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    Showing posts with label Food Stuff. Show all posts
    Showing posts with label Food Stuff. Show all posts

    Tuesday, February 10, 2015

    4 Hour Body

    I may not have been posting, but I have been here and doing things and generally surviving. I have missed doing posts, but I let the blog become a chore and not something I looked forward to doing. I still would often think about posting whenever I come across something cool or a new recipe, but haven't put anything actually together.

    After some encouraging from friends and coach I decided it's time to give it another shot, without all the expectations I put on myself. Plus I really wanted to put my newest recipe down on the web somewhere so I could find it easily. Yup. It's all about organization on the web! So let's get right to it.

    I have been trying this new diet/way of eating over the last 4 weeks and I love it. Like, big time OMG love it. It all started when I was discussing my unhappiness of my recent weight gain over the holidays (who am I kidding, the last two years) with my business coach and she suggested I read 4 Hour Body by Tim Ferris. I figured what the hell, might as well check it out, because obviously nothing else has stuck. I started reading the book and it just made sense to me in a way no other diet or regime had ever clicked with me before. I also saw another huge benefit in the way I can easily fit this in with cooking dinner for my husband and myself. This portion of any diet can easily throw me completely off any diet within days. Who wants to prepare multiple meals for dinner, certainly not me.

    The other major, and I do mean MAJOR, perk is there is a cheat day built in. A free for all if you will. You can read up on all sorts of opinions on it, but it comes down to eat whatever you want for one day a week. After a few cheat days, you learn to pull back and not go whole hog all at once, but it sure is fun trying. Oh and did I forget to add that you can have two glasses of red wine PER DAY on this? Well, yes you can and yes I have. Perhaps not everyday, but on days when I really want something not on the protein, vegetable & legume regime this is a very nice substitute.

    While I haven't lost a crazy amount of weight that Tim advertises on this, I have found it to be so easy to keep up,  losing inches and at least 2 pounds per week and definitely have lots of energy. So I will keep up with it until it doesn't work.

    One thing that is hard on me is breakfast within 30-60 minutes of waking up. I don't mind the eating as much as the preparation (remember it's a protein, veggie and legume every meal) first thing in the morning. When I was going through some of my old recipes, trying to find ways to turn them in to a Slow Carb (4 Hour Body) meal, I came across brunch egg cups. Light bulb went off. Instead of making eggs, spinach and beans every morning for breakfast, I can turn this into an egg cup that can be pre-made and last for up to a week in the fridge. YES! I then looked around and tried to find if anyone else did a slow carb version and I came across a few, but they just weren't right for me, so I took them all and made my own. If you aren't a slow carb eater, add some cheese and milk instead of water and these are perfect for a quick and easy breakfast during the week.



    Slow Carb Egg Muffins

    Makes 12 muffins (I usually eat two in the morning)

    6 whole organic, cage free, free range, whatever type you like eggs
    1 cup of egg whites (you can use 12 eggs instead, but I like to keep it a bit lighter in the morning)
    Splash of water (for fluffier eggs)
    Salt & Pepper to taste

    Now here is where it gets fun, you can use whatever you want in your eggs, but here is what I use:

    1/2 cup black beans
    1 scallion, chopped
    2 handfuls of spinach, chopped
    1/2 bell pepper, chopped
    3 pre-cooked patties or links turkey sausage, chopped

    Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

    Place muffin liners in muffin pan and evenly divide beans, onions, pepper, spinach and sausage among the 12 tins. Mix eggs, egg whites, water and salt & pepper in bowl. Pour egg mixture into each tin until just covering the ingredients.

    Bake for 25 minutes. Let sit for 30 minutes to cool completely before placing in fridge. Heat in the microwave for 30-45 seconds before topping with salsa and devouring.


    Saturday, October 5, 2013

    Must - Paris in under 48 Hours

    I had some technical issues with my site last week and combined with working on a French internet connection, that runs on grape vines and goat cheese, things couldn't get worked out in time to post on Friday. So here is what you missed.

    This week we had an event in Paris and currently being in the Netherlands this was just a 4 hour drive so our trip was short and to the point, but believe me I filled it with the essentials. I have been to Paris before and have seen a vast majority of the sites and this trip was definitely more work centric, but I always find time for a side trip here and there. Plus I got to ride on the back of a security guys scooter and lived to tell about. Only in Paris!

    Here are five things that you should do in Paris, if given the opportunity and only a few hours to spare.




    #1 - Eat French Onion Soup. If you don't like it, you are dumb. It is delicious and pretty much just cheese, bread and broth so get over it and try it. Unless you are allergic then in that case you may not be dumb, but your allergies are.



    #2 - Eat macarons. OK I know so far this sounds like all you should do is eat, but these are worth every. single. calorie. #truth



    #3 - Watch the Eiffel Tower sparkle. It really is beautiful in person. Every time I see it I have to stop what I am doing and watch.


    Technically boots is not a French product (UK), but I can't
    get this version at Target, snarky.

    #4 - Hit the French pharmacies and stock up on products you have never heard of or use the Goop guide. OR even better yet, talk with the lady behind the counter. A few euros lighter you will have a slew of products to try! BTW - the Amilab lip balm smells amazing.




    #5 - Take the Metro. There is no easier way to get around Paris then the public transportation system. It is quick, easy to use and costs a fraction of the cost of a taxi. You can buy a 1-5 day pass here. Save your money for rosé and champagne!


    Friday, September 27, 2013

    Must

    Earlier this week the BF and I went to dinner with some friends in Venlo, NL at Chez Philippe. The restaurant was filled with an assortment of odds and ends that the chef (Philippe) had acquired over the years, including a small carousel that was scattered throughout the restaurant. It's too bad it was so dark in there or I would have pictures to try and explain how odd and yet totally appropriate it was.

    Chef Philippe is a French man living in the Netherlands for many years and running a restaurant the way he thinks it should be done. Which means you come in, sit down, chat with him and the staff and eat what he wants to serve you that evening. If you must have something off the a la carte menu, they will easily oblige, but the set menu for the evening is the only way to go. Oh my, the four course meal was fantastic and the service was top notch. If you ever find your way anywhere near Venlo, this little restaurant is worth stopping for and enjoying a few hours full of food and wine.

    Have a great weekend.



    Image via Oyster


    Read - Think of Oyster like Netflix for books. For $10 a month you can sign up and get access to all you can read. With a selection of over 100,000 books I am sure there is something that you haven't read yet. It's only in the beginning stages, but sign up now and hopefully you will score that invite in the mail shortly.




    Drink - It's fall and it's time to bust out the fig infused bourbon to make a fig manhattan. Don't have fig infused bourbon, check out everything you need to do to have to make it at Boozed and Infused. It's the perfect welcome to fall drink.


                    

    Watch - Because the thought of watching JGL lip synching and kicking ass while doing it is just too much to resist.

    Image via A Subtle Revelry


    Make - 5 different breads that are perfect to make for fall care of A Subtle Revelry. I am dying to make the sweet potato one. It sounds delicious!


    Image via HuffingtonPost.UK & Getty

    Investigate - Could the Jack the Ripper case finally be solved? Interesting information in this century (plus) old serial murder mystery that has never been solved. Check out this HuffPost article and judge for yourself.

    Wednesday, September 11, 2013

    Sweet Tooth



    I have mentioned before that I have been eliminating sugar, dairy, meat and processed foods from my kitchen, which is not to say that I am giving up on them all the time, just most of the time. I have done this for a few reason, but mainly because I simply wasn't feeling well and I couldn't figure out why. To get to the bottom of the problem I started eliminating some things from my diet and realized that I was feeling better. The biggest hurdle for me is that I like a little sweet now and then and even though currently the end of summer fruits satisfy my sweet tooth, I am looking ahead to the fall and winter when these are not optimal options.

    While I know everyone gave GP a lot of crap for her book, , I prefer to find out for myself how ridiculous or not something is and it's a good thing I did. I love this book. It addresses all of my needs (tasty, fresh, non-processed and easy to find products) and I can only surmise that those who were panning the book had not tried any of the recipes. I will be sharing some of my favorite dishes over the next few months from the book and I really think you will be pleasantly surprised at how easy and flavorful most of these recipes are to prepare. Anyway, as I was saying I need some sweets, but don't want the sugar, butter and waistline, so I turned to the back of GP's book and found the Almond Butter Cookies with Maldon Sea Salt, which sounded like the perfect solution (also I had everything in the house to make these). Gluten free, vegan and frankly pretty darn tasty these cookies make the afternoon just a little bit better.

    Get your arm ready. It's a mixing fiesta.


    Spoonfuls of yum.

    You can make them more perfect and round (and thinner for a crispy cookie),
    but I like them a little uneven.


    Note: I am way more into cake like cookies then crispy so I tend to make my cookies a little thicker to get that almond butter gooey texture. Both ways are fantastic though, just depends on your likes.

    Almond Butter Cookies with Maldon Sea Salt

    Ingredients:


    1 1/2 cups gluten-free flour (if the flour doesn't include xanthan gum, add 3/4 teaspoon)
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
    1 teaspoon baking powder
    1 cup natural almond butter
    1 cup good-quality maple syrup
    1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
    1/2 teaspoon Maldon sea salt

    Directions:


    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper.

    Whisk together the flour, fine sea salt, and baking powder. In a separate bowl, whisk together the almond butter, maple syrup, and vanilla extract. Thoroughly combine the wet and dry ingredients. Using 2 spoons, form the cookies into small balls (each about 1 generous tablespoon) and space them 2 inches apart on the prepared sheet pans. Wet your fingertips and press down on each cookie, smoothing the edges so each is a nice little disk. Sprinkle each cookie with just a bit of the Maldon salt.

    Bake until the air is fragrant and the cookies are just firm, 10 to 12 minutes. Let them cool on a rack before serving.

    Makes about 2 dozen



    Fresh out of the oven. They smell so good.

    Thursday, September 5, 2013

    When life has you accidentally buy a crap load of lemons..

    You make preserved lemons.



    I have been scouring my favorite food blogs and cookbooks looking for new, healthy and tasty recipes. While searching I came across a few recipes that use preserved lemons and while I like trying new things, I don't necessarily like to pay big prices for things I can make much cheaper on my own. So when I realized that I had purchased waaaay to many lemons last week (every time I left the house I bought some for no good reason!), I remembered that I wanted to make a few of those dishes that called for preserved lemons and really how hard can it be to make these? Well turns out it's not hard at all, it just takes about 30 days. Which I can totally wait for because one dish will require me to either learn to debone a chicken or beg the butcher to do it for me (I will definitely let you know how that one turns out!).

    I looked at several different ways of doing this and ended up keeping it simple and pure, using just salt, lemons and lemon juice. I combined a few of the recipes into what you see below as I couldn't find one that I liked 100%. I can't wait to try these in a month.









    Preserved Lemons - Shannon Style

    6-8 lemons for preserving (my lemons were small so I used 8 of them)
    1/4 cup sea salt
    additional lemons to use for additional juice

    Sterile Mason Jar

    It goes without saying, but as the preserved lemon rinds are what you use once they are done, make sure that you wash the lemons well, using a fruit and veggie spray if you are a stickler like me.

    1.  Sprinkle a tablespoon of salt in the jar to get started. Quarter your lemons starting from the top and stopping within a half inch or so of the bottom so the lemon remains whole. Sprinkle the inside of the lemon generously with salt, reshape and place inside the jar. Continue the process with the remainder of  your lemons being sure to salt between the layers of lemons and making sure to press down on the lemons inside the jar. This not only makes room, but releases the juice to help cover the lemons.

    2.  Once all lemons are in the jar add additional fresh lemon juice until the top of your lemons are covered in juice, making sure to leave some air in the jar. (I used about two additional lemons for the juice)

    3.  Place the jar in a warm place where they can ripen, making sure to shake the jar each day to keep things working properly, for 30 days.

    Once you are ready to use, rinse the lemon under water and if you prefer you can remove and discard the pulp.

    Everything I have read says that these are good for up to a year and you can reuse the pickling juice two to three more times if desired. Not sure how I feel about that last bit, but we will see how it all works out.


    Monday, July 8, 2013

    Cheesy Grilled Corn. Oh My!

    This long weekend was filled with good food, house cleaning (actually gave some closet inches to the BF), relaxing evenings (in which I tried as many of these flavors as I could) and and a few fireworks. One of the evenings the BF suggested that we grill some steaks and I had been wanting to throw corn on the grill since we returned to the US so this was the perfect opportunity. While I know Paula Deen has been having a rough go of it these last few weeks, that doesn't change the fact this grilled corn recipe is flipping awesome.

    Of course I have a few suggestions/changes that I recommend from experience, starting with making sure you use non-stick foil or slather and sprinkle after the grill. Both solutions work and this time I happened to have some nonstick foil so I pre-slathered and sprinkled, but usually I do it after the corn is grilled. The other suggestion is to use Veganaise instead of mayo. It doesn't turn you vegan, I promise, but I so prefer the taste that I use it on everything. It's really that good.

    So good.

    Give the corn a health dose of Veganaise.

    Heavy handed sprinkle.





    Monday, April 8, 2013

    For Like Ever

    I have been looking for the perfect recipe program for years. I hate having all the paper and links can be taken down, so I keep trying out program after program. After many trial and major errors I think I may have finally found the one that works well for me since it can save information from the web, take pictures of recipes you have around the house, or simple write down the notes. It's called Evernote and there are multiple ways to tag each item for easy searching and it just is so easy that any other way just seems complicated in comparison. It's become my new favorite app for my iPad, my go to on my computer and a way for me to not drag around any one's business card (you can just snap a picture and it saves the information).  You can share your notes/recipes via social media, email or a special URL (click here for a delicious Rosemary-Rosé drink recipe) and it is a multitasker in that it does way more then just collect recipes. I have been using it for months now and I can't stop using it which I think that is a pretty good sign of a good program. Check it out, it's free and that is just one of the best parts.



    And yes I know it's been around for awhile, but sometimes I take my time to really make sure that I like a program.



    Wednesday, April 3, 2013

    What a Tart!



    I was recently going through some of my favorite food blogs to help me get some new ideas for meatless Monday since the BF and I are making an effort to really improve our health. I would have no problem eating like this all the time if it was just me, but to keep the BF interested I need to try new things to keep him into it. Needless to say I was super excited when I found this French Onion Tart. As a lover of French onion soup this seemed like a perfect Monday night dinner for both of us. I happened to have all the ingredients on hand and not only is it simple, but paired with a salad and soup it is a perfect dinner.

    I didn't make any changes, but I did use the mushroom broth to keep it veg and made sure that I really cooked down the onions to make it easier to eat with a fork. The only thing I would recommend that you make sure you do is to pre-bake the crust or you risk a dough like crust. Needless to say it turned out delicious and is a fantastic meatless Monday meal or would even be a perfect tart for brunch.


    Wednesday, March 27, 2013

    Food - Irish Style


    I have never been a big St. Paddy's day person. The idea of going out, drinking beer and being around a bunch of drunk people acting stupid because they think that March 17th gives them a pass is just really not my thing. This year though, all my blogger friends and people I stalk online have been coming up with all sorts of fun Irish food and I had to get in on the action.
    I knew that getting into this that I didn't want to do corned beef and cabbage, not because I don't like it but because I wanted to be different. So after a major online search I settled on Irish Stew, Irish Soda Bread and of course the Guinness truffles I had mentioned in my post on Friday. It was a bit of work to get this made, but easy, uncomplicated work and completely worth every minute of it. I will be making this again at the request of the BF.
    The main reason for choosing this stew was because it called for both Guinness and red wine.
    The main reason for choosing this stew was because it called for both Guinness and red wine. The more the merrier!
    The recipe can be found here and I followed the directions exactly and loved the final results. It is a hearty, belly warming, cold day stew that filled the house with a delicious aroma. If I were to change anything about this I would probably add a little bit more broth, but this is purely for personal preference of liking my stew a little bit more soupy. Highly recommend giving this a go and the more root vegetables you add, I think the better it would get!
    The key to Irish soda bread is that it must be eaten warm out of the oven.
    The key to Irish soda bread is that it must be eaten warm out of the oven. It is not as good if it waits around.
    Reading up on Irish soda bread is pretty interesting. There are lots of opinions out there and most people feel very strongly about them. Based on everything I read, the original Irish soda bread is simple ingredients of flour, salt, baking soda and buttermilk, but don't tell that to people who think currents and caraway seed should be included, they will go down fighting about this particular subject. I decided to stick with the basics and followed this recipe and it turned out really good! The texture and taste with the buttermilk, reminded me of cornbread, but different at the same time. It's an incredibly easy recipe to make and anyone can do it. With all the different recipes I found online, I did make one change and also put some buttermilk on top of the dough before going into the oven and then basted it once while cooking. Not sure if it did anything, but I must say the bread was moist.
    Truffles
    Yum, just yum
    I already wrote about these here, but after making them I must say I am in love with them! They are rich and they have a dark chocolate taste that is so yummy. If you tend to like your chocolate a little more sweet, you might want to try these using milk chocolate instead of semi-sweet, but I like them just fine the way they are.
    Cheers
    Cheers
    No St. Paddy's day is complete without a pint of Guinness, right? Well whatever your poison I hope you had a fantastic day and I can guarantee that I will not be waiting until St. Paddy's next year to be making these items!

    Friday, March 15, 2013

    Must

    I am officially on my way back to SoCal today and while I am sad to be leaving NL, I am very much looking forward to seeing Target my family. The hardest part about a relationship with a person from another continent is the constantly having to say goodbye to one family to say hello to another. I have yet to master this, but I am getting better at it over time. The greatest part about this trip back to the US is that I get to celebrate by birthday AGAIN with my family. I love a good cupcake (hint hint) and presents so I say bring it on.

    Since I have been MIA for awhile I have a huge stock pile of things you must check out, but some may be a little older and instead of emailing me that it was so two weeks ago, just roll your eyes and say it to yourself. I have been in a work cave for almost two months. Give a girl a break!!

    image via Mou


    Mou - (pronounced Moo) aka heaven on my feet.

    The last week of February I was on site at an event in Istanbul and really misjudged the amount of walking I would do on a hard unforgiving marble floor. While I had packed my most comfortable boots and insoles, the amount of actual walking I did in this conference center destroyed my feet. As luck would have it one of the sponsor booths was Mou and I had struck up a conversation with the ladies at the booth that suggested I try on their boots for comfort. I did, I purchased and the next day I wore the boots to work the floor and my entire day was changed. I even had one guy say to me that I looked happier that day. And I was because my feet were happy, comfortable and not hurting. Now before you say they look like Uggs, I must say they are definitely more stylish and comfortable then Uggs. Now I am not saying these are to be worn to dinner or really out and about, they are plane and errand perfect. I own two and regret nothing.

    image via Amazon

    Jamie's 15 Minute Meals

    I am obsessed with Jaimie Olivers 15 minute meal show that they have in the Netherlands. Take away the delicious and easy to follow recipes and it is just fun to watch him in the kitchen, see the items he uses to make the meals (nothing fancy) and the farm house decor that he has in his indoor and outdoor kitchen make for more than just another food show. Doesn't hurt that the book is pretty awesome too. Buy it!

    Image via Trader Joe's

    Coconut Oil

    I have been obsessed with coconut oil for a few months now. Not only do I use it for my pancakes, but my shower scrub and cuticles. Now I found this article there are several other things it can be used for. I love the smell and the fact that if you use a small amount it will sink right in to the skin. It's pretty pricey at the grocery store, but I have found it fairly inexpensive at Trader Joe's and even at Costco. If you have any other suggestions of where to get it please let me know!


    Image via Etsy


    Downton Abbey Bracelet

    For those Downton Abbey obsessed folks out there (or Harry Potter, Doctor Who, Hunger Games, etc.) this Etsy shop takes some of the best quotes from shows and movies and puts them on bracelets, charms and rings. They are cute, inexpensive and great gifts for the show/book nerd in your life.

    Image via Sprinkle Bakes
    Guinness Pretzel Truffles

    Heather from Sprinkle Bakes is a genius when it comes to baked goods and these lovelies are no exception. This St. Patricks Day just say no to green beer and whip up a batch of of these truffles instead. Easy to make and even easier to consume I am looking forward to Sunday with these babies. If you have a little more energy and time you should give the the Sweet and Salty Guinness Chocolate Pie a go as well. It looks amazing!

    Have a wonderful weekend.

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

    Fudge Off

    When I was little we used to spend most holiday's at my aunts house on the Olympic Peninsula in Washington state. Her house was surrounded by large pine trees (think Twilight) and was tucked away from all the big city hustle and bustle, which as a child that sounded terribly boring but the older I get I see why my parents were drawn there. In the end I always had a great time, it was a pretty amazing place to spend Christmas and not just for the location. Every year there would be fudge at her house. While you may not think that is a big deal, I came from a household of little to no sugar and that fudge was as close to mainlining sugar as I would get all year. I would walk by the table where it was out and swipe a piece (sometimes two) as often as I could all day long. A few times I would get caught, but a few minutes later and I would be back on the circuit. It's amazing I didn't throw up.

    So now every December I start thinking fudge without even trying. At first I was a little afraid to try and make it myself because it involved a candy thermometer and then it just seemed like to many steps. Then I found the 5 minute fudge (To be accurate it takes me 10 minutes from gathering the ingredients to cleaning and drying the bowl. Really). Well it sounded just to good to be true, but it was quick and it was delicious. So each year since I have been making and giving away my microwave fudge to rave reviews, but something was nagging at me. Was this as good as the old fashioned? What if I tried a more old fashioned styled version of it, would it be better? Then as luck would have it I came across this recipe and thus was born the Fudge Off 2012. I am putting my tried and true quickie microwave fudge against a little more work, but pure ingredient kind of microwaved fudge. Let's get started!


    Quickie Micro Fudge

    I have no recollection where I found this recipe originally. It's so easy to remember that I never had to look it up again!

    3 cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips
    1/4 cup of butter (I use salted)
    1 can (14oz) sweetened condensed milk
    1 tsp vanilla

    In a large bowl combine chocolate chips, butter and sweetened condensed milk and microwave on high for 1 minute, stir and then continue to microwave in 30 second intervals (stirring in between each one) until completely melted and smooth. Add vanilla and pour into greased 8x8 pan. Chill several hours before cutting.

    Tip - spray the 8x8 pan with cooking spray and then place parchment paper in pan. It's so much easier to get it out this way.

    Still delicious and so ridiculously simple to make it's hard to justify the time it takes to make it any other way.

    Pros - Super silky, fool proof, same recipe can be used with different chips (white, peanut butter, etc.) for variety, quick, delicious.

    Cons - Uh none.


    Add it all in a bowl

    Chill and done

    Microwave Fudge Recipe 
    Adapted from the recipe Gaye's Microwave Fudge Recipe

    After reading the reviews I made a few changes to the recipe to make sure I ended up with the smoothest and best fudge I could. The ingredients remain the same, however the technique is a little different.

    4 cups confectioners sugar
    1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
    1/2 cup butter
    1/4 cup milk
    2 tsp vanilla extract

    Sift sugar and cocoa powder into a large bowl, then whisk to combine.

    Heat butter until melted completely in microwave approx 1 minute. Add milk and microwave an additional 30 seconds. Pour milk into dry ingredients and stir, slowly adding in butter until chocolate is smooth and shiny. Add vanilla and mix well. Pour into greased 8x8 pan. Chill several hours before cutting.

    Same tip - spray the 8x8 pan with cooking spray and then place parchment paper in pan. It's so much easier to get it out this way.

    Pros - Taste a bit more like the old fashioned fudge, easy, butter-tastic

    Cons - Sifting and without doing this step you could end up with lumps (Lumpy fudge = gross), takes a little more time.

    Sift away

    Chill and done

    The results? Well let's just say I like them both, but will continue with quickie fudge because I love anything that involves only one bowl to clean and hate sifting. That said both produced good fudge, but the best reviews came from my trusty one bowl recipe!

    Thursday, November 15, 2012

    Frenched



    If you hate onions, this is not going to be your post. It's ok I don't blame you for not liking them. I blame your taste buds. Onions are delicious and fantastic in just about every meal I cook and I am sorry you don't feel the same way.

    If you like onions this is your post, because this is all about French onion soup. I am not sure if I like the soup for the sweet onion taste or if it is just an excuse to have copious amounts of cheese and bread doused over a richly delicious broth that is made by cooking the crap out of onions and adding beef broth. Either way it's crazy good.

    As I mentioned last week the weather here in SoCal has turned fall like and my need for cool weather foods has been activated. The other morning I woke up craving a rich and yummy French onion soup. I have two go to recipes that I use, one that uses red wine as a base and another that uses white. There are subtle differences, but both are amazing. After a quick poll on Facebook, red won out (with a splash of cognac, not included in the original red recipe, but found in the white) and the BF and I had an amazing dinner that night. Writing this I want to make it again, but considering this uses a stick of butter I better keep it to only every once in awhile.

    Cook, cook and cook. In the red wine recipe count on adding
    about 30 minutes more of onion caramelizing then mentioned.
    Totally worth it.

    Get the onions nice and drunk with yummy red wine. Then add
    some to your glass.

    Dig in!

    Wednesday, November 14, 2012

    Crockpot Love

    As the weather turns cooler I immediately crap my crock-pot and start thinking about what delights I am going to try this season. To start things off, I wanted to share my delicious pork roast recipe that I mentioned last Friday, unfortunately I only have the one picture since I got so distracted by the smell I totally forgot to take any other pictures before we consumed and destroyed it! It was so good it practically melted in your mouth.

    This is one of those recipes that I have tweaked and adjusted over the years to my tastes, so feel free to change as you see fit. I actually don't even know where I got the original recipe, it has been so long.

    Ingredients

    1 large onion, sliced
    2 1/2 pounds boneless pork loin
    2 tsp olive oil or butter
    Sauce
    1 1/2 cup beef broth
    2 tbsp red wine vinegar
    3 tbsp soy sauce
    1 tbsp brown sugar
    1 tbsp ketchup
    1 tsp black pepper
    1 tsp garlic powder
    1 tsp onion powder
    1/4 tsp salt
    1/4 tsp dry mustard
    Dash of hot pepper sauce and Worcestershire to taste

    Layer onions in bottom of crock-pot. In a heavy skillet or pan heat oil until hot. Add pork and brown on all sides. Remove and place on top of onions in crock pot.

    In same pan that you used to brown roast, add all ingredients and stir until well mixed. Pour on top of roast. Cover, and cook on low 6 - 8 hours, or on high for 3 - 4 hours. Then enjoy.

    So awesome and easy, it's ridiculous


    I forgot to add the link to the crockpot recipes of love last Friday, so to make up for it here it is care of Chef in Training. There are some definite tasty looking recipes!

    Wednesday, November 7, 2012

    French Woman Don't

    Years ago I read the book French Women Don't get Fat by Mireille Guiliano, former President and CEO of Clicquot Inc. (Yes THE Clicquot as in Veuve, the champagne). While the book had a great way of looking at food and toward the end does not restrict anything, I found a bit of it to be a bit tiresome. Particularly the part where she mentions she only pretend to drink her second glass of champagne at dinner. Who does that? I couldn't pretend to sip Veuve any more than I could stop breathing. That my friend is the true definition of self-control in my book. Which I guess is why I am not the president or CEO of any Champagne or wine label.

    Back to the book, moderation really is what the key take away for me is from this book, well that and the glorious homemade yogurt. There is a recipe that is included in the book for  homemade yogurt (with or without a yogurt maker, but for $25 bucks you can pick up the machine, which is basically a temperature controlled box) and I immediately became addicted and made yogurt all the time. Then I packed up my maker, moved to SoCal and forgot about my yogurt maker. Then while cleaning out the garage I came across my maker and was immediately inspired to make some yogurt and oh it is truly wonderful and the best part is that you know exactly what goes into it. In the past I have normally just made the plain type from the book and then add fruit, honey or granola just prior to eating, but this time I wanted to give it a little flavor of vanilla and honey. I looked all around on the internet for a recipe, but didn't find one I liked so I simply made the plain yogurt recipe from the book, with one additional step adding in a little vanilla and honey, perfect!

    Give it a try, you may be surprised at how much you like it! Here is the recipe with a yogurt maker and here it is without. As soon as you have the milk cooled and have added in the starter, add 2 tablespoons of honey (can add more or less depending on your taste) and 1 tablespoon of vanilla (I used mexican vanilla in case you were wondering) or the seeds of one vanilla bean if you are feeling fancy. Oh it is soooo good.


    You first heat and then bring down the temp
    of your milk. The alien salt and pepper
    are supervising in the background.

    As you add in your starter you can
    add in the vanilla and honey as well.
    I like my yogurt a little firmer so I leave it in the
    incubator longer.
    This is my favorite way to start the day with food!


    Thursday, October 4, 2012

    Pleased as Pie

    About two weeks ago I went shopping at the new Home Goods with my parents and picked up some mini, individual size pie plates. They are the cutest thing and I knew immediately that I was going to come up with something to have for dessert for when the BF and his employee (D) arrived here in SoCal. After weeks of hard work on a road show, a home cooked meal and a delicious dessert is just what they need to get them back on track. Then I had to start thinking about what kind of pie to make, because the possibilities are endless I could spend forever trying to narrow it down. Lucky for me D is a certified chocoholic so the decision was easily made to make Chocolate Pudding Pie. I love this recipe for many reasons, but mostly because it's lower in sugar and has that pure chocolate taste that I love so much. Since D is more of a sweet tooth, I did substitute a graham cracker crust instead of a traditional dough and since I am not afraid of short cuts I used whipped cream from can. It's way more fun anyway!


    Simple filling ingredients.

    This is basically chocolate milk at this point, but wait two seconds later...

    All of a sudden it get's thick and then you add the bittersweet
    chocolate. Fair warning you will get an arm workout from
    all the whisking.

    Already to go in the fridge to chill.

    Just add fork.

    Have a great weekend!
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