Monday, October 31, 2011

Happy Halloween!

We had a party in school today. I brought cupcakes. All you need to jazz up your mini cupcakes are cinnamon candies, marshmallows, and twizzlers.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Spiderweb Pancakes!

I found this recipe for cinnamon roll pancakes which seemed deliciously fall-y and easily adapted into a halloween themed spiderweb pancake! However, we all know that I generally suck at pancake making so they didn't flip that nicely. I do however have a pretty picture of one before I flipped it so you can see the spiderweb pattern. These were good but really too sweet for breakfast....better as a breakfast for dinner night I think. They tasted exactly like a cinnamon roll!
Cinnamon Roll Pancakes
(adapted from recipe girl)
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 cup milk
1 Tablespoon canola oil
1 large egg, lightly beaten
Cinnamon Filling:
1/2 cup butter, melted
3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 Tablespoon ground cinnamon
Cream Cheese Glaze:
4 Tablespoons butter
2 ounces cream cheese
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1. In a medium bowl whisk flour, baking powder and salt. Add in milk, oil and egg.
2. In a small bowl mix butter, brown sugar and cinnamon. Scoop the filling into a small zip baggie and set aside.
3. In a small bowl heat butter and cream cheese until melted. Whisk together until smooth; whisk in powdered sugar and vanilla extract; set aside.
4. Heat large skillet over medium-low heat. Spray with nonstick spray. Scoop about 3/4 cup batter onto the skillet. Snip the corner of your baggie of filling and squeeze a spiral of the filling onto the top of the pancake. When bubbles begin to appear on the surface, flip carefully with a thin spatula, and cook until browned on the underside, 1 to 2 minutes more.
5. When ready to serve, spoon warmed glaze onto the top of each pancake.

Chili Snow

And we've come full circle! Way back in December my first post after moving to Philly was on Turkey Chili and here it is again! We used my original chili recipe as a loose guide but Mr. Lawyer requested spicy so that's what we did! All served up with Cabot Cheddar (I found some Seriously Sharp out in the might last the weekend!) and cornbread. It was the perfect dish for the first snow of the year! It was all blustery, freezing and snowing outside and inside it was nice, toasty and a crockpot of chili was making the place smell heavenly. mmmmm. I love it.
Jenni's Turkey Chili
(from my kitchen!)
1 pound ground turkey
½ cup chopped onion
3 cloves chopped garlic
2 jalapeno peppers, chopped
1 can kidney beans
2 cans of chili beans
1 can undrained diced tomatoes
1 tablespoon or so of chili powder
A few dashes of red pepper flakes
Cheddar cheese and cornbread for serving
1. Saute up the onion, garlic, and peppers. Add in the turkey, sprinkle with chili pepper and pepper flakes and cook until browned.
2. Throw everything in the crockpot on low and go about your day smelling the deliciousness as you putter around your house.
3. Serve with cheese and bread

Leftovers freeze wonderfully for a chilly (chili!) day pick me up!

Friday, October 28, 2011

Lemongrass Chicken

"In my book, it's a win" so says Mr. Lawyer. It was different, it grew on me, but I'm not itching to make it again. Of course I don't know how I stand on curry powder so I only used 1 teaspoon instead of a tablespoon. I just used one jalapeno instead of 3 chilies and I would increase that, it could have used more spice. It was an interesting combination of salty and sweet. It was fun to branch out and use lemongrass from my garden!
Vietnamese Lemongrass Chicken
(adapted form Food and Wine Magazine)
2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast/thigh, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces
3 tablespoons water
3 tablespoons cooking oil
2 fresh lemongrass stalks, tender inner white bulbs only, minced
1 large shallot, thinly sliced
3 chilies, seeded and minced
1 scallion for garnishingMethod:
1. In a bowl, combine the fish sauce, garlic, curry powder, salt, and 1 1/2 teaspoons of the sugar. Add the chicken meat to coat.
2. In a small skillet, mix the remaining 2 tablespoons of sugar with 1 tablespoon of the water and cook over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. Cook without stirring until a deep amber caramel forms. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 2 tablespoons of water. Transfer to a bowl.
3. Heat a wok over high heat. Add the oil and heat until shimmering. Add the lemongrass, shallot, and chilies and stir-fry until fragrant. Add the chicken and caramel and stir-fry until the chicken is cooked through and the sauce is slightly thickened. Transfer to a bowl and top with the scallion. Serve with steamed white rice.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Family Secret

There are two recipes that I know for sure that I won't post online. Because I'm selfish like that. Family secrets and all that jazz. They are Grandpa Norm's Zucchini Bread and Grandma Nancy's Pickles. I remember waiting with anticipation for zucchini season (my mom often grew her own) just so I could have this bread which only seemed to appear once a year. The zucchini plant would then explode and we had more zucchini than you could shake a stick at so she would freeze grated zucchini in muffin tins (1 cup per muffin spot) for future baking purposes. It seemed like a nice fall day to whip some up. Plus it made the apartment smell amazing.
I don't like nuts in my zucchini bread. I mean, I'll eat it but I don't like it when crunchies interrupt my yummy soft bread.
Zucchini Bread and Dogfish Punkin Ale counts as dinner right?

Monday, October 24, 2011

Messy Meatballs

Provolone on your leftover meatball sub? Divine. Adds some class to a messy meal as Mr. Lawyer demonstrated.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Special Request!

I had a special dinner request from Mr. Lawyer: Spaghetti and Meatballs. This worked out perfectly as there was some frozen ground beef that I wanted to use up. I try to be diligent with the "first in first out" rule but sometimes cravings strike and this poor little package of beef got left behind months ago. I also write the date on everything and double wrap everything. I get laughed at for it but I'm paranoid about stuff like that. Anyway, it seemed like some Wegmans Meatballs were on the menu! It had been a while since I made them so I was excited.
Wegmans Meatballs
(from my lovely Wegmans!)
1 cup Panko Breadcrumbs
2 large eggs
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup grated Pecorino Romano Cheese
2 tsp minced Garlic
2 Tbsp minced fresh Italian parsley
1 tsp Italian Seasoning (or a dash of oregano/basil)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
1 lb 80% Lean Ground Beef
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
1. Add panko, eggs, water, cheese, garlic, parsley, seasoning, salt, and pepper to large bowl; stir to combine. Add beef; mix by hand until just combined (use the claw! overmixing will toughen meatballs). 

2. Scoop up about 3 Tbsp meat mixture to form balls; smooth by rolling in cupped hands. Arrange meatballs on baking sheet, about 1 1/2-inches apart. 

3. Bake 15-17 min or until internal temp reaches 160 degrees.
I also toasted up some garlic bread and as a little twist I added some finely chopped fresh rosemary to a couple of pieces. It was delicious! You only need a little, too much would be extremely overpowering.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Fridge Leftovers

There was a ton of leftover chicken. There were peppers about to go soft. What's a girl to do? Make Chicken Stuffed Peppers of course! This was pretty good. Not sure if I would make it again although I love the stuffing (heck it's just chicken and cheese, what's not to love!). I guess maybe it was the sauce? Good but a lot of work and I wanted something spicy! Mr. Lawyer broke out some tabasco. But it smelled so delicious and winter-homey while it was simmering. Maybe I need some new chili powder. 
Things I changed: I used bell peppers because that's what I had. Our chicken was already cooked so I just tossed it with some taco seasoning. Of course I changed the cheese. Everyone knows that monterey jack is weakling of cheese, I amped it up with some Cabot Cheddar (no surprise there right?).
Chicken Stuffed Peppers with Enchilada Sauce
(adapted from
1 1/2 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breast halves
1 (1.25 ounce) package taco seasoning mix
1 cup water
4 large Anaheim chile peppers
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 cup diced onion
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons hot chili powder
4 cups chicken broth
1/2 (1 ounce) square bittersweet chocolate, chopped
8 ounces shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro
1. Place the chicken, taco seasoning mix, and water into a resealable plastic zipper bag, seal, and massage the bag with your fingers to mix. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to marinate.
2. Cut the stem and top 1/2 inch from the top of each pepper, and carefully remove the seeds without cutting holes or breaking skin of the peppers. Bring a large pot of water to boil, and immerse the peppers in the boiling water for 3 minutes; cool immediately in a bowl of cold water. Drain the peppers and set aside.
3. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over medium heat; cook and stir the onion until translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic, oregano, cumin, and cinnamon; cook for 3 minutes. Stir in the flour and chili powder, and cook for about 1 minute. Whisk in the chicken broth, and bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly until the sauce thickens, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to low, and stir in the chocolate until it melts and blends into the sauce. Allow the sauce to gently simmer, stirring occasionally.
4. Drain the marinated chicken breasts, and place into a skillet over medium heat. Cook until the chicken is no longer pink inside, about 10 minutes; remove chicken to a bowl, and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, shred the chicken meat, and lightly mix in a bowl with Monterey Jack cheese, cream cheese, and cilantro. Stuff each pepper with 1/4 of the chicken mixture, and place on a baking sheet.
5. Preheat the oven's broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches from the heat source.
6. Broil the stuffed peppers until blistered and hot, about 4 1/2 minutes per side. Serve with sauce.
Pre-sauce. Look at that golden cheddar. 

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Condiment Fish!

Condiments are my weakness. I'm a self proclaimed "dipper". I love my proteins slathered in ketchup and bbq sauce, my salads doused in dressing, my sandwiches sloppy with add ons and it's impossible to have breakfast without maple syrup. In middle school my parents bought me a shirt that said "I put ketchup on my ketchup". The dork and I could easily go through half a bottle of sweet baby rays bbq sauce with a pork tenderloin and I definitely have more cheese than sauce on my pasta.
When we decided to revamp our diets this was a glaringly obvious place to start when it came to examining my own eating habits. Condiments can add on a ton of calories, sugar, sodium and fat. I took a peek in our fridge and the numbers are staggering! (all stats are for one tablespoon...but let's be honest: who actually only uses one tablespoon?!)
Ketchup = 20 calories
Horseradish Sauce = 60 calories!
Light Mayo = 50 calories
Reduced Sodium Soy = 20 calories (but still 19% of your daily sodium!)
Vidalia Poppy Seed Dressing = 55 calories
Sweet Vinegar and Oil Dressing = 35 calories (but 17 grams of sugar!)
Pub Mustard = 30 calories
BBQ Sauce = 35 calories
Parmesan Cheese = 20 calories
Maple Syrup = 50 calories
As a mentioned, there is no way I actually consume one tablespoon of any condiment in a single sitting. Except the soy sauce, I only use that for cooking not for dumping right on to my food as it moves towards my mouth. I decided that this would be a good place to start cutting back. Enter: CONDIMENT FISH!
Condiment Fish can comfortably hold 1 tablespoon of liquid or gelatinous saucy condiment such as ketchup. One must follow the rules when using Condiment Fish, they include but are not limited to, no overfilling or making a skyscraper of sauce, always being able to see his eye and no refills!
So Condiment Fish and I are embarking on a journey to reduce my extreme calorie intake when it comes to covering my food in yummy condiments. Hopefully Condiment Fish will make it more fun because let me tell you, I really wanted more honey roasted bbq sauce (1 tablespoon = 60 calories!) for my chicken tonight...but then I saw Condiment Fish staring at me. He's so judgemental. Damn it. 

Holy Grail of Chicken

Third time is still the charm! I have successfully roasted my third "Perfect Roast Chicken" using my Martha Stewart recipe. I cannot tell you how wonderful (and easy!) this recipe is. The first bite was so juicy and delicious it practically melted in my mouth. Phrases such as "this recipe is so freaking amazing" and other happy eating noises were issued. Mr. Lawyer had thirds and then when I was finishing my salad (I always talk while I eat so it slows me down, plus he inhales his food) he just started going at the poor chicken all caveman style from the serving platter. That good. The downside of the recipe is your house will smell amazing and you'll be ravenous before it's done!
Normally when I re-make a recipe I just link to my previous post but this one is worth completely reposting. I cannot urge you enough, next time you have a roasting chicken give this recipe a shot! Plus it's economical, around ten bucks for the bird and you'll have left overs for days to experiment with.
Perfect Roast Chicken
(Martha Stewart!)
1 six-pound roasting chicken
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 medium onions, peeled and sliced crosswise 1/2 inch thick
1 lemon
4 large cloves garlic, peeled
4 sprigs fresh thyme (I used dry this time around)
1. Let chicken and 1 tablespoon butter stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Remove and discard the plastic pop-up timer from chicken if there is one. Remove the giblets and excess fat from the chicken cavity. Rinse chicken inside and out under cold running water. Dry chicken thoroughly with paper towels. Tuck the wing tips under the body. Sprinkle the cavity of the chicken liberally with salt and pepper, and set aside.
2. In the center of a heavy-duty roasting pan, place onion slices in two rows, touching. Place the palm of your hand on top of lemon and, pressing down, roll lemon back and forth several times. This softens the lemon and allows the juice to flow more freely. Pierce entire surface of lemon with a fork. Using the side of a large knife, gently press on garlic cloves to open slightly. Insert garlic cloves, thyme sprigs, and lemon into cavity. Place chicken in pan, on onion slices. Cut about 18 inches of kitchen twine, bring chicken legs forward, cross them, and tie together.
3. Spread the softened butter over entire surface of chicken, and sprinkle liberally with salt and pepper. Place in the oven, and roast until skin is deep golden brown and crisp and the juices run clear when pierced, about 1.5 hours. When chicken seems done, insert an instant-read thermometer into the breast, then the thigh. The breast temperature should read 180 degrees and the thigh 190 degrees.
4. Remove chicken from oven, and transfer to a cutting board with a well. Let chicken stand 10 to 15 minutes so the juices settle. Untie the legs, and remove and discard garlic, thyme, and lemon. Carve and serve!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Man Brownies

I feel like this week might be a salad week. The weekend festivities involved two gatherings and some not so healthy food. For example: after eating all evening at the Prep Dinner Party we all went out at 1 am for a cheese steak. Yikes. Plus there were these little bad boys: Bacon-Bourbon Brownies with Pecans. I will start this by saying I'm not a huge fan of home-made brownies, just give me some Betty Crocker. There is nothing healthy AT ALL in these brownies and I wasn't too crazy about them so chances are I will not be making them again.
Bacon-Bourbon Brownies with Pecans
(From Food and Wine Magazine)
1/2 cup pecans
1/2 pound sliced bacon
8 ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped
2 ounces unsweetened chocolate, chopped
1 stick plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 packed cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons bourbon
4 large eggs
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, allowing 2 inches of overhang on 2 opposite sides. Spray the paper with vegetable spray. Spread the pecans in a pie plate and toast for about 8 minutes, until fragrant. Let cool, then coarsely chop the nuts.
2. In a skillet, cook the bacon over moderate heat, turning once, until crisp, 6 minutes. Drain on paper towels and let cool; reserve 3 tablespoons of the fat. Finely chop the bacon.
3. In a saucepan, combine both chocolates with the butter and stir over very low heat, until melted; scrape into a large bowl. Using a handheld electric mixer, beat in both sugars with the reserved 3 tablespoons of bacon fat. Beat in the bourbon. Add the eggs and salt and beat until smooth. Sift the cocoa and flour into the bowl and beat until blended.
4. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and sprinkle the bacon and pecans on top. Bake for about 50 minutes, until the brownies are set around the edges but slightly wobbly in the center; a toothpick inserted into the center should have some batter clinging to it. Transfer the pan to a rack and let the brownies cool completely. Lift the brownies out of the pan using the parchment paper. Cut into squares or rectangles and serve.
mmm gooey chocolate.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Epic Happenings!

It is time for Epic Food Related Happenings. I have a bunch of random orphan photos because they don't involve a recipe or to post them would have involved many not food related pictures (ex. our trip to DC) but now it's time for a photo story of epic proportions! (um. why yes I am avoiding lesson planning thank you very much).
Last night was breakfast for dinner.
The end of an era. The average American eats 3lbs of peanut butter a year. I ate 4lbs in a summer. What can I say? I love me some peanut butter. RIP Giant Tub of Wegmans Peanut Butter. I will miss you.
We received some crack jerky in the mail. The Mother Unit had to label it "for sharing" because when it comes to crack jerky, one doesn't share.
Intrigued? Want to see more? Keep on clicking!

Some like it Spicy!

You need to make this dish. It's hard to have a favorite but this might be a favorite. I use to make huge batches all the time in Syracuse and then eat it all week. It's delicious. I had Mr. Lawyer over one time and he ate it politely and then told me that he wasn't a huge fan of peanut sauces so I had held off on making it on Philly....which is why I had Amanda over tonight because she appreciates peanut sauces! (and brings me crescent rolls and cookies) Then lo and behold Mr. Lawyer marches through the door, grabs a plate and devours it! He has now decided that this batch wasn't as peanut-y or that he might now like peanut sauces. Silly boys. Anyway, peanut sauce, spiciness, and shrimp! All on noodles! What's not to be in love with?
Recipe notes: I always double the sauce because if you save some, the noodles so it all up. I also keep the sauce and noodles separate for leftover purposes so I don't run into that soaked up all the sauce noodle problem. Watch your jalapenos! The first time I made this it was hot hot hot! Which is good because I'm kind of a glutton for punishment when it comes to things like this but not everyone likes having to take a drink or bite of roll in between ever forkful. Speaking of which Pillsbury Crescent Rolls go amazingly well with this dish. It must be the texture but I highly recommend them. I also like to use pre-cooked shrimp (medium size) because it's less gross than raw shrimp and I normally just add the whole bag of frozen shrimp because life is more fun with shrimp.
Linguine with Spicy Shrimp Sauce
(from the Mother Unit)
8 oz linguine
12 oz shrimp (de-tailed)
2 red peppers
3 scallions
1 jalapeno, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons peanut butter
1-2 tablespoons sesame oil (I always use 2)
1/2 cup chicken broth
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon soy sauce (I always use low sodium)
1 tablespoon white vinegar
1. Prepare pasta according to directions.
2. Cut peppers into bite sized pieces (for less spice, seed the jalapeno)
3. Combine all ingredients in a large sauce pan, cover and simmer on low heat (stirring occasionally) until shrimp is cooked.

cake mix without the cake

Adding cake mix to your ice cream? Smart. Adding cake mix to your rice krispie treats? Also smart. I have made two batches to far: one for our NH vacation and the other yesterday with the leftover s'more marshmallows from said vacation. BAM!
Rice Krispie Treats
(from the box! but the cake batter idea from the internet)
3 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 package regular marshmallows (or 4 cups mini marshmallows...but I like to save them for the hot chocolate!)
6 cups Rice Krispies
1/4 to 1/3 cup cake mix (depending on your how strong you want it)
Sprinkles! (so not jimmies)
1. Melt your butter and then through in your marshmallows. Once it's all melty, stir in cake mix and sprinkles.
2. Mix in rice krispies and transfer to a lightly greased pan. Let cool. Add more sprinkles if desired.

There is a nice vanilla flavor to these treats. Not as good as the cake batter ice cream but still more flavorful than regular rice krispie treats. Besides, what else am I going to do with that half used open box of cake mix?

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Let's go Wassailing!

We had a gorgeous weekend and one last hurrah at the shore. During the day it was wonderful and sunny, that nice warm fall toasty sunshine. In the evening it was still a little chilly which was perfect for my master plan, one must always be prepared!
Yes. Carrying around Apple Cider in your nalgene is totally acceptable.
mmmm smells amazing!
Only the very best wassail is spiked!
The Farmer's Museum in Cooperstown did a Candle Light Evening every year around Christmas, it was always so much fun to wander around with your high school buddies in the freezing cold and see everything. However the very best part might have been the huge cauldron of wassail (spiced cider) over  the fire. This mulled cider was good but there's something about being freezing, not being able to feel your fingers and probably being all snotty that makes it taste so much better (oh yeah, and being with your best buds!)
We also saw a bunch of horseshoe crabs. 

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin! And more Pumpkin!

It's a very pumpkin weekend. Fall is here in full force in our apartment! BAM!
Apple Cider, Pumpkin Waffles topped with frozen Bourbon Pumpkin Pie Milkshake and a sweet fall tablescape. Breakfast of Awesomeness.

I have a slight obsession with leaves/trees, especially maple, which includes but is not limited to kitchen wares, jewelry, my photographs and household decorations. I just love a good leaf. And a good deal. These plates were a dollar at target three years ago. Anyway, my morning went like this:

1. Get up to make some pumpkin waffles in order to use up the leftover half can of pumpkin but wait! There's no brown sugar because someone has been sneaking it for his oatmeal and didn't tell me we were out. Alas, there is not an extra bag in my under the cupboard baking stash from BJs. And yes, I have a maple leaf shaped brown sugar bear. See the above paragraph on leaf love.
2. Next step, make your own brown sugar! Use 1 cup white sugar and 3 tablespoons molasses. It's not as sweet as store bought but it works in a pinch.
3. Set up the waffle station and get cracking! Look at that steam. I was told out apartment smelled like Christmas once I started.
4. Serve in an awesome fall fashion and eat up! I totally got brownie points for serving them up with the left over bourbon pumpkin milkshakes.
Pumpkin Waffles
(adapted from the pumpkin waffle blog)
1/4 cup light brown sugar
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
2 teaspoon ginger
1/4 teaspoon cloves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
1 cup pumpkin
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1. Mix brown sugar and cornstarch, then mix in the remaining dried ingredients.
2. Separate the egg whites and yolks. Whisk the egg whites.
3. Mix the pumpkin and milk with the yolk, then add the melted butter.
4. Add the yolk/pumpkin mixture to the dry ingredients, mix well.
5. Stir in the egg whites.
6. Heat up your waffle iron and commence making the apartment smell like Christmas!

*I halved the recipe because I only had a half can of pumpkin to use. It worked out perfectly for us and resulted in 6 cute waffles.*

Alcohol + Milkshake = Great Idea

I love fall and finally got my hands on the last two cans of pumpkin at Whole Foods. That stuff is like gold....goopy gelatinous gold. To help us get through the Phillies dismal performance I whipped up a batch of these bad boys and man oh man, after one of these I didn't care as much....or I was semi-comatosed on the couch during the 8th inning.
Bourbon Pumpkin Pie Milkshakes
(adapted from how sweet it is)
2 cups vanilla ice cream
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup cream or half and half
1 tablespoon vanilla extract (or vanilla bean paste!)
2/3 cup pumpkin
1/2 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
2-3 ounces of bourbon
cinnamon sugar for rimming the glasses
1. Rim your glasses, I used our martini glasses because they don't get used enough and they looked beautiful.
2. Throw it all in the blender!

They were insanely rich. My favorite part was getting the little chunks of graham crackers. We didn't finish the whole batch so I froze it and used it to top our pumpkin waffles the following morning....because alcoholic ice cream at 8 in the morning is completely okay.
Side note: I love how dark and spooky and halloween-y this picture is.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Beanie Weenies!

Or we can be all fancy about it: Gourmet Franks two ways with a side of Grandma's pickles. All American and just in time for some baseball! I started with the hot dogs because we decided to stay in for the game and I wanted to get that stadium feel. Then I needed a side and what goes with hot dogs? Baked Beans! And then I jazzed it up by throwing one of the hot dogs in the baked beans for the childhood favorite: Beanie Weenies!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Bits of Meatballs

Bits and Pieces Time! (and apologies for the horrible lighting in the photo but I was hungry and didn't want to wait) Homemade meatballs from the freezer? Best thing ever. I was craving some comfort food that was nice and hot in order to fend off the lingering fall chilliness....enter meatball subs.
Meatball Subs
The key is to turn the roll into garlic toast. It gives it a nice little crunch and a punch of flavor. You can also scoop out some of the bread so your meatballs are nicely cradled by the bread. Instead of parmesan we topped them off with shredded smoked gouda. Faaaaancy!

Also: super messy. On the first bite Mr. Lawyer splattered sauce all over his shirt, his bicep, and probably me.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The General

I received a new pan yesterday so why not christen it right away? Meet the General:
Surprisingly despite all the stuff I have in my kitchen (ice cream maker, christmas shaped ice cubes, pancake pen, cupcake corer) I lack a great many things. Like a pan that can go in the oven/under the broiler (enter the General!), or ramekins for yummy desserts, or a decent sharp knife (seriously, I'm surprised I still have all my fingers). The General is oven/broiler proof (woo!) and it was the perfect shape/height to try out some light frying which will never occur in my kitchen again. For starters, it was scary (like making caramel scary), secondly how can you tell if it's done? (hellooooo food poisoning), um it's not really healthier if you're frying it yourself right? (haha, nope), and holy heck the mess (it's fine, my stove top needed a good scrubbing anyway, and now I know there won't be a grease fire). Oh yeah, it was also time consuming because you had to do it little batches. However the end result was delicious. But I won't make it again for the previously mentioned reasons but I will be keeping it for the sauce recipe which was to die for. It wasn't as spicy as a restaurants  but that is easily corrected. In fact I made a second half batch to put on the leftover rice. Speaking of the rice, I cheated and got it from the chinese place downstairs. I also used small pieces of chicken breast because it's what was in the freezer and I figured it would be easier to cook without dying of food poisoning but because of my paranoia some of the smaller pieces were a little overcooked and dry. Side-note: I have not been feeling creative with any of my photographs/they all suck and that makes me sad. I'm in the same boat with baking. Right so General Tso's Chicken, hence how the pot got it's name. 
General Tso's Chicken
(Tasty Kitchen Website)
For the Chicken:
1-½ teaspoon Toasted Sesame Oil
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
1 whole Large Egg White
¼ cups Plus 2 Tablespoons Cornstarch
1 pound Boneless, Skinless Chicken Thighs
Canola, Peanut, Or Vegetable Oil For Frying
For the sauce:
1 Tablespoon Peanut, Canola Or Vegetable Oil
2 cloves Garlic, Peeled And Minced
2 Tablespoons Finely Chopped Fresh Ginger Root
1 cup Chicken Broth Or Stock
¼ cups Soy Sauce
1 Tablespoon Cornstarch
1 teaspoon Chinese Chile-garlic Sauce
3 Tablespoons Raw (turbinado Or Demerara) Sugar
For serving:
4 whole Scallions, Thinly Sliced
Steamed Rice
Steamed Broccoli
1. In a mixing bowl, stir together the sesame oil, soy sauce, egg white, and 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons of cornstarch until a thick slurry forms.
2. Add the chicken pieces and stir until all are evenly coated. Set chicken aside, covered lightly with plastic wrap, at room temperature for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.
3. Add the tablespoon of oil to a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan over high heat. Stir the garlic and ginger into the oil and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
4. In a separate bowl, whisk together the remaining sauce ingredients until smooth. Pour into the garlic and ginger, stirring, until the sauce becomes thick and shiny. Once the sauce thickens, lower heat and keep the saucepan over a low burner partially covered to stay warm.
5. Heat 1/2-inches of oil in a heavy-bottomed, high-sided frying pan or skillet over high heat.
6. When the oil is shimmering, add one piece of chicken at a time, taking care not to crowd the pan. Cook chicken for 4 minutes on each side, or until deep golden brown and crisp on both sides.
7. Transfer the fried chicken to a paper towel lined plate and repeat the process until you’ve cooked all the chicken.
8. Then slide all of the fried chicken into the prepared sauce and toss to coat. (If desired, add some steamed broccoli to coat with the sauce also.) Increase the heat to medium, stir and cook just until hot all the way through.
9. Sprinkle with sliced scallions and serve immediately over white rice.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Lesson Plans

Evidently I have a problem....and wordle knows what it is...

I have a lesson plan doing this with vocabulary words so I was just messing around with it and making examples. When I put Guinea Pig Kitchen in it decided that cheese should feature prominently (and rightly so!) followed by potatoes, mushrooms and pepper. Nothing wrong with my diet at all.