Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fennel: What's For Dinner

Picture sourced from: Johnson's Back Yard Garden

Last night I made a dinner that used fennel in two dishes, Iron Chef style. There were fennel seeds in the sweet Italian sausage and I used a small fennel bulb two play two parts in the meal. Half the bulb went into a Cannellini bean and sausage dish from Mark Bittman's Food Matter's Cook Book and the rest went into a salad conjured from my imagination.

The flavors of the main dish were hearty and simple. The sausage was broken up and browned; to this, I added, per the recipe, garlic and red crushed peppers. Then I added the greens with the zest, and lastly the beans. I loved how everything played together. The beans were silky and mild against the liquorish crunch of the fennel. The dish was rounded out with the less assertive, Brussels sprouts,which were tender, but still firm, creating a nice foil to the beans. The sausage speckled the dish with a little decadence. It was all very nice. I was proud that the addition of the fennel and lemon zest really worked with the recipe.

To complement the main course, I threw a salad together.

What I used:

half of a small bulb of fennel, slivered
a sliced apple
olive oil
lemon juice
black pepper (I would have preferred white pepper)
sea salt
Parmesan cheese, shaved
dry dill, a dash

Put fennel and apple slices in bowl. Squeeze a little lemon juice, dust with seasoning, including dill. add a judicious amount of olive oil, only to barely coat. Mix with hands gently. Serve on plate and dot with olive oil and shave the cheese over the salad. Yum!!!!!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Michael Symon Inspired Last Night's Dinner

Picture source: Cooking Channel

Sometimes you follow a recipe and sometimes, you don't. I watch a lot of cooking shows because I love food and I love to learn. I often do go to the show's website to grab the recipe, but sometimes just a vague idea sticks around and inspires me. A few weeks ago I watched the chicken episode of How to Cook Like an Iron Chef. When it came time to make dinner last night I plucked this idea from the air: Chicken legs, fingerling potatoes, leeks, braise and I think it was inspired by this.

This is how I brought everything together. First I put salted water to boil, actually Joey did that for me. Then I cut the two leeks and four small potatoes. The leeks were cut lengthwise and then in half to create a nice surface area for searing and I left them about the length of the potatoes. The potatoes I only cut lenthwise and then par-boiled them. I warmed some garlic slices in olive oil before starting the searing, I removed them when they were starting to get golden and put them in a bowl.

Joey cleaned the chicken and I dried and seasoned it with salt and pepper and a very fine coating of flour. The chicken was seared first, then the leeks, then the potatoes. Lastly, I placed everything in a large deep pan, including the golden slices of garlic and added chicken stock, covering it only half way. I seasoned everything with a pinch of oregano and salt and pepper. I let it simmer away until everything was super flavorful and tender. It was a rich and hearty meal and even though it tasted like a million bucks, it only cost about ten. Now that's what I call a bright idea!

Is there a pea in my pancake?!?

Sourced from:

Do you ever feel like you don't eat enough vegetables? I feel like that all the time. I love vegetables, so this weekend I decided to squeeze them into my breakfast. I made pancakes and left out the sugar and instead added, a littl garlic salt, oregano, cheese and some cooked peas I had in the fridge. It was yummy! Go to to get inspired to make your own version of savory pancakes.

Frank and Katie's Baked Ziti

This is just a snap shot of all the great food!

Hey everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. Above is a picture of the baked ziti Frank and Katie made for their fabulous holiday party. It was a Christmas weekend filled with delicous food and lots of friends and family. What did you eat for Christmas? What was your favorite meal this holiday? Please share.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

They Draw and Cook

Remember this clickable post? Go here to see an entire blog doing this and doing it really well.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Katie's Christmas Treats!

Picture sourced from: Glorious Treats

Our big idea today comes from guest blogger Katie Dowden. It looks pretty and delicious! See below how to put it together:

Heat oven to 350 F.

Arrange your little pretzel waffles on a baking sheet, lined with wax papper.

Top with a rollo and remove from oven when melted.

Then top it with a salted pecan.

Let some of the best flavors of the world join together (chocolate, salt and nuts!) and eat them up!

Katie's verdict: "Amazingggg"!!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Getting Fresh with Creme Fraiche

Sourced from:

Joey and I used creme fraiche to make tacos last week. Since then I've been looking for creative ways to use it.

Here are some great ideas:
1. leave the milk out of your eggs and make a scrammble with it. This makes decadent eggs.
2. Mince a clove of garlic, two sun dried tomatoes and mix with creme fraiche. This makes a great topping to add to many dishes, like soup or a spicy meat dish.
3. Swirl a spoonful into your oatmeal.
4. Spread over a warm tortilla and sprinkle with salt.
5. Stir into any vegetable puree instead of cream.
Any other ideas?

Friday, December 17, 2010


Picture source:

Grub Street has compiled an unholy, and mouthwatering list of the best pork dishes in the city. How badass would it be to hit up every one of these 35 joints in 2011 to taste their claim to fame? Click here to go to the slide show.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

What's For Dinner Tonight?

Tonight is the holiday dinner for my company. We will feast on Morton's steaks. I'm excited! What cut of meat should I get? Morton's has a nifty little tutorial on how to choose. What do you think dear reader?

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Who Shall You Play Today Dear Egg?

Picture sourced from

I woke up today and I had no bread for breakfast. I have been eating eggs over easy, with toast, but that was not a possibility this morning. I did not fret though. Eggs are like the best actors, ready to transform into new characters and play a new role when they are called to.Today my eggs would be a little fancy, a little cheesy and not quite so fragile and runny.
I broke two eggs in a bowl, added a dash of salt, dill, and oregano and gave the whole thing a light stir. I decided I would make an omelette. I added a little water and gave it another stir. Meanwhile I melted butter in a pan over medium heat and then added the eggs and inside I put a little Parmesean cheese and three basil leaves, from the leaves I have frozen. It was great. You should try it out!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tomatillo Salsa, Encore

Yes, eating this is messy, but also tasty.

There was a lot of tomatillo salsa left over from last week, so Joey and I made skirt steak with some nice fixings. You can go here for the recipe. It is from Michael Symon's How to Cook Like an Iron Chef.

Look at what a great job Joey did grilling!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Live To Eat

Picture sourced from Apartment Therapy

Eat to live or live to eat? Most of us, at least in spirit, take a side on this question. Sure, in a pinch I've eaten crap to get me through a meal, but that is not my philosophy on food. We get a limited amount of meals before we die and I want as many as possible to be damn good, if not straight up devine. Do you feel me?

Lunch is always such a challenge for me. I don't want to spend a lot of money but I want to enjoy what I eat and part of that is eating something exciting and eating something with vegetables.

Lately I have been posting about some of the things I eat for lunch. Today I ate the last bit of my fake hominy soup and another tuna sandwich, if you're curious. What will I eat tomorrow? More tuna because I usually make enough for a week of food and then move on to the next inspiration. How about you? What are you eating for lunch? Does it stir a lusty passion inside of you or does it mearly keep you from passing out? Are you hot for one particular meal or do you change it day to day? Do you bag it or buy it? Would you change anything about your lunch habits? I, if you're curious, am very happy with my current set up: prep ahead, bring ingredients to work, assemble at work, rotating items week to week.

If you want some ideas to jump start some creativity, head over to Apartment Therapy. They have a great post on sandwich ideas. Any way, whatever you're eating I hope it brings you much health and happiness. Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Crazy Tuna Sandwich!!!

I am eating a yummy tuna fish sandwich! You want to know what's in it? Ok cool, I will let you know.

Crazy Tuna Sandwich

For Tuna salad:
Tuna fish
Two teaspoons of capers
A little minced Spanish onion
A little fresh basil
A little fresh cilantro
Tablespoon of pesto
A splash of apple cider vinegar
A dash of sea salt
A serano chili I pickled a few weeks ago (because I am awesome like that)

You'll also need:

I put a little mayo on one slice of bread, then added tuna salad then a layer of sprouts. It's like a party in my mouth.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Pasta Inspiration

Although I could have let the sauce reduce a bit, the flavors were spot on.

What I made earlier this week was based off of this recipe from Jamie Oliver's website. I did not have time to get into pasta making that evening, especially without a pasta machine, a food processor, or even a rolling pin, so instead I made sauce.

When I finally do make pasta, I might actually buy the rolling pin, but I will probably hold off on buying the other two things. I can't wait for that day! I would love it if you joined me.

For this particular night I just used store bought pasta. I bought five boxes on sale a few weeks ago, so I have to use the reserves. I also set aside the excess basil, wrapping it up and putting it in the freezer.

I did make some slight deviations on the sauce. I bought whole tomatoes because they were on sale and I used crushed red pepper flakes because I could not find a fresh one, and lastly, I stuck a bay leaf in the sauce while it simmered because I have a huge container of bay leaves I need to use up. I also used mozzarella balls, because I love them with a spicy sauce. In the end, it was a quick awesome meal. Try it, and you will see.


I am obsessed with making my own pasta. Doesn't he make it look easy? Joey! Will you let me borrow your food processor this weekend?!?

Tomatillo Salsa

picture sourced from

Did you go to the market last week to get things for a special dish and now you're stuck with a bunch of some kind of herb you don't know what to do with? Last night, having to use up some cilantro, I was inspired to make a salsa, which Joey and I ate with grilled cheese. It was so good, I can't wait to make it again.

What you need:

Enough shucked and washed tomatillos to place in a large microwave safe plate
A bunch of cilantro
Dry oregano to taste
salt to taste
A serano chile
two garlic cloves
a small red onion

Cut four slits into each tomatillo. If you haven't already, remove and discard any part of the fruit that looks bruised or like it's going south. On your plate position all the tomatillos in one layer and add a little salted water to the plate. Cover and microwave for 3 minutes, or until tender.

Meanwhile clean the serano, remove the seeds for a mild salsa,or leave in for fire. Open it lay it flat and heat in a toaster oven until it puffs up.

Clean your cilantro, keeping only the leaves, and set aside in a colander.
Next slice your garlic and onion.

When your tomatillos are done, add all the stuff above and put in food processor. For a smooth salas, process in small batches. We ate this warm, but you can also cool it in the fridge before serving. It was muy rico.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Coming Soon

It's like your eyeballs are in my mouth!

Sometimes it's awesome when you have a messy sandwich and you have to eat in pieces. I really loaded on the chickpeas today and it made my sandwich harder to eat, which made me eat it slower and really savor it. I am telling you, you have to try it out!

Anyway, I wanted to alert you that I came up with a yummy spinach pasta recipe last night and, after a few tweaks, I will post it. The flavor is perfect, but I need to find the right pasta shape and decide how much spinach I want to put in and if I want old or young spinach. Looking forward to working it out.

What did you eat for lunch today?