Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Eats: Fettuccine Alfredo

As a girl who keeps her word, here is a personal picture of a recent food-made-fresh-at-home: Fettuccine Alfredo... with a twist-->I used egg noodles instead of fettuccine. Not much of a twist, but the overall effect was delicious!
The recipe comes from the "How to Cook Everything Essentials" app that I downloaded on my handy-dandy I-phone. The picture was taken with the phone as well.
I served the noodles as a quick dinner fix using my eggs my boyfriend brought back home from his family's farm. His parents raise free-range hens that produce beautiful eggs with a deep orange yolk. These eggs are also the reason the sauce for the noodles came out a lovely butter-yellow color. FANTASTIC! I hope you enjoy this fast and easy recipe as much as I did:
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 2 tbsp Butter
  • 1 lb. Fettuccine Noodles (or flat egg noodles)
  • 1 cup feshly grated Parmesan cheese (or more to taste)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • Freshly ground black pepper

1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and salt it. Meanwhile, bring the butter to room temperature (you can soften it in a microwave, but don't melt it). Put it in a warm bowl.

2. Cook the pasta until tender but not mushy (this should take about 10-15 minutes)

3. While the pasta cooks, whisk 2 eggs with 1/2 cup heavy cream and 1 cup grated Parmesan in a warmed bowl. Sprinkle with pepper.

4. When the pasta is cooked, toss it with the cream mixture, adding a little of the cooking water if necessary to keep the mixtur moist. Drizzle with butter, toss well, and serve immediately.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Ode to Epicurious & Coq Au Vin

Source: http://www.epicurious.com/images/recipesmenus/2010/2010_october/361231.jpg

Hello All!

I know it's been a really long time. I've been cooking a lot lately and will get much better at uploading my own food pictures to the site. I've also started a new hobby: Jewelry Making! You can read more about my recent gems and various musings at BPB&LBB. I've been much better at uploading personal pics to that site.

Oh the gems of life!

Speaking of gems, I cannot get enough of Epicurious! For those of you unfamiliar with the site (as I was once upon a time, but no longer,) it has tons of fabulous, workable recipes (and I DO mean workable!) As someone who often looks ups recipes online, there is a constant worry that these online recipes will crash and burn in the kitchen. Not with Epicurious! I recently made their "Quick Coq Au Vin" recipe (with bone in Chicken Thighs, not Chicken Breasts) and it was DIVINE! SO GOOD! Coq au Vin, like most dishes involving wine or beer, is a dish that does best over a longer period of time. Epicurious managed to find a recipe that is not only fast and easy to make but does not sacrifice the flavors of this classic French dish. DO TRY IT! Let me know how it works out.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Fried Beet Chips with Goat Cheese Dip

One of my favorite restaurants of all time has let me down this summer. They have consistently been out of their scrumptious Beet Chips with Goat Cheese Dip appetizers every time I have stopped by. This is unacceptable.

So what did I do? I took matters into my own hands and made my own Beet Chips with Goat Cheese Dip and I have to tell you--they are better.

*Note: The Goat Cheese Dip recipe can be made a little more special by adding your favorite herbs and seasonings. I like dried basil and dill.

Serves 4
  • 6-8 Bulk beets (the smaller version-easier to cut), scrubbed and peeled
  • Canola/Peanut oil.

Slice beets thin.

Fill pot with oil up to 3/4 of an inch. Put on high heat until oil "cracks" when you drip a drop of water into the pot. Then decrease to med-high heat.

Fry beets in small batches to ensure crispiness. ~10 minutes per batch/ until crispy.

Place on plates lined with paper towels to soak up the extra oil. Then transfer to a serving bowl.



Serves 4
  • 5-6 oz. fresh goat cheese
  • 2/3 cup low-fat sour cream

In a bowl/ food processor, beat/mix ingredients until well-combined.


Thursday, June 24, 2010

Salmon With Lemon and Herb Butter

Ok. This blogger has been very bad about the food she has been eating. As a self-respecting foodie, I cannot forgive myself from eating nothing but frozen dinners these past few weeks. In an effort to redeem myself I made a mental promise to cook my lunch for this week. The result?

Salmon with Lemon and Herb Butter:

Serves 4
1.5 lb Salmon fillet
Salt and Pepper to Taste
1 lemon
8 tbsp. of butter (softened)
2 tbsp. fresh finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp. fresh finely chopped dill

Preheat the oven to 425.

Rinse off and pat dry a 1.5 lb salmon fillet (I used Sockeye) and lay in a baking dish (I used a glass Pyrex baking dish). Salt and pepper the fillet on one side. Set aside.

Slice 9-10 extra thin wheels from the lemon and arrange on top of the salmon fillet. Squeeze the rest of the lemon over the salmon fillet.

In a bowl whisk the softened butter, parsley, dill, salt, and pepper together. Take an ice cream scooper and scoop balls of the herb butter on top of the fillet.

Place baking dish in the oven and cook for 30-35 minutes or until fillet starts to flake with a fork and the fish is cooked.

Friday, April 16, 2010

It's the Bee's Knees: Local Honey to Cure Allergies


Spring is awful.

I may be an awful person for saying that. After all, Spring brings the Easter Bunny, warmer weather, and an abundance of lovely flowers. But! Spring also brings my worst allergy symptoms. So when an acquaintance suggested a tasty food remedy to cure my ills, I was all ears.

He suggested local honey. I had never heard of this before. Apparently, taking a tablespoon of locally produced honey provides a daily dose of allergy relief in sweet time.

Being the cautious skeptic I am, I Googled this newfound information. Several articles confirmed, but with a grain of salt. Local honey contains pollens from local flowers. Ingesting this pollen is supposed to relieve allergies and reduce inflammation. However, the different articles were undecided as to whether honey actually relieves symptoms or produces a placebo-effect. The articles also warned that eating too much local honey could worsen symptoms in some individuals.

With all this in mind, I will give it a go, but Benadryl and my local health provider's phone number will be close by just in case.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

It's Like Dog Food


I am not and will never be a fan of meatloaf. In an attempt to rid me of this belief, my boyfriend, who for the purposes of anonymity I shall call "Mr. A," took me to Firehaus Bar & Grill for their Meatloaf Special. The special consisted of a decent helping of Meatloaf, mashed potatoes and gravy, and freshly-steamed corn kernels. Mr. A ordered the special so I could try it while I ordered their Battalion Burger and Firehaus chips for safety; the Battalion Burger is excellent, by the way, and I highly recommend it.

While waiting for our food, Mr. A asked me why I have such an aversion to meatloaf. Meatloaf and I do not get along. It is not that any of the ingredients by themselves disagree with me. I am perfectly a fan of ketchup, bread, ground beef, eggs, salt, pepper, and other seasonings in their own right. But when these items are combined together, it has the texture of bad liver in my mouth and the same unpleasant aftertaste.

Oh, and the meatloaf I grew up with had raisins in it. According to Mr. A, this is a no-no in meatloaf.

So after this little talk, I waited with anticipation. The dishes came in good time. I abstained from tasting my burger and took a swig of water to cleanse my palate. I took a fork and cut a bite sized piece. I chewed the piece and let the flavors sit for a while before finally swallowing. But then it hit me. That taste. That undeniable aftertaste that I always experience when eating was still there. Even without raisins.

I put the fork down disappointed.

Then I began eating my burger and everything was right as rain. Mr. A scarfed down his meatloaf, loving every bite of it.

A part of me wants to like meatloaf, but there has yet to be a version that sits well with my personal tastes. If anyone has a good recipe they want me to try, let me know. I want to be proven wrong.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Menu: Saturday Dinner

We had a dinner this past Saturday with a group of friends. I am not a fan of setting a theme for these events, so the menu was as diverse as it was delicious.

- Sangria
- Bloody Marys

- Multi-grain Bread from the local grocery store
- Mushroom and Sauerkraut salad
- Mixed Baby Greens salad (with feta, cherry tomatoes, red onion slivers, and balsamic vinaigrette)
- Roasted Potatoes and Roasted Sausage Bites

- Beef Burgundy
- Eggplant Parmesan
- Whole Roasted Chicken with rosemary, thyme, carrots, and lemon wheels

- Pecan Torte

Looking back, I should have made the Sangria with a Shiraz and not a Cabernet. I think Shiraz is better suited to the citrus flavors in my particular Sangria recipe. The Cabernet rendered the drink more mellow, more dry, and less sweet than I am used to.

The mushroom and sauerkraut salad was predominately consumed by my Eastern European guests (surprise, surprise.) The mixed green salad was a familiar dish that everyone seemed to enjoy. Among the starters and sides, the definite winner were the roasted potatoes and roasted sausage bites (the sausage was filled with cheese!); this side was very addictive and could have been served on its own.

The main dishes were hits overall. The Beef Burgundy recipe (courtesy of Betty Crocker) came out beautifully; the beef was a well marbled chuck steak and the Burgundy was of low caliber drinking-wise, but suitable for cooking. As per the vegetarian request of one of the guests, the Eggplant Parmesan passed with flying colors. Nearly all of the Eggplant was consumed, leaving only one of the delectable fillets behind for packed-lunch consumption. The chicken was good, but as compared to the other dishes, it was very safe and reminiscent of store bought rotisserie chickens.

Finally, the dinner ended with a Pecan Torte-- a surprisingly light dessert to finish off an otherwise heavy meal.

I will be posting the Pecan Torte recipe in a bit. I am open to recipe requests for the other items listed above.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

An Excuse to Be Tipsy -- Without Being Tipsy


From the manufacturers of Jarritos comes Sangria Senorial!!!!

It's Sangria flavored soda sans alcohol. Oh, and it's made from wine grapes, lemon peel, and REAL HONEST TO GOODNESS SUGAR (none of this high-fructose corn syrup crap.) It's the good stuff as only the makers of Jarritos can deliver.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Stuff of Student Living: Microwave Cooking

There is only one place on earth where microwaves are considered the arsenal of culinary genius: a college campus. From Ramen Noodles to... Souffles? microwave ovens remain indispensable to the lives of college students across the nation. But many people often look over this modern box when it comes to high standards of cooking.

Enter my good friend Mr. E.C. (initials to protect identity.) Mr. E.C. uses the microwave like Hubert Keller uses MAC knives. The first time I chanced upon his secret talent, he was making sushi. Yes. Sushi. Making sushi with a microwave oven.

Before anyone becomes baffled by this (sushi is, after all, a dish best served raw,) Mr. E.C. was using the microwave to cook the rice for the sushi. After realizing what he was doing, the first thought that came to my mind was, "Why didn't I think of that?" In fact, many of the dishes Mr. E.C. makes with the microwave oven are dishes that most of us could make with a little creativity as to the utensils we use. Instead of having to bring cold soggy pasta and heating it up, why not make fresh pasta using a microwave? Instead of a fast food breakfast, why not microwave up some fresh scrambled eggs and bacon? What about fresh soup? Steamed vegetables?

Granted there are other factors to consider when undertaking microwave cooking: clean up, timing, etc. But once these are taken care of, what is stopping us from having freshly cooked food? Of course, many of us will not take it as far as Mr. E.C. (he recently managed to create a perfectly pouffe souffle) but at least the option is there.

Microwave ovens: who would have thought?