I've mentioned my nephew, Charlie, a few times already.
You know, the cutest damn kid in the world? And I'm not just saying that because I'm related to him, in fact, I consider many people I'm related to to be quite un-cute!
You know who you are.
(Anna, I'm just kidding. You know you're beautiful.)
P.S. for clarity, I will be supplementing this recipe with toddler speak, so that Charlie may understand this post and appreciate the love I have for him.
But anyway, one of Charlie's favorite things (probably his favorite word, too!) is Goldfish ("Fsh") crackers. I don't think I've ever seen him more than five feet away from a cup full of them, and he's munching on them all day, every day ("more, peas!").
So when I found this idea in my Dinner Express (better homes and gardens) book, I knew I would have to adapt it for my favorite little guy! ...continue reading →
I had so many plans for this summer, and I was well on my way to accomplishing them in June. Then July rolled around, and brought with it that horrible heat wave that drove all motivation from me. Then work picked up, and I've been busy designing a logo, a website, business cards, and operating manuals for work. Which means a lot of time spent on the Adobe help website, looking up answers to all of my problems.
I have also been working like a dog on my novel, so that I can get it on Amazon by September (back to school presents for everyone you know? Just sayin').
So basically my summer has turned into an eyes glued to a computer screen and butt falling asleep in my chair kinda summer. Boo.
I did set aside time to make some fabulous corn chowder though, because it's the best time to find these guys at your local farm stand (try Knickerbocker Farms in Pittsford, NY for the best sweet corn ever!) ...continue reading →
My next item to recreate from last year's failed first posts was the grilled corn.
When I made this last year, it was my first time attempting to cook corn on the grill. I had no clue what I was doing, but decided to barge ahead blindly and make something up. Well, that something resulted in the aluminum foil leaking out butter, which then caught on fire. Psh...rookie mistake, right?
I wish. Pretty much every time I grill corn it catches on fire. I've learned several tricks since that first time though, and these result in actually edible (and delicious!) final products. ...continue reading →
While I was perusing my friend Bee's blog, over at a Quarter Life (Crisis) Cuisine (congrats on the new domain name, chica!), I noticed her most recent post was a Cinco de Mayo recipe. Panicking slightly, I looked at my calendar and realized it was, in fact, almost May 5th. Where has this spring gone!? With the strange weather we've been getting in Rochester, my brain has not really wrapped around the fact it'll soon be summer.
But it's true, and I must forge ahead. So being inspired by Bee, I frantically searched for a fun Mexican dish to make to celebrate this fun holiday. Five minutes before I left work to go grocery shopping I stumbled upon this recipe for chorizo, bean, and cheese nachos from Emeril, over at FoodNetwork.com. It is layered like a lasagna and baked, and the rings of onions on top gave it a cool polka dot effect that I thought was cute 🙂
Despite my mother not liking sausage, I tend to use it in quite a few of my recipes. I love how versatile it can be! You can cook it whole and shove it in a bun, you can slice it and saute it, or you can crumble it and use like ground beef. Chorizo is different from regular sausage, and it has a distinctive taste that comes from the vinegar and paprika. There are many varieties, so for this Cinco de Mayo dish, make sure you purchase a Mexican chorizo (Spanish chorizo is very different). ...continue reading →
One year ago, if you had offered me an ooey, gooey slice of vegetable lasagna, I would have curled my lip in disgust.
Vegetables? AND no meat? I'll pass, thanks.
I had absolutely no idea what I was missing! My boyfriend found this recipe on the Pioneer Woman's website, and had me help him make it for his mother's birthday. We also made a typical meat lasagna using spicy sausage, and to our surprise, everyone loved the vegetable one more! Several of them had even requested that we skip the mushrooms, but ate the lasagna without knowing that the fungi were hidden among all the other veggies (sneaky, I know).
The secret to this lasagna is in the sauce. It uses a LOT of vegetables, diced very small and sautéed in olive oil and garlic, and then simmered with a can of whole tomatoes. I seasoned mine liberally with red pepper flakes, paprika, cayenne, and chili powder to give it a nice kick. The flavor is rich and incredible, and it makes perfect leftovers. I had a big piece every day for lunch this week! ...continue reading →
This is another "I can't believe this isn't terrible for me!" recipe, from my healthy and indulgent cookbook.
Broccoli casserole is a standard comfort food side dish, but it's typically made with cream, mayonaise, miracle whip and unhealthy amounts of cheese. As awesome as that sounds, here is a lighter version that substitutes healthier ingredients without sacrificing that amazing rich creaminess.
As you're probably well aware by now, I tend to follow set recipes when I cook because I'm so new to the game.
But every so often I go off book and create something by myself. And it just so happens that this one time was a huge success.
Are you holding on to something? Are you ready?
Tacos inside wonton cups.
Now before you tell me these exist elsewhere, please just let me bask in the glow of having created something I didn't know existed without setting anything on fire. That's a pretty big achievement for a newbie like me!
This idea popped into my head one day while I was surfing recipes online and noticed several people using wonton wrappers for cooking. I had no idea what they were or where to find them, but I figured if you could make mini lasagnas, why not mini tacos?
I absolutely love Panera Bread. When I was at school I would make a weekly trip out there to gorge myself on soup-filled sourdough bread bowls. For the first year of my obsession with Panera I ate only chicken noodle soup, but then I tried the broccoli cheddar, and my world was rocked.
I've only made matzo ball soup before (which is the easiest, most delicious thing ever...I'll make it again in the fall!), and so I decided that for my first *non-chicken based* attempt I would make my favorite unhealthy Panera favorite!
And guess what? IT TASTED PHENOMENAL! I'm excited to post a recipe that turned out well to prove to you that I don't always light my dinner on fire or pour a can of spaghettios on top. I found the recipe on CDKitchen.com, but I made a few modifications, so I'll post my directions as well.
You will need:
1 tablespoon plus 1/4 cup melted butter
1/2 medium onion, chopped (I only used a 1/4 of the onion)
1/4 cup flour
2 cups half-and-half
2 cups chicken stock
1/2 pound fresh broccoli
salt and pepper, to taste
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese (As you can see in the picture, I ate half the block of cheese before I started cooking, so I only had about 5 ounces left =P it STILL tasted great though!)
This one sort of came about as a joke, but the more I thought about it the more excited I got. What if this ACTUALLY tasted amazing? It does combine several of my favorite foods! So I convinced my friend (and web-master/photography guru) Ken to help me out, and we just made it up as we went along.
A pizza crust (since we were baking at my house, which lacks a pizza stone, we opted for a pre-made crust. We didn't want to end up like this)
Spaghettios (we went for the Spaghettios plus calcium)
Some shredded pizza cheese
Toppings of your choice (We chose hot dogs, because we already knew they went well with Spaghettios)