Monday, July 27, 2009

Homemade Tortillas

Literally, I'm cooking with cocktails. I was in the mood for a cheesy quesadilla but had no tortillas. I whipped up some real quick. However, I lack one important thing, a rolling pin. Thank goodness for vodka bottles, and have you tried Svedka? Cheap, delicious, and look how cute that little bottle is. Goes great with pineapple juice, cranberry juice, or even pink crystal lite!

2 cups all purpose flour
1/4 cup Crisco
1 tsp salt
2/3 cup warm water

Work Crisco (or any vegetable shortening) into the flour until crumbly. Dissolve salt into water and add too flour mixture. Mix until goopy.

Knead dough for 3 minutes and then divide into 12 small balls. Cover and let sit for 30 minutes to an hour.

Heat skillet, no oil. Roll balls of dough into flat, very thin shapes (I couldn't get circles for the life of me, I went with blobs). Cook for about a minute on each side watching carefully not to burn them.

Let cool between paper towels, store in an airtight container.

Fill with your choice of wholesome goodness. I opted for cheese this evening, but cooked up a delicious vegetable mixture for tomorrow's lunch. (Squash, green pepper, onion, garlic, and some vegetable that looks like a cross between a squash and a cucumber. Sprinkled with some black pepper and Italian seasoning and topped off with juicy pepperoncinis, sure to make the coworkers jealous).

Sunday, July 26, 2009

"they melt in your mouth" (thats what she said)

ok, sorry... i couldnt help myself on that one.  but the quote is real and she really did say that :)

4 words
honey chocolate chip cookies

yes.  they are amazing.  you might not be ready for it....

i found this recipe and decided to make a little bit of a twist to it.  i really had been wanting to use the honey i had recently bought at the farmers market and thought this would be the perfect opportunity.
ingredients - 
2 cups flour
1 tsp baking soda (i didnt have baking soda so i used baking powder.  i used about 3 tsp)
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1 cup crisco (melted and cooled)
2 cups chocolate chips
1/2 cup honey

in medium mixing bowl, mix sugars, crisco, eggs, honey and vanilla until combined.

in a large bowl, mix flour and baking powder until combined.  then add sugar mixture to the large bowl and fold into the flour mixture.  add chocolate chips until it looks amazing and you want to eat all the raw cookie dough :)

i let the dough cool for a few hours before baking it.  actually, in all honesty... this was the night amanda came over with her wine charms.  i let the dough sit for about 5 hours and then made the first batch.  (i only have one cookie sheet)  then i realized it was almost midnight and i needed to go to bed.  i ended up waking up at 6am (which came entirely too early) and made the rest of the cookies.

but, all in all.... it was worth it.  these cookies are pretty damn amazing and everyone at my work (and richards) ate them right up.  i will be using this recipe again because its a no fail kinda deal :)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

moms taco salad

when i was younger, my mom made this amazing taco salad.  as ghetto as it is, you are going to love it too.  if you dont, you suck and im telling my mom on you.  :)


1 pound meat (and as you all know, mine was fake)
taco seasoning
cheese... lots of it
i also put green peppers and onion in the "meat" while it was cooking but you dont have to.

first, smash up a bunch or doritos.  this is the fun part... and i had a lot of fun making it after a long day at work last week.  just beat the crap outta those chips!! :)  once you have done that, make a layer on the bottom of a greased, 9x13 pan.

next, take the taco "meat" and make a layer on top of the chips.  (obviously, you know how to make taco meat... cook the meat, add taco seasoning and shazam!!  taco meat!!)

after the taco "meat" layer, throw on a bunch of cheese.  the more, the merrier.  repeat these layers until you can layer no more.  then add more cheese... 
i love cheese.  i dont know if you all knew that or not :)

then, during all of this tedious work, you get someone awesome to do their part.  *que richard*  my lovely stepped up and made cocktails... even though he doesnt blog, he does his fair share :)

ta da!!  of course i ate it before i took a picture of it... when food is calling my name, i dont hesitate to answer.  :)  
just bake this sucker for 15-20 mins at 375 and you are good to go.  add whatever you like on top.  i put lettuce, tomato, onion, salsa and of course, more cheese.  richard did all of the above minus onion plus sour cream.  it was yummy in the tummy!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Simply Cocktails

This being a blog about cooking and drinking, I have to show you the newest addition to my collection. My dear, sweet, loving aunties made me my very own wine charms. And yes, you are reading those correctly, they aren't nice, but are very appropriate.
I immediately showed up at Megan's house with not one, but two bottles of wine so we could test out each one.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Iced Oatmeal Blueberry Bars

Once again, instead of doing things like running and filling out those same IRA forms, I opted for cooking. This time I stuck to baking, it's not has hard to ruin a good dessert recipe. I was searching for a good blueberry oatmeal cookie recipe when I stumbled upon a recipe for Oatmeal Blueberry Bars, so I decided to whip that up instead. After removing them from the hot hot oven, they weren't as pretty as imagined so I drizzled with a little glaze.

My parents and I have decided to take a hike through Brown County tomorrow and enjoy the spring like summer air. They are bringing the lunch, I'm in charge of the dessert. Let's hope these taste as delicious as they sound!

Cookie Ingredients
1 3/4 cup pats
1-1/2 cup all-purpose flour
3/4 cup brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 cup chopped almonds
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup butter; melted
2 cups fresh blueberries (frozen if fresh aren't in season)
1/2 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


Preheat oven to 350 and grease up that 11x17 baking dish.

Combine oats, flour, brown sugar, almonds, baking soda and salt. Add melted butter and mix until crumbly.

Pat 1/2 of mixture into greased pan, reserving 1/2 for later. Bake for 10 minutes

While baking, bring blueberries, 2 tbs water, and sugar to slow boil. Simmer 2 minutes. Combine 1 tbs water, cornstarch, and lemon juice and gradually stir into blueberry mixture. Cooke about 30 seconds while stirring until thickened.

Spread blueberry mixture over partially baked portion of oats (watch out for the edge of the pan). Pour remaining oat mixture over blueberry portion and carefully pat down.

Bake 22 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Let cool and drizzle with icing.

This might possible be the easiest icing I've made.

1 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 tbs soy milk (could use water, milk, juice, etc)
1/2 tsp vanilla (or if you had a little left over blueberry sauce, this would be delicious)

Friday, July 17, 2009

i love goat cheese

this really isnt too exciting of a post.  for one, i had to use my camera phone and two, there really isnt much to it.  

i decided that i needed to eat cheese last night and since i had goat cheese just hanging out, i though to myself... "mmm, goat cheese sticks!"  so, here is how it came about.

this is the cheese, yum.  :)  i chopped it up and then mixed it up with some basil, minced garlic and parsley.  i obviously got carried away and forgot to take a picture of the mixture.

speaking of add, i had cherry tomatoes that were calling my name so i chopped one in half, scooped out the inside and threw some of the goat cheese mixture inside.  it was yummy :)

i took about a half a teaspoon of the cheesey happiness and rolled it up in a wonton wrapper.  to be honest, i found this recipe a long time ago when amanda and i realized that we couldnt/werent allowed to go to spinellis every single night.  the only difference that im making to this recipe is that im using goat cheese.  any other time ive made them, i use string cheese.

prepped and ready to hit the oven!!

and this is the outcome.... nothing fancy but then sure tasted good.  :)

baked cheese sticks - 

wonton wrappers
string cheese (as previously mentioned, i just sub-ed the goat cheese mixture for this certain creation)

thats it.  thats the ingredient list.

basically, just roll the cheese into the wonton wrapper and pop in the oven on 350-400 for about 10-15 mins.  when using string cheese, cut them in half and they fit in the wrapper perfectly.  :)

because they are adorable...

this is aryah.  she is 6 but you can tell she is going on 16.  michelle sent me this picture last night and i was soooo excited to see that she accessorized herself.  

this is emery.  i think this could be the cutest think ive ever seen... well, until the next cute thing she does.  (hello!!  do you see that red hair!?)

michelle made some damn good babies if i do say so myself :)

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Summer Quiche with Potato Crust

It didn't take long after opening that first beer to realize that tonight was not the night to transfer a looming IRA into a Roth IRA. So, I cooked. Today was CSA today which means more potatoes and more zucchini. After scanning through many zucchini dessert recipes, I opted to make something for lunch/dinner to last the rest of the week. The result, was a summer quiche with potato crust.

Again, I altered various recipes and came up with the following.

Potato Crust
I don't usually say this, but use a store bought crust, you're welcome to try the potato crust recipe below but mine was a bit oily and undercooked. The rest of the quiche was mighty delicious though so I scraped it off and ate it like an egg scramble!

3 cups grated potatoes (thanks to the Magic Bullet, this step was easy)
2 tbs canola oil

Grate the potatoes and mix with oil. Pat along bottom/sides of 9" pie pan and bake for 20 minutes at 425 until lightly brown. Add the following (feel free to add the ingredients of your choice)

Quiche Filling
2 small zucchini (you could use 1 large, 2 mediums, 1 small, whatever your liking)
1 small handful cherry tomatoes, chopped
1/2 onion chopped
1 cup (or more) cheese of your choice, I opted for mozzarella

Fill the pie crust with the quiche filling and prepare the egg mixture

Egg Mixture
3 eggs
3/4 cup soy milk
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper

Poor over vegetable mixture. Bake at 425 for 15 minutes, reduce heat and bake at 350 for 25 minutes, cool before serving.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Veggie Pot Pie, hold on to your hats, this one's my own creation

Veggie Pot Pie
You've probably noticed, that's not a picture of pot pie. My camera was having a bad day and the rest of the picture aren't this pretty. This is a gorgeous flower from my very own front garden. It has made my apartment smell so fresh and clean, I almost hate to leave it.
Now on to the food. I was sitting at my kitchen table, staring upon a mound of potatoes. Potatoes of every shape, size, color, and dirtiness that you could imagine. I knew I wanted to create a good Sunday 'Mom' meal, those meals that always made me cringe when I was younger. I opted for pot pie. After searching through websites and cookbooks, I gave up and attempted it on my own. While it's not quite perfect, it is worth sharing and asking for your suggestions. It definitely needs some more spice and TLC, but I was nursing a pretty bad vodka hangover, Megan's fault.

The veggies (part 1)
2 cups diced potatoes (straight from the ground to my table, I'm liking this CSA)
1 cup diced carrots (again, still covered in fresh dirt)
1 cup diced green beans (these came from Abbey's (my sister) garden)
2 cloves fresh garlic diced to your liking
1 small onion

Once chopped, drizzle the veggies with olive oil, salt, pepper and saute until slightly browned. This is where I made the first mistake (I might suggest to cook the potatoes for just a little bit prior to sauteing, but once reheated, they were perfect).

Place cooked veggies in a well greased pie dish of your liking.

The gravy (part 2)
2 cups veggie stock (homemade, I'll post this recipe, or your favorite store brand)
2 tbs butter
2 tbs flour

In one pan bring your vegetable stock to a slow simmer. In a second pan melt your butter and flour, whisking to create a rouge. Once to your liking, slowly add the vegetable stock. Once combined, add to your veggies, and mix well.

At this point, I added some additional spices. A pinch each of salt, pepper, thyme, sage, and parsley. I probably should have added 2 or 3 pinches to kick it up a bit.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees (do this sooner if you have an electric stove.

The biscuit crust (part 3)
1 3/4 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
2 tbs unsalted butter
3/4 cup soy milk

Combine the dry ingredients, add the butter and fork until you get that corn meal texture. Add the soy milk and mix well, knead in bowl 3-5 minutes.

This is where I got lazy and just plopped the dough onto the veggie/gravy mixture. It worked well.

Heat in oven about 30 minutes. Watch the biscuits to ensure they don't burn. I was hesitant to post this upon first taste, but I must admit, it's one of my favorite lunch box meals I've had this year. It needs some work, but it's not to shabby if I do say so myself.

Grandma's Recipe

Sweet Summer Slaw
This week I'm determined to use all the veggies from the CSA possible. So what else is there to do with red cabbage besides slaw, unless you're my mother and you boil it into eternal nastiness. Not much to this recipe, I didn't even have time to uncork the wine.

1 cabbage (red came in the csa this week)

1 carrot (I opted for 2 medium size carrots, they still had the dirt on them)

1 green pepper (nothing special here, just a pepper)

Grandma's trick is to sprinkle the cabbage with tone tsp salt and let sit for an hour.

Dressing (mix and boil for 1 minute)

1 cup vinegar

2 cups sugar

1 tsp celery seed

1 tsp mustard seed

While your dressing is boiling for that whole minute, chop your veggies into oblivion, or however you may like them. I shouldn't have made fun of Megan's 'Nicer Dicer', it would have come in handy.

Boil the dressing for one minute and let cool, add to veggies, grab a fork. Easy, aye?

Sunday, July 12, 2009

i promise im still around... and still cooking :)

my new (pink!!) house :)

so, excuses excuses.  they are my middle name.  im sorry for my absence but have you really noticed?  :) 

the past month has been crazy for me... moving out of my first louisville apartment (*tear*) and into a new house is quite an adventure.  we are all moved in and the place is coming along quite nicely.  although i havent had much time for blogging, i still have made time for a little bit of cooking in my new (huge) kitchen!  dont hate me, but unfortunately there are no pictures.  my camera is dead.... actually its just the batteries which are dead but ive been to lazy and forgetful to buy new ones.  

i just wanted to check in with you all and let you know that i will return... but not right now.  right now im supposed to be cleaning... but i will post up the recipes that i have attempted.  (and to be quite honest, they have successfully turned out)  very delish!! :)

hope all is well in your world and you have been enjoying the summer!! 

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Holy Canoli, This Was a Crazy One

Get your glass ready, you're going to need it. This is definitely a two drink recipe. Oh man did I not prepare myself for this undertaking. Lasagna rolls, has to be easier than lasagna, so wrong. I found this recipe on the Whole Foods website. I have a thing against Kroger, we don’t get along, they gross me out a bit. So I try to stick to the farmers markets as much as possible. Gets kind of tricky, that’s when I take a trip to Evansville and visit Schnucks, the friendly neighborhood store.

To get started, poor yourself your favorite cocktail, I opted for Sam Adams Summer Ale pictured with my new Grand Canyon pint glass compliments of mother and father. A good choice.

8-10 lasagna noodles (cooked to your liking and slightly cooled, you have to roll them you know)
Ricotta Cheese

Marinara Sauce (I usually have my own, or whip it up quickly, there’s a recipe on here somewhere, if not, pick the sauce of your choosing)

Baby Spinach (again, I happened to have frozen CSA spinach in the freezer, I’m sure fresh would be delicious, but this was cheaper)


While boiling your noodles, you can heat your oven to 400 and grease up a roasting pan.
This is where it gets tricky, note the multiple cocktails. Lay one noodle flat. Spread ricotta cheese, then spread marinara, followed with spinach. Roll up and place in dish. You may think more is better, wrong. They ooze all over you and are hotter than heck if not cooled.

Repeat this process until all your noodles are rolled. When placing them in the pan, make sure they are close enough together, they don’t unroll on you. Once complete, top with remaining marinara and sprinkle with mozzarella to your liking.

I didn’t include measurements on this one because it’s kind of to your liking. I took a few pictures along the way to guide you a bit.

I opted for a side of steamed summer squash sprinkled with cinnamon. Delicious.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Jenny Lewis made me eat egg salad, twice

I woke up this morning with no food in my fridge and 30 dollars in my wallet. I had plans to see Jenny Lewis with opening band the Heartless Bastards, there was no spare cash for lunch money, as mentioned before, I'm on a New York City, singing Elvis budget. I quickly scrounged to create something delicious, yet nutritious for my lunch that would leave me with enough leftovers for day 2s lunch.
Mmm mmm mmm egg salad. Now don't get me wrong, there is nothing terrible about this creation, other than my mother. When we were wee children traveling on spring vacation to visit my brother in Georgia, my mother made us stop for a "picnic" of egg salad. The only problem, the picnic was in the parking lot of Hardees. Yes, egg salad in the parking lot of Hardees. No, we couldn't go in for french fries. We had to sit there and eat it while all the other kids got fries and soda. Talk about tragic, and a swarm of painful memories.
This creation is quite easy to make. I already had 2 boiled eggs from a previous week's CSA. I say previous because I'm not sure when I boiled them. I'll let you know tomorrow if they were spoiled. I chopped them up and mixed them with a spoonful of mayo, 2 squirts of mustard, 3 shakes of dill, 2 shakes of paprika, and a shake each of salt and pepper. Placed on sliced bread with a side of raw cabbage made for a delicious lunch. It was helped by the fact that a coworker bought me a bag of Doritos.
Jenny Lewis was well worth eating egg salad for, I suggest you do the same if she comes to your town!