Tuesday, August 31, 2010

The Chef: One Year Later



Name: Annie Capell
Age: 28
Weight: 127 (lost 5 pounds!)
Favorite Meal: Risotto
Favorite Dessert: Chocolate Covered Strawberries
Favorite Kitchen Tool: Heat Resistant Spatula
Least Favorite Kitchen Tool: Plastic Wrap
Least Favorite Foods: Bell Peppers, Pickles, Capers (I like mustard a little bit now…)
Favorite Foods: Avocados, Potatoes, Chicken, Strawberries
Favorite Thing to Make: Cheesecake
Least Favorite Thing to Make: Fried Shrimp
Favorite Kitchen Technique: Stirring
Least Favorite Kitchen Technique: Putting Pie Crust into the tins
Kind of Music During Cooking: Depends on the season and weather, but all kinds and a glass of wine or beer
Can People Taste While You Cook?: Yes, but just ask or give puppy eyes
Work Better Alone or With Others: Ive gotten better at working with others, more patient, but I like working alone, no one to blame but yourself
Favorite Restaurant: The Diner in Brooklyn NY, or Il Pastaio in Boulder, CO
Favorite Alcoholic Drink: Old Fashioned, Red Stripe, or Rose
Favorite Non Alcoholic Drink: Water or Root Beer, or dirty chai
Favorite Candy Bar: Reeses Peanut Butter Cups
Favorite Spice: Sage and cinnamon
Clean or Messy Kitchen: CLEAN! I Make mess per Stage, but Clean Before The Next One
Least Favorite Kitchen Appliance: Electric Stove, old sticky pots
Favorite Kitchen Appliance: Gas Stove/Honest Temperature Oven, perfectly greased cookie sheets
A Weird Kitchen Quark You Have: I like sliding with my socks from the oven to the refridge, and I like taking hot rolls out of the oven with my hands
Spicy, Salty, Sweet or Sour? Sweet, then spicy, salty, sour
Favorite Ice Cream Flavor: Rocky Road, Peanut Butter, Ben and Jerrys Vanilla with Peanut Butter cups/ pieces
Lease Favorite Thing about Cooking: Left overs I cant eat, not timing the food right so it comes out at different times, or knowing where I messed up but I cant fix it!
Favorite Thing About Cooking: Making people try weird things, and stirring, and being able to whip up something marvelous super fast. I like impressing people through food, including myself, and its also a nice way for me to clear my head
Words to Part With: Be Brave, Take Risks, Decorate to Hide Mistakes, Kill No One, and always have a Plan B. Also, smiling makes any messed up meal ok. Try weird things, WHY NOT?

Month 12



Annie’s Current Weight: 127
Pleasures: The biggest pleasure I can muster is the fact that I did it. 12 months, cooking every single day for 365 days, I did it. Not ONCE did I skip a day. Even if it was the dumbest recipe in the world and I had to make an argument as to why it was a recipe, I did it. I succeeded. Another huge pleasure is the people in my life during this project. At my party I couldn’t have asked for better friends or support. These United States surprised me, my parents came, emails and letters from family and friends all over the world, people flew down or drove up, just for ME. Just so show ME that they supported me and were proud of me. I cant be more grateful. Also, im not going to lie, this month has some killer recipes. My ginger toffee, the chicken tetrazzini, it was a pretty grand month and a way to go out blazing. I also didn’t gain any weight!! AND my brother had a baby! Things just couldn’t be better this month and I couldn’t be more thankful and happy at the way things turned out.
Pains: You know, I got pretty sad this month thinking about the project ending. There is the whole, what next, question you need to ask yourself when you have been doing something every day for a month. Also this month I did seem to spend a lot of money on food trying to get the best ending to a project ever. Also, I am sad some people couldn’t be here for the finale who were really star people in my project, mainly my roomies alley and Christina who were both out of town…so sad they couldn’t chare in the glory. There is also the whole looking back thinking I should have worked harder sometimes, been less lazy, I could have cooked something better but I chose to take the easy route and that makes me feel sick. I did a great job I know, but, I also know my potential and that sometimes I just slacked. Even though this month the pleasures outweighed the pains, they were still there and I know better…
Promises: I promise to not only keep cooking crazy things, but to keep up this blog. I have found I am not a very good blogger. I like being outside too much to want to sit at a computer and type my life story away. I also have trouble knowing what to say…do I stick to the recipe? Do I say how im feeling that day? What do people want to know! So I mixed it up in my blog, but tried to keep it about the food. Whatever future projects I decide to do (and I have some in mind) I will try to give the people what they want, a little of both worlds. Learn a little skill, get a little gossip. I also promise to keep in mind consistency. I didn’t blog every day, and sometimes not every week, so who knew when a new post would come. Ill try better to be more on top of that, at least a monthly update on whats going on, or where I have been.
Ponders: you know, this project was so grand and so personal its hard to ponder it because I ask myself, where do I BEGIN pondering it. Do I look at the commitment part? Where I pushed myself so hard and committed myself more fully that I ever have? Do I look at the creative part? That I made amazing new recipes that people are now using and trying out of friends or giving as gifts? That I did something in the world creative that others LIKE? Do I look at the social side? In the fact that I made more friends through cooking for them than ever before? That I fattened people up, and made people smile with their whole heart? Do I look at the computer side? Where I learned to type with correct form and how to blog and upload pictures, create files and make something people reference and want to see? Do I ponder the experience of eating something new every day using what I had around me, and doing something physical and grounding every day through hardships and beauty. Through bailing on going out to cook, or cooking so fast so I wouldn’t miss the beginning of something? There are so many ways to look at this project, so many people to thank, so much love both to others, food, and to myself I don’t even know what to say. When I push myself hard like this and succeed, I think, how much farther can I go? Its like a drug, and I have merely begun my addiction. I am so happy, and so grateful and so full of joy and food, that all I want is more more more, so what do I ponder? The future…the future of myself and my relationship not only to the world but to food. What next? Stay tuned for the next chapter in the life of annie…its all uphill from here!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Day 365: Key Lime Cheesecake



Yield: 1 9 inch cheesecake
Time (Start to Finish): 3 hours

Ingredients:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2-3 Tbsp sugar
¾ stick butter, melted(may need more or less)

20 oz cream cheese
8 oz sour cream
½ cup fresh lime juice
½ cup lime juice (you CAN use fresh if you want to keep squeezing)
1-2 drops green food dye
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
4 Tbsp flour

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400F and grease your pan, which should be placed on a cookie sheet that has sides
2. In a bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar and mix with butter adding ¼ of it at a time and mixing until it sticks together when you grip it in your hands like moist sand
3. Press into the bottom of the pan and bake for 2-3 min until you smell the graham crackers and take out, cool
4. Preheat the oven to 350F
5. In a mixer, combine the cream cheese and sour cream until smooth
6. Add the sugar and scrape the bowl
7. Add the lime juice, flour, and food dye
8. Scrape the bowl and add the eggs and mix until combined. Taste and if too tart add a drop of vanilla or a tad more sugar
9. Pour over the crust and bake in a water bath until it jiggles like jello not like water anymore, about an hour
10. Chill in the freezer or the fridge and serve cold. You can serve with whipped cream if you like

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: LAST RECIPE!!! I DID IT!!! WOOHOOO!!!! 365 RECIPES!! Last day, no more days, I did it I did it I did it!!!!! I also made peanut butter cheesecake (I used my white chocolate cheesecake recipe but added a cup of peanut butter instead in white chocolate) AND my white chocolate cheesecake, all for my big party tonight!! Out of the three, the key lime STOLE the show, thanks Alley for the idea! This is a great recipe, and it turned out light, marvelous and a huge hit. The party is going to be filled with snacks galore, but the cheesecake will be the highlight!! Stay tuned in my blog guys for the epilogue as well as STATS, top 10 lists, all sorts of things, but with all my heart, enjoy these recipes, and I did it!! No more days, today is the LAST day!! Wwhhhhaaat???

Day 364: Dark Chocolate Ginger Walnut Toffee



Yield: 12-15 pieces
Time (Start to Finish): 30 min

Ingredients:
1 stick butter
¾ cup sugar
2 Tbsp water
1 Tbsp dark corn syrup (light is fine)
1 cup chopped walnuts
3 tsp ground ginger
small pinch salt
8-10 oz GOOD dark chocolate, chopped up

Directions:
1. Take a cookie sheet and spray it with cooking spray or grease it
2. Sprinkle the walnuts on top in a circle covering about half the cookie sheet, but right in the center (you are going to be pouring the caramel on top of it) make sure they are close together
3. Chop up the chocolate and sprinkle all over the top of the nuts
4. In a saucepot, melt the butter in med heat
5. Add the sugar, corn syrup and water and bring to a boil over med, stirring gently until the mixture turns a nice brown color. It should take about 15 min, and get it to the brown you would like, a nice toffee brown
6. Remove from the heat, stir in the ginger and the salt and immediately pour over the chocolate/nuts. Do not wait on this, it must be done right away
7. Let cool, or, like I did, stick in the freezer until the chocolate hardens
8. Break into pieces and serve

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: This came out of nowhere. I picked up my dear friend Lavinia from the airport and she had brought me a dark Brooklyn chocolate bar and hoped I would make something with it for my blog. I couldn’t think of what to make and while I was sleeping, I realized I had everything to make toffee in the kitchen. The ginger came out of my need to make it special and I saw the bottle. What a PERFECT choice!! It is such a great surprise when you bite in and all of a sudden taste the ginger after flavor!! Thanks Lavinia for this amazing inspiration!!! Get yourself some good chocolate for this, and no need to toast the nuts unless you want an extra touch of flavor…2 more days guys!!! Tomorrow is the end! Today is checked off the list and it is nothing but smooth sailing! How nervous am I!!!!!

Day 363: Rocky Road Rice Krispie Treats



Yield: 1 9 inch rectangle pan
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min

Ingredients:
2 cups sliced toasted almonds
20 oz marshmallows, small or big
2 cups tiny marshmallows
3 Tbsp butter
6 cups cocoa krispies
1 bag chocolate chunks
2 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1. Grease your pan with cooking spray or butter
2. Toast the almonds and set aside
3. In a large pot put melt the butter on low heat
4. Add the 20 oz marshmallows and cinnamon and melt together until there are no more chunks and turn off the heat
5. Add the rice krispies and almonds and stir until almost combined
6. Add ¾ of the bag of chocolate chunks and stir just till combined, not oo much so they don’t melt a lot
7. Pour it into the pan and press down with your hand. If your hand sticks, wet it with water and press
8. Top with chocolate chunks and the small marshmallows and if you make sure they are touching the warm krispies, they will melt to the top
9. Let cool and cut and serve

Rating: 5 strawberries
Notes: Another 5!!!! Im going out with a bang!! This gets a five because of the reaction they got. Everyone LOVED them. I think I got proposed to like 4 times from people eating these. They are killer. The almonds taste great in this, and who doesn’t like extra marshmallows, and who would have thought, they are gluten free!! A must try for a twist on a classic, and for sure a winner…maybe for a bake sale??? 3 days to go!

Saturday, July 31, 2010

I did it...

Ill blog about it later, but just so you know, I TOTALLY did it...365 recipes in 365 days...check it off the list!! stay with me for the epilogue...

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Day 362: Checkerboard Hummus Tea Sandwiches


Yield: 4 sandwiches
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

Ingredients:
2 slices white bread
2 slices dark wheat bread
butter

½ can garbanzo beans or chick peas
2 cloves garlic
¼ tsp onion powder
salt and pepper
1 lemon zested
½ lemon juiced
olive oil (about ½ cup, maybe more)

Directions:
1. To make the hummus, use a food processor
2. Add the chick peas, garlic, onion powder, salt and pepper, lemon juice and zest and turn on
3. Drizzle olive oil in until if becomes a paste. You will need to scrape it down half way through and taste to adjust seasoning. Add oil until it is spreadable like mayo
4. To make the checker sandwiches, take the 4 sliced of bread and stack them on top of each other
5. Put butter between each layer so they are stuck together and then cut the crusts off
6. Cut the bread stack into slices so there are layers of bread and butter
7. Take the slices and stack them using more butter. Look on the side and make sure that the white bread and the brown bread are alternating
8. You will slice these also so you will make a total of 8 slices, checkered together (sorry if this is confusing!!)
9. Spread hummus on the bread and put into 4 sandwiches and serve with tea!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: These are just the cutest little sandwiches ever!! I am sorry if my explanation is a little confusing…I realized later that I should have taken photos of the process, but maybe I will for after my blog. The hummus is sooo good! My roomie alley just couldn’t stop eating it, and you can flavor it however you like…add some chipolte, or herbs and make it your own! These are great to serve at a tea or luncheon. 4 more days!!! AAAHHH!!

Day 361: Chicken Tetrazzini


Yield: 3-4 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
3 cups cooked spaghetti noodles, salted water

2 cups sliced brown mushrooms
2 Tbsp butter
¼ cup white wine

1 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp butter
1 ½ cup heavy cream
¼ cup white wine
1/8 cup flour
¼ tsp nutmeg
salt and pepper
1 cup chicken broth
½ lemon, juiced

1 ½ cup roasted chicken chopped up

½ cup parmesan cheese
½ cup seasoned bread crumbs
1 Tbsp butter

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375F and get a square baking dish out and ready
2. Cook the pasta and set aside
3. In a skillet heat up the butter, mushrooms and wine and cool until the liquid is almost all gone and remove the mushrooms
4. Add the butter, chopped garlic to the pan
5. Add the flour and whisk together
6. Add the heavy cream, wine, and chicken broth and whisk until it becomes thick
7. Add salt, pepper, nutmeg and lemon juice and taste to adjust seasonings
8. Add the mushrooms and the chicken and the noodles and stir all together
9. Pour into the baking dish and flatten
10. Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top, and the bread crumbs on top of it
11. Take the last Tbsp of butter and cut into pieces and sprinkle them on top
12. Bake until the sauce begins to bubble and the top browns

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: This is a dish I used to eat all the time as a kid, but the frozen kind. I have never made it from scratch before, and let me tell you, its not that bad. There are a lot of dishes to clean, but this tastes great hot out of the oven, and even better as leftovers for lunch. No one got to eat it but me, house to myself, but I did make the house smell amazing. 5 days left guys!!! Time to warm up the bellies!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Day 360: Chocolate Soufflé


Yield: 5-6 soufflés
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
¼ cup butter
1 cup chocolate chips
3 eggs, separated
1/3 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
pinch cream of tartar
½ tsp cinnamon
1 Tbsp sugar

butter
sugar
left over bananas foster

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400F
2. Take the butter (not the ¼ cup) and spread it generously in the 6 ramekins
3. Coat the butter with sugar and set on a cookie sheet. Make sure they aren’t touching
4. Melt the chocolate with the butter and put in a bog bowl
5. In a mixer take the egg yolks and the sugar and mix on high until they are light and fluffy, about 5 min. this can be done while the chocolate is melting
6. Stir together the chocolate and egg mixture until combined in the big bowl
7. Add the vanilla and cinnamon and stir
8. In a clean dry mixing bowl add the egg whites and cream of tartar
9. Put on high and once they begin to turn white add the Tbsp of sugar
10. Mix until they become stiff peaks
11. Add 1/3 of the whites to the chocolate mixture and mix together
12. Add the rest and fold together until smooth
13. Spoon into ramekins ¾ of the way and put in the center of the oven
14. You will be serving there IMMEDIATELY, so if you are not ready, cover them with plastic and you can store in the fridge for a couple of hours
15. Bake in the center of the rack for 10 min or until they poof up and the edges begin to crisp. Try not to over bake
16. Serve with the bananas foster in the center or on the side

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: Ok, so I was going to make molten chocolate cake, but messed up by not halving the recipe like I meant to, so it turned into chocolate soufflés! They are SOOO good! Thanks for sharing with me Audrey! She came in the door at just the right time. The bananas foster in the center makes it PERFECT. There is nothing more perfect than fruit and chocolate. This is SUCH a great treat. You have to serve it right out of the oven or the soufflé will fall, so make sure to be on top of that, have the plates ready and everyone seated. They still taste killer if they fall, so don’t worry about it. 6 days left guys!! The magic continues!

Day 359: Bananas Foster


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

Ingredients:
¼ stick butter (2 Tbsp)
½ cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
pinch nutmeg
pinch salt
1 banana, sliced
¼ cup whiskey
½ cup pecan pieces, toasted

Directions:
1. In a sauce pan, combine the butter, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt together and cook on med heat until the sugar melts
2. Add the sliced banana
3. Once the banana begins to soften and brown add the whiskey and cook until it becomes a smooth sauce, about 3 min
4. Add the pecans and pour over ice cream or pancakes!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: Yummy!!! Nothing better than bananas and caramel! I am saving this for tomorrow’s recipe, but it is best over ice cream and served right away. It also makes the house smell unbelievable. The nuts should be toasted beforehand, and you can really add a number of fruits, apples, apricots, anything you like. It also doesn’t take much time at all. 7 more days guys, almost there…WOW!

Day 358: Strawberry Rhubarb Pie


Yield: 1 pie
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour 30 min

Ingredients:
2 pie crusts (day 289 or store bought)
1 ½ cup sugar
1 16 oz bag frozen strawberries
5-8 fresh strawberries, sliced
3 cups fresh rhubarb, about 6 stalks
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 lemon, zested and juiced
5 Tbsp corn starch
pinch salt
1 egg
splash buttermilk
decorating sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Line the bottom of the pie pan with one of the crusts, and cut the other one to make a lattice design. Look at day 358 to help
3. In a sauce pot, put the frozen strawberries, rhubarb cut into ½ inch pieces, lemon zest, juice, nutmeg, cinnamon, corn starch, salt. Do NOT put the fresh berries in here
4. Mix together until the frozen berries are melted and pour the mixture into the pie dish. You want it to be warm but not boiling
5. Add the fresh sliced strawberries on top
6. Lattice the top crust onto the pie and pinch the edges
7. In a bowl combine the egg and the buttermilk
8. Brush it on top of the pie, sprinkle with sugar, place on a cookie sheet for drips and bake for about an hour or until the crust is brown and the insides are bubbling.
9. Let cool and serve

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Happy Birthday to my good friend Josh! His actual birthday is the same day as Kaylas, but we are celebrating today with oysters, mussels, and of course, pie. This is his favorite, so I had no choice!! I made it, brought it to his house, and it was eaten faster than I could put it down! I hear they made fresh churros when I left and dipped it in the left over pie filling…yummy!! I didn’t make the crust from scratch, I didn’t have time, so the rating isn’t higher, but it is still a great pie. Also, I may even add a little more corn starch, it was a bit runnier than I would want it to be. Either way, make this pie, shove it in your face, and enjoy guys!! 8 days left!!

Day 357: Trifecta Cake


Yield: 1 9 inch rectangle cake pan
Time (Start to Finish): 3 hours

Ingredients:
1/3 recipe devils food cake
1/3 recipe angel food cake
1/3 recipe red velvet cake

Directions:
1. If anyone is interested in making this cake, please look up good fast recipes for each of these cakes. I suggest making to red velvet first as it is the messiest
2. Preheat oven to 350
3. Take all three batters, pour the angel food into a greased sheet, add the other two batters on top in lines
4. With a fork swirl all the batters together to make any design you like
5. Bake for about 30 min or until a knife comes out clean in the middle

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: Ok, let me explain this weird one…my roomie alley’s aunt is having a baby, and she asked me to make mini cupcakes for her baby shower, which I of course said yes to. I make devils food, angel food and red velvet and had left over batter. I wanted to see what a cake would look like with all three and this is it! It is actually pretty tasty, but I don’t think it is worth the effort to make it on its own. If you need to make a lot of cupcakes, save a little batter and try this out. The cupcakes came out great by the way!!! And congrats alley’s aunt!! Im an aunt too!!! Oh, and 9 days left!!!

Day 356: Kayla’s Eggplant Parmesan



Yield: 1-2 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 30 min

Ingredients:
4 slices eggplant
1 cup seasoned bread crumbs
½ tsp cayenne pepper
1 egg
¼ cup buttermilk
1 cup marinara sauce
½ cup asiago cheese, shredded
½ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
olive oil
salt and pepper
2 string cheese sticks

Directions:
1. Preheat a skillet to med/led high
2. Put bread crumbs in a bowl with salt, pepper, asiago, half of the parm, and cayenne
3. In another bowl put the egg and buttermilk and whisk together with a fork
4. Put olive oil in the pan
5. Dip the eggplant in the egg mixture, then the bread crumb and then put on the skillet
6. Cook until it begins to brown, flip and cook the other side
7. On a plate, but the marinara sauce
8. Place the cooked eggplant on the plate and sprinkle the rest of the parm on top
9. Add slices of the string cheese and serve

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: HAPPY BIRTHDAY KAYLA!!! I am an AUNT!! My brother had a baby girl today, perfect and beautiful, and to celebrate our new little eggplant, I cook up some eggplant. What I love about this recipe is that I got out of work at 730, biked home, cooked it and was sitting down eating it at 830. It is fast, super good, homey, warm, and just a perfect little dish. I know eggplant isn’t very nutritious, but it tastes good with sauce and cheese all over it. I cant believe I am an aunt today!!! This is a nice meal to serve up to a family also! Make it in no time and be sure to impress anyone. You can season the bread crumbs yourself if you like. I just got Italian seasoned. Oh, AND THE COUNTDOWN BEGINS!!! 10 days till my project is over!!!! WOOHOO!!!!

Day 355: Peanut Butter Apple Crisp



Yield: 1 4 inch pan
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
2 green apples, peeled and cubed
¼ cup brown sugar
1 lemon, zested
¼ cup flour
¼ cup rolled oats
½ cup sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
¼ tsp nutmeg
pinch salt
1 egg white
1 Tbsp butter, melted
¼ cup peanut butter
½ cup sliced almonds

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. In a bowl mix the apples with brown sugar and lemon zest and pour into the pan
3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt until smooth
4. Add the egg white, butter, and peanut butter and stir until combined. You can add more flour if it is too sticky
5. Spread over the top of the apple mixture and bake for about half an hour until the top is brown and the apples are cooked.

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Sorry for the super bad photo! I thought it was better when I took it. This recipe gets a low rating because I didn’t have any ice cream with it! Peanut butter and apples is a snack I just LOVE to have. It fills me up and is pretty healthy. So why not find a way to make it into a dessert! This dish is just perfect. It is sweet, and has some nutrition with the peanut butter and almonds. You can make it with any fruit, or use almond butter if you prefer (I don’t really like the taste too much). I hope you guys like this dish, it is pretty awesomely perfect for a san fran summer.

Day 354: Brown Butter Orange Waffles


Yield: 6 waffles
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

Ingredients:
2 eggs
¾ cup butter
2 cups four
1 ¾ cup milk
1 Tbsp brown sugar
4 tsp baking powder
pinch salt
½ tsp vanilla
1 orange, zested
1 Tbsp orange juice

extra butter
orange juice and zest

Directions:
1. In a skillet, put the butter on med heat
2. Let the butter cook until it browns. It should take about 5 min, and stir it while it is cooking. The browning makes a nice nutty taste. You can brown it as dark as you like
3. Remove the butter from the heat and set aside
4. Heat up your waffle maker
5. In a bowl, combine the eggs and milk
6. Add the flour, brown sugar, baking powder and salt and stir until almost combined
7. Add the vanilla, orange zest and juice and the butter and stir until it is all together
8. Pour into waffle maker to make waffles
9. If you want, you can make extra brown butter, add orange juice and zest and use to pour on top

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: A nice home cooked breakfast for my house!! This is a super yummy recipe, but the waffles get soft if you let them sit out too long, so make them fresh as people come in! I also used left over orange cream as something to put on top as well as the orange butter I talked about. Brown butter adds just a hint of a different rustic taste which I love. Once you try it you will love it too. Thanks for enjoying this with me girls!! You CAN make this with other citrus, but orange is by far the best…you can even add a little whiskey to the butter, hehehe

Friday, July 23, 2010

Day 353: Almond Tuile Sandwich Cookies


Yield: 16 cookies, 8 sandwiches
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
¾ cup sugar
½ cup egg whites (about 3)
1 tsp vanilla
pinch salt
5 Tbsp flour
4 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup lightly toasted sliced almonds
1 tsp orange juice
¼ tsp cinnamon
½ orange zested

orange amaretto cream from yesterday, Day 352

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 400F
2. Whisk together the sugar, egg whites, vanilla, orange juice, and zest
3. Add the salt, flour, and cinnamon
4. Add the melted butter and make sure it is all whisked together
5. Fold in the almonds and put in the fridge or freezer for about 30 min until it is thick from the butter rehardening
6. Generously grease a cookie sheet and spoon teaspoon size amounts of batter VERY far apart…maybe like 4 cookies per cookie sheet and spread the almonds out in the batter
7. Bake for about 7 minutes or until they are brown. Try not to under bake them or they will be soft
8. Let them cool on the pan for a minute and then remove and put on a cooling rack
9. Take the orange amaretto cream and spread in between 2 of the cookies, however much you like and serve immediately. If traveling with these, spread the cream on when you get there

Rating: 5 strawberries
Notes: Another 5 strawberries!! These were better than I ever thought they could be! The cookie is light and crispy and the cream adds a ton of flavor. The almonds should be lightly toasted first, and im telling you they are great. They wont be even in size or perfectly round but once you take a bite you will be hooked. Also they are very attractive with their almond pieces. Thanks to the girls from Boston visiting who helped me eat these yummy treats, and today I ran my first 8 miles! Longest I ever have, so it was nice to reward myself with something sweet! Oh, and silly me made the cream yesterday and somehow brought it to work (cooking in the AM makes me loopy) and I left it in the fridge, so I had to make it all over again…thank goodness it is the best thing in the world. I am telling you, you must try these bad boys!

Day 352: Orange Amaretto Cream


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

Ingredients:
1 small or ½ large orange zested
1-2 tsp amaretto (almond flavored liquor)
¼ cup cream cheese
1 box powdered sugar (you may not use whole box)

Directions:
1. In a bowl combine the cream cheese with the orange zest and amaretto. Taste and add more orange or liquor if you need to. If this is being served to kids, add almond extract instead
2. Add sifted powdered sugar in ½ cup portions until it becomes a frosting that is thick enough to hold shape but thin enough to spread. You want to be able to spread it on cookies!
3. Store in the fridge or counter overnight. If you store in the fridge, take out at least 2 hours before using so it comes to room temperature

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: This is a KILLER cream! You can double the recipe and use it as a frosting (just note that there will be pieces of zest in the recipe) It is sweet and FULL of flavor. One of the best creams I have made! I am going to use it tomorrow to spread on some killer cookies, but you can use it for a lot of different things. The cream cheese is what makes it, so try not to sub butter. Also, try to use philly’s cream cheese. I have played with store brand cream cheeses and they are watery and not worth it at all. If you are going to do something, do it the best you can, which means using quality ingredients. Yummy!!

Day 351: Rocky Road Ice Cream


Yield: 1 pint
Time (Start to Finish): 5 hours

Ingredients:
3 cups heavy whipping cream
chocolate sauce (to taste)
½ cup condensed milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup mini marshmallows
½ cup toasted almonds
½ cup toasted pistachios
½ tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1. In a bowl combine the cream with the chocolate sauce, condensed milk, vanilla, cinnamon and taste to adjust flavors
2. Pour into your ice cream maker and according to directions make the ice cream
3. When it comes out smooth like soft serve, add the marshmallows, almonds and pistachios and put in the freezer until it is frozen and enjoy!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: I just didn’t have time to make a deep rich chocolate ice cream base, so this is a nice quick fix. You can make a chocolate crème anglaise if you like, but if you don’t have time, like me, this is the way to go. You don’t NEED an ice cream maker, but I highly recommend it, they make it smooth. This ice cream is my favorite flavor. I LOVE rocky road, and have been eating so much of it lately, I know I needed to just make some. I added the pistachios because there was a rocky road in Colorado that used to do that and I loved it! You can add any chocolate sauce you like, I used Ghirardelli, which is awesome and by my work, but any sauce will do. Better sauce, better final product. I hope you try this out and love it.

Day 350: Avocado Mango Guacamole


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

Ingredients:
1 avocado
1 mango
2 limes
salt and pepper
1 small yellow onion
1 tsp onion powder
1 garlic clove

Directions:
1. Chop up the onion and the garlic clove together very fine
2. Chop the mango into small pieces as well
3. Take the avocado and mash in a bowl
4. Add the lime juice, salt and pepper, and onion powder
5. Add the mango and garlic/onion, and mix together
6. Taste and adjust seasonings

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: It needs cilantro!!! That is why it is not better! Get some fresh cilantro and throw it in there! I tried to make an avocado soup, but I didn’t have any thinning agent, like cream or chicken stock, so I made this awesome guacamole. It is good and different, but for sure needs cilantro. Good with salty chips and watching any type of game, or just for dinner if you are me. I have made a lot of Guacamoles and this one is a nice twist. I hope you try it out. I bet you could even put in a little fresh basil. Enjoy!

Day 349: Protein Shake


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

Ingredients:
1 Premier Nutrition Vanilla Shake
3 Strawberries
1 banana
1 Tbsp peanut butter
1 Tbsp flax powder
1 Tbsp honey

Directions:
1. In a blender, mix all ingredients until combined and enjoy in the early morning

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Super fast and easy. Thank you Sarah Law for the shakes!! This is pretty tasty, and after I have gotten into running, this is the perfect thing to have before a jog. It is also just a nice full breakfast. You should try it. You can use a protein powder if you like with milk or yogurt, but this one brand really tastes awesome! Its like a jello pudding pop, and with the other fruits and peanut butter, it really is yummy. Its fast, which is what I like on a day like today, so try it out and get on with all you have to do!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Day 348: Grilled Honey Watermelon


Yield: 4 slices
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min

Ingredients:
4 slices watermelon
¼ cup honey
½ lemon, juiced
sprinkle salt
pinch nutmeg

Directions:
1. Heat up your grill or grill pan
2. In a bowl combine the honey, lemon juice, salt and nutmeg. Leave a little honey aside or have extra for after
3. Brush both sides of the slices of water melon with the mixture
4. Place the watermelon on the grill and grill both sides until it begins to brown. You can brush with more mixture if you like if there is any left
5. Drizzle with a little honey when it is done and serve

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Thanks for the idea Eric!! This is actually pretty tasty, but I gave it a lot rating because I love watermelon so much and I feel its one of those things you shouldn’t mess with. It is warm, sweet and salty which is a combo I love. It also has a very interesting smell!! You have to give it a try. This is again my aim at brightening up this summer cloudiness, and it did help perk me up. The honey seals the deal on this one. I hope you like it!

Day 347: Chicken Potato Salad


Yield: 1 cups
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

Ingredients:
1 can chicken
mayonnaise
¼ cup chipped red onion
2 red potatoes, cooked lightly
fresh dill chopped up
1 tsp yellow mustard
salt and pepper
1 tsp red wine vinegar
1 tsp onion powder
½ lemon, juiced

Directions:
1. Take the chicken out of the can, drained and put in a bowl
2. Add the cooked potato pieces and the onion and set aside
3. In a bowl, combine the mustard, red wine vinegar, onion powder, dill, and mayo until of makes a sauce. Usually about ½ cup mayo
4. Toss the mixture into the chicken potato mix and taste. Adjust seasonings accordingly
5. Finish with the lemon juice!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: I have made a lot of potato salads in my day, and in this blog, and I feel like they are a cake walk for me, so I think that is why I gave it a low rating. This is classic and good. A nice staple, and a really yummy treat. You can use roasted chicken or grilled chicken, but canned works really well here. You can even use tuna if you want, but I think it is a little heavy. It is getting colder here in San Fran, and I think this is me holding hope that this summer will be hot hot hot…come on sun! act like the food I serve! Be summer!!!

Day 346: Corn Onion Pizza


Yield: 2 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

Ingredients:
1 cup corn flour
salt and pepper
warm water
½ tsp cayenne
pinch nutmeg

½ yellow onion
olive oil

¾ cup asiago cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese

Directions:
1. On a med heat skillet, cook the chopped up onion in olive oil until it caramelizes, about 30 min and set aside
2. Take the corn meal in a bowl and mix with the salt, pepper, cayenne and nutmeg
3. Add warm water until the mixture turns into a ball of dough you can roll out
4. Take a rolling pin and roll it into a disk about ½ inch thick. You want it to fit in the bottom of the skillet
5. Take the round, put olive oil on the bottom of the pan and put it in the pan
6. Cook until the bottom browns and then flip it over (Good luck! This part is hard and fun! If it breaks, don’t worry one second! Mine broke!)
7. After you flip it, sprinkle the onion on top of the crust, and then sprinkle the cheese
8. Cover the pan and cook until the bottom cooks and the cheese melts. Enjoy!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I started this to make corn tortillas with some filling, but when I started making it, this just came out of nowhere and it was amazing! Not the best of things to eat right before you go visit your ex to exchange some stuff, but MAN is it good! I would maybe slice this up and serve it at a dinner party, or have a nice glass or wine and eat it with a movie. You can add lots of toppings which is cool, but I liked it simple and sweet. The caramelized onion really makes it…and the nutmeg brings out all the flavors. Try it out and see just how quick and easy it is!

Day 345: Gingerbread Cake



Yield: 1 12x8 casserole dish
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp cloves
pinch nutmeg
1 ½ tsp ginger
½ cup butter
½ cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup half and half
½ cup candied ginger, cut up

powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375F and grease a casserole dish
2. In a bowl combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger
3. In another bowl cream the butter and the sugar
4. Add the eggs
5. Add the half and half alternating with the flour mixture until all is combined
6. Stir in the ginger pieces and pour into the pan
7. Bake for about 20 min until a knife comes out clean. It may take more. Try not to over bake
8. Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar right when you remove from the oven, and add more as you serve it.

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: Happy 180 South movie! The work folks are having a showing of this movie at work and I thought I would make a little treat! Someone asked me to make gingersnaps, but I thought this cake would be even better. The ginger pieces add a different texture which I like. You can add ice cream with it, which we had at work, or make a ginger flavored whipped cream, which is what I wanted to make but ran out of time. This is also a great layer cake, so try it out!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Day 344: Caramel Apple Muffins



Yield: 4-5 muffins
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/8 cup brown sugar
½ tsp cinnamon
1/8 tsp all spice
pinch salt
½ cup milk
1 egg
1/8 cup butter, melted
½ cup peeled and cubed green apple

5 store bought caramels

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400F and line a muffin tin with papers or spray with non stick spray
2. Mix together the flour, baking soda, sugar, cinnamon, all spice and salt
3. Add the milk and egg
4. Add the melted butter
5. Fold into the batter the apple pieces
6. Pour the batter into each tin filling to half way
7. Take a caramel and push it into the center of each muffin, making sure the top is covered with batter, and that the batter doesn’t fill the tin over ¾ of the way
8. Bake for 20 min or until the muffin is cooked. A toothpick in the center wont help you, so put it in the side

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: This idea came from Lucy’s house! She told me about something like this she had made, and so I wanted to try it! They taste great, best right out of the oven because otherwise the caramel kind of rehardens and then it is not the same texture as the muffin. I love muffins, and the more I make them the more I see how easy they are! I think these can be made in a bran type muffin as well if you are looking for something a little more healthy. I hope you like them guys!

Day 343: Popcorn Butter


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

Ingredients:
½ cup whipping cream
salt
1 Tbsp honey
1/8 cup popcorn, cooked and the brown skins removed
small pinch cayenne
small pinch nutmeg

Directions:
1. Take the cream and beat in a food processor until it turns into butter, about 5-7 min, and remove the liquid keeping the butter in the processor.
2. You CAN buy a stick of unsalted butter and soften it, but fresh is always better
3. Make sure all the popcorn pieces are without the brown skins and add to the food processor with the honey, salt, cayenne and nutmeg. Blend until combined
4. Take butter, taste, and adjust the seasonings, and press into a dish and chill
5. Serve with bread for dinner!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: This is something to make for a dinner party for sure. Serve it with bread and it is so good! It tastes like popcorn. I saw a recipe for something similar in a magazine, and I had to try it with a little twist of course. It is so tasty, and if you blend it right it is smooth and delightful. People will be very impressed and intrigued by it. I hope you try this out, and I wont get mad if you go buy a stick of butter…I think I will next time.

Day 342: White Chocolate Popcorn


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

Ingredients:
2 cups popped popcorn
6-8 oz white chocolate chips (guittard)
salt
dash cinnamon

Directions:
1. Try to pop the corn in an air popper so it isn’t oily and place in a bowl large enough to toss
2. Melt the white chocolate in the microwave or in a double boiler until smooth
3. Add the salt and a touch of cinnamon to the chocolate
4. Drizzle over the popcorn and toss it. You may want to do this in 2 waves.
5. Let it cool and enjoy!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: This is a good sweet salty treat, but im not normally a white chocolate person. I have a ton of popcorn in my house so I wanted to try something with it, and I also had white chocolate, so, here it is! It’s the kind of thing you can make fast and just leave in bowls around the house during a party, or make when having friends over to watch a movie…or like me and just eat it in your room alone…you know…up to you…

Day 341: Potato Leek Soup


Yield: 1 big pot, 4-5 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
4 yellow potatoes, peeled and cubed
2 beg leeks
1 Tbsp butter
olive oil
1 quart chicken stock
1 cup heavy cream
salt and pepper
4 garlic cloves
2 sprigs rosemary
½ lemon
sharp white cheddar cheese (for grating on top)

fresh crusty bread

Directions:
1. Boil the potatoes in a pot of salted water with a splash of chicken stock
2. Strain the potatoes leaving just a little liquid and smash the potatoes in the pot
3. Add chicken stock and smash the potatoes more until it begins to become souplike
4. Add the heavy cream, salt and pepper to taste
5. On a skillet, melt the butter with a little olive oil and chop up the leeks and garlic separate
6. Cook the leeks in the oil until they are soft and just beginning to brown
7. Add the garlic and cook for just a min and turn off the heat
8. Add the leeks to the soup and add more chicken stock if you need to to smooth it out
9. Squeeze in the lemon at the end, and chop up the rosemary superfine and add to the pot
10. When serving, sprinkle on sharp white cheddar cheese and serve with a nice piece of bread

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: Once again, Lucys house for dinner. I thought up this meal while at work and it was a bit of a chilly day. I have been wanting to make a potato leek, and this one is nice and homey, and nothing is better than the cheese on top! We almost forgot to put it on but it really drive home the dish!! It is a quick soup to make, and while its cooking you can get other things together which is nice, and it lasts easily in the fridge. You can even leave the cream out and add it in as you serve it. Thanks again lucy for another lovely night!!

Day 340: Basil Rose


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

Ingredients:
2-3 freshly picked basil leaves
1 glass very good Rose wine

Directions:
1. Take your glass of Rose and take a sip and make sure it is wonderful
2. Tear up the basil leaves into the wine and swizzle it
3. Enjoy the wine

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: A sad plane ride home, an active brain, what better than a cocktail before bed?? I love sweet savory as you know, and I have been thinking a lot of that in terms of drinks, and in all honesty, this one is INCREDIBLE! I will for sure make this again and again, and in fact, I crave it now! I gave it a lot rating only because of how easy it is to make, but don’t let that make you think it is not tasty. This drink is just the ticket, I am telling you! Try it out, people, and you will never go back!

Day 339: Chocolate Cake with Peanut Butter Frosting



Yield: 1 12x8 inch casserole
Time (Start to Finish): 2 hours

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 ¾ cup flour
¾ cup cocoa powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
2 tsp cinnamon
pinch salt
2 eggs
1 cup half and half
½ cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup boiling water
1 ½ cup walnuts

¼ cup peanut butter
1 tsp vanilla
1 box powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a casserole dish with pan spray
2. In a bowl, combine the sugars, eggs, oil and vanilla and mix
3. In a separate bowl combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, salt and cinnamon and add to the egg mixture
4. Add the half and half
5. Add the boiling water and the walnuts and stir until combined
6. Pour into the casserole dish and bake 30 min or until a toothpick comes out clean in the center
7. To make the frosting, put the peanut butter and vanilla in a bowl
8. Add sifted powdered sugar until it becomes spreadable but not runny. You can add more peanut butter if it is too thick, or more powdered sugar if it is too runny. You will most likely not use the whole box.
9. Spread over the cooled cake and serve

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: Happy no reason cake! The girls and I are chilling in san diego and after a few cocktails and waiting for the rain to pass to jump in the ocean, I decided to make a cake! It turned out to be just the ticket…and because it has nuts in it we decided it was healthy. A nice dinner outside by the fireplace, drinks and cake, nothing can be more perfect. This is a great cake, and can be made into a layer cake if you like, but a dish like this is easy and delightful. I hope you like it and try it, it will make any girl smile!

Day 338: Pesto Chicken Pizza


Yield: 3-4 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour 30 min

Ingredients:
1 store bought pizza dough, uncooked
flour
8-12 oz parmesan cheese
1 tomato
4 slices chicken breast

1 handful basil
1 handful toasted walnuts
1 handful parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 garlic clove
olive oil drizzled in, about ½ cup

Directions:
1. Begin by making the pesto for this pizza by taking the basil, walnuts, parmesan cheese, garlic, salt and pepper and putting them in a food processor or blender. Turn on and drizzle in the olive oil until it becomes a thick paste that is spreadable but holds its form. Taste it and adjust salt and pepper. You can even add a little onion powder
2. Take the dough and cook according to the directions. Mine told me to preheat the oven to 400F, oil a cookie sheet, spread the dough out with flour and bake until it becomes not shiny, about 10 min
3. I removed the dough, covered the top with pesto, sprinkled on parmesan cheese, then chicken pieces and diced the tomato after taking out the seeds.
4. Brush the edges with olive oil and bake until the cheese melts and begins to brown and the edges brown as well

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: The only way to improve this would be to make my own crust. I am at Sarahs beautiful house and we wanted to chill, eat dinner and watch a movie, Happy 4th of july!!! I made this pizza from fresh ingredients in her backyard as well as freshly bought items, and it turned out wonderful! Served best with a variety of cocktails! Also this pizza is good cold the next day. You can add anything to the top you like, and fresh pesto is so simple. You can also use pine nuts, or macadamia nuts for different pizzas you may make. Thanks sarah!! A chill evening with the girls and a fresh homemade pizza..pure heaven

Day 337: Turkey Melt


Yield: 1 sammy
Time (Start to Finish): 30 min

Ingredients:
2 slices sourdough bread
4 slices jack cheese
salt and pepper
4 slices roast turkey
2 Tbsp honey
1 Tbsp butter, softened

Directions:
1. Heat up a skillet to fry the sandwich on
2. Take the butter and 1 Tbsp of honey and mix together
3. Spread it on one side of each of the slices of bread
4. On the non buttered side, place the cheese and the turkey, salt and pepper
5. Drizzle the honey on the inside and sandwich the two together
6. Grill on the pan until brown on both sides and enjoy!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Honey glazed turkey is what I made!! It is really tasty. I gave it a lower rating because it stuck a little bit to the pan with the honey on the outside, but it also crystallized nicely, so it tasted great. You can put any cheese you like, and any meat really, and even adding some avocado might be delightful! I made this before I left for the airport to go visit Sarah and Lindsay! Can’t wait to see you ladies, and it’s the perfect holdover meal when flying a one or two hour flight.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Day 336: Fish Tacos


Yield: 3-4 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour 30 min

Ingredients:
corn tortillas

1 avocado
1 mango
handful fresh cilantro
2 limes
1 ripe peach
salt and pepper

2 fillets cod
coconut oil
salt and pepper

macadamia nuts, crushed and toasted
coconut, toasted
extra limes for garnish

Directions:
1. Heat a skillet and take the cod and cook it in coconut oil on the pan. You can coat with bread crumbs if you like, or cook it on a grill
2. Take the avocado, mango and peach and cut them into equal sized pieces
3. Put in a bowl and squeeze limes over them and add salt and pepper to taste
4. Combine the coconut and the macadamia nuts and put to the side
5. To assemble, toast up a tortilla, place the fish on top, then the salsa, and sprinkle with coco/mac mixture.

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: This is so light and fresh!! I would make sure to get ripe fruit, my peach was a little firm, and I would cook the fish with a little more flavor, maybe even coating it in the coco/mac mixture when I pan cooked it. I may even add a jalapeño for a little kick, which I forgot to get at the store. I made a little too much, so thanks bobby and Jeanne for helping me eat it!! A summery meal for sure, but eaten inside on a chilly san fran kind of day. The crunch of the macadamia nuts is really what makes this dish something, and the coconut makes me think I am in a tropical island. Please make this! It is a killer recipe!

Day 335: Broccoli Cheddar Frittata


Yield: 2 people
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 cup cheddar/broccoli mixture from soup
½ cup diced yellow onion
1 tsp butter
3 eggs
salt and pepper
½ cup cheddar cheese
¼ cup parmesan cheese
milk
salt and pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:
1. From my soup yesterday I had strained it and there was broccoli mixture left over which I saved for this. You can just chop up and blend some broccoli with salt and pepper if you want
2. Preheat oven to 400F
3. Take the onion and cook with a little butter in a skillet until it is brown
4. Take the eggs in a bowl and whisk them
5. Add the onion, cheese (both), salt and pepper, cayenne, and if you need to a splash of milk
6. Pour into a greased oven proof casserole dish, small, so it comes up at least half an inch. You can sprinkle with cheese if you want
7. Bake until the eggs are firm. You can bake in a water bath if you are motivated.

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Nothing better than a classic frittata, which is basically a quiche without the crust. It was nice to find a use for my left over broccoli cheese mixture, and also made me feel like I was having a healthy breakfast! I don’t know why the picture is so shiny, maybe because it is the frittata flipped upside down. With all the running I have been getting myself into, eggs in the morning are just the way to start the day. This goes great with fresh fruit and some yummy toast. I hope you like it!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Month 11


Annie’s Current Weight: 127
Pleasures: I lost a pound!!! WOOHOO!! And only ONE MORE MONTH!! Who would have thought!? This project went so fast! This month I won my first award, thanks Maggie! This month I jumped a lot of hurdles…many trips, a break up, and man did I pull through with some great stuff! I really felt the support of my friends this month with my cooking, so thanks guys. This month really had a lot of pleasures, and I think the next and final one will too. I also think the pleasure of being so close to the end has put a kick in my step, so that is great.
Pains: it is also a pain it is almost over! Only one more month! Even though I had a lot of support with friends, I have felt rushed this month doing recipes. I feel like this month I thought a lot about how great it will be to be over and not tied down, and so that demotivated me. I talked myself out of that, got back in the moment, and reminded myself each day is important, and each day I have to do this. I also know a few of this months recipes were dumb, like my Disneyland breaky, but I did it nonetheless, even though I had no kitchen and wanted to have fun.
Promises: This is the last month, so promise to make some great things for you guys. I still have a big list of recipes I want to try, and I know I find myself going with what I have in the house, but I promise to really make things I am proud of and know I will want to repeat. I also promise to be as happy as I can this month even though this big thing is coming to a close. It is so bittersweet!! How free I will be, but also, how detached will I be…I promise I will finish what I have started this month and cook every day for a full year.
Ponders: you know, this project really made me think about a year and how quick it can go by. I cant believe it is over in 31 days. This month FLEW by…what now? What will I do? I look back and I am just so proud I did this, and so grateful that through so many hardships and beauties I cooked everyday. Food is a comfort, both when you are happy or sad, and it is just so known to me now where my place is in the world when it comes to passion. I want people to be happy, and I do that not just through my food, but through my giving of food. This month taught me a lot about pushing myself, as has this whole project, and I wish there was some way to pat my own back. I also look at my friends and how there they have been for me to make sure I cook everyday and I am so thankful for them. This really was a nice eye opening month…I cant believe I will only be writing one more of these for my project. What will I do after? Where will this go? Who will I be a year ago from now? How I relish in the mystery…and how I look back on the past with such a smile it lights the room…keep with me guys…31 more days…breath….

Day 334: Cheddar Broccoli Soup


Yield: 2-3 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
1.4 cup butter
½ yellow onion
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp onion powder
salt and pepper
1 cup broccoli, frozen
4 cups chicken broth
4 oz cheddar cheese
whole milk

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a sauce pot and cook the onion until it begins to caramelize
2. Add the broccoli, garlic and onion powder, salt and pepper and cook for a minute
3. Add the chicken stock and bring to a boil. Boil for 15 min
4. Remove mixture and put in a blender, blend until smooth. Strain out some if you like
5. Put back in pot and add cheese. Stir and serve

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: The flavor of this dish is killer, but the cheese part was SO annoying!!! I suggest making a roux first, adding the cheese to make a cheese sauce and then adding it to the soup. Just adding cheese led to a sticky mess. It was also chunkier than I wanted, so straining it will help you out. I served it with yummy bread and more cheese on top. It is pretty incredible how easy this soup can be! Nothing better than summer in san fran and the urge to make hot soup to keep you toasty!

Monday, July 12, 2010

Day 333: Big Ol’ Pasta Salad


Yield: 3-4 people
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

Ingredients:
1 avocado
1 pint blueberries
6 strawberries
3 handfuls spinach
2 cups chicken, chopped
1 pint cherry tomatoes
salt and pepper
balsamic dressing
2 cups whole wheat pasta

Directions:
1. We used rotisserie chicken chopped up, but you can use any kind you like
2. Cook the pasta and run it until cold water to stop the cooking
3. Place in a bowl and dress with a little dressing, salt and pepper
4. Chop up the avocado, strawberries, spinach and add to the salad
5. Add all ingredients and taste to add more salt or pepper

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: Once again, hanging with Lucy proves fruitful…this salad was awesome!! So easy to make, and I think almost everything was bought at the farmers market, which makes it even better. I love summer and California! We watched Gray’s Anatomy and ate this salad and it was perfect! I love fruit in a savory type salad. You could sprinkle in parmesan cheese which would be great, and always serve yummy bread with it! I hope you like it!!

Day 332: White Chocolate Peanut Butter Fudge


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

Ingredients:
2 cups white chocolate chips (16 oz)
1 cup peanut butter (smooth or chunky)
1 cup toasted pecans
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
½ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1. In a bowl put the white chocolate chips and melt in the microwave until smooth
2. Add the peanut butter, vanilla, salt, cayenne and cinnamon and stir
3. Add the pecans and pour into wax paper or a greased sheet
4. Cool in the fridge and serve!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: So I made this for Tricia’s birthday, but ended up forgetting to bring it to her, so to work it went, and I never saw something go so fast. It is sweet, the nuts are perfect, and who doesn’t like peanut butter and chocolate! This would work fine with regular chocolate chips, but the white chocolate seals the deal. The cayenne adds just a touch of spice, and the cinnamon adds a lot of flavor. Happy birthday Tricia!

Day 331: Sweet Road Trail Mix



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

Ingredients:
2 pieces chocolate nut toffee
sunflower seeds
beef jerky, shredded
skittles

Directions:
1. Break up the toffee into bite size pieces
2. Add the sunflower seeds, jerky and skittles and mix together
3. Bring on the road and keep cool

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: I am so tired!! Just dropped the girls off at the airport and heading to my brothers to spend the night, I hope I can stay up! I made this with left over things in the car, plus fresh toffee I bought in the candy shop, so so good! Sorry no skittles got in the pic, but they are there. A nice little sugar treat will help me stay awake for a little longer. Make this is you need a sugar rush. Enjoy!

Day 330: Hotel Room Breaky


Yield: 1 person
Time (Start to Finish): 10 min

Ingredients:
1 biscuit
cream cheese packet
syrup packet
1 slice bacon
1 sausage patty
1 egg scrambled

Directions:
1. Free Hot Breakfast! Go stock up on all of these things and bring them to your hotel room
2. Split the biscuit in half and spread cream cheese on one side and syrup on the other
3. Place the bacon, sausage and egg on it and serve hot!

Rating: 3 strawberries
Notes: I know, not the most creative, but it happens. I made something didn’t I? and it ruled. It is sporting a Disney t-shirt we bought for Sarah’s baby Drew. This is another heavy sitter which is perfect when running around Disneyland all day. It was quick to make, and full of flavor! Made it in your next hotel guys.

Day 329: On The Road Snack


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

Ingredients:
1 Nutter Butter cookie
sunflower seeds
beef jerky

Directions:
1. Take the Nutter Butter and peel apart like you would an oreo
2. Sprinkle sunflower seeds on the peanut side so they stick and place beef jerky on top
3. Sandwich together and enjoy!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Disneyland here we come! Meghan and I are driving from Sacramento down to LA to go to Disneyland! Woohoo! This is something we made on the road, a protein booster. Super quick and stuff you can get at any gas station. I liked it way more than I thought I was going to, and actually made a bunch more! You have to try it on your next road trip. It doesn’t just have to be to Disneyland, but that did make it all the sweeter!

Day 328: Yogurt Rice


Yield: 1 serving
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 cup vanilla yogurt
¼ cup rice
sugar
honey
coconut milk

Directions:
1. Take the yogurt and put it in cheesecloth in a strainer over a bowl. Let sit most of the day so the moisture comes out of it
2. Cook the rice with a little sugar in the water until done
3. Mix with the yogurt and add honey and coconut milk to flavor

Rating: 3 strawberries
Notes: The texture of this is not the best, but I like the idea of flavoring yogurt after straining out the juice. I have done a lot with rice, and I might leave it out in this dish. Don’t have much to say about it, maybe you can add shredded coconut too for some kick!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Day 327: Dessert Macaroni and Cheese



Yield: 1 8x11 pan
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
3 cups macaroni noodles
12 oz cream cheese
½ cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla
1 cup white chocolate
1 recipe streusel (Day 326)
½ cup sugar

Directions:
1. Cook the noodles in a pot of sugared water. Take water, bring to a boil with about 2 Tbsp sugar in it and cook the noodles, strain and cool
2. In a separate bowl combine the cream cheese, softened, sour cream, vanilla and 1/c cup sugar until smooth
3. Melt the white chocolate in microwave and whisk into the mixture.
4. If the mixture is too thick, add a little more sour cream or sugar to smooth it out. Taste and adjust seasonings, add more vanilla if needed or more melted chocolate
5. Add the noodles and mix until they are coated
6. Preheat the broiler
7. Pour into a pan and pat down
8. Sprinkle the streusel on top covering it
9. Bake in the broiler until the topping is just beginning to brown. Serve warm or cold

Rating: 5 strawberries
Notes: Happy Birthday Maggie!! I went to a macaroni and cheese birthday party where there is a big contest, and this was my entry. 2 prizes were given, one for best tasting and one for most creative, and I won most creative by a landslide!! How cool! This is my first culinary award!!! I was so happy I almost cried. I also had multiple people come up to me asking If I had tried the dessert mac and cheese and how good it was without them knowing I had made it, what a big compliment. This mac and cheese was so easy to make it almost scared me, and I thought it up while I was folding shirts at work, how silly! This is a must try if you are going to a pot luck. It will blow everyones minds. It is good in small portions, I couldn’t sit down and eat a big slab, but so so good!! I really don’t think it could have been any better. I hope you try this and thanks for the prize Maggie!! (She has been with me in this project since the beginning, you rock girl)

Day 326: Streusel Topping



Yield: 1 8x10 dish
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min

Ingredients:
½ cup flour
4 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp butter, cold and cubed
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp vanilla
pinch nutmeg
pinch salt
¼ cup walnuts, chopped

Directions:
1. In a bowl, combine the flour, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and nuts
2. Add the butter and crumble in with your hand so it looks like corn meal
3. Add the vanilla. You want it crumbly but not TOO dry
4. Sprinkle on top of pies, coffee cakes, or the dessert of your choice. Saves well in the fridge

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I know, kind of a boring recipe, but just wait! I am making something KILLER tomorrow to put this on top of. Streusel is something that can easily be messed up, but once you get a good ratio, its perfect. You can add any nuts you like, or leave them out. You can also add coconut or bits of toffee if you like. I hope you enjoy this but just check out what I am going to put it on!

Day 325: Barley Thyme Risotto



Yield: 2 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
½ yellow onion
2 garlic cloves
olive oil
salt and pepper
½ cup pearl barley
2-3 cups chicken stock
½ cup parmesan cheese
2 sprigs fresh thyme
½ lemon, juiced

Directions:
1. In a sauce pot on medium heat put the chopped onion, garlic cloves, olive oil, salt and pepper and stir until the onions become soft. You can put the garlic in later and caramelize the onion if you like.
2. Add the barley and stir for about 30 sec
3. In a separate pot, heat up the chicken stock
4. Add ½ cup chicken stock and stir until it becomes absorbed
5. Keep adding stock ½ cup at a time until the barley is soft and cooked through, but the mix is no longer soupy. You may need more chicken stock
6. When it is cooked through, add the parmesan cheese, fresh thyme and the lemon juice. Taste to adjust seasonings and serve

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: This just came to me while I was in the grocery store, and I know it has been done before, but I felt pretty smart to think it up. Barley is one of my favorite foods..beef barley soup I just can not top, and risotto is one of my favorite foods, so it was a perfect combo. This dish is really good, and go easy on the salt, the chicken stock and cheese are salty enough. This is also something you can easily save for later. I hope you guys like it! It is super hearty and a nice fireplace kind of meal.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Day 324: White Chocolate Macadamia Nut Cookies


Yield: 2 dozen
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
½ cup butter
¾ cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cup flour
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking soda
pinch salt
½ cup chopped macadamia nuts
½ cup white chocolate chunks

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 350F
2. Cream together the butter and the sugar until light and fluffy
3. Add the egg and vanilla and combine
4. Add the flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt
5. Fold in the chocolate and the nuts
6. Chill for about 30 min
7. Drop batter in 1 inch balls onto a greased cookie sheet. You can flatten a little with your hand
8. Bake for about 10-12 min or until they begin to brown

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: Yummy in the sun, and look at the picture! It’s the perfect round cookie! How rare that is at home! These were pretty amazing, and I once again need some sweetness, so white chocolate is ideal! These are pretty quick to make, a one bowl treat, and can be made in the morning, chilled all day, and baked at will. I must admit I didn’t share many of these and ate them with a big ol glass of milk! If you want a softer cookie, sub half of the butter for shortening.

Day 323: Chocolate Strawberry Muffins


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

Ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 cup flour
6 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp vanilla
2/3 cup milk
2/3 cup butter
¾ cup chocolate chips
6 big fresh strawberries

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line a muffin tin with papers
2. In a mixer mix the eggs and sugar until light
3. Add the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, alternating with the milk
4. Add the vanilla
5. Melt the butter and add it as well
6. With a spatula fold in the chocolate chips and pour into each muffin tin
7. Chop up the strawberries and put each one in the center of each muffin, making sure the tops are covered. You can sprinkle more chocolate chips on top
8. Bake for about 20 min until they are cooked through the center

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I always have trouble with chocolate muffins because they are so dessertlike I just cant eat them for breakfast! Chocolate and strawberries are my FAVORITE combo, and this is just what I needed today. A bit of a hangover, just broke up with my boy, and about to go play slosh ball in the park with a group of college boys…a muffin made from my 2 favorite things is just the ticket. They are light and fluffy, and I even thought they would be good with peanut butter chips in them. This recipe was one of the hardest for me to make...i just did not want to bake today, but I am so close to the end I cant quit now! I hope you make them and love them guys, they sure as hell perked me up and put a fat ol smile on my face.

Day 322: Breaky-Schetta


Yield: 2 servings
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

Ingredients:
2 eggs
2 tomatoes
basil
salt and pepper
olive oil
2 pieces baguette

Directions:
1. Brush the bread with olive oil and a little salt and either grill or put in the oven until toasty
2. In a bowl, combine the tomato, chopped up, basil, salt and pepper, and olive oil until combined. Taste to adjust seasonings
3. In a frying pan with a little oil, scramble the egg with salt and pepper
4. Take the bread out and put the egg on top
5. Add the tomato mixture on top of the egg and serve

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: This recipe is all to do with the ingredients…if they are fresh and good the meal will be. If they are old, it will not taste good at all. I made this before a long say of work hiring people, and it was a nice protein fresh boost. Nothing makes me more awake than fresh fruits and veggies. The bread was super yummy too, nice French baguette. Go ahead and give this breakfast a go!

Day 321: Left Over Thai Wrap


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

Ingredients:
1 spring roll wrap
1 carrot
1 cucumber
left over red curry, about ½ cup
handful fresh cilantro
1 green apple
water

Directions:
1. Take the carrot, cucumber and apple and cut into long think ¼ inch thick strips
2. Take the cilantro and cut up
3. In a bowl put the veggies and the cilantro and pour in a little of the red curry and mix up
4. Take the spring roll paper and dip it in water to soften
5. Fill with the veggie mixture and wrap up so all sides are closed
6. Heat up the rest of the red curry liquid and serve on the side as a dipping sauce.

Rating: 3 strawberries
Notes: What a weird invention. I mean, it was good tasting, but I don’t know when I would really serve this. The left over curry sauce was from my red curry with chicken last night and all that was left was the sauce and bell peppers, so I had to use the sauce for something and dump the peppers as fast as possible. My roomie left some spring roll wraps, and I had some veggies, and you know how I am with green apple, throwing it in everything, so I thought this was a fun little dish. I also liked how it was a hot sauce and a cold wrap, which is not normal. I would only really try this if you had the stuff, I wouldn’t seek it out, but I must say, it felt healthy and tasted yummy and was a great use of leftovers.

Day 320: Sticky Rice, Kind Of



Yield: 1 cup rice
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

Ingredients:
½ cup rice
½ cup water
1 cup coconut water
4 Tbsp honey
pinch salt
splash coconut milk

Directions:
1. In a pot, put the rice, water, coconut water and salt and cook. You want to cook until the rice is cooked through and not wet. Cook in a rice maker if you have it, we are just making classic rice here, but with mainly coconut water
2. When the rice is cooked, take out, splash a little coconut milk and add the honey. You can add more if it is not sticky enough, and enjoy alone or with fruit!

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: Tricked you didn’t I? sticky rice…haha, its sticky from the honey, not because I am competent enough to cook classic thai sticky rice..HAHA, I am so funny…but seriously, this is really tasty and a nice little snack. Honey makes anything better I am telling you, and coconut milk does also. This is just a nice dessert thing to kill a sweet tooth and fill you up. I made this and watched the bachlorette. Hahaha…I think the sugar rush put me in a silly mood. Try this guys!

Day 319: Cinnamon Refried Beans


Yield: 2 cups beans
Time (Start to Finish): 15 min

Ingredients:
1 can refried beans
½ yellow onion
olive oil
salt and pepper
cinnamon to taste

Directions:
1. Cook the onion in olive oil on med until it is soft and cooked
2. Add the can of beans and stir to combine, heating through
3. Add a touch of salt and pepper and cinnamon until you can taste it, usually about 2 Tbsp. serve warm

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: I gave this a low rating because I didn’t do too much to it. I could have made the pinto beans from scratch, but really it is quite tasty. Where would you serve these? At a 4th of july party, any type of bbq. The cinnamon is a cool twist on classic pinto beans, so I really suggest trying it. It is much tastier than it may appear. I wouldn’t really use this if you were making burritos, but as a side it is perfect. They are quick when in a pinch, I am in a rush today, hah!