Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Guess who's back..

So I would like to apologize for vanishing from the blogsphere for a while. I had no money for experimenting on food and lacked motivation to try new things.


I got a really nice knife set and spice rack for christmas! I know that I'll be making some wonderful food once the new year starts

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Italian Dressing, Old School...

So I haven't actually made this yet, but it is sitting on a post it in my room, and no doubt going to be lost soon.

Dad's Italian Dressing
  • 2 cups good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 3 shallots, finely diced
  • 1 head of garlic, finely minced (salt on garlic)
  • Bunch of basil
  • bunch of thyme
  • 1/2 bunch Italian parsley
1. Sautee Shallots and Garlic in medium pan until translucent. Add Herbs. Cook for 5 minutes. Let Cool. Add Salt & pepper to taste. Add herbs to balsamic vinegar. whisk vinegar and herbs while adding olive oil slowly.

If this is the recipe my dad use to make it is literally the best italian dressing EVER. I'm hoping when I go home over winter break or when my financial situation is more lucrative I can make this.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Apologies & Gnocchi

Sorry I haven't been around. With the Fiance leaving for Japan and now closing in on the last month of school things have gotten busy. Tonight I decided to break away from Statistics and make some Gnocchi

Gnocchi with Butter Thyme Sauce

For Butter Sauce

1.5 cup butter
1 tsp fresh thyme leaves

For Gnocchi
1 Russet 1 lb potato (I only had Yukon Gold)
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup shaved Pecorino Romano
(I had Parmesan romano)


Cook the butter in a heavy medium skillet over medium heat until it begins to brown, about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat. Add the thyme leaves. Set aside.
Pierce the potato all over with a fork. Microwave the potato until tender, turning once, about 12 minutes. Cut the potato in half and scoop the flesh into a large bowl; discard the skin. Using a fork, mash the potato well. Mash in the salt and pepper. Mix in 3 tablespoons of the egg; discard the remaining egg. Sift the flour over the potato mixture and knead just until blended.
Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Roll each piece between your palms and the work surface into a 1/2-inch-diameter rope (about 20 inches long). Cut the dough into 1-inch pieces. Roll each piece of dough over a wooden paddle with ridges or over the tines of a fork to form grooves in the dough. For whatever reasom my Gnocchi was really sticky so they did not turn out as nicely as Gianda's did.

Cook the gnocchi in a large pot of boiling salted water until the gnocchi rise to the surface, about 1 minute. Continue cooking until the gnocchi are tender, about 4 minutes longer. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the gnocchi to the hot thyme-butter in the skillet. Toss to coat.
Spoon the gnocchi and butter sauce into shallow bowls. Top with the Pecorino and serve.

OVERALL: Very good. I had some problems with the dough. Gnocchi is VERY filling. It's not my favorite thing to eat either, but I was in the mood. Good flavor and great recipe.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Early Thanksgiving

So this past Sunday, I decided to have a little thanksgiving Dinner with the boyfriend, since He'll be in Japan for the actual thanksgiving.

Maple Walnut Turkey
  • Turkey Breast
  • 1/2 cup Maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/2 cup Walnuts
  • Package of Rice

1. Use Uncle Ben's Long Grained Rice (I used a package of white I had) combine with the water, and pour into the bottom of the crock pot.
2. Place the turkey in skin side up.
3. Pour maple syrup & walnuts in.
4. Set on low & cook for 5 hours.

OUTCOME: Um, so the store didn't have turkey breast, they had turkey cutlets. AND I put it on high instead of low. So they were dry. Like Saharan Africa dry. I didn't even eat the turkey, although it did taste good. Next time I won't be so absent minded.


The Success of the night:

Green Beans & Carrots

  • 1/2 cup butter
  • 2 tbsp Mrs. Dash Seasoning
  • Chopped Basil (about 3 leaves)

1. Cook green beans in carrots until tender. We did this by microwave for about 12 minutes.
2. Melt butter and combine seasoning and basil. Mix. Our over Veggies.
3. Enjoy

OVERALL: So honestly (and my boyfriend will agree) these were so fucking good. I actually went back for seconds BEFORE I went back for more sweet potato pie *gasp* He is the one who actually made them, so all credit goes towards him!

His Plate: In a clockwise direction, The overdone Turkey, Green Beans & Carrots, Sweet potato Pie, Mashes Potatoes

My Plate: Mashed Potatoes, Sweet Potato Pie, Chicken from the night before, Green Beans & Carrots, Cranberry

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Grandpa' Joe's Cheesecake

Sorry I've been gone for a while. My boyfriend is in town and I'm spending as much time with him as I can before he leaves for Japan for 2 years. I've been bragging about a cheesecake my grandpa made when I was little. We just called it Italian Cheesecake.

Grandpa Joe's "Italian" Cheesecake

3lbs of Ricotta Cheese
8 eggs (I did 2 eggs and 6 egg yolks)
1.5 cups sugar
0.5 cup flour
0.5 cup heavy cream
1 tbsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
Graham Cracker crumbs.

1. Heat the oven to 425.

2. In a VERY large bowl beat the Ricotta until smooth. gradually add in the eggs, beating after every addition. Once the mixture is smooth, add the sugar and flour. Beat. Add the Lemon zest, vanilla, and heavy cream. The mixture should be smooth, no lumps.

3. Butter the sides of a large spring pan. Sprinkle the graham crackers over, making sure they stick. For a thicker crust, add more crumbs but make sure to press them down.

4. Pour in the batter. Cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Then turn the oven temp down to 350 degrees and cook for an hour. After the hour, turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool for about 10 minutes.

5. Refrigerate for about 3 hours before serving.

OVERALL: This is honestly my FAVORITE cheesecake ever. It's not nearly as sweet as cream cheese based cheesecakes, but is still smooth and rich. It would go great with any type of topping be it fruit, chocolate, or even a base for a pumpkin pie cheesecake. My boyfriend really like it, never having a ricotta cheesecake. But watch out, it's really not that healthy for you, so make this when you are having company over or giving some away because, trust me, you WILL eat it all if precautions aren't taking.

This recipe is very near and dear to my heart. I hope you guys try it and love it as much as I do :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Acorn Squash

Inspired by Tyler Florence's recipe for roasted Acorn Squash, I went out to try one. Believe it or not the store didn't have any, so instead i got Golden Acorn Squash- not REALLY sure of the difference...

Yesterday, I noticed this months food challenge was acorn squash, orange, and sage. So I decided to play along with that, as well as making the original recipe I saw. Funnily enough, we didn't have oranges.

Roasted (Golden) Acorn Squash

1/2 Acorn Squash
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup brown sugar

1. I par boiled the squash for about 8 minutes so it softened up.
2. Melt the butter, adding in the sugar, nutmeg, and cinnamon.
3. Heat the oven to 400. Paint the squash with the butter mixture.
4. Cook for 20 minutes, until tender.

Roasted Acorn Squash Version 2
1/2 Acorn squash
1/2 stick melted butter
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tbsp sage
I'm pretty sure you could add some orange zest/orange concentrate for flavor. About 1/2 orange zested or 2 tbsp orange concentrate. You might wanna 86 the garlic then.

1. Same procedure as above, only combine sage and orange zest/concentrate to the butter.

Overall: SO I've never had squash before and I probably won't have it again. The sage one was really bad. Never make that. The first one wasn't bad, but being that I never had squash, the texture really threw me off. Very stringy and the strings were hard. Maybe I didn't cook it enough? It seriously needs to be like pureed for me to try this again.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Catalina Chicken

So this is a recipe my mom made for my sister and I when we were little.

Catalina Chicken

3 Frozen Chicken Breast (You could use split breast or thighs as well, I just don't like the dark meat)
1 cup Catalina Dressing
1 cup Apricot Preservatives
1 package French Onion Soup Mix

1/2 thinly sliced potatoes (i'd suggest Yukon gold potatoes)
1/2 cup sweet onion/pearl onions

1. Now there are 2 options to prepare this meal. I remember my mom would bake at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. I opted for the slow cooker.

2. Combine all ingredients in the slow cooker/crock pot. Set on Low and cook for 12 hours OR you can do what I did and set on low for about 6 hours, then switched to high for about 3 hours.

OVERALL: Well, I stupidly added water to the mixture, completely forgetting that the water from the frozen chicken would add to the sauce. So mine came out kinda soupy. Next time I'll add maybe a little bit of water. (I added about 2/3 cup, D'oh!)

But the flavor is awesome and the chicken shreds apart, and it's so yummy. Brings back childhood memories. I should warn that the chicken comes out a bit dry, but it doesn't bother me too much, it might turn out moister with dark meat. But my picky roommate liked it so that has to mean something.


Sunday, October 5, 2008

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

My favorite thing about autumn is Pumpkin. I love the smell, taste, texture, and color. Pumpkin Lattes, Pumpkin Muffins, Pumpkin soups, so good. I've been saving this recipe for a while...

Pumpkin Bread Pudding

Recipe provided by Skinny Chef

5 cups day-old cubed challah, brioche or whole-wheat baguette (I used Challah)
1 12-ounce can evaporated milk
1/2 cup packed brown sugar, light or dark
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/4 teaspoon ground clove (I didn't have clove so I added some cinnamon. I have no idea clove was so expensive either...)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 15-ounce can pure pumpkin
1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
Non-stick cooking spray


In a large bowl, whisk the milk, sugar, eggs, vanilla, spices and salt. Add the bread cubes and stir. Set aside and allow to soak for 4-5 minutes or until most of the liquid is absorbed by the bread.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 350 F and coat an 8-inch square baking dish or 5-quart round Dutch oven with cooking spray.
Gently fold in the pumpkin and chocolate chips. Transfer the mixture to the baking dish and cover with foil. Bake 35 minutes or until mixture is slightly firm. Remove foil and continue to bake an additional 10-15 minutes until the chips are melted and the top has darkened slightly.

OVERALL: Pretty good. This is my first time making any type of bread pudding. Its not as sweet as you might think, since there is no white sugar. But it is pretty good. I Love the little chocolate chips, I think that adds a much needed texture. Do not confuse this with the taste of pumpkin pie. So many people think pumpkin is normally sweet-- it's not.

Pumpkin itself is pretty healthy for you, Skinny Chef explains "Pumpkin has tons of beta carotene, an important antioxidant..." It's a shame the most people only experience pumpkin in sweet foods. It's actually part of the squash family and can be cooked in the same way as a zucchini most of the time. Only reason I haven't bought a fresh pumpkin is because they are expensive & heavy.. which comes into play up 3 flights of stairs!

I will definitely make this dish for an upcoming Halloween party and for SURE on thanksgiving.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Kitchen Needs

This semester I moved into a apartment for the first time. Last year I lived in a dorm and was limited in my kitchen supplies. Basically all I had was Cuisinart Grill/griddle, a small cutting board, an old chefs knife, and a plate or two from target. Not that I don't love my Griddle (I do! I just made pancakes this morning), but I needed to expand my kitchen goodies. Granted, I have no job and no income, so this was going to be tough.

What every (poverty stricken college student's) kitchen needs:

Pot & Pans
Most mainstream stores like Target and Wal-Mart have some pots and pans
geared to college kids. I bought a set similar to this one. Granted, they aren't anywhere near the best quality. They are very light and made of aluminum. But, that doesn't mean they don't work as well. They still boil my water and cook the chicken.

If You would rather limit your pot collection (really, I think this is the minimum number of pans you need) because of space issues, or maybe you'd rather by nicer quality pans instead, a large sautee pan and a medium sized pot is all you really need. However, if you do start exploring cooking, you'll find that you do need a couple more pans.

So where can you keep your eye out? Head to Bed, Bath & Beyond, or Linens and Things. I picked up at $60 sautee pan for $5.50. It was slightly bent on the rim, but works just fine! Clearance centers are your friend :)


My favorite thing about cooking is cutting. As weird as that sounds, I like the sounds of a knife on a cutting board. Maybe that's a childhood noise I grew up with, my dad being a chef and all, but for me, it's comforting.

All you REALLY need is a good chefs knife and a paring knife in college. When I went to go buy some knives I was shocked at how expensive they were. $16 for a bread knife? $25 for a chefs knife? And I was at T.J. Maxx! I know thats good quality but I am jobless! Anways, I bought some cheap 41 piece set from target, which included a wooden block and a variety of knives. Granted they suck hardcore.

So really, feel free to splurge on a chefs knife, you can use it for just about anything. My roommate has a really nice one, and we all just use hers.


The question is how much do you like to bake? The absolute necessity is a baking sheet. They are used for so many things: Pizza, cresent rolls, cookies, bread sticks, even toast...I bought a really nice Cuisinart pan at T.J.Maxx for $9.

Everything else is depends on how much you want to bake. Many stores off disposable cake tins, or fancy ones to make someone a cake for their birthday.

Again, these can be found mostly anywhere, Instead of going to cheap shops like walmart and target, search instead for nicer items that are discounted. That is if you enjoy the hunt :)

  • Cutting Board- Just get the large one. Theres nothing more annoying that trying to trim chicken on a tiny cutting board. I was always taught only cut meat on plastic cutting boards. A helpful note (which I thought was common knowledge) DO NOT USE WOODEN CUTTING BOARDS FOR CUTTING MEATS OF ANY KIND. As Enghorn put it:
    "I know you can't put everything in it, but at least mention the difference between plastic and wooden cutting boards. GUH.

    That was joking, by the way. Honestly though, don't want readers getting salmonella because they have raw chicken stuff stuck in their cutting board

    I do enjoy the sturdiness of a wooden cutting board so I got one too. But the wood absorbs the juices of the meats, especially chicken. Wood absorbing salmonella is not cool!

  • Just a helpful note, if you are using a cutting board and it's moving around, put a wet paper towel underneath, it will stop moving :)
  • Measuring cups/spoons- If you plan on cooking a lot it's a good idea to invest.

So why am I writing this? Because A) my sister is going to college next year and probably will be wondering what to get, so this might come in handy B) I see a lot of people buying what they don't need, when they don't cook. That's just wasted money to me.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Still not right :(

So I loved the cheesecake cupcakes I made a while back, I've tried on multiple occasions to make ricotta based cheesecake cupcakes.

Now I have a super awesome cheesecake recipe my grandpa made when I was little waiting in line to be made. But at the time I started fiddling around with this idea, I didn't have the recipe.

I don't remember the exact recipe, but I know I wasn't happy. I used a combination of Ricotta cheese, some cream cheese for the creaminess & stiffness, vanilla extract, and some sugar. As well as Resee Cup topping :)

I found that they weren't sweet enough for me and were lacking some serious flavor. Next time I'll try to mimic this lemon tart recipe from one of my favorite bloggers.

Trust me, they look better than they taste. Very bland. Any suggestions on how I could spruce this up?

I've got about 4 posts in the making this week. I went out today and got all but 2 of the ingredients. Go figure I forget something. Anyways, since exams are done (for about 2 weeks) I have time to play around.

Monday, September 29, 2008

House Keeping :)

I'm going to be changing my URL to sometime next week. I wanted to post for the few of you that do read my blog :)

Also I revamped the main page. You like?

Fruit Pie

This weekend I went home to celebrate my sisters 18th birthday. I wish I brought my camera to post the massive amounts of food. Since my sister loves eating healthy, there was a lot of fruit at the party, ergo I brought home a lot of fruit. I didn't want the fruit to go bad, because I know I tend to have a habit of forgetting I have fruit. So I tried to make something healthy. Here it goes:

Cream Cheese & Yogurt Fruit Pie
  • 1 oz package of cream cheese
  • 1 - 1.5 cup fat free yogurt
  • 1-1.5 cup confectionery sugar
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg


I tried this recipe. I was stingy on the cookies so put a layer of non crushed cookies at the bottom and added the crust that I mangled on top.

Kiwis, Strawberries, Grapes, Anything you can think of!

1. Make the crust accordingly. If I make this again I'm just going to buy a premade graham cracker crust. I think it would taste awesome.

2. In a large bowl, mix the filling ingredients. It should have a pudding-like consistency. When the crust comes out and is cooled, pour in the filling. Add your fruit on top. Sprinkle some cinnamon for decoration.. and awesome taste

OVERALL: Again, wow. The filling is really awesome. It has a wonderful flavor of vanilla with a little zing of lemon. The texture is creamier than yogurt but still light enough that you don't feel heavy after eating. When you are making it, make sure you taste the filling. I wasn't sure on the measurements as far as the Confectionery sugar and yogurt because I was adding yogurt if the mixture was too sweet and sugar if it wasn't sweet enough. But I hope this is healthy enough that my sister would eat this :)

Some other ideas, that I had half way through making this is maybe just having cookies on the bottom and the filling would soak up in the cookies? Sounds awesome to me.


On a completely unrelated note, I brought back a crock pot. Anyone know any good recipes?

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Chicken in Lemon White Wine Sauce

Chicken In Lemon White Wine Sauce

1 Chicken Breast
Flour for dredging, mixed with paprika & 1 tbsp brown sugar
1 cup white wine
1/2 cup water (or chicken broth, but I didn't have any)
2 cloves of garlic
Juice of 2 lemons

1. In a separate pan, make the spaghetti according to the instructions.
2. Heat a large sauce pan with a little bit of oil. I DIDN'T DO THIS BUT NEXT TIME I WILL. Cook the chicken, allowing the chicken to get crispy.
3. In a large sauce pan, heat the wine & water. Add in garlic and Lemon juice. I added a little flour to thicken the sauce. Put the cook chicken in the sauce. Add the spaghetti. Let cook on low for about 7-8 minutes.

: So I loved the flavor. You can see I added some paprika to the chicken itself post cooking. But wow, adding the pasta in gave it such great flavor, I would have just eaten that. I didn't cook the chicken separately, allowing it to get crispy(er). But I was happy with it for tonight.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Gameday Smores and Exciting Prizes :)

So I joined a wonderful Food Blog Site, and I won a prize just for being there! It's actually the first prize I've every won (yay!). Above is the nifty little pin as well as a very sweet card.

Sadly I haven't had much time to cook. I've been trying to save money, dealing with relationship drama, and studying for my exams next week. Tomorrow though is the UF vs. Tenn game, and I've been invited to a few parties. I made some insanely good smores via Hershey's suggestions.

S'Mores Cereal Squares

  • 1/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 4 (1.55 oz. each) HERSHEY'S Milk Chocolate Bars, broken into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 3-1/2 cups honey graham cereal
  • 1 cup miniature marshmallows
1. Butter 8-inch square pan.

2. Cook syrup to boiling in 3-quart saucepan over medium heat or place in large microwave-safe bowl and microwave at HIGH (100%) 1 minute or to boiling. Remove from heat or microwave oven; add chocolate pieces and vanilla, stirring until chocolate is melted. Gradually fold in cereal until coated with chocolate. Fold in marshmallows.

3. Press mixture into prepared pan; refrigerate until firm, about 30 minutes. Cut into squares. Cover; refrigerate leftover squares to retain crispness. 24 squares.

OVERALL: They are still in the fridge cooling, but OH. My. God. Chandler Bing. I nibbled on some leftovers on the spoon and it was so good. Plus it took about 5 minutes to make.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Lime Chicken

From time to time I post recipes I find online, which I plan to make. Tonight I modified this chicken wings recipe. I personally don't like chicken wings, so instead I used 2 chicken breasts. And 86'ed the Avocado dip... because I didn't have any avocados

Lime Chicken Breast

4 cloves garlic, chopped (I actually used a teaspoon of minced garlic, because we didn't have any fresh garlic)
1/4 cup vegetables oil
1 tablespoon tomato paste
Pinch salt
2 tablespoons honey
1 1/2 limes, juiced
2 Chicken Breasts
1/2 lime, zested
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and sliced

1. Mix the oil, tomato paste, salt, honey, lime juice, & lime zest together. Let the chicken Marinade overnight.

2. Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a 8x8 pan with tinfoil. Cook the chicken for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes take the chicken out, cover the pan with tinfoil and cook for a remaining 10 minutes.

OVERALL: Wow. The recipe called to marinade overnight, but seeing as I didn't read that until after I had eaten, I only marinaded the chicken for about 20 minutes. The flavor was wonderful. I probably used the zest of a whole lime, instead of the half recommended. But I was very impressed with the flavors. Also, baking the chicken is a healthier way to make. Normally the chicken I bake tends to be on the dry side, so I covered the baking pan 2/3rds of the way through, hoping it would steam the chicken to prevent drying out. Well, the chicken wasn't dry so yay!

Definitely will be making this again!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Cresent Rolls are good for SO many Things.

One of the things I like to do when shopping is stock up on Buy One Get One Free offers. This week, Pillsbury Crescent Rolls were the choice of the week.

Ideas to spice up your Crescent rolls:

Pizza Rolls
1/2 cup of your favorite red sauce
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese
Optional: Mix in some Parmesano cheese as well.

So this isn't an original idea by any standards. However, it's easy enough to make for a quick snack for hungry college students or a kids sleepover. Be careful not to add too much sauce to the mixture, it WILL leak out and make cleaning a pain (so spray with pam)

Pigs In a Blanket!!!
Favorite Mini Weiners (haha...) or sausages.

This is really a classic example. Roll the hotdog (I prefer sausage) in the roll. These would go great with an egg breakfast or a kids sleepover party.

Jelly Belly

1/2 cup favorite jelly.

This is something my mom use to do in the mornings when we didn't have time for a big breakfast. Take your favorite jelly (Grape, Strawberry, Apricot, Red Current, Pumpkin, etc...) and brush the jelly on the rolls before you roll them. This recipe is a bit messy to clean up so make sure to spray with Pam.

Nutella Rolls.
1/2 Cup Nutella.
Favorite Fruits to eat with (Strawberries, Raspberries, Bananas)

This is the only recipe that you actually bake the rolls as normal. Once they are done, cut them in half (like a sandwich) and spread the nutella. Honestly, if You haven't tried Nutella it's an amazing indulgence.

Mexican Delights

chedder cheese
Diced Jalopenos

The Beauty of all of these is it only takes 10-13 minutes. There is one pan to clean up. And Most of these ingredients are already in your pantry. Most importantly, it's very inexpensive and can be substituted for a meal.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Red Wine Chicken

Red Wine Chicken
adapted from this recipe

2 Chicken Breast
1 cup Flour
2 tbsp Paprika
2 tbsp Hot Chili Powder

1 Cup Red Wine
Half an Onion, sliced thinly
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup water or Chicken Broth

1. Set up a station to dredge (or dip) the chicken into the flour/paprika/chili powder mix. Make sure the chicken is thoroughly coated. Heat up a medium size pan with oil. When the oil is ready drop the chicken in and let it cook for about 3 minutes on each side. The chicken will continue cooking throughout this meal.

2. Remove the chicken. Drain the oil, saving a very small amount. Add the wine, brown sugar, water/chicken broth, and onions. Let this boil for about 5 minutes. Add the chicken. Cook covered for about 15 minutes.

On a side note, I sliced up a potato and sauteed in oil with some pepper for about 10 minutes.

Overall: I know the red wine cooking with chicken isn't ideal. Red Wines are much better with beef and maybe pork. However, I don't eat that. My roommates parents brought us 2 bottles of red wine because the kitchen has a large collection of wine bottles displayed, from the old roommate, not me. Not wanting to be rude, I accepted the wine. Too bad no one in the apartment drinks wine.

Onto the chicken. I suppose I would have marinaded the chicken in some red wine for about 20 minutes before cooking? I don't know, there wasn't a lot of flavor in the chicken for me. It actually tasted better the second day! This meal was easy enough to make and didn't require constantly being at the stove. I've never cooked with wine before so I don't know if the lack of powerful flavor is something normal. I would make this chicken again though, with some modifications. Any suggestions?

Friday, September 5, 2008

Sweet Potato Fries

Good News. I got my Camera back :) So this was my dinner tonight. The top are my Favorite carrots to make. The Bottom Right is sauteed Honey Teriyaki marinaded chicken. And the the bottom left is my experiment.

Sweet Potato Fries

2 Sweet Potatoes: Cut into steak fries.
1/2 cup butter
2 tbsp Honey
1 tbsp Cinnamon
2 tsp Nutmeg

1. Spread the cut sweet potato onto a baking sheet. Try not to have them overlap.
2. Melt Butter in microwave. After melted, mix in Honey, Nutmeg, and Cinnamon.
3. Take a Brush (or a spoon) and cover the sweet potatoes in butter mixture.
4. In a 375 degree oven, put the sweet potatoes in for 20-25 minutes.

OVERALL: So I kinda messed up on the sweet potatoes. I Put the oven on at 400, which I realized was too hot, so about 5 minutes after them being in I turned it down to 375. Also, I just bought a new baking pan and am still not use to working with it. That being said the bottoms of the potatoes came out burnt :( However, that being said, the flavor was awesome, very much like a sweet potato pie. Most recipes use paprika for these fries, but being that I don't have any I opted to listen to my sweet tooth.

On a side note, I've been buying pre-packaged perdue chicken and I have to say that this chicken has a weird flavor & texture that I am not fond of.

Monday, September 1, 2008

Internet Recipes

So I'm back in school, living in an apartment with basically NO cooking pans, spices, bakeware, utensils, and all that important stuff. I just purchased a 7 piece cooking set, along with a basic set of knives and other kitchen necessities. I still don't have my camera with me. On this lovely labor day, I've decided to clean out some of the internet recipes that I've been saving to make by posting them on here:

P.F. Changs Chicken Lettuce Wraps
Now, I've never made these, so I don't know if the recipe is good, there's a lot of items that I would have to go buy because a college kitchen normally doesn't have sesame oil... but if these are anything like what P.F. Changs serves, they are insanely good....

Chicken Florentine. Oh Paula Deen. Your fattening chicken florentine cassarole looks too good to pass up. I've been looking for some chicken cassarole dishes, because they are easy... and easy is important when I'm craming for exams.

Soups Galore!. Here is a site that contains about 100 soup recipes. Some favorites for me are Pumpkin, Thai Wonton Soup with Shitake Mushrooms, and Strawberry Soup In Melon Bowls.

Lime Marinated Chicken Wings with Avacado dip. Now I would just use this as a marinade for regular chicken breast, or chicken cutlets. I'm really not a fan of chicken wings.

Chicken and Mango Skewers. haha I can use my Cuisinart Grill. Pwned.

Pumpkin Cup Pies. Yeah I am a Pumpkin Fiend. I can't tell you how much I love November because Pumpkin comes back in Fashion!

Thats all for now. Now let's see if I can actually make these things :)

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sweet Potato Pie

So tonight I was invited to a wonderful Pot Luck Dinner, although there wasn't much dinner type foods. It was more potatoes and desserts. Having never been to one myself, I assumed everyone brings side dishes and main dishes and completely neglects my favorite meal: dessert. So I made something that disguises itself as a side dish AND as a dessert. Sneaky, I am. Turns out everyone had the same idea I did! It's cool. I tried some AWESOME stuff and will try to replicate. Next time, I'm going to make Chicken salad :)

Unfortunately I don't have my camera charger/USB cable, so I didn't take any pictures of the outcome. I used This Recipe

Sweet Potato Pie

1 (1 pound) sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup butter, softened
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 (9 inch) unbaked pie crust

  1. Boil sweet potato whole in skin for 40 to 50 minutes, or until done. Run cold water over the sweet potato, and remove the skin.Uh no. I peeled the sweet potatoes and diced them into about 3 inch circles. This cuts down on cooking time. Also, how impossible must it be to take the skin off something that's that soft?
  2. Break apart sweet potato in a bowl. Add butter, and mix well with mixer. Stir in sugar, milk, eggs, nutmeg, cinnamon and vanilla. Beat on medium speed until mixture is smooth. Pour filling into an unbaked pie crust.
  3. Bake at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for 55 to 60 minutes, or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Pie will puff up like a souffle, and then will sink down as it cools.

OUTCOME: The pie was very good. I Don't think it was as good as the recipe I normally use, which I can't find at the moment. The pie was creamy, but not as sweet as I am use too (which may be a good thing). Now the kicker for this pie (ESPECIALLY ON THANKSGIVING) Is to add Jumbo marshmallows on top of the pie, let the marshmallows have a nice light brown before taking them out. That's what this pie was missing.

Image used from here

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Stephen Mayper's Pistacho Cake

This cake was made for me by a really good friend for my birthday this year. I asked him for the recipe to make this cake for my mom's birthday. So here we go:
Pistacho Cake:
1 box yellow cake mix
1 pkg pistachio pudding jello mix
4 eggs
1 stick melted butter
8 oz sour cream or plain yogurt (I Opted for Sour Cream)
1/4 cup canola oil (Used Sunflower Oil because i couldn't find canola in the house)

Chocolate Cream Cheese Frosting (Not part of the original recipe, but added on because every cake needs frosting!)
1 8oz package of soften creamcheese
3 cups confectionary sugar
1 cup sweetened cocoa powder

Just mix everything in a big bowl, sprinkle cinnamon sugar in your greased pan, pour 1/2 batter, pour a thicker layer of cinnamon sugar, the rest of the batter, and some more cinnamon sugar.

it was quite a thick batter, not what I'm use to making.

to be extra special I added a heart for my mom's birthday!

This cake is insanely good. It's a heavier cake, so one to two pieces in one sitting. But for cake enthusiats it goes fast. The frosting was INSANE. I basically altered a vanilla recipe, hoping that the ratio of chocolate would be alright. It totally was. I only wish I had gotten to pipe more designs on the cake.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Mini Cheesecake Cupcakes

So this is actually a dessert! Sadly I made these a while ago, but I loved them so much and I stumbled on the recipe again, I had to post it.

Mini Cheesecakes
2 (8 oz.) block cream cheese
2 eggs
1 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Oreo Cookies

1. Soften cream cheese to room temperature.
2. Mix cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla together until smooth.
3. Place 1 whole oreo in bottom of foil cup, fill 3/4 full with cheese mixture (approximately 2 dozen).
4. Place cups on large cookie sheet, bake at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes.
5. Refrigerate until served. Optional: Top with pie filling or fruit of your choice. (I opted for the Kiwi and Strawberry)

Overall: These are such a wonderful dessert. If I remember they weren't heavy when you ate them. But man were they addicting. The oreo at the bottom added a nice base and flavor for the cupcake. I sadly don't have any pictures without the wrappers on them. I suppose if you wanted to be health concious, you could use low fat cream cheese or something.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Restaurant Review!

Restaurant: P.F.Changs
Price: $15 on avg per person.

So I've never been to this place, but my grandparents gave my sister and I a gift card to eat there. I got the Dali Chicken, which apparently was sliced golden yukon potatos and chicken marinated in a chili garlic sauce, or something spicy! Loren got a bowl of Hot and Sour soup and Holy fuck was it big. Nicole (Loren's friend) tagged along and orderd the CHopped Chicken salad.

Then we ordered Cheesecake...

Overall the food and atmosphere was wonderful. Having never been, I know I will go back. I kinda thought it was the chinese equivelant to Cheesecake Factory... at least the share the same decorator!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Orange Chicken Dinner

Today was an intense day in the kitchen. After a failed cookie experiment, I decided to make dinner for the Fam. My mom and step dad have been working really hard remodeling a townhouse we have to rent out by wednesday. So I used this recipe (with variations)

The flavor of the chicken was awesome, I would seriously be content to have this chicken with mashed potatoes and peas. For the vegetables we used sauteed onions and carrots, and canned peas and corn. Not really a fan of the veggies, but the carrots and onions were good. It wasn't my idea to put in the corn and peas, but whatever. Add in the Pad Thai noodles we had, and it was good. I don't really like the texture of pad thai though, so for me I mainly picked at the chicken. Also, we didn't use peanut oil or oyster stock. I like using things in the panty, and keeping the grocery bill to a minimum.

I would definetly make this chicken again, but only the chicken!

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Peach Cobbler.... or Crisp?

So I bought store made pie crusts, waiting to make this dinner, but every time I've gone to make it, we've been missing a key ingredient. So this morning I decided to improvse a Peach Cobbler... or Crisp. I'm not sure the difference. Actually I think it's both.

To the right are the ingredients I played with:

1 Store Bought Pie Crust
1 Can Sliced Peaches
1 Cup Sugar
1 Cup Flour
1 tsp Nutmeg & Cinnamon

Directions: Take the pie crust out of the freezer to thaw for 10 minutes (or however long the direction say on the back of the package).

In a medium Mixing bowl, combine Sugar, Flour, Nutmeg & Cinnamon (Looking back, I would have cut the cup of sugar and tried half brown sugar and half white sugar... just to see). Cut in about 1/3 cup butter. You want it to look coarse, it's suppose to be a crust.

Drain the peaches and dump them into the pie shell, spreading them out on one layer... then add the crisp mix ontop.

See? Easy right? Put in a 375 Oven for about 30 minutes....

Cooking away....

Overall: Sadly, the crisp wasn't crispy enough. I think I put too much butter in. Also, I would have seasoned the peaches themselves then they were drained with some cinnamon and nutmeg, maybe some vanilla. I really wanted to make a spiced peach cobbler/crisp, but I was too impatient to search for the spice that did that! It tastes alright, nothing spectacular.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Chicken, Rice, Carrot Dinner

I haven't been making a lot of Desserts as of late (although I really want to). The main reason has been my insane poverty. I'm working a camp job 35 hours a week, or more, and yet have no money.

So I've been experimenting with whats in the house-- which is never sweets. We don't have any Flour for baking or other key ingredients (Baking powder!). So I've been experimenting with Dinners.

Tonight I used a new Rub that I found online.

Chicken Rub
2 tbsp Brown Sugar
2 tbsp Peprika
1 tsp Chili Powder
1 tsp Salt
I added some Garlic salt to mine, just a sprinkle though!

Chop up 2 peeled carrots and Place into a microwavable bowl. Add Dried Sage Rub. I added quite a bit, maybe about a capful? Microwave until soft (5 minutes? I dunno I had the microwave do it lol). When they are fork tender, taste to see if there is enough flavor, if not add some Mrs. Dash seasoning. Unfortunatly I added WAY too much, thereby only being able to taste that seasoning.


I really liked the Chicken rub. I can definetly seeing this made before hand. Sadly I had the pan on too high and seared the chicken more than intended. *Note to Self, Use medium heat instead of Medium-high* The sugar carmalizes nicely and creates a wonderful flavor, with a little heat from the chili powder.

The Carrots were amazing... until I overseasoned them. I'll admit I have a heavy hand with seasoning. For anyone who hasn't tried Carrots with Sage as a seasoning, it's really all you need. They are SO good.

Thursday, July 17, 2008



1 Box of store bought pie dough
Shredded Meat of your choice (I used Taco chicken from the night before on mine, Ground beef
on Lorens, We wanted to use pulled pork meat)
Handful of Shredded Mexican cheese
1/2 cup chopped Onions
Chopped Jalopenos (as much as you can stand)

Unroll the pie dought onto a baking sheet. Mound the meat, cheese, onions, and jalopenos into 4 seperate mounds. drape the 2nd pie douigh over. Using a knife, cut the dough into 4. Bake at 450 degrees for 10 minutes.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

To-Make list

Applesauce Bread This recipe was made by Paula Deen, so I know it's good & fattening.

Mint Chocolate Cheesecake. This has been on my list for a while, but haven't really had an occassion to make.

Ricotta Cheesecake. My favorite type of cheesecake.

Recently I've been recovering from my chicago trip, and now I'm under the weather.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Cherry Buckle

So my sister and I have been watching Food network of late. My favorite show thus far is Semi-Homemade with Sandra lee. The other day we watched an easy to make recipe for something called a Cherry Buckle... something I've never heard of. It was so easy to make and WONDERFUL to eat.
Pear and Cherry Buckle

1 (26-ounce) can cherry pie filling
2 (15-ounce) cans diced pears in syrup
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 (18.25-ounce) box yellow cake mix
1 stick butter, cut into small pieces
1 (1.19-ounce) packet maple and brown sugar instant oatmeal
1/4 cup sliced almonds
Whipped topping, for serving

Spray a 5-quart slow cooker(Mmm... crock pot meals) with butter-flavored cooking spray (we used regular Pam) and set aside.

In a large bowl, combine pie filling, pears, and almond extract. Pour into prepared slow cooker. Sprinkle cake mix over fruit mixture. Dot with butter. In a small bowl, combine oatmeal packet and almonds. Sprinkle over cake mixture. (For this part we just poured Cherry filling, pears, cake mix, and oatmeal in the crock pot. Less Cleaning. We didn't use almond extract or almonds at all)

Place 8 paper towels over slow cooker bowl and secure with lid. (This helps to trap steam.) Cook on LOW setting for 4 to 6 hours. Do not lift lid to check cake for the first 3 hours. (It's SO tempting)

Serve warm with whipped topping.

I'm learning on the photos. I didn't get a good shot of the dessert on plates because it was gone WAY to quickly.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Introductions and Chocolate Cake Derivative

A little Introduction into my cooking experiences:

I'm a baker. I Love baking cakes, cookies, pies. Any dessert I will attempt to make, ingredients provided. My late father was a Gourmet Chef, while on my mothers side, I come from a lineage of bakers. I've never really experimented with cooking before because I tend to like cooking alone and the idea of cooking while having my mother or step father critizing me over adding too much salt or whatever, isn't appealing.

However, this summer I've been alone alot which leads to some tasty-- or not so tasty-- treats. This fall I'll be on my own and I'd like to remember what I made or would like to try. So in the blog I hope to record some creations, bookmark some recipes I hope to cook, and become popular enough that I can get advice from others. But that's wishful thinking for the moment.


1 Box Chocolate Cake mix
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/2 8 oz bag of coconut

Prepare the cake as per directions on the box and add in the orange zest when mixing.

Since we had no frosting ingredients for ANY type of frosting/glaze, we opted for toasting coconut and sprinkling it ontop with some leftover coffee from the morning as a 'glue'