Sunday, July 12, 2009

Asian Grilled Chicken

I was craving the Best Noodles of Your Life today, so I tried to basically build a meal around that. I decided to try the Asian Chicken from one of my favorite cooking blogs, For The Love of Cooking.

I thought the chicken was good but for some reason it struck us a bit salty and I have no idea why. I used reduced sodium soy sauce and the recipe has no other salty indigents that I can tell. Maybe we were still feeling the effects of my salt potatoes from Friday. But whatever it was, it was still delicious enough for me to pack the leftovers for lunch.

Edited to add: It took me like a whole week to realize, but the problem with the chicken was that I definitely DID NOT use reduced sodium soy sauce. I forgot that I bought a giant soy sauce from BJ's and poured some of it into a reduced sodium soy sauce container. Somewhere, an Asian is weeping at my stupidity.

Crab Legs. AKA I'm in Heaven

Ah summer. I picked up a shit load of snow crab legs at HMart on Friday afternoon and we had an absolute feast.

Dan wrapped the snow crab legs in aluminum foil with some lemon slices, thyme, and a couple tablespoons of Corona Light. He then placed them on the grill for about 20 minutes. We prefer this method over microwaving only because I find it less of a hassle since I don't have to worry about stuffing incredibly long crab legs into a teeny tiny microwave. But microwaving works fine too. Just wrap the crab legs in a damp paper towel and cook for about 2 minutes.

I served the crab legs with salt potatoes. And no this isn't a wonderful new potato recipe. I accidentally over salted the potatoes and they were terrible. Which is a shame because they really did look lovely.

Rich people problems. That's what I like to say when I start feeling sorry for myself about really ridiculous things. My redskin potatoes, that I was serving along side some expensive snow crab legs, were too salty! Or like, I'm so sick of filet mignon! Wah! It's like, shut the fuck up Jodi.

This is kind of irrelevant but look at these incredibly adorable tea light holders I purchased at the Dollar Store about 4 years ago for the sole purpose of trotting out when we eat crab (or I guess lobster since they are also represented on the tea light holders).

Friday, July 3, 2009

Red, White and Blue Cake

Happy Fourth of July!

You can find this lovely cake recipe here. This cake was super easy. Anyone can do it. Do not be intimidated like I was. Piping bags scare me. They give me nightmares.

Here is a fantastically refreshing cherry tomato and green bean salad that I adapted from another great food blog, Smitten Kitchen. Her pictures are so great, they make me cry. The only change I made to her recipe is I used balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar. I also add crumbled garlic and herb feta cheese which is not pictured because I didn't add it until the last minute and then I forgot to take a picture. That is so ME.

And here's some fresh watermelon. No recipe required! I love things like that.

And of course, it wouldn't be Fourth of July without a caprese salad which is basically a fancy way of saying mozzarella, tomato and basil drizzled with some olive olive. American flags optional. I think every Italian grandmother is probably rolling over in their respective graves right about now.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Pesto Pasta with Shrimp and Peas (and Spinach too)

So this is like the second time I've ever taken a picture of my ingredients and I'm never doing it again. First of all, half way through cooking I decided to use frozen peas instead of green beans because I felt it worked better. And second of all, I forgot to photograph the shrimp. Moving on.

This recipe is really easy and it's one I "created" on my own. Here's what you need:

- Store bought Pesto (I used Classico and practically the whole jar)
- about 3/4 cup of peas
- a box of bowtie pasta
- 1/4 toasted pine nuts
- a bag of spinach
- shrimp marinated in fresh chopped garlic and cooked in butter

Start by boiling the bowtie pasta per instructions. Next toast your pine nuts in a small skillet on medium heat until they start to turn brown. In a larger separate pan on medium, add your fresh spinach and a drop of olive oil. Cover and let cook until wilted. Set spinach aside. Using the same skillet, add a bit of butter and add the shrimp and garlic. Cook until shrimp is pink being careful not to overcook. Heat your peas in the microwave (I buy the "Steam in the Bag" kind). Now to your pasta add the spinach and stir. Next add your pesto ( most or all of the jar), pine nuts (be still my heart), peas and your shrimpies. Yes. I said shrimpies. Get used to it.

I almost forget the parmesan cheese! You cannot forget the cheese. If you forget the cheese, you will surely be disfigured in a horrible accident.

So grate some cheese. And sprinkle that shit on top of the pasta. And....

that's it! I hope I didn't forget anything. I'm new at this.

Roasted Vegetable Orzo Salad

There's just something about lamb chops that I love so much. And a few weeks ago, I was really craving them so I pulled out the ones that I had froze over Easter. I decided to serve Ina's Roasted Vegetable and Orzo salad as side. In fact, I pretty much followed that particular episode of Barefoot Contessa to a "T" since I also decided to make a carrot cake. Except I made this one instead.

Chopped 1/2 red onion, 1 yellow and red pepper, 1 small yellow squash,
1 small zuchinni

These are the vegetables for the roasted vegetable orzo salad. Before roasting obviously. Don't they look so colorful and healthy? I love veggies.

These are the vegetables after roasting. They turn out so sweet and caramelized. Roasted vegetables are seriously an untapped resource, people. I think kids would eat their vegetables more if parents just roasted them more often. Or you know what else would get kids to eat their veggies? Tell them they'll get scurvy if they don't.

So in additional to the lovely roasted vegetables, I added cooked orzo, scallions, basil, the lemon dressing and pine nuts. Oh my. Pine nuts are from the gods! They really, truly are. I worship at the church of pine nuts.

This salad is so good, my sister, who positively HATES onions, ate the salad with glee and in fact complimented it. Of course I didn't tell her about the onions. Hee hee. I'm evil. Maybe I'll make a believer out of her yet.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Best Noodles of Your Life

The other day, I made these noodles. These Asian noodles that literally knocked my socks off. These noodles that I plan to make, again and again. Thank you Pam of the fabulous For The Love of Cooking. I used the dressing for the noodles exactly. But for the salad, I eliminated the chicken since I was serving it with steak. I just added snow peas, sesame seeds, 1 red and yellow bell pepper and unsalted cashews. I didn't add cilantro because I don't have a taste for it, but I'm sure it would add an extra delicious element for those who do like it.

I also made skirt steak and used PW's marinade. And it was WONDERFUL.

PW's recipe calls for flank steak, but I think skirt steak works just as beautifully. For all those who want a cheap cut of steak, skirt is your friend. Your very best friend. Your Bosom Buddy, if you will. And I have to confess something. I ate these Asian noodles for breakfast, lunch and dinner. And I'm not kidding. I almost wish I was. But looking at these pictures now, I wish there was more left. OH! And also, as I was eating my fifth bowl, I realized that these noodles are both vegetarian AND vegan. And they are an excellent source of protein (because of the cashews) as well as an excellent source of veggies. I rule.

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Chicken and Asparagus Rolls

We absolutely love sushi and sometimes we even love the sushi that non-sushi eaters eat. And that's where Dan got the idea for these fantastic chicken and asparagus rolls that we had for dinner. You won't find any raw fish here.

You start by pounding out some chicken breasts. And I start by taking pictures of my sexy boyfriend. There is just something about a man with a mallet.

Then you wrap the chicken around blanched asparagus and blah, blah, blah, I forgot to take a picture of that. Too busy sipping my sangria. Then you place the rolls on a hot grill. And let me tell you, I think he had a hell of time keeping them from falling apart. Perhaps a couple of tooth picks that had been soaking in water would have worked nicely. OH WELL!

But he persevered and they came out great. The one on the left looks like it's falling apart a little but we won't mention that.

Then we cut them into sushi size bites and dipped them in soy sauce. And then we had a St. Patty's Day party.

So I Made A Bunch of Tarts Today

I made a bunch of tarts today. I saw this genius idea on The Pioneer Woman Cooks and seriously came up with like a million different fruits to use. Okay, maybe not a million. But at least like fifteen!

First up, I followed her exact recipe and used the apples with brown sugar and spread them out on half of a puff pastry sheet. It came out divine. Really, really freaking good.

Next up, I experimented (scary!) with some sliced strawberries and homemade cheesecake filling. To make the cheese cake filling you will need: One 12 oz. tub of cream cheese, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla, 1/2 cup of sugar and one egg yolk. Stir together and try not to eat the entire bowl. It's for the tarts! Even thought the PW calls these tarts, I've been calling them danishes all day, so from here on out I will call them danishes.

And let me tell you something. People (boyfriend and my Dad) seriously flipped some shit over these strawberry danishes. They were unbelievable. Made more unbelievable by the fact that it was seriously the easiest thing I've ever done in my entire life. And then I made a pear and almond danish. And then I committed suicide.

And then after we ate these, we made dinner. Sometimes I like to do things in reverse. Just to spice things up a little. To be continued... (kind of like at the end of Back to The Future. That's the power of love!)

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Alisha's Tequila Lime Shrimp

Last weekend, we went to a birthday party of a friend and purposely didn't eat much because I knew we'd be coming home to make this wonderful tequila lime shrimp. I still had that god forsaken cold, but dammit I was going to cook! Or rather, Dan was going to cook and I was going to make a spinach salad. And have a cocktail. And a double dosage of Day-Quil.

You thought I drank this didn't you? Didn't you?! But you're wrong. Dead wrong. Here's what you do. You take a little bottle of margarita mix (with tequila) and one or two limes. Place the shrimp in a large bowl (I used two lbs here but one would work too). Pour the entire bottle over the shrimp and then add additional lime juice and lime zest. Let sit for at least 3o minutes, up to two hours.

Then put them on skewers and grill... and all that jazz. I also made scallops as you can see there at the top of the picture. They were freaking awesome.

I served all this wonderful seafood with a spinach salad with red onion and balsamic vinaigrette and fresh corn on the cob. Does anyone else hate to eat corn on the cob? I mean, when it's on the cob? I do. Molten lava hot corn juice always squirts in my eye and corn bits and hair always get all stuck in my teeth. And you can never properly season it. One slab of butter on top ain't cuttin' it people. And don't get me started on those mini-corn holders. That's why I normally do what old people with dentures do and cut off the corn kernels with a knife and place them in an awesome decorative bowl.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Quesadilla Party

A couple weeks back, we threw a quesadilla party for Cinco de Mayo. It turned out great, although I think it requires a lot of work and prep while your guest are there so I'm not sure if we'd do it again for a party. We served them with shredded cheese (the bagged kind), sauteed peppers and onions, homemade quacamole and sour cream.

I marinated both chicken and strip steak in a marinade from Cooking Light that I often use for fajitas. I think it is the greatest and easiest marinate ever and it works for both Asian and Mexican cooking. Do try! The chicken can marinate overnight but for the steak, I only marinate for at the longest 2 hours or so. Otherwise, the steak will get grainy due to the acidity. Or so I heard. I seriously have no idea if that's true or not. But it sounds like I know what I'm talking about!

Before the night was over, Dan and I never wanted to see another quesadilla again. That is, until the next day when we ate most of the leftovers for breakfast.

Easter in May

Dan and I decided to cook up a nice bone in ham a few weeks ago and have our own little "Easter". The ham could have been better. It was a little too fatty for me. But it was a fun experiment! I used this glaze and method and although it smelled delicious while cooking, I couldn't really taste it on the ham. Though, this could have been due to the fact that I had a massive cold at the time.

I also cooked some fresh asparagus and au gratin potatoes. I cheated and used the Betty Crocker box kind of potatoes. Cut me some slack. I was terribly sick. (Doesn't that make this food all the more appetizing when you picture me sniffling and sneezing all over it?)

And I made deviled eggs. People always make deviled eggs for picnics and parties, but for once I wanted to make deviled eggs just for us. So I could eat as many as I wanted. Over several days, of course.

All in all, I thought it was a good meal. There is just something about those goddamn sodium infused Betty Crocker potatoes that makes me think they have heroin in them.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Happy Cinco De Mayo....My Chips Suck.

So I bought corn tortillas with the intention of making tortilla chips. You know, in honor of Cinco De Mayo and all that. So I cut the tortillas up into quarters and then I brushed them with olive oil and sprinkled on the kosher salt. Then I baked them in the oven on a rack at 45o deg. for about 10 minutes. The verdict: they were not good. They were edible. But not nearly as good as I have been told that homemade chips are supposed to taste like. So bring your appetites 'cause this is what you'll be eating on Saturday!!

Although, I do have to admit, the chips looked pretty damn good.

Since my chips were such a failure, I decided to celebrate another way and popped open this baby and drank the whole thing! Just kidding (about drinking the whole thing part)

Friday, May 1, 2009

FACT: When You Go To BJ's...

you will buy the most random shit...

like 600 gallons of salsa...

or 30 tons of pickles. And then when you go to make dinner, you realize you can't make much out of 600 gallons of salsa and 30 tons of pickles so....

you order a damn pizza and call it day. Happy Friday!

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Chicken Fried Rice

Dan went to the Phillies game tonight so I watched some Sex and the City and then I made fried rice. I had leftover rice from Friday and yesterday I had asked Dan to throw on some plain chicken in addition to the BBQ. When I had leftover rice few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this recipe from a wonderful Asian food blog I found using the Google Image search function. Dan made it last time (I did the prep work! And drank!) and it was awesome. Better than take-out (but not better than Hibachi!) and super easy. The only thing I do different is I omit the oyster sauce (because I never have any) and I add sesame seeds and green onions. Oh yeah, and this time I used grilled chicken so I just added it at the end instead of frying it like the recipes instructs and it worked fine. I really hate cutting raw chicken into cubes and I especially HATE frying it in oil. It has nothing to do with salmonella or the calories. It has to do with being time consuming and the fact that I am usually not in the mood to be burned by 1000 deg oil. But that's just me.

And on a kind of unrelated note, I bought this awesome platter from Marshall's today for just $12.99!

Don't you just want to marry it? I do.

One last thing, I had to use my Dad's camera since Dan took ours to the Phillies game and I just noticed the date and time are in the corners of both of these pictures and it is really annoying to me. He better come home with some fucking awesome pictures. Carry on... my wayward son.

Monday, April 27, 2009

BBQ Chicken and New Potato Salad

I absolutely LOVE this weather! I wore shorts and a tank top to bed last night for the first time since October and slept with only a sheet and I was in my glory. I'm really feeling this taste of summer so yesterday I made Ina Garten's new potato salad. It is my favorite potato salad ever, ever. She has come up with this excellent method of boiling the potatoes until barely fork tender and then draining them in a colander and then placing a kitchen towel over them for about 20 minutes. This steams the potatoes perfectly so they don't fall apart when you mix in the mayo and other goodness. I will never make potatoes for potato salad any other way.

We served the potato salad as a side to go along with the BBQ chicken breast Dan made on the grill and boiled green beans with garlic butter.