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

-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

-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, "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


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

-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

-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


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

-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

-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

-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)

-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