Monday, January 31, 2011

Salty Homemade Twix

I was really excited about this recipe. I love a Twix so I thought, "How great would it be to make it at home?" Also, I have found a Twix to be too sweet so I thought a pinch of salt would be great.

Well it was good:

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But honestly, it was too fiddly for me to make regularly. You have to make the shortbread, then the caramel, then pour melted chocolate. It just required too many dirty dishes. I am a lazy cleaner so if a recipe takes too much effort to clean up, I will probably never make it again. And this qualifies. If anyone really wants the recipe, I will put it up but I cannot recommend this. The ROI is just not worth it.

Cheese Wedding Cake

GENIUS!

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Broccoli Cheese Soup

I made this soup up. The first time I ever ate this was in a school lunch room. Most of the American food I was exposed to was first introduced in a school lunch room. But this is much better than I remember. Yohboh said it reminded him of TGI Fridays.

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Broccoli Cheese Soup

2 T olive oil
1 onion, chopped haphazardly
1 bunch of broccoli, florets and stems (you should peel the woody stems to reveal the tender white parts) chopped haphazardly
1 potato chopped haphazardly
32 ounces chicken broth

8 ounces cheese food product (like Velveeta), cubed into dice sized bits

In a large pot, saute the olive oil, broccoli chunks, and potato until the onions are translucent. Add the chicken broth and bring to a simmer. Let simmer for 20 minutes until everything is soft. Season liberally with salt and pepper.

Put an immersion blender and let it whir. It should be a pleasing jade green.

Take the soup off the heat and add the cheese food product cubes and let melt, stirring occasionally.

Serve with an extra grinding of pepper.

Makes a lot.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Mark Bittman

Mark Bittman wrote his last column in the New York Times as the Minimalist. I have always enjoyed his columns because I really felt he understood the concept of a home cook. He never wrote a recipe that entailed making your own oregano vinegar but simple real recipes that tasted good.

We need more people to write those.

Chicken, Sausage and Rice

I have been making a version of Chicken and Rice for years. But I have noticed that the original recipe is not really what I do anymore. I use it for a base, but really I tend to use what I have on hand. Tonight, I defrosted some chicken thighs and had some cocktail sausage in the fridge.

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Chicken, Sausage and Rice

1T olive oil
4 chicken thighs
16 ounces cocktail sausages

1 chopped onion
1 chopped bell pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed

1 cup brown rice
1T paprika
2T cumin

1 glass of white wine
1 can Rotel
2 cups chicken broth

10 ounces frozen peas

In a dutch oven, heat the olive oil over high heat. Add the chicken and let it brown on both sides. Take the chicken out and put it on a plate. Add the sausage and let it brown. Take the sausage out put it on the same plate. There should be a brown bit of fat at the bottom on the dutch oven.

Put the onion, pepper, and garlic in the fat and let it brown, about ten minutes It should deglaze the brown stuff at the bottom of the pan. Add the rice, cumin and paprika. Let it cook a bit in the fat, about five minutes.

While the veggies are cooking, I like to cut the chicken up into bite sized pieces. I put the chicken back on the plate.

Add the wine to the rice mixture and let it reduce by half. Add the Rotel, chicken broth and all the meats.

Cover and put it down to a simmer until the rice is done. About an hour. Stir frequently so nothing sticks to the bottom of the pan.

When the rice is done, take the pot off the heat and add the frozen peas.

Makes a vat.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Salad

Sometimes you crave salad. Did you know Alice Waters pooh poohs iceberg lettuce? Well this salad has iceberg so I think Alice would snub me. I got over it.

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Sunday, January 23, 2011

Grocery Challenge Update

I have challenged myself to buy 100 dollars worth of groceries for the month of January. This week was a soup week. All I made was soup. Since we were house bound the week before, I was doing a bit of replenishing of my larder.

So far, I have spent $67.00 on groceries.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Buckeyes

I LOVE Reese's Peanut Butter Cups. But I read Michael Pollan's Food Rules: An Eater's Manual
and he says that you can eat junk food only if you make it.

Well:

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Buckeyes

Ingredients

1 18 ounce jar of peanut butter ( I used crunchy because that is all I keep in the house)
2 sticks of butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
6 cups powdered sugar

4 cups chocolate chips

Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl. It will be a little dry, so that is okay. Roll into 1 inch balls on a parchment lined cookie sheet.

Stick the cookie sheet in the freezer for about half an hour.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler. I actully use a cast iron pot with boiling water and a metal bowl, works fine-ghetto double boiler. It should be smooth and shiny.

Take the frozen peanut butter balls and dip them in the chocolate. Have a little peanut butter showing because that is what a buckeye looks like. Actually, I had no idea what a buckeye looks like so I just googled it and yeah it kinds looks like the picture above. I used two forks to get the peanut butter balls out.

Put them back on the parchment covered cookie sheet and refrigerate until you are ready to eat.

Made about 50.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Top Chef Restaurant Wars

Of all the reality shows, Top Chef is my favorite. There have been some dud seasons (season five comes to mind) but I have really been enjoying Top Chef All Stars. Last night they did Restaurant Wars, which is EVERYbody's favorite.

My favorite was the introduction of Justo Thomas. Justo Thomas is the fish butcher of Le Bernadin. He is, in a word, the shit. Anthony Bourdain wrote a really thought provoking essay about Justo and all the other people who prepare your food at restaurants but have never eaten there in his book Medium Raw.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Alcohol Free Whisky

I found Alcohol Free Whisky.

Next, Unsweetened Sugar!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Grocery Challenge Update

I have challenged myself to buy 100 dollars worth of groceries for the month of January. This week we were snowed in. Yohboh did a walking trip to the local Kroger because he was stir crazy. He spent $8.50 on two pork chops.

So far, I have spent $42.93 on groceries for the month of January.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Don't be Mrs. Drinkwater

This post on being hungry made me sad.

I love to feed people.

If a little girl came to my house and said she was hungry, I would have fed her no matter what. I also would have insisted that she take the extra home. In fact, I donated a few hundred dollars worth of food over the holidays for the hungry. I think this is the greatest country in the world and no one should ever be hungry.

Don't be Mrs. Drinkwater.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Spaghetti

Yohboh said that this batch was just like Mama's. He did not mean his mother. Hint: It had lamb in it.

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Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Snowy Meal

Pork Chops and salad. The salad was really good. Yohboh grilled the pork chops outside.

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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

A snowy meal

We had home made chicken fingers for dinner.

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Chicken fingers

2 pounds of chicken breast cut into finger sized pieces
4 cups of salty water

1 cup flour
1 T salt
1/2 T pepper
1 teaspoon baking powder

Put the chicken in the salted water and stick in the fridge (or outside because it is cold enough) for a few hours or up to overnight.

Combine the flour, salt, pepper and baking powder in a bowl.
Drain the chicken and dredge in the flour mixture.

Deep fry at 375 until golden brown.

Serve with honey mustard, chile garlic mayo and garlic sauce.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Creamy Turnip Soup

This is the view outside my living room:
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and I had to make soup.

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I have to say, as I get older I am more of a vegetable girl. This soup is fairly healthy and has no cream but is wonderfully luscious and creamy from the pureeing.

Creamy Turnip Soup

2 Tablespoons bacon fat
2 onions finely chopped
2 turnips, finely chopped
2 potatoes, finely chopped
1 quart of chicken broth

In a large pot, saute the onions in the bacon fat over medium heat. When the onions are brown add the turnips and potatoes. Season liberally with salt and pepper. Cover the pot and let simmer for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are soft. Add the broth and let simmer for another ten minutes. Put a stick blender in and let it whir.

Made enough for lunch today and tomorrow for three people.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

January Challenge Update

I have challenged myself to buy 100 dollars worth of groceries for the month of January. I have to say that I had a TON of leftover food from the holidays so we have been eating that most of this week.

So far I have spent $22.64 on groceries.

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Kale

Our winter garden is hanging in there, barely. But tonight, we had kale we grew!

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Minjenah's Kale

1 T olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion
salt
pepper
1 head of kale

Saute the onion in olive oil until it is carmelized (read-LOOKING REALLY BROWN). Season liberally with salt and pepper. Add the kale to the skillet until it wilts.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dinner

Grilled chicken, zucchini, leftover black eyed peas and avocados.
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Sunday, January 2, 2011

January Grocery Challenge 2011

Happy New Year to all of you. To start of 2011, I am doing a grocery challenge. I did one a year ago. I thought it would be a good way to kick off the year to do it again.

So I am going to buy only 100 dollars worth of groceries this month, including tax. I should add that I have a very full refrigerator, an extremely well stocked pantry and a half full freezer.

Here are my rules:
1) Meals out do not count.
2) That being said on average we eat one meal out a week, which we normally eat with a coupon.
3) I eat most of my meals at home, as does my child. Yohboh brings lunch with him most of the time. He also seems to get a free meal at his job every week or so.