Friday, May 24, 2013

We've moved!

Hello every one!

We've moved!

And by "we" I mean all my blogs into one at this new web address:

See you there!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Beefy Potatoes (And I'm Not Just Talking Muscles)

Hi folks!

This time  I have no witty story, but I do lament that I didn’t have actual beef to put in this. If I did, it would have been absolutely perfect! Then again, look at these pretty pictures and tell me that it doesn't look perfect! I dare you!

(Before Cheese)
(After Cheese)

 Beefy Potatoes
2-3 Servings

- Two Red Russet Potatoes
- One Sweet Onion - 3 Mushrooms
- 4-5 Clove of Garlic
 - ½ of Mozzarella Cheese
 - 2.5 Cups of Beef Broth
- 3 Tbsp of Sweet Baby Rays Original BBQ
- 3 Tbsp of Worcestershire Sauce
 - Frank’s Cayenne Pepper Sauce (To Taste)
- Mrs. Dash (To Taste)
 - Salt and Pepper (To Taste)

Step One: Slice vegetables to your liking.
Step Two: Mix Beef Broth, Sweet Baby Rays Original BBQ, Worcester Sauce, Frank’s, Mrs. Dash, Salt and Pepper in a large bowl. Add vegetables. Make sure everything is evenly coated and then put in baking dish.
Step Three: Put dish in an oven preheated to 450 degrees. Bake until everything is tender ( between 20-40 minutes, depending on the oven and depth of your baking dish).
Step Four: Add cheese. Put in oven for approximately another minute, until cheese is melted.

 Serve with bread to dip in the sauce. Eat with a spoon to get full flavor.


Other Suggestions: ADD BEEF, carrots, broccoli, add flour before Step Four if you want a thicker broth (more of a gravy than a broth).

Friday, March 16, 2012

Raw Cookie Dough and Making it Even Better

The other day I made a huge batch of the safe to eat raw cookie dough (you know, the stuff with out the eggs). When I say huge, I mean a large double batch because apparently 24 oz packages of chocolate chip cookies look the same as 12 oz. So what exactly does one do with two batches of raw cookie dough?

Bake it? What? No! Never!

I mean, that’s just not the point here. Raw cookie dough is that “forbidden” food that our mothers didn’t want us to eat because we could get sick. Sure, this kind is the safe stuff, but let’s not get drastic and cook it!

In fact, here are some ideas of what to do with it:

1) Use it as filling in between cake layers. Think of the yum-gasm when you bite into a cake that has cake and cookie dough!

2) Use it as a dipping sauce. Forget chocolate covered strawberries, bring me some cookie dough covered strawberries… And blueberries and bananas too, while you’re at it!

3) In an ice cream sundae bar. We all set up the sundae bars every one in a while: multiple ice cream types, sprinkles, hot fudge and other syrups, etc. Why not add cookie dough to the mix?

4) Freeze’em. Whether you’re freezing to save it for later or you decide to decide to freeze popsicle style, you can’t go wrong. If you do save it popsicle style, try dipping it in chocolate or strawberry sauce. Then you’ll get a double wow popsicle!

5) Make cookie dough balls. Roll them in balls (or cut them into shapes with cookie cutters) and then dip those bad boys in some kind of chocolate. Then you’ve got cookie dough and chocolate in one tasty bite!

So what are you waiting for? Get out there and have some yum-gasms!

(And if you're unsure of how to make the safe to eat raw cookie dough, Google has plenty of recipes for all kinds of safe to eat cookie dough)

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Bastardized Goddess Chicken

In the constant adventure of trying new foods and the like, I got my boyfriend to buy us some of Annie’s Naturals dressings. Since the Goddess dressing is my brother’s (a vegan) favorite, we got a bottle of it (as well as a bottle of the Shiitake and Sesame Vinaigrette which I was SUPPOSE to cook with too, but SOME ONE forgot to put it in my bag of cooking goodies. Hm… Wonder who that could be?), but unlike my brother, we found it much to bitter for our tastes.

So it sat for almost two months in his fridge, rarely touched, before I dragged it out and decided to use it as a chicken marinade. I was amazed by how a few modifications changed the taste! Below I detail how I seasoned the dressing and how I cooked up the chicken. In total prep took about 13.5 hours, including the chicken marinating, and 20 minutes cooking.

Bastardized Goddess Chicken
2-4 Servings

Half a bottle of Annie’s Naturals Goddess Dressing
3 teaspoons of Garlic Powder
2 teaspoons of Minced Garlic (drain if it is from a jar)
2 teaspoons of Fresh Parsley (Feel free to non-fresh parsley, but I had fresh on hand)
1 teaspoons of Soy Sauce

Mix all ingredients together. This will cut down on the bitterness of the dressing and make the dressing taste more like a garlic tahini sauce. Also, I used only teaspoons of minced garlic because I used the jarred kind which is preserved with vinegar and too much, even drained gives a more vinegar taste.

4 chicken tenders or 2 chicken breasts
Half of a Sweet Onion, cut into stripes

1) Put chicken and marinade in a sealed container. Put the container in the fridge and marinate for 10-13 hours.
2) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
3) While oven is preheating: chop onion and prepare pan or baking dish.
4) Put marinade, chicken and onion on pan or in backing dish.
5) When oven is preheated, cook for 20-30 minutes or until chicken is cooked through.

Other things to add: Broccoli, mushrooms, rice.


Monday, February 6, 2012

Meal Planning

Whether you’re short on money or on time, meal planning can be an essential part of life. I’ve been doing it off and on over the past few months and while not perfect at it yet, here are a few things I’ve learned along the way.

1) Pick One Main Ingredient - If you pick one ingredient (based on sale price, personal inclination, and/or practical reasons), then you can buy it in bulk and use it in every recipe. The ingredient can be anything: meat, vegetable, seasoning, bread, etc. Just make sure it’s versatile enough to make interesting and at least somewhat healthy meals for yourself.

2) Find Recipes with Similar Ingredients - Remember, just because a recipe has similar ingredients, doesn’t mean they taste the same. On that note, if the recipes have similar ingredients, not only if money saved, but prep time is cut down as well since most items get prepped the same way. It’s only in the cooking itself it changes, but green peppers still need to be seeded, potatoes need to be cleaned and peeled, etc.

3) Variety is the Spice of Life - That old saying is true, so use your spice rack to the best of your abilities. Feel free to experiment with your spices and if you don’t have a full spice rack, starting building one up. Not only will it be good for your meal planning, but in the long run, it’ll help keep your kitchen well stocked.

4) Pre-Made Items = Friends - Bags of salad, cans of soup, etc. are great for lunches or additives to bigger meals and can be easily modified. These are cheap, generally healthy, and quite easy/quick to make and eat. I wouldn’t recommend eating them for all meals, since they aren’t as hearty and tend to be full of preservatives, but everything in moderation, as they say.

5.) Stocked Cupboards - Another thing to keep in mind is to keep well stocked cupboards of nonperishables, like box mixes, canned foods, noodles and rice, which can make meal planning even easier. It’s easy to change up mac and cheese by adding even just chicken and chances are, spaghetti or rice will be used often. So when cost effective, buy these items when on sale and keep them in the cupboard. Worse comes to worse, you can use one of these items as a main ingredient or it’ll just keep you from spending too much for an item later on.

6.) Budgeting - Also, making a specific food budget for the month would help keep costs at bay. Meal planning shouldn’t be more costly than willy-nilly buying meals, in fact, it should be much less costly. At the moment, I try to keep between $20-$30 a week and honestly, that can be pretty easy with the amount of brand competition there is any more.

Feel free to share your tips as well.

Good meal planning, every one!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dust off those Cookie Cutters

Let’s face it, we all have large tins of various cookie cutters that we can’t bare to part with, but at the same time may use every other Christmas, if that. Or maybe I’m the only one guilty of that. Even so, there are plenty of other uses for cookie cutters that span not only food uses, but also some fun non-cooking uses.

Cooking Uses:

Shaping Eggs- You can buy an egg shaper made out of the same metal as your trusty cookie cutters, but why not have fun shaped eggs? A lot of cookie cutters even have little handles to make this an even easier project. Just make sure you only use metal cookie cutters and use every precaution to keep yourself safe.

Sandwich Shapers- Stores are making money off of basically selling cooke cutters for sandwiches. While they may be specifically shaped for sandwiches, why spend the extra money if you already have cutters at home?

Bento Boxes: There’s limited room in every lunch box, whether you have a special bento box or just plain tupperware, but cookie cutters help make the most of that space and keeps the foods separate. Not only that, but it helps bring a little bit of colour and flare to any lunch.

Non-Cooking Uses:

Ornaments- Whether you just tie a ribbon on them or actually drill a hole for a ribbon, cookie cutters make awesome ornaments for any holiday, party or day that just needs a little bit of decoration. Best thing is being able to still use them for cookies after.

Soap Molds- Making soap is fun in general, but making shaped soap just takes a little bit more effort and makes the soap more interesting. I wouldn’t recommend using the cookie cutters on food again unless you’ve done a heavy duty cleaning on them, but if the cookie cutters are rarely used for food anyways and you’ll use them on soap making more often, then go for it.

Cross-Posted on my other Blog.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Grilled Chicken Wrap

Some days we all want something home cooked, but that does not mean we have time to pull out several pots and pans to slave in a hot kitchen. Honestly, who really has any time these days?

This latest recipe is something home cooked with out the hard labor, which was nice especially since I actually cooked it while I was in the middle of cooking several other things. It’s quick, simple, easy clean up and tasty. Who could want more?

Grilled Chicken Wrap
2-3 Servings

2 Chicken fillets, season to your taste
½ of a red pepper
½ of a green pepper
½ of an onion
3 tortillas (Or however many are needed, in my case there was enough for 3, but my tortillas were tiny.)
Shredded Cheese to taste

Step One: After seasoning the chicken, grill it until it is finished cooking. Feel free to cut open the chicken to check how done it is, since later on the chicken will be cut apart anyways.

Step Two: While the chicken is cooking, slice the vegetables. I sliced enough for two pieces of each vegetable per tortilla, but again, if you have bigger tortillas feel free to add more of each vegetable.

Step Three: When chicken is done and cooled enough to touch, slice the chicken and divide between the tortillas. Add the vegetables, followed by the cheese. Finish wrapping the tortilla, use a toothpick if desired to hold it closed.

Step Four: Place back on the grill to warm and melt the cheese. If there’s enough cheese, it will hold the tortilla closed and the tooth pick is no longer needed. Serve with a dipping sauce that compliments your seasonings.

If you have time: Saute or grill the vegetables as well.

Also try: adding other vegetables, seasoning the tortillas, other meats, marinating the chicken.