Friday, January 29, 2010

King Of Salt.

Sigh. Its been a long week and one that didnt allow for much creation. Between working late, hitting the gym and trying to eat well - its been tough. Shawn had a bright shiny moment I never documented on Tuesday by making me Mulligatawny with Toasted Almonds and that was delicious. For a while I had been meaning to make Chicken Picatta and I bought the ingredients for a Pregnancy Pact Lifetime Movie watching party that was cancelled last minute... I may have a false definition of what that is as I also think its the same thing as Chicken Paillard (which is the best on the earth at Nook in Santa Monica, CA) I just ended up making it for Shawn and I post gym. Oh man oh man it was better than I even anticipated. I love very thinly pounded chicken and to add the saltiest of salty capers and the acidity of lemon is a perfect combination.

Caper, Lemon, Butter & Garlic Chicken
2 breasts of chicken, pounded thinly and cut into 4 pieces.
1 Lemon
1/2 stick of butter
3 Tablespoons of Capers
3 Tablespoons of Caper Juice
3 cloves of garlic, pressed.
1 Teaspoon of flour
Salt and Pepper to taste.

Step One: Once your chicken is pounded thinly salt and pepper it. and sprinkle the chicken with a little flour. Melt 1/4 of the butter in a pan and add the garlic and the capers and caper juice. Once hot enough place chicken in pan.

Step Two: Add lemon juice (just crush it over the cooking chicken) --- flip once - cook for a total of 6-8 minutes per side, making sure to keep tossing the butter, lemon and caper sauce over the chicken to keep it moist. Serve hot with brown rice!

Monday, January 25, 2010

Boring Update.

Admittedly, it was quite the boring weekend for me foodie-wise. I didnt cook anything and I didnt leave the 5 block radius of my apartment. Friday started out more boring than I'd like to even advertise....shawn and I ate egg salad on wheat. Can you get any more domestically uninspired?

(that being said I love egg salad).

The rest of the weekend held nothing more exciting - canned corned beef hash, splenda ice cream, overpriced cheese from Whole Foods and veggie chips.

Hopefully Ill be more inspired this week!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Weekend Update, You Ignorant Slut.

It was quite the relaxing weekend here in San Francisco with most of our friends out of town. Friday started off a little shaky as I locked my keys in the car, got a ticket for street cleaning and had a generally crazy miserable day.....but it finished nicely with a new haircut where I got borderline bangs.

Saturday we went out for sushi at my new favorite sushi place in the city, that I had been meaning to try forever! Zushi Puzzle. You my fine sir lived up to your reputation. As usual Michael ordered for the table and was spot on. He did not miss a beat! Afterwards we went to the SF Sketchfest @ Cobbs where they were playing Gameshow Explosion with Scott Aukerman, Michael Ian Black, Doug Benson, Scott Foley, Paul F Tomkins and Andy Richter playing! Essentially, they were drunk ripping on each other and I laughed alot - all in all a great San Francisco night!

Sunday morning my good friend Jackie had her annual pancake breakfast in the East Bay which provided me an outlet to make something and be creative - so I made Darcy's Vegan Apple and Rosemary Scones - but to be honest, I made them non vegan. I replaced the Almond Milk with Milk and the Shortening with butter. I know it was going again the grain but I know she'll forgive me.

And other than that - I read alot - finished The Lovely Bones (thanks nat!) and played a lot of Yahtzee. :)

Apple Rosemary Scones
1 1/4 cups almond (or other non dairy) milk
2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
3 cups flour
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar, plus extra for sprinkling
2 tablespoons dried rosemary, finely chopped
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 1/2 cup diced apple (about two apples)
2 tablespoons canola oil1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Step One: preheat oven to 375. lightly grease a baking sheet (or two) or line with parchment paper. measure out the milk in a measuring cup and add the vinegar to it. set aside to curdle.
combine the flour, baking powder, salt, sugar, rosemary, nutmeg and cinnamon in a large mixing bowl. add the shortening in small clumps then use your fingers or a pastry cutter to cut it into the flour until the dough texture becomes pebblelike. mix in the apple pieces.

Step Two: create a well in the center and add the milk mixture, oil, and vanilla. mix with a wooden spoon until about half of the flour is incorporated. mix again until all the ingredients are just moistened, taking care not to overmix. a couple of dry-looking spots are fine.
lightly grease a 1/4 cup measuring cup and use to scoop the scones onto the prepared baking sheets. dust the tops of the scones with more sugar, then bake for 18 to 22 minutes until the tops are lightly browned and firm to the touch. transfer to a cooling rack to cool (or eat warm!)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Earning My Chicken Respect.

I have been on the same quest for years: to like chicken. There's just something about the popular poultry I just dont like. I like it hot and fried, yes - but grilled chicken just makes me yawn and stuffed chicken makes me yell BORING. I feel chicken is just a lame excuse for something else. That being said, I still like to create with it just to see if there's a form where I can like it! This was a 100% Kate creation and I think I nailed it on the head. Super simple recipe too, although - next time I would leave out the egg. I'll keep it in the recipe as I did use one.

Chicken Bacon Sliders with Pecan Apple Compote

1 Package Ground Chicken
1 onion
2 cloves garlic
2 strips of bacon, crispy & chopped up
1 egg
1 apple
1/2 cup pecans, crushed
pat of butter
1 tablespoon of dried herbs
Salt and Pepper
olive oil

Step One: Chop onion and garlic and saute in pan until soft. Remove from stove & cool. Chop Apples and crush the pecans.

Step Two: In a bowl combine onion mixture with ground chicken (and egg?) mixing evenly. Add herbs, chopped bacon, salt and pepper and form into small patties - grill on the stove turning once until browned. 12 minutes. 6 on each side.If you're unsure you can cut into the middle of one to make sure.

Step Three: In a medium saucepan add pecans and apples and butter and let simmer for 5 minutes, longer depending on how soft you like your apples. If you're feeling saucy - add brown sugar!

Monday, January 11, 2010

Going Greek!

Hello RAW MEAT. Hhahaha. I had a whole master plan for blogging about having our friends Alex & Mo and Natalie & Michael over for dinner friday - but alas! It went so quickly I never had time to photograph the final product. Suffice it to say dinner came out fantastic and the night was a blast. The best part of the night was the heated debate over what movies were better - and oh my were we wrong.

ALSO: Cranium is extremely easy. We played and lost (boys won) in under 15 minutes. :) maybe we needed to be drunker!
We made:

1.Lamb Stuffed Eggplant (from the Lebanese Eggplant recipe) except instead of using strictly med flavors I used rosemary and oregano because how can you have lamb without them! It seemed like a travesty.

2. Homemade Sun dried Tomato Hummus
1 Can Chickpeas, drained.
4 sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup tahini
1/4 cup olive oil
1 teaspoon lemon juice
salt & pepper
Mix it all in a food processor. Delish!

(for me though, I think I decided if I ever did this again, it was a little sweet for me, I'd rather have garlic!)

3. Homemade Falafel & Tzatizki

I am not positive his recipe for these but they were absolutely delicious and were baked instead of fried just to pretend a little we are healthy!

4. Warm Pear and Feta & Shallot Salad

1 bag of spinach
2 pears
1/4 cup crumbled feta
1 shallot
Lemon Juice
1 tablspoon butter
salt and pepper to taste

Just heat the chopped pear and slivered shallots in a medium sauce pan with the butter - and feat. Heat until juicy!

Squeeze lemon over spinach and toss with warm pear sauce!

Friday, January 8, 2010

5 Things I HateLove

I thought it would be fun to make a comprehensive guide to things I will and wont eat. I think it will be a fun ride full of urmphs and oohs and ahhs and barfs. Mostly so that if you have me over for dinner or something you know how we do.

(this may be an ongoing series)

NO: As most of you know, the Number One on my "Wont Eat List" is CELERY. Just thinking about that crisp crack of watery poison upon my tongue is enough to make me gag. If you're a diner and you put it in your tuna salad - shame on you, you are just trying to gypsy me out of $3. You could add green onion, you could add cucumber but no - you choose the dark meat of veggies.

HELL YES: Any food where peanut butter and banana are star players gets an A+ in my book. I am pretty sure when they selected ambrosia salad as the food of the gods, they had never muddled their palette with melty peanut butter. so melty you cant even pronounce your own name....+ banana and honey? Its like comfort in your mouth.

If I could eat one thing everyday: It would be Chicken Tikka Masala! I know, you're thinking how COULD you eat this everyday? Chances are I couldnt, but maybe a teaspoon of the sauce once a day would become like the new trend in diets and somehow creamy, tomatoey, gingery fatty will be the new skinny.

Favorite Childhood Snack: Admittedly, this was my jam.

I used to work as a camp counselor for 3 or 4 summers and my favorite thing was when kids discarded these from their lunchboxes and they ended up in my gullet!

HATERADE IN A BOTTLE: Can you believe you ever drank this? Just looking at this sicky sweet candy in a bottle brings back memories of sour stomachs and fleeting buzzes. This never really allowed you to get krunked and probably rots your teeth and your insides. After you consume 4, I bet if they took a picture of your insides they would resemble a meth face.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

I know! I said 2010 would hold no cell phone pictures but alas even though I own a brand new (used) camera - I cant fix my forgetful brain! Sigh. Last night was book club again and we read Push by Sapphire, which is now the major motion picture Precious. The food theme was soul food - and for a bunch of whiteys I think we did pretty good! I made fried pickles and because I am trying to eat healthy I only had 2! oh man oh man they were absolutely divine. Pure and utter awesomeness!

Granted, these are more Hooters than Southern, but I love em just the same.

A MUST MENTION from last night was Abby's Meatloaf (Paula Deens recipe!) - it was out of this world.

1 cup flour
1 cup cornmeal
1 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
1 egg
1/3 cup milk
dash of sriracha
canola oil.

Step One: Combine dry ingredients for the coating and whisk together wet ingredients for dip. Meanwhile, put pickles (I used dill) between paper towels to dry them out for 5 minutes.

Step Two: Dip pickle in the dry ingredients, then wet, then dry. Repeat until you get however many pickles you want! Put oil on stove and heat until 350. (I just eyeball it)

Step Three: Fry for 2 minutes, per side, per pickle until golden brown. Transfer to dry paper towels to dry up the oil.

Serve with Ranch!

Monday, January 4, 2010

Happy New Year, Suckas!

Hello friends. Happy New Year! Shawn and I just returned from a trip back East to Albany and New York City. Unfortunately, I didnt have much time to cook or concoct during the 9 day stay, which is alright by me. My brain needed some relief. I did however make these (above) bacon pops for Christmas Day - although, upon tasting them I would make them smaller and candy the pecans if I made them again.

Recipe can be found here (and yes its the same picture because I forgot to take a picture of the final product!)

Just because I did not concoct doesnt mean I didnt have a lovely culinary experience while in The Empire State. On the contrary! I ate my face off and have vowed to finally get back to my LA weight in 2010. (oy, thats 20 pounds folks). Here were the top 5 highlights:

1. Bloody Marys @ Quigleys in East Greenbush, NY.

Yes, they serve their bloody marys with a slim jim! Delicious. Also they had amazing wings. I had been going to Quigleys on and off for years growing up but never appreciated more than on football sunday.

2. Chili & Eggs @ Main Street Bistro in New Paltz, NY.

My parents were gracious enough to drive Shawn and I halfway to New York City and drop us off in Tarrytown to take the Metro North to the Big Apple. My mother Yelped a great little diner in the college town that was certainly worth 2 thumbs up! I was originally skeptical about beef chili and eggs but it was 11:15 already so I said what the hell.

A+ on the Jalapeno Corn Bread it was served atop!

3. Matzo Ball Soup @ The Carnegie Deli - New York City, NY.

Yes, its a tourist trap. Yes, its tremendously overpriced. True - its not better than my grammas food or even my cousins food (Famous 4th Street Deli in Philly) - but you know what? I still LOVE LOVE LOVED IT!

I much prefer a salty broth and an overwhelming matzoh ball to something more flavorful.

Also, we sat next to some Wisconsinites and that made Shawn happy.

4. The Ricotta Gnocchi @ Flatbush Farm in Brooklyn, NY.

Oh my. What to say about this dream of a dinner? This picture sure doesnt do justice but what does? Lauren (my friend from college) invited Shawn and I along for New Years Eve dinner in her hood and it was just delightful! I havent had good gnocchi in ages. It was fluffy like a cloud and the mushrooms were salty. I also enjoyed an Earl Grey Martini that got me super tipsy and tingled my taste buds for hours.


Okay, so they didnt fill my belly but they filled my heart and thats arguably just as satisfying.