Friday, September 30, 2011

Boring Cauliflower

Mr. Lawyer said it best: cauliflower is always better when it's drenched in cheese. Truth. But it's significantly less healthy that way and we were already having cheese for dinner. It's not that this recipe was bad, it was just boring and cauliflower-y. Now I love fresh cauliflower with dressing and of course cooked with cheese but this was just meh. But the Mother Unit send us home with some and it needed to find it's way into our tummies. It would have been good on a pizza or cheese.
Roasted Cauliflower
1 head cauliflower, chopped up
1 Tbsp olive oil
1. Toss cauliflower with olive oil and salt and roast on a baking sheet at 450 degrees for 20 minutes, rotate halfway through.

I melt for you.

Gooey warm cheese and mushrooms, need I say more? I first had this recipe back in Syracuse when Nykoel made it for us girls and it was delicious! I have been craving it and it seemed like a nice reward for surviving my first three days of the new job. I didn't have any parsley or sage and I don't get all fancy with the mushrooms. I used a combination of baby bella and button. Oh, and of course I added more mushrooms because you can never have enough! Plus I was using at a main dish, not as an appetizer. My one issue is the first time around the walnuts are too hard and you get these crunchy little bits with your nice gooey cheese and soft mushrooms. However, reheating it the next day they soften up a bit and the dish is divine. I think I like it better as leftovers. 
Warm Camembert with Wild Mushroom Fricassee
(Food and Wine)
1/2 cup walnut pieces
One 8-ounce wheel of ripe Camembert in its wooden box, at room temperature
1 tablespoon walnut oil
3/4 pound wild mushrooms, trimmed, caps thinly sliced
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1 shallot, minced
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 large sage leaves, minced
Sourdough toasts, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Spread the walnut pieces on a baking sheet and toast in the oven for about 7 minutes, until lightly browned. Lower the oven temperature to 300°.
2. Remove the Camembert from the box and unwrap it. Put the cheese back in the bottom half of the box and set it on a baking sheet. Bake for about 10 minutes, until soft.
3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the walnut oil. Add the mushrooms and season with salt and pepper. Cover and cook over moderate heat, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Uncover and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 3 minutes longer. Add the shallot and cook until softened, 2 minutes. Stir in the parsley and sage; season with salt and pepper.
4. Invert the Camembert onto a platter. Stir the walnuts into the mushrooms and spoon over the cheese. Serve with the toasts.
Where's the cheese?!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

In which I brag about my boy

He came home with flowers and made me dinner. He's the best. End of story.
Side note: I'm incredibly embarrassed that I don't have this recipe in here already. Mr. Lawyer has made it at least twice here and multiple times back in Syracuse. I already have pictures of it and it's always delicious! This time around he worked with what we had (extra peppers, no onion) and didn't strictly follow the recipe. My only complaint was that this version wasn't spicy enough! Here is the "original" recipe, we often serve it over pasta.
Spicy Chicken Cacciatore 
with Fennel Seed and Balsamic Vinegar
(from Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Recipes for Two)
2 bone in chicken breast halves (or no bones or thighs, we've done it all)
Salt and pepper to taste
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 can diced tomatoes, undrained
3 tablespoons tomato paste
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar 
1 to 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 red bell pepper
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed (I often make him omit this)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano or marjoram
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 red onion, diced
1. Season chicken with salt and papper. Heat oil in skillet and brown chicken on both sides.
2. Add tomatoes, paste, vinegar, garlic, pepper, onion, fennel, oregano, and red pepper flakes to a crock pot. Stir to combine.
3. Add chicken to crock pot and nestle it into the sauce. Cover and cook on high for 4 to 5 hours or until chicken is tender. 
Last nights was served over some leftover bow-ties. 

Meatless Monday!

Oh snap. It's both meatless monday and mexican monday rolled into one. I hope that's a good apology for being suck a slacker! There's been vacation, vacation detox, a trip to dc, and now new job stress. Now that we're back to our pre-vacation weight we've been cooking again. We're still trying to keep it healthy so Meatless Monday made it's way back into our life. I saw this recipe in my Penzeys Spices magazine and it looked yummy plus we had black beans in the cupboard so why not! I'm sure all that cheese decreases the healthiness but you don't have to add it all I suppose. I went all out of course and used Cabots. Are we surprised?
To start with, I was in a mood. It was my first day back in the classroom. The first thing I did when I got home was pour a glass of wine (good thing we hit up a winery that weekend!) and eat cheese (because cheese is my comfort food). It looked like this:
Okay in reality it was a white wine.
Oh and there was a roll involved.
Right so I was grumpy and distracted. I ended up burning some of the sweet potatoes which I believe is a flaw in the recipe. There is not enough liquid to sufficiently cook the potatoes before they absorb it all and they burn. Luckily I added a bit of water and only a couple of pieces were inedible (added bonus: the pan wasn't that hard to clean!). Due to my difficulties with the potatoes not all of them were completely cooked. I saw this as a negative but Mr Lawyer liked the slight firmness they added to the enchiladas. He even ate one for breakfast today. I also thought that the cider vinegar taste was a tad overpowering and would reduce the amount a bit. Moral of the story: I was a mess, I thought dinner was a mess but I guess it was okay.
Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas
(Penzeys Spices)
8 large flour tortillas
2 large sweet potatoes
1/4 cup soy sauce
2/3 cup apple cider vinegar, divided
1 leek, thinly sliced (I used a bunch of green onions because it's cheaper!)
1 tsp. Penzey’s minced garlic
1 tsp. ground cumin
One 15 oz. can black beans
3 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese divided
Olive oil
Salsa, to taste
Sour cream, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Wash and cut the sweet potatoes into bite-sized pieces. Put the potatoes, soy sauce, and 1/3 cup of the cider vinegar into a large pot and boil until the potatoes are soft and the liquid has been absorbed.
2. Saute the leek and garlic over medium-high heat in a small amount of oil with the cumin. Add the rest of the cider vinegar and the black beans.
3. Mash the potatoes (leaving it somewhat chunky), combine with the leek/bean mixture, add 1 cup of shredded cheese.
4. Fill the tortillas with roughly a handful of filling, roll and pack tightly into a greased 9×13 baking dish. Top with the remaining cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Serve with salsa/sour cream.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

We're Saucy!

So Mr. Lawyer's mom loaded us up with all sorts of goodies this past weekend which included our own tray of eggplant parm (thanks Mrs. T!). I had hoped that it would last us a few days but alas, Mr. Lawyer ate half of it the first night and then had some for breakfast. So it only lasted us two days. Sad story.
There was a random comment about eating meatless two nights in a row so I decided to treat the boy plus we had a bunch of peppers (thanks again Mrs. T!). Look at the pretty colors!
When we started cooking together in Syracuse this was one of the first recipes we tried. It's quick, easy and other than the beef and peppers, you probably have everything in your kitchen. It's very versatile: you can eat it with rice or in a tortilla, use whatever color peppers you want, you can easily increase or decrease the amount of peppers or meat, and you can experiment with flavors of bbq sauce. The first time we used brown sugar hickory sauce and this time we used Sweet Baby Ray's, both were delicious.
Saucy Pepper Steak
(Kraft Food and Family Magazine)
1 each green, red and yellow bell pepper, cut into strips
1 small onion, cut into strips
1 lb. boneless beef sirloin steak, well trimmed, cut into strips
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 tsp. black pepper
3 Tbsp. lite soy sauce
1/2 cup Barbecue Sauce
2 cups hot cooked long-grain brown rice
1. Heat a large nonstick skillet sprayed with cooking spray on medium-high heat. Add bell peppers and onions, cook for 6 to 8 minutes. Transfer to large bow and keep warm.
2. Add meat, garlic and black pepper to skillet; cook and stir 3 minutes. Add soy sauce; cook 1 minute or until meat is done. Stir in barbecue sauce; cook 2 to 3 min. or until heated through.
3. Combine meat and veggies, serve over rice.
Night 1: with spanish rice!
 Night 2: leftovers on tortillas!

Saturday, September 17, 2011

More Salad!

We have been very good about sticking to our healthy eating plans. Behold tonight's dinner:
Salad with Tuna!
See? Boring blog posts. Time for some excitement!

Missing Polly's

We are very sad that Polly's Pancake Parlor is so far away. 418 miles and 7 hours and 32 minutes away to be exact, barring traffic and natural disasters. Sad story. However we can take some comfort in the fact that we returned with their Buckwheat Pancake mix! We decided on the Buckwheat because 1) it was delicious and 2) slightly healthier than the traditional mix. Mr. Lawyer was in charge of the pancakes because I'm a waffle girl and have technical difficulties with pancakes. In case you need a refresher, click here! I was in charge of our lovely maple turkey sausage. Healthy choices part two: turkey sausage and only one patty each (yeah...that didn't go over too well).
Polly's Buckwheat Pancakes!
Polly's Pancake Mix!
1. Follow directions on package.
2. Before you flip the pancake sprinkle on the granola!
3. Be awesome, use real maple syrup.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Detox with Wine?

Mr. Lawyer and I have been detoxing from our indulgent vacation. We've been eating copious amounts of oatmeal and salads in order to get back on track and while it might do a body good it makes for lame blogging. My problem with salads is I like all the stuff on them which obviously negates the health factor. My personal goal is to start cutting back on all the yummies, perhaps I will only slice up one piece of cheese on my salad and stay away from that brown sugar bacon. This beauty has Cabot Cheddar, dried cranberries, sunflower seeds, yellow pepper, tomatoes and is topped off with my sweet vinegar dressing.
However last night I made a wine slushie to celebrate my new job, woo! And the best part is you only really need one ingredients: wine! Using a sweet wine is essential, I used a sweet NYS red. I had my first wine slushie at the Great New York State Fair and it was heavenly. This is the first year in many that I didn't go to the Fair but I suppose it's healthier that way. At this point it's all about the food...wait who are we kidding, the Fair is *always* about the food!
Wine Slushies
(from the kitchen of some genius)
Sweet Red or White Wine
Optional texture changers: ice cubes, fruit juice or spritzer
1. Freeze the wine in ice cube trays.
2. Throw the frozen cubes into the blender.
3. Optional choices to alter texture: ice cubes for more crunchiness or juice/wine/spritzer for a beverage you don't need a spoon or straw for.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

An Eating Journey

There is currently a not so tiny tent drying in my living room which prohibits be from watching tv and mostly confines me to the couch so I mind as well start up a Guinea Pig Kitchen Special Edition Post: Being One With Nature (aka the Vacation of 3 Lakes). Also: "Our 1st Big Kid Vacation" or "A Tale of Non-Stop Eating". But hey, we didn't kill each other so here we go!
P.S. New Hampshire made me hungry...wonder why?

Friday, September 2, 2011


Mr. Lawyer and I are off on our first real "big kid" vacation! We're in NYC this weekend and then Upstate New York and New Hampshire. It will be close to two weeks of roaming! I'm excited and ready for our adventure! Sadly that means no yummy food posts until after we get back.
We've been eating chicken allllll week (and quite a bit of leftover squash too). Plain chicken, chicken salad sandwiches, chicken with Hendrickson's Sweet Vinegar and Olive Oil (amazing by the way), chicken, chicken, chicken! I'm pretty sick of chicken. On the plus side our grocery bill for the week has been like zero dollars. But as one fond farewell I dressed up our chicken for a yummy chicken melt. The secret? Sourdough bread and honey mustard! Sourdough bread grills up quite nicely and has a good crunch and the honey mustard gives it a bit of zing. It was so good that the next morning Mr. Lawyer asked me where the honey mustard was hiding so he could use it on his lunch sandwich. I prefer Ken's Salad Dressing Honey Mustard for general household stuff. An underwhelming photo for sure but you can sort of see the honey mustard beginning to ooze out.
Honey Mustard Chicken Melt
(the kitchen of Jenni)
Sourdough Bread
American Cheese
Honey Mustard
1. Assemble like a grilled cheese: butter in pan (or on outside of bread slices), layer your cheese, chicken and before you put the top piece of bread, smear a nice helping of honey mustard on it!
2. Enjoy! (Preferably with pickles)

Thursday, September 1, 2011

7th Inning Stretch!

I have been very busy eating my way through many Phillies games. Sadly we only have one more game left but I plan on getting one of those adorable sundaes in a baseball cap so it will be all rainbows and sunshine. Anyway, it's time for an unhealthy baseball quest update! Please keep in mind that I did not consume all of this food in one game or by myself. But first a recap:
Baseball: A Love Story 
(although my scale would disagree)
My very first baseball game started with a Schmitter. Very hard to top I tell you, especially on a freezing April day. We have gotten them twice so far this year. I regret every calorie filled bite....except I don't really. We followed that up with a Dollar Dog night and I completely regret those life decisions, they certainly aren't Syracuse Dome Dogs (read: delicious Hoffman hot dogs that go down smooth and don't return to haunt you!)! We were lucky (unlucky?) enough to attend two Dollar Dog nights and my supply of tums took a big hit. Next up I satisfied my inner five year old with a giant pink fluffy cloud of spun sugar. This was followed by a sweat soaked game where I showed how attractive I can be chugging a liter bottle of water and hiding my melty misery behind a giant tub of Crab Fries. Crab fries are so delicious we got them again at the next game...but this time with cheese. Awesome. That leaves us with...
Cracker Jack! How can you not have Cracker Jack at a baseball game? Classic. And delicious. I'm a sucker for anything kettle/caramel corn related.
Dollar Dog Night #2: The Prep Boys!
I believe this is where I make some inappropriate all boys school joke.
We hit up Planet Hoagie for a hoagie (obviously) not a sandwich, sub, grinder or hero! (Sorry Mom!)
But I told you I didn't eat everything by myself! I'm glad I'm not the only one being so attractive at baseball games. *CHOMP*
Another sporting event classic: Hot Pretzels! Did you know that a hot pretzel and a coke will cure any ailment? I'm convinced and could make a fortune off of this.
I took my Dad to a game and he bought peanuts. I stopped after three, they're too much work. Can't you tell I'm thrilled? However, they do last a while and give you something to do during a long inning. Bonus points there.
Speaking of bonus points: If you're going to break your wrist on the morning that you're driving down from NY to visit me and you still show up....double bonus points. Letting me decorate your sling so you can go to the game injured and show everyone what a badass you are? Priceless.