Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Day 140: Brown Suga Balsamic Strawberries

Yield: 2 cups berries
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min

2 cup sliced strawberries
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp vanilla
small pinch salt
½ lemon juiced

1. Take the sliced berries and combine with all the other ingredients. Stir and let sit for 20 min so they make a juice
2. Put over ice cream, on a biscuit, or just eat out of the bowl!

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: I normally like these a lot, but I added too much balsamic and then it tasted pretty lame! The brown sugar balsamic ratio is delicate and special, so play with caution, but if you nail it, you will see just how marvelous it can be! Anything strawberry I love, and the sauce this makes is quite marvelous.

Day 139: Garlic Spread

Yield: ½ cup
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

1 head roasted garlic
lemon juice
salt and pepper
olive oil

1. roast the head of garlic until soft and spreadable, you can deskin first or just cut the top off, roast in foil with a little oil and salt and squeeze the cloves out
2. in a blender, add the cloves of garlic, a tsp of mustard, ½ of a lemon juiced, a little olive oil salt and pepper and blend until smooth. Feel free to add more of any in order to make a good consistency.

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: This is pretty good to put with a cheese platter and crackers. It is very garlicy, so its only for those who love it, which I do!!! I don’t normally like mustard, but it cuts this down a lot and I think is the perfect addition. I put it with some toasts, and some brie, so you must try it. It doesn’t take very long to make and really impresses people…but…don’t expect to be kissing many people after eating this one!

Day 138: Chocolate Crinkles

Yield: 20 cookies
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

½ cup cocoa powder
1 cup sugar
¼ cup oil
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon

powdered sugar

1. In a mixer, mix the oil, eggs, sugar and vanilla until smooth
2. Add the cocoa, flour, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and mix until smooth. Let sit in the fridge for about 20 min
3. Preheat the oven to 350F
4. Roll dough into balls with hand and roll into sifted powdered sugar and place on cookie sheet, flattening just a touch
5. Bake for 15 min until they crackle on top and are soft to the touch. Try not to overbake. Its always better to underbake

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I am on a roll right now making some great things! Ok, I admit, some of them are easy, but it’s the holidays, and they all taste good!! These are wonderful, and the cinnamon adds that special kick. I would even add espresso powder, or orange zest. Yummy!! They are soft, filling, and totally give any girl that chocolate fix she needs. Boys, this is your ticket to help out a cranky girl!

Day 137: Goat Cheese Grape Appetizer

Yield: 12 pieces
Time (Start to Finish): 20 min

Goat Cheese
12 crackers
12 grapes, red or green
raspberry jam
toasted pecans

1. Take the cracker and spread a thin layer of jam on it
2. Add the goat cheese on top, a liberal amount
3. Slice up the grapes and add on top in a spiral
4. Sprinkle the toasted pecans on top and serve!

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: I have made a lot of goat cheese stuffed grapes, so this is a bit of a twist. I actually made this from left over holiday party stuff, with some things I bought at trader joes while I was there. These are quick to make and really easy to enjoy. Make sure to get a good goat cheese and fresh grapes. If you cant, substitute for strawberries, blueberries or lychee which you can get in a can.

Day 136: Avocado Dressed Edamame

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

1 cup shelled edamame
½ avocado
soy sauce
lemon juice

1. Cook the edamame according to the directions. Usually its boiling them for 5 min
2. In a blender or a mixer, mix the avocado, soy sauce and lemon juice until it makes a smooth sauce. Taste and add more soy if its too sour, and more lemon if its too salty
3. Pour over the edamame and serve as a side to any dish. Goes great with sushi!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I really love with dish! Its chunkier than I wanted because I didn’t have a mixer and had to use a whisk, but it tastes great. It does really well with sushi and you don’t need to add salt, the soy sauce adds plenty. I don’t know how I thought up this one, but it is a must try. Does good next to potatoes, or like I ate it, just on its own!

Day 135: Gingerbread men

Yield: 24 men
Time (Start to Finish): 2 hours

3 cups flour
3 tsp powdered ginger
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp baking soda
¼ tsp nutmeg
¼ tsp salt
1 ½ stick butter
¾ cup brown sugar
½ cup molasses
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla

½ box sifted powdered sugar
little milk (amount varies)

1. In a mixer, mix the sugar and the butter until smooth
2. Add the egg and the molasses and vanilla
3. Mix all the dry ingredients in a separate bowl and add to the wet. Turn the mixer on very low and mix until combined
4. Let sit in fridge for 20 min
5. Preheat oven to 350F
6. Take into a ball, about half the dough, and with flour roll until ¼ inch thick. Cut using gingerbread man cutter and bake for 20 min until soft to touch but not sticky. Let cook before icing
7. Mix the powdered sugar, milk and vanilla until frosting is thick but able to pipe.
8. With a piping tube, pipe designs onto the cookies! You very well may add different colors to the frosting. If it is too thick, add milk, too thin, add more powdered sugar. Enjoy these guys!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: These were made for the holiday party at Patagonia! The original plan was to make each man look like a different member of the staff, but after shopping all day for stuff, and then a couple beers at lunch with the girls, there just wasn’t enough time! They turned out well though. The frosting was a little soft, but they tasted great. Gingerbread lasts really well, so we enjoyed them at work for a couple of days. Thanks to lyn for for kitchen, and happy holidays! Try all sorts of different shapes, but I wouldn’t use this recipe for building a house, it’s a little soft. Great for leaving out for santa though!

Day 134: Sage Brown Butter Popcorn

Yield: 1 big bowl
Time (Start to Finish): 20 min

6 fresh sage leaves
½ stick butter
½ cup popping corn

1. Pop the corn using directions, I used an air popper so I just threw them in and they popped out!
2. In a pan, place the butter, and on med heat, melt the butter and cook until it browns, but doesn’t burn
3. Take it off the heat and let cool a little bit.
4. Chop up the sage leaves and add to the butter
5. Pour over the popcorn, toss, and add salt and enjoy!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: yum!!!!! This is truly something I will make time and time again. The thing I did wrong was I didn’t wait long enough for the butter to cool and the sage leaves burned a little bit, but even still, the flavor was good. I ate this for dinner while sitting and chatting with the roomies. A nice thing to share I think. Enjoy while watching a movie, alone, or with a group of friends. It is simple and so so good!

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Day 133: Oatmeal Sammy

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

¼ cup steel cut oats
1 cup water
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar
2 Tbsp flax powder

1 slice sourdough toast
peanut butter

1. Take the water and bring it to a boil
2. Add the oats and the brown sugar and cook until the oats are done and not very soggy so they can go on toast and not run off
3. Add the flax just as it is finishing
4. Toast the bread and skim on some butter and then peanut butter
5. Put the oatmeal on top and enjoy as an open faced sammy!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: This was actually something that was perfect to eat as I ran out the door! Its fast to make, you don’t have to use steel cut oats either if you want it faster. It filled me up all the way until lunchtime which is rare, it was just what I needed. You must try it out and whats cool is it is all stuff you most likely have in your cupboard. I hope you make this guys.

Day 132: Mom’s Cruisin’ Chicken

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

1 package chicken tenders
½ stick butter
2 big garlic cloves
¼ cup onion
salt and pepper
½ cup white wine
2 cups chicken stock
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
nutmeg scrape

cooked brown rice

1. In a sauce skillet, take and melt the butter with the onion and garlic just until it is melted and pan is hot
2. Throw in the chicken and add salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is almost all cooked
3. Add the wine and cook until chicken is done
4. Add chicken stock and bread crumbs and mix to make a sauce. Feel free to play and add more bread crumbs or chicken stock to make more sauce. Add scrape of nutmeg at end
5. Serve over cooked rice, mashed potatoes, or noodles!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I have been eating this since I was a small child..without the wine oc course. What was great about this was I had lunch for days! It was perfect and so easy to reheat. You must try it. The sauce is so simple, and the chicken is tender, and it is comforting and warm. Best part is that it takes no time at all, so its ideal for families. I hope you like it guys!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Day 131: Saffron Butter Cookies

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

½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar (light or dark)
½ egg (mix one in a bowl and add half)
2 1/3 cup flour
dash salt
2 Tbsp cream
3 three fingered pinches saffron

1. Heat the cream until it is almost boiling
2. Add the saffron and crunch it up so it is in as small pieces as possible. Mix and let steep as long as you can, I did for 1 hour, you can do much longer
3. Preheat oven to 350F
4. In a mixer, mix the butter and the sugar until smooth
5. Add the egg and the cream
6. Add the flour and salt until the mixer it just together
7. Roll into balls and place on a cookie sheet and flatten. You may sprinkle sugar on top if you want
8. Bake for 15 min until bottom of cookies are just browning
9. Serve with tea or on their own

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Thanks to my boss at work, I am lucky enough to have been given saffron! If I had bought it myself, I would have sprinkled it only on risotto, but I thought, with this present, I must play with it! So cookies it is! They are very good. Its hard to pick the flavor out if you don’t know what it is, but if you know saffron, you can taste it for sure. Maybe I needed to steep longer. They go great with tea, and aren’t too sweet. Just perfect. I didn’t add sugar on top of mine.

Day 130: Cran Black Tea

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

1 black tea bag
splash cranberry juice
lemon squeeze
raw sugar pack

1. Boil water and then add tea bag and steep as directions tell. About 4 min
2. Add splash of cranberry, splash cream, squeeze lemon and the sugar. Drink and add more of anything to taste

Rating: 2.5 strawberries
Notes: The lesson I learned today is I don’t like 100% cranberry juice, but juice that is mixed with cranberries. Like cran apple, or cran raspberry. It was WAY to tart, and so I had to add a lot of sugar. I like cranberry and black tea is also something I learned. I made this at work when it was cold and rainy, so it was a nice treat to wake me up, warm me up and keep me going for the day. I hope it does the same to you during this winter season! Oh, and the pic is from my camera phone this time!

Day 129: Toasty Scramble

Yield: 1 person
Time (Start to Finish): 20 min

1 egg
¼ cup cream
¼ avocado
1 slice sourdough toast
4 slices cheddar cheese
salt and pepper
1-2 Tbsp butter

1. Toast the bread, butter, and cut into pieces
2. Heat a skillet to med-med high heat
3. In a bowl, whisk the egg, cream salt and pepper
4. Melt rest of butter into the skillet and cook the egg mixture until it is scrambled to your liking…runny or firm
5. Add the cheese, cut into pieces, and the toast and mix until combined and cheese begins to melt. Serve with avocado sprinkled on top and enjoy

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: As long as the toast is toasted a little extra, then it is perfect. It gets soft in the egg mixture. It is nice, its like when you put your eggs on a piece of toast, only it is already all cut up for you! And the cheese seems to draw to the toast for some reason. It is super delicious. You will enjoy this recipe for sure.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Day 128: Cinnamon Hot Chocolate

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

2 cups soy milk
½ cup heavy cream
cocoa powder (to taste)
2-4 Tbsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
½ tsp vanilla

Strawberry jam
Whipping cream

1. In a sauce pot, mix the cream, soy milk, cocoa powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and vanilla with a whisk until smooth and creamy. Heat on med until hot but not boiling. Taste it and feel free to adjust the spices. More cinnamon, more chocolate, whatever suites you best!
2. In a mixer, mix the cream until it is whipped cream. No sugar or sweetener. Then add a little strawberry jam to make it strawberry flavored. Put on top and enjoy!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: Our house is so cold we could see our breath! So what better to do than to make hot chocolate! I wish I had some bailey’s though. That would have made it a million times better. But the strawberry cream really added a lot, and it was just the right spicy where it was still obviously hot chocolate, but with a little sumthin. I like soy milk with a mix of cream so it isn’t as heavy, but you can add just regular milk if you like too. Enjoy!

Day 127: Christinoua

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

½ cup quinoa
1 cup tomato veggie pureed soup
1 cup water
½ lemon, juiced
goat cheese

1. Take the quinoa, tomato soup, water and salt and place in a pot and let it come to a boil. Turn to med and cook down until the liquid is gone and the quinoa is tender. If it is not, add more water. It splatters, so don’t wear white and try to keep covered
2. Add the lemon juice and stir, and then sprinkle with goat cheese.

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: This is actually SUPER good! I made it without the goat cheese, and it was just alright, and then Christina, my roomie, was all, hey throw on some goat cheese, and it made it a total winner! A must try. You can add spices too, or really use any kind of soup puree to cook the quinoa, but I chose tomato this time. Give it a twirl, and let me know if you like it! Oh, quinoa is probably one of the most wonderful grains in the whole world. If you haven’t tried it, you simply must. Not only is it tasty, but very easy and quick to make.

Day 126: Sweet Dutch Babies

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

2 eggs
½ cup flour
½ cup milk
dash salt

2 Tbsp butter

Powdered sugar
Strawberry butter, or lemon juice

1. Preheat oven to 400F
2. Melt the butter and put into a muffin tin (bigger than a cupcake tin. If you only have cupcake, maybe do 5) put into 3 of the holes to make 3 muffins. You want it totally coated in butter.
3. In a blender or with a whisk, mix the eggs, flour, milk and salt together until very smooth
4. Pour into the tins so there is room on top and bake until they poof up and are brown and crispy
5. Take out of the oven and plate. They will start to fall. Cover with powdered sugar and serve with strawberry butter or lemon juice.

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: These were so fun! I couldn’t remember the ratio very well so I winged it, and they worked! It was so fun to see them pop up in the oven like that! These are a little eggier and heavier than a popover, and more buttery than a brioche, so it is really just for a quick breaky fling. The strawberry butter added a lot, and the powered sugar did too. Remember when I did the savory one? You can really add anything to make these amazing is the lesson I am learning. Try them out!

Day 125: Bacon Sage Chicken Pot Pie

Yield: 4 People
Time (Start to Finish): 1 ½ hours

1(15 OZ) Pkg. Pillsbury Refrigerated Pie Crusts (2 crusts)
1/3 cup butter
15 fresh sage leaves
5 cooked pieces bacon
1/3 cup chopped onion
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1-1/2 cups chicken broth
2/3 cup milk

2-1/2 to 3 cups shredded cooked chicken or turkey (I used 4-6 chicken breasts.)
2 cups frozen mixed, vegetables, thawed

1. Cover chicken with water in saucepan. Cook until done, debone and cut into bite sized pieces.
2. Heat oven to 425. Prepare pie crusts as directed on package for two - crust pie using 9 inch pie pan.
3. Melt margarine in medium saucepan over medium heat. Add sage with the onion and cook 2 minutes or until tender. Add flour, salt and pepper; stir until well blended. Gradually stir in broth and milk, cooking and stirring until bubbly and thickened.
4. Add chicken bacon and mixed vegetables; mix well. Remove from heat. Spoon chicken mixture into crust-lined pan. Top with second crust; seal edges and flute. Cut slits in several places in top crust. 5. Bake 425 for 30 to 40 minutes or until crust is golden brown. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.
Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: This is so bacony and yummy! The key to any mans heart let me tell you! The sage adds a lot too, but the bacon overpowered and it was a very very good thing. Another wonderful night with Lucy and cooking. Her idea for the pot pie, mine for the bacon and sage. A must try for sure. It is a killer recipe.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Day 124: Strawberry Butter

1 cup heavy whipping cream
4 strawberries
dash salt
dash cinnamon

1. In a mixer with a whip, mix the cream with the salt and cinnamon until it separates and turns into butter. It take about 2 minutes. Make sure to have a towel ready it will splash. You can use a small cuisenart too.
2. When it is separated, add the sliced strawberries. If using a mixer with a blade, it will chop them up for you. If using a mixer, either use jam or chop the strawberries before adding them super fine
3. Put in a container and let chill in the fridge

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: This was pretty awesome. My mom told me today about when I was in grade school making butter in a little jar by shaking it, and I thought, that is so simple! Ill make it with strawberries! You can add any fruit you want. Or add savory things to it as well. I made this after a long day of shopping and am saving it for something I have in store for breaky tomorrow. I cant wait until then! Enjoy guys!

Day 123: Walnut Fruit Smoothie

Yield: 1 smoothie
Time (Start to Finish): 15 minutes

½ cup vanilla ice cream
1 strawberry popsicle
4 frozen peach slices
grapefruit juice
1 handful walnuts

1. Take all ingredients and put in a blender and blend until smooth
2. Add more grapefruit juice if you want smoother

Rating: 2 strawberries
Notes: My first real sucky recipe! I mean, it was drinkable, but for serious, don’t add grapefruit juice, add orange or something else, and the nuts were very strong, maybe add pine nuts instead or something. Maybe nuts in a smoothie isn’t as amazing an idea as I thought. I think I can still make it work. Try this if you like…it was the warmest most beautiful day ever and its fall, so I thought a smoothie would be a killer idea. It was, just not the way I made it. Good luck, here is your challenge…make a better smoothie. I know, not that challenging, but you have to start somewhere!

Day 122: Banana Bread Sandwich

Yield: 1 Sammy
Time (Start to Finish): 15 min

2 Slices banana bread (my mom’s preferably)
vanilla ice cream

1. Take the ice cream and soften it
2. Add some cinnamon and mix it together
3. Spread it on the banana bread, make into a sammy and scarf

Rating: 3 strawberries
Notes: Although this tastes incredible, I must say I don’t feel it was extremely creative. I was in a rush out the door and had to make something, and still have not stocked up on essentials in the house after Portland, and this was all I had. Sorry for the lameness, but this is a good lesson…just add cinnamon to ice cream and it makes it a whole new delicious thing! If I had cream cheese I would have thrown a little in the mix too...try it out! Pumpkin bread would be yummy too!!

Day 121: Cheese Filled Apple

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

1 Granny Smith Apple
½ cup cheddar cheese

1. With a knife, core the apple without cutting the apple in half so the apple is intact but with no core.
2. Take the cheddar and fill the hole with it by pressing it in with your fingers. This is a great activity for kids
3. When the apple is filled, slice it so each slice of apple has a hole of cheese in the center.

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: My mom used to make this for me as a kid, so it makes me feel very close to home. It is so yummy and perfect as a snack between meals, and it is fun and cute. I love it so much! It may not be the most exciting of dishes, but it makes me happier than anything when I get one of these (well, chocolate covered strawberries makes me way happier than anything) enjoy!

Month 4

Annie’s Current Weight: 131
Pleasures: No weight gain! A total pleasure for sure! This month was a mix of emotions. I for sure learned a lot about pumpkin, which is great. I had a lot of guest kitchens, which is also great, and a lot of on the fly recipes, which was also a good thing. I celebrated a lot of events, and look forward to this next month!
Pains: There were a few close calls in not wanting to cook something, or almost not which is a problem, and I feel like a few of my recipes are a little uninspired, but that’s ok sometimes. I used a lot of boxed things when I easily could have worked from scratch, but that’s ok and important for those with quick needs!
Promises: This next month there will be a lot of cooking with other people which is always a nice thing, so I vow to really try this month to learn from others cool and exciting things. I also promise to throw in a lot of cookies and treats that people can make others for the holidays. Nothing better than the gift of treats.
Ponders: I feel like this last month was kind of chill. I had inspiring times, I had hard times, I had fun times, and it was hard to focus a lot of it. I think this next month, even though I have a lot going on, I can really try and focus more on what I am doing and why I am doing it. I shave started planning trips for march and in the summer, and its hard thinking I will also have to plan time every day to cook something. I may just need to plan ahead for those. Weird thinking about it to be honest with you, and I ponder why im doing this project. I love it, don’t you dare get me wrong, but I find people getting less interested, or something about it that is making me feel more like throwing stuff together than pushing myself. I need to figure that one out. Until then, I look forward to sharing more food with good people!