Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 297: Cream of Chicken Soup



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

Ingredients:
1 med sweet yellow onion
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp butter
3 garlic cloves
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup chicken, cooked
salt and pepper
2 cups milk
¾ cup half and half
3 Tbsp flour
¼ tsp cayenne

baguette
asiago cheese


Directions:
1. In a skillet place 2 Tbsp of the olive oil, the butter, and the onion chopped up and cook on med until it caramelizes. This takes about 30 min. be patient and watch it. It is worth the wait.
2. Add the garlic, chopped, and cook just until it begins to brown and remove
3. Place the mixture in a food processor or a blender, add the chicken stock and blend until smooth.
4. In a saucepot, place the rest of the olive oil and the flour and whisk to make a roux, on med heat. Takes about 20 sec. add the chicken stock mixture slowly while whisking until it is combined. Add the milk and cream at this time
5. Whisk together, then add the chicken, and season with salt and pepper and the cayenne
6. The soup will thicken from the flour. If it is too thin, add a touch more. If it is too thick, add more milk or chicken stock
7. Take the baguette and slice up
8. Toast for a second, then sprinkle with cheese, then broil until it melts. Serve with the soup

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: Honestly, this soup tastes best with the cheesy bread! It add a touch of flavor. I might even add some cheese on top of the soup when serving. I love cream of chicken soup and have since I was a child, and have never ever made it. This is my first time, and I think it was a success! You can add celery or carrots to it if you like, and you can add any kind of seasoned chicken you like. I used left over from yesterdays dish. It is a rainy windy day and I just came in from climbing, so it was nice to have a bowl of soup. Comfort food for sure.

Day 296: Cheesy Chicken Artichoke Dip


Yield: 1 9 inch craft
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

Ingredients:
¾ cup parmesan cheese
1/3 cup half and half
2/3 cup mayo
2 tsp red pepper flakes
3 Tbsp green chilies
1 14 oz can marinated artichoke hearts
4 chicken strips
½ cup asiago cheese
salt and pepper

baguette
chips

Directions:
1. Cook chicken strips however you like, I boiled mine in chicken broth, and then cut it up into bite size pieces
2. Preheat oven to 350F
3. In a bowl, combine the parm cheese, mayo, half and half, red pepper and chilies
4. Cut up the artichokes to equal the size of the chicken, and add it all to the bowl
5. Stir to combine
6. Add about ¼ of the asiago and stir
7. You can add salt and pepper at this point if you like
8. Pour mixture into your container and cover the top with the rest of the cheese
9. Bake until the top browns
10. Make toasts, or just serve with chips!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: SO GOOD! I made this while we watched the Lost finale, chopping things in front of the tv, and running into the kitchen during commercials. You can for sure add more cheese if you like, and spinach if you want. Most people taste it and it is a little different than they expect, and that is because it has no spinach. Why? I forgot to buy it and could not miss Lost. It is best hot, and you can mess with it easily. It got eaten up quick for sure. It is not the healthiest for you, so sorry about that, but sometimes bad is good! It is quick to make, and not much labor, so try it out! You can even make it, not cook it, take it to a party, and throw it in the oven.

Day 295: Orange Spread


Yield: 2 cups
Time (Start to Finish): 2 hours

Ingredients:
½ cup orange juice
1 Tbsp orange zest
3-4 strawberries
1 package powdered fruit pectin
1 oz grand marnier (orange liquor)
2 ½ cups sugar

Directions:
1. In a sauce pan, combine the strawberries, orange juice and peel.
2. Add the pectin while stirring
3. Bring mixture to a boil over med high heat while stirring
4. Add the sugar and bring it back to a boil, still stirring, and boil for about a minute
5. Remove from the heat, add the grand marnier, skim off the foam on top
6. Put into a container or jar and let it come to room temp. cover it, let it sit for a few hour at room temp, and then store in fridge.

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: This is pretty good, and I had left over sourdough bread, so it was nice on that, but I don’t know if it was worth the trouble for me. You might like it though! You can leave out the grand marnier, but the flavor will be more of a strawberry mix. The berries add flavor and color. I love jellys and jams, and this is a nice one. You can even put it on a pb and j, so try this if you are interested in an experiment. It was fun, and nice, but I don’t think spreads like this are my thing! I know the taste is good though!

Day 294: Spicy Wine Cooler


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

Ingredients:
1 glass rose wine (a pink white wine)
½ oz grand marnier (orange liquor)
¼ tsp cayenne pepper

Directions:
1. In a glass, combine the cayenne with the orange liquor. You want to try to dissolve it
2. Add the shot to chilled rose wine and serve

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Ok, so Rose is slowly becoming my favorite wine, and after spending a day with tricia in wine country, tasting, and then spending all my money on wine, I thought, lets make a cocktail. Rose’s taste best with spicy food, something I learned, so thought, lets make it spicy on its own! I added the orange liquor for flavor, you can leave it out if you like, but this little drink is nice on a summer day on a porch I think. You should try it out. This might be a drink for the ladies. It is a little sweet!

Day 293: Cilantro Lime Bars


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

Ingredients:
Crust:
2 cups flour
½ cup powdered sugar
¾ cup fresh cilantro
pinch salt
1 cup butter, cold
Topping:
4 eggs
1 ½ cup sugar
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
2 lime, zested
1 drop food coloring, if needed

powdered sugar

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease the pan
2. In a bowl, combine the flour, powdered sugar and salt
3. Take the butter, cut into pieces, and mix with hands until the dough forms a ball
4. Chop up the cilantro and add in
5. Press the dough into the bottom of the pan and bake until it begins to JUST BARELY turn brown, about 15 min
6. In a mixer, beat the eggs until they begin to get pale
7. Slowly pour in the sugar, then the lime juice, zest, and food coloring if you want
8. Pour the mixture over the crust and bake about 20 min until it begins to brown
9. When you take it out, immediately sprinkle with powdered sugar, and let cool
10. Cut with a greased knife

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Once again, I can’t taste the cilantro even though I added a ton. I think I hate that spice!!! You could taste it a touch at the end if you thought about it. These are nice because they aren’t too tart, and the crust is fabulous. I brought these to a friends house and we watched movies and ate pizza. They are light, sweet, and a nice change from lemon bars. I thought maybe a shot of tequila in the topping might be nice, make a drink kind of dessert? I hope you like these. I thought they were wonderful.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 292: Lime Cilantro Butter


Yield: ½ cup
Time (Start to Finish): 15 min

Ingredients:
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup fresh cilantro
3 Tbsp lime zest (about 3 limes)
salt
small pinch cayenne

Directions:
1. In a food processor, take the cream and blend for 5-10 min until it separates. Strain the liquid away, blend again, and strain the liquid again. Place in a bowl
2. Take a paper towel and blot the butter to make sure it is dry, you have just made butter!
3. Take the cilantro, cayenne and lime and stir into the butter
4. Add salt and taste it. I like salty butter so I added more than average
5. Press into a container. Sometimes a little more liquid will surface, which you can blot with a towel
6. Place covered in the fridge and serve!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I think I LOVE making homemade butter! It is so easy and fun! And with fresh ingredients, it was so good! I actually put it on corn kernels which was a treat, but little toasts, fresh bread, anything you could serve butter with this is delightful. I had left over limes from the Oregon trail adventure, so I feel like more lime things will come up this week! Only 73 more days of my project, wow! Time is going fast! It is weird now thinking about what recipe I will make at the end when it was around this time I thought of this project and what my first recipe would be! I hope you like this butter!

Day 291: Cumin Tuna Salad


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

Ingredients:
1 can tuna with water, drained
2 Tbsp mayo
1/3 cup white onion
¼ cup celery
salt and pepper
2 tsp cumin powder
pinch red pepper flakes
2 tbsp shredded green apple

Directions:
1. In a bowl, place the tuna
2. Add all the other ingredients and mix. You can add more cumin if you want more flavor, or more mayo if you want it creamier.

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: Although the directions are easy, as you can see by the ingredient list, this is a complex dish. All of these flavors work great. The apple cuts the onion, the pepper flakes work with the cumin. It is just such a great little fresh look at tuna. It is great on a sandwich with avocado, toasted of course, and even with a slice of melted cheese. Another classic dish with a dash of new look. I hope you like it guys!

Day 290: Minted Whipped Cream


Yield: 1 cup cream
Time (Start to Finish): 5 min

Ingredients:
¾ cup heavy whipping cream
2-3 drops peppermint oil
2 Tbsp sifted powdered sugar

Directions:
1. In a mixer or with a whisk, beat the cream until it begins to get foamy
2. Add the powdered sugar and the mint oil and keep mixing until it reaches stiff peak
3. Serve with cherry apricot pie

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: This is a nice addition to any dessert. Mint tends to make desserts fresh and light, so serving it with a first of the season summer pie it ideal. You can also put it in hot cocoa in the winter. It is classic. You can try it without powdered sugar if you want something less sweet and more elegant, but I am a sugar fiend. I didn’t give it a high rating because it is so basic, but it really is important to enjoy classic simple treats now and again!

Day 289: Cherry Apricot Oregon Trail Pie


Yield: 1 9 inch pie
Time (Start to Finish): 2 hours

Ingredients:
Crust:
2 cups flour (plus some for rolling)
¾ cup shortening
4-6 Tbsp ICE cold water
2 Tbsp brown sugar

Filling:
4 cups fresh cherries, unpitted
2 cups fresh apricots
1 ½ cups sugar
3 ½ Tbsp corn starch
4 Tbsp fresh orange juice

Top of Pie:
1 egg
splash milk
brown sugar

Directions:
1. Begin with the pie crust!
2. In a bowl, combine the flour and the sugar
3. Take the shortening and flake it into the flour as you would making scones so that is resembles corn meal. You want little pieces of shortening and the mixture to not come together yet
4. Add about 4 Tbsp of the water and mix with hand just until it comes together. If it is too dry, add another Tbsp of water.
5. Divide dough into 2 balls, flatten them and wrap them in plastic. Place in the fridge for at least an hour
6. Take the cherries and pit them (this took me awhile but is so worth it) and measure out 4 cups. Also cut up the apricots to the same size pieces and place all in a pot
7. Add the sugar, orange juice and corn starch and cook on med until boiling
8. Let the mixture boil while stirring it until it thickens up. Should take about 15 min. turn off the heat and let cool so that it is warm
9. Preheat oven to 425F
10. Take the pie crust and roll out. Fill with the mixture, and make a lattice crust for the top. You can look up how to do this, but as you can see, mine isn’t perfect
11. Take the egg and mix it with a little milk and brush the lattice top
12. Sprinkle with sugar and place on a sheet pan (pies tend to leak)
13. Bake for about 20 min until the crust browns and the filling begins to bubble.

Rating: 5 strawberries
Notes: This is the first successful pie I have EVER made!! The crust was unbelievably flakey, the filling was fresh and thick, and everything I could ever want was perfect! Today was Bay to Breakers, which in case you didn’t know is a huge race/crazy party in San Francisco. I went as part of the Oregon Trail, and my role was the only positive part of the game, Finds Wild Fruit. I tapped fresh cherries, grapes, apricots, small bananas all over my body and carried a bag of fruit I passed out to people. It was awesome, but I had leftovers. What a better thing to do on the Oregon trail than make a pie!!! You really must try it, but only use fresh good fruit. You can sub any fruit you like really, as long as it totals 6 cups, and this recipe will work. If you have any crust questions, feel free to ask me, I am so excited about it!!

Day 288: Cream Cheese Mints


Yield: a million mints! (about 3 cups)
Time (Start to Finish): 20 min, then overnight

Ingredients:
2 oz cream cheese
1 Tbsp butter
3 cups sifted powdered sugar
3 drops peppermint oil
food dye (yellow, green and red)
dash cayenne (not too much!)

Directions:
1. In a bowl, combine the cream cheese and the butter until smooth
2. Add the peppermint oil
3. Add the cayenne and powdered sugar one cup at a time, kneading it until it becomes a dough ball you can manipulate
4. Put dough into 4 balls
5. Color each ball with food dye and knead until they are evenly colored
6. Roll each ball into a long cord like a snake and cut with a knife into bite size pieces
7. Put them in parchment paper and let dry out. It may take overnight

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: These took longer to dry than I expected, but I love cream cheese mints! The colors are fun, they cayenne isn’t really there for taste, but to add a little kick at the end. You can just leave bowls of them around. They are great for parties, and a nice little thing to have after dinner. I can sadly just pop them in my mouth while watching tv..is that bad?? You can make any colors you like, and even make mint flavored ones, or just vanilla. I hope you enjoy them.

Day 287: White Chocolate Caramel Sauce


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

Ingredients:
10-15 caramels (brachs is the best)
1 cup white chocolate chips (guittard)
¾ cup evaporated milk
1 tsp cinnamon

Directions:
1. In a saucepan, melt the caramels with the evaporated milk until it is smooth and fully melted
2. Take off the heat and add the chocolate chips and the cinnamon and stir until the chocolate is melted

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: I know, I am on a sauce kick, but really what’s going on is I am on an ice cream kick. I don’t quite know why, but I figure you need to go with these cravings. This sauce is a little sweet, which is why I gave it a lower rating. I might just go ahead and use semi sweet chocolate instead. You could make caramel from scratch, and probably even use the sauce I made yesterday and add chocolate, but this is something quick and easy and that you can put over ice cream STAT! oh, and my pick is from the left over after it began to cool…I had to eat it right away…

Day 286: Bourbon Butterscotch Sauce



Yield: 1 cup sauce
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min

Ingredients:
½ stick butter (1/4 cup)
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup heavy cream
pinch salt
1 tsp vanilla
1 oz good bourbon (maybe more!!)

I served this with toasted pecans and vanilla ice cream

Directions:
1. Follow these directions carefully. Do not throw everything into the pot right away. It will not work
2. In a saucepan, place the butter and melt over med heat
3. With a whisk add the sugar
4. When combined, add the cream and salt and whisk for about 5 min. it will become bubbly and begin to thicken and darken
5. When it is about 5 min, remove from the heat, add the vanilla and bourbon and whisk together. You can add more bourbon if you like, but don’t overdoit guys!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: SO YUMMY!!! This is Maggie helping me pour the sauce on ice cream with toasted pecans. They had me over for dinner and I was in charge of dessert. Thanks guys! They are both from the south, and I thought to myself, how can I make them feel at home? Bourbon, pecans, and sundaes all came to mind, and let me tell you, it worked! I should have doubled the recipe. It saves well, and is good hot or cold. I messed it up the first time by throwing everything into the pot, so just do the recipe step by step. I hope you like it! Sharing is fun, thanks Travis and Maggie for sharing with me!

Day 285: Strawberry Soda Sauce


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

Ingredients:
1 cup strawberries, frozen or fresh
sugar to taste (if strawberries are too tart)
1 tsp vanilla
1 can club soda
1 lemon

Directions:
1. In a sauce pot, put the strawberries, sugar if the strawberries aren’t ripe enough, and lemon juice and cook on med until the strawberries become soft and it turns into a sauce
2. Remove from the heat and strain to get rid of the seeds
3. Add the vanilla and about a cup of the soda and serve. If you are traveling with this, do not add the soda until you are about to serve.

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: This tastes best over vanilla ice cream for SURE. That is what I put it over. Do not add the soda until you are about to serve it. You can just serve the strawberry sauce without the soda, but there is something about the fizz that changes everything. You can use different berries, or even use lime juice instead. I even considered making this with something like a pepsi, but I think in the end that would be too sweet. Try it out though!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Day 284: Lemon Ginger Cookies


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

Ingredients:
½ cup shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 lemon, zested
1 ½ cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp ground ginger
pinch salt

¼ cup sugar
pinch ginger powder
pinch lemon zest

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Combine the shortening and brown sugar in a bowl until smooth
3. Add the egg and lemon zest
4. Add the flour, baking soda, ginger and pinch of salt and combine until it forms a ball
5. In a separate bowl, combine the sugar, ginger pinch and lemon zest pinch
6. Take the dough and roll into 1 inch balls, roll in the sugar mixture and put on a cookie sheet, pressing down slightly on top to flatten them
7. Bake for 10 min until they crinkle on top and brown on the bottom. Enjoy with tea

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: These were much better than I expected!! They taste like you are drinking a delicious cup of tea! They go great with tea, or just on their own. They are soft, if you want something more crunchy, add butter instead of the shortening. They are so good! Right out of the oven, or the next day. I haven’t tried them with fresh ginger, but I bet you can add it, or little pieces of candied ginger for a bit of texture. I hope you enjoy these cookies! PLUS, they are one bowl, so they are an easy clean up!

Day 283: Lemon Cilantro Scones


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

Ingredients:
1 cup flour
1/8 cup sugar
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
pinch salt
¼ cup butter, cold
¼ cup milk
1 lemon, zested and juiced
1 cup chopped fresh cilantro

¼ cup powdered sugar
lemon juice

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F
2. Put the lemon juice in with the milk to make sour milk and let sit
3. Take the flour and combine with sugar, baking soda, baking powder salt and lemon zest and mix until combined
4. Take the butter, cold, and cut into cubes. Working fast and using your fingers, combine the butter into the flour by rubbing it in to make little balls of butter, so it resembles corn meal
5. Add the milk and combine
6. When it is almost together, add the cilantro and form into a flattened ball
7. Cut into 4 pieces and place on a cookie sheet
8. Bake for 15-20 min until they begin to brown and let cool
9. In a bowl, sift the powdered sugar
10. Add the lemon juice until it makes a thick frosting you can drizzle but wont pour down the sides. You can add more sugar if it is too thin or lemon juice if it is too thick
11. Serve!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: ok, so these were absolutely wonderful! Except for one thing…I put in SO much cilantro, but you just cant taste it!! Why?? I wanted these to be with thyme, but they didn’t have it at the store, so cilantro was a nice subtle sub. The lemon scones are KILLER. They are light, fluffy, and really tasty, so you can even leave the cilantro out if you like. I never will! I made these for Mother’s Day Monday, and my mom loved them for sure! She was just going to have a bite and ended up eating a whole one! I ate the others for dinner…I know, but it was so worth it! Try these out. They generate smiles.

Day 282: Confetti Cake


Yield: 1 bundt cake
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter
¼ cup shortening
2 eggs
1 ¼ cup flour
¼ cup cocoa powder
1 ¾ baking powder
½ cup milk
1 tsp almond extract
1-2 bottles sprinkles, multi colored (round ones or the jimmies ones)

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and grease a bundt pan
2. In a bowl, combine sugar, shortening and butter and cream together until smooth
3. Add the egg, almond extract and combine
4. Sift the flour, cocoa powder and baking powder together
5. Add alternating with the milk
6. When all is combined, stir with spatula the sprinkles until they are evenly spread
7. Pour batter into bundt and bake for 20-25 min until a knife comes out clean
8. Turn out and enjoy! I like this with no frosting, but you can make a cream cheese one if you like!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: So, you can buy one of these in the store, but why?? You can make one so easily!!! You can use any color sprinkles, just be sure not to use the sugar, jimmies or the little balls only. I had mainly Christmas colored ones, so mine is in celebration of a holiday far away. This cake we kind of ate for breakfast, and I must admit, I was the main eater of this dessert. It was so good!!! Moist and delicious! The cocoa is just for come color and flavor, you can sub it with flour if you want a bright white cake, and the almond can be subbed with vanilla if you like.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Day 281: Corn Salsa



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

Ingredients:
1 cup corn kernels
¼ cup chopped yellow onion
1/8 cup chopped bell pepper (GROSS)
1 handful chopped cilantro
2 limes, juiced and zested
salt and pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 jalapeƱo, chopped and seeded (leave seeds in for more spice)
1 small green apple, chopped up

Directions:
1. Mix the corn with the chopped onion, apple, bell pepper, and jalapeno until combined
2. Add the cilantro, lime, and cayenne
3. Add salt and pepper to taste and serve with chips!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: A no tomato salsa, what???! This is pretty tasty! You can leave out the lime juice if you have acid reflux, but otherwise it’s a tasty nice addition to any party. Everyone brings chips and salsa, this one is different. You are guaranteed to not bring a repeat item. I also really like it because I love corn. I cant wait for fresh corn to come it. It is even better when you use fresh corn. The apple also adds sweetness. You know it is my secret ingredient. I hope you guys like this little salsa.

Day 280: Nutella Apricot Oatmeal


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

Ingredients:
½ cup Irish oatmeal
touch salt
1 – 1 ½ cups water
touch heavy cream
2-4 Tbsp nutella
1 apricot

Directions:
1. In a pot on the stove, combine the oatmeal, salt and water and boil until it becomes thick. This should take about 15 min
2. Add the touch of cream at the end
3. Add the nutella and slices of apricot and eat it up

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: This was super tasty! The first apricot I have had this season, and with homemade nutella, this was really a treat. The chocolate apricot combo is something I love, plus the oatmeal with steel cut oats is just crazy delicious! It stays with you all day, and you know I am a sucker for sweets in the morning, so this is a good way to get a healthy start and that sweet kick.

Day 279: Homemade Nutella



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

Ingredients:
½ cup hazelnuts
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
1 tsp vanilla
1 Tbsp butter

Directions:
1. Chop the hazelnuts and toast them until they smell like nuts
2. Put them in a blender or a food processor until they are a fine powder. Be careful not to over blend them. They will form a paste then.
3. Take the whipping cream and the butter and heat on the stove until almost boiling
4. Pour over the chocolate chips and stir so they melt
5. Add the vanilla and the hazelnuts and stir until smooth
6. Place in a container with a lid, and place a piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the spread, put the lid on, and chill
7. It lasts about 4 days

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I bought a jar of nutella to make the brownies awhile back, and then I have been having cravings for it lately, and I thought, why not try to make it! It’s a little grittier than regular nutella, but that’s ok, it tastes just great! You can buy different nut flours, maybe you can hazelnut? It is great of toast, in recipes, on ice cream, or just spoons of if like I like it. It doesn’t last as long as the store bought stuff either, so just make small batches, but I hope you like it. I ate almost the whole thing!

Day 278: Deviled Eggs


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

Ingredients:
3 eggs
Mayonnaise
Dijon mustard
Salt and pepper
Roasted garlic

Directions:
1. To make a perfect boiled egg, take the eggs, place them in cold salted water on the stove on high. When the water begins to boil, let it boil for 1 solid minute. Turn the stove off and cover the eggs and let sit until cool
2. Remove the eggs and peel them. Slice them in half and scoop out the yolk into a bowl
3. Smash the yolks and add a little over a Tbsp of mayo, a tsp of mustard, salt and pepper
4. Smash up the roasted garlic clove into a paste and add to the mixture
5. You can adjust the mayo or mustard to make it more creamy
6. Put into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe into each of the egg white shells
7. Serve cold

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: So I really dislike the taste of mustard, and I think I added too much for me to handle, but my roomies all loved them! They are creamy, delightful, and are easy to adjust. You can add a little shrimp on top, or chives, cayenne pepper or any of these things. I like them simple and perfect.

Day 277: Peanut Butter and Jelly Cupcakes



Yield: 12 cupcakes
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 cup brown sugar
¼ cup butter, softened
¾ cup chunky peanut butter
1 egg
¾ cup coconut milk
1 tsp vanilla
1 ¼ cup flour
½ tsp baking soda
¼ baking powder
salt

4 oz cream cheese
¼ cup softened butter
1-2 cups powdered sugar (may need more)
1 tsp vanilla
2-4 Tbsp strawberry jam

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 350F and line 12 cupcake holders with papers
2. In a bowl, combine the peanut butter, sugar and butter until smooth
3. Add the egg and vanilla
4. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt
5. Add alternating with the coconut milk and mix until combines
6. Put into cupcake holders filling about ¾ of the way full
7. Bake for about 15-20 min until they are cooked in the center but not over baked. Let cook completely
8. In a bowl, combine the butter, cream cheese, vanilla and jam until smooth
9. Add sifted powdered sugar one cup at a time until it is thick enough to spread and pipe
10. Put into a piping bag with a star tip and pipe frosting onto cupcakes, and enjoy!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: I quote Mac what I say, ‘these taste just like a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.’ They are incredible! They taste so yummy! The cake is kind of dense, and I recommend chunky so there are pieces of peanut in there, but you can add plain if you like. I have heard of people injecting jelly into the center of the cupcake, but I like keeping it on the frosting. The frosting is very sweet, so it is nice to have a not so sweet cake. You can use different flavored jam too, like blackberry. These are for sure a winner and make people happy when they think if the idea of a cupcake sandwich.

Day 276: Cheese Sauce


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

Ingredients:
3 Tbsp butter
3 Tbsp flour
salt and pepper
1 cup milk
1.2 cup heavy cream
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
¼ cup grated jack cheese
1 garlic clove

Directions:
1. Melt the butter in a pot with the garlic clove and cook just until the garlic begins to get soft
2. Remove from the heat and whisk in the flour to make a thick roux
3. Slowly add the milk while whisking and stir until it is combines
4. Put over low heat, staying with it and whisking for about 3-5 min until it gets thick
5. Add the cheese and stir until smooth, serve.

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: This is a great dipping sauce for nachos, veggies, all sorts of things! You can add it on a sandwich, you can put it over noodles. It is a very versatile sauce. You can add some white wine and use it as a fondue also! I love cheese so much, and this is nice and simple to make. It is one pot, so easy clean up, and people are either really impressed, or think it tastes so good you must have bought it at a store. You can add spice if you like, or even switch up the cheeses! Enjoy!

Day 275: Chive Mayo


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

Ingredients:
3/4 cup mayo
2 chives
salt and pepper
lemon juice
1 clove garlic

Directions:
1. Chop up the chives and garlic
2. In a bowl, combine the mayo, chives, lemon, garlic, salt and pepper until smooth
3. Let sit overnight if possible to make the best flavor and enjoy on sandwiches or as a dip!

Rating: 3.5 strawberries
Notes: This is pretty yummy and simple. I should learn to make mayo from scratch, but best foods is just so good on its own. Why mess up a good thing? This is good as a dip for fried shrimp, on a sandwich, lots of different ways which is why I like it. You can sweat the garlic a little if you want it to be a sweeter flavor instead of the harsh garlic, so your choice, but this is a pretty basic recipe. That is why I didn’t give it a very high score, too simple…hope you like it!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Month 9


Annie’s Current Weight: 127
Pleasures: What a month guys! Hawaii, cocktail week, boys birthdays, Los Angeles, all sorts of trips. This has been one of the busiest months I have had, and I feel like I did a good job. It was nice to have such different people support me. I also feel like this month had some cool twists on things I have done before, which I liked, and people seem to more and more ask me questions about my project, and to be down another month and under 100 days until the project is over?? How cool is that! Things are looking up here!
Pains: So, I didn’t lose another pound, which is ok. Maybe I gained muscles from all my Lost push ups and learning to surf. Also, doing lots of drinks and dressings is showing me I am spending more time doing other things. Just because I can see the end doesn’t mean the race is over. I shouldn’t give up yet, and I see myself getting lazy. Wake up annie! Get your mind in the right place. I know I can do better…why aren’t I? that is important to think about
Promises: After a lot of thought and trips, I think this month I need to be here and to focus. Having a boy in my life, having summer and good weather, music festivals and friends with time off, I find less and less time and motivation. I promise to get more motivated and do less chincy recipes. This does require the help of my friends, so those of you who read this, keep supporting me! Its only 3 months away, so be there for me guys! And I DO promise to lose a pound this month, crunches and push ups it is!
Ponders: Its fun going new places, finding local ingredients, and making recipes, and its fun cooking for my friends and family, but im ready to be home and focus here. All my stuff is here, I got some good eaters, and I want to do that now. With the summer comes some nice fresh ingredients, so im psyched for that. My notebook is almost out of pages, so its time for another one. That is exciting! It is crazy to be so many days down on this. I don’t really know what else to ponder about here…yet I feel I should say more. Maybe ill just say goodnight for now, I am happy to be home, and ready to cook some more in this wonderful month of may!

Day 274: Room Cleaner Cocktail


Yield: 1 drink
Time (Start to Finish): 5-10 min

Ingredients:
Pina colada mix
Mango juice
Coconut water
Pineapple juice
Pineapple rum
Splash sprite

Directions:
1. Take all ingredients and mix together
2. Chill on ice if you have it available

Rating: 3 strawberries
Notes: Much tastier than it sounds, but this is the room cleaner. Last day in the hotel, so I wanted to use everything we had. I had to pick an alcohol, so I picked rum, and added everything I had left. It was actually kind of tasty, these ingredients blend well. I might have left out the pina colada mix, it was weird in this, and maybe added a cherry or something. Try it or don’t, it was tropical for sure, and did the job of cheering me up on my last day in the islands.

Day 273: Vodka Soda


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

Ingredients:
1 shot vodka
coconut water
sprite zero
1 slice pineapple

Directions:
1. Mix altogether with just a splash of the sprite to add bubbly
2. Enjoy on a beach, somewhere hot, or after a run

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: So coconut water is one of the most hydrating things you can drink, so this is actually healthy…kind of! This is actually my favorite drink of the whole trip it is refreshing, light, and just really quenching. I am for sure going to make this one at home. We have one more day here, tonight is the night to go out, so ill see you guys tomorrow, enjoy this! It will wake you right up!

Day 272: Pineapple Sammy with Dipping Sauce


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

Ingredients:
4 slices pineapple
cream cheese
1 sweet roll, like brioche

pina colada mix
coconut milk
sugar pack

Directions:
1. Put the cream cheese in the sweet roll and then place the slices of pineapple
2. Make the dipping sauce with coconut milk, which is thick, pina colada mix and sugar
3. Dip the sammy in the sauce as you eat

Rating: 2 strawberries
Notes: So I spent all day traveling, was tired, and this is what I had. I thought the roll was a cream cheese Danish which I thought was perfect, so use one of those if you have it, but I had to add the cream cheese. The dipping sauce is things I found in the ABC store, and is ok when dipping, but I would suggest toasting the bread or Danish a little bit before dipping. The flavor is good, the texture is not good, so it needs a little fixing. Sorry for being tired, I should have just made a cocktail, but I made this. Try a similar thing but alter it. It could make a nice dessert.

Day 271: Annie’s Pina Colada


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

Ingredients:
Pineapple juice
Coconut water
Malibu Rum, pineapple flavored 1 oz
Pina colada mix
Slice of kiwi
Slice of pineapple
Sugar pack

Directions:
1. Mix all together, starting with the rum, juice, and colada mix.
2. Add the kiwi to the mix when shaking, or just the juice from it
3. Enjoy!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Who doesn’t like a pina colada! I added the kiwi as something special, and ate it before I could shoot the photo, but it adds a bit of tartness. If you can get fresh ingredients, all the better. Hawaii is hot, this will refresh you! Sorry I don’t have much to say, getting up early tomorrow! Pineapple is from the farmers market though!

Day 270: Hawaiian Vodka Sour


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

Ingredients:
1-2 shots vodka
1 packet sugar
pineapple juice
pineapple slices
splash coconut water

1 strawberry
1 plastic sword

Directions:
1. Put all the ingredients in a glass
2. Adjust the seasoning to your liking, and put the strawberry on the sword on top, enjoy on a beach

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: So a normal vodka sour has lemon juice, so I thought a nice Hawaiian twist would involve pineapple juice, and here it is! This was Meghan and mine’s first drink together, so it was special. Another one on the balcony of our hotel before going out, and it was nice and tasty. Vodka and pineapple go great together! The sugar can be left out if the pineapple is sweet enough, but enjoy this nonetheless!

Day 269: Grilled Pineapple


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

Ingredients:
3 pieces pineapple
chocolate shavings
crushed macadamia nuts
touch sugar

Directions:
1. Take the macadamia nuts and crush them into the plate
2. Take the pineapple and sprinkle with a little sugar if you like, or if it is not sweet enough
3. Take a lighter (I was in a hotel) and a fork and grill the pineapple with the lighter until it caramelizes on the outside. Should take a few minutes, and repeat with the other pieces
4. Sprinkle chocolate shavings on top and enjoy

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: I give this props because of my quick thinking to make a hot dish with no stove. I used chocolate shavings from the bottom of a box of chocolate covered macadamia nuts that I had already finished, nuts from a new can, and pineapple I bought down at the ABC store. I used a tiki lighter, which I may give to someone as a present, and sat out on the balcony to enjoy. The sugar came from a sugar pack in the coffee kit that came with the room. Pretty sneaky huh? When it comes to cocktail week, I thought I might take it a tad easy and make some food. I hope you like this. Grill it at home on a grill or a pan on the stove. It will taste just as good.

Day 268: Maker’s Mango Cocktail


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

Ingredients:
1 shot makers mark
1 slices pineapple
mango juice
ice
pineapple juice

Directions:
1. Mix all together to taste
2. Shake with ice, and adjust flavors to your liking

Rating: 2 strawberries
Notes: I don’t know if I added too much bourbon (which I don’t think is possible) or if it just doesn’t work with mango, but this wasn’t the tastiest of drinks. Maybe it was because it wasn’t cold enough (I drank it before the ice took affect) but if I were you, I would only use this cocktail as something to marinate pork in…mmm..that is not so bad an idea! This is also my first day in Hawaii, woohoo!!! Beautiful hotel, I splurged with a good bottle of bourbon…no better thing than warm air and bourbon. Enjoy!

Day 267: Wasabi Mayo


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

Ingredients:
1 cup mayonnaise
1 Tbsp wasabi powder
1 lemon, zested
salt and pepper
1 tsp lemon juice

Directions:
1. In a bowl, place the mayo with wasabi powder and lemon zest
2. Add the juice, and add more if you need it
3. Salt and pepper to taste

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: Wonderful is this stuff! You can add more wasabi powder if you like something more spicy, or less if you like. The lemon adds a lot of flavor. I think it brightens things up a bit. Don’t add too much lemon juice. You don’t want a runny sauce. You can dip this in chicken wings, add it to a sushi dish, or a sandwich. Oh, and I am under 100 days left on my project! Isn’t that awesome! I am off to Hawaii tomorrow, and thus begins cocktail week! There may be a few dishes in there, but I will be without a kitchen, so I will do what I can. Enjoy this mayo!

Day 266: Garlic Soup


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

Ingredients:
40 gloves garlic
1 small yellow onion
chicken stock
heavy cream
2 branches fresh thyme
olive oil
salt and pepper

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 375F
2. Place the garlic cloves, peeled, in tin foil with a little olive oil and salt
3. Cook garlic until soft and beginning to brown. You may need to check on it and toss the cloves around a little bit
4. In the meantime, in a pan in med heat with a little olive oil, caramelize the onion until a dark golden brown. It should take about 30 min
5. When both are done, place them into a blender with a little chicken stock and blend until smooth
6. Keep adding chicken stock until the thickness you like. I like mine a tad on the thicker end
7. Return to a pot and taste. Add salt and pepper as needed
8. Add a little cream, about ¼ cup to add creaminess. Add as much or as little as you like. You can leave it out too!
9. Take the thyme, lightly chop, and sprinkle in
10. Serve with toasted bread for dipping

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: This soup is incredible!!! I serve it at lunchtime, which Mac thought was a little…old..who eats garlic soup for lunch?! But I do think it makes a great first course!! You wont go kissing anyone after this, but hopefully you are eating it around people who will be ok with it, and they will be in the same boat. You can add different spices, like basil, but I really suggest being patient with the onion. Making it dark is the best. Same with the garlic. The more roasted it is, the sweeter less bitter the flavor will be. I hope you like it!

Day 265: Apricot Rugelach


Yield: 12 pieces
Time (Start to Finish): 2 hours

Ingredients:
4 tsp sugar
1 tsp vanilla
4 oz cream cheese
½ cup toasted pecans, chopped
1/8 cup sugar
1 cup flour
salt
¼ cup apricot jam
1/8 cup brown sugar
1 egg yolk
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp milk
1 stick soft butter

Directions:
1. Cream the butter and cream cheese in a bowl until smooth
2. Add 1/8 cup of sugar
3. Add the salt and vanilla
4. Add the flour and mix until it comes together
5. Roll into a ball and cover with plastic and chill for an hour
6. Preheat oven to 350F
7. Mix the 4 tsp of sugar with the brown sugar, cinnamon and nuts to make a filling
8. Take the ball of dough and roll out round to until ¼ inch thick
9. Spread the apricot jam on top evenly
10. Sprinkle the filling on top going all the way out to the edges
11. Roll a little or press with your hand to make sure the filling stays
12. Cut with a sharp knife into 12 pieces (so 12 triangles)
13. Take the triangle, and roll from the thick end to the point to make a croissant shape
14. Place on a greased cookie sheet with the tip on the bottom so it doesn’t pop up
15. Beat the egg yolk with the milk and brush each cookie with the egg wash
16. Sprinkle with sugar and cinnamon and bake for 15-20 min
17. Cool and serve!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: ok, this is a pretty basic recipe. I know it seems complicated, but jus follow the steps and you have something that impresses a lot of people. I would get these all the time when I lived in New York. You can use different flavors of jam, different nuts, chocolate pieces, all kinds of things! You can even add some flavoring to the dough, almond instead of vanilla, something like that. It reminds me of my time there, so I hope you enjoy them. Oh, and I think I ate almost all of them myself.

Day 264: Nutella Brownies



Yield: 1 rectangle pan
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
½ cup flour
pinch salt
2 eggs
1 cup nutella
½ cup brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
½ cup softened butter
¼ tsp baking powder


Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 325F
2. Mix the butter with the brown sugar until smooth
3. Add the egg and vanilla
4. Combine the flour, salt, baking powder together and add to the mixture
5. Add the nutella and stir until smooth
6. Pour into your pan, greased of course, and bake for about 25-30 min or until a knife comes out clean

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: YUM! Who doesn’t like nutella! These come out a little more cakelike than a dense brownie, so if you like something thicker, don’t out in the baking powder. You can also add chocolate chips if you like. I was going to make a fudge topping, but I ran out of time. They are best out of the oven with vanilla ice cream. Try them out! You can sub peanut butter if you don’t like nutella.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Day 263: Espresso Black Beans


Yield: 2-3 cups beans

Time (Start to Finish): 45 min


Ingredients:

1 16 oz can black beans

1-2 shots espresso

1 small onion

salt and pepper

1 Tbsp cilantro


Directions:

  • In a saucepan, cook the onion, chopped, and the garlic until soft
  • Add the can of black beans, salt and pepper, and espresso and cook until boiling
  • Take off the heat and add chopped cilantro

Rating: 4 strawberries

Notes: I don’t know how I thought of this, I guess cleaning out the fridge, but this is pretty tasty. I suggest cooking it down, and only adding one shot, but it is quite flavorful! The coffee is bitter, so if you need to sweeten it, add a touch of sugar, just a touch! The onion you can feel free to caramelize to always add more flavor. Serve these at a picnic, I think is best! Makes me excited for 4th of July! (even though it is months away…)

Day 262: Chunky Beef Sauce

Yield: 3 cups
Time (Start to Finish): 1 hour

Ingredients:
1 pound ground beef
1 jar tomato sauce, your favorite flavor
½ cup red wine
1 yellow onion
1 small green apple
2-4 cloves garlic
1 handful basil
2 cup mushrooms
1 cup parmesan cheese
salt and pepper
1 tsp cayenne pepper (you can add more)
olive oil

Directions:
1. In a sauce pan, cook the onion until it is caramelized, with a little oil, salt and pepper. It should take about 30 min on med heat
2. Add the garlic, apple, skinned and chopped and cook until begins to soften
3. Add the beef and cook until brown. You can drain the juice if you like
4. Add the tomato sauce, cheese, cayenne pepper, and salt and pepper to taste
5. Add the red wine at this time as well
6. When it is cooked to the thickness you like, chop up or tear up and throw in the basil
7. Serve over pasta if you like, or in a lasagna, or however you want to serve a red sauce!

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: I have made similar sauces before, which is why I didn’t give it a high rating, but it as always has twists. I added cayenne pepper, red wine, and the combo is pretty awesome. I put this is a lasagna, and saved some for lunch the next couple days. It is perfect for things like that, and very thick and filling. The cheese also is a pretty great touch. Try to be light on the salt so compensate for that. I hope you like it!

Day 261: Brown Sugar Cookies

Yield: 12 cookies
Time (Start to Finish): 45 min

Ingredients:
½ cup butter
¼ cup shortening
1 cup rounded brown sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp baking powder
pinch salt
1 cup chocolate chips

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 375F
2. In a bowl, cream the butter and the sugar until smooth and fluffy
3. Add the egg yolk and the vanilla
4. Mix the flour, cinnamon, baking powder and salt together. Add to the mixture and stir until combined
5. Add the chocolate chips
6. You can roll the dough or place balls of it on a cookie sheet. Flatten with your hand and bake for 10-12 min until they begin to turn brown

Rating: 4 strawberries
Notes: These can be nice, thick and chewy. I love thick cookies, sometimes, so try these out. Brown sugar cookies taste best with chocolate chips, and the touch of cinnamon, which I am noticing to be my trademark, seems to add a lot of flavor. You can leave the chocolate chips out and use the dough as a roll and cut out, and you can decorate them if you like. They are pretty tasty. We used to make a cookie like this when I worked at Magnolia, and I remember how hard it was to get it from the kitchen to the glass case…so many staff members trying to grab them! I would have to make extra in order to get a dozen for sale!

Day 260: Birthday Cream Cheese Waffles

Yield: 3 waffles
Time (Start to Finish): 25 min

Ingredients:
¾ cup flour
1 Tbsp brown sugar
1 ½ tsp baking powder
pinch salt
2 Tbsp cream cheese
2/3 cup coconut milk
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1 egg, separated

syrup, butter, bacon

Directions:
1. Preheat your waffle iron so it is ready to go!
2. Mix together the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt
3. In a mixer, stir the cream cheese with the egg yolk until combined, then add the coconut milk and the oil
4. Add that mixture to the dry and mix
5. Beat the egg white until stiff peak in your mixer and fold it into the batter in 3 parts. Try not to over mix
6. Pour batter unto waffle maker and cook to your liking
7. Serve with fruit, syrup, bacon, anything you like!

Rating: 4.5 strawberries
Notes: These are the best waffle ever…well, they aren’t as crunchy as some that are made with butter, but they are great. The coconut milk adds a lot of flavor, and I am quite obsessed with it at the moment! These were made for the lovely Mac on his 28th birthday. A day of bonfires and waffles! They were nice and filling, and taste great. You can add regular milk, you can add flavored cream cheese, so try some variations! I hope you like them!