Archive from May, 2009
May 29, 2009 - File Icon Candy, Dessert   Comment Icon Comments Off on Peppermint Bark

Peppermint Bark

I’m not that big of a chocolate fan, but my husband is. He loves the fact that I like cooking with chocolate, or making candies and he gets most of them.

I got this idea from the peppermint bark that Williams Sonoma sells around Christmas. It’s horribly expensive but so easy to make. I ended up showing a friend how to make it last year and the husband has been bugging me for it ever since. There’s now 2 pounds of bark in the cupboard for him, so he wont complain any longer.

Bulk Candies

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May 27, 2009 - File Icon Disaster   Comment Icon 2 Comments

Out Of The Comfort Zone

I normally don’t stray too far out of my comfort zone in the kitchen. I stay mostly with American, Mexican, or Italian food. But for some crazy reason I had decided I wanted to make Indian curry. My friend and I used to go to a great Indian place every once in a while and binge on curry, since then I haven’t been able to find a great curry sauce that I like in the stores.

So I decided to make it at home. Or try to. Oh what a fool I am.

The recipe involved a spiced yogurt marinade for the chicken, and then a tomato and cream based curry sauce. Sounds simple enough, right?

In went the yogurt and spices…

Yogurt and Spices

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May 25, 2009 - File Icon Beef, Main Dishes, Pork   Comment Icon Comments Off on Mom’s Meatloaf

Mom’s Meatloaf

My mom was not THE best cook, but she did what she could. There were times where the burned bottom of a roll was “extra flavor”. The one thing I remember from being a kid that my mom made was meatloaf. It was one of the recipes from scratch that always came out good. Whenever we found a good recipe we tended to stick to it, not really just “going with it” and see what happens, mostly because the result could be disastrous.

I called my mom recently and got all of the recipes for food that I remember growing up. It’s something that I wanted to do before I forgot or before the recipes couldn’t be found again. That tends to happen.

There were a few changes I made to the recipe, you know me, I have to do things like that.

Crumbling Oats

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May 23, 2009 - File Icon Hints/Tips, In The Kitchen   Comment Icon Comments Off on Obsessive Cake Frosting

Obsessive Cake Frosting

Sometimes at night we get horrible sweet cravings. Since I’m more sensitive to sugar now and I’m trying to make healthier eating habits we don’t keep as much sweet stuff in the house anymore. But there are those nights/days where we think “gotta have sugar!”

One of those days I found a cake mix and frosting in my pantry. Awesome. However, weird things happen when I decide to get creative in the kitchen.

I get a little obsessive. And slightly crazy.

Simple Cakes

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May 21, 2009 - File Icon Hints/Tips, In The Kitchen   Comment Icon Comments Off on Make It Ahead

Make It Ahead

When I first started at my job a few years ago, I worked the early shift (same as I work now most days of the week) which meant I had to be at work at 5:00am, or sometimes even earlier depending on the day and how much work was ahead of us. I think the earliest I got to work at one point was 3:30am. That’s just obscene but at the same time I would go in that early and not get up until 10:00am, then I finally realized “wait, I’ve been sitting for almost 7 hours without getting up…ugh.”

There is always an upside to that type of situation though. You learn new ways to deal with your new life.

Freezing Orzo
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May 19, 2009 - File Icon In The Kitchen, Rants/Ramblings   Comment Icon Comments Off on Other Than Water

Other Than Water

Since giving up soda, I’ve been reduced to water and tea. There is only so much water or tea you can drink before you just become tired of it, even with all of the nifty flavored teas out there.

And now it seems I’ve given up caffeine too! Since being sick a while ago I haven’t still had caffeine, and now I really feel the effects of it whenever I try to drink it. This is especially hard when I have to get up at 3:00AM to go to work. That early and no legal chemical stimulants? People must think I’ve gone crazy!

Well, “gone” not really, I always was crazy.

Apple Juice

So lately I’ve been drinking this unfiltered gala apple juice, trying to find something else besides water, but sadly its horribly sweet.
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May 17, 2009 - File Icon Sauces   Comment Icon Comments Off on Sweet and Tart – Cranberry Sauce

Sweet and Tart – Cranberry Sauce

I love things that are not too sweet and rather tart. It would explain my love of blackberries, raspberries and cranberries. Since I cut out soda and cut back on my sugar intake, I am much more susceptible to the sugar highs and everything tastes sweeter to me.

So when I discovered this I knew I had to start making changes to my diet. Mostly to make things at home that I can cut back the sugar on. One random thing that I’ve been craving is a Cranberry Turkey Sandwich. They sell them on the break trucks that come by my work early in the mornings, which strikes me as weird since I’m trying to copy something off of a roach-coach.

One of the main ingredients to the sandwich I’m trying to make is cranberry sauce, obviously. Unfortunately most of the store bought varieties are VERY sweet. So I decided to make my own!

Boiling Cranberries

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May 15, 2009 - File Icon Main Dishes, Poultry   Comment Icon Comments Off on Turkey Meatballs

Turkey Meatballs

There are many things that I don’t ever really remember eating until I met my husband. It’s not because he had pushed them on me, more along the lines that I had never eaten them growing up. Like mac and cheese, chicken and sour cream enchiladas, banana pancakes… I had never eaten or even thought of trying these things until he was around. Now I make them and LOVE them.

Another thing I never had very often while growing up was meatballs. The only time I ever got them was when we would go to a restaurant in Southern California and they had appetizers in their waiting area of meatballs and hand made potato chips. I also decided to change up the normal recipe and go for something slightly healthier: ground turkey. The one problem with the turkey is that it can get dried out easily, so you have to make sure there is enough moisture in the meatballs to keep a good texture.

Pretty Meatballs

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May 13, 2009 - File Icon Hints/Tips   Comment Icon Comments Off on Using Corn Tortillas

Using Corn Tortillas

Sometimes there are things that you do on a day to day basis that seem so natural, so obvious, that sometimes it escapes you that others might not know something that you think is… Well obvious.

One of them was brought to my attention some time ago when I went to a new-ish friend’s house for dinner. We had made them tacos one night and they were returning the favor, having a nice spread of fixin’s for making our own tacos. You really can’t go wrong with having a Make-It-Your-Self taco bar. But there was one problem. They were trying to use corn tortillas, but they didn’t cook them first.

Yeah, you actually have to cook the tortillas to get them to be that soft and pliable texture so you can fold them around your favorite food. They kept going on about how messy and unreliable they were so they just switched back to their flour tortillas (cold out the package also). I didn’t have the courage to bring up the fact that you actually had to warm or cook them before they were usable, the fear of sounding like I was preaching or being snide wouldn’t let me do it. I liked them, I didn’t want them to start hating me so soon in our new friendship.

It didn’t strike me until much later that maybe they just didn’t know. Not everyone is an obsessive-must-know-everything person and researches until they find the answer. Plus I just grew up with having a taco night with my parents, using corn tortillas never flour. Maybe they just didn’t know you had to cook them.

So maybe others don’t know either? That’s pretty much what’s prompting me in this one. Maybe they just didn’t know. So here we go.

Tortillas and Oil

Its easy!
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May 11, 2009 - File Icon Main Dishes, Poultry   Comment Icon Comments Off on Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Sour Cream Chicken Enchiladas

Sour Cream Enchiladas

My husband is convinced that I’m really not half Scot and half Mutt. He’s convinced that I’m actually half Mexican and Italian, mostly because those are two of my favorite types of cuisine to cook. I think he would have added some sort of reference to baking, but there isn’t a cultural cuisine that is only baking (not that I know of at least).

I love making Mexican food, but its mostly the Americanized Mexican Bastardization that I’m good at. Burritos, tacos, quesadillas, nachos, enchiladas with red sauce… Anything with chips or in a tortilla is fine with me. But there was one thing I hadn’t made yet for my husband…
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