Monday, October 31, 2011

Mustard is Evil

I hate mustard. Plain and simple. Never have liked, never thought I would, but lately some recipes have opened up my mind to the possibility of maybe, perhaps, kind of sort of liking mustard. Not plain mustard, mind you, but the wonderfully flavored mustards.

This recipe uses an amazing mustard my boyfriend and I found at the Michigan Renaissance Festival this year. The company, Garlic Festival, is aptly named considering the wide variety of garlic based products they have: seasonings, salsas and dips, marinades, sauces, pickled garlic, and of course, garlic mustard. This particular garlic mustard, is a garlic jalapeno mustard that is quite amazing.

The following recipe uses that mustard, though any other mustard can be used as a substitute.

Garlic Jalapeno Mustard Chicken
2 Servings

2 Chicken Fillets
4-6 Tablespoons of Garlic Jalapeno Mustard
4 Medium Sized Carrots, Sliced
1 Onion, Sliced
Minced Garlic to Taste
Oil or butter for the pan

Step One: Marinate chicken in the mustard for about an hour at least (I really just rubbed the mustard on the chicken and let it sit for a while to soak up some of the flavor.).
Step Two: Heat pan with oil or butter, than add the chicken fillets.
Step Three: Once the chicken fillets have started cooking, add the carrots a few minutes after. Add the onions one the chicken fillets after about half to 3/4s cooked through. Add minced garlic when desired (it all depends on how strong you want the garlic flavor and how well you want the minced garlic cooked).
Step Four: It is finished when the chicken is cooked through, the carrots are soft, and the onions are translucent.

Serve with extra mustard for dipping on the side.

Things to add: Salt/Pepper (this is a definite, I’m fairly certain a touch of both work have done the recipe wonders), other vegetables, more jalapenos.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Breaking News: A New Addition to my Cooking Family!

Of course, when I say "Cooking Family", I mean all my fun utensils and gadgetry that can be found in my kitchen. This new addition I have been threatening to adopt for a long time, but my human family beat me to the punch by literally just a couple of days by giving me one of these babies for my birthday:

20-Cup Cool Touch Digital Rice Cooker

And this baby is not just any rice cooker. She is also a steamer and can make rice while steaming meat and vegetables. Besides that, she can be used as slow cooker (which is great for when I go to make my wonderful soups) and has a time-delay for up to 15 hours (which is amazing considering how busy I get).

Oh my little cooking family has grown! I will be sure to use her to make some lovely new recipes to share and I will definitely let share how well she handles once I do!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Spicing up Diet Drinks

Personally, I like the flavor of diet pop* in the way that people like the musty smell of old books: it's about the memories. My Nana and Pawpaw have always had diet, caffeine free pop in their house, at least as long as I can remember... That still it doesn't mean I necessarily like the taste the best.

So whether you're dieting or just reliving some fond memories, try these tricks to make it taste just a little sweeter.

  • Add just a touch of flavored pop. Seriously, just a dash of a flavored pop mixed with the diet pop and the diet pop will take on the flavor of the flavored pop.
  • Add some flavored syrup. The same goes for flavored syrup, it doesn't take much, but it'll flavor it well. They can also be used in other drinks like coffees or teas. Also try extracts, like vanilla extract if you fancied vanilla pops.
  • Add some fruits. You add lemon to water, why not add lemon to diet pop? You can do the same with oranges and other fruits. Whether you add them in at a whim or infuse it, it will add a little flavor and a little colour. On another note, having a mix of berries looks fabulous in clear drinks if you want spice up the look of pop at a party.
  • Add mint leaves. Not much to say here, I just like mint and already chew mint leaves. So it seems like a natural place for me to use them. Considering I've also had ice cream made from rose petals, you could always try other plants as long as you know they're safe to ingest.
I'm sure there are more things that can be added to diet pop to make it more pleasing to the tongue, but honestly more and more diet pop tastes like the real thing. Have fun experimenting! :)

*"Pop" can be translated to "Soda"

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

(Insert Steretypical Ice Reference Here)

Admittedly, I have a thing for ice. So when I first saw the star ice cube tray at Ikea (Not list on their website/not sold online), I fell in love. I thought of all the amazing things that would happen when I put said ice cubes in my drink: I’d be able to fly, colours would start changing, and suddenly I’d be a millionaire.

Needles to say, none of that happen.

I did however get a giddy feeling in the pit of my stomach when I saw those stars… Which may or may not have been the result from too much whiskey.

So here are some fun ice cubes for you to buy and enjoy!

Colourful Star Ice Cubes (Reusable) via Bed, Bath & Beyond $2.99

Cool Shooters Ice Shot Glass Maker via Perpetual Kid $6.99

Fossiliced Dinosaur Ice Cube Tray (Set of Two) via Perpetual Kid $14.99

Gin and Titonic Titanic Ship Ice Cube Tray Mold via Gadgets and Gear $8.99
Brain Freeze Ice Cube Molds via Think Geek $8.99

Don’t worry, I’ll be posting more in the future including: Top Five Geekiest Ice Trays, Best Kids Party Ice Trays, and more I’m sure.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Fried Apple and Onions

I know what you’re thinking. Who in there right mind fries apples? With onions, of all things! First off, I never said I was in my right mind. Secondly, when visiting Greenfield Village the other day, that’s what the reenactors where about to make for dinner, so our old timey ancestors thought it was a great idea apparently.

While my mother and I did not get a chance to stay and watch how they cooked it, we assumed that we could figure our how to fry’em up! While they are surprisingly tasty, it is an unusual taste compared to what modern taste buds are used too. The onions become slightly sweet and the apple’s sweetness is cut down a bit, but it shines through the onion and bacon grease taste. Hope you enjoy this little experience as much as we did!

Fried Apple and Onions
1 to 2 Servings

1 medium sized apple, sliced (I used a green apple, because that is what we had handy)
1 medium sized onion, sliced (I used a sweet onion, because that is what we had handy)
1 tsp margarine
1tsp bacon grease

Step One: Melt margarine with bacon grease.
Step Two: Add apple slices
Step Three: Once apple slices are appropriately half way cooked, add onion slices.
Step Four: It is done when apples are cooked through and onions are translucent.

I served it with bacon since I do not have random bacon grease sitting around for recipes.

Things to add: Salt/Pepper, sweet spices, savory spices, maybe garlic. Honestly, however, I think it would be better to keep this recipe as simple as possible considering the odd mixture of apples and onions to begin with.