Saturday, October 2, 2010

Baking

Baking baking baking. Ugh. It is a big love-hate relationship. A few months ago, I was dying to make my delicious Oatmeal Chocolate Chip cookies. I never got a chance to because I do not have a fancy-schmancy Kitchen-Aid mixer (maybe for Christmas?). I love making cookies, cupcakes, cakes, anything fun and easy. So I am in a Breads class and Individual Fancy Desserts class. I was super excited because I though it would concentrate around those items more...boy was I wrong. Baking bread is one of the most tedious things in the world! Don't get me wrong, homemade bread is one of the best things in the world, but I don't want to spend 4 HOURS making just a couple of loaves. In my Desserts class, it's all about using different sauces, decorative sugars, petite cakes, flans, pears, eclairs, and desserts in martini glasses. Sounds great, right? WRONG! I am having the hardest time with this class. You see, with cooking I am creative with making sauces, sides, vegetables, and meats. I love being creative with cooking. I really like being creative with desserts, however I am struggling in this class. I want my plates to look sophisticated, and not piled on with 20 different elements. I stand at my station, staring at my plate, hoping that an idea will strike me, and then at that time I am time crunched, and I just through stuff on the plate. A couple of weeks ago, we had to make desserts with pears. My teacher told us we could bake them in phyllo or pastry dough. I prepared for this lesson, and cooked my pear in honey, white wine, thyme, and of course, butter. I made a cardamom whipped cream and paired it with the pear. Was mind blowing. So we have little competitions, and they are judged by other teachers. Really liking mine, I thought I would at least place. Nope. She said it needed more. No it didn't. It had the perfect amount on the plate. So annoying. I take the time to look for something to make, and it back fires.
So these classes have been stressing me out, and I decided to take the week off from them. I feel a lot better, and I have been doing research, and FINALLY I feel more confident. I need to push through this semester, and get it over with. Ha wish me luck, right?

Wanna see the picture I took of my pear? Let me know what you think.

Oh and everyone should check out this awesome website for food decorations, it's mostly for cakes and such, but they do a lot of fun, different foods. It's http://cutestfood.com/ so check it out. It's very inspiring.

So for this post I could not choose between these two quotes, so I decided to share both of them with you.

"There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love chocolate, and communists." -Leslie Moak Murray
"Stressed spelled backwards is desserts. Coincidence? I think not!"
-Author Unknown

Monday, August 16, 2010

Healthy Post

Hello everyone!! My, my, my, it has been too long since my last post. Not to worry, I do have much to talk about in this post, and in the posts to come.

Eating healthy...ugh. I always try not to think of anything negative with this. It's about flavor for me, not quantity. Most healthy foods to me taste the same. However, buying lean meat, vegetables, and seafood is extremely healthy, unless you drown it in butter of course. Cooking a great piece of tilapia is one of my favorite healthy meals (recipe below). When eating healthy, you should never ever be afraid of your spice cabinet. Did you know spices have ZERO calories? Did you just do a double take? That's right, zero calories on all spices. So adding flavor to any dish is easy, however that's where your own creativity comes in. Another good tip is, imagine your plate, and now divide it into 4 quarters. In 2 of the quarters fill half with vegetables, in another quarter fill with your starch, and the last quarter protein. You will be full more with vegetables, thus making it better for yourself. Put down that salad, and eat like everyone else at the table, but with better portion control.

So for the past month or so, I have been meaning to post this wonderful recipe. Being busy and all, I couldn't find time, so now I'm making time. I made Summer Squash Sloppy Joes. Oh my YUM! I already have a great recipe for Sloppy Joes, but this one has so much more stuff in it!! It's all vegetables and sweet meat. I hope to make it again very soon before summer is over.

Summer Squash Sloppy Joes

Ingredients:
-1 pound ground lean beef or turkey
-1/2 onion, finely chopped
-1 carrot, chopped
-2 summer squash, diced small, zucchini or yellow squash
-Half of a red bell pepper, diced
-1 6-ounce can tomato paste
-1 cup of water
-3 tablespoons of Worcestershire sauce
-1/4 cup of brown sugar
-3 garlic cloves, minced
-1 tablespoon mild chili powder
-A pinch of red pepper flakes
-1 teaspoon paprika
-1 teaspoon dried oregano
-Salt and Pepper, TT
-6 hamburger buns

Directions:

-Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.
-Heat a large, deep skillet over medium-high heat. Sauté the ground meat first with the garlic. When it is almost browned, add the carrot, squash, and bell pepper. Cook for about 10 minutes. Add the onion and cook for another 5 minutes.
-Stir in all of the tomato paste and add the water a little at a time. The tomato paste should be dissolved, and the consistency should be the perfect sloppy joe consistency.
-Add all of the spices and salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to medium and continue to cook until the mixture has thickened, 8 to 10 minutes.
-Divide the hamburger buns, and toast in the oven for about 4 minutes.
-Pile up a good helping of the sloppy mixture on a warm toasty bun. Serve and enjoy!
-A great side to have with this is sweet potato fries. Julienne the fries, add a little cayenne, pepper, and salt, and cook at 350 for 30 minutes. Delish!
-If there are any leftovers, or your kids are a little picky, add it to mac-n-cheese.


Pan-Fried Tilapia with Edamame and Rice

Ingredients:

-1/4 cup all-purpose flour
-2 teaspoons seafood seasoning, such as Old Bay Seasoning
-1 teaspoon of cayenne
-1 teaspoon salt
-1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
-1 1/2 pounds fresh tilapia fillets
-4 tablespoons canola oil (2 for fish, 2 for edamame)
-2 tablespoons butter
-2 garlic cloves, minced (1 clove for fish, 1 for edamame)
-2 tablespoons lemon juice
-2 tablespoons freshly chopped parsley leaves
-1 medium onion, chopped
-1 (10-ounce) bag frozen shelled edamame, thawed
-1 cup of rice, 2 cups of water, 1 tablespoon of butter


Directions:

-Heat the oven to 300 degrees.
-Add rice, water and butter to a pot, and cook.
-In a shallow baking dish combine flour, seafood seasoning, cayenne, and salt and pepper. Add the tilapia and lightly coat each side.
-Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Shake off any excess seasoned flour and place in the skillet. Brown on both sides, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Place tilapia on a baking sheet that is lined with a paper grocery bag or paper towels and keep warm in the oven while you prepare the sauce.
-Turn down the heat to the pan the tilapia was cooked to low and add the butter. Once the butter is melted, add the garlic, lemon juice and parsley and sauté for 2 minutes. Place the fillets on serving plates or a platter, top with the sauce and serve.
-Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onions and garlic, season with salt and pepper, to taste and sauté for 2 minutes. Add edamame and sauté for 4 minutes until edamame are heated through and onions are tender.
-Serve and enjoy.
-The edamame and onions taste great with soy sauce or even the sauce you made for the fish.


So you see, healthy eating can be lots of fun. Just remember vegetables and portion controlling is your best friend. I'm trying myself to eat healthier. I know it is hard. I always like to sneak in large portions and lots of sugar, but it takes a little self-control. I wish you all luck, and myself luck.

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2ooo of something."
-Mitch Hedberg

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Twitter/Blogspot/Facebook Vacation

Hello everyone and Happy Sunday! I just wanted to take a post and apologize for not posting in a long time. I have been so busy that I decided to take a Twitter/Blogspot/Facebook vacation. So now since I have more time nowadays, I will post very soon. I'm in Florida on vacation right now, so maybe later I will post something fun, or when I get back. I am trying to figure out what to do with chicken tonight. I'll think of something. I hope everyone is enjoying the remaining days of July! Love to all, especially my fellow foodies out there!!!

"Do vegetarians eat animal crackers?"
-Author Unknown

Friday, June 25, 2010

Question/Photo of the Week: Basil

Photo:

Question: Do you like basil? In what dishes, do you like to incorporate it?

I am now becoming obsessed with basil! The aroma and taste is wonderful.

Traditionally, basil is used in savory dishes such as, Italian cuisine. I have used basil when making Parmesan crusted chicken and tomato basil salsa. It tastes extremely fresh. However, cooks all over the country are starting to use basil in sweet dishes. Did you know that basil is a member of the mint family? If you eat a basil leaf by itself, you can taste a little mintiness on your tongue. You know how at some restaurants, they garnish their desserts with mint? That is so overrated and so over done, that now they are garnishing with basil. Not just garnishing though. Cooks are adding basil with fresh strawberries, ice cream, and cakes. Instead of being just a dessert, it adds a sense of sophistication and freshness. So next time you are in the grocery store, and you are going for the mint, grab some basil instead, and cut it chiffonade style. You will be very impressed!!! If you want it a little savory, I suggest buying fresh mozzarella, heirloom tomatoes, basil, and extra virgin olive oil, and balsamic vinegar. Slice and drizzle the oil and vinegar over. There you have a healthy snack.

"Much virtue in Herbs, little in Men."
-Benjamin Franklin

Monday, June 14, 2010

Steak, My Favorite Animal

Hi everyone! Sorry about not posting a "Question/Photo of the Week" this past Friday. Things got a little busy, and I didn't have a chance. This Friday though, for sure, there will be a post!

So this past week was Matthew's Dad's Birthday! Happy Birthday, again, Mr. B! We celebrated his birthday with a great homemade dinner. We had baked potatoes, garlic bread, and best of all, steak. Not just any steak, my friends. We bought two giant rib eyes and two New York strips, one for each of us. We seasoned each with Montreal Steak Seasoning. A few minutes on a sizzling hot grill, and we had ourselves a monstery, juicy, hunk of meat. And when I say hunk, I mean hunk. I cooked mine to medium rare, and it was perfect. It melted in my mouth, the way a steak should. Thank you again, Bartleson family!

Steak is amazing. All I really need on it is salt, pepper, and maybe some crushed garlic. Medium rare is the only way I will eat a steak. If it "moos" a little, then perfect! Too done is too tough. It's like eating a hockey puck. With a great piece of meat, you don't want to kill it anymore than it already is.

A great recipe I have is called Jalapeno Pesto Steak. In a food processor, blend a jalapeno, cilantro, one clove of garlic, and the zest and juice of one lime. Add about a tablespoon of olive oil to blend. Choose your favorite cuts of meat and marinate for about a 30 minutes. Grill on high heat. Dice some tomatoes and lay across on the steak. Enjoy!

"The only time to eat diet food is while you're waiting for the steak to cook."
-Julia Child

Friday, June 4, 2010

Question/Photo of the Week: Holy Guacamole!!!!

Photo:

Question: How do you make your guacamole? Do you like it on anything special or just with chips?

In one of my classes this past semester, we were discussing what the best all round food is. The answer was, of course, pizza (See May 28th post). However, at first I said guacamole! Creamy, chunky, and buttery, all at the same time. Traditionally, it is filled with tomatoes, onion, a Serrano chile, cilantro, and lime juice. Of course, guacamole would be nothing without the main star, avocado! It is good by itself, sliced in half with kosher salt, cracked pepper, and lime juice. All you need is a spoon to eat with. Mayo is the bane of my existence. So when making a tuna sandwich, instead of adding mayo, I add avocado. I still get that creamy, buttery texture that mayo also has.

I love true, beautiful, and raw ingredients. I also love anything vegetarian that has so many varieties. Really, a true guacamole is all raw ingredients that when joined together, makes perfect harmony.

Guacamole is my weakness in this world. I am willing to pay an extra $1.80 for guacamole on my burrito at Chipotle, it is just that amazing.

I made guacamole tonight for dinner with Baja Shrimp Fajitas. In my guacamole, I like a lot of stuff. I put avocado, obviously, tomatoes, red onion, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice, salt, pepper, and my secret ingredient, yellow bell pepper. Start with three avocados and mush them a little before adding the other ingredients, and leave them a little chunky. Add two tomatoes, diced. Finely chop about a tablespoon of the red onion. Finely chop half a jalapeno. I like just using the cilantro leaves, so just get a little bunch, and roughly run your knife through it. For something a little extra special, zest your lime and juice it. Use about less then a quarter of the bell pepper and finely dice it. Salt and pepper TT and you have some great guacamole. With all the extra bell pepper, jalapeno, and onion, slice, and stir fry for some Baja Shrimp Fajitas.

If you don't feel like doing all that chopping, here is a great recipe I like to call "Holy Lazy Guacamole". You need 2 avocados, one lime, an 8 oz jar of medium Picante Salsa, and salt and pepper TT. Cut up the avocado and mush it lightly in a bowl. Add a about a quarter cup of salsa to the avocado. Add the lime juice and salt and pepper. Mix until combined, and there you have some "Lazy" guacamole.

Here are some other recipes for guacamole!!!

Spicy Papaya

Ingredients:
-1 papaya, diced
-Juice of 1 lime
-Half an habenero chile, use gloves if you, wash your hands thoroughly after use
-A little bunch of cilanatro, roughly chopped
-2 diced avocados, diced
-Half a red onion, finely diced
-Salt and Pepper TT

Directions:
-Stir ingredients until combined well.

Southwest Corn

Ingredients:
-1 ear of corn
-Pinch of chile powder
-Pinch of coriander
-Pinch of salt
-2 roma tomatoes
-1 bunch of scallions
-Juice of 1 lime
-3 avocados, diced
-2 jalapenos, minced, no seeds or vein
-1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped

Directions:
-Turn on broiler to a medium high heat.
-Oil corn on the cob and sprinkle chili powder, coriander, and salt on. Broil the corn, tomatoes, and scallions, about 5-7 minutes.
-Chop the scallions and tomatoes and mash with the avocados.
-Add jalapenos, cilantro, and lime juice.
-Cut the corn kernels of the cob and add to the mixture with more chili powder, coriander, and salt.

Creamy Tomatillo

Ingredients:
-4 tomatillos, husked and rinsed
-1 bunch of cilantro, roughly chopped
-1/4 of an onion, diced
-1 jalapeno, diced
-2 avocados, diced
-Pinch of salt

Directions:
-Boil the tomatillos in water for about five minutes.
-Puree cilantro, onion, jalapeno, and a splash of the tomatillo water.
-Drain the tomatillos, add to the blender, and pulse.
-Add the avocados and salt and pulse.


"I can't tell you how much leftover guacamole I've ended up eating over the years. I don't even know why I am making such great quantities."
-Michael Scott (Steve Carell)

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Withdrawal

Hello everyone! I hope everyone is having a wonderful week and is ready for the weekend.

I'll tell you what, BBQ is in the air and it is making me a happy girl! I hope everyone is hitting the grill with those baby backs and wearing their "Kiss the Cook" aprons. On Monday, which was Memorial Day, I went to Matthew's house for dinner and his dad made us burgers and grilled corn on the cob! I have to say that it was a fun meal, and we need to grill more, Mr. Bartleson! Speaking of grilling, guess what's on my wish list! A grill. I found one on Craigslist, but if I am going to be spending money on one, I want a nice grill that will last, not the hunk of junk I found for $30.

So enough about grilling.

Time to talk about withdrawal. Withdrawal from what, you may ask. Cooking. It's been a couple weeks since I made a homemade meal for myself. Everything has been frozen food and takeout for me. It happens when you work, come home, and you are exhausted. I wish it wasn't so. I feel the most comfortable when I am cooking, it is the one thing that I feel confident about in my life. It's nice to turn to my kitchen and not only feed my body, but my mind and soul. Cooking for me is very therapeutic. It takes away all the stress and worries I may have in the world. Some people feel the complete opposite from this. They see their kitchen as battlefield, and all they have is a dull steak knife that they use for chopping their vegetables. I feel like over the past few months I have forgotten my favorite recipes and my very own. So I am going through all my cookbooks, Bon Appetit, Food Network, Everyday with Rachel Ray, and Food and Wine to find all my favorite and best recipes. I want to type it all up, organize it, and put it in a book. I feel like this will make me feel more organized, and it will be easier for me to find something NEW to cook. This is an exciting project for me, to some maybe boring, but I love making lists, reading recipes, and typing. It makes sense to me!
I am also working on a cookbook. It's still a work-in-progress. It's tough, but I am making it a goal to have it done by the end of summer, and I want to find a publisher for it, and sell it nationally, maybe Amazon or something. I want to make a chapter for my family's recipes and a chapter on friend's recipes, so if you have one you'd like to donate, let me know! All the credit will go to you.

Hmmm, all this talking about how much cooking makes me happy, makes me want to cook tomorrow night. I'm thinking Baja Shrimp and Guac. Maybe I'll post whatever recipe I come up with!

Also, tomorrow is Friday, so look out for the Question/Photo of the Week! Hmm, I wonder what will it be.

"When baking, follow directions. When cooking, go by your own taste."
-Laiko Bahrs

Friday, May 28, 2010

Question/Photo of the Week: Pizza!!!

I know, it has been forever since my last post, my apologies!
But it is Friday and today is the first for weekly posts of Question/Photo of the Week! I am way excited. So read, comment, look, get involved!


Question: What is your favorite kind of pizza, and where is your favorite place to get it?

Photo:
I chose this picture because lets face it, pizza is a revolutionary food. It is the only food you can have for breakfast, lunch, or dinner, hot or cold. It is the only food that involves all the main food groups. There's your bread, dairy(cheese), vegetables, meat, and fruit(pineapples and tomatoes)! I am simple when it comes to pizza, just cheese, cheese, and more cheese! My two favorite places for pizza is Louie's and California Pizza Kitchen. Cheese from Louie's, and from CPK, either the Jamaican Jerk Chicken or the Thai Chicken. Thank the food gods for Italians, otherwise where would we be on a Saturday night with our movie rental and pint of Coca-Cola?
Did you know that Americans alone eat 75 acres of pizza a day!?
Pizza is so versatile. There's deep dish, thin crust, thick crust, square pizza, circle pizza, stuffed pizza, two layer pizza, and on and on and on. And then there's the classic battle between Chicago deep dish vs. a New York thin slice. Of course, I like em' thin! So New York all the way! However, having an authentic Chicago pizza is an experience worth having!
I could keep going on with how amazing pizza is. Like how it is paired with ranch, it is like how two people meet and it love at first sight, but in this case it is love at first BITE! I think that at least once a week, we should all cheat on eating healthy, and order take out from our favorite pizza place, curl up on the couch, and watch a good movie. Maybe I will do that tomorrow night.
Ciao Bella!

“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I'm not hungry enough to eat six.”
-Yogi Berra

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Need a quick meal?!

Everyone is always in a rush! Have to go to work, have to go to school, need groceries, need to go to the bank, blah blah blah.
When cooking, I think it is time for us to slow down, take our whole day in, and relax. Cooking shouldn't stress you out. If you drop the chicken on the floor, big deal (I'm not saying still use it) move on with life.
However, I like a quick fix meal, especially a cheap one! Here, I have two great, easy recipes for everyone! The first one, I made in my Catering class. The only thing missing was a hot bowl of white rice. Next, is my own original creation, BBQ Spaghetti and Meatballs. Remember, to have fun while cooking!!! Otherwise, it will become one more thing that stresses you out.

Spicy Brown Sugared Shrimp and Rice

Ingredients:
-1 lb of shrimp, peeled and deveined
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-2 tbsp of butter
-1 cup of green onions, chopped
-1 cup of bean sprouts
-1 cup of brown sugar
-1 tbsp of curry powder
-1 tsp of onion powder
-1 tsp of paprika
-Less than a pinch of cayenne
-Salt and Pepper TT
-1/2 cup of medium grain rice
-1 cup of water
-1 tbsp of butter

Directions:
-Combine rice, water and 1 tbsp of butter in a medium size pot. Bring to a boil, stir, cover, and reduce heat to low.
-While the rice is cooking, in a medium skillet over medium heat add the butter and garlic. Let that slowly cook, then add the green onions and bean sprouts.
-Combine the brown sugar and all the spices in a bowl. When the rice is almost done, add the shrimp and brown sugar mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. The brown sugar mixture will melt and turn into a sauce like consistency.
-When serving, place rice on the bottom of the bowl and add the shrimp and sauce over. All you need are some chopsticks to make it a meal to remember!

BBQ Spaghetti and Meatballs

Ingredients:
-1/2 lb of spaghetti
-20 oz of your favorite BBQ sauce
-1/2 can of evaporated milk
-1.5 lbs of ground beef, lean as you can find
-1 cup of quick cooking oats
-1 egg, slightly beaten
-1/2 an onion, finely diced
-A pinch of red pepper flakes
-Salt and Pepper TT

Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put on a large pot of water for the pasta, add salt. And a small pot for the BBQ sauce to heat up in.
-In a large mixing bowl, add the evaporated milk, beef, oats, egg, onion, red pepper flaked, and salt and pepper. Mix until all the ingredients are combined. Do not over mix!!
-Make the meatballs about a inch wide. Place on a cookie sheet. Drizzle about a teaspoon of BBQ sauce on each meatball. Place in oven and cook for about 30 minutes.
-Add the BBQ sauce to the small pot and turn the heat on medium low.
-When there is ten minutes left for the meatballs, and the water is boiling, add the pasta. Taste a noodle when they seem to be almost done. If it is to your liking, strain through a colander. Take the meatballs out after 30 minutes.
-Just like regular pasta and tomato sauce, place pasta in the bowl with the meatballs and BBQ sauce.
-Serve and enjoy!

These are both really easy dinners with cheap ingredients! I hope everyone tries them! I just made the BBQ Spaghetti the other night and it was delicious!!! Remember, right now in our lives are busy, but we need to make time for ourselves, always.


"It ain't a party until you drop the milk container on the floor."
-Rachael Ray

Friday, May 7, 2010

First Time Vlogger

Here is my first "vlog". It is kind of dorky, but I was too tired to type, but still wanted to blog, so enjoy! Remember comments are always pleasant! Oh and google "crogue en bouche" to see amazing pictures. I couldn't pick which ones to put up here, so you can look for yourself!!!


"Vlog."


Gorgeous, right?

From the top. See the strawberry cream in the middle?

The whole class. Yay!!!!

"There are two kinds of people in the world: those who love chocolate, and communists."
-Leslie Moak Murray

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Hola Amigos and Queso

Happy Cinco de Mayo to all.
Today was a very interesting eating day. Today, was my last day of yoga. That class was so amazing and I met so many incredible people. We decided to bring in food and eat after we did our "workout", which included headstands and shoulder stands. I'm proud to say I did both very well. I didn't want to get to fancy and extravagant with what I brought since it is so early in the morning, so I just stuck with strawberries, blackberries, and blueberries. I love fruit! Oh my goodness. I don't eat breakfast, but when I do, it is usually fruit. People brought doughnuts, carrots and hummus, nuts, dates, goat cheese, mango salsa, GUACAMOLE, more fruit, and danishes. It was such a light and wonderful meal. But what made it wonderful were the people who I was eating it with. Food can taste good, but it taste great when you eat it with other people, especially with love and charisma floating around. So I was full all day, and decided to have CHIPOTLE for dinner.

Ok, Chipotle is probably one of my favorite restaurants of all time, so it only made sense if I went there on Cinco de Mayo. Unfortunately, I didn't have anyone to go with, but the food was still good, as always. I always get a carnitas burrito with half pico de gallo and corn salsa, with a little sour cream, extra cheese, and guacamole. You always have to have the guacamole. It is worth the $1.80, trust me.


Sweet Bliss.

Mexican food is so grand. Again, Chef Rick Bayless is the king of sophisticated Mexican cuisine, and he knows and understands how Mexican food should taste and look. Man, I will meet him, and go to his restaurant one day. I swear it!

I hope everyone not only just drank tequila, but enjoyed the wonderful flavors and dishes of Mexico.
Adios mi amigos.

"I think the great Mexican cuisine is dying because there are fast foods now competing, because there are supermarkets, and supermarkets can't afford to keep in stock a lot of there very perishable products that are used for fine Mexican cooking. Women are working and real Mexican cooking requires enormous amounts of time."
-Alma Guillermoprieto

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Sushi

Tonight, I'm going out with one of my best friends, Kaylee. Guess where we are going! Well, the title is kind of a give away...It's sushi!!! We are off to get sushi!
Let me just tell you how excited I am. I'M EXCITED!
My all time favorite sushi is anything with unagi aka eel. It simply melts in your mouth.
We are going to my all time favorite place which is Kohnami Sushi. They are the cheapest and best quality in town, and they give away complimentary miso soup and salad AND ice cream. You know how to tell a good sushi place from a bad one? They give complimentary soup and salad. I am also friends with the family who owns the restaurant. They give me free rolls sometimes and we always end up talking forever! Such a cute family! Here's the location!

7673 North Union Boulevard
Colorado Springs, CO 80920
(719) 599-8689

Do you like sushi? What kind? Where do you like to go? Comment comment comment!

Let your eyes feast upon that.

"I could eat my body weight in sushi."
-Mikey Way

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Last Night, I Had A Dream

"...I found myself in a desert called Cyber Land." Ha ok just kidding. If you aren't sure what that is from, go rent Rent.

So back to my dream. It started out in a dark hall and I saw a pinkish, purple light coming from a door. I entered and was in a room full of chocolate, candy, cookies, cake, and everything dessertalicious! There were bright colors everywhere. It was very Willy Wonka-esque. Little toy trains zoomed around, balls were bouncing everywhere, and trapeze artists were performing. The candies were very whimsical and unique. I remember trying chocolate chip rum cookies, lavender chocolate truffles, and sage fudge. Even the candy from the picture on my blog was in it (see above). It was wonderfully delicous, well in my dream it was. Even Matthew's sister's chocolate covered red velvet cake balls were in it (Angie, I think that is my favorite dessert now, thanks!)

The one thing that was frequently in my dream were chocolate covered marshmallows. Those were the one things that my dream kept going back to. I remember walking up to the register and purchasing like 2 pounds of just that.

When I woke up this morning, of course, I had a huge craving for chocolate! So after I got ready, I headed over to The Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory. I could have bought that whole store, thank the food gods I didn't, othwise I'd be in debt. I got chocolate caramel, macadamia nut bears, fudge, and peanut butter chocolates. I tried all of them, and have to say my heart melts when I eat them, just the way they melt in my mouth! It was a wonderful day full of chocolate and bliss. Hopefully, I will have more dreams like the one I had last night.

The Holy Land.

What is it about chocolate that makes us so crazy for it. I know as a woman, I crave it. People always say, forget diamonds, chocolate is a girl's best friend. I agree completely. I don't eat very many sweets, but I will give in to chocolate any day, any time. My favorite kind of chocolate is either milk chocolate coconut truffles or chocolate covered macadamia nuts. What's your favorite? Have you ever had anything unique? I tried the ancho chipotle truffle from The Rocky Mountain Factory, and it was very delicious, but at the same time it burned the back of my throat, in a good way though.

"If there's no chocolate in heaven, I'm not going."
-Author Unknown

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Rick Bayless

Rick Bayless. I think revolutionary, pioneer, and imaginative. He is the leading man of refining Mexican cuisine and making more than just your typical Taco Bell food. You hear of all these French foods, duck confit, sabayon, suprême, etc. Mexican cuisine has the same terms and dishes, mole, marisquera, cazuela de pato. It is incredible, but sad because when people hear the term Mexican food, they don't think sophisticated. But it is, and Chef Rick Bayless has proven it. My biggest dream is to one day meet him, dine at his famous restaurant, Frontera Grill, and maybe work for him. He won the first season of Top Chef Masters, which compiles the best of the best of Chefs from all over the country.

In class, we were assigned to write a paper on our favorite chef. Mine is, of course, Chef Bayless. He just knows how to use simple Mexican ingredients and turn them into something amazing. Maybe when I am done writing the paper I will post it on here.


Another favorite chef of mine is Chef Art Smith. He is a big, gay, loveable, southern Chef who knows a thing about southern food. He is the personal chef to Oprah Winfrey and has cooked for President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama. He is famous for is famous dish, fried chicken and waffles. Chef Smith also competed on Top Chef Masters, and came in 4th place.


I look up to these kind of Chefs. They are visionaries and artists with cutlery in their hands. One day, I will be like them, pushing the limit, and bringing my fantasies of food to life.

"You're starting to see Mexican cooking in this country evolve, but we're probably a generation away."
-Rick Bayless


Saturday, April 17, 2010

For my Grandma

So I made meatloaf last week, and my Grandma Laurie has been telling me almost everyday to post this delish meatloaf recipe. The recipe is actually my Grandma Connie's. So it is delicious, and so wonderful. Trust me, it is much better than your Lunch Lady's meatloaf in Lunch Lady Land. So make and eat it! It's great to have with mashed potatoes and corn.

Grandma's Meatloaf

Ingredients:
-1.5 lb of ground beef
-1/2 lb of ground sausage, preferably hot breakfast
-1 small onion, small, small diced
-2 packets of Quaker Instant Oatmeal Maple and Brown Sugar
-1 cup of ketchup
-1 cup, or bottle, of your favorite BBQ sauce, same some to drizzle on top
-1 egg

Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
-In a large bowl, combine the beef, sausage, onion, Instant Oatmeal packets, ketchup, BBQ sauce, and egg.
-Don't over mix. You just want to combine all the ingredients thoroughly.
-Grease a casserole dish. Round out the mixture in the dish. Pour the rest of the BBQ sauce of the meat.
-Place in the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Check to if is done. If not, 10 more minutes and it's perfect!
-Serve and Enjoy!!!

Take that Lunch Lady!



Haha. It looks like poop.

"And I would do anything for love, I'd run right into hell and back. I would do anything for love, I'll never lie to you and that's a fact. But I'll never forget the way you feel right now, oh no, no way. And I would do anything for love, Oh I would do anything for love, I would do anything for love, But I won't do that, No I won't do that."
-Meat Loaf

Friday, April 16, 2010

This is why America is the fattest country

Really? This is just disgusting. You can order this while sitting on your butt in a drive thru. Oh, and the meal comes with fries. Really?


Accoriding to KFC.com, "The new KFC Double Down sandwich is real! This one-of-a-kind sandwich features two thick and juicy boneless white meat chicken filets (Original Recipe® or Grilled), two pieces of bacon, two melted slices of Monterey Jack and pepper jack cheese and Colonel's Sauce. This product is so meaty, there’s no room for a bun!"

What the French toast?!?! What about just one stupid chicken filet and then some buns. Dumbest product I have ever seen. It makes me nauseous and feel fat and fatigued by just looking at it.

Why KFC, why?!

“The journey of a thousand pounds begins with a single burger.”
-Chris O'Brien

Gumbo

On Wednesday, during my class, we were suppose to make two soups with a partner, using old, frozen products, and have at least one classic cut in the dish. I was dreading dreading dreading this class like you would not believe. I paid $600 for lab fees that would go to fresh ingredients, not old crap you are trying to get rid of. Ok, I understand that in a restaurant, you always use the old stuff first, but I'm paying to cook, I'm not getting paid. That's really what bothered me. Also, on Monday, in my actual Soups and Sauces class, we made like three different soups. I WAS DONE WITH SOUP! DONE FINISHED THROUGH! My partner had already started on making a chicken curry soup, which actually sounded good. I looked at the cart full of products, and ham and okra caught my eye. Then, I saw some chicken and mirepoix (Mirepoix-carrots, celery, and onions), and I thought, alright, time to make some craptastic GUMBO!
I chopped up half a green bell pepper that my partned didn't need and the mirepoix into small dices. The okra was so incredibly slimy that I had to rinse under cold running water for 20 minutes, even after then it was still a litttle slimy, but I guess it adds flavor and I TRIED OK? I then chopped the ham and the chicken. I through it all in a pot and sauteed it until the chicken was done. I deglazed the pot with some white wine. Since we ran out of REAL chicken stock, I secretly made chicken stock using chicken base (SHHHH don't tell me teacher). I made a combination of spices, such as cayenne, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper. I add it to the pot and coated all the yummies. I then add about a Quart and half of chicken stock and 1 cup of heavy cream. I then added about 6 drops of Tabasco sauce. The broth was still soupy and thin so I borrowed another group's roux (Roux- equal parts of fat and flour) to thicken it. FAIL. So I made a slurry (Slurry- equal parts cornstarch and cold water) to get it thickening. I added a crapton of that and brought it to a boil. It thickened up perfectly and had a nice shine to it. I quickly cooked some rice and through it all in a bowl.
In my class we have contests. I have never placed in any of them, and I didn't really give to flying (you know), and I knew my teacher would tell me mine was horrible. He went around to everyone and told us his criticism. Mine was all very good. He then told third place. Wasn't surprised to not hear my name. He ten second and first place were really close. He then said someone else's name, again not surprised. And then first place "The gumbo, Madison". I was in shock. I won and I was super happy. I thought using these crappy ingredients would ruin the dish. That's when I realized that it doesn't matter what you are working with, it is about how you treat the ingredients and bring out the beauty in each of them. I could have not cared and not let everything cook well or long enough. But, I knew that I still cared enough to put out a good dish and respect what I was doing. That is how I put out a good dish, even if I hadn't gotten "First".
Just remember, respect and care for ingredients makes a delicious meal.

Ok ready for the recipe? I still barely measured anything, hopefully I get it right.

Faux Gumbo

Ingredients:
-1 medium onion, small diced
-2 carrots, small diced
-3 celery stalks, small diced
-1 green bell pepper, small diced
-1 frozen bag of okra
-2 roma tomatoes (Wasn't in what I made, but I wish it was), diced
-1.5 lb chicken breast, diced
-3/4 lb of ham, diced
-Half a cup of white wine
-1 tbsp of cayenne, paprika, onion powder, garlic powder
-2 Quarts(64 0z) of chicken stock
-1 cup of heavy cream
-6-10 drop of Tabasco sauce (depends on how spicy you want it)
-Slurry, 1/4 cup of cornstarch and water, stir right before adding,
-1 cup or rice, 2 cups of water, 1 tbsp of butter (should be enough)
-Chopped chives, for garnish, optional
-Salt and Pepper, TT

Directions:
-Cook rice.
-Saute mirepoix, peppers, okra, tomatoes, chicken and ham together in a deep pot. When done cooking, let it sit in the pot for five minutes on low and then add white wine. Let the wine reduce, another 10 minutes while stirring occasionally. Then add half of the blended spices and coat all the sauteed yummies.
-Add stock and cream. After blended, add Tabasco sauce. Add the rest of the spices to your tasting. Salt and pepper. Add more pepper than salt. It's a little thin, right? Add the slurry in, and bring to a boil. If it isn't thickened to your liking, repeat process.
-Let simmer until the rice is down.
-Ladle soup into a bowl and pour a spoonful of rice over. Chop chives and place all over the soup.
-Serve and Enjoy!

Remember cook with love and respect, and you will get a delicious meal.

"Shrimp is the fruit of the sea. You can barbecue it, boil it, broil it, bake it, saute it. There's uh, shrimp-kabobs, shrimp creole, shrimp gumbo. Pan fried, deep fried, stir-fried. There's pineapple shrimp, lemon shrimp, coconut shrimp, pepper shrimp, shrimp soup, shrimp stew, shrimp salad, shrimp and potatoes, shrimp burger, shrimp sandwich. That- that's about it."
-Bubba, from Forrest Gump

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Sugar

In my Baking class yesterday, I finally made Cinnamon rolls with cream cheese icing! I have been waiting all semester to make these! I tried eating some, but since I have that class in the morning I get so sick when I eat food early in the day, especially sugary treats!! Do you ever feel that way, or am I the only one? Oh, like what's the deal with the whole Mary Poppin's line "A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine goes down"? If I did that, I would just gag and then not want to take my medicine anymore, and I'd go back to sleep.
On Sunday I went to Sunflower and they have the best double chocolate chip muffins, so of course I had to get them! Later that night, Matthew and I made chocolate chip cookies. So now, I have muffins, cookies, and cinnamon rolls sitting in my kitchen, waiting for me to devour all of them. This new healthy "diet" of mine isn't working. Good thing I am going to Yoga tomorrow, and I'm thinking about going for a run. I'm not really "dieting", I have just wanted to start eating more veggies and leaner meats, however I still eat what I want. TAKE THAT SOUTH BEACH DIET!
Hmmm...all this talking about food has made me hungry.

Aww that is much better.

There is more where that came from.

Well, I'm glad I started my day out with a cinnamon roll, now I should eat a salad.

"A wise woman puts a grain of sugar into everything she says to a man, and takes a grain of salt with everything he says to her."
-Helen Rowland

Friday, April 9, 2010

Making the LOCO MOCO

So here is the wonderful process of making the Loco Moco. I get to make it with my fantastic boyfriend, Matthew. Excuse the curls in my hair.

Cutting up some onions.

Ya, that's my butt, any questions?

My cute boyfriend.

I think that's bad for you.

My hamburger heart.

While cooking, you must be ready to have your picture taken.

Cooking the patties, krabby patties that is.

Like a real man, he took care of the burgers.

Pass the gravy, pLLLease.

The finished, freakintastic, Loco Moco.

"It is the Americans who have managed to crown minced beef as hamburger, and to send it round the world so that even the fussy French have taken to le boeuf hache, le hambourgaire."
-Miss Julia Child

Burger Bunches

So it's been a while since I last blogged, and I'm trying to get into the habit of doing it more often, but life is too busy, I can't even describe it. Well, back to food, shall we?
I made the most delicious burger in class the other day. I called it "Whiskey BBQ Burger with Cajun Fries". Scrumptious. This is something EVERYONE needs to try at least once in their lives. I'll be honest though, I don't measure anything. Why should you, go with your instincts, not a recipe. So I have to give you the recipe for that! Also, about a month ago, Matthew and I made "Loco Moco". It's a famous dish from Hawaii that is eaten daily there. Basically, it's rice, burger, over easy egg, and gravy. Now, I know exactly what you are thinking, "Like Hamburger Helper, right?" NO! This is nothing like that crap, it is delicious, a revelation with simple products. Hamburger meat doesn't just have to be for burgers, that's why you should make the Loco Moco! So recipes anyone? WATCH OUT RED ROBIN!!!!

Whiskey BBQ Burger with Cajun Fries

Ingredients:
(Burger)
-2 lb of ground beef (Fat and meat ratio up to you)
-2 cups of ketchup
-1/2 cup of water
-1/4 cup of whiskey, preferably Jack Daniel's
-1/4 cup Molasses
-1/2 cup packed brown sugar
-2 tbsp of honey
-1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar (or red wine vinegar)
-2 tbsp of Worcestershire sauce
-1 tbsp of red pepper flakes
-2 tbsp of onion powder
-1 tbsp of garlic powder
-2 tsp of paprika
-1 tsp of dry mustard powder
-Cheddar cheese, cubed
-Hamburger Buns
-Condiments, Lettuce, Tomatoes, Onions(I like to saute them), maybe some Avocado

(Cajun Fries)
-4 russet potatoes, cut into fries, preferably skinned
-Equal parts of spice mix, 2 tbsp of cumin, paprika, cayenne pepper, red pepper flakes, onion powder, chili powder, garlic powder
-1 tsp of cinnamon, pepper, and salt

Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
-For burger, combine everything except the meat, whisk well. If it is too sweet add more Worcestershire sauce, if it's too sour add more brown sugar.
-Put the meat in a separate bowl and pour 3/4 of the sauce of the meat. Put the remaining sauce in a sauce pan and put it on medium low heat.
-Mix the meat and sauce until it is all well coated and let it marinate in the fridge for 20-30 minutes.
-Get a large skillet and cover it with oil spray(PAM), and put it on medium high to high heat.
-For fries, heat up a deep fryer to 350 degrees. If you do not have a deep fryer, than fill up a heavy, deep skillet with about 2 inches of oil(canola or sunflower work best). If you don't want to waste oil, then you can just pan fry the potatoes, turning it on each side.
-Combine all the spices together and mix well.
-Take the meat out after they have been marinating and make patties. Take a cube of cheese and place it in the middle of the burger and cover it with the meat. When the oil and the skillet is hot enough place the burgers in the skillet. Place the fries in your oil and let it cook.
-While that is cooking, get your toppings ready. Place buns in the oven to toast.
-When buns are done, put a little bit of that bbq sauce from the sauce pan on the buns. Stack with your favorite topping. Place burger on the bun.
-For the fries, get a large bowl, and line with paper towels. Place fries in there and coat with your HOMEMADE Cajun seasoning, and give it a toss or two.
-Serve and enjoy my friends!
Loco Moco

Ingredients:
-1 lb ground beef (not lean)
-1/4 cup grated onions (optional)
-TT salt and pepper
-1 can good beef broth
-Flour for thickening
-2 tbsp of butter
-Couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce
-4 eggs
-Hot cooked rice (whichever kind you like the best and however much you want)

Directions:
-Preheat oven to 250 degrees.
-Start by cooking the rice first.
-Gently mix meat, grated onions, and salt and pepper. Form either 2 big patties or 4 small patties.
-Heat the large deep pan until very hot. Place the patties on the pan and let sear until juices start appearing on the top. Flip over the burger for a couple more minutes. You will want the burger slightly charred but still tender on the inside. When done, wrap the burgers in foil and put in oven.
-Pour a little broth into the same pan and incorporate the fond (drippings on the bottom of the pan), then pour the rest of the broth.
-Bring to a boil and let reduce and let reduce for about 3-5 minutes or so, depending on taste, for a more potent gravy.
-Turn down heat to a simmer. Add couple dashes of Worcestershire sauce.
-In a seperate bowl, mix flour with some water. Use equal parts of flour and water. Using a whisk, slowly whisk in the flour/water mixture until gravy is nicely thick & smooth. Turn off heat and mix in the butter until well blended. -Traditionally, the eggs should be sunny-side up. I like to cook it over easy. Do not over cook the egg! It helps to have the eggs thawed to room temp before cooking them. -When assembling on your plate, it goes rice, burger, egg, and then gravy all over! -Serve and enjoy! Aloha, Bra!





"I'm not telling you, 'Never eat a hamburger.' Just eat the good ones with real beef, you know, like the ones from that mom-and-pop diner down the street. And it's so good that when you take a bite out of that burger, you just know somewhere in the world a vegan is crying."
-Homer Simpson

Friday, March 12, 2010

Fish Are Friends, and Food

Seafood is probably one of my biggest weaknesses in this world. Luscious, delicate, scrumptious. I could spend a fortune on seafood. However, I would have to eat it in a couple of days because that stuff goes bad fast! If I were to go to my favorite sushi restaurant, Kohnami, I could easily spend at least 40 bucks on unagi rolls, shrimp tempura rolls, and spicy tuna rolls. Good thing I do that every several months. And forget about me going to Whole Foods, I'll buy salmon candy, unagi sashimi, lobster dip, crab dip, shrimp, scallops, more whole salmon. That's why I try to stay away from it when I go there, but really, the only reason I go to Whole Foods is to get my seafood, and maybe some chocolate truffles here and there. The point is, seafood is the amazing, expensive, but amazing.
I have a few recipes I'd like to share with everyone! First, is my family's favorite, Maple-Glazed Salmon. It's marinated in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, and of course, maple syrup. Second, Sauteed Scallops with Veggies. I made this is my Catering class. It is sauteed in bacon, garlic, onions, asparagus, and lemon juice. Finally, Pineapple and Coconut Rice. This was also made in my Catering class. It's pretty self explanatory, and I realize it's NOT seafood, but you always need a side, so HA!

Maple-Glazed Salmon

Ingredients:
-1 lb of salmon
-1 cup of maple syrup
-1/2 cup of soy sauce
-1/4 cup of teriyaki sauce
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-2 tbsp of ginger, minced
-Pepper TT (to taste)

Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
-In a bowl, mix together the syrup, soy sauce, teriyaki sauce, garlic, ginger, and pepper.
-Place salmon in the marinade and refrigerate for 30 minutes.
-In a casserole dish, line with aluminum foil, trust me, it easy to clean, and hot syrup with thicken and turn into a candy like substance within seconds after you take it out of the oven. So line with aluminum foil.
-Place salmon and marinade in casserole dish and cook for 20 minutes.
-Check fish, if done, take out, and serve with mashed potatoes. Mashed potatoes taste so good with the sauce! Enjoy!

Sauteed Scallops with Veggies

Ingredients:
-6 fresh scallops
-4 strips of bacon, diced
-Half an onion, small diced
-2 cloves of garlic, minced
-4 tbsp of butter
-4 asparagus (after cooked, slice small)
-Juice of a lemon
-Salt TT

Directions:
-Put on a pot of water and bring to a boil. Have a bowl of ice water standing by. Place asparagus in boiling water, blanch it for about 5 minutes. After 5 minutes take it out of the pot and put it in the ice water bowl.
-Over medium high heat, add the diced bacon to a large skillet. After a few minutes, add the onion and let cook for a couple more minutes, then add the garlic and butter. While that is cooking, slice the asparagus. For two of the asparagus, only cut half way, and save for presentation (will still add to the skillet to cook), add the asparagus.
-Place your scallops in the pan. Add the juice of the lemon, and throw the rinds in the skillet, all the oils will come out from the peel as it cooks. Add salt to taste.
-The scallops will take about 4-5 minutes on each side.
-Put on a platter or plate, and place the halved asparagus over the dish.
-Enjoy!

Pineapple-Coconut Rice

Ingredients:
-1 cup of medium grain rice
-2 cups of rice
-4 oz can of pineapples, small diced, size of rice (if you can't find one, use an 8 oz, however you only need half a cup)
-1/2 cup of coconut milk
-2 tsp of cinnamon

Directions:
-Bring water to a boil with rice in it. Turn down heat to low and cover.
-When rice is done, about 15 minutes, add the pineapple, coconut milk and cinnamon. Stir and cook all ingredients added. Make sure not to burn the rice!
-Serve and enjoy!

I really hope you try these recipes. Hopefully, you will love them as much as I do.
Remember, fish are friends, and food.

“Why does Sea World have a seafood restaurant?? I’m halfway through my fish burger and I realize, Oh my God....I could be eating a slow learner.”
-Lyndon B. Johnson

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Top 100

So last week, I started working on a "bucket list". I have over a 100 things on it. Also, on the list, I have things on it that lead to other list such as, 100 books to read and 100 movies to see. I decided to make these lists because there is so much I want to experience and I don't want to forget what it is. I also made a list of food to eat and restaurants to go to before I die. So here it is, the list. Maybe you could eat some of it, too. Some testicles, sweetbreads, a Big Mac, maybe?

100 Things to Eat Before I Die (& restaurants to visit)

  1. Fugu -Hopefully, I won't die.
  2. Voodoo Donut Shop, Seattle -Greatest doughnuts in the world are made here.
  3. Huevos Rancheros -I won't have to worry about lunch or dinner if I have this for breakfast.
  4. Black Pudding -Blood.
  5. Carp -It will probably taste like every other fish.
  6. Baba Ghanoush -I love eggplant, however eggplant mash? Hm?
  7. Calamari (tentacles and all) - I have had the bodies, but the tentacles freak me out.
  8. Aloo Gobi - Can't say no to curry or cauliflower.
  9. Hot Dog from a NY street cart -Dirty water hot dog!
  10. Black truffle -Expensive mushroom that is not worth buying AT ALL!
  11. Pistachio Ice Cream -This just sounds nutty.
  12. Avocado Ice Cream -This sounds buttery and creamy.
  13. Foie Gras -While eating it, I want to say, "Well this is just delectable."
  14. Limburger Cheese -Plugging my nose might need to be necassary for this.
  15. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper -I'll probably need an esauphugus transplant after this.
  16. Homemade Dulce de luche -Put that in my Hot Cocoa.
  17. Baklava -I don't like phyllo dough, but everyone makes things differently.
  18. Bagna Cauda -I fondue!
  19. Wasabi Peas -Not like what they put on your sushi platter.
  20. Sauerkraut -It just doesn't sound tasty to begin with!
  21. Whole insects -...
  22. Goat’s milk -Creamy, warm, sour goodness.
  23. Chicken tikka masala -I love love curry. Did I say that already?
  24. Sea Urchin -Makes me think of eating Ursula, from the Little Mermaid.
  25. Prickly pear -"Don't pick the prickly pear by the paw, When you pick a pear, Try to use the claw."
  26. Abalone -Sushi is this planet's gold food.
  27. McDonald’s Big Mac Meal, with a Dr. Pepper -Believe it or not, I have never had it.
  28. Spaetzle -A german dumpling, now that sounds delicious.
  29. Frog Legs -This taste like chicken.
  30. Haggis -Nothing like an enlarged stomash stuffed with other organs, vegetables, and spices. Yum.
  31. Fried plantain -This sounds like it could be my weakness.
  32. Chitterlings -Fried pig intestines, might taste like pork rines.
  33. Gazpacho soup -I think this is something Isabelle, my sister, would like.
  34. Fresh roadkill -Ok ok ok, within an hour. After that, heck no no no.
  35. Plum sake -Just to try it. Sake is a delicacy.
  36. Kobe beef -The king of meat.
  37. Rabbit -I don't feel about eating Mr. Hare.
  38. Goulash -My kind of beef stew.
  39. Flowers -With a delicious, fruity vinaigrette.
  40. Horse -Like in China or something.
  41. Spam -By itself, then in sushi.
  42. Catfish -Taste like fish.
  43. Mole poblano -Chocolate, coffee, spices....A sauces dream.
  44. Polenta- Dry cornmeal...yum.
  45. Snake -I'll get back to you on that.
  46. Colombian Coffee -I just want to try this World Famous coffee and see what the fuss is all about.
  47. A Primanti’s sandwich from Primanti’s in Pittsburg -Slaw, meat, tomatoes, fries all under one bun.
  48. Rocky Mtn. Oysters -Testes...I am a Coloradian after all.
  49. Buckhorn Exchange Restaurant, Denver- Oldest restaurant in Colorado.
  50. Duffy’s Cherry Cricket, Denver -Gourmet Burgers Sold Here.
  51. Special #2 from Orochon Ramen, LA -Spiciest Ramen Noodles Ever.
  52. Philippe’s The Original, LA -I love a good sandwich joint.
  53. Rick Bayless’s restaurant, Frontera -My idol.
  54. Art Smith’s restaurant, Table 52 -My second idol, Oprah's personal chef.
  55. Art Smith’s restaurant, Art and Soul -The Obama's went to this restaurant for V-Day.
  56. Seasons 52 -Changes their menu to what is in season.
  57. Tofu -Give it to me deep fried.
  58. Gelato -Thank you Italy, thank you.
  59. Beignets -A french doughnut.
  60. Buffalo -One way enjoy nature.
  61. Chiles Rellenos -Stuffed, deep fried pepper, sounds like I need a jug of milk.
  62. Indian Fry Bread -Sweetened to perfection.
  63. Blueberry pancakes -Simple, laid back, country style food.
  64. Nutella -What the heck is this?
  65. Perogies -Stuffed dumplings never hurt anyone.
  66. French Fried Yams -I've had French Fried sweet potatoes...yams are NOT sweet potatoes.
  67. Steamed Clams -Little vinegar, little mustard, good time.
  68. Egg nog -What is this?
  69. Shark steak -Surpirse surpirse, does not look like fish, but beef.
  70. Mousaka -"Moose Caca?!"
  71. Sweetbreads -I'll just leave it at that.
  72. Baked Alaskan Pie -I would like to made this.
  73. Thai Tea -Strong, yes. Flavorful, yes. So why not?
  74. Donkey -Supposedly the most tender and delicious meat in the world. Those Chinese, man.
  75. Liver and Onions -Maybe grandma can help my with this one.
  76. Beef Wellington -It sounds like it is named after someone who was royalty.
  77. Fried Green Tomatoes -Good, ol' southin' food.
  78. Paneer -Seriously? A cheese that doesn't melt?
  79. Dragon Fruit -I like the Vitamin Water flavor, so why wouldn't I like the fruit itself?
  80. Fried Pickles -Another southin' food.
  81. Wild Huckleberries -Where the wild things grow.
  82. Deep Fried Twinkie -I'll have paramedics standing by to resuscitate me.
  83. Veggie Burger -How is this made? How?
  84. Tofu Burger -And what abou this crazy one?!
  85. A Ripe Georgia Peach -I can already feel the juices running down my face.
  86. Ants -Chocolate covered, I hope.
  87. Kangaroo -Awwwwwwww.
  88. Tongue Sandwich -With lettuce, tomatoes, onions, hold the mayo and mustard please.
  89. Chicken Feet -Maybe with a little teriyaki sauce.
  90. Whole anchovies -Puts hair on your chest.
  91. Kimchee -I thought this was a dessert.
  92. Quail Eggs -Sunny side up on a medium rare steak or a salad.
  93. Olive Oil Poached Salmon -How is it poached and not fried?
  94. A real Philly Cheese Steak -Help me out Philly.
  95. Fresh sashimi(on the boat) -Unhook the booger, chop him up, and put it in my mouth.
  96. Actual sandwich flavored ice cream served on a bun -Served in Thailand.
  97. A Chili dog from Weinerschnitzel -My mom use to work here.
  98. Maine Lobster -Bib, check, shell cracker, check, and butter, check.
  99. A “Cinnabon” -Anything that rhymes with cinnamon has me sold.
  100. A deep fried hot dog -Again, heart attack.


I'm looking forward to trying these different foods and visiting these restaurants of the world. If you can help me out, that would be so great. I'm looking forward to expanding my palette and exploring the world of food. Wish me luck with my life long goal.

"Tomatoes and oregano make it Italian; wine and tarragon make it French. Sour cream makes it Russian; lemon and cinnamon make it Greek. Soy sauce makes it Chinese; garlic makes it good."
-Alice May Brock

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Artichokes and Pasta

After my class last night, I wanted to cook! We didn't cook anything at school so all the way home I was imagining what to fix myself. Tuna? No. Chicken? Nah. Pasta? Heck yes, but with what? Tomatoes, garlic, and butter. So I went straight to the market to pick up a few ingredients I needed. After picking up some pasta and beautiful roma tomatoes, I wanted to go look at the produce again to see if I wanted to add anything else. Luckily, out of the corner of my eye, I saw these giant, green artichokes! You don't know how I excited I was, I think I might have let out a little hoorah in front of everyone. I have been waiting for months for the market to start selling them, and it was only 2 for $4! Amazing! I got three. I rushed home and put two pots of water on.
Nothing is more comforting than pasta. My mom made it all the time when I lived at home. Now when I have it, I think of the times when pasta sauce stained my lips, and I would slurp it up like in Lady and the Tramp. People think seasoning the water with salt is bad for the pasta, when in Italy they think the water should taste and smell like the ocean. When in Rome. I cooked my artichoke for thirty minutes and cooked my spaghetti to al dente. Al dente comes from Italian and means "to the tooth" or "to the bite", referring to the need to chew the pasta due to its firmness. Basically, it's the best way to enjoy pasta.
I sauteed my largely chopped tomoatoes and garlic in butter and poured it over my spaghetti. I melted some more butter for my artichoke to dip in. The artichoke was already zesty so I didn't add any lemon juice to the butter. Perfectly cooked food and a happy stomach equals total bliss.
I love that simple ingredients can be so incredibly appetizing, if cooked properly. Pasta, garlic, tomatoes, garlic, and artichokes can make you feel like you are eating like a king, or in my case, a queen. Remember, cooking is not complicated. It only will be if you make it out to be. You are in control of your cooking, not your food.
Be creative, have fun, and be merry with food.



"These things are just plain annoying. After all the trouble you go to, you get about as much actual "food" out of eating an artichoke as you would from licking 30 or 40 postage stamps. Have the shrimp cocktail instead."
-Miss Piggy

Monday, February 22, 2010

Ribs

Ribs are everyone's guilty pleasure, whether they are pork, beef, Asian, BBQ, dry, or wet, they always please a crowd. In my last blog, I posted a picture of some awesome Pork ribs I made in my Catering class. The recipe was so easy, but so delicious and the ribs were very moist and tender, just the way I like them. So I decided to finally post my recipe! When I made it, I was just eyeballing everything. So I'm going to try really hard to make sure the amount of ingredients are ok. And remember, you can always add more or less of something if you want to! Remember, a cook is an artist, they have their own palette. Also, I will post the roasted Asian vegetable recipe!

Soy Sauce and Honey Pork Spare Ribs

Ingredients:
-2lb of pork spare ribs

-1 tbsp of cumin
-1 tbsp of onion powder
-2 tsp of chili powder
-1 tbsp of red pepper flakes
-2 tsp of cinnamon
-Pepper for taste, no salt!

-1 cup of soy sauce
-1 cup of honey
-1/4 cup of brown sugar
-1/2 cup of fish sauce
-1/4 cup of rice vinegar
-1 tbsp of red pepper flakes
-If it is still salty, add more honey

Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and a grill to high heat. If you do not have a grill, then a hot pan will do. I use my George Foreman grill at home.
-Mix the first 5 dry ingredients together. Coat the ribs with this dry mix well. Place on grill. This step is just to get a nice brown crust on the outside, not to cook all the way through.
-While the meat is on the grill combine the rest of the ingredients in a bowl. If you want more of a certain ingredient, add it!
-After the meat has a nice browned crust, place in a casserole dish. Pour your wet mixture over the meat evenly.
-Cover with foil!!!! This is important so that your meat won't dry out in the oven.
-Cook for 25 minutes.
-If it is not done, wait another 5 minutes.
-Serve and pour the extra juice over the meat.
-Enjoy!!!

Roasted Asian Veggies

Ingredients:
-1 onion, medium diced
-1 parsnip, diced
-1 bok choy, diced
-1 fennel bulb, diced
-1 Handful of cilantro, sprigs
-2 cups of teriyaki sauce

-1/4 cup of fish sauce
-1/4 cup of rice vinegar
-1 tbsp of red pepper flakes

-Napa Cabbage, optional, for presentation
-Can always add more of your favorite veggies!

Directions:
-Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
-Combine your cut up vegetables in a casserole dish. Place several cilantro sprigs over.
-In a bowl, combine your wet ingredients and red pepper flakes.
-Pour over your vegetables and stir.
-Cover with foil!!!
-Cook for 30 minutes. If the parsnips are still tough, cook for another 10 minutes.
-Place cabbage leaves along the outside of a platter.
-When vegetables are done, pour in the middle of the platter, over the cabbage leaves.
-Place fennel sprig over for presentation.
-Serve and enjoy!



Let me know if you decide to make it! It is scrumptious! When I made it a second time at home, I made mashed potatoes. I want something that would suck up all those juices! Bon Appétit!

"I am not a glutton - I am an explorer of food."
-Erma Bombeck

Sunday, February 21, 2010

School

Sorry it's been almost a month since my last post! Things have been so busy with school and work I haven't been able to find the strength to sit down to blog. When I'm not busy, I'm either sleeping, with Matthew, or relaxing on the couch. And with everything going on, I'm still trying to find time to cook dinner at home, however I eat so well and so much at school sometimes, I don't cook or go out for several days! Free, delicious food. How much better does it get than that?
So, I love my classes that I am taking. Intro to Baking, Soups, Sauces and Consommes (yes, its all one class!), Intro to Foods, Catering, and Yoga!
In Intro to Foods, it's about learning all aspects of food and a kitchen. Very easy for me, but there is always so much to learn in this field!
In my Soups class, it's interesting and it is very important to know, however it is extremely boring! In the first class we had to make a chicken stock. After we put everything in a pot, we basically watched water boil for two hours. It's getting better though. We started doing sauces and we were able to make steak or chicken to go with our sauce. Finally, cooking!
Catering is by far my favorite class! In it, we are learning how to cook for buffets, family style dinners, plated banquets, and boxed lunches. In each class, my teacher buys a certain protein and vegetables. Each group gets the same thing and assigned different types of catering. I eat the best in that class.
I'm taking yoga for several reason. One, I want to strengthen my core, or really just my whole body. In a kitchen you stand all day and your back starts to compress so I really want to strengthen it as much as I can. Two, if I take it at school, I am more likely to go since it is for a grade and I will suffer the consequences more if I don't go.
Finally, there is Baking. I don't like it. "Hate" is too strong. I am awful at baking. Just last week I made pastry cream, and it didn't thicken right, so into the trash it went. I feel like when I mess up, it is a big deal, especially to my teacher. She never really helps, so it makes me want to give up even more. We made cookies the first week, and I was really good at that! I was amazing at it! I could make cookies with my eyes closed! I was ok when we did tarts, but again, my pastry cream didn't thicken right. I feel like I don't have the patience for this. In cooking I just estimate and add as much or little of something as I want and it is delicious and easy, but in baking, you have to measure every single thing, and sometimes I don't measure. If it looks like a teaspoon of salt, then it is a teaspoon of salt. I really want the Baking/Pastry degree. I think with it, along with the Culinary Arts and Culinary Management degrees, it will better my chances of getting a job. I don't need to know everything, but I will at least have experience of baking. And who knows, maybe it will grow on me. For right now though, it's like pulling teeth, and everyone "hates" having their teeth pulled.
Well, I hope you don't mind drooling. This is what I have made this semester so far.

Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Cookies & Pumpkin Cookies with Cinnamon Cream

Stewed Chicken with Latin flavors, Sauteed Green Beans, and Roasted Red Potatoes

Orange Peel and Lime Crown Garnish for Hors D'oeuvres Cheese Platter

Soy Sauce/Honey Pork Spare Ribs and Roasted Asian Veggies

Fruit Tart with Homemade Pastry Cream

Hopefully, I will post more pictures soon! Enjoy and leave comments!

"Vegetables are a must on a diet. I suggest carrot cake, zucchini bread, and pumpkin pie."
-Jim Davis