Wednesday, July 10, 2013

i'm back....

well, I took a looooooong break and am back and ready to cook! luckily, just in time for the annual 4th of july picnic. my new obsession is Pinterest so this recipe is courtesy of one of my pins and this fantastic website...

it was really easy. you need:
2 bags light blue candy melts (found in the baking aisle of craft stores/wal-mart)
1 – 10.5 ounce bag large marshmallows
1 box graham cracker crumbs (I used Teddy Grahams)
1 – 6.6 ounce bag cheddar goldfish
Large white pearl nonpareils
20 lollipop sticks
- Melt blue candy melts according to package. I recommend placing chocolate candy in a microwavable bowl and melting in 30 second increments, mixing in between. Do not over-melt or the chocolate will be difficult to work with. Start with one package and see if you need more.

- Place lollipop sticks in marshmallows. Dip marshmallows into the chocolate candy. Use a knife to get excess chocolate off the marshmallow bottom.

- Dip the bottom in graham cracker crumbs. Add a goldfish and 2 white pearl non pareils.

- Allow to cool and then enjoy! If you are making this a day in advance, make sure to place your pops in an air tight container or cover with saran wrap so they don’t go stale.

Feedback was pretty good. The candy melts are sweet but everyone
really liked them. They went really fast too!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

day 45 = chipotle-wine mussels

ok, i am now into meals for less. my friend introduced me to emeals which i love. they send you a meal plan each week for the grocery store of your choice (mine is Whole Foods) and typically your bill is around $100/wk for 2 people. not bad considering my average costco bill...

the thing is, i really don't have a routine with emeals yet. i did, however, make it to Whole Foods last night and decided instead to make mussels ($3.99/lb). i checked out this recipe on epicurious and bought all the ingredients. my whole bill was around $20 and it essentially serves 2. not quite cost cutting, but oh well!**

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 cup chopped onion (1 medium diced)
  • 1/2 cup chopped peeled carrot (2 carrots diced)
  • 1/2 cup chopped celery (2 stalks diced)
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can light unsweetened coconut milk
  • 1 cup chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
  • 1 cup dry white wine (pinot grigio)
  • 3 tablespoons chopped garlic
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh mint
  • 1/4 cup coarsely chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chopped canned chipotle chilies (2 med)
  • 2 1/4 pounds mussels, scrubbed, debearded
  • shrimp (optional)

  1. Wash mussels and let soak in cold or ice water (about 20 minutes).
  2. Heat oil in heavy large pot over medium heat.
  3. Add onion, carrot and celery and sauté until onion is tender, about 10 minutes.
  4. Add salt and pepper.
  5. Stir in coconut milk, stock, wine and garlic; boil over medium-high heat until reduced to 2 cups, about 15 minutes.
  6. Debeard mussels.
  7. Stir in mint, cilantro and chilies.
  8. Add mussels; cover and cook until mussels open, about 5 minutes (discard any mussels that do not open).
  9. Add shrimp if using.
  10. Transfer mussels and broth to large bowl and serve.

 **1 lb mussels serves 1 person (barely)


Sunday, October 30, 2011

Monday, October 24, 2011

day 43 = tomato and basil

i wanted something fresh and light to have with dinner. this was just perfect!

- 1 roma tomato, sliced and sprinkled with salt
- bunch of basil leaves
- drizzle a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar
- sprinkle with pepper

that's it!


Sunday, October 23, 2011

day 42 = lazy day pasta

we have been busy lately so ended up having a lazy day. at trader joe's last week we picked up some cans of tomatoes and mini-ravioli. i thought it was just ok, by charley liked it. here's what i did:

combine in a large soup pot & simmer for 3 hrs:
- 2 14oz cans of diced tomatoes with green chilies
- 1/2 jar fire roasted yellow and red peppers
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 7 cloves garlic, diced
- handful of fresh basil, chopped
- 1 1/2 jalapeno, chopped
- 2 chicken sausages, cases removed and crumbled
- 3 tbsp dried basil
- 3 tbsp dried oregano
- 2 tbsp salt
- 2 tbsp pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp paprika

when sauce is ready, boil water and add mini-raviolis. cook for 16 mins.

plate pasta with sauce and sprinkle with feta cheese and fresh basil.

it had wonderful balance of tastes and i felt it had a good flavor.  a little spicy with good texture.  since pasta can be prepared in so many different ways it always comes down to personal preference.  for me this was a good meal!


Tuesday, October 18, 2011

day 41 = gotta have guacamole

i hate to admit, but after 3 years of knowing each other, charley and i had our first sit down dinner together at our dining room table. we always eat in front of the tv and hopefully this marks a new chapter in our lives.

anyway, i cooked a chicken we picked up at trader joe's and made a side of guacamole. charley has recently started eating guacamole which is terrific for me. i thought i picked up a lime and jalapeno peppers, but apparently did not so i had to improvise. here's what i did:

mix/smash together in a bowl
- 1/4 medium onion, diced
- 1 roma tomato, diced (sprinkle with salt before dicing)
- 3 medium sized avocados
- a few sprigs basil, cut into small strips
- 1/2 tsp lemon juice
- 2 large pinches ghost pepper sea salt
- additional salt, as needed

best if refrigerate at least 1/2 hour before eating!

awesome, awesome, awesome. best i ever had and i am not a guacamole fan.

(sorry, this picture is terrible because it was taken on my blackberry. we haven't unpacked the camera battery charger).


Sunday, October 9, 2011

day 40 = mom's brisket recommendation

my mom made this brisket for the holidays and highly recommended it. i had bought a kosher brisket at costco and needed to cook it before it went bad. luckily this is a really easy recipe, but the problem is it calls for a 4lb brisket and mine was only 1.2lbs. i didn't realize you needed to adjust the time as much as you did so i overcooked it a little. overall though, it was very tasty!

1. preheat oven to 350
2. mix together in a bowl:
  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp salt (if using a kosher brisket, reduce this amount)
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • 1 tbsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1 bay leaf, crushed
3. in a roasting pan:
  • put a 4lb brisket
  • rub all over with spice rub
  • add hot peppers, optional
  • roast for 1 hour, uncovered
4. reduce oven heat to 275:
  • add 1 1/2 cups beef stock and water until there is 1/2 in the pan
  • cover tightly with foil
  • cook for 3 hours, until fork tender

*for my 1.2lb brisket i cut down the rub ingredients to 1/3 and you only need about 1hr cooking time per each lb (this is where i went wrong). i would cover with foil after about 1/2 hour and check about 30-45 mins later. make sure to cook at 300 instead of 350 for the first 1/2 hour.
the other key here is not to look under the foil once you cover it. make sure it's tight so the heat does not escape.

well i am sure sarah mentioned that the meat was a little over cooked which made it a bit chewy, but it was full of flavor.  i have said it before and i will say it again, i like things with a little heat and this worked out wonderfully.  i could have eaten the whole thing, but sarah kept me from doing so!