Monday, June 30, 2008

Surf and Turf

Ok, first of all let's all be glad that I'm not a contestant on "Next Food Network Star" because last night they were yelled at about how words like "amazing and delicious" are not good enough to land you a TV show. Seeing as all my descriptions go some like "I LOVE (insert food) this was just so amazing. It tasted delicious!" I'm pretty sure I would be booted off within the first 5 minutes. But since I'm NOT a contestant I'll gladly continue sharing my amazing and delicious kitchen creations with you.

Last night was Black Bean, Corn, and Shrimp Salad it was so good! Really light and refreshing. The fresh cilantro and lime juice along with the crunch from the corn (we used corn on the cob instead of canned) and other fresh veggies, it was the perfect summer meal. All the ingredients are so fresh and healthy that this is a meal you can really feel good about eating. Also, if you omit the shrimp it would make a really delicious side dish to bring to a picnic (served cold and with no mayo, it would really hold up well)

Tonight for dinner was Orange Beef with Peppers from my Good Housekeeping cookbook. Ehh, it was alright. My parents thought it was really good but I wasn't overly impressed. I mean it was definitely edible but I thought it was sort of bland. Basically it was top round steak marinated in soy sauce. Then sautéed with red peppers, green onions, and oranges. Then a sauce of orange juice, orange zest (if I make this again I would add a LOT more of this---it really gave it some flavor but not nearly enough), corn starch, and ginger was added to thicken the dish. It was served over baby arugula and we enjoyed it with a side of broccoli. 

Both meals were really colorful and vibrant, and smelled great. I think that is such a huge part of enjoying a meal. I've really started focusing more on food presentation and this blog is a great way to force me to do this. My next task is to SLOW DOWN when I'm eating. I seriously devour my food and then am always so sad when it's all gone. Sometimes I eat so fast that I don't even know what it tastes like! 

Balancing Act.

Last night was dubbed a good time for a lighter meal. The morning's brunch had involved hungry cousins, lots of bacon, and almond coffee cake. So yes, quite a lot was consumed. This shrimp recipe from one of my Food&Wine magazines looked fresh and light and it totally fit the bill. It was tasty, and so easy! I'm usually a little iffy when it comes to fish sauce, as a little can go a long way, but the flavors here were fabulous and not at all over powering. Paired with some steamed spinach/asparagus and leftover black lentils, it was a healthy but delicious meal all around.
So, you know how I just mentioned the fact that my dinner was extra healthy last night? Well, since that was the case, dessert's role was to balance this factor out. From my "Flavors" cook book by Donna Hay (GREAT cook book, her recipes are simple but always delicious) I made chocolate truffle cakes, perhaps the most used recipe in my household. Like always, they were great. I suggest you try them ASAP:
10 oz dark chocolate, chopped
5 oz butter
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 tablespoons sugar chocolate glaze
6 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, chopped
1/3 cup cream
3 oz butter

Preheat the oven to 325 F. Line the base of eight 1-cup capacity non-stick muffin tins with non-stick baking paper.
Place the chocolate and butter in a saucepan and stir over low heat until melted and smooth.
Place the eggs, vanilla, and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until pale and thick. Stir through the chocolate mixture.
Spoon the mixture into the muffin tins and bake for 12-15 minutes or until the cakes are just set. Cool in the tins and then refrigerate for two hours.
To make the glaze, place the chocolate, cream and butter in a saucepan over low heat and mix until smooth. Refrigerate until firm.
Unmold the cakes onto plates and spread with the glaze. Serves 8.


So, two nights ago I made artichoke, asparagua, and mushroom quinoa risotto, something that my mom and I have been dying to make for a while. We both love risotto, and are into quinoa (which if you haven't had is DELICIOUS, and extremely healthy...its full protein, good source of fiber...the list goes on). We found the recipe in the July issue of Bon Appetit:
*6 main-course or 8 to 10 side-dish
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
12 ounces assorted wild mushrooms (such as chanterelles, stemmed shiitakes, oyster, and morels), thinly sliced (about 6 cups)
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup chopped onion
2 cups quinoa (about 13 ounces), rinsed
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 1/2 cups (or more) vegetable broth
1 pound asparagua, trimmed, cut into 1-inch pieces
1 8-ounce package frozen artichoke hearts, thawed (I used canned)
1/2 grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup shaved Manchego cheese (a Spanish cheese made from sheep's milk)

Melt butter with 1 tablespoon oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms; saute until brown and tender, about 7 minutes. Add garlic, saute 2 minutes.

Heat remaining 3 tablespoons oil in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion; saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add quinoa; saute 2 minutes. Add wine; cook until liquid is almost absorbed, about 2 minutes. Add 3 1/2 cups broth; cook 10 minutes. Add asparagus and artichoke hearts; simmer until quinoa and vegetables are tender, stirring often and adding more broth by 1/4 cupfuls as needed, about 7 minutes. Add parmesan cheese and reserved mushrooms. Stir until cheese melts and mushrooms are heated through, about 2 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Divide risotto among bowls, garnish with shave Manchego cheese, and serve.
We cut the recipe in half since there were only two of us. It was GREAT, I would make this again and again. I didn't use quite as much butter and oil as the recipe called for, and it was still fine. Also, Manchego cheese is really yummy, I had never had it, but it adds a lot to this dish, so don't cut it out!

Sunday, June 29, 2008


So here's something ironic. About 15 minutes after I posted about my love for my manual Bodum milk frother, guess what happened....I broke it. Funny, huh? I really have a knack for breaking things. Not only did I break one at Aliza's house this past winter (sorry again! but it's been replaced, so all is well) but I also managed to knock over and break 2 ceramic dishes after dinner tonight. I'm skilled like that.

Anyway, point of the story is that I was devastated and almost cried and we immediately went to order a new one. Oh yeah, but they don't make the manual ones anymore, remember? Crap. So we ordered an electric one. Come on, it is the 21st century, electric stuff is our friend, right? Haha total 180 from my previous post about good old-fashioned manual labor.

So everyone can anxiously await my review of the new milk frother in approximately 7-10 business days.

And also all my faithful readers (aka Aliza and my Mom) can look forward to a delicious Black Bean, Corn, and Shrimp Salad review tomorrow because my camera is downstairs and I am way to tired (err...lazy) to get it tonight.

Pretend dessert.

Well, to start, Sarah's recent salmon dish looks SO good! I too am a HUGE salmon fan..its just versatile, easy and always delicious. Mm.

Anyways, yesterday I made "inside-out carrot cake cookies" from a recipe I found on Epicurious (LOVE it) I know, I know, carrot cake??? But, I wanted to make something as a thank you to a friend, and his absolute favorite dessert is carrot cake. Unfortunately. Besides banana creme pie, this is probably my least favorite dessert (if you can call it that). Although the frosting is pretty yummy. Anyways, these turned out well, as far as I can tell..I didn't actually try one. I did make a few changes by following the 04/05/08 review on this page I also made a totally different frosting than was suggested. I used 8oz cream cheese, 3/4 stick of butter, roughly 1/2 cup of confectioner's sugar, a bit of vanilla, and some cinnamon. Honestly, I can't tell you of these were good, but if you like carrot cake, they were an easy alternative to making and frosting an entire cake.

Super Salmon

I LOVE salmon. Ok, I guess my declaring my love for (insert food here) is getting pretty repetitive because looking through my posts I seem to say "I LOVE this or I LOVE that" a lot. But it's true. I just love food so much. Except jello---gag.

But really, around here salmon and asparagus is always a go-to meal for us. There is something about the combination that just goes so well together. 
We've tried making salmon tons of 
different ways, and they are usually all successful. This recipe was really exceptional however, my mom and I decided it is definitely one of the best. And of course, like most things, simple is better.

All we did was coat the salmon in 4 Tbsp dijon mustard, 2 Tbsp soy sauce, 1 clove garlic, salt and pepper. Then we threw it on the grill-pan
 for about 5 minutes per side. FABULOUS.

It was perfectly cooked and very moist. Usually we stick our salmon under the broiler, so maybe using the grill is key. I'll have to do some more experimenting which obviously makes me happy as it means MORE SALMON!

After dinner I made my mom a cappuccino:

I seriously love my espresso machine, we got it at Bed Bath & Beyond for $19.99, and figured it probably wouldn't work well but was worth a shot since it was so cheap. Well we were pleasantly surprised since it works great. Too bad I'm the only one that took the time to learn how to use it, so now I'm the "barista" of the family, and am getting pretty sick of hearing "hey Say, make me an espresso". Nah, I'm kidding, it's fun : ) I bet Starbucks is really regretting not giving me a job last year.....

Oh, and see that amazing frothed milk on the top? Yeah, don't expect that from the attachment on the machine---that thing really was a piece of junk. Good thing I have my Bodum milk frother. This thing is seriously amazing. When I was looking at the website to get a link I couldn't find the exact one I have, it seems they've upgraded to electric ones. Mine is a hand pump, but you know, a little bit of manual labor never killed anyone.

Friday, June 27, 2008

Fridge inventory.

MMM. I couldn't agree more with your sweet potato assessment, they really are amazing! That chicken looks pretty good to, another thing to add to the "must try" list. So much to cook, so little time!

So last night we hardly had any food in the house, as we just got back from vacation. Something had to be done about dinner though, obviously, so I threw together what turned out to be a pretty yummy affair. I found some fresh lemon pepper pasta I had in the freezer (I never used to get fresh pasta, but I almost swear by it now, its really great), so I cooked that up. Then I heated some olive oil (EVOO as Rachel Ray says in that annoying voice AH) in a medium frying pan, added some minced garlic, crushed, halved cherry tomatoes, and the juice of 1/2 lemon and sauteed that for a few minutes. Then I added a few pieces of chopped basil and a few handfuls of fresh spinach, let it cook for a few more minutes, and dupped it in with the pasta. After a generous smattering of parmesan, salt, and pepper, it was all set. I had put some asparagus up on the grill (with just a smidge of olive oil, s&p) so that was added to the plates as well. It turned out to be really good, I must say, and it was more than easy. And it was made from stuff already in the fridge! Always a plus.

Dessert was obviously part of this picture as well. As it had been a stressful day, I figured something insanely chocolatey would be necessary. So I made "supernatural" brownies, from a New York Times recipe I had cut out of the paper a while ago
They were amazing! I of course added atleast a cup of chocolate chips (and omitted the walnuts, but I'm sure they would have only added to the glory). Needless to say, these were the perfect remedy to a hectic day, but I should warn you: if you plan to eat less than 3, you had better be well armed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

"Jamaican Jerk Chicken Kebobs" with Sweet Potato Fries

Now I love food so much, all kinds of food. Basically everything except for Jello. So when I tell you that if I could only live on 1 food for the rest of my life that it would be sweet potato fries, that is a pretty bold statement. But I'm serious, I'm just obsessed with sweet potatoes and baking them like fries is just to die for. In a way it's a shame for whatever other food I pair with them because I just rush through that so I can get to and enjoy the fries and definitely don't pay whatever else is on the plate the respect it deserves.

That being said, as a side-kick to my heavenly fries I made "Jamaican Jerk" Chicken from the Good Housekeeping cookbook. It was a pretty good recipe, I enjoyed eating it but it was nothing to die for, especially when compared with my sweet potatoes.

Like all the recipes in this book, it was so simple to make. The marinade was made by blending together: oil, rice wine vinegar, worceshire (spelling eekk!) sauce, ginger, green onion, poblano pepper (*calls for jalapeno but my mom doesn't like too spicy), thyme and allspice.

I marinated the chicken, then stuck it on kebobs with red peppers and stuck it under the broiler.

It was fun to play with flavors that I don't use very often and the chicken came out incredibly moist. I think I would give it 3 stars, it was good but not fantastic. I would definitely eat it again but would not break my "no repeating a recipe this summer" rule for it.

Sweet Potato Fries on the other hand---those you WILL see again. Soon, I'm sure.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Who am I?!

So anyone that knows me can vouch for the fact that I am very organized--to the point of OCD sometimes. I plan EVERYTHING. I love making lists and planning, organizing, and cleaning. I think through everything a million times over and take forever to make any sort of decision. So when I went in to get my hair trimmed this afternoon and ended up chopping it all off, I acted completely out of character. I still am not really sure what came over me, but I think I'm pretty pleased with the results. It will definitely take some getting used to but so far I'm not regretting my decision.

Here are some pictures (I should have gotten one from behind but didn't think to---it's one of those short in the back, longer in the front deals though so use your imagination)

Monday, June 23, 2008

Successful Cooking Day

I didn't have to work today for the first time in forever so I decided to go to an early morning yoga class and then spend a lot of time in the kitchen.

For dinner I made Thai Beef Taco with Lime and Cilantro Slaw. I seriou
sly LOVE cilantro, it's just so refreshing! They were really good, sort of like everything I've been
 making recently! All the smoke alarms in the house decided to go off while I was cooking them which drove me a little insane since I didn't know how to turn them off and just had to wait it out. When they finally stopped it was like this eery silence. They were really easy to make but unfortunately resulted in lots of dishes for me to clean which is always a bumm

Now on to dessert---another success. Chocolate Banana Cake. Yum, yum, yum. These were so light and fluffy and the banana flavor was really prominent. I think next time I would add some
 walnuts to make it even better. I think these would also be delicious as muffins!

And at some point during the day I made it to Starbucks and bought this:

I love coffee and all things coffee-related. I mean how can I pass up a travel mug that looks just like the paper cups. 
This is perfect because 1) I'm trying to be more "green" and now have a mug to tote along with my reusable grocery bags that I'm annoyingly insistent about my family using. 
2) Starbucks gives a discount if you bring your own mug
3) It's just too darn cute

Sunday, June 22, 2008

"Captain Chicken Cassoulet"

Another 5 star recipe from Good Housekeeping's Light and Healthy Cookbook. I'm not really sure why they named it "Captain Chicken Cassoulet" or what that even means. If I had to come up with a title I think I would call it "I just drooled all over myself while waiting for this to finish cooking Curry Chicken". Seriously the smell alone was to die for. And it tasted pretty darn good too. I really think curry is becoming one of my absolute favorite spices to cook with.

Once again simple ingredients combine to create AMAZING food. This was another pretty simple recipe: chicken thighs, onion, garlic, ginger, red pepper, green apple, raisins, diced tomato, chicken stock, s&p, cumin, and CURRY. 


The whole spread including wine and steamed broccoli:

If I was eating alone I 100% would have licked the plate. I was with my parents however, and like to occasionally pretend to have a little more class. 

As for the wine. My family loves wine, but often we aren't all in the mood for it at the same time, resulting in a bottle being opened, and subsequently going bad before we finish it. Since wine is too delicious to go to waste we've started buying these mini-bottles.

They're perfect! Now they aren't the fanciest or the highest quality, but they are definitely practical. This one was alright, I'm more of a Cab-Sav girl myself so I would have preferred that, but this is what we had in the house. 

It was a great meal overall, and I'm so happy with this cookbook. All 3 recipes I've made so far have been outstanding. Tomorrow night it's back to Cooking Light for what I hope will be equally delicious. We'll have to wait and see : )

Odds and Ends.

So, this week has been lame in the cooking department. We've been eating leftovers for what feels like days, and I went out to dinner Friday and Saturday. Oh, AND I'm going on vacation Mon-Wed, so having new leftovers wasn't wise. However, I have a few brief things to share.

1). Last night I went out to eat at a restaurant I used to work at. Its pretty delicious, I must say, and I would love to try my own versions of pretty much everything on the menu. However, even simpler than that is making the spice mix they serve with olive oil, for bread dipping. Its SO yummy, and although I've never made it, you literally just throw the following on a baking sheet and cook it until fragrant: red and black peppercorns, fennel, coriander seeds, carraway, dried rosemary, sea salt and thyme. Yum!

2). Today I made some hummus, from a recipe I found a few weeks ago. Its totally easy, and has a great consistency...much thicker than the store bought variety. Spread it on a warm pita with some veggies, its like heaven on a plate.
2 cups cooked chickpeas
3 cloves garlic
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tablespoons lime juice
1 teaspoon chipotle puree
1 tablespoon honey
1/2 cup olive oil* (I only used 1/4...personal preference)
salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup tahini (I used peanut butter)

Just throw everything the blender and process until smooth.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Product Review: Rising Moon Ravioli

A few weeks ago my mom and I saw some frozen ravioli at Whole Foods so we grabbed it, stuck it in the freezer and sort of forgot about it. Well today I worked all day and then went to a 645-830 ashtanga yoga class which kicked my butt. Needless to say, I had no time to cook dinner. I knew that I would want something fast when I got home at 9 because I would be starving and would want food fast.

Rising Moon: Basil Pesto, Asiago Cheese, and Pine Nut ravioli to the rescue. 

My mom got home about 20 minutes before I did and put dinner together for me. What a great mom : )

Beautiful salad:


Review: It was pretty good, not a ton of flavor, but just so convenient. I would give it a 3. There are tons of flavors so I will definitely buy this again to try some more out. Also it will be so nice to have next year at school when I want something fast and easy, and pretty yummy.

Oh, and then I had this:

Gin and Tonics are my favorite drink ever. I know I'm weird. Everyone tells me this is an old-man drink, but I think it's just so good and refreshing. So now I'm sipping this while watching Next Food Network Star and blogging. Life is good : ) And soon I'm sure I'll pass out in my cozy bed because not only am I old-man, but I'm a complete lightweight.


Oatmeal = Life

Now Aliza is an amazing person, funny, pretty, a good cook and baker, the list goes on and on. However, last we spoke about it, she is a failure at making oatmeal. This makes me so sad because oatmeal is basically what makes my life go on. It's one of the 3 breakfasts I eat and is so warm, comforting, and delicious. Now I'm NOT talking those fake instant super-sweet heat in the micro for 1 minute oatmeal. I'm talking REAL oatmeal.

Back in the day when I was gross and unhealthy I used to always skip breakfast, "saving" my calories for later in the day. Now I know better. One of the most important lessons I've learned during my journey to better health and better eating has been the necessity and immense benefits of breakfast. When you wake up after fasting all night your body needs fuel or else it will start breaking down muscles for energy (not good) And as far as breakfasts go: my oatmeal is a champion. Whole grains, fruit, and milk provide tons of fiber, vitamins, and minerals. 

After many, many variations of oatmeal, I have finally mastered the PERFECT bowl. Now, it is a little time-consuming, but I promise you it is so worth it.

Sarah's Super Oatmeal (lame, sorry)
1. In a small pot combine 1/2 cup dry oats, 1 cup water, pinch of salt, 1/2 banana, sliced. Stir. Turn on heat to medium and cook about 5 minutes until oatmeal thickens.
2. Add 1/2 cup milk and the other half of sliced banana. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Stir in cinnamon and vanilla extract.
4. Enjoy

This long process creates such a creamy, thick, filling bowl of oatmeal. Seriously, just look at how thick it is: the spoon rests on a nice little pillow of yummy oats.


Tweaking the leftovers.

One thing I always run into is what to do with leftovers. Sure, its great to have a total repeat meal (plus it requires NO work, if its one of those nights) but I usually try to use what I have to make a completely new dish. Last night, for example, I had quite a lot of smoked almond-romesco sauce left over from my tuna dish, and no idea how I would eat it all (which had to happen, I HATE wasting food). After sauteing a few mushrooms and adding the sauce, I poured it over fresh lemon-pepper pasta. With a handful of freshly grated cheese on top, it was great! And super easy. What more could you ask for?

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

I <3 Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes may be my absolute favorite food ever. They are just so freaking good. 

Since tonight is Marni's last night home before she leaves for 2 weeks in Italy I decided to make a vegetarian meal so that my sister could actually eat with us for once. I could have done something creative with tempeh or seitan but seeing as my finger incident occurred while making a tofu dinner (which actually was really amazingly delicious) I'm holding a little bit of a grudge and decided to just keep this simple.

The result: Sweet Potato and Spinach Scramble. 
So easy: sweet potato, egg beater, onion, garlic, frozen spinach, and some seasonings.

Sometimes nice, simple comfort food is all you really need.


Random, but here I am sitting at work and what pops up on the screen monitors? Amazing looking close-up pictures of fruit...blueberries, pomegranates, cherries, goes on. There was a big kick-off meeting with a client who specializes in antioxidant drinks here, so we did a few quick graphics for around the office. Which has left me hunkering for some fresh fruit, brainstorming potential lunch concoctions, and pondering the strange wonders of the pomegranate, which I still can't believe is so tasty. I've never made anything with them, but I think I'm going to try one of these days.

Recent Food Forays

Seeing as Sarah has totally put me to shame regarding posts and recipes, I thought I would share some of my more recent shots at food glory. Unfortunately I don't have pictures of my own, but the professional ones are better anyway.

So, last week I tried making Dulce de Leche and Chocolate Chunk Bread Pudding (sounds unreal, right?) which has been calling out to me from the March 2008 Bon Appetit for weeks now. The picture makes it look completely saturated with the caramel mixture, and loaded with pockets of chocolate, a must in my book (speaking of which, those calcium supplements sounds awesome, I'm getting some ASAP).

Unfortunately, the recipe didn't turn out to be quite as amazing as it looks. Although it says to toast the bread "until it begins to color", I would suggest taking it out of the oven even earlier. The less toasted the bread is, the more it will be able to absorb the liquid later. Also, next time I'm going to try adding a little more liquid -- it calls for 1.5 cups of cream; I would suggest adding some extra milk. The bread soaked up everything, but there were still chunks that could have absorbed a lot more. Overall, the first run with this wasn't a blowout, but this recipe has HUGE potential just be tweaking it a little!

A few nights ago I tried another magazine recipe, this time from Food & Wine. The Grilled Tuna with Smoked-Almond Romesco Sauce jumped out at me as a simple but creative use of flavors. Unfortunately I couldn't find tuna steaks anywhere, so I went with was still a good combination, but I think the sauce would have complimented tuna a little better. I also didn't have smoked almonds, as the recipe called for, but raw almonds worked perfectly. This was a delicious sauce; light and simple, the flavors were subtle and not overbearing. I think it would be great over pasta, and also with grilled chicken. It was great!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Chocolate for Your Health

As we all know, I LOVE chocolate. Especially dark chocolate. So when I found out about these dark chocolate calcium supplements I got really excited. They're called Adora discs and I buy them at Whole Foods. I know that I don't get enough calcium, so I could just take a calcium vitamin supplement, but where is the fun in that when I could have a little dark chocolate disc of heaven. And I can't even feel guilty about eating them because they're good for me. And they taste delicious.

Oh yeah, and see that band-aid. I blame Giada di Laurentis. See I was at this foodie store a while ago in search of a new knife since ours was so dull it couldn't cut a banana and the saleswomen showed me the sleek, lightweight, pretty knife that Giada uses. Well Giada not only is beautiful and makes delicious food, and I wish I was her, so I bought it. Let's just say that my knife skills are not up to par. Kids---do not believe everything you see on TV. Just because Giada can chop an onion in 2 seconds flat with this knife does not mean you should try to imitate her crazy knife-wielding skills. I should have known something was fishy with her---I mean look at the food she makes and supposedly eats, and look at her--she can't weigh even 83 lbs. That should have aroused my suspicious.

So yes, disaster struck. And lots of blood. I hate blood. And it really hurt. I probably should have inspected the wound, possibly gone in for stitches, but I was too scared and didn't want to pass out so I just wrapped it with a million band-aids to cut off the circulation and prayed for the best. It eventually stopped bleeding, and hasn't fallen off yet, so that's got to be a good sign.

And finally, on a completely unrelated note.
Remember when we first took that intro to yoga class with that strange old man and I couldn't even touch my toes. Well look what I can do now!: 
Yeah, I finally managed headstand in class tonight and immediately went home to show-off. After a few failed attempts, we had success. Lovely picture right? I'm especially fond of my no-pack stomach that I'm showing off, as well as my grey (gray?) underwear.

And I swear this is much harder than it looks! Go try it so that you can appreciate me a little more.

Ok, off to bed because 1) I'm lame and 11:00 is actually past my bedtime. 2) I have to work all day tomorrow. Faking a smile and telling middle-aged women how lovely they look in seersucker is also harder than it looks.

Thai Chicken with Basil

Omg. Dinner was AMAZING. This was seriously restaurant quality food. My dad even told me that it was the best meal I've made so far---and I've made some pretty good ones. And it was so easy too!

Thai Chicken with Basil 
Good Housekeeping Light and Healthy Recipes
Prep: 20 min. Cook: 10 Minutes   Serves 4
1 lb chicken breast halves 2 red or green chilies, seeded and cut into matchstrip strips
3 Tbs Asian fish sauce *(I used poblano peppers)
1 Tbs soy sauce 2 tsp fresh peeled ginger
2 tsp olive oil 2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 Tbs brown sugar
1 lg onion cut into 1/4 in slices 1.5 cups fresh basil leaves

1. Cut chicken into 1/4 in slices. In bowl combine fish sauce, soy sauce, brown sugar; add chicken slices, tossing to coat. Marinate 5 min.
2. In 12-in nonstick skillet, heat oil over med-high heath until very hot. Add chicken with marinade, stirring frequently 3-4 minutes. Remove with slotted spoon, set aside.
3. Add onions and stir fry 4 minutes. Stir in chiles, ginger, garlic for 1 minute more.
4. Return chicken to skillet, heat through. Stir in basil leaves
*I also cooked brown rice and stirred it in at the end.

So delicious and filling. On a 1-5 scale, I would definitely give this a 5. 

After dinner we watched "The Last King of Scotland" which I would also give a 5. It was amazing---Forest Whitaker is SUCH a good actor!

Prepare the whisks.

World, get ready. The inspired ramblings of two absolute foodies are here to stay.

Sorry about that, I felt that in my first post I just HAD to include some overarching statement regarding our greatness. Anyways, you're birthday drinks look totally delicious, we'll have to make some ourselves one of these days.

The vegan cookies were a great idea! But yeah, cookies without butter...not so much. Maybe we can play around more with them. Its always great to have a healthier dessert when you're in the mood for that (which is never really the case with me...but I'm willing to sacrifice a few chocolate chips for some experimenting).

Food and Wine Blog....

I just realized that this can officially (aka legally) be a food and wine blog if I want it to be. Here are some pictures for you Lize, from my 21st bday celebration (since you unfortunately live far from Pittsburgh and couldn't join in the festivities). You can live vicariously through me for the next month and enjoy delicious tropical drinks by looking at my pictures. Haha. 


First post! Exciting stuff. 

So in my perusing different food websites and blogs, I came across some vegan ones. Now I am in no way a vegan (or vegetarian) nor will I ever be one (life without salmon and steak=not a life worth living...) but I did remember how Julia doesn't eat eggs and as a result unfortunately misses out on some of the wonderful desserts we make. So when I came across some vegan (=no egg) recipes a decided to try one out. Not only does this chocolate chip cookie have no eggs, but no butter either. A healthy cookie! Of course I wanted to try it out.

The recipe says that it makes 8-10 large cookies, but I wasn't paying much attention when I was putting them on the pan and ended up with 12 medium ones.

Mehh. These were alright. Obviously eatable due to the chocolate chips. And the maple syrup was a nice addition, but cookies without butter = non-buttery cookies. Duh. I should have thought that through. They just didn't have that flakey buttery goodness that one expects and deserves from a chocolate chip cookie. But I guess they are healthier so I suppose it's a trade-off. I doubt I would make these again though.

Sad that my first blog-post wasn't a raving success. But there's still dinner tonight to look forward to : )