Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Day 87: Blood Orange Hot Chocolate

Yield: 2 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min

3 blood oranges
2 cups half and half
¼-1/2 cup chocolate chips

1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ tsp cinnamon
1 tsp powdered sugar

1. In a bowl, take the heavy whipping cream, cinnamon and powdered sugar and whisk until it becomes whipped cream. Takes about 3 solid minutes. Keep in the fridge to put on top
2. In a pot on the stove, add the half and half and chocolate and whisk until smooth. You can add more half and half if you want it less chocolaty
3. Squeeze the oranges into the pot and stir. Feel free to add zest or extract if you want. You also don’t have to use blood oranges, but they are in season now and yummy!
4. Pour the cocoa into a mug and place the whipped cream on top. Enjoy!

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: Such a great fall treat. It is thick, yummy, and the whipped cream adds so much flavor and richness. It isn’t as orangey as I wanted it to be, which is a shame, and adding a slice of orange on the side made it actually quite a bit more sensational. I shared this solo, which is ok, and it made me fall right asleep, so it’s a great nightcap. Enjoy with little cookies or a piece of cinnamon toast.

Day 86: Curried Pumpkin Seeds

Yield: 2 cups
Time (Start to Finish): 30 min

2 cups pumpkin seeds
2 Tbsp curry powder (maybe more!)
2 Tbsp olive oil
3 Tbsp salt

1. Make sure all the goop is picked off the pumpkin seeds
2. In a pot of boiling water, boil the seeds for about 3 minutes and then drain and pat with paper towels
3. Preheat the oven to 400F
4. In a casserole dish, place the seeds
5. Sprinkle the curry powder, salt, and oil over them and mix with a spoon or spatula. You can add more spices if you want to
6. Bake for about 15 min, stirring about every 5. You will know they are done when they are dried out. You can taste one and add more spice throughout.
7. When finished, let cool and serve! Store in a dry closed container

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: Perfect thing to do after having carved a bunch of pumpkins! I added more spice as they baked, and I thought at first they were over spiced, but it tastes so so good. They taste even better the next day. These were hard for me to make because I had just eaten a huge burger, haha. Well, carve those pumpkins and eat these fabulous seeds. I brought them to work but I think I ate most of them

Day 85: Iced Pumpkin Cookies

Yield: 2 ½ dozen cookies
Time (Start to Finish):

2 ½ cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
2 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
½ tsp ground cloves
½ tsp salt

½ cup butter, softened
1 ½ cup granulated sugar
1 cup pumpkin puree
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp maple syrup
1 cup powdered sugar, sifted
maple syrup, about 1 Tbsp, maybe more
2 tsp vanilla

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a bowl, mix the butter and the sugar until smooth
3. Add the egg, vanilla and syrup
4. Then add all the dry ingredients so everything but the pumpkin is added. Be sure to sift the dry
5. Add the pumpkin and mix until combined and smooth
6. With a small one inch scoop or spoon, spoon one inch balls onto a greased cookie sheet. Make sure they are 1 inch apart
7. Bake 8-10 min until cooked but still a little soft.
8. In a bowl, sift the powdered sugar
9. Add the vanilla and maple syrup and stir with a fork. You want it to be thick frosting, but able to drizzle it. It should drizzle, but not be so thin it falls down the side of the cookie. Add more syrup if you need to to make this consistency. Add more sugar if it is too thin.
10. Drizzle with a fork on the cookies after they have cooled and enjoy with apple cider.

Rating: 5 strawberries
Notes: Happy Fall!!! Today we all went to a pumpkin patch, sat around the table carving and drinking cider and laughing, and Christina said I should make pumpkin cookies, so here they are, and they RULE. They are soft, the frosting is perfect, and they are 2 bites of heaven. I made a huge plate of them and they were gone by morning. Really, I can’t think of any other way to celebrate my favorite season. Then we all went to the beach and watched the sunset and came back and watched movies. Really, these cookies sealed the deal on a great day with friends and snacks! And thank you again my hand model Christina!

Day 84: Coconut French Toast

Yield: 9-10 pieces
Time (Start to Finish): 40 min


9 slices sourdough bread

2/3 cup coconut milk
2 eggs
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp nutmeg
1 cup coconut shavings

2 Tbsp butter
left over chocolate sauce (from yesterday)

1. Take the coconut milk, eggs, cinnamon and nutmeg and whisk in a shallow bowl
2. Add the coconut, and if it is too thick, feel free to add a little more coconut milk
3. Preheat a skillet to med high heat
4. Add 1 Tbsp of butter
5. Soak the bread in the batter, making sure to get the coconut pieces on the bread and then cook on the skillet until brown on both sides, about 5 min total
6. Repeat this step for all the bread.
7. Serve with syrup, more butter, or like me, left over chocolate sauce.

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: SO good! I might even have added macadamia nuts toasted. It was a great start to the day. The chocolate sauce I think did a lot, as did the coconut milk. You must try this recipe. It is simple, quick, and always a crowd pleaser. You can add coconut to some syrup the night before to make it flavored, or you can even add a little coconut extract to make it a stronger flavor if you like. I ate this and send myself off to work. It is also great if you have company over. I figure its about 1 egg per person for a ratio if that helps you. Enjoy guys!

Day 83: Stuffed Strawberries and Chocolate

Yield: 3 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 30 min

15 strawberries, large
½ cup mascarpone cream (or cream cheese)

½ cup half and half
½ tsp vanilla
1 cup chocolate chips

1. Hollow out the strawberries by cutting the tops off at an angle in to the berry
2. Take the mascarpone (Italian cream cheese) and fill the berries with it with a spoon
3. In a saucepan heat the half and half until it is almost boiling.
4. Place the chocolate chips and vanilla in a bowl
5. Pour the hot half and half over the chocolate chips and whisk until smooth
6. Serve warm and dip the berries into the chocolate. If you want, you can chill the chocolate a little bit, but it will remain soft

Rating: 5 strawberries
Notes: This is hands down my favorite dessert in all the world. I cant think of anything better than strawberries, cream and chocolate. This was a long work day, and I ate these for dinner and then curled up in bed, perfect!!! I give it a 5 because there is really no way to make it any better! Maybe if I made a million more. And my lovely hand model is Christina who helped me polish these bad boys off. This is also probably one of the last times this season I will be using strawberries. They are no more! Sad sad day for those whose favorite food it is…I will survive…

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Day 82: Mashed Potatoes with cream cheese

Yield: 6 people
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

2 pounds red new potatoes
½ white onion, chopped
1 head garlic (yes, the whole thing)
½ cup (4 oz) cream cheese
½ cup half and half (may need a little more)
3 Tbsp parm cheese, grated
salt and pepper
olive oil

1. Turn the oven on to 450F. cut the top off the garlic head to the cloves are exposed a little. Drizzle a little oil, wrap in foil and bake for about 20 min until nice and soft…roasted garlic. Pop the cloves out by squeezing the head after its cooled a little and smash them up
2. Take the onion and caramelize it. BE PATIENT, it takes about half an hour! Take the chopped onion, salt, pepper and a drop of oil and sauté on a pan on med heat until it turns brown and caramelizes..
3. Take the potatoes, maybe while you are cooking the onion, and cut them up and boil them with a lot of salt until they are cooked through
4. In a pot, throw in the potatoes, the onion, the garlic, cream cheese, cream, parm cheese, half and half, salt and pepper and mix with a potato masher
5. Mix until smooth, and add more cream if needed, more cream cheese if needed, and more salt and pepper if needed. You can even use garlic salt if you want. Serve with a sprinkle of chives if you like…enjoy!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: cant get better than these…especially when served with a yummy chicken and cooked tomatoes…thanks Bobby and Trash!! These potatoes take a little bit, but are so delicious! The cream cheese is really the trick! You CAN add butter, but the cream cheese adds a tang most people cant place a finger on, but love it when you tell them. There was a dinner party held at our house for Bobby’s friend, and I got to help out and make a dish! And everyone knows how good my potato dishes can be. I guess again that has to do with my irish/polish blood. I hope you like these, and enjoy!

Day 81: Hot Tottie

Yield: 1 sick person
Time (Start to Finish): 15 min

1 shot yummy whiskey
2 shots boiling water
sprinkle pumpkin pie spice
1 cinnamon stick
1 lemon, juiced
1 Tbsp fresh ginger, chopped
½ Tbsp sugar

1. Boil the water
2. In a glass squeeze the juice of the lemon and add the sugar. You can add a little more if you want it more sweet
3. Add the hot water and the fresh ginger and let steep for a minute or two
4. Add the whiskey, sprinkle of pumpkin pie spice and drop in the cinnamon stick
5. Make sure to serve with a spoon, and enjoy! You can or don’t have to eat the ginger...some thing it is too spicy

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: So, the downer to this is I couldn’t really taste it when I made it, so it was a little too tart when eventually I could, meaning I added too much lemon, but it worked! I had a very stuffy nose and it would not go away, so a hot tottie is the perfect medicine. It was nice and snuggly and ideal. I felt a ton better and slept like a rock. I would maybe add more spices, or even a ginger tea bag to the boiling water, but I do want to give a shout out to Christina my roomie for the idea! Thanks girl! I feel BETTER!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Day 80: Coconut Rice

Yield: 2-3 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 30 min

½ cup white rice
¾ cup coconut milk
1 cup vegetable stock
1 Tbsp butter

1. In a pot, mix the coconut milk, vege stock, butter, salt and rice. Add a big ol pinch of salt
2. Cook on med heat until boiling, then lower the heat and simmer
3. Cook until the rice is soft, and keep stirring. If it runs low on liquid and is still uncooked, add a little more vege stock.
4. Should be creamy when done, like a risotto rice. Stay with it so it doesn’t stick to the bottom. Can also be done in a rice cooker

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: you can for SURE add spice to this rice, but I was serving it with left over red curry with chicken, so I wanted it to be mild, but compliment the food. It was PERFECT!! This rice is so creamy and delicious, light and would just go with anything! Id add a little sugar and serve it with fruit for dessert, or in a soup, or with shrimp. It is such a classic side dish. I made this after a long rainy sleepy work filled day, and it really took no time to make. A ricecooker would have been an epic idea, but a pot and the stove is just lovely. Enjoy!!! And I miss you Sarah!!! Thanks for the leftovers! Oh, and you can use chicken stock if you want, or just water.

Day 79: Eggs, Beans, and a Bagel

Yield: 1 serving
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min

½ cup cooked unflavored beans
1 shallot
salt and pepper
1 egg
1 bagel (I used onion)
2 Tbsp butter
dried basil

1. Place the cooked beans on a plate and warm them. Add a lot of salt to flavor them
2. Chop the shallot into small pieces and cook over med heat with a drop of oil (or butter) until soft and browning.
3. Put them on top of the beans
4. With a little oil or butter, but on the pan, and fry the egg until it is over easy, or however you like eggs. Scrambled it fine too
5. Salt and pepper the egg, and place it on top of the beans.
6. Sprinkle with dried basil.
7. Toast the bagel and spread with a thin layer of butter
8. Enjoy together as a sandwich or just eating together

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: I actually really liked this dish. I used left over beans in the fridge, a shallot I had lying around, an egg, a bagel Christina gave me, so it was really a meal made from things my roomies let me have. Thanks guys! It was a nice thing to eat after a little too much to drink the night before, and a great thing to send me off with when going to listen to much more live music, outside, on a cold day. Yummy! It was flavorful and filling, thanks roomies bobby, Christina and alley! And sorry to my friend who had to go out and get breakfast…I already ate…

Day 78: 3 Kinds of Pancakes

Yield: 14-15 pancakes
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

1 ½ cup flour
3 ½ tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
1 Tbsp sugar
1 ¼ cup half and half
1 egg
3 Tbsp melted butter

½ cup chocolate chips
½ cup peanut butter chips

3 pieces chopped, cooked bacon
½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

1. Cook bacon and set aside. Also shred cheese
2. Preheat a skillet to med-med high
3. In a bowl, mix flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar with a whisk
4. Add the egg, milk and butter and whisk until just together. Should resemble paste, but if it is too thick, add a splash of milk. Don’t overmix or they will come out tough.
5. Separate the batter into 3 bowls
6. The first one is plain. Cook on a lightly pan sprayed pan until little bubbles appear on the surface and they are a light brown on the bottom, flip and finish cooking. About 3 min.
7. The second batch mix in chocolate chips and peanut butter chips, as many or few as you like. Do NOT sprinkle them in while one side is cooking. When you flip them, the chocolate and peanut butter will burn and get messy.
8. The third batch mix the cheese and the chopped bacon, and cook the same way as the others.
9. All go great with syrup or plain.

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: This is actually one of my favorite basic pancake recipes. You can really add anything you like to these and they are spongy and yummy and cakey. I have 3 friends staying at my house for the Treasure Island Music Festival, and to wake them all up I filled the house with the smell of pancakes. It worked, and the day started off perfectly. Tummies filled with food and our ears filled with music. This is a great platter of them too. I called the plain ones the mediator between the vegetarian ones and the meat ones. Haha. Enjoy these, and play with the different flavorings..banana chocolate chip, honey granola, etc.

Day 77: Simple Cinnamon Buttercream

Yield: ½ cup frosting
Time (Start to Finish): 5 minutes

2 Tbsp butter, soft
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
1-2 tsp vanilla
2 tsp cinnamon
milk, optional

1. Make sure the butter is soft and the powdered sugar is sifted
2. Mix the butter, powdered sugar, cinnamon and vanilla until smooth. I like to use a fork
3. If the frosting is too thick, you can add a little bit of milk to thin it out, I didn’t need to.
4. Spread on cupcakes, cinnamon rolls, or just eat out of the bowl

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I love cinnamon, and making it into a buttercream just adds to my love for it. I put this on my chocolate peanut butter cup cupcakes, and it was so so yummy, but again, you can put it on anything. It is spicy, and you can even do it with cream cheese instead of butter. Its really simple and can be made with things you find in your cabinet. Friends coming into town today, so I wanted to make something fast that they would like, I think I have a winner. If you are frosting a cake or anything for sure double this recipe, maybe even 4x it. It’s a small batch.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day 76:Chocolate Cupcakes with PB Cups

Yield: 15 cupcakes
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup brown sugar
¾ cup flour
½ cup cocoa powder
¾ tsp baking powder
¾ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
1 egg
½ cup half and half
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup boiling water
15 peanut butter cups

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. In a bowl, mix the dry ingredients; flour, cocoa, baking soda, baking powder, salt.
3. Then add the egg, sugars, half and half, oil, and vanilla.
4. Whisk all together, then add the boiling water and whisk until smooth
5. Line cupcake tins with papers, and fill each a little less than half way with the batter.
6. Place a peanut butter cup in each cupcake
7. Top with a little more batter, and make sure each one doesn’t go higher than ¾ of the way up the paper
8. Bake for 15 min or until cakes are cooked and a little springy. They will be a little sticky on top
9. You can make a chocolate frosting, but I like these just the way they are

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: you really can’t mess up chocolate and peanut butter. Again, this is another sick day, and from what I hear of others who have the same ailment, I am on the up and tomorrow should be fine to fight the world…which is good because I need to move my car by 12 tomorrow. I jumped in the middle of the night thinking I hadn’t moved it. This is another recipe I made from things in my cabinet. So good, but the peanut butter cups sunk to the bottom and kind of hardened, which sucked, but they still tasted great. This is also the best chocolate cake recipe. A tweak on the hershey’s recipe, and super moist. These are going fast in this house. I don’t like frosting on these, but go ahead and use my chocolate, or a nice cream cheese icing, and they will be great. Ok, back to bed for me…

Day 75: Salted Walnut Caramels

Yield: 1 8x8 inch pan
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min plus cooling time (2 hours)

1 cup butter
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
2 cups brown sugar (light or dark)
1 cup corn syrup
1 Tbsp vanilla
¾ cup walnuts
coarse sea salt

1. Grease a 8x8 pan with cooking spray
2. In a big saucepot, mix everything but the vanilla, walnuts and salt over med high
3. When it is all combined and the butter is melted, insert a candy thermometer, or one you would use to cook a turkey. Just make sure it goes past 250 degrees.
4. Constantly stirring, cook the mixture until it reaches 235 degrees, and turn off the heat
5. Stir for a little bit until the bubbles start to go down, then add the vanilla and nuts
6. Stir for a little bit and then pour into the greased dish. Let sit for about 10-15 min, and then sprinkle on top the sea salt. If you do it too early, it will melt it
7. Let cool on counter or in fridge until cold to the touch, then you can cut, and individually wrap. I suggest storing in the refrigerator.

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I was sick as a dog today. I didn’t leave the house, and barely was awake, so this was something I made from things I found in my cabinet. Luckily, this project has kept me pretty well stocked in random things. These are just the most delicious caramels, but they do tend to melt pretty easily, so keep them chilled and they last longer. I cant wait until I am well enough to taste them. I can EAT them, but no nose is stuffed, so flavor is lacking. These don’t take too long to make, and really aren’t too difficult. Enjoy them!

Day 74: Sausage Cheddar Croissants

Yield: 6 Croissants
Time (Start to Finish):25 min

1 can crescent roll dough (6 croissants, you can make your own)
4-5 small sausages, fully cooked
12 sliced cheddar cheese

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Take the 6 triangles, and place the big side of the triangle at you
3. Place a slice of cheese, then fill with sausage, then place another slice of cheese on top
4. Roll the croissant so all the ingredients are safe inside(poking out is ok)
5. Do this to all the croissants and place on a cookie sheet
6. Bake for 16 min or until they start to brown, and enjoy!
Rating: 3 strawberries
Notes: I love stuffed croissants, and croissant dough is a very temperature specific thing, so these are a great substitute. You can fill them with anything, cream cheese and jam, bacon and gruyere, etc. It was pouring rain this day, so it was nice to fill the house with warmth from the oven and hot little snacks. I didn’t like the sausage I chose, so be sure to pick things you like to fill these, and enjoy. They are fast too which is nice when you are in a rush.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Day 73: Garlic Butter Baked Brie Bread

Yield: 2 peeps
Time (Start to Finish): 20 min

4 cloves garlic
2 Tbsp butter
1 4 oz French baguette
¼- ½ pound of brie (varies to size of roll)

1. Preheat oven to 425F
2. Take the roll and cut out the center without piercing the bottom with the knife. Just run the knife along the top/sides of the loaf and then pull the center out with it
3. Slice the center part that you pull out so you have little breads which you can toast
4. Take the garlic and chop it up
5. In a sauce pan, melt the butter with the garlic and let cook for just a minute to soften the garlic
6. Pour into the hollowed out bread and make sure it is even throughout the bread
7. Slice the brie and fill the hole on the bread with it, it may or may not use all the cheese
8. Put on a cookie sheet and bake until the brie is hot and melted
9. Serve with the little toasts as an appetizer. Also serve with crackers and fruit!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: If you have good bread and brie, this is a killer snack. I just flew in from the best week in Portland ever, saw my dad take home second in the world handball champs (HE IS SO COOL!) saw some great friends, ellis and Meghan, who helped me a ton in this cooking thing, and can both testify that I cooked every day. I made new friends, like drew and sarah who also helped a lot, and I came home after a long delayed flight, sad and needing comfort. This little dish is PERFECT comfort food. Perfect to snack on while catching up on my blog that I couldn’t work on because I left me computer camera adapter here in san Francisco. Sorry to be gone for so long guys, and I hope these recipes hold true to my promise of some cool cool things. Anyways, guys, this recipe is divine, and although I am a little sad, it is good to be home to clean clothes, clean pants, and catching up…nuthin better than a tummy full of cheese and bread to help me catch up on my sleep. Its 9:14 pm…WAY past my bedtime…

Day 72: Peppered Frosting and Potato Chips

Yield: a couple chips
Time (Start to Finish): 3 min

Kettle potato chips, lightly salted
1 tbsp cream cheese frosting
3 shakes of a pepper shaker

1. mix the frosting with the pepper
2. dunk the chips into it and enjoy!

Rating: 2 strawberries
Notes: ok, last day in Portland, tired, hung over. Finals for my dad in the world handball champions, I really wasn’t near a kitchen. It is a tragic thrown together recipe, but I did it nonetheless, and I actually liked the idea, and will use the concept for a future recipe. It was actually much better than I expected, and I used an awesome icing from a cupcake I got at saint cupcakes, which let me tell you RULES as a bakery. I gave it a 2 because it actually tasted great, and I would serve it on a dessert buffet setting, but to really be good, I would prefer to make my own frosting and chips…its sad this is the last thing I made in Portland, and again in ellis’ kitchenette, thanks again dawg. It goes best with a shooting zombies video game and a cold beer..oh, and the pic does no justice, I thought the flakes of pepper would show but instead its just sprinkles.

Day 71: Pumpkin Pecan Filled Croissant

Yield: 1 croissant
Time (Start to Finish): 5 min

1 croissant
2 tsp pumpkin butter
½ cup candied pecans
1 Tbsp honey

1. Cut croissant in half long ways
2. Add the honey to both sides of the roll, you can heat it if you want
3. Add the pumpkin butter to one of the sides
4. Sprinkle on the pecans so they are even throughout the roll
5. Cut in half and serve for breakfast

Rating: 3 strawberries
Notes: you know, this tasted better the more you eat it, but I realized I don’t like pumpkin butter too much. Maybe I need to make my own, but it did taste good with a fresh croissant and nuts and honey, it was so so so so good. Thanks Meghan, and I used my 3rd kitchen on this one, the lovely ellis and his kitchenette. No stove, but a toaster oven, but I thought this was a great thing to throw together before going to a local beer tasting festival, which was wonderful. This is a nice, yet sweet breakfast

Day 70: Butterscotch Blondies

Yield: 1 9x13 inch pan
Time (Start to Finish): 30 min

1 cup dark or light brown sugar
¾ stick butter

1 egg

1 cup chopped pecans
¾ cup coconut

1 cup flour
½ tsp salt
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla

1 bag butterscotch chips

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Grease a 9x13 casserole dish
3. In a bowl mix the flour, salt, baking powder
4. In a saucepan, melt the butter with the brown sugar
5. When its all melted together, remove from heat add the egg and stir
6. Then add the pecans and coconut
7. Add to the dry ingredients, and add the vanilla
8. Spread onto the bottom of the pan, it will be thin. You can make them in a smaller pan to make them thicker
9. Sprinkle on the bag of butterscotch chips and bake in the oven until a knife comes out clean, about 20 min

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: this is also a Meghan idea, and I added the pecans and coconut. She is a smart one, and a fun person to cook with! These were made for 2 reasons. One was it was her new roomies birthday, and also for wayne, a handball friend of my dad’s that asks me every time he sees me where his cookies are. He likes my cooking! He fled Portland before we could give them to him though, but we enjoyed them and so did birthday boy Melvin. I thought they might be too sweet with all the butterscotch chips, but it actually turned out quite well. Its hard to find time to cook when on vacation, let me tell you…but Meghan really helped me out.

Day 69: Homemade Candy Corn

Yield: 30 huge cookie sized candy corns
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup corn syrup
5 Tbsp butter

2 ½ cup powdered sugar (SIFTED)
1/3 cup powdered milk
pinch of salt

1 tsp vanilla

1 tsp lemon extract
7 drops yellow food coloring

2 tsp orange juice
5 drops yellow food coloring
2 drops red food coloring

1. You need to work fast with this recipe, and I had an extra set of hands. I say having 1 or 2 other people will make this whole project not only more fun, but less stressful.
2. SIFT the powdered sugar, powdered milk, and salt and put in a bowl
3. In a saucepan, add the sugar, corn syrup and butter
4. Heat on med/ med-high until it reaches a boil, and boil for 4 min, no more! Or it will become too hard
5. Pour into the bowl with the powdered sugar and stir until it becomes a ball.
6. Watch out at this point, it is HOT, keep a cold rag or counters near by to cool your hands
7. Tear the dough into three pieces of different sizes, one for the white, one for yellow and one for orange
8. The smallest piece, with our hands, make a little bowl and pour in the vanilla. Mix with your hands and roll into a log. This is the job for friend #1, and remember, it is HOT
9. With the second largest piece, add the orange juice, 5 yellow drops and 2 red drops to make orange and mix up. Roll into a log as well. This is the job of friend #2
10. With the largest piece add the lemon extract and the yellow coloring, mix and roll into a log. This is job for person #3
11. When its all mixed, make sure to work fast before it hardens, but the logs together and form into a triangle shaped log.
12. With a knife, slice it like you would a log of cookie dough and shape each candy with your hands. They are larger than usual, obviously
13. When they are done, place in a covered container to keep them from getting too hard. Enjoy!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: So I added the flavoring to make mine different, but you can just add vanilla to all of it to make it taste traditional. The lemon was the best, but the orange didn’t taste like orange. If they feel a little hard when rolling them, you can add a tsp of water to soften it. These were super fun to make, and thanks Meghan for the use of your hands. We both had sensitive skin from the heat afterwards, so seriously, be careful! Meghans favorite candy is candy corn, so I had to make them for her. It was a fun experiment and thanks alley for showing me the basic recipe! There are others that include honey, which would be good, but this was nice and simple. I cooked mine a little too long and they got hard, and they still tasted good, but hard to eat, so try not to overcook it, and happy holidays! October in Portland is pretty freakin awesome…so many colored leaves!

Day 68: Parmesan Thyme Popcorn

Yield: 3 peeps
Time (Start to Finish): 20 min

1 Tbsp coconut oil
1/3 cup popcorn kernels

¾ cup parmesan cheese (fresh or powdered, finely ground)
½ cup thyme (fresh and destemed)
2 Tbsp melted butter

1. Melt the butter and set aside, it is for on top. Make sure the cheese is very fine, and the thyme is off the stems
2. Take a pot with a lid, usually a saucepot or a soup pot, but make sure the lid fits tight. You can just pop the popcorn in an air popper, but I like the coconut oil
3. Heat the oil and the popcorn over med-med-high, shaking every few seconds (like 20) until it starts popping, and shake until they are all popped. Takes about 10 min
4. Put the popcorn into another bowl, and pour the butter over it, as well as salt, cheese and thyme. If you pour it into the hot pot, the cheese will fall to the bottom and not stick to the popcorn
5. Mix well, and then serve to friends

Rating: 3 strawberries
Notes: this was cooked in my girl meghans new house! Welcome to Portland Meghan! This is a fun easy thing to make, with so many flavors to add. Thyme and parm is such a great combo. Her new roomies seemed to enjoy the corn, and thanks to them for letting me crash for a few days. They were blocks from the handball tourney. I think you should use a finer chopped cheese than I did, it seemed to clump, but the taste was there. Thyme is underrated, just like the time it took Meghan to pay off her car…which she did on popcorn day! Congrats!

Day 67: Savory Dutch Baby

Yield: 4-5 peeps
Time (Start to Finish): 40-50 min

¾ cup green onions
½ Tbsp butter
salt and pepper

1 ¼ cup flour
5 eggs
1 ½ cup milk

1 cup cheddar cheese
¼ cup Italian parsley

2 Tbsp butter

1. Chop the green onions and cook on a skillet with butter, sald and pepper until they are soft and cooked. Should take about 5 min.
2. Shred the cheddar cheese, and chop up the parsley.
3. Preheat oven to 400F
4. Take a 9 inch cast ion skillet and melt the 2 Tbsp of butter in it.
5. In a blender, blend the flour, eggs and milk until smooth
6. Pour into the cast iron skillet, and then sprinkle on the onions, cheese and parsley. You can add salt and pepper to the flour mixture
7. Bake for about 25 min or until it poofs up, begins to fall, and the edges are browning
8. Serve with bacon and syrup!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: This was my first dish while on my week long vacation in Portland, and a HUGE shout out to Meghan, Sarah, Pete and Baby Drew for helping me out, letting me stay, and showing me this great recipe! They don’t add the savory items, but lemon juice and powdered sugar, so I think their minds were blown with a savory version. My mind was blown because I had never even heard of a dutch baby! What’s great about sprinkling the stuff on top is you get a nice pie like crust on the bottom, which is yummy. Thanks again guys! And your kitchen rocks my socks.
a perfect start to a day filled with bakeries and handball

Day 66: Salami Corn Egg Sammy

Yield: 1 person
Time (Start to Finish): 7 min

1 egg
¼ cup cream
½ cup corn kernels (fresh is best)
1 slice sourdough toast
4 slices sharp cheddar
4 slices salami
salt and pepper

1. Preheat a skillet to med-med high heat
2. Toast the bread and add the slices of cheddar right away so they melt a little
3. Add the salami on top of the cheese
4. In a bowl whisk the egg, cream, salt and pepper
5. Add the corn to the egg mixture and cook on the skillet until the egg temp you like. I like mine a little runny
6. Place the corn/egg on top of the salami, add salt and pepper if needed. The corn/egg might fall apart a little, but its ok. That is how it is supposed to be. Enjoy!

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: When in a rush, I tend to skip breakfast. If I have all morning, I tend to make something intense. This egg sammy is the perfect middle ground recipe. You are up early enough to have about 15 min to make food. This sammy I was expecting to not taste so good, and I was also trying to use up things in my kitchen before heading to Portland, but it was actually incredible! So yummy, a great tummy filler, and has all your basic food groups. Try it out and you will see! It was so good, I forgot to pack pants and my picture adapter, which is why I haven’t blogged in a week…blame this awesome sammy, not me!

Day 65: Alfredo with Corn and Ravioli

Yield: 2 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min

2 small shallots
2 cloves garlic
4 Tbsp butter
¼ cup half and half
½ cup parmesan cheese
1 cob of corn
¼ tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper
24 ravioli (I used butternut squash)

1. Cook ravioli like you normally do or like the package states, but make sure to lightly salt the water and do not add oil to the water. Oil on noodles coats the pasta and won’t allow the sauce to stick to it. Salting the water seasons the noodles
2. Take the corn off the cob with a knife. You can use canned, but fresh is a million times better
3. In a saucepan, heat the butter with the garlic and shallots that you have chopped into small pieces.
4. When the garlic and shallots are softened, add the half and half until it begins to boil
5. Add the parm cheese, corn, salt and pepper
6. When the parm melts, the sauce is ready!
7. Pour over the ravioli and serve!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: What I love about this recipe is how quick it is. It took me about 15 min to make the sauce, and it was SO yummy. It’s the perfect thing to cook when you get home from work. I got home late, had to pack for Portland, and this took no time at all and was phenomenal. I had the second part for lunch the next day and it heats up just fine. The fresh corn made the whole meal even better. You can add chicken, or anything really, and put it over any noodles you like. Enjoy it guys! And sorry for the delay on recipes, but I succeeded in cooking every day!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

In Portland!!

Hey all, i am in portland until the 12th of october, which is awesome and fun! I have been cooking a lot of great things, candy corn, thyme parm popcorn, dutch babies, so much! the sad news is, i left my picture adapter at home, so i cant upload any photos. I will update it when i get back into San Fran, so look forward to a long list of about 6-10 new recipes then. Meghan is making sure i am cooking every day, and being in new kitchens is fun! see you guys in a week!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Day 64: Crumbly Fall Fruit Bars

Yield: 12 bars
Time (Start to Finish): 35 min

1 green pear
1 pluot
¾ cup chopped dates

2 cups flour
1 cup oats
¾ cup brown sugar
1/8 tsp salt
½ tsp cinnamon
1 stick butter, cold, chopped in pieces
¼-1/2 cup half and half

¾ cup walnut pieces

1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Take the pear, pluot and dates and cut into small bite sized pieces. You can leave the skins on for color
3. In a separate bowl, mix the oats, flour, sugar, salt and cinnamon
4. Add the butter and rub into little pieces with your hands until it resembles corn meal.
5. Add the half and half little by little until the dough is crumbly but sticks together when squeezed in your hand.
6. Take a little over half of the dough and press into the bottom of a casserole dish to make a bottom crust.
7. With the rest of the dough, add the walnut pieces and mix it up with your hand until crumbly
8. Take the fruit and dump it on top of the crust and spread out evenly
9. Add the oat/nut mixture on top by crumbling it and then pressing it down a little. You can leave some fruit showing through
10. Bake for 15-20 min or until begins to brown

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: Well, I had left over dates in the house, and a pluot, and all these oats and stuff, so I thought why not make some wonderful oaty date bars! They ended up ok, but kind of crumbly, I say make sure the bottom crust is very pushed down. These are a great breakfast snack, and even better packing in a bag to take to a music festival. I wished I had them when I was watching steve martin play the banjo today!! Enjoy these with ice cream, but the seemed more like a fruity crisp than a bar…that is why I gave them a low score. I might even cook the fruit on the stove a little to make more of a sauce next time instead of pieces of fruit. I did just think the fruit was a perfect ripe so I wanted to taste it. My mistake. Anyways, the wind is making me sleepy, so maybe a bar and a glass of water for bed.

Day 63: Bacon Onion Goat Cheese Scones

Yield: 8 small scones
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

½ med yellow onion
1 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper

3 strips bacon

1 cup flour
1/8 cup sugar
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
½ stick butter, cold and in pieces
1/3 cup half and half

¼ cup goat cheese

splash of milk or egg wash

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Again with the caramelizing onions, it is important to be patient and trust that the time it takes to make them is worth it in the final product.
3. In a frying pan, put the onion, chopped into small pieces, butter, salt and pepper.
4. Cook for about half an hour until they are a caramelly brown. Keep stirring them, and then set aside.
5. Cook the 3 strips of bacon in the same frying pan until they are cooked through. You can cook the bacon however you like as long as it is cooked through! Then cut it into little pieces so they can be evenly distributed in the scones.
6. In a bowl, put the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt and mix up.
7. Add the cold butter and rub the butter into the flour with your hands. You want it to resemble corn meal, and you don’t want to heat the butter up, you want it to stay in small pieces, so mix fast with your hands.
8. Add the milk and mix with hands until it is about to come together. Then throw in the bacon, onions, and goat cheese torn into med size pieces, about the size of the tip of your pinky finger.
9. Mix until it comes into a ball and bacon onion and cheese is even, and flatten into a disk about an inch high.
10. In a separate bowl, put the milk, or the egg wash, which is 1 egg with a dash of cream. With your finger, rub it on top to make it shine after baking. There will be a lot left over if you use the egg wash, so you can just use a little milk if you want.
11. Cut into 8 slices and place on a baking sheet with them each having some elbow room
12. Bake for 15-20 min or until they just begin to brown on the bottoms. Its best to serve them warm.

Rating: 5 strawberries
Notes: These fresh out of the oven is the most amazing thing you will ever eat…this is another 5!!!!! They are perfect! They cook great, they are sweet enough, the onions again make the scones, and the bacon makes you feel like you are getting a full breakfast in one bite! The goat cheese is a great addition, but feel free to add cheddar or another cheese. Some people add green onions, but I feel caramelizing them is what makes them great. I ate 2 right away and then gave some away to people who only agreed they were great. Travis at work almost instantly asked for the recipe so he could make them for his trip to Yosemite. How flattering!! You simply must try these, and im telling you, they are a great start to the morning.

Day 62: Cheeseburgers

Yield: 3 burgers
Time (Start to Finish): 45min- 1 hr.

1 med onion, yellow
1 Tbsp butter
salt and pepper

1 pound ground beef

1 med tomato
1 med avocado
6 slices asiago cheese

3 brioche buns

condiments (ketchup, mustard, mayo)

1. Patience when caramelizing onions…it will be worth it every time. Take it slow. It will take about half an hour.
2. Chop onions into bite size pieces or as small as you can. You will be mixing them into the burger meat.
3. In a skillet pan on med heat, put the onion, butter, salt and pepper and cook until the onions are golden colored. That is where the flavor is!
4. In a bowl, mix the burger meat with the onions, salt and pepper.
5. Make into 3 burgers and cook how you like…on a grill, or a frying pan. I cooked mine on a frying pan over med until they were med well. Took about 3 minutes per side.
6. When they are done, set them aside and cut the buns in half.
7. Toast both sides of the bun on the pan/grill and then add the cheese to the bun
8. Take the tomato and slice it. Take the avocado and smash it in a bowl.
9. Add the avocado to one side of the bun, a slice of tomato, spinach and any condiments you like. I like ketchup. Enjoy!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Yet again caramelized onions change a basic meal into an incredible one. Lucy and I made burgers and the onions just made the dish. Also, the avocado rocked the house. This is a take on the Del’s burger down in San Diego. My mom just went down there and she told me about this burger and I had to have it! The only problem was I learned that burgers shrink when you cook them, so they were a lot smaller than the buns. Next time I would flatten them down much more than I did and make them a little bigger than the buns. Other than that, yet another great meal…and its one of my first meat dishes in this blog! As you guys know I don’t normally cook as much as I bake, so it was a nice little challenge. Ill try to do more things like this in the future.

Month 2

Annie’s Current Weight: 131
Pleasures: This month has been a good one. I feel like I have for sure hit autopilot on this…I say this now and I know I will forget one day…I have had a LOT of people cooking my food, which is amazing! I have had my risotto, cheesecake, beet salad, croutons, and brie puff made, and those are just the ones I know about!! How cool is that?? I have also had the challenge of losing my journal for a bit, and going out of town for a day, but I know I worked though it all. It had been a month of hard recipes, and a lot of small things. It has been really fun, and I am amazed I haven’t gained a pound! I have spread the word quite a bit about my blog, and a lot of people nation wide are getting interested, showing their friends, and this networking thing is really taking off. I also saw the movie Julie/Julia which both inspired me and made me focus my thoughts. It has been a month I am proud of.
Pains: I didn’t really do a lot of the things I said I was going to in the last month. I didn’t do any week challenges, and I didn’t really push myself creatively. I know I was VERY creative, but I was very much on autopilot, which isn’t necessarily a good thing. I think I need to push this creativity. I know I’m cool, guys, but I can be so much cooler! This is a great project, but I know it can be even better, and the fact that I know that makes me obligated to perform for you. Maybe that month was important for me to remember that I need to work even harder, and I didn’t really even do a lot of things out of my comfort zone..no real meat things, but, ill try harder!
Promises: I promise to really push my limits this time now. I have a great challenge coming up. Im going to Portland for a week, so I need to be at the mercy of friends and their kitchens to cook who knows what. I don’t know what will be in their fridges, or let alone their pots and pans situation! That will be a great challenge, plus im going to try to do a themed week this month..a color theme perhaps like I thought I was going to do last week? Im also going to try to make less sweet things, but we will see…I have been eating a lot of sugar lately. I also promise to get as many of my ingredients from farmers markets as I can… I have been, but ill keep it up. I also hope to have more people come over and cook. I love my roomie eaters, but some variety would be nice.
Ponders: Well, this month had a lot of pondering. I wrote and posted a blurb on seeing the movie Julie/Julia that I had a lot of thoughts about, and I have been excited to report the use of friends kitchens this month around, which was cool. I have really been enjoying this, and having a lot of fun with it, and I don’t see slowing down happening anytime soon. I still have a huge list of possible recipes, and I can’t believe how fast 2 months has flown by. Yes I feel this project has put a slight strain on hanging out with people, but, its ok, its only for 10 more months, and people can always come hang and cook. I have eaten a lot of sugar this month, and have yet to really mess up a recipe…maybe im playing too safe? Maybe I need to challenge more? Or maybe I just rock at cooking..haha. Thank everyone for reading and keeping tabs on me, it has been a great time, and please, call, email, or text if you cook something I make, have ideas, or want to come make some grub with me. I could never do this project without the support of those food lovers around me. Travis and Maggie…your daily eating will be missed…

Day 61: Almond Goat Cheese Stuffed Dates

Yield: 12 dates
Time (Start to Finish): 30 min

12 dates
12 almonds
¼ cup goat cheese
4-5 strips bacon
Balsamic vinegar

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Take the pit out of the dates while keeping them whole and intact
3. With your hand, put a little bit of goat cheese (soft) into each date, about half of a tsp.
4. Then put a whole almond in the date. Make sure to use the largest almonds you have
5. Finish it off with more goat cheese and make sure they are as stuffed as you can get them
6. Wrap each date in bacon. Not a whole piece, but enough to circle the date once. You don’t need to cover the opening, but if you can, it will help hold in the cheese.
7. Place on a non stick baking sheet and bake 15-20 min or until the bacon is cooked. Try to use meaty bacon more than fatty or it will just melt away.
8. Serve with a splash of balsamic vinegar on each date.

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I first found a similar recipe while working at Barmarché as a hostess/waitress and they had almond stuffed dates on the menu. Shout out to my girls from there! I added the goat cheese and the vinegar, but I could eat SO many of these!! I would improve them by making a balsamic vinegar reduction and putting it on top more than it fresh from the bottle. They are good fresh out of the oven, or cold too! This recipe serves about 3 people, and is really a killer appetizer. Serve at any party and you will make everyone happy. You can put different cheeses too! So fun to make, and quick after a long day at work and before hitting up the movie Fame with my gaggle of girls. Also a good snack to come home too late at night.