Thursday, May 31, 2012

Bits and Pieces of Favorites

Let me introduce you to a couple of my current favorite things.
I love, love, love a nice good spicy food. These two items don't disappoint. 

The Strawberry Hotsy Totsy Jam was a gift from the Easter Bunny (thanks Mrs. T!). The Strawberry-Jalapeno combo has been making for some delicious english muffins. It's sweet but has an underlying slow burn that creeps up on you. The perfect thing to wake you up in the morning!

Jalapeno Hummus, be still my heart! I might have found a new favorite flavor of hummus. It has an in your face kick, not subtle at all. I made a marvelous sandwich yesterday: pita, jalapeno hummus, feta cheese and leftover Mexicali chicken.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Fancy Salads!

I'm continuing my eat more salad plan. The first week I stuck to pretty traditional/favorite flavors so this week I decided to get all fancy. I normally prefer savory salads but this sweet and tart salad really hit the spot. I looked at several different recipes and pulled my favorite parts from each. I had extra feta to use up, wanted some onions to balance the sweetness and I wanted the pecans for an extra crunch. I'm sure candied pecans would have been fabulous but less healthy.
Strawberry Feta Spinach Salad
Spinach/baby romaine
Sliced strawberries
Red onion
Feta Cheese
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1/4 cup raspberry wine vinegar
2 tablespoon-1/4 cup sugar, to taste (I stayed on the lighter side)
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
1 teaspoon poppy seeds
1. Put together your desired amount of spinach, strawberries, onion, feta and pecans. I generally like more stuff on my salad than Mr. Lawyer.
2. Mix together the oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard and poppy seeds. Dress your salad lightly and enjoy!
The dressing, nice and tart!

Mexicali Chicken

Mr. Lawyer baked up some chicken last night to supplement our salad. The chipotle cheese (Cabot of course!) added a nice zip to it. mmmm look at the cheese. Plus it was nice to have some else do the cooking!
Mexicali Chicken
(from Country Herbs)
2 chicken breasts, sliced in half
1 (0.5 ounce packet) Mexicali Seasoning (or other Mexican type seasoning)
1 tablespoon oil
1 cup water
Shredded Cabot Chipotle Cheddar
1. Lightly flour chicken and saute in oil until lightly brown. Lay in a shallow baking dish.
2. Mix seasoning with water and pour over chicken. Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.
3. Sprinkle on cheese during the last minute to melt it.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Camping in Style!

For the holiday weekend we ventured up to the Finger Lakes for some awesome camping that included hitting up the wineries. Best type of camping ever. As per usual, we camp in style!
You wish your camping food looked like this!
Pine-Smoked & Maple-Glazed Wild Salmon
(from the Mother Unit)

1 to 2 large handfuls green pine needles
1/2 cup bourbon
1/2 cup grade-B maple syrup
3 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons freshly milled black pepper
Four 6-ounce salmon fillets, patted dry
Kosher salt, to taste
1. Prepare a medium-high-heat fire, with the flames occasionally licking the grill grate. Let it burn for at least 30 minutes. Whilst the fire heats, soak the pine needles in the bourbon.
2. In a bowl, whisk together the syrup, mustard, and pepper. Season the salmon generously with salt and coat with the glaze.
3. Place a large cast-iron skillet upon the grill grate. Let it heat until very hot. Using tongs or one's own gloved hand, press the needles into the bottom of the skillet, taking care not to drizzle combustible bourbon into the flames, and place the rack on top of the needles. Place the fish on top of the rack and cover the pan. Cook until the fish is just opaque, about 15 minutes for medium. Serve, brushed with additional glaze, if desired.

This is by far the best fish recipe I have had in a long time....maybe ever. We decided it could be replicated by broiling it at home. The bourbon and pine needles was fun but we couldn't taste any flavors from it. The majority of the flavor came form the glaze and man oh man was it yummy. We had salmon AND white fish, both were delicious. Speaking of delicious: those campfire potatoes! The most heavenly thing I have smelled in my whole life was those potatoes and onions cooking mixed in with campfire smoke. My heart is getting all melty just thinking about it. No joke. Most wonderful smell ever (and they tasted good too!)
Campfire Potatoes
(from the Mother Unit)
5 medium potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 medium onion, sliced
6 tablespoons butter
1/3 cup shredded cheddar cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Salt and pepper to taste
1/3 cup chicken broth
1. Place the potatoes and onion on a large piece of heavy-duty foil (about 20 in. x 20 in.); dot with butter.
2. Combine the cheese, parsley, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper; sprinkle over potatoes.
3. Fold foil up around potatoes and add broth. Seal the edges of foil well. Grill, covered, over medium heat for 35-40 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Care to see the rest of our great Camping Adventure to the Finger Lakes? See more pictures after the jump!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Vietnamese Hoagies

Wow. You may not change one thing about this recipe. Unless you can't find a daikon radish in which case a regular one would suffice. I am madly in love with this dish. I was so excited when I saw this and it didn't disappoint. It's a Vietnamese Banh Mi which is basically a hoagie. Um, two of my favorite things combined?! I love a good sandwich hoagie (which is why Danny's Market is my favorite place back home) and I have a soft spot for almost any type of Asian cuisine. 

Anyway, don't be intimidated by the list of ingredients! It's really not a lot and it's totally work it. I was skeptical of pickling the veggies but they added a nice sweetness to the sandwich to balance out the spicy mayo and jalapenos. Plus it was super easy: pickle veggies, leave for work, come home and bam! We all know I'm a sucker for Sriracha mayo and it was perfect for this dish. The meatballs were divine and reminded me of the filling from some dumplings I've had. Good flavor and sauteing them in the sesame oil adds a little something special.
Pork Meatball Banh Mi
(From Bon Appetit)
Hot Chili Mayo
2/3 cup mayonnaise
2 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
1 pound ground pork
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
4 garlic cloves, minced
3 green onions, finely chopped
1 tablespoon fish sauce (such as nam pla or nuoc nam)
1 tablespoon hot chili sauce (such as sriracha)
1 tablespoon sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
Pickled Veggies
2 cups coarsely grated carrots
2 cups coarsely grated peeled daikon radish (or other radish)
1/4 cup unseasoned rice vinegar
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
1 tablespoon Asian sesame oil
4 10-inch-long individual baguettes
Thinly sliced jalapeño chiles
16 large fresh cilantro sprigs
1. Pickle your veggies an hour in advance. Mix together rice vinegar and sugar. Pour over the carrots and daikon. I kept mine separate so the daikon didn't turn orange. Let them sit at least an hour and then drain the juice.
2. Make your hot chili mayo by combining mayo, hot chili sauce, and green onions. Season with salt to taste.
3. Meatball time! Gently mix all meatball ingredients together, do not over mix! Roll mixture into small one inch meatballs (about a tablespoon of meat), set aside on a tray. These can be made one day ahead and refrigerated.
4. Heat sesame oil in a large pan on medium-high heat. Saute meatballs until brown and cooked through, turning often, about 10-15 minutes. You may have to make them in batches depending on the size of your pan.
5. Slice each baguette and pull out some bread from each half. Spread chili mayo on each side. Add jalapenos and cilantro to bottom half. Fill will desired amount of meatballs and top with pickled veggies. Press down the baguette tops and enjoy!
The Condiments!
Spicy Mayo, Daikon, Carrot, Jalapeno, and Cilantro

Monday, May 21, 2012

The Frittata Save!

It's a good thing I had this frittata as my main dish because Mr. Lawyer was not a fan of the spring roll texture. A frittata is always a good bet. Plus the leftovers will make a good breakfast which is key because I may have forgotten to pick up the Mister's cereal at the store today. This frittata was not as fluffy as my previous one (which had three more eggs and a half cup of milk). I must say that I liked the fluffy version a little more. The taste was spot on though....except the feta cheese didn't shine through as much as I would have liked. One thing I did change was the amount of cumin. Cumin is not one of my favorite spices and I feel that it can overwhelm a dish very quickly. Instead of 1/2 teaspoon I just did three quick little dashes and it was the perfect amount.
Mushroom-Poblano Frittata
(from Bon Appetit Magazine)
3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
8 oz. assorted mushrooms thinly sliced
1 large fresh poblano chile, stemmed, seeded, thinly sliced into strips
1 cup chopped scallions or 1/2 cup chopped chives
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 large eggs
2 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro (omitted)
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin (I used less)
1/3 cup crumbled low-fat or fat-free feta
1. Preheat oven to 400°. Heat oil in a medium nonstick ovenproof skillet over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and sauté, stirring occasionally, until just soft, about 5 minutes. Add poblano and cook, stirring occasionally, until mushrooms and poblano are lightly browned, about 5 minutes more. Add scallions, season with salt and pepper, and remove pan from heat.
2. Whisk eggs, cilantro, and cumin in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Heat skillet over medium heat. Pour eggs evenly over mushroom mixture and use a heatproof spatula to evenly disperse ingredients. Sprinkle feta over top. Cook until bottom is set, about 2 minutes. Transfer skillet to oven and cook until eggs are just set, about 9 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 2 minutes. (OR place eggs and veggies in a oven proof bowl and bake at 400 for 30 minutes.)
3. Run heatproof spatula around edge of pan to release frittata. Slide frittata onto a warmed plate and cut into wedges to serve.

A Hit And A Miss

I love asian food, I love BLTs, I loved these spring rolls (especially once I added some Cabot Cheddar....which is always on my BLTs.). Mr. Lawyer on the other hand started out with a "Aren't spring rolls suppose to be fried" which was quickly followed by him comparing the rice paper to a condom. Needless to say, he took all the insides out and I was left to eat the lion's share. I was worried about using rice paper for the first time but it was super easy! (see the pictures below) The Sriracha Mayo was to die for and would be a welcome addition to any sandwich.
BLT Spring Rolls
(from Inspired Taste)
4 8-inch rice paper (spring roll) wrappers
2 cups packed shredded or baby lettuce leaves
1 large tomato, cut into 1/4-inch slices
4 strips cooked thick-cut bacon
Cabot Cheddar Cheese!
1/4 cup mayonnaise
juice of 1/2 a lime
1-2 teaspoons Sriracha chili sauce
salt to taste
1. Combine mayonnaise, lime juice and 1 teaspoon of chili sauce. Taste for spiciness then add more chili sauce if needed. Season with salt.
2. Dip a rice paper into a plate of warm water for 5-10 seconds; shake off excess water and place on a clean kitchen towel or cutting board. Stack shredded or baby lettuce leaves on the lower third of the rice paper. Add tomatoes then a strip of bacon. Spread about 2 teaspoons of lime mayonnaise then top with some more lettuce.
3. Fold the bottom of the rice paper up over the lettuce, tomato and bacon. Fold in the sides, then roll up. Repeat with remaining ingredients. If one of the wrappers rips, carefully overlap the two edges then continue to assemble the roll.
 Fill it up.

Spicy Potatoes!

We had an extra potato left over from our Shore Adventure so I had myself a big bowl of starchy carby goodness for dinner. I like to keep my roasted potatoes simple so you can add all sorts of goodness on them once they're out of the oven. One of my favorite toppings? Sriracha. Nice and spicy!
Roasted Potatoes
Desired amount of potatoes, chopped
Olive Oil
Desired herbs or spices
1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Dice up your potatoes, the smaller the pieces the faster it will bake.
3. Cover potatoes in olive oil, salt, pepper, garlic and desired spices.
4. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until golden brown depending on the size of pieces.

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Holy Fresh Fish!

I spent the most marvelous weekend doing just about nothing at the shore. I didn't think about the stack of papers waiting to be graded or making stressful wedding decisions, I was chillin' like a villain. It was perfect: solo beach walks, being a porch bum and catching up on six cooking magazines (I have a problem), painting my toenails, catnapping in the sunshine....all while the boys were out catching dinner!
From this:
 To this:
 And this in a matter of hours!
Doesn't get any more fresh!
 We rubbed the Striped Bass in olive oil, put on a coating of Tony Chachere's Creole Seasoning and threw it on the grill. This seasoning was banging and satisfied my craving for spicy!
Our freshly caught meal was rounded out with my salt-pepper-garlic asparagus and potatoes. This was an easy decision because it requires few ingredients and I can do it with my eyes closed.
We winged dessert with some fresh blueberries heated up in some gin (based off my kid sundae) and served up with shortbread and cool whip.
 We were some thirsty fishermen/porch bums.
 And we ended the day with this:

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Soup Love!

I know it's not really soup weather but I really wanted some. Plus it seemed to fit the whole salad theme we were going with and I already had all the ingredients (how the hell did MORE celery end up in my fridge?!). This soup was good! And the crock pot makes it easy. I also got to use my sweet soup and sandwich tray so it's a winner in my book. I added some leftover noodles to my bowl and it was even better, I highly recommend it!
Tomato Basil Parmesan Soup
(Pinterest find! From Utah Mama Blog)
2 (14 oz) cans diced tomatoes, with juice
1 cup finely diced celery
1 cup finely diced carrots
1 cup finely diced onions
1 teaspoon dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh oregano
1 tablespoon dried basil or 1/4 cup fresh basil
4 cups chicken broth
½ bay leaf
½ cup flour
1 cup Parmesan cheese
½ cup butter
2 cups half and half, warmed
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp black pepper
Leftover noodles (optional)
1. Add tomatoes, celery, carrots, chicken broth, onions, oregano, basil, and bay leaf to a large slow cooker.
2. Cover and cook on LOW for 5-7 hours, until flavors are blended and vegetables are soft.
3. About 30 minutes before serving prepare a roux. Melt butter over low heat in a skillet and add flour. Stir constantly with a whisk for 5-7 minutes. Slowly stir in 1 cup hot soup. Add another 3 cups and stir until smooth. Add all back into the slow cooker. Stir and add the Parmesan cheese, warmed half and half, salt and pepper. Add additional basil and oregano if needed.
4. Cover and cook on LOW for another 30 minutes or so until ready to serve.


I have a stash of pretty big kid beverage bottles in a cabinet. Sometimes Mr. Lawyer knocks into them and gets all "RAWR! Why do you have all these old bottles in here?!" Answer: To make things look pretty when you bring me flowers!
Save those pretty unique bottles!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

7UP Biscuits?!

Happy 300th Post! I was hoping for something more inspiring but here it is!

Salad week is all well and good but this girl needs her carbs! I found a recipe (pinterest!) that required sour cream which was excellent because I had some that needed to be used. It was a simple recipe (4 ingredients!) that satisfied my carb craving and was devoured by Mr. Lawyer. So I guess he liked them....or I'm starving him with only salads.
7UP Biscuits
2 cups of Bisquick
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup 7UP soda (don't be freaked out! Also, I used Sprite)
1/4 cup butter, melted
Garlic powder
1. Mix together bisquick, sour cream and soda to form a soft dough.
2. Put half of the butter in an 8x8 pan. Spread out dough in pan and score the pieces or roll out on counter, cut pieces, and place in pan.
3. Spread remaining butter on top of biscuits and sprinkle desired amount of garlic powder over top.
4. Bake at 450 for 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Salad Week!

It's Salad Week! Time to detox from our 3 week eat-fest. 
Everything is all chopped up and ready to go for ease and convenience. I guess it worked because Mr. Lawyer took a salad for lunch. Topping choices: peppers, tomatoes, cucumber, onion, tuna, cranberries, sunflower seeds. Not pictured are carrots, cheese and hard boiled eggs. 

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Proud Big Sister!

Awww my baby brother made a stir fry! I'm so proud of him! He called me up from the grocery store yesterday asking for advice and I walked him through it. ("Did you pick up some rice?" "oooooooooh yeahhhhhhh. Rice would be a good idea huh?" Indeed.) He just moved back to the west coast and has a limited kitchen to work he's a 24 year old man boy with limited motivation (mostly).
Sorry for the picture quality, he took it with his phone.

Friday, May 11, 2012


I'm completely 50/50 on this recipe. It was useful for cleaning out the fridge because I had some celery and carrots languishing away but the celery didn't do anything for me (the original recipe called for chickpeas, celery, carrots and broccoli). I really only like celery raw with peanut butter. The sauce didn't really get thick either and I really like a nice thick stir fry sauce to coat all the veggies and rice. However, I am in love, love, love with the marinated chickpeas. Maybe it's because I haven't had them in forever or because I've never had them stir fried or because the marinade was delicious. I would make a batch just for them and omit all the other veggies (which I did in the below recipe). One more healthy veggie dinner down!
Chickpea Stir Fry
(found on pinterest from
1 can chickpeas
1/4 cup low sodium soy sauce
2 tablespoons water
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon honey
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sesame seeds
1/2 teaspoon minced ginger
1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
1. Mix everything together and let sit for 2 hours.
2. Stir fry your desired veggies and then add chickpeas with liquid.
3. Cook until sauce thickens up.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Around the World Part II!

I sense that May will not be a good food month. We have so many social obligations and dates out that my poor kitchen might get dusty! Plus I'm trying to extra be healthy when we are home so there are lots of salads! For example after our eat-fest last weekend in Syracuse we came home and had dinner out with friends Sunday to celebrate our engagement. Monday I wanted to detox and I made a huge salad and served it with Grandma's homemade applesauce. Tuesday Mr. Lawyer took me out to Rose Tattoo for an early anniversary dinner, Wednesday Amanda came over and we made mussels, tonight is Brad's graduation dinner, Friday will probably be a salad night, and then Saturday is a baseball game and Sunday is Mother Day's Brunch. Yikes!
I told them to smile and this is what I get. *sighs*
Do you remember when Amanda and I started doing our "Eating Around the World?" It seems we're much better about eating out than cooking it ourselves! Plus with both of our busy schedules planning a meal has been a disaster. Last night we finally got back on track! Way back in November we did Zorba's and made some greek food. A little bit ago we went to the Belgium Cafe (one of our favorite places!) and had some delicious mussels. Last night we finally got to make some! Mr. Lawyer and I had made these once in Syracuse with our friend Dave and they were super simple. Plus mussels are surprisingly cheap. This recipe highlights the mussels and is not as intricate as the Belgium Cafe's mussels. They have some crazy and amazing flavor combinations. One of my favorites is their Bloody Mary Mussels which you can only get for brunch. Next up: Thai! Because we already went out for it!
Mariniere Mussel Pot
(From Martha Stewart)
2 1/4 pounds mussels, scrubbed and debearded (make sure to pick out any broken or open ones!)
1 1/2 cups water
1 cup dry white wine, or Belgian beer
1 bay leaf, preferably fresh
1 small Spanish onion, thinly sliced
1 rib celery, cut into 1/4-inch dice (about 1/2 cup)
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1. Place mussels in a large pot. Add 1 1/2 cups water. Cover, and bring to a boil over high heat. With water boiling, steam for 3 minutes. 
2. Add wine and bay leaf. Steam for 3 minutes longer. 
3. Add onion and celery, and steam until all the mussels open, about 1 minute longer. Remove from heat, and add butter; toss until butter melts. Transfer to a serving dish. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.

Monday, May 7, 2012

Syracuse Adventures

Oh my god.
Take me back now I'm going through Dinosaur BBQ withdrawal. I may or may not have dropped my ring off at the jewelers covered in bbq sauce. Also, I don't think you've really lived until you see your grandma polish off a 1/4 rack of ribs.
More delicious pictures after the jump!

Thursday, May 3, 2012


Tonight I made a hobo packet and I was super excited about it. In reality I really just like using the word "hobo." Hobo packets are easy: just throw everything together, seal, and bake! Hobo packets are clean: nothing stuck on your baking sheets and our plates were as clean as a whistle! Hobo packets are delicious: yum!
I was using left over beans and corn so my measurements are not exact. I'm sure you could be a tad healthier and get away with only 2 tablespoons of butter (and adjust the spices accordingly).
Hobo Packet Tilapia with Black Beans and Corn
(from my kitchen!)
2 tilapia fillets
2 cups frozen corn
1 cup black beans
4 tablespoons butter
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tablespoon Dinosaur BBQ Cajun Foreplay Spice Rub (or whatever you fancy)
Salt and pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
2. Place two sheets of aluminum foil (about 8-12 inches) on a baking sheet. Divide up the corn and beans between the two pieces.
3. Dry fillets and season with salt and pepper (to taste)
4. Mix together butter, garlic and spice rub. Divide the compound butter in half and slather it on your fillets. Place fillets on top of veggies and roll up the foil, sealing it well.
5. Bake for 15 minutes or until cooked (depending on the size of your fillets, mine were skinny)
My hobo packet!
I used the word "hobo" 9 times in this post. Woo!

Italian Pasta

Mr. Lawyer's parents just went to Italy and brought us back some real Italian pasta! It was a little stressful deciding what to do with it because I wanted the pasta to shine and not be overpowered by a thick, chunky sauce. I decided on our No Cream Pasta Primavera and it was a hit. I am currently eating a bowl right now for breakfast and I think the pasta has actually gotten better with time!
Our Special Pasta
 No Cream Pasta Primavera (recipe HERE)

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

April Roundup!

The second installment of my monthly roundups is here! The March Roundup is here.
We like to saute our onions in burger grease. Delicious. 
 This post Easter picture makes me giggles. Chocolate bunnies right next to baby carrots.
 I had a serious craving for guacamole so veggie tacos made an April appearance.

A Camping Engagement!

We went camping this past weekend.
There was fishing and hiking.
Toasty Campfires.
Weenie Roasts
Camp Fire Jiffy-Pop
But most importantly...
S'mores and a RING!