Posts Tagged With: Recipes

Once Again

Once again, I find myself ignoring this space for a little too long. I do try, I really do, but time seems to slip through my fingers at lot more easily these days.
I don’t know if its just life as an adult or the summertime in general, but the last few months have been insanely busy. When I’m not working – and lately, I’ve been getting a lot of overtime there as well – I’m trying to cram everything I think I want to do into the free hours. This has lead to a lot of fun days/night/weekends but also a very drained and tired me. These are times I’m glad I live alone, so when I do overextend myself and need a break, I can hole up and not talk to anyone or lay on my couch for a few hours without feeling bad about it. I think things will slow down now that we’re technically entering the fall, but who knows what the future months will bring. My friend and I are discussing moving together, I’ve got a couple ideas for trips and I want to see my new baby nephew as much as possible! The only guarantee for slow months is when it snows and then no one wants to discuss being on the road anyway.

On that note – Criminal Minds is now on Netflix and my life is basically over. Also, tv season is back! I’m borderline obsessed with television and cannot wait to see new pilots or my old favorites come back. Premiere season is the best, followed closely by finale season. For new shows, I’m pretty excited for Gotham,  How to Get Away With Murder and The Flash. I’m cautiously optimistic about Mulaney (he’s one of my favorite comedians), Scorpion (looks like Numbers, which I loved), Forever and Constantine.  Now if only they would release Arrow’s 2nd season on Netflix!!

I wanted to write a quick review of my newest cookbook that I love. Regardless of the fact that I live alone, I asked for (and received) the book Dinner: The Playbook by Jenny Rosenstrach, who co-writes the blog Dinner: A Love Story with her husband. I literally read the book cover to cover – and yes, I read recipes for fun – on the plane to Vegas a couple weeks ago. I kept bothering my two friends I was flying with – “Ooh doesn’t this look good? Should we make this sometime?”. They thought I was super weird, but the book has a lot of great ideas! The general idea of the The Playbook is devising a plan for a daily family dinner. It gives tips on how to prep recipes ahead of time, great ideas for grocery shopping and of course delicious meals to try. My only issue is that the meals are designed to be served to a family, and I again, live alone. So I made these super delicious shrimp rolls below…but I ate them Monday, Tuesday and probably will again tonight. I probably could have halved the recipie – but I had a two lb bag of shrimp, and just figured I would do the whole thing anyway.

Shrimp Rolls and the cook book! I think I captured the book's vision pretty well.

Shrimp Rolls and the cook book! I think I captured the book’s vision pretty well.

Anyway, pick it up! I can’t wait to try the Black Bean and Goat Cheese Quesadilla and the Chicken in Mustard Sauce. But next on my list is the Chicken BLT…yum.

 

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Categories: Recipes, reflections, Television | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Mother’s Day

I have a great family. However, outside of my mother, I’m pretty much the only one that can cook. 

Plus my brothers both left town for Mother’s Day this year (cowards) so brunch was on me. 

I went with my favorites – Baked Eggs, Sweet Potato and Sausage hash and sliced avocados. Oh, and of course Mimosas! 

 

Baked eggs are seriously the easiest food in the world to make. I like to make them in rolls but if you have a ramikien, you can bake in that. I used kaiser rolls for these, and just chose the fluffiest ones I could find in the loose roll bin at the Jewel. 

Step one: slice off the top of the roll and remove some of the middle. Brush with olive oil or melted butter. Preheat oven to 350. 

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Step 2: Crack an egg into the middle of the roll. Add a splash of heavy cream or half and half. Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Cover with Parmesan cheese (asiago would probably be really good too!)Image

Step 3: Put in oven for 20 – 30 minutes, depending on preference of doneness. For the last five minutes, put the tops of the bread that were sliced off in to toast. 

Thats it! Done!  The best part is that it taste good no matter what the yolk hardness is. My mother and dad were late getting to my place, so I left them in the oven to stay warm and they ended up with a harder yolk than I normally like. But my parents both loved it.  

 

Ta da! Image

Oh! And don’t forget dessert! I made cherry brownies – just a box of brownies but instead of adding water, put a can of cherry pie filling in and bake. Delicious! Image

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Relapsing

Hello Monday morning.  I did not miss you at all.

I finally sat down this weekend and wrote what I’ve been eating lately – I have some slight stomach issues, so its good when I keep my food journals up to date so I can pinpoint what might have made me sick. And I’ve been feeling off kinda frequently, so I figured it was time to play catch up. What I discovered, is that my diet the last two weeks has been outrageously bad. For me, probably not in the grand scheme of diets.

As I’ve written in here before, I try (and apparently fail) to eat a somewhat Paleo type of diet. Last week I made Blue Cheese Mac and Cheese because I was stressed. My go-to comfort food is mac and cheese, and if I could, I would probably live on blue cheese. Love it. Unfortunately  I live alone – this mac and cheese lasted until yesterday. It was extremely delicious, but definitely not Paleo. The rest of those two weeks was pretty similar – lots of carbs, lots of cheese and even a run to McDonalds (GASP!). No wonder I’ve been feeling sick!

Plus, Saturday night was my parent’s St. Patrick’s day party with my mother’s corned beef, which was also turned into hash for breakfast Sunday morning. Plus lots of homemade cookies. And a few shots of Jameson.  From the party, not breakfast. That would be a little much.

So this week, I’m trying to go back to basics. I’m picking up the ingredients to make my mini-meatloaves tonight, and I’m going to try and make these Slow Cooker Short Ribs for later in the week (they seem almost paleo friendly, so that’ll be good).

But before I switch over, I figured I’d share my favorite non-corned beef hash breakfast. Definitely not paleo, but easy to make.

My family calls these toad-in-a-hole but I’ve heard them called eggs in a basket as well.

I usually start with two pieces of bread, two eggs and some butter.  Melt the butter on a large pan (if you have a  griddle or skillet that works best). While its melting, cut two holes out of the middle of the bread – I usually use a juice or shot glass, but a cookie/biscuit cutter is an easy way to do it. Place the bread on the butter in the skillet, with the cut out rounds to the side as well. Crack an egg into the hole of each piece, add salt and pepper to taste.

Perfect!

Perfect!

Cook until eggs can be flipped (usually about a couple minutes). Remove rounds for a little bit, butter their area again. Flip bread/egg onto melted butter. Put rounds back on other side to continue to grill them.

Not a perfect flip on top, but still good.

Not a perfect flip on top, but still good.

Once eggs are cooked to desired firmness, remove and eat! (Well, probably let them cool a bit before eating). I like mine about over-medium, so its probably just another minute or so. Eggs are so quick!

These are different from just fried eggs and toast – the bread gets grilled instead of toasted, and the butter cooked into the bread is just fantastic.

Delicious.

Delicious.

Now back to my relatively boring breakfast of two sausage links. Not bad, but its no toad-in-the-hole!

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Irish Inspiration

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A couple of years ago, my parents took me and my two brothers to Ireland for our unofficial ‘last’ family vacation. I say ‘last’ as its probably the last one fully financed by my parents, but I’m sure at some point in the future we’ll all go somewhere together again. I’m pretty close to my family – my brothers more than any one else.  We like travelling with each other for the most part, but we all know our limitations. At like day five, we’re sick of each other and need a break. Its almost like clockwork.

Our trip to Ireland was inspired by my parents’ past. They were actually married there, and our trip was their 25th wedding anniversary dream-come-true. They basically eloped, no family or friends were present except for a distantly related aunt that lived near Galway. She was their connection to the church. Our parents have always wanted to show us the location, to take the family there. They had saved for years and surprised us Christmas of the year before. Fortunately, my brother Pete and I had already traveled abroad and had passports. My brother Jack had been tricked into getting one a few months before. (I used the words tricked, because he didn’t connect the trip with the passport at all. He’s very smart but easily glosses over motives or details to actions). We were set.

Kissing the Blarney Stone

Kissing the Blarney Stone

Our trip was ten days long – we flew into Dublin and then drove to Galway, on the opposite side of the country. We spent a few days there, then drove to Cork, then back to Dublin. By the time we reached Dublin, my brothers and I were ready to kill each other. We had been sharing a room for six days at this point, and that’s a long time to put three people in a room. Plus, five people in a car driving all around the country. I’m not trying to complain at all – it was a great trip, a fantastic adventure and something I will never forget in my life. But seriously, day six was it. We had tickets to one of those hop-on-hop-off city tours, so at the first stop, I hopped off by myself. With the agreement that we’d meet back at the hotel at five, I walked around for hours visitng the Joyce Museum, the Dublin Writers Museum,  finding the Oscar Wilde statue…basically just drinking it all in.

Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin

Oscar Wilde statue in Dublin

I got back to the hotel at the designated time and was the first one there. I stopped into the hotel pub for an appetizer since I had skipped lunch and got a red onion and goat cheese tart. Now, at this time, I wasn’t a huge red onion fan, but I was a goat cheese fanatic. It was delicious, and I ate it a few more times while we were at this hotel.

Note, I arrived that the designated time. The rest of my family had thought we were meeting at seven! They had all separated too, I don’t know how they had mutually decided to all be late. While I was waiting, I went back to my room and discovered the show  The IT Crowd, which I found on Netflix as soon as I got home. Hilarious.

Anyway!

I found my travel journal recently, and read about that day. Since then, I’ve wanted to recreate the tart and finally got time to do it today.

Red Onion and Goat Cheese Tart (adapted from AllRecipes)

1 9-inch pie crust

2.5 red onions thinly sliced

2 tablespoons of Olive Oil

3 Egg yolks

2/3 cup half-and-half

5 oz of Goat cheese (can use more if desired)

salt and pepper to taste.

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Line a 9 inch fluted, loose-bottom flat tart pan with pastry. Chill for 15 minutes. Cover with foil, and fill with pie weights. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove foil and weights, and bake for a further 5 minutes. ( I used a premade crust and cooked it according to the directions on the box)
  3. Put onions in a roasting tin, turn up to 450 degrees and drizzle over the oil. Season with salt and pepper. Toss to make sure all onions are coated. Roast for 35 minutes, stirring halfway through. Set aside to cool.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees
  5. Beat together egg yolks and cream, and season with salt and pepper. Arrange the red onions over the base of the baked pastry. Pour cream mixture over onions. Slice the goat cheese thinly, and dot over the top of the tart.
  6. Bake for 30 minutes, or until custard has just set.

Now here’s what happened to me in pictures:

First, I chopped up all the onions. I meant to use 3 full red onions, but one half looked like this:

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That ended up being for the best. 2.5 onions filled up my pan pretty well. The original recipe calls for five, which is ridiculous.

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Also I went to bake my pie crust, and realized I didn’t have weight. I used my dutch oven instead. Worked well enough:

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As you can see, 2.5 of roasted onions filled up the pan considerably.

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Add your custard!

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Also, read ahead. I had taken out my goat cheese because I assumed it was mixed in with the custard. Not true. Its sliced and layered on top. Because mine was room temp it was too soft – I clumped it. I think you can probably just used crumbled goat cheese as well if you want.

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Success!

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If you’re not a onion fan, its probably not the dish for you. But it doesn’t taste like you’re eating a pile of onions. Mine turned out great, but I’ll have to go back to that hotel pub to know for sure whether its better or worse. Damn. Better book my trip!

So pour a little Jameson or Guinness, turn on an episode of The IT Crowd and eat up! Its just like Ireland 🙂

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Ok…one more Ireland picture.

The Cliffs of Moher

The Cliffs of Moher

Categories: Recipes, Travel | Tags: , , , | Leave a comment

Puttering around the kitchen

I have a tendency to have a very empty fridge. I hate grocery shopping and I eat mostly vegetables and meat (see: Lazy Paelo), so while the meat stays good in the freezer, my veggies tend to go bad fast. Or I have frozen ones. My freezer is generally full.

What I do have a lot of is condiments. Lots and lots of random sauces, spices and add-ons that seem to live in my fridge forever.  So when I realized I had a defrosted steak sitting in my fridge from Saturday (when I chose to go out to eat with friends instead of cooking it), I decided to figure out a way to use up a few of those jars.

Here’s what I used: some olive oil, garlic, horseradish, dijonnaise mustard, worcestershire sauce, and some salt/pepper.  I kinda eyeballed everything, but I would guess I used a tablespoon of the garlic, horseradish and mustard, a teaspoon of worcestershire  and two or three tablespoons of olive oil. I whisked it all together and then coated my steak in it.

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(I took these photos with my phone, so not the best quality…)

I didn’t feel like getting a grill dirty, so I broiled my steak in my tiny broiler with the leftover sauce dumped on top:

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I’ve never tried broiling my meat before, so it turned out tougher than I intened. I prefer my steak to be medium rare – this was probably well done. I did about 4 minutes on each side.

Then some steamed green beans, and I was done! It actually tasted pretty good, if I do say so myself! I might try a little less olive oil next time, but I’ll definately attempt this again.

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Happy Monday!

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