Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Brinner

Breakfast for dinner - who says such delicious food can only be had during certain hours of the day?

Fried potatoes, scrambled eggs (with milk and parsley mixed in), and hot dogs. (I can't help it - I need meat to make it a meal and I was all out of bacon.)

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Butternut Squash Soup


Ingredients:
  • 1 butternut squash
  • butter
  • cinnamon
  • ground ginger
  • coriander
  • cumin
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt
  • brown sugar
Peel, seed and dice the butternut squash. Boil in a pot of water with 1-2 tablespoons of butter, cinnamon and ginger. Drain the squash, but save the liquid! Put the squash in a blender along with about 2 tablespoons of butter (and enough of the liquid for it get pureed). Add about a teaspoon of cinnamon, teaspoon of ginger, teaspoon of coriander, teaspoon of cumin, 1/2 a teaspoon of cayenne pepper, a dash of salt and a couple tablespoons of brown sugar. Thin out with the boiling liquid to the desired consistency and let simmer for a few minutes. Nothing like a good bowl of soup to warm your insides!

Meatloaf (Take #1)

So here is my first attempt at meatloaf... It turned out okay, but not quite up to my standards. I think I used too much of something (the first culprit being red onion). I guess you win some and you lose some, but no one really loses when bacon is involved.

Ingredients:
  • 2 lbs of ground beef
  • 1/2 red onion (diced) - I'd cut this down to about 1/4 of an onion
  • 4 garlic cloves (finely chopped)
  • 1/2 cup (or so) of ketchup
  • 4 slices of bacon (more or less if you please)
  • seasoned salt
  • pepper
  • italian seasoning
  • paprika
  • ground ginger
Mix the ground beef together with all of the above ingredients (excluding the bacon of course). Another flaw is that I think I used too much seasoning and covered up a lot of the beef flavor - so less might be more in this case (or maybe I should try measuring things out...not!). Top with the bacon and put in a 350 - 375 degree oven for 45 minutes.

Spicy Chicken Stew

Ingredients:
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts (cut into chunks)
  • 1 shallot (diced)
  • 1 regular sized can of black beans
  • 28 oz can of whole peeled tomatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • chili powder
  • crushed red pepper
Here's a simple and delicious meal you can eat any night of the week.

Saute the chicken in a pot with a some vegetable oil and season with pepper, cumin, paprika, and chili powder. Add in the shallot and let it soften. Pour in the black beans and tomatoes (break them up some with a spoon). Add some salt and about a teaspoon or so of the crushed red pepper. Let simmer for about 10-15 minutes and then serve. (You can eat it by itself, but I pour it over some white rice.)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Simple Fried Chicked

Here's an oldie, but a goodie...


Ingredients:
  • 1 whole cut-up chicken (or you can pick your favorite piece)
  • flour
  • seasoned salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • paprika
  • flour
  • oil
First off, be sure to clean your chicken and make sure there aren't any little baby feathers hiding anywhere. Then season both sides liberally with the salt, pepper, garlic and paprika. (Feel free to throw in a few extra ingredients to mix it up a little bit.) Dredge (i.e. coat) the chicken in flour, shake off any excess, and drop it in the skillet. In the skillet you should have about 1/4 - 1/2 inch of a good frying oil (canola, vegetable, corn or peanut are the one that I can think of off the top of my head...but NOT olive). Be sure that your flame isn't too high because the chicken will come out "cajun-style," as I like to call it. A good way to test is by sprinkling a few drops of water in the pan and either hear a nice little sizzle or the 4th of July in your kitchen. Fry to a golden brown and then drain on paper towels (or whatever else you can find).


It's better than fast food, and you won't need any ketchup for this chicken.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Linguine with Mushrooms, Tomatoes, and Ground Turkey

I wanted to try to make something a little more figure friendly and experiment with some new ingredients I never cooked with before (whole wheat pasta and ground turkey).

Ingredients:
  • 1 lb of ground turkey
  • 1 pint of baby portobello mushrooms (cleaned*** and sliced)
  • 1 box of whole wheat linguine
  • 28 oz can of diced tomatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • italian seasoning
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • olive oil
  • ketchup (optional)
  • hot sauce (optional)
Brown the ground turkey in a large skillet with olive oil over medium-high heat. Season with salt, pepper, italian seasoning, garlic and onion powders. (I used a lot of pepper and italian seasoning and only a little bit of salt.) Add the sliced mushrooms and saute it all together. Add the can of tomatoes and add some more of the seasonings to taste. You can also add a squirt of ketchup or a dash of hot sauce for more tomato flavor or a bit more spice. Add the freshly cooked pasta, stir, and serve.

***In order to clean mushrooms do NOT rinse under running water because the mushrooms will absorb the liquid. Instead, wipe them clean with a damp clothe to remove any dirt.

Chicken, Red Beans and Rice


Ingredients:
  • 2 boneless skinless chicken breasts
  • cumin
  • paprika
  • chili powder
  • vegetable oil
  • 2 cups of uncooked rice
  • 1 can of chicken broth
  • 1 can of red beans
Cook the rice in a pot with the chicken broth. Season the chicken with the cumin, paprika, and chili powder and saute in a pan with vegetable oil. Once the chicken is done, remove from the pan and dice it up. Add the rice, beans and chicken back to the pan and add more of the seasonings that you put on the chicken. Stir it together and let everything warm through.

Enjoy!

Lamb Chops with Spinach and Chick Peas


Ingredients:
  • lamb chops
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • garlic powder
  • thyme
  • rosemary
  • 1 package of frozen spinach
  • 1 can of chick peas (drained)
  • lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
For the lamb, all you need to do is season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, thyme and rosemary, and cook it in a pan with olive oil.

For the spinach and chick peas, add the frozen spinach, chick peas, salt and pepper to a pot of water and bring to a boil. Drain the food and then saute it in the pan that you cooked the lamb in with the butter and about a tablespoon or so of lemon juice.

Simple and delicious!

My Love for Food


Food for me is much more than just something to give you the needed energy to get through the day. It's a science experiment, a way to show someone you care, a social activity, and a myriad of other wonderful things all rolled into one. Making a meal with a group of people is a bonding activity like no other. It allows for teamwork, teaching, sharing, and enjoying the fruits of your labor when it's all done. I deeply cherish the feeling of making others feel good by the food that I prepare, and it is one that I will continue to do forever.

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Ultimate Mac 'n Cheese



Ingredients:
  • 3 coffee mugs of macaroni (uncooked)
  • 1/3 - 1/2 block of velvetta cheese (cubed)
  • 12 oz can of evaporated milk
  • 8 oz bag of shredded cheddar cheese
  • salt
  • pepper
  • paprika
  • butter
Instructions:
Cook the macaroni and be sure to salt the water (this is the only time you get to season the pasta). Melt the velvetta with the milk on the stove or in the microwave. Once the noodles are cooked, drain and rinse under cold water. Put the pasta into a buttered pan and mix the the cheese sauce, a few tablespoons of butter, pepper (to taste), and about half the bag of the cheddar cheese. Top with the rest of the cheddar and sprinkle with paprika. Bake in a 375 degree oven for about 25 - 30 minutes.

Baked Penne with Italian Sausage

Ingredients:
  • 28 oz can of tomato sauce
  • 1 lb of sweet Italian sausage
  • 1 box of penne pasta
  • 5 garlic cloves (chopped)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • onion powder
  • 1 cup of red wine (I used Merlot)
  • barbecue sauce
  • Italian herbs
  • sugar
  • parmesan cheese
  • mozzarella
  • white cheddar
  • olive oil
Instructions:
Brown the sausage and garlic in a large pan with some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Add the wine to de-glaze the pan and let it simmer for a little bit. Then add the tomato sauce and season with salt, pepper, onion powder and Italian herbs to taste. Add about a tablespoon of sugar for a little bit of sweetness. Now you may be wondering what the barbecue sauce is for - I like to add it to my tomato sauces sometimes to get a nice smoky flavor. Add a few tablespoons of your favorite barbecue sauce to the pasta sauce. Throw in the freshly cooked penne and toss with the sauce. Top with and equal mixture of the cheeses and put under the broiler for a few minutes until the cheese melts and starts to bubble.