Wednesday, June 30, 2010

So apparently we have had some steaks sitting out in our other refrigerator for a few days so while I was at my class tonight my dad decided we should probably cook them up
So on my way home I picked up some corn and once I got home we got started on cooking everything
My dad decided to try salt crusting the steaks so to do that he simply coated them in kosher salt then let them rest on a rack for about a half and hour while we cooked everything else
then at the last minute before everything was done he threw them on the grill and cooked them to perfection
So as you can see these steaks were HUGE and we had 4 of them
let me remind you only three people live at my house right now
needless to say we had leftovers
which is probably a good thing since I have work tomorrow night so I wont be able to make my parents dinner
well any way it was really good and the fact that the steaks were kind of on the edge added with the salt crusting they were super tender and the meat just melted in your mouth
It was almost like eating prime rib

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Pesto Pasta with Chicken & Veggies

Tonight for dinner I made a simple pasta dish with veggies and chicken
To make it I simply sliced up 2 chicken breasts and seasoned them with salt, pepper, and garlic
I then grill the chicken while I also sauteed sliced red and green bell peppers and a red onion
Once the pasta was cooked and the veggies all done I added it all to a big bowl and tosses it with pesto, balsamic and olive oil
It was a very simple dinner to make and it was really tasty too

Monday, June 28, 2010

So today was my day off for the week so I decided to make dinner for both my parents and our friends Sand and Randy because Sandy just had back surgery a few days ago and I thought it would be nice to give them a good meal with out having to cook or go out
So I made them some pork chops with a pan pepper gravy, mash potatoes, and asparagus
I started by seasoning the pork chops with some salt, pepper, and garlic pepper
I then seared them in a large pan then I removed the chops and added a little extra olive oil and a few tablespoons of flower to make a roux
I then added about 2 cups of milk to the pan and brought it to a boil and allowed it to thicken
I then added the chops back to the pan and let them simmer in the gravy until they were cooked through
While I did all this I also chopped up a few potatoes and got them boiling until they were for tender then I drained them and added them back to the pan and added buttermilk, butter, salt, pepper, and garlic
Then I mashed away to make nice garlicky smashed potatoes
I also steamed a big bunch of asparagus until tender then I sauteed them quickly with some garlic, salt and pepper
It was a really good dinner and it was nice to get back into my own kitchen for once and Randy and Sandy really liked it as well

I also made them bread pudding finally since I forgot to make it for them last time
To make it I simply make a sort of custard of
5 eggs
2 1/2 cups of cream
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 teaspoons of vanilla
and finally my secret ingredient
1 can of apple pie filling (with the apples chopped up)
I then cube a large loaf of day old Italian bread
I also really like to use Challah but a lot of the time I can't find it so Italian works fine
I let the bread cubes soak in the custard for about 10 minutes then I pour it out onto a greases 9 x 13 pan and bake it in a 350 oven for 40-45 minutes
Now it is important that you let this dessert stand and cook so that is sets up and gets real dense and delicious
Mmm it is so so good
And to top it off I make a simple sauce made by boiling powdered sugar with some cream and amaretto liquor
You have got to try this one

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Today I actually got up early enough to be able distinguish between breakfast and lunch so when it was lunch time I made myself a really awesome sandwich
I had bought so focaccia bread the at the grocery the other day so I decided I would use that for my sandwich
I cut it in half and toasted it a bit then spread a good layer of roasted red pepper hummus on both sided
I then added some lettuce, tomato and red onion
and finally Romano cheese!
Mmm it was great
maybe I should get wake up in time for lunch more often

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Peanut Butter & Banana Crepe

This morning i felt like having something a little more special than just cereal
So I decided to make a crepe!
I actually didn't make the crepe today because well that would take to long and I had a few in the freezer from last time I made them so all I had to do was pop it in the microwave for about 10 seconds then I spread a layer of peanut butter and some thinly sliced bananas and folded it up
I drizzled a bit more peanut butter on top
and voila
Delicious and wonderful breakfast!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Egg in a Basket

Today I had school again from 8 to 12 and then work from 3 to 8
So once I got home from school I just had enough time to make myself a little lunch and relax a bit before work
So for lunch I decided to make myself an egg in a basket
I know this is kind of a common thing with most people and this is something most kids grew up with
But not me
My mom didn't even know what this was when I was making it today and this is only the third time I have ever had it but I love it!
I mean who doesn't like toast and an over easy egg?
Mmm I just love the crispy toast mixed with the gooey yolk of the egg it is just so good and so very simple
Just perfect for breakfast or lunch!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Pizza Rolls

Tonight I actually got to make dinner for once!
And my mom requested that I make my pizza rolls
These are kind of a hybrid of a recipe I saw on Dinner Drive-ins and Dives mixed with my deluxe pesto pizza that I created
So to make them I start off with one of those Pillsbury roll out pizza doughs
But make sure when you roll it out you don't let it get to thin or else the dough will not hold its shape when rolled and it will just fall apart
I then get started on sauteing my toppings diced bell peppers, onions, mushrooms, and finally Italian sausage
When everything is cooked I let it sit and cool while I sauce my dough
I first oil the dough with some extra virgin olive oil then I spread it with a layer of pesto and tomato sauce
I then sprinkle the toppings evenly on the dough and begin to roll
(if you don't use the canned dough make sure you roll your dough in a rectangle because it helps to make more consistent rolls)
So I then rolled my dough into one big log and then I sliced it into 8 separate rolls
I then sprinkled a small sheet pan with corn meal and placed the rolls on the pan
I baked the rolls at 375 for about 20-25 minutes
And in the last few minuted I added cheese to the tops of the rolls and turned on the broiler to melt the cheese and give the rolls a little color
To serve I top the rolls with extra tomato sauce and sprinkle them with a little Italian seasoning
I love to make these because I think it is a really fun little twist on regular pizza and the process is so much like a homemade cinnamon roll its just kind of neat make a sort of savory one

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Berries & Cream

Today I worked the dinner shift at the restaurant so I didn't really have an official dinner I just kind of snacked on things there and so when I got home I just really wanted something sweet!
So I made myself a little dessert
We had some leftover blueberry bread from Bob Evans so I took a piece of that and then I topped it with a little canal of vanilla ice cream
And finally some of our fresh wild berries we picked the other day
So I'm sorry these blogs aren't going to be as consistent as they were before but with my new job I'm not going to be home to make dinner all the time anymore
So I'm going to try and make more meals that I can make ahead and just have my parents heat it up when they want it and I can eat when I get home
So I think it will work I will just have to get better at planning ahead =/

Monday, June 21, 2010

Tonight I had my Pilates class and my parents didn't want to eat before I left but they also couldn't wait until I got home so we just decided everyone was just on their own for dinner
But when I got home my parents had gone out to dinner without me so it was really just me on my own lol
So I just decided to make myself something out of what we had in the frig
So I scavenged somethings together and made a wrap with eggs, roast beef and some colby jack cheese
I know it doesn't really look that great but it was actually pretty tasty

Sunday, June 20, 2010


Today I made cupcakes for a photo shoot!
Alright my mom is doing some mad hatter tea party thing for her blog next week and she wanted some cute cupcakes to put set up
So naturally she asked me to make some
So I made chocolate cupcakes with multicolored pastel frosting
I really love cupcakes so I had no problem doing this for her if you can imagine and we even brought them to dinner for fathers day so the rest of the family got to enjoy them
My mom and I added a few garnishes to the cupcakes just to make them even cuter
This one has a few antique buttons that were my grandmas

This one was my favorite just because its my favorite color and the orange flower was so CUTE!

Cooper really wanted one of the cupcakes but I couldn't give him one so I just gave him a little frosting on one of his treats
He loved it!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Chicken & Asparagus Crepes

So today I had my first early morning of work so I decided on my way to work I would make a stop at the local donut shop and pick myself up a delicious donut for breakfast
Mmm Stan The Donut Man is the BEST!

Alright so for dinner I have been really wanting to try this french bistro dish I saw awhile back and tonight I finally did
I made Chicken and Asparagus Crepes with a Mushroom and Asiago Cream Sauce
I decided I wanted to try my hand at french cuisine
And I think I did pretty good
I started by making a simple crepe batter because that has to rest in the frig for at least 1 hour before use
To make it you simply add
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1/3 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons butter, melted
to a blender or food processor
and blend for a few second until smooth
then cover and refrigerate
After that I got started grilling my chicken that I seasoned simply with salt, pepper and garlic powder
At this time I also got some water boiling to blanch the asparagus
I also began heating 1 cup of cream with a few cloves of minced garlic
Once the chicken finished cooking I set it aside and began sauteing 8 0z of sliced button mushrooms with 1 chopped onion
I deglazed the pan with white wine then let it reduce for a few minutes and then set that aside while I made my crepes
8 crepes later I began to make my sauce and assemble the crepes
To start I made a roux with butter and flower then added my hot cream and allowed it to come to a boil and thicken
I then added a good handful of asiago cheese and the mushroom and onion mixture
I allowed the sauce to cook and let the flavors come together while I quickly rolled my crepes with the chicken and blanched asparagus
And finally I plated the crepes and added a generous amount of sauce to finish
My parent both really liked it and I think my first french inspired meal was a success
But then again french food is never bad considering all the butter and cream it consists of

Friday, June 18, 2010

Quesadilla Burgers

So tonight for dinner I decided to make my quesadillas burgers
I have made these many time and like always I seasoned the burgers with taco seasoning salt and pepper
then once cooked I layered them in my tortilla with salsa, sour cream, lettuce, and finally cheese
I then folded up the tortilla and sealed it on the flat top
To go with the burgers I also made a quick grilled corn and black bean salad
To make that I simply sauteed my corn with a bit of butter salt and pepper
Once the corn had some color on it I then tossed it in a bowl with the black beans and some cumin and chili powder as well as some fresh diced tomatoes and a small can of green chillies
I like to chill the salad before serving but it is also good warm
Finally I like to serve it with some extra salsa and sour cream
I love this recipe because it is just such a simple way to put a twist on a classic burger

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Berry Cobbler

So a few days ago my mom and I picked a bunch of wild berries that grow out in the woods by our house
Normally we just buy some of those shortcakes or angle food cake to eat with them but this year I decided to try a cobbler!
So I made a very simple cobbler that was really a combination of recipes to make it my own
So I decided to do a quick step by step for you
It was really simple and I encourage you to try it even if you don't have fresh berries this works just fine with frozen
To start simply measure out about 6 cups of berries
Then add to that 1/4 cup of sugar and 3 tablespoons of cornstarch
If your berries are tart add more sugar and if they are juicy add a bit more cornstarch
Since my dad is diabetic I used splenda in place of sugar....Shh he doesn't know ;]
Now for the topping
I know there is a lot of dispute over which topping to make for a cobbler but my dad really likes the biscuit kind of topping so I decided to make it that way
The recipe I used for the biscuit topping is a recipe I got from one of my first 4-H projects about 7 years ago
I actually did a bake off with this recipe
They are called Jamaican buns and I just tweaked the recipe a bit to make it a better cobbler topping
So first off start with
1 3/4 cups of four
1/4 cup of sugar/splenda
1/4 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of baking powder
Sift and thoroughly mix
Next cut in 1 stick of COLD butter until it looks like this
The little bits of butter make the biscuits fluffy and flaky
Finally add 1 beaten egg and 1/3 cup of milk
These should also be cold
Also I add about 2 tbs of lemon juice to this mixture
I think it pairs very well with the berries and just wakes up the flavors a little bit
Lemon zest would also add a really nice flavor but I didn't have a fresh lemon to zest =[

Mix together just until moist
I wouldn't recommend a mixer for this
Just a spoon or a fork
You want to keep those bits of butter intact
Move the berries into a greased 8in pan and finally with an ice cream scoop drop 9 scoops of the dough onto the top of the berries

Before putting it in the oven I like to brush the tops with some cream and sprinkle with some sugar
This cobbler bakes at 375 for about 35 - 40 minutes
Just until the tops of the biscuits are golden brown and the center is bubbling
The finished product!
It is really just a simple rustic kind of cobbler but it really is delicious
And since I used splenda and its fruit its almost good for you lol

And of course the best and only way to really enjoy this is hot out of the oven with a nice scoop of vanilla ice cream!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Mariachi Chicken

Tonight I had a pilates class that kind of went late and my dad was really hungry when I got home so instead of waiting for me to make dinner he decided we should just go out to eat
So we went to Los Mariachis
I got the mariachi chicken which consisted of chicken, mushrooms, onions, spinach, and CHEESE!
It also came with a side of rice and some delicious pico de gallo
I have never had this before but it was really good and I think I'm going to have to get this more often

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Sweet Italian Sausage & Peppers

Tonight for dinner I made sweet Italian sausage sandwiches with peppers and onion and on the side some grilled green beans
I began by boiling my sausages and sauteing my peppers and onions
Once the sausages were cooked through I removed them from the water and set them aside to put on the grill toward the end
As the peppers and onions continued to cook I quickly blanched my green beans then put them in an ice bath
I finished the peppers and onions off with some fresh garlic and a splash of balsamic vinegar
I then finished both the green beans and sausages off on the grill
To serve I first put my bun in the microwave for a few seconds just to get it soft
I then slice my sausage and layer my bun with tomato sauce, peppers and onions, and finally the sausage
I also top mine off with some Romano cheese just for a little extra kick
This is one of my favorite meals its always good
I don't think there is a way to make this bad?

Monday, June 14, 2010

Pork Stir Fry

So tonight for dinner I made pork stir fry
I started off by marinating the sliced pork loin in a mixture of hoisin sauce, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and some honey
I let it rest for about an hour then I heated up a pan on high and quickly cooked the pork
I then removed the pork and started cooking my prepackaged veggie stir fry
At this point I also got my soba noodles into my boiling water
I then added some soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, pineapple chunks and pineapple juice to the pan
One the sauce was reduced and the veggies were cooked I added the pork back in and cut the heat
Finally when the noodles were cooked I put them in a bowl and added some hoisin and sesame oil
I served the stir fry on top the noodles and it was just as good as any take out
and I'm sure it was much healthier

Sunday, June 13, 2010

So today was a little busy
I had to go into my new job today to fill out my W2's before we open on Tuesday
Then after that my family and I headed off to a grad party and had a lot of good food there
Finally when we got home I had a few other things to do and then it was time for dinner
We still hadn't gone grocery shopping so I had no idea what I could cook so my dad just decided to pick up some chicken from the grocery store
So as you can see we had a simple dinner of fried chicken potato salad and a nice side salad
And yes while we were picking up the chicken we did pick up a few groceries so I will be making some better dinners soon
But I have to let you know I just got a job at this new restaurant downtown and I'm going to be working in the kitchen!
I'm really excited because the chef Drew is really awesome and he is excited to help me out and get me some good experience in the kitchen
I'm so excited because this is exactly the kind of job I have been looking for and it really just fell into my lap
I can't wait to get started and since I will probably be eating there a lot you will probably see a good portion of the menu
So you all should come out and visit I think this place is really going to be good

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Banana Nut Bread

So today was pretty much and icky sticky rainy day and after taking the ACT at 8 a.m. I really didn't feel like doing much
But later this afternoon I decided to make some banana nut bread
See we bought a few to many bananas awhile back and we couldn't eat them fast enough so I just left 3 of them and let them ripen until basically black
That's when they are best to make banana bread
Alright so the recipe I use is one I found in a family cook book and the best thing about it is that it's super simple and DELICIOUS

To start out cream together 1 stick of butter with 1 cup of sugar until light and fluffy

Then one at a time add your 2 eggs
make sure to mix well before adding the second egg

Now add half of the flower to the mixture
1 cup all purpose along with 1 tsp of baking soda and 1 tsp of salt
Mix well

Now take your 3 very ripe bananas and smash them all up in a separate bowl with 1 tsp of vanilla

Add the banana mixture and the remaining 1 cup of flower to the batter and fold it all together

The nuts are optional but if you like you can add 1/2 cup of chopped nuts either pecans or walnuts

Finally pour the mixture into a well greased loaf pan and bake at 350 for 40 minutes
the recipe says between 30-40 minutes but every time I have made this bread I have had to let it bake at least another 10 minutes if not 15
Once you have tested the bread with a toothpick to make sure it is fully cooked
remove it from the oven and allow it to cool 15 minutes or until it pulls away from the pan and you are able to easily turn it out
Now don't wait to long to try it this stuff is AMAZING right out of the oven
What is better than warm bread especially banana bread?
Well it looks like I know what I'm having for breakfast in the morning

Friday, June 11, 2010

So our house is pretty much deprived of any food and we really need to go grocery shopping so my dad decided to give me the night off and so we just went out for dinner
We decided to go to this little restaurant in Jamestown called the Phoenix Restaurant
where every Friday they have all you can eat fish
needless to say we all got the fish
To go with mine I decided to get the broccoli salad and mac & cheese
Oh I just love broccoli salad!
I had it for the first time last spring and now I just can't get enough
Well the fish was great like always and we all ate to much
But when they say all you can eat who can resist?
Well after dinner my dad drove us all around Jamestown showing us the places of his childhood and the places where my great grandparents and grandma use to live and play with my aunts
I really enjoyed seeing all those places and just spending time with my parents
It was a really nice evening

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Pot Roast

Today I started my day off early by getting my roast all prep and ready to stew in the crock pot until dinner
To do this I simply seasoned my roast liberally with salt and pepper
Then in a large pan over very high heat I seared the roast on both sides for about 5 minutes or until it was nice and brown and had developed a nice crust
I then set the roast in the crock pot while I deglazed the pan with about 1 cup of red wine and I prepared my vegetables
After deglazing my pan I poured that over the roast and I began chopping the veggies
I chopped 2 small onion into large chunks
3 carrots
3 stalks of celery
2 potatoes
I then added all that to the crock pot along with 3 cloves of garlic 2 bay leaves a few cups of chicken broth and just enough water to cover the roast
I allowed the roast to cook on high for 6 hours then I turned off the crock pot and let everyone have at it when they wanted
You see today was a busy day and we all had different schedules so this seemed like the best way to get everyone fed
So that's it just simple pot roast not to exciting but very tasty

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

So as you know I am now on summer break so you will be seeing a lot more of these lunch updates since now I am home to make lunch
Today for lunch I figured since I had a leftover mushroom from dinner last night I would make a salad and add it in
I made a simple romaine salad with Italian dressing and then I just sliced up the portobello and added it in
It was a really good lunch and very tasty to bad I don't have another for tomorrow

Alright and for dinner I had to come up with something quick with whatever we had here at home
which I'm telling you isn't a lot
So I just decided to make up a quick marinara sauce which I added some frozen meatballs to and fettuccine
It was a really quick thing but it was pretty good and even though I used frozen meatballs that doesn't mean it was bad or a cop out
It was simply a time saver

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Portobello Sandwiches

So tonight I made Portobello sandwiches with mashed potatoes and grilled asparagus
To make the sandwiches I simply seasoned the mushrooms with olive oil salt and pepper then I grilled them until tender
to go on the sandwich I also roasted a red bell pepper

To roast the pepper I just set it on my stove top burner and charred it until it was completely black
I then placed it in a bowl and covered it with plastic wrap to let it steam
when I was finished with everything else I took the pepper out and wiped off the charred skin
I then sliced it and removed the seeds
To make the sandwiches I layered the portobello with provolone cheese, the roasted red pepper, lettuce and tomato
I had mine with Dijon mustard but you could certainly make some sort of herbed mayonnaise I'm sure that would be great

Monday, June 7, 2010

Turkey Burgers

Alright so for dinner tonight I made turkey burgers with baked potato chips and corn on the cob
The turkey burgers I made tonight were actually a meatloaf recipe but I figured...
what is a burger but a small meatloaf?
So any way I made the turkey burgers by combining
1/4 cup of chicken broth
1 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs Worcestershire sauce
1 tbs hoisin sauce
3/4 cup of panko
and of course some salt and pepper
I then sauteed and onion with 8oz of chopped mushroom and 3 cloves of garlic
Finally I combined both the mixtures with 1 lb of ground turkey and divided it into 5 equal burgers
Trust me these burgers were huge!
you could probably make up to 6 burgers with this recipe
I also made a simple sauce for the burgers of
1/2 cup ketchup
1/4 tsp ground mustard
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1 tbs brown sugar
And I assembled the burgers on these delicious onion buns that I found at the grocery today
So as you can see I baked up some potato chips and I also cooked some corn on the cob
It was all very good and I think my dad enjoyed the turkey burgers even though he isn't a big fan of turkey
I think though I have proven him wrong on most of the reasons he doesn't like turkey
I think he is finally excepting my healthy cooking style lol

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Blackened Chicken Breasts

Tonight for dinner I made blackened chicken breasts with some grilled vegetable couscous and a simple salsa type sauce
For the chicken I made a simple rub of chili powder, cumin, and some garlic powder
I patted the rub onto the chicken breasts then I cooked them in a nonstick pan on pretty high heat to sear both sides and give them that blackened color
I then covered the pan lowered the heat to let the chicken cook through
While I did that I got some diced bell peppers and onions cooking in another pan
once they were cooked I added some of the rub that I used for the chicken as well as some corn
I then allowed that to cool while I started the couscous
couscous is very simple all you need to do it bring the water or chicken stock to a boil then pour it on to the couscous, cover, and let stand for 5 minutes
When the chicken was done I pulled it out of the pan and let it rest while I finished the couscous
All I did to finish the couscous was fluff it with a fork and then added the veggies
I also deglazed my pan with some salsa to make a quick sauce
And there you have it blackened chicken breast with some grilled veggie couscous

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Chicken BLT Wrap

Tonight I had planned to cook dinner but as I was just about to get started my dad just said he wanted to go out because there wasn't anything good in the house to cook
So after much debate over where to go out to eat I finally suggested that we go to Peach's Grill in yellow springs
I wanted to go there because the other day I put in a job application there and they sounded very optimistic about giving me a job in the kitchen!
so I figured I should at least be acquainted with the food they make lol
So for dinner I got the Chicken BLT Wrap with a side salad
It was really good and huge so I could only eat half of it, and that means leftovers for lunch tomorrow!
Well I guess that's all not to special but it was good I'm really hoping that this job comes through for me

Friday, June 4, 2010

Extraordinary Burgers

Today was a really busy day for me, it started around 8 a.m. when my mom and I went to Yellow Springs to help out with the flower power (ladies have been making felt flowers for weeks now and they are now starting to sew them to polls and trees all over the town, its really neat)
Well anyway we helped out with that for a while then around 11 we got our coffees from brother bears and headed out to Dayton
I had to take this accuplacer test today so I would be eligible to do PSEO next year at Sinclair
So we got done with that around 12:30 then we headed to Beavercreek
btw I passed my test so it looks like PSEO is a GO!
So we did a little shopping in Beavercreek then we had to go to Bellbrook for another chiropractic visit.
Finally we went to the Greene to do just a little bit more summer clothes shopping
So after all of that, instead of have to go home and cook dinner my mom and I just had my dad meet us at the Greene so we could get some dinner there
We decided to go to the new burger place called Extraordinary Burgers (EO Burgers)
And we finally get to the food part

So my dad got their "Classic" Bacon Burger
I'm not sure how it can be a classic yet since it has only been around for a few months?

My mom got the Veggie Burger or Potobello Burger
Which in this picture looks like a big pile of onions and peppers
I promise though there was a big portobello mushroom under there...somewhere

And finally I got the Gobble Burger
It was as you can probably guess a turkey burger
And it was REALLY good!
It was really tender and juicy (which is a big concern with turkey, but I thought it was great) and it had this cranberry mayonnaise that just put it over the top
We also got some onion rings and fries as you can see, and those were really awesome as well
I decided that the onion rings had to have some corn meal in the batter because they had an awesome crispy texture that we all really liked
They also have some really great sauces and of course I had to try them all and I don't think I could pick my favorite because they were all so good
Well I think I have talked this place up enough to make you want to go try it, maybe
And I would totally encourage you to
I really enjoyed it and and I think my parents really did too
I have been inspired, there will be more burgers to come very soon!